Emerald Magistrates

The Emerald Magistrates were the enforcers of the Emperor's laws, answering only to the Emperor and the Emerald Champion. They had broad powers to achieve this goal, including the rights to recruit assistance, hold trials and mete out punishment, although their powers were only applicable in cases applicable to Imperial, not local law.

Duties of the Emerald Magistrates[edit | edit source]

Imperial Magistrates on duty

While the Emerald Magistrates were magistrates, they were specifically the enforcers of the Emperor's Law, as well as legal matters that could not be easily handled by a single clan's jurisdictions. Emerald Magistrates often dealt with problems arising between clans. They also served as observers for the Emperor, gathering information on the empire and meting out his justice when needed. Some were assigned as yojimbo to those in the Emperor's favor, also doubling as spies to those under his suspicion. One of the most important duties of the Emerald Magistrates was to protect the Emperor's roads and those travelling them.

If a criminal was known to be guilty, then a confession might be obtained by whatever means necessary. [1]

Creation of Emerald Magistrates[edit | edit source]

Emerald Magistrates were generally appointed due to politics and as favors. The Emerald Magistrates were chosen by the Emperor himself, though the Emerald Champion had occasionally made recommendations for vacant posts. Traditionally Emerald Magistrates came only from the clans, but occasionally if a ronin had shown exceptional merit or if the Emperor desired to make a note of his displeasure to the clans, a ronin might be given an appointment to a Magistrate's position.

Emerald Magistrates and Inter-Clan Politics[edit | edit source]

As the Emerald Magistrates were appointed by the Emperor himself, they were among his most powerful tools for keeping the peace and keeping the clans of Rokugan in their places. Magistrates could be posted publicly or secretly to observe the clans; the presence of the Emerald Magistrates was a constant reminder that the Emperor was watching.

Formation of the Emerald Magistrates[edit | edit source]

Emerald Magistrate in full armor

The Emerald Magistrates and the Imperial Legions were founded in 153 by Doji Hatsuo and Soshi Saibankan. Hatsuo, the soldier, was the architect of the Imperial Legions while Saibankan, the judge, designed the legal framework of the Emerald Magistrates which would fall under the command of an Emerald Champion. To this date, there had been no radical change in the systems originally laid out by Hatsuo and Saibankan. [2]

Dojo[edit | edit source]

Only one dojo throughout the Empire trained the Emerald Magistrates, located at Rokugan Yogasha Shiro, the Palace of the Emerald Champion. [3]

Symbols of the Emerald Magistrates[edit | edit source]

The symbol of office for Emerald Magistrates was a small jade orb, four inches in diameter. Magistrates often emblazoned the orb with their own mon and the mon of the Emerald Champion etched on the surface. The orb was a symbol of the magistrate's authority. For Chief Magistrates, it could conveniently served as a gavel when struck against a table.

Yoriki and doshin carried a jitte as the symbol of their authority. The jitte was also very useful for stopping fights and disarming aggressors. Traveling magistrates who had worked their way up through the ranks to that position often continued to carry their jitte.

Known Techniques and Feats of the Emerald Magistrates[edit | edit source]

Emerald Magistrate

History[edit | edit source]

Tsuruchi Magistrates[edit | edit source]

During the time of Tsuruchi, all members of the Wasp Clan were considered agents of the Emerald Champion due to an unorthodox arrangement between Tsuruchi and the Emerald Champion. Once the clan was absorbed in 1128 into the Mantis as the Tsuruchi family, the affiliation was dissolved. [4]

War against Shadow[edit | edit source]

During the War Against Shadow many magistrates were killed and replaced by minions of the Lying Darkness. Their maddened behaviour angered the people and they began to be feared and hated. The Empire cleansed them once they realized the deception. [5]

Known Technique[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

Emerald Magistrate


  1. Imperial Magistrates (Khan's Defiance flavor)
  2. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, pp. 10-11
  3. Winter Court: Kyuden Kakita, p. 106
  4. Secrets of the Mantis, p. 53
  5. Clan Letter to Toturi's Army (Imperial Herald v4 #2)

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