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Mon of the Crane Clan

The Crane Clan, Left Hand of the Emperor, was known throughout Rokugan for its skilled duelists and artisans. The Crane were also noted courtiers, wielding great power in the courts of the land. The Crane were founded by the Kami Doji. They pursued excellence in all things, and the traditions established by Lady Doji were now customary in the Emperor's Court. The formal dueling system, iaijutsu, was established by Doji's husband, Kakita. Their preferential status with the Imperial line was renowned and throughout history the clan had had fewer taxes and more gifts heaped upon them. They were the masters of the courts and had the status and wealth commensurate with such a position. [1]

Families of the Crane Clan[]

The Crane consisted of four powerful families in complete symbiosis, no two families overlapping in duties. The Doji family were the voice of the clan and control most of the politics within Rokugan. The Kakita family were famed for their iaijutsu duelists as well as their skills as artisans. The Daidoji family were the military might of the Crane as well as handling the things too dishonorable or dangerous for the other families. The Asahina family were the only shugenja in the clan, and spent their time in peaceful meditation and creation of nemuranai. The Asahina were in theory a fifth family, as the Yasuki family were once Crane. Their path however led them away from the Crane to the Crab Clan shortly after the founding of the Asahina. [2]


The Crane were mostly identified with sky blue and silver colors. [3]

Crane Lands[]

The lands of the Crane Clan stretched for miles on every side of the previous capital Otosan Uchi. Everything from the foothills of the Mountains of Regret in the north to the Asahina fields of the southern peninsula were claimed by the Crane. Their lands also covered most of the coastline of Rokugan. The province farthest to the south was once owned by the Yasuki family, but it was split between the Crab Clan and the Crane after the Yasuki defected to the Crab. While tensions in this area had been mostly low due to the peaceful Asahina living nearby the Crane still maintained Niwa Shita no Kage Toshi as a defensive fortress guarding the Crane side of Shio Senkyo no Riku. The people of the Crane lived a good life. The fields were rich, the taxes were light and the magistrates that patroled the lands pride themselves on their honorable and just nature. [4]

Lands to the North[]

The northern parts of Crane lands bordered the Phoenix and Dragon Clans, the lands of the Emerald Champion and what remained of Otosan Uchi. These lands had been mostly peaceful throughout history, with only a couple of exceptions. The area was filled with merchants who run a brisk trade with the Phoenix as well as with numerous shrines maintained by the Brotherhood of Shinsei. The lands of the Emerald Champion were technically owned by the Emerald Champion, but the frequency with which the Champion was a Crane meant the lands were usually under Crane control. [4]

Coastal Regions[]

The coastal regions of the Crane stretched across ninety percent of all of mainland Rokugans coast. This effectively gave the Crane a major hand in all seagoing trade. There were multiple established ports and marketplaces along the entire coast, making the Crane the most effective means of transporting things by sea. Trade roads also run down along the coast, and were heavily patrolled by the Daidoji. The majority of the Crane population lived along the coast, and the cities were packed with people from all corners of Rokugan. [5]

Western Plains[]

The western lands of the Crane Clan were one of the keys to the prosperity of the Clan. The fertile rice fields were cultivated by the farmers and heimin of the Crane, and although the lands had often been disputed by the Lion Clan, the Crane maintained they had been given to Lady Doji by the Emperor Hantei when the lands were divided. The Lion frequently made forays into the lands to plunder their riches. Shiro no Yojin, the castle that was once the defence on the western border, was taken during the Night of Falling Stars several centuries ago, and had never been reclaimed. The crops grown in the western lands of the Crane were one of the primary sources of food in Rokugan, and were exported to nearly every corner of the Empire. The richest fields could be found in Osari Plains, named for a farmer who stood against an invading Scorpion force centuries ago. To the south of the area sat the remains of Beiden Pass. For centuries the pass had been heavily contested by the Crane, Scorpion and Lion until its destruction. [6]

Near the border with the Scorpion Clan and the Hare Clan lies Western Works Village.[7]

Southern Border[]

The province in the southern Crane lands was Kenkai Hanto, home of the Daidoji family. Several bustling cities could be found in this area, and bandit activity there was virtually unheard of due to the vigilance of Daidoji patrols. The areas to the far south of Kenkai Hanto had sporadic swampy reaches, where a variety of creatures were rumored to have been spotted including kenku, nezumi and naga. A small grove of stones could be found to the far south of the peninsula. The origin of the stones was unknown, but they shine in the light of a full moon as if a beacon were upon them. [8]

Gardens of the Crane[]

Fantastic Gardens of the Crane

The Fantastic Gardens of the Crane were delicate beauties that were spoken of throughout Rokugan. They covered huge tracts of land reaching up to thirty li (miles), having been converted from arable land into pleasurable gardens by past Crane Clan Champions. The Crab would complain and call it a waste of land, but the vast and rich lands of the Crane afforded some spare for beauty. The gardens were works of art, containing bonsai trees, flower bushes and trickling streams that create the illusion of careless perfection. They were the result of generations of gardeners who spent their lifetimes perfecting their art. In addition to being art the gardens often symbolized something mythical, spiritual or historical. [9]

