Four Temples

The Four Temples

The Four Temples surrounded Kyuden Seppun and were the heart of the Empire's religion. [1] It was a Shintaoist sect of the Brotherhood. [2] Retirement to these temples was a popular choice among the Seppun and to individuals of high status and political pull. [3]

Foundation Edit

After the First War, Hantei requested to Seppun to preserve the wisdom Shinsei had given to him. Seppun ordered her followers to copy the parts of the Tao of Shinsei that spoke to everyday wisdom and the power in simple actions. Seppun's monks recorded these items and returned them in the temples that would eventually come to be known as the Four Temples. Since that time the leader of the Four Temples used to be a current or former member of the Seppun. [4]

Greatest Temple Edit

The temples were once the most magnificent of all the temples in Rokugan, and were popular attractions for travelers. They guarded the Four Sacred Bells as well as many other relics, and were considered the voice of the Brotherhood in the court. Because the head monk of the Four Temples spoke for the entire Brotherhood, he was considered to be its leader. Traditionally the head monk espoused the belief that the world could only be improved by experiencing it, and monks of the Four Temples could often be seen throughout Rokugan, and often served as advisors to daimyo, governors and military leaders. [5] [6]

Construction Edit

Each temple was built on a foundation set with a cornerstone taken from the Hill of Otosan Uchi. On each was a carving of symbols, depicting one of the four most important lessons of Shinsei. They were built of marble, stone and wood and a huge ceramic bell on top of each entrance. Each bell was covered with inscriptions from the Tao, and the names of the temples: Daikandaiji, Yakushiji, Asukadera and Kawaradera. [7]

Shinsei's Statue Edit

In the central chamber of each temple was a great statue depicting Shinsei in a manner reflecting the temple's particular saying: [8]

  • Daikandai-ji: “As the bee collects nectar and fragrance, so let the sage dwell on earth.”
  • Yakushi-ji: “When you are doing one thing, be concerned with that one thing and nothing else. Distraction breeds disaster.”
  • Asuka-dera: “Death is not to be feared so much by one who has lived wisely.”
  • Kawara-dera: “Those with pure purpose have the strength to never fail.”

School Edit

The primary teachings and devotion of the Four Temples was the Tao of Shinsei, but things such as etiquette, juijutsu and courtier were also taught. [5]

Tradition Edit

The Four Temples held to mediation and study like most monastic sects, but also placed an emphasis upon interaction with the broader world around them. [9] Seclusion could bring no positive change to the world and could be a selfish excuse for turning away from one’s fellow man. [citation needed]

Enlightenment Edit

The Four Temples conducted secret “tests” to determine an enlightened soul. The abbot of the temple presented those that passed with certification of enlightenment. [10]

History Edit

Founding Edit

Seppun, the first servant of the Kami, was the most dedicated to the ideals and words of Shinsei. She sponsored the first temples of the Tao, and once the Four Temples were created around Kyuden Seppun the influence and respect accorded the Tao began to increase. [11]

Theological Debate Edit

In the year 525 theological debate between Shintaoist and Fortunist sects over the Heresy of the Five Rings, a religious movement created by the famous Four Temples monk Gorinno, escalated into a brawl in the streets of Otosan Uchi between monks of the Four Temples and the Order of the Wind. [12]

Assaulted Edit

The Maho-tsukai Kuni Wazinu, under the orders of Kuni Yori, used Crab forces to attack the temples, in an concealed attempt to taint the Chimes of Purity. Inside the temples he opened the Doom of Fu Leng, [13] the 11th Black Scroll, in the Month of the Ox of 1127. [14]

Destroyed by Yogo Junzo's Army Edit

In 1128 the Yogo Junzo's Army destroyed the Four Temples, while the mad shugenja was seeking the descendant of Shinsei, the Hooded Ronin. [15]

Caretakers of the New Tao Edit

After the War Against the Darkness, the remaining original fragments of the New Tao were placed into the care of the Four Temples sect. [16]

Daigotsu's Attack Edit

The temples were nearly completely destroyed by Daigotsu's attack of Otosan Uchi in 1159. Kyuden Seppun was rebuilt, but the monks decided to relocate, establishing a temple in Dragon, Unicorn and Crane lands as well as a temple in the new capital, Toshi Ranbo. [5]

New Location and Renaming Edit

Seppun Kiharu following the Fall of Otosan Uchi ordered the construction of a new temple outside the new capital Toshi Ranbo, and thousands of shrines around it, one for each fortune, greater or lesser. Following it's completion, Kiharu and his monks took up residence there along with some of members from the Order of the Four Temples, renaming themselves the Order of the Ten Thousand Temples, and Kiharu was made the leader. [17] There were other three temples, in Dragon, Unicorn, and Crane lands. [18]

Known Keepers Edit

Known Technique Edit

See also Edit

External Links Edit


  1. Way of Shinsei, p. 52
  2. Secrets of the Empire, p. 166
  3. The Atlas of Rokugan, p. 231
  4. Book of Air, pp. 98-99
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 251
  6. Way of Shinsei, p. 35
  7. Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun, pp. 36-37
  8. Book of Air, p. 67
  9. Legend of the Five Rings; Fourth Edition, p. 231
  10. Clan War: Thunder's Challenge, p. 43
  11. Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun, p. 35
  12. Imperial Histories 2, p. 86
  13. Time of the Void, p. 94
  14. Time of the Void, p. 54
  15. Ryan Dancey's Timeline (Anvil of Despair)
  16. Secrets of the Empire, p. 160
  17. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 74
  18. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 251
  19. Yoshun (Honor Bound boxtext)

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