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Doji Shizue 
Doji Shizue.jpg 
Born: Unknown 
Died: 1133 
Parents: Doji Ichihara,
Unnamed Scorpion,
Doji Teinko (adopted),
Doji Satsume (adopted) 
Siblings: Doji Hoturi (adopted),
Doji Kuwanan (adopted) 
Spouse: None 
Children: None 
Titles: Storyteller to the Emperor

Doji Shizue was a Crane story teller, born to a Doji father and a Scorpion mother. [1] Her father was Doji Ichihara, the brother of the Crane Clan Champion Doji Satsume. She was romantically involved with Matsu Hiroru. She had been kidnapped by the kolat when young, "used" by Kage for his particular and private reasons, brainwashed and became a Sleeper Agent. She died during the War Against Shadow saving Kage from a Shadows span.

Adoptive Parents[]

Child Shizue fostered by Teinko

Ichihara died in a skirmish with the Crab before Shizue was born and her mother died during her birth. Doji Teinko, the wife of Satsume, had always wanted a daughter and begged Satsume to adopt Shizue. Satsume agreed, but paid not attention to Shizue when she was growing up due to her crippled leg. Teinko however doted upon Shizue as much as her two adopted brothers Hoturi and Kuwanan. Teinko taught her many skills from the Kakita Artisan school, but most successfully the art of storytelling. [2] [3]


Shizue was not a great beauty, but a lovely girl with bright grey eyes and long white hair. She was quick to smile and laugh, and her voice could convey a tremendous depth of emotion. Due to the crippled foot her steps were slow, but rhythmic, and thanks to some of the dancing she was taught by Teinko, she moved quite gracefully. [3]


Her difficulties only made her stronger, and if anyone followed the ideals of the Kakita Artisans the most it could arguably be Shizue. "Life is an art; do one thing well and you will do everything well." She would spend a lot of her time in the gardens of the Crane Clan telling stories and helping the Crane remember their history. She lead a peaceful life, and bore no remorse for the death of her parents. [4]


Shizue was not only taught to be an artisan, but when she was old enough Satsume ordered Kakita Yoshi to train her as a spy. She would incorporate hidden messages in her stories to convey information to Yoshi, Satsume or Hoturi, and her access to the Imperial Court gave her a lot of critical information. She had a great capacity for memorizing manuscripts at a glance and deciphering hidden codes in writing as well as speeches. Yoshi himself spoke highly of her, and would frequently say she would make a fine addition to the Crane Ambassadors to the Imperial Court when she was older. To the other clans however she remained only a goodwill ambassador. Her sunny disposition could make any courtroom cheerful, and she would frequently travel to the Lion, Scorpion, Phoenix or Dragon lands. [3]

Lady Doji and the Beggar[]

One day when traveling home to Kyuden Doji Shizue stopped her palanquin to sit and talk with a beggar on the side of the road. They swapped stories and when they were done she put some money in his begging bowl. When her guard came to her and asked why she would give money to a hinin she told him of the time during the Dawn of the Empire when Lady Doji had done much the same to a poor beggar sitting out in the snow. Shizue said that she, as a descendant of Doji, could do no less. [5]

Storyteller to the Emperor[]

Only two years after her gempukku Shizue was asked to be present in the Emperors court. Her gift for storytelling was unmatched, and many thought she was the reborn spirit of Kakita's sister Kakita Kiyamori. She was skilled in other things such as song and calligraphy, and even Satsume could sometimes be heard to mumble faint praises about the girl. [3]

Death of Two Emperors[]

She was popular in the Imperial court for a long time, and was even present for the murder of Hantei XXXVIII at Bayushi Shoju's hands during a dinner held in Shoju's honor. She managed to hide herself during the five days of the Scorpion Coup, and witnessed the final duel in the throne room between Akodo Toturi and Shoju.[citation needed]

Story of the Shadow[]

In 1123 Shizue was sent to the Embassy of the Crane in the Imperial City, attached to Doji Hayashi. They spent times in the Ikebana gardens of the compound, being taught by Hayashi in many matters. In the gardens she explored her skills in the art of Ikebana, beginning a project in a grotto. Hayushi encouraged her efforts, knowing that the kami of the grotto impulsed the hand of Shizue. Some saw something wrong with the work, as Kitsuki Yaruma. The force behind was an age-old kami, Keikoku, who had witnessed the creation of the Living Shadow during the creation of the world. The spirit was using Shizue to display the story of the Shadow. [6]

Meeting Hiroru[]

One time when Shizue was riding alone, for fun, a storm struck. Her horse broke a leg causing Shizue fell. Another rider came to help her, and his name was Matsu Hiroru. [7] Hiroru fell in love with her. [8]

Scorpion Coup[]

Shizue was part of the Crane retinues in the Imperial Court, so she and her elderly master where present at Otosan Uchi when Bayushi Shoju beheaded the Emperor Hantei XXXVIII beginning the Scorpion Coup. The ambassadors were held by the Scorpion in the Imperial Throne Room, but Shizue was not among the prisoners. [9] Strangely, when the six clan retaken the Imperial City Shizue was among the courtiers freed, surrounded by her brother Kuwanan and his retinue. What had happen to her during the meantime was not known. [10]

Clan War[]

Doji Shizue

Kisada's Ambition[]

In 1126 Shizue was present in the Imperial Court when a tainted Seppun messenger told Hantei XXXIX that Hida Kisada had raised an army against the Emperor, composed by Crab warriors, oni, and minions of the Shadowlands. It was the beginning of the Clan War. Shizue told this episode, Three Days, in her book Dark Tidings. [1]

Kappuksu's Story[]