Views on the Other Clans[]

The Crane are both respected and hated by the other clans. None however could dispute their economic importance to the Empire, essentially keeping the Empire going. The Crane attempted to keep relations smooth with all the clans, despite what they might actually feel towards some of the clans. [10]

Crab Clan[]

The Crab were viewed as brutish fighters; while strong and bold, they had forgotten everything but how to fight. In a way they had almost become a part of the Shadowlands, with dark magic and taint. Their sense of honor and civilization had degraded, and the Crane honor them as one would honor a dog who kept the wolves at bay. It would however be foolish to engage the Crab in direct conflict. [6]

Diplomacy with the Crab Clan had been a touchy business since the fourth century when the Crane-Crab War resulted in the defection of the Yasuki family from the Crane to the Crab. Because the Yasuki took up the position as the Crab's diplomats they were not allowed within the lands of the Crane, and the Black Crane Palace where the Yasuki would host visiting dignitaries was barred to Crane. To help remedy these issues, the Crab had a small number of Hida and Hiruma trained as courtiers specifically for negotiations with the Crane. Crane diplomats were also the only diplomats allowed directly into Kyuden Hida. Most of these were Daidoji, the only Crane the Crab respected, making the negotiations easier for both sides. [11]

Dragon Clan[]

The Dragon sat high in their mountains, contented in their mysteries. While most Crane could appreciate the focus and dedication of the Dragon as they meditate on esoterica, few could identify with their asceticism and introversion. The most recent conflicts with the Dragon had substantially infuriated a previously apathetic relationship.[6]

Lion Clan[]

The Lion despised the Crane for their intelligence and were jealous of their place in society. Like spoiled children, the Lion will came to blows over the smallest disagreement. While their devotion to Emperor and Empire was unsurpassed, it was mirrored by all who bore the mon of the Crane. [6]

Recently, and especially since Doji Domotai was heading the Crane Clan, the Alliance between the Crane and the Lion had softened this opposition.

Phoenix Clan[]

The Phoenix were like the Crane in many ways, and their understanding of society and civilization was matched only by their wisdom. Their ambassadors sought peace over war, and their magic was worth more than any boasting samurai. It was for these reasons and others that the Crane counted the Phoenix as allies. [8]

Scorpion Clan[]

The Scorpion was the Crane's most dangerous rival. Unlike the Lion or the Crab, who could be counted on to draw steel, the Scorpion fought with clever words, softly spoken lies, and subtle innuendo. Their cultivation of vice was renowned and their carefully wrought plans were the stuff of legend. Their lack of honor was a character flaw which could invariably be used against them. It was with the Scorpion that the Crane skirmished most often, not on the field of battle but in the courts of the Emperor and nobility alike.[8]

Unicorn Clan[]

The Crane were very warm in their reception of the Unicorn when the latter returned from their travels. This had been rewarded by kindness, friendship, and trading of knowledge. The Unicorn offered military support bolstered by their impressive cavalry and received education on Rokugani etiquette and politics from those who best understand such things. [8]


Enmity with the Lion[]

In the year 50 the Matsu family attacked the Kakita family's holdings south of Otosan Uchi, goaded by the stories of Kakita's insults against their founder. The Phoenix allied the Crane, while the Scorpion supported the Lion. The Emperor Hantei Genji decreed such actions legal and honorable. The Matsu eventually halted their attacks, feeling they had proven their point. [12]

First Dynasty[]

During the first dynasty, the Cranes, and particularly the Doji family had provided most of the spouses to the various Emperors. This was one of the reasons for the quasi disproportionate political influence the Clan enjoyed during so many centuries.

An initial blow for the Clan, though, was the defection of the Yasuki family to the Crab Clan, which led to the First Yasuki War (successfully orchestrated under the manipulation of the Kolat).

First Gozoku[]

The Crane Clan daimyo was deeply involved in the first Gozoku.

The Clan Wars[]

The Crane Clan was not spared by the Clan Wars. After the death of Doji Hoturi in the Second Day of Thunder his brother Doji Kuwanan took the championship. [13]

Hidden Emperor[]

When the Scorpion Clan was exiled to the Burning Sands the Crane fostered all the Scorpion children under twelve. [14] A Daidoji attempt to reclaim a Lion castle, quickly forbidden by the Crane Clan Champion, caused a civil war. [15] It was finished when involved Crane leaders, Daidoji Uji and Doji Kuwanan realized that miscommunication between them were caused by shapeshifters.

The Toturi Dynasty[]

The Toturi dynasty was at least a temporary blow for the political influence of the Crane, as neither Toturi I nor Toturi III married a Crane wife.

