Please note: This article is about the school. For other uses of the term, please see Dark Sword of Bitter Lies (disambiguation).
Bitter Lies Swordsman

A Bitter Lies Swordsman

The Bitter Lies Swordsman was a school of kenjutsu developed by Bayushi Tangen [1] and popularized by Bayushi Kwanchai. Initially it was taught exclusively in the Dojo of Bitter Lies. The techniques taught by this school seemed to work only for those who were extremely lucky, mad, or both. [2] The popularity of the school made it to extend its training upon the Honor's Lesson Dojo. [3]

Techniques Edit

The samurai practicing the Bitter Lies techniques tended to be extremely lucky in battles and duels, especially when facing difficult or impossible odds. Tangen himself earned the nickname "the Failed Martyr" when he survived numerous suicide missions, and his protegee Bayushi Kwanchai miraculously survived a battle with the onisu Fushin in which he was burned and fell from a high bridge into the river below. [2]

Tangen, who had never successfully passed on his technique, agreed to teach Kwanchai only after months of pestering. He was both shocked and dismayed when Kwanchai proved able to master the style. [2]

Trademark Mempo Edit

Fire Maple Mempo

A Fire Maple Mempo

Many Bitter Lies students wore a Fire Maple Mempo to emulate their sensei Bayushi Kwanchai. [4]

Military Tactics Edit

The Scorpion used the Bitter Lies in combat with suicidal charges. Nothing stroke more fear into an army like a Bitter Lies Swordsman charging the front lines alone. [5] Their battle cry, "Prepare to face the Dark Sword of Bitter Lies!" inspires dread in allies and enemies alike. [6] The Bitter Lies samurai had never been more than a joke or a dispensable tool by the Scorpion, but Kwanchai's wife, Bayushi Hisako, had turned them into something greater. [7]

History Edit

Second Dojo Edit

Another dojo was built at Toshi Ranbo under the patronage of Bayushi Tsimaru. [8]

Legion Fostered to the Mantis Edit

In 1200 a legion of the Bitter Lies was placed under the command of the Mantis Clan Champion Yoritomo Hiromi, as a show of good faith to the Mantis, who had been attacked by rogue Scorpion forces, leading in the corruption of the Shrine to Yoritomo. [9]

Notable Students Edit


  1. Legend of the Five Rings; Fourth Edition, p. 254
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Secrets of the Scorpion, pp. 21 & 26
  3. Emerald Empire: Third Edition, p. 194
  4. Fire Mempo (Rise of the Shogun flavor)
  5. Defensive Screen (Lotus flavor)
  6. Secrets of the Scorpion, p. 28
  7. Bayushi Yousui (Words and Deeds flavor)
  8. Tales of the Emerald Championship (Imperial Herald v2#23), by Shawn Carman
  9. Spring Kotei 2015 Fiction Act 1: Opening Moves, Day 3, by Chris Hand, Maxime Lemaire, Mari Murdock, Fred Wan, and Robert Denton

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