Born: Unknown 
Died: 10th century 
Died after return: 1170 
Spouse: Emperor's daughter

Rezan was the ronin poet who return through Oblivion's Gate alongside the heroes of Rokugan, he returned to seek the reincarnation of his wife. He was famed as a great poet and swordsman, but was lost to the Shadowlands. Some of his work can be found in the compilation work Manyoshu.

Rise to Fame Edit

Many critics claimed him to be the greatest poet in history. They were wrong. He was a terrible poet, but a fearsome duelist. While in the Doji court, Rezan argued with a Doji about who was the most beautiful woman at the court. The argument ended in Rezan challenging the Doji to a duel. As the challenged party the Doji was within his rights to choose the weapons for the duel. The Doji declared that it would be a duel of poetry, and that each would write a poem about a woman at the court. The Doji's choice was a young Crane while Rezan choose a woman that was revealed to be the Emperor's daughter in disguise. The Doji could not win without shaming the Emperor's daughter, so he lost intentionally and declared that Rezan was the greatest poet in the empire. [1] [2]

First snows of winter, Delicate upon the earth, Breathtaking, fleeting
-Rezan, the ronin poet [3]

Known attributed plays Edit

Wife Edit

Rezan married the daughter of the Emperor, joined the Miya family and became Miya Rezan. [2]

Death Edit

The marriage lasted only three years, until Rezan was killed in a duel and went to Yomi. Shortly after his wife died from grief and joined him there. They spent the next two centuries together until she realised he did not truly love her. She chose to be reincarnated, and after a time Rezan realised that he missed her and did love her after all. [5]

Yomi Edit

Rezan went to Yomi, the Realm of the Blessed Ancestors, and became a member of the Blessed Guard, the defenders of the realm. [6]

Criticizing Poetry Edit

Every year a poetry competition was held by the Emperor, and sponsored by the Crane Clan. Thousands of people entered their waka on a topic chosen by the Emperor himself. It was at one of these competitions many years ago that Rezan saved his own life by winning the competition. He had criticized the imperial policies of the then Emperor, and was subsequently commanded to commit seppuku. His victory in the competition spared his life. [7]

Haiku Edit

Rezan was also the first to develop the shortest form of poetry known as haiku. Until that time, most poetry shorter than five lines was considered frivolous. [7]

Return Edit

Rezan 2


Rezan returned through Oblivion's Gate in the twelfth century. He was surprised to discover the reputation he had gained since his death as a master poet, and used this reputation to travel the Empire and visit many courts. [8] Rezan had in fact returned to find the reincarnated soul of his wife. His wife believed he did not love her, and chose to be reincarnated. Rezan realized he did in fact love her, and returned through Oblivion's Gate to do so but the thirst first years of searching did not reveal her to him. [5]

Demeanor Edit

Rezan was a cheerful, easy going sort with a love for the finer things in life. Though he seemed hedonistic and lazy, he was a quite deadly duelist with centuries of experience. His laid back approach to life stemmed from his long experience; he was a very patient man who believed that all things came in time to those who maintained their priorities. He was an extraordinary insightful individual as well, though he rarely chose to share his deepest thoughts with others. [6]

Courting Kiyomi Edit

Rezan was so impressed with the beauty of the courtier Kiyomi [9] that he began to court her. The first time was in 1158 during the Winter Court at Kyuden Miya, when he sang to her in the garden. The second was in 1159 at the great marriage between Ikoma Otemi and Shosuro Yasuko, when Kiyomi was allowed to honor Rezan presence with a poem. [10]

Murdered Spirits Edit

In 1159 he was in Kyuden Seppun when Miya Shoin arrived with a group of investigators. The group wished to speak with Rezan, and informed the ronin that several prominent spirits had been murdered recently. They offered Rezan their protection, and set off together the next day because of news of Kakita Rensei's murder. [8]

Kyuden Doji Edit

The investigation went to Kyuden Doji, where Shoin asked Yu-Pan and Kakau to investigate the place of Rensei's death. They discovered very little. Rezan possibly had a romantic encounter with Agasha Chieh, but was interrupted by Moshi Kakau. Kakau and Rezan had a lengthy discussion about returned spirits and the real reason Rezan returned; to find his reincarnated wife. Kijuro convinced Shoin that they must travel to Shiro Morito next. [5]

Ox Lands Edit

The group traveled for two weeks to get to Ox lands. Once there Kijuro discovered the body of a warden he knew, Isuto. Kijuro revealed the existance of a spirit in Ox lands, Yasuki Kaneko. Shoin dispatched Kijuro, Yu-Pan, Akemi and Kakau to save Kaneko. Meanwhile Shoin, Chieh and Rezan would travel on to meet Morito. [11]

Shiro Morito Edit

Shoin, Chieh and Rezan traveled for two days and reach Shiro Morito. Two days spent there yielded nothing, Rezan met a young woman named Moshi Shimiko, so the three leave to try and catch up with the other four. While nearing in on the others, Shoin was attacked. [12]

Revealing the Traitor Edit

The assassin killed Shoin and fled. The others arrived at the campsite, and it was revealed that the murdered Shoin was merely a dummy with an illusion on it. Rezan, who witnessed the attack, recognized the assassin as Gusai. Gusai revealed certain details that only one of the group could have known, and Chieh deduced that Kakau was the traitor. Kakau admited it and the group puzzled out that Gusai intended to kill Naseru. Shoin ordered Kijuro to return to Shiro Morito as quickly as possible to obtain more horses. They intended to return to Otosan Uchi. [13]