Alliance brokered with the Fox[]

When the Crane brokered their alliance with the Fox Clan, the Kumo moved against Kyuden Kitsune. [16] The alliance had been made in 1133, when the Fox refused to join the Yoritomo's Alliance. [17]

Second Gozoku[]

Doji Akiko, the wife of the Crane Clan Champion and Phoenix Clan Master of Water, refused to join Kaneka and gained his protection from being outed as Gozoku. Akiko was confident that she could protect herself from any fallout, but was completely unaware that her secret had been discovered by agents of the Scorpion Clan. The Scorpion Clan planned to expose her and cause as much damage as possible by giving the information to the Lion Clan in an attempt to shatter the two Clans' newfound and fragile peace. The omoidasu Ikoma Masote revealed Akiko's betrayal before the Court. Akiko admitted her guilt and Doji Kurohito, the Champion and her husband, killed her. After that, Kurohito committed seppuku, and their daughter, Doji Domotai, became the new Clan Champion.

Path of Enlightenment[]

Asahina Sekawa, daimyo of the Asahina family and former Jade Champion, found a path to Enlightenment and retired from Rokugan.

Race for the Throne[]

The Dragon Clan set fire to Kosaten Shiro, starting a war against the Crane. No one knew why for certain, but it seemed that the Dragon discovered something dishonorable among the Crane. This was the start of the War of Silk and Steel. As a result of this short war, lady Domotai proceeded to reorganize some of the Crane forces. Following information given by the Scorpion Clan, the Crab Clan daimyo challenged the validity of Yasuki Hachi claims on his lineage. This led to the Third Yasuki War between the Crane and the Crab, to resolve the sovereignty issue of both Clans over the Yasuki family. The war began quickly, with initial Crab successes balanced by Crane political counter measures, with destructions on both sides and and underlying commercial war on various resources. A Phoenix army tried to intervene between both camps, but the combined armies of the Crab and the Crane decided to face them instead. The Phoenix abandoned their attempt at a mediation. The culmination of the war came when Yasuki Jinn-Kuen was pressed to acknowledge the veracity of Yasuki Hachi's claim, but in return the Yasuki lands were given over to the Crab Clan permanently.

The Spider Clan assassination wave claimed two prominent Crane lives, amongst other lesser people. Asahina Nizomi was murdered and Doji Jorihime died taking the blow aimed at her husband, Doji Nagori. [18]

Age of the Conquest[]

The establishment of the Colonies was not of tremendous interest to the Crane. The clan found events taking place from beyond the boundaries of the Empire of little interest, preferring instead of concentrating on maintaining their control over the courts and the customs of Rokugan. As such, they tended to send only their less promising personnel to the Colonies. [19]

War with the Mantis in the Colonies[]

Tension increased between the Crane and Mantis regarding commerce interests in the Colonies. [20] The Mantis were accused of widespread corruption and forgery of documents by Daidoji at Twin Forks City. After a duel that settled the Crane's accusations, the Mantis engaged in retaliation over this slight of honor. Incursions on Crane holdings along the rivers between the coast and the Second City began. The majority of the Mantis' seaborne forces began to mass on the southern coast of the Colonies, and began a movement inland up both rivers, towards Twin Forks City. The Crane were requested to surrender their ports or see them destroyed for their insult. The Emerald Champion Utaku Ji-Yun upheld the complaint of the Mantis and granted permission for war between these clans in the Colonies. [21]

Rise of Jigoku[]

In 1200 the rebellious Spider Clan began a war against the Empire, and after the First Seal was broken, the Crane shores were assaulted daily by Shadowlands beasts who rose from the Sea of Shadows. The Crane defenders did not avoid the destruction of the Second Seal within the Crane territory. The Crane Champion Doji Makoto was beheaded by Bayushi Nitoshi, as part of a plan devised by the Scorpion Clan Champion to deceive Daigotsu Kanpeki and secure the Emperor Iweko II. Nitoshi proved his allegiance delivering to Kanpeki the head of the Phoenix Clan Champion Shiba Tsukimi and Doji Makoto. [22]



  • Capital: Kyuden Doji
  • Population: 3,820,000 (approx)
  • Military: 213,000 samurai
  • Imports: Raw materials, metals, exotic goods
  • Exports: Fine goods, rice, fish



See Samurai of the Crane Clan for a listing of notable members of the clan, both current and historic. For the leaders of the clan, see also:

Palaces and Cities[]

Schools & Paths[]


The following are the basic Schools within the Crane Clan:

Paths and Advanced Schools[]

The following were the Paths and Advanced Schools within the Crane Clan:


  1. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 6
  2. Way of the Crane, p. 17
  3. Player's Guide: 2nd Ed, p. 15
  4. 4.0 4.1 Way of the Crane, p. 106
  5. Way of the Crane, p. 108
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Way of the Crane, p. 111
  7. Kotei 2011: The Destroyer War
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Way of the Crane, p. 112
  9. Way of the Crane, pp. 32-33
  10. Way of the Crane, p. 110
  11. Way of the Crane, p. 46
  12. Imperial Histories 2, p. 33
  13. Time of the Void, p. 121
  14. Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game: Third Edition, pp. 20-21
  15. Soul of the Fallen, by Ree Soesbee
  16. Archers (Spirit Wars flavor)
  17. Hidden Emperor, p. 79
  18. The Heaven's Will, Part II, by Shawn Carman
  19. Age of the Conquest: The Clans
  20. The Shadow’s Embrace, Part 2: The Crane, by Nancy Sauer
  21. Petitions, by Seth Mason
  22. The Dawn of Onyx Edition