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Shiro Matsu Dojo

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Shiro Matsu Dojo taught the Lion's Pride, Matsu Bushi, Matsu Elite Guard, Matsu Beastmaster, [1] Lion Kensai, Deathseeker, Lioness Legion, Matsu Duelist, and Matsu Beastmaster schools. [2]

Location Edit

Shiro Matsu was the ancestral home of the Matsu family, and had 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 brtual of them the defense of Kyuden Ikoma and subsequent capture of Shiro no Meiyo from the Scorpion Clan in 533. [1]

Seat of Power Edit

During the banishment of the Akodo family Shiro Matsu served as the seat of power within the Lion Clan. The military activities during the Clan War were conducted from here, lasting as long as and well into the War of Spirits. The return of the Akodo as the heads of armies had left the dojo mainly training the vast armies of Matsu who followed the commands of the Akodo generals. [3]

Traditions Edit

There was only one tradition among the Matsu, and that was excellence. The students were trained ruthlessly in every military drill imaginable. Instructions began with the basic stances, then moved on to unit-scale maneuvers. Both of these must be mastered before the student was allowed to progress, for the Matsu must be both a competent warrior and exceptional soldier. The most exacting and misunderstood tradition among the Matsu was the gempukku ceremony. Rumor had it that any who failed their gempukku were ordered by the Matsu to commit seppuku. This might have been true in the past, howver it was not the rule. They did however endure an excrutiatingly demanding series of tasks, including feats of martial prowess, fasting and punishing tests of physical conditioning. Those who pass were branded with the Matsu mon. [3]

Training Edit

The training at the dojo focused entirely on martial arts, particularily the study of the sword. Almost every weapon deemed honorable for a samurai to be carried could be found here, and students who sought their gempukku were expected to be proficient in no less than 3 different weapon styles and possessed a working knowledge of at least two or three additional weapons. Academic knowledge was downplayed by most Matsu, but all were literate and well-versed in the history of their clan and family. They did however not place much weight on the finer arts such as literature, calligraphy, poetry and the likes, believing they dulled the edge of a samurai's soul. Drills tended to uttery disregard selfpreservation, and focused instead on all out assaults against opposing troops. Beginning students could often be seen with bokken attacking senior students in full armor with padded tetsubo's. This served the duel purpose of teaching the younger to attack without reservation, and the older the little defensive training they would receive. [3]

Dojo Benefits Edit

The finest students of the Shiro Matsu Dojo were regarded as some of the fiercest warriors in Rokugan, and they could be identified by the symbol of three jagged cuts upon one shoulder. [3]

Sensei Edit

Due to the wide variety of styles present in the dojo there were a number of different sensei. All reported to a single sensei however, who was personally chosen by the previous sensei upon his retirement. If the ranking sensei died in battle however the remaining sensei all recommend the replacement to the Lion Clan Champion who ultimately chose the new replacement. [3]

Notable Sensei Edit

Notable Students Edit

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Way of the Samurai, p. 41
  2. Masters of War, p. 119
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Way of the Samurai, p. 42


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