Please note: This article is about the Lion Clan Champion. For other uses of the term, please see Tamago (disambiguation).
Born: Unknown 
Died: Unknown 
Parents: Matsu Ketsui,
Ikoma Koetsu,
Isawa Kokei (stepfather) 
Siblings: Matsu Domotai,
Matsu Satomi (half),
Tamago (doppelganger) 
Spouse: Unknown,
Children: Matsu Yoshino,
Titles: Lion Clan Champion

Matsu Nimuro was a bushi of the Lion Clan. He was also known as the Golden Lion of Toshi Ranbo. [1]

Family Edit

Nimuro was the eldest son of the Matsu Daimyo Matsu Ketsui and her first husband, Ikoma Koetsu. His father died when Ketsui was pregnant of her second son, [2] Matsu Domotai. [3] His younger sister Matsu Satomi was daughter of [4] Ketsui's second husband, Isawa Kokei. [2]

Early Years Edit

In his youth Nimuro believed his destiny was to become the protector of the Hall of Ancestors, a post with little chance of glory. Ketsui instilled in him a natural talent for the martial arts while his Phoenix stepfather gave Nimuro a great appreciation for literature and spirituality. In his gempukku Nimuro took his name from Isawa Nimuro, a legendary go master. [5]

Otemi's Sensei Edit

Nimuro was Ikoma Otemi's sensei, and was beaten at kenjutsu when training the twelve year old Otemi, then named Ichiro, prior to Otemi's gempukku. [6]

Brilliant Commander Edit

Nimuro gained combat experience during the War of Spirits as a taisa in the Lion armies, in his post on the borders between Lion and Scorpion lands. His victories appeared the result of his iron will and incredible luck, instead the result of careful planning and observation they truly were. Nimuro concealed his intelligence to be underestimated by his enemies. [5]

Lion Clan Champion Edit

Matsu Nimuro 1

Lion Clan Champion, Matsu Nimuro

A young Matsu Nimuro became the Lion Clan Champion after Kitsu Motso in 1150. Emperor Toturi I required Akodo Ginawa served Nimuro as advisor. [7] He took the Celestial Sword of the Lion, Shinrai, and presented it to the Emperor Toturi I as a symbol of the Lion's oath in similar way as Shori was kept by the Emperor except in times of war. Toturi returned it to Nimuro, as Rokugan was not truly at peace. [8]

Retaken Lion Holdings from the Crane Edit

In 1153 Matsu Nimuro sacked Shiro no Yojin with an army of Akodo with terrifying precision, minimizing losses in both sides. After the Crane slandered him, claiming his attack was full of subterfuge and trickery, Nimuro detailed his plans to retake Toshi Ranbo. The Daidoji were completely outmaneuvered despite they knew their opponent's strategy, and Toshi Ranbo fell. [7]

The Bastard Revealed Edit

When in 1155 Akodo Kaneka was revealed as the son of of the former Lion Clan Champion, Akodo Toturi, Nimuro offered to step down as the Lion Clan Champion so that Kaneka might assume his birthright, but Kaneka refused, wishing to find his own way. [9]

War of Fire and Snow Edit

Toturi Naseru had brokered an alliance between Lion and the Phoenix, his plan was for Lion might and Isawa magic to smash the Shadowlands once and for all. When the Dragon refugees crossed both Lion and Phoenix borders only further unified the two clans against a common threat. [10] Nimuro led Lion forces during this Dragon-Phoenix War. [11] He achieved the first victory of the Phoenix-Lion alliance at the Battle of Honored Treaty Plains with a brilliant use of his cavalry forces. [12]

Tsuno Assaults Edit

In 1158 Horned beasts called Tsuno appeared from nowhere to attack Lion lands. The beasts fought as a united force, which was rare for shadowlands creatures. Toturi Tsudao marched to repel the attacks. [13] In 1159 The Lion withdrew forces stationed on Phoenix lands and returned to defend their home. [14]