Shizue was alone in a forest, shortly after the great Battle of Beiden Pass. It was about the time when the Crab forces were fighting against Toturi's men on the southern fields near the lands of the Doji. A loathsome goblin appeared nearby, but rather than attack it talked to her. The goblin called itself Kappuksu and pleaded with Shizue to hear and recount his story to the people of Rokugan. After she listened to Kappuksu's Story, Shizue agreed. [11]

Legend about the origin of the Naga[]

During Clan War the Naga told Shizue their legend about the origin of their kind. Shizue continued to tell their legend across the Empire in the tale of the Story of Ashgara, about the daughter of the Qatol, Ashgara, the first naga who had legs. [12]

Toturi's Army Courier[]

Shizue was serving as a courier between Crane and Toturi's Army forces. In 1127 she was caught by Lion Clan carrying letters to Kakita Yoshi in Kyuden Doji from the army of the ronin Toturi near the Beiden Pass. She was treated as a spy and imprisoned. Matsu Tsuko kept Shizue alive to know beter a new threat to Lion Clan, the awaken naga race. Akodo Kage reached Shizue's cell at Matsu Palace. Shizue was freed by Matsu Hiroru after he fought his sister Tsuko in their scape way. [12]

Second Day of Thunder[]

Shizue spent part of his time telling tales to the children of the Kakita, such as the stories of the Fall of the Kami, the Dawn of the Empire, the First War, the arrival of Shinsei, the gathering of the Seven Thunders and the ensuing Day of Thunder. Shortly before the Second Day of Thunder her tales were listened by a hooded figure. [13]

Hidden Emperor[]

Shizue discovers a hidden doorway in the Jade Throne room

After the kidnapping of Toturi I Shizue remained in the Imperial Court while her secret lover, Matsu Hiroru sought the Emperor. She thought a traitor was hidden in Otosan Uchi. [14] She followed the monk Taro, who led her through a hidden slippery panel on the Imperial Throne room and while hidden in the shadows she witnessed a kolat meeting. The supposedly dead Kage was their leader, and she heard how the kolat expected to manipulate the great Clans into placing a new Emperor on the throne. Shortly after Shizue left, Taro was killed by Kage, having become expendable after luring Shizue there to hear the words the Kolat Master wanted her to hear. [15] Shizue approached her lord, Doji Kuwanan, who did not believe her story. [16]

Madness of Toturi[]

Shizue was part of the Imperial Court under the command of Kakita Yoshi, the Imperial Advisor, in 1132. [17]

Kolat Sleeper[]

Shizue stabs Hiroru

This year Shizue was manipulated by Kage to have a secret encounter with her beloved Hiroru. The Kolat Master wanted to meet Hiroru and forced him to be his succesor. Kage appeared with Asahina Dorai and obliged Shizue to enter in trance with gaijin words in the presence of Ginawa. She was forced to stab two times Hiroru in the back, exposing her as a Sleeper Agent of the Kolat. Kage lobbied to retrieve Hiroru to his organization but Ginawa denied it and killed Dorai. Imperial Guards lead by Toku arrived in time to think Ginawa was a murderer while Shizue was kidnapped by Kage who fled the scene. [18] Kage had the opportunity to influence Shizue's mind when she was imprisoned by Matsu Tsuko during the Clan War. [12]

The Kolat Masters[]

During her captivity at the Hidden Temple, Shizue met the Ten Kolat Masters. She learned that when she was young the kolat kidnapped her, Akodo Kage used Shizue in "private sessions", was brainwashed, and smoothly returned to the Rokugani society as a sleeper agent who could be activated when needed. The Masters were surveying the Shinjo Assault on Otosan Uchi against the maddedned Emperor Toturi. [19]

War Against Shadow[]

Imprisoned in the Hidden Temple, she had seen Kage's servants being hunted, Kaouta, Chinoko, and Kado had been lost. Kage had prepared orders to force a Phoenix in his command, to stand down and let the Shadow take the Imperial City. [20] Shizue encouraged Kage to fight the Lying Darkness, instead stood by as the Shadow turned Empire into a kingdom of ghosts. [21]


Shizue died in 1133 during the War Against Shadow, to a shadow spawn's dagger, while defending Akodo Kage to prove to him that honor did indeed have value. [22]

Works of Doji Shizue[]

The following are some of Shizue's published works:

See Also[]

External Links[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Three Days, by Ree Soesbee
  2. Way of the Crane, p. 77
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Way of the Crane, p. 84
  4. Way of the Crane, pp. 84-85
  5. Way of the Crane, p. 4
  6. Otosan Uchi:Book 2, p. 38
  7. Way of the Wolf, p. 65
  8. Rulebook Story (Hidden Emperor 3)
  9. Otosan Uchi: The Scorpion's Sting, p. 17
  10. Otosan Uchi: The Scorpion's Sting, p. 67
  11. 11.0 11.1 Kappuksu's Story by Ree Soesbee
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Way of the Willow
  13. Clan War: Thunder's Challenge, pp. 2-7
  14. Doji Shizue (Jade flavor)
  15. Rulebook Story (Hidden Emperor 5)
  16. Glimpse of Kage (Hidden Emperor 4 flavor)
  17. Rulebook Story (Dark Journey Home)
  18. Rulebook Story (Pearl), by Ree Soesbee
  19. Rulebook Story (Ambition's Debt)
  20. A Letter from Doji Shizue (Imperial Herald v4 #4)
  21. Kingdom of Ghosts (Soul of the Empire flavor)
  22. Legend of the Five Rings: Hidden Emperor Who's Who PDF, p. 18
  23. Tell the Tale (Promotional flavor)

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