Asako family


Clan: Phoenix Clan 
Founded: 30 
Daimyo: Asako Tsunefusa

The Asako family was an exception to many rules in Rokugan. They were a family that consisted primarily of monks, yet they were of the samurai caste, much like the Ise Zumi of the Dragon Clan. Their philosophy was encouraging to mankind, much like the Ikoma family. They were a proud family, but they did not criticize others. Their family was linked closely with Shinseism, but their knowledge was secret, told to Shiba by Shinsei and to Asako by Shiba, though not until some time after his death. [1]

Goals of the Family Edit

The Asako family had two major goals. The first was the preservation of knowledge. Shiba informed Asako that the preservation of history was vital for the development of mankind, as for progress to be made, mankind must know what events have come before. To this end, the Asako were one of the foremost families of historians and librarians in Rokugan. The Asako strove to find every tale, story, and myth, compiling them into a comprehensive history. [2] They were considered some of the greatest historians of Rokugan. [3]

The second goal was the evolution of mankind itself. To this end, the Asako Henshin did their best to guide the rest of Rokugan along the Path of Man. The henshin traveled Rokugan as ordinary monks, quietly and discreetly guiding those that would listen in what they believed to be the path to divinity. [4]

Isawa Rivalry Edit

Asako was the second follower of Shiba who was granted her own family within the clan. Since the death of Shiba, there had been a bitter rivalry between the Asako and the Isawa family, for after Shiba's death, his spirit visited Asako, not an Isawa, to explain to her the ultimate secrets of mankind. The Isawa were furious when they learned of this, and tensions between the two families had been very high throughout the thousand years since. [5]

The Henshin Exposed Edit

At winter court in 1126, Kuni Yori used this tension to manipulate the families of the Phoenix Clan into fighting among themselves. Yori had found the insane Asako Oyo, and used the fallen Henshin as a pawn to bring to light the secrets of imortality held by the Asako. This caused the Phoenix to spend the next several months occupied with the ancient rivalry between the Asako and Isawa families, leaving them oblivious to the machinations of the Crab Clan leading up to the Clan War. [6]

Thought Among the Asako Edit

The overall goal of the Asako family was to guide humanity on its journey to apotheosis, but the Asako had different ideas as to how that goal should be achieved. The scholars of the Asako fell into two broad categories: the isolationist and the inclusivist.

Isolationist Thought Edit

The isolationists among the Asako was devoted to researching the Path of Man in their secret studies, furthering their knowledge and drawing themselves nearer to divinity. The proponents of this method developed methods for allowing humanity to realize its fullest potential, but generally did little to take their lessons to humanity itself.

They were also the oldest and most senior of the Asako, and as such it was these isolationists who drived the family's goals and agenda. These were also the ones who decided who was ready to learn the next stage of the Path and who was not. [7]

Inclusivist Thought Edit

The other major view among the Asako was that the family's lessons should be shared with all of Rokugan. They followed the ways of Shinsei as much as those of Asako, teaching the other clans about enlightenment when they would listen, guiding the "younger clans" to an end where by they would become next to divinity, just as the Asako were.

The proponents of this method were generally younger henshin with little more than basic training. Although they provided a visible presence for the Asako in Rokugan, they had little power or control over the affairs of the family as a whole. [7]

Old Asako

Original mon of the Asako family

The Asako Mon Edit

The mon of the Asako family is a hand holding a flaming quill. The quill was a symbol of the Asako's position as historians and librarians, and the flames were symbolic of their place in the Phoenix Clan. [1]

The mon of the Asako was originally designed to reflect the family's dedication to the magic taught them by Isawa -- it was the image of an open hand, the fingers covered in blood. Needless to say, the image has long since been changed, and even the knowledge of its existence was unknown. [8]

Gifted Administrators Edit

Unlike many monks, the Asako were born of noble status, and maintained a balance between monastic sensibilities and a samurai's responsibilities. The Asako cities were well cared for and nearly free of crime and poverty, immediately recognizable by their pristine cleanliness and magnificence. [9]

Politics Edit

Vassal families Edit

Asako Daimyo Edit

The following are the known daimyo of the Asako family:

Asako 30 - 57
Asako Chukan (c. 112)
Asako Matoya (c. 815)
Asako Ryo (Matoya's son) Early 9th century
Asako Togama  ? - 1151
Asako Toshi 1151 - 1170
Asako Bushiken 1170 - ?
Asako Tsunefusa  ? - Present

Territories Edit

Asako Provinces

Asako Provinces

The Asako family lived in the mountains that were the northern border of the Clan, both the Kyodai and Kabe sano Kita and the Yama no Kuyami ranges. These mountains were more like the territories of the Dragon Clan than the rest of the Phoenix lands. They were isolated and beautiful, with a thick air of mystery permeating the landscape. The winters in the mountains, while harsh, were particularly beautiful, and more than one Emperor had held a Winter Court at an Asako estate. [10]

Mountains Edit

The harsh nature of the mountains was well balanced by the stark beauty of nature. Shrines dotted the landscape of the range, from Reihaido Uikku in the south to secret Gisei Toshi in the north. The beauty and serenity of the landscape was only broken by the occasional inn or palace. Though these signs of civilization were few within the mountains, the roads between them were very well-maintained, because they were often the only routes south to the rest of Rokugan. [10]

Control Edit

Though the entire range did not officially lie within the borders of the Phoenix Clan, there were many shrines near the border that were cared for by the Phoenix. The Shrine of the Ki-Rin, Sleeping Thunder Mountain, and Iron Rings Cascade all fell outside the clan's borders, but have been long tended by the Asako monks. The Asako had few holdings, as the family was largely ascetic, and only maintained holdings as necessary for shelter and secrecy. Historically, their lands were entirely on the inner borders of the Phoenix Clan's territory, away from any other clan, though this changed with the Dragon Clan's annexation of the Dragon Heart Plain prior to the Dragon-Phoenix War. In this way, none of the Asako holding were ever to contend with the territory of another clan, and in their isolation, the militarily weak family was long protected. [10]

Provinces Edit

Asako provinces

Asako provinces

Major Asako Holdings Edit

The following were holdings of note under the control of the Asako family:

Minor Asako Holdings Edit

See Also Edit


  1. 1.0 1.1 Way of the Phoenix, p. 43
  2. Way of the Phoenix, p. 45
  3. Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 87
  4. Way of the Phoenix, p. 63
  5. Way of the Phoenix, pp. 45-46
  6. Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game, Third Edition, p. 19
  7. 7.0 7.1 Way of the Phoenix, p. 46
  8. To Change the World, by Rich Wulf
  9. Way of the Open Hand, p. 51
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Way of the Phoenix, p. 111

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