Domotai's Capture Edit

Kitsu Tombs Burned

Kitsu Tombs Burning

In 1159, in the Month of the Serpent, the Tsuno attacked Hall of Ancestors. Nimuro's brother Matsu Domotai successfully defended the Hall, and realizing that it was a feint marched to defend the Kitsu Tombs. Tsuno led by the Onisu Nikushimi overwhelmed them and sacked the Tombs, then disappeared taking with them the sacred scrolls of the Kitsu and Domotai. [15] [16] [17]

Bargaining with Yojiro Edit

While Nimuro meditated in the Hall of Ancestors, his secret ally Bayushi Yojiro approached him. If Nimuro would arrange a meeting between Toturi Sezaru and a Scorpion representative, the Master of Secrets would use his powers to promote Akodo Kaneka's hold on the Yasuki provinces. Nimuro agreed. [18]

Withdrawal from the Dragon-Phoenix war Edit

The Golden Lion ordered the withdrawal of Lion troops from the conflict with the Dragon, leaving an honor guard of skilled troops and Lion's Pride to fulfill the obligation to the Phoenix. The withdrawn troops were to be used to defend Lion homeland from the Tsuno attacks and to find the kidnapped Matsu Domotai.[19]

Fall of Otosan Uchi Edit

Otosan Uchi in Flames

Otosan Uchi in Flames

After Daigotsu took the Forbidden Palace and started a ritual with the Steel Throne, Nimuro dueled [20] and killed Goju Kyoden during the Fall of Otosan Uchi in 1159, making him one of the heroes of the day. [21] He could not enter the Imperial Palace itself due to the ancient wards that protected it from those not of the Hantei blood.[22]

After the battle was over the Kitsu confirmed with their ancestors that the Imperial City was cursed beyond redemption, so Nimuro commanded the Legion of the Wolf, alongside with the Sword of Yotsu, to put the city to the torch. [23]

Toshi Ranbo is taken back Edit

Nimuro recovers Toshi Ranbo

Nimuro recovers Toshi Ranbo

In 1160 Doji Kurohito relinquished Toshi Ranbo wo Shien Shite Reigisaho to the Lion rather than fighting. The city had been occupied by the Crane in 1159 while the Lion were in troubles fighting the Tsuno. An advisor of Nimuro, Kitsu Hisashi, was instrumental in the cleansing of the blade of Kurohito, Chukandomo. The blade was disgusted with Kurohito's decision and called forth the souls of all those it had consumed. With the help of the Kitsu in Toshi Ranbo calling forth the blessed Ancestors, the souls were driven back and the sword was purified. [24] The blade was offered to Nimuro and peace began between Lion and Crane. Nimuro later offered the sword to his sister Matsu Satomi. [4]

Matsu Domotai Edit

Matsu Nimuro

Matsu Nimuro

In 1159 Akodo's remains were recovered by the Dark Oracle of Water Matsu Turi. Knowing that the Lion would not wish the remains to be kept by a Dark Oracle, Turi offered to trade them for a Matsu vassal of true lineage. In 1160 Nimuro's brother Matsu Domotai volunteered and Nimuro could not dissuade him. [25] Domotai gifted his brother with his tanto, which beared the mark of Kitsu and Matsu families, a weapon entrusted only to who protected the Hall of Ancestors. [26] Domotai did not intend to help Turi achieve the purpose he needed a true Lion vassal for: after the remains were safely in Lion hands, Domotai committed seppuku, claiming it as the right of a vassal who disagreed with his lord. [25]

New Imperial Court Edit

In 1160 Miya Shoin and Ide Tadaji sponsored a new Imperial Court at Kyuden Miya. [27] They sent Miya Heralds to every clan. The messenger to the Lion were attacked by bandits and his Akodo Wardens killed. Akodo Setai, saved the Miya and killed most of the bandits. Nimuro met him and offered a reward, but he had to refuse Setai's most desire, to commit seppuku. The Herald gave a message to Nimuro, an invitation to the Lion for the new Imperial Court. Nimuro decided to send Setai, as he had saved the entire clan from shame, and edicted the shame of the deathseeker was wiped away. He also sent Kitsu Juri and Ikoma Sume among the other Lion families. [28]

