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Force of Law

Law Enforcers

Ritsuryo was the Rokugani system of law.

Creation Edit

Inspired by the Scorpion magistrate Soshi Saibankan the Otomo Daimyo Otomo Kuchiru wrote a system of penal and administrative law which advocated testimony and honour over physical evidence. It was backed by the Emperor and established as the Empire's fundamental legal code. [1] It was held an annually conference, Hashira Horitsu, to modify the current laws. [2]

Based Edit

Any testimony could be always confronted to the ancestors of the samurai, using the Kitsu Sodan Senzo, so no one could be expected to lie with such a jury. [1] Since the year 53 [3] this practice was avoided as far as possible, since the Soshi once fouled the Kitsu during the reign of Hantei Genji. A Lion general's spirit testified who was his murderer, and after punishment was exacted, the Soshi revealed the Lion general was still alive as their hostage. [4] As a samurai was expected to lie to protect his family's honour, the testimony of family members was not considered valid during trials.[5]

Kolat Manipulation Edit

The Kolat conspiracy encouraged moving the Emperor's laws away from fact and towards perception. First, it eliminated the need for physical proof of a given deed, the leeway to alter what people would think and see. Second, the timely words of an "honourable man" could provide a smokescreen. Finally, it would turn the people's opinion against the Hantei if the Emperor's word ever ran consistently against the precepts of honour and common sense. [6]

Torture Edit

Before anyone could be brought to justice, a confession must be made by the perpetrator, or the criminal must be caught red handed. Torture was a common method of obtaining confessions. [5]

See also Edit


  1. 1.0 1.1 Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun, p. 39
  2. Otosan Uchi:Book 1, p. 10
  3. Secrets of the Lion, p. 6
  4. Winter Court:Kyuden Asako, p. 42
  5. 5.0 5.1 Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun, p. 42
  6. Merchant's Guide to Rokugan, p. 23

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