Shiro Matsu

Shiro Matsu

The Last Breath Castle (L18) in the Yama province [1] was the ancestral home of the Matsu family.

Founding Edit

The castle was built where the Lion Thunder Matsu met the first Akodo. [2] She established there her family. It was also where the largest contingent of Lion samurai were stationed, carefully guarding the supply lines on which the Lion armies depended. The army stationed here consisted of members of all the Lion families, Kitsu, Akodo, Matsu and Ikoma alike. [3]

Location Edit

Shiro Matsu was located just above Beiden Pass, in the midland territories of the Lion. [4] The Valley of Storms surrounded it. [5] Since the devastation of the Beiden Pass in 1150 the castle lose its strategic role against the Scorpion, but it remained as the single largest concen­tration of military might in the Empire. A city, Shiro Matsu Toshi, sprung near the castle. [6]

Fortress Edit

Ancestral Home of the Lion

Ancestral Home of the Lion

The castle was immense, over a hundred feet tall at the summit, with sprawling courtyards, tortified entries, practice grounds, dojo, and smithies. [6] Its walls were built by Crab engineers, and a cliffside forced all who approached to travel through a tiny pass, known as the Lion's Teeth. The purpose of Matsu Palace was originally to defend the Lion trade routes, keeping the roads clear for the movement of food and supplies. The castle was proven when it was besieged by Crane or Scorpion enemies, but had never fallen in battle. [4] It was the headquarters of the Second Matsu Army. [7] The castle and surrounding area were capable of housing nearly 100,000 troops. [8]

Shiro Matsu served as a military outpost in the center of the defenses of the southern borders of the Lion Clan. Many battles had been launched from here, the most brutal of them the defense of Kyuden Ikoma and subsequent capture of Shiro no Meiyo from the Scorpion Clan in 533. [9] In 1132 the infamous battle known as Storms Over Matsu Castle was a Lion victory upon the Unicorn, at the cost of Lion's honor for Kitsu Okura's dealing with maho and the Shadowlands. [10]

Shiro Matsu could be described as stark, and most would consider a position as guest there to be a terrible punishment. They could expect only the most basic accommodations, and expect to be awakened well before each dawn by the cacophonous noise of thousands of samurai training in the vast courtyards. [11]

Dojo Edit

Shiro Matsu was the location of the Shiro Matsu Dojo. [9] The second Lion Kensai dojo was built in the castle's outskirts there when the Akodo were disbanded. [12]

Obsolete Edit

After the destruction of the Beiden Pass the castle lacked its military purpose as defender of a possible invasion from the Scorpion lands. Since then, the Lion Clan's greatest fortress was located many days march away from even the most marginal threat. [13]

External Links Edit

Shiro Matsu 2

Shiro Matsu (L18)


  1. Secrets of the Lion, p. 95
  2. Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 236
  3. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 293
  4. 4.0 4.1 Way of the Lion, p. 114
  5. Rulebook Story (Storms Over Matsu Palace)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Secrets of the Lion, p. 69
  7. Masters of War, p. 74
  8. The Atlas of Rokugan, p. 97
  9. 9.0 9.1 Way of the Samurai, p. 41
  10. Rulebook Story (Storms Over Matsu Palace)
  11. Legend of the Five Rings; Fourth Edition, p. 345
  12. Art of the Duel, p. 66
  13. Masters of War, p. 94

Sources Conflict
The sources relating to this article are in conflict with each other.
Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire page 235 indicates Shiro Matsu as the first place Matsu and Akodo met, and Third Edition Core book page 292 incates Shiro sano Ken Hayai as this place. It seems 3rd Edition is wrong. --Oni no Pikachu 15:46, February 28, 2012 (UTC)

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