New Imperial City Edit

The new capital of the Empire would be decided in the Court, when Doji Kurohito stepped in and informed the Crane had already begun its construction, as a form of penance, to cause the distraction in the Crab from his duty due to the Yasuki issue. The city decided was the disputed Toshi Ranbo, under Lion at that time. Hitomi Vedau, one of the court members, brawled with Kurohito over a perceived insult being the Court in the deliberations to select the new Imperial Capital. Nimuro joined the Court and confirmed the location and their united effort with the Crane in improving the city. Nobody among the Court said any more word against. [29]

Fires of Toshi Ranbo Edit

In 1165 Toshi Ranbo was ravaged by a fire in the side controlled by the Lion. Matsu Aoiko informed Nimuro that the fire had begun in a warehouse which had Black Powder inside. This material was frequently used by Daidoji in their secret missions and Nimuro believed the Crane Clan was behind the fire. [30]

Egg of P'an Ku Edit

Creation of Tamago

Creation of Tamago

This year, Akodo Ieshige, the hero of the Fires of Toshi Ranbo, found a box in the remains of a burned shrine. He gave the box to Kitsu Juri, who recognized the powerful nemuranai which was inside, the Egg of P'an Ku. Juri summoned Nimuro at the Kitsu Tombs. Nimuro decided to use the Egg and cloned himself, creating a twin being who Nimuro called as Tamago. Tamago was jailed at the Tombs, and Juri promised Nimuro to tell no one of what had happened there. Juri was unawared that the jailed Tamago was the true Nimuro, and the evil twin now returned as Lion Champion to Toshi Ranbo. [26]

Matsu Satomi Edit

Imprisoned Nimuro was able to pass a tanto to an eta and ordered him to give to his sister Matsu Satomi. The tanto was the one his brother Matsu Domotai gifted Nimuro before his sacrifice. Matsu Satomi came to the Kitsu Tombs and eventually knew the fate of his brother, but she fell to the taint when the Rain of Blood touched her. [26]

Investigation of Fires of Toshi Ranbo Edit

In 1166 his false twin brilliantly avoided another war with the Crane for the control of the Imperial City. After both clans were found to have failed to protect the city in the Fires of Toshi Ranbo, Kurohito offered to patrol Toshi Ranbo with Crane guards alone, releasing the Lion guards for the War of the Rich Frog. [31]

Death of the False Nimuro Edit

Tamago 2

The False Nimuro

The death of the False Nimuro during the War of the Rich Frog caused the Lion Clan to believe Nimuro dead. As a result, the Championship was passed to Ikoma Otemi, until Nimuro's eldest son came of age. He was held captive by Kitsu Juri in the Kitsu Tombs, who believed he was the duplicate. [32]

Tamago Edit

In 1166 after he having expended every idea he could consider to escape from his wrongful prison, strangled Juri to death. This brought Nimuro his freedom, but cost Juri his life. The shame of his dabbling with the Egg caused Matsu Nimuro to leave the Lion, becoming a ronin and assuming the name of his now-dead counterpart, Tamago. [32]

Utagawa and Life as a Ronin Edit

Nimuro seek the ronin Utagawa to prevent her from fomenting a peasant and ronin revolt in a small village near the Dragon border. Utagawa became his student, [32] and his lover. [33]

Legion of Two Thousand Edit

Joining the Legion Edit

In 1168 Tamago and Utagawa had been tracking down a bandit leader, Kokei, from Dragon to Scorpion lands. In Doko Maru they joined the newly rebuilt Legion of Two Thousand led by Ginkgo and a former Unicorn Natsume. They lured the bandits to an ambush who fought with unexpected ferocity to death, and their tattooed leader escaped laughing like a madmen. Gingko died and Natsume became the new Legion Comander. [34]

Test of the Emerald Champion Edit

Shinjo Shono sought Utagawa and Tamago, and asked aid to Tawagoto to find them. [35] Shono gifted them the possibility to compete in the Test of the Emerald Champion in 1169. Tamago entered the tournament with his features concealed under a featureless mempo. He doubted about competing exposing him to be recognized as Matsu Nimuro. Utagawa urged him onwards. [36]