Final Confrontation Edit

The group laid a trap for Gusai but Gusai sprung the trap intentionally, mortally wounding Kijuro. Rezan attempted to kill Gusai, but his strike passed through the shadow harmlessly. Yu-Pan charged Gusai, wounding him with a crystal spear. Kakau sacrificed himself to momentarily stun Gusai, allowing Shoin the killing shot with a crystal-tipped arrow. Rezan was offered the positon of Emerald Magistrate for his service, but declined. He wrote Kijuro's death poem, which he gave to Shoin to take to Kijuro's funeral. [14]

Yoritomo Yoyonagi Edit

In 1159 in the Shogun's court Rezan had a romantic affair with Yoritomo Yoyonagi. Before the couple awaken the onisu Settozai entered in Yoyonagi's chambers and knocked both out, taking Yoyonagi by her hair. The beast faced Matsu Hyun when Rezan reached the Onisu from the back and attacked Settozai with the sword he had carried with him from the fields of Yomi. In two strokes Rezan showed his mastery of Iaijutsu. [15]

Toturi II Edit

After Toturi Tsudao proclamated herself as Empress Toturi II, Kiyomi requested Rezan to join her ranks in Kyuden Seppun. [10]

Following his lover Edit

In 1160 Rezan moved to Kyuden Gotei following Yoyonagi, who was a Yoritomo Kumiko's supporter. This year the Mantis Civil War finished. [16]

At Oblivion's Gate again Edit

The same year Rezan returned to the Oblivion's Gate, where he met Tonbo Toryu, the Dark Oracle of Void. Toryu did not attack him and allowed to ask him the question any mortal could bear to an Oracle. Rezan wished to know the true purpose of Oblivion's Gate. The troll civilization built it with the power to resurrect the dead. But another purpose was to bring forth a single hero through the gate in times of need. [17]

Rezan's Madness Edit

In 1165, Rezan's quest for the reincarnated soul of his true love was dealt a devastating blow. He was at Toshi no aida ni Kawa, the City Between the Rivers, in the Unicorn lands, and had met his old friend Shoin. The governor of the city, Shinjo Turong, summoned him an introduced a Dragon emissary, Mirumoto Takeo. He gave the poet an unfinished letter adressed to him, apparently written by a young Mirumoto girl. Rezan was certain the girl was the reincarnatation of his lost love, but unfortunately the woman had been caught in the Rain of Blood and fallen to the taint. Rezan was distraught, shaved his head and decided to ally himself with Daigotsu in an attempt to seek revenge upon Iuchiban and locate his love. [17] [18]

Servant of Daigotsu Edit

In 1166 Rezan marched to Volturnum and reached the Oblivion's Gate. He wait there dressed in a plain brown kimono, his dark brown eyes fixed upon the heart of the portal, with the scowling mempo that was the symbol of Daigotsu emblazoned upon his right sleeve, guiding his sword arm. He had become a truly servant of the Dark Lord. [19]

Kisada's Return Edit

Rezan had warned the Crab Clan an important event would happen at the Gate. Several Crab warriors marched to the Gate, led by Hiruma Daimyo, Hiruma Todori. The truce of two years Daigotsu had offered to the Empire was still in force, so the Crab did not attack the poet. From the Gate two armies were engaged in combat, the Legion of the Dead, an army of the souls of dead heroes, and the Legion of Blood, assembled by Yajinden, formed by the most reviled villains of the Empire and minions of Jigoku. They saw the face of Kuni Yori, attempting to reach the Gate, and prepared for the worst. The Crab group was attacked by countless bloodspeakers, and they barely kept the gate open. At last, one soul crossed the Gate, a dead was again alive, Hida Kisada, the Great Bear. The Gate had been sealed after he passed it. With his aid they defeated the bloodspeaker attack. [20]

Fall of Iuchiban Edit

The Lion and Crab Clan led by Kisada and Matsu Aoiko led the united armies against the Bloodspeaker, who was waiting in his Iron Citadel at Otosan Uchi. [21] While Kisada distracted Iuchiban fighting him in hand-to-hand combat outside Otosan Uchi, Aoiko and Isawa Sezaru retrieved the Hidden Heart of Iuchiban. Rezan appeared and explained that the forces of Daigotsu would not harm them, because Daigotsu wanted Iuchiban to die. Sezaru remained alone in the tunnels beneath Otosan Uchi, and when the Heartless came for his heart the Wolf destroyed Iuchiban's heart and body. [22] Now that luchiban was dead, Rezan had nothing to live for. [23]

Redemption Edit

During the Winter Court of 1170 at Kyuden Bayushi, Rezan joined an oratory contest under the guise of being a Hare Clan functionary. He told a story of redemption, narrating the life of a samurai who turned his back on his Empire and embraced the darkness after losing all that mattered to him. However, the samurai in the story had a revelation at a critical moment and sacrificed himself to restore some vestige of his honor. The story was so moving, that the judges awarded him with the victory. When he was awarded the prize, however Rezan refused to accept it, revealing himself to be the samurai in his story and presented the Empress with a gift, a netsuke which once belonged to the Kami Ryoshun, in the name of his lord. He then explained that it was his intention to prove to the Empress that even those tainted among the Spider were capable of recognizing their place in the new order. The Empress then offered the fallen poet a chance at redemption, by means of seppuku, which he accepted. [24]

Known Poems Edit

Rezan wrote the poem the Gate of All Hearts, about the returned spirits from the Oblivion's Gate and how Toturi passed it aided by Ginawa. [25]

See also Edit

External Links Edit


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