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Daidoji family


Clan: Crane Clan 
Founded: 46 
Daimyo: Daidoji Akeha 
"The spear waits not for its master, but rushes forth to guard the way." [1]

The Daidoji family were the support troops of the Crane. They train the yojimbo used by Crane dignitaries, and their Harriers were the elite forces that most samurai -- even within the Crane -- did not even know exist. They also contributed the most men to the rank and file of the Crane armies, the Daidoji Iron Warriors.


The Daidoji were renowned throughout Rokugan for their unusual tactics and stubborn defense of the Crane Clan lands. The family was founded after the youngest son of Doji and Kakita, Doji Hayaku entered the Shadowlands after the Day of Thunder in search of his sister Doji Konishiko. Three years later he returned, his hair completely white and his speech lost due to a scar across his throat. In his hand was the blade Shukujo, which his sister had carried into the Shadowlands. Hayaku was given leave to found the Daidoji family, the "Defender of the Doji", and his children followed the duty to protect their kinsmen. To this day many Crane would dye their hair white as a tribute to Hayaku and a mark of loyalty to their clan. [2] The highest and most glorious part of that responsibility was to serve as the personal guard of the Crane Clan Champion. [3]


Most of the Crane trade had been performed by the Yasuki family, but after its defection in 387 [4] the cunning Daidoji performed this role, including the creation of the Daidoji Trading Council. [5]

Daidoji Civil War[]

A Blood Feud between the Daidoji Daimyo Daidoji Kamei and his insane brother Daidoji Hira led to the Foxfire War, a fight which lasted two generations and that ended when Hira's line was nearly completely destroyed. As a consequence of the conflict two vassal families were formed, the Hiramori and Hiramichi families. [6]

Military Action[]

The two most well know instances of the Daidoji military in action were the Battle of Tidal Landbridge where the Daidoji Daimyo Daidoji Masashigi stood alongside the Hida defending against a Shadowlands attack, and the Swordsman's Last Stand when the Crane lost Shiro no Yojin to the Lion Clan. [7]

Civil War[]

In 1132 the Daidoji Daimyo Daidoji Uji defied the orders of his Lord Doji Kuwanan, beginning the Crane Civil War. [8] Even at that dark moment, the Daidoji personal guard of Kuwanan was not dismissed. [3] Eventually both leaders met and put their differences aside. [9]

Harriers disbanded[]

One of the most secretive schools of the Daidoji, the Harrier, were disbanded in 1169 when the current Champion, Doji Domotai knew of them and their illegal activities, which broke the Imperial law. [10] The last remnants were finished by Daidoji Fumisato and Domotai's Daidoji personal guard, led by Daidoji Kimpira. [3]


Yasuki family[]

After the defection of the Yasuki family in the fourth century there were many of the Yasuki who refused to dishonor their vow to the Crane. Those Yasuki joined the Daidoji and since then the Daidoji had openly despised the Yasuki. The good relations between the Hida and the Daidoji was all that held the shaky truce between them, and it was often commented upon how the Yasuki and Daidoji are like two sides of the same coin. [7]

Vassals of the Daidoji[]

The following were the known vassal families of the Daidoji family:

Daidoji Daimyo[]

The following were the known daimyo of the Daidoji:

Doji Hayaku 46 - ?
Daidoji Kuzan ? - ? (Third Daidoji Daimyo)
Daidoji Tsuyoku ? - ?
Daidoji Kamei ? - (c. 520)
Daidoji Kasako (c. 520) - ?
Daidoji Kasami (c. 523)
Daidoji Katsunan ? - 663
Daidoji Masashigi ? - 715
Daidoji Yuzan c. 960
Daidoji Yurei ? - 998
Uji's Father ? - c. 1123
Daidoji Uji c. 1123 - 1150
Daidoji Rekai 1150 - 1164
Daidoji Kikaze 1164 - 1173
Daidoji Akeha ? - Present

Unknown Dates[]

The following were Daimyos of the Daidoji family, but the dates of their reigns were not recorded:

Daidoji Chiroku's father ? - ?
Daidoji Jubei ? - ?

Within the family[]


The Daidoji knew they could not match the forces of their traditional enemy, the Lion Clan, in strength or numbers, so instead they learned to use ambushes, sabotage, and explosives, and to exploit the land to their advantage. They were the masters of guerilla warfare, and it was the only reason the Crane had survived for so long. Their methods skirted the edges of dishonor, but the Daidoji were confident in their abilities and proud of the service they did for their Clan. In addition to their duties as defensive measures the Daidoji were often required to conduct illegal smuggling operations to keep supplies trickling into a war-torn area. The Daidoji were also sometimes found in court, although not in a courtier capacity. Their presence there was to gather sensitive information for the Doji courtiers. Daidoji could also occasionally be seen as yojimbo to some important courtiers. [11] [12]

Mon and Motto[]

Daidoji tattoo

The Daidoji respected the spear as a weapon and many of their bushi learned to use it before the katana. Their motto spoke to a readiness to leap to the defense of their clan, military or otherwise. The mon was a crane, wings outstretched above a snake, wrapped about a yari. A bushi of the Daidoji would have their mon tattooed on their wrists on the day of their gempukku, as a reminder of their sworn duty to the Crane. [1]


To the Daidoji family the yari was nearly as sacred as the katana. [13]

Schools & Paths[]

The following were the Schools and Paths within the Daidoji family:


The Daidoji were given lands that held strategic value or resources best used in military endeavors. As a result, the family's lands were distributed across the Crane provinces, covering a variety of useful territories. [14] The northern Daidoji provinces promoted swift movement, defensible locations, and easy transportation, while agriculture and military training were focused in the southern ones. [15]


Northern Daidoji provinces

The following were known provinces under the control of the Daidoji family; [16]

Daidoji Holdings[]

The main two holdings of the Daidoji were Shiro Daidoji and Kosaten Shiro, the defense line against the Lion, and Niwa Shita no Kage Toshi against the Crab to the south. [7]

The Daidoji Shrine[]

Southern Daidoji provinces

The Daidoji family shrine specifically honored Lady Doji, Doji Hayaku -- the family founder, and Daidoji Masashigi -- the hero of the Battle of Tidal Landbridge. [17]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Way of the Crane, p. 42
  2. Way of the Crane, p. 39
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Disavowed, by Nancy Sauer
  4. Way of the Crab, p. 24
  5. Imperial Histories, p. 109
  6. Secrets of the Crane, pp. 31-32
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Way of the Crane, p. 41
  8. Hidden Emperor, p. 29
  9. Hidden Emperor, p. 66
  10. Imbalances, by Nancy Sauer
  11. Way of the Samurai, pp. 26-27
  12. Way of the Crane, pp. 40-41
  13. Riding Yari (Gold flavor)
  14. Secrets of the Crane, p. 24
  15. The Atlas of Rokugan, p. 41
  16. Secrets of the Crane, p. 96
  17. Way of the Phoenix, p. 33

See Also[]

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