At Lion service Edit

They eventually came into service of the Lion Clan. Utagawa was pregnant of Tamago's child, [37] who would be raised as Tamahime. [38] Tamago proposed Kuronada, a ronin who had left his father, a tyrant of a small kingdom North Rokugan, to join the Legion. [39] Tamago was investigated by the Monkey Clan, as the new upstart was concerning the Monkey Clan Champion Toku Kyoji. Where once ronin might look to the Monkey for aid when in doubt and need, now they seemed to look more readily to one of their own. [40]

Celestial Tournament Edit

In 1170 Tamago appeared at the Celestial Tournament to speak with Akodo Shigetoshi. Shigetoshi challenged Tamago to a duel on the grounds that there could be only one Lion Clan Champion. Tamago refused the duel and told Shigetoshi that his name was Tamago. There came to be an understanding between the two and Tamago left for the Thousand Leaves Dojo, never to see Shigetoshi again. [37]

Plague War Edit

In 1172 Utagawa, Tamago and their child were at the Lost Traveler Castle, base of the Legion in the northern Empire, and an isolated place to be far from the plague that ravaged the Empire. [41]

Legacy Edit

Shrine to Nimuro

Shrine to Nimuro

The Lion Clan honored the memory of Nimuro building a shrine to his memory. [42]

See also Edit

External Links Edit

Preceded by:
Kitsu Motso
Lion Clan Champion
1150 - 1165
Succeeded by:


  1. Matsu Nimuro (Gold flavor)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Secrets of the Lion, p. 73
  3. Way of the Shugenja, p. 84
  4. 4.0 4.1 Gifts of the Ancestors, by Nancy Sauer
  5. 5.0 5.1 Secrets of the Lion, p. 72
  6. Island in the Mist, Part III, by Rich Wulf
  7. 7.0 7.1 Secrets of the Lion, p. 9
  8. Magic of Rokugan, p. 82
  9. Secrets on the Wind - Part 3, by Rich Wulf and Shawn Carman
  10. Alliance (Gold flavor)
  11. Secrets on the Wind - Part 1, by Rich Wulf and Shawn Carman
  12. Medium Cavalry (Gold flavor)
  13. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition p. 32
  14. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition p. 36
  15. Burning the Tombs (An Oni's Fury flavor)
  16. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 37
  17. Stolen Records (An Oni's Fury flavor)
  18. Complications, by Rich Wulf
  19. Clan Letter to the Lion #17 (Imperial Herald v2 #2)
  20. Battle for Otosan Uchi, Part 2, by Rich Wulf and Shawn Carman
  21. The Four Winds, p. 48.
  22. Revelation, by Rich Wulf and Shawn Carman
  23. Clan Letter to the Lion #20 (Imperial Herald v2 #5)
  24. Immortal Steel, by Shawn Carman
  25. 25.0 25.1 A Lion's Honor, by Shawn Carman and Rich Wulf
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 Blood Dawn, Part V: Bonds of Honor, by Rich Wulf
  27. Heart of the Empire
  28. Rebuilding the Court, by Shawn Carman
  29. Rebuilding the Empire (Origins 2003 Storyline), by Rich Wulf
  30. Return of the Master (Diamond Rulebook Story), by Rich Wulf and Shawn Carman
  31. Violence Behind Courtliness, by Shawn Carman and Rich Wulf
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 Forgotten, by Shawn Carman
  33. Tamago (The Harbinger flavor)
  34. A Legion Reborn, by Nancy Sauer
  35. Recruiting Allies (Khan's Defiance flavor)
  36. The Test of the Emerald Champion, Between-Round Fiction Snippets
  37. 37.0 37.1 The Celestial Tournament, by Shawn Carman
  38. Tamahime (Promotional flavor)
  39. Kuronada (The Heaven's Will flavor)
  40. Fealty and Freedom, p. 54
  41. Rulebook Story (The Plague War)
  42. Shrine to Nimuro (Embers of War Title)

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