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Shiba family

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Shiba family

Shiba  

Clan: Phoenix Clan 
Founded: c.5 
Daimyo: Shiba Tsukimi 
"Choosing between two evils is still choosing evil." [1]

The Shiba family embraced many contradictions. They were the descendants of a Kami, yet were subservient to the Isawa family. They have given birth to every Clan Champion, yet they do not rule the clan. They were soldiers and warriors in a clan of pacifists. They were a vital and valued part of the Phoenix Clan. [1]

Founding and Succession Edit

The Shiba family was founded by the Kami Shiba. Shiba's descendants remain the Champions of the Phoenix Clan, although the line of that succession has not always been by blood. For most of the clan's history, when a Champion died, the successor was chosen by Shiba himself, through the clan's Ancestral sword, Ofushikai; at the death of a Champion, the sword would disappear and reappear with the person who would become the next Champion. [1]

When Amaterasu scattered all of the clans' ancestral swords into the heavens, however, this method of selection was lost. When Shiba Tsukune ascended to Tengoku to become Fortune of Rebirth, the Elemental Masters refused to accept her son, Shiba Aikune, as Champion, and instead decided to appoint the new champion themselves. This apparently lasted only for the appointment of Shiba Mirabu, as while he still held the position, the Soul of Shiba was bound to the Shiba bloodline itself by Aikune, and Ofushikai, now just a symbol of that authority, was given to him as well. [2]

Duty of the Shiba Edit

The primary duty of the Shiba was to protect the Isawa family. At the dawn of the empire, Shiba made this promise to Isawa, and his descendants have been driven to fulfill it ever since. That promise is what the Shiba look to as their defining purpose; it is what gives them unity and strength. [3]

Despite this, there was always and has always been some measure of friction between the Shiba and Isawa families. The Shiba became frustrated that the Isawa do not understand their philosophy, and the Isawa, like their founder, resent any implication that they owe the Shiba thanks or respect. In addition, the Isawa tend to remain sequestered in their family holdings, and this habit breeds a certain level of separation from everyday matters and politics. The Shiba dealt with Rokugan every day, and thus are more pragmatic and realistic about certain matters, such as the occasional necessity of violence. In matters such as these, the two families rarely saw eye to eye. [4]

Despite their inherent disagreements, the families of the Phoenix Clan did not let their internal differences became exploitable to outsiders. In the face of pressure from outside the clan, the Phoenix would quickly close ranks to deal with any threat. A Shiba might complain about the Isawa all day long, but suggesting that he helped work against them would elicit a violent reaction in their defense. Many young and overly ambitious courtiers had learned this lesson too late to save themselves from their end under a Phoenix blade in a duel over the clan's honor. [citation needed]

Training of the Shiba Edit

After a Shiba's gempukku, he or she would serve in the Phoenix' Home Guard, patrolling the clan's lands and guarding against any threat. After some time in the Guard, any Shiba that desired could join the Shiba Yojimbo and be assigned to protect a specific shugenja, courtier, or other dignitary. The Shiba Yojimbo were among the finest in Rokugan, and it was in this capacity that their family truly excelled.

Shiba bushi were reknowned throughout Rokugan for thinking constantly of defenses and security measures. A Shiba was, some would say, overly concerned with the number of guards, their positions, their shift rotations, and so on, sometimes down to the quality and quantity of their rations. Many gunso throughout the empire dread the arrival of a Phoenix dignitary because they know that person's yojimbo will not give them a moment's rest, barraging them with concerns about the quality of their charges security. The Shiba, however, took pride in this reputation, because it only served to show their dedication to their charges and to their ancestor's oath. [5]

Politics Edit

Daimyo of the Shiba Edit

Since the founding of the Phoenix Clan the Phoenix Clan Champion has been the daimyo of the Shiba family.

Vassals of the Shiba Edit

The following were the vassal families of the Shiba:

Within the family Edit

Mon of the Shiba Edit

The Shiba family mon was a pair of crossed katana surrounded by a fiery outline of a phoenix, on a field of black. A variant exists that was used by many Shiba Yojimbo that also contained the symbol of Void stitched in gold in the area between the swords. The mon reflected the family's position as the martial arm of the clan, as well as their ancestor's oath to Isawa. [5]

Lands Edit

The terrain of the Shiba lands had flat beaches along the east and rocky cliffs and mountains of the northern reaches. The majority of the Shiba lands were occupied by the rolling plains between Mori Isawa and the mountains of Treacherous Pass. [6] Their fields were among the most fertile in the Empire, and trade prospered between the Phoenix and their Crane allies. The Shiba had developed ways of traveling despite the thick cover of snow in winter time. Shoes built for walking over the snow, and special cloaks and wraps kept communication between the Shiba and the Isawa open even during the season of Winter Court. [7]

Provinces Edit

Shiba provinces

Shiba provinces

Major Shiba Holdings Edit

Minor Shiba Holdings Edit

See Also Edit

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Way of the Phoenix, p. 34
  2. Immortal Steel, by Shawn Carman
  3. Way of the Phoenix, pp. 34-35
  4. Way of the Phoenix, p. 35
  5. 5.0 5.1 Way of the Phoenix, p. 37
  6. Secrets of the Phoenix, p. 64
  7. Way of the Phoenix, p. 110


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