Imperial Legion

Imperial Legion

The Imperial Legions were the military units directly under the command of the Emperor, although in his absence, either the Emerald Champion or Shogun might serve as their leader. [1] These members and commanders of these legions were drawn from all of Rokugan. [2]


Roughly ninety percent of the Legions are away from the Imperial City at any given time. These Wandering Legions fulfilled duties such as patrolling the roads, protecting Tax Collectors, or providing protection for areas of critical importance. [3]



Imperial Legionaries

Imperial Legionaries

During the reign of Hantei Genji the Emerald Champion Doji Hatsuo alongside Soshi Saibankan, a judge, developed the framework for the Emerald Magistrates and the Imperial Legions. [4]

Hantei Dinasty

During the Hantei dynasty, there were fifty Imperial Legions. Ten of these were the Emerald Legions directly under the Emerald Champion's command. [5] As the Right Hand of the Emperor the Lion Clan Champion might take command of the Legions when the Emerald Champion's other duties demanded his attention. [3]

Golden Legion

In 591 the so-called Golden Chrysanthemum Hantei XVI created a new legion named the Golden Legion to patrol the roads of the Empire, and placed his friend Miya Karuo in charge of it. [6]

Scorpion Coup

During the Scorpion Coup the Emerald Legions suffered great losses, reamining one-fifth their former strength. The lack of an Emerald Champion and the illness of the Emperor Hantei XXXIX slowered their rebuilding. [7]

Clan Wars

Ikoma Ujiaki was the commander of the Legions during the Second Day of Thunder. [8]


When Toturi I took office, the Imperial Legions had become unmanageable. Out of 400 legions on paper, none of them had more than 5,000 men and only 50 were useable, so Toturi reorganized them. [5] He appointed many of the former members of Toturi's Army to be Legionnaires, and six of the ten Legions had ronin commanders. [9]


Near the end of the struggle against Iuchiban, Emperor Toturi III reorganized the Imperial Legions and allowed the clans to each nominate a commander from their ranks to lead one legion. [10] After the death of Iuchiban in 1166 the Emerald Magistrates continued to enforce the Emperor's laws, but the Imperial Legions followed the orders of the Shogun Kaneka. [11]


In 1169 Toturi Shigekawa was the general of the Imperial Legions. There was no Shogun, neither Emerald Champion, so he was the first rank officer of the Legions. [12]

Destroyer War

In 1171 the Legions were sent to the Crab lands to fight in the Destroyer War. [13] After the war the Legion of the Two Thousand was considered as an extension of the Imperial Legions, enforcing the law of the Empress Iweko I and answerable to her and the Empress' Chosen, as proclaimed by the Voice of the Empress. [14]

Rise of Jigoku

In 1200 the fall of the First Seal after the Battle of the First Seal caused a surge of massive beasts from the Sea of Shadows. The Mantis were placed on the defensive. [15] Makoto reported to Iweko II that she had drafted a decree calling for the mobilization of the Imperial Legions. [16] Eventually the three Sacred Seals, the barrier between Ningen-do and Jigoku, were found and destroyed. With the breaking of the seals the forces of Rokugan suffered devastation on a scale not before seen. To try and stem the advance of Jigoku, Iweko II formed the remainder of his forces into two grand Imperial Legions. [17]


The Imperial Legions operated as ten separate armies rather than proper "legions". Each consisted of at least 10,000 bushi, with the possibility to summon another 10,000 in a crisis. [5] There were ten divisions in each Legion, each headed by a taisa, and five divisions supervised by a shireikan. The shireikan in turn reported directly to the Legion commander, who was considered the equivalent of a rikugunshokan for the purposes of making command. [18] Membership in the Legion generally lasted for a renewable term of six years. A Legion might be granted permission by the Emperor to conscript additional local ashigaru to further swell its numbers. [19] Only the Lion and Unicorn Clans had the ability to muster comparable forces with ease. The composition and style of the different Legions varied greatly depending on the styles of their commanders. [20]

Emerald Legions

Of all the Legions, the finest were the First to Tenth Legions, which were known as the Emerald Legions. Fully half its membership were ultra-rich children of powerful families, granted their posts through no merit of their own. The remainder were the finest warriors in all of Rokugan. [21]

First Legion

First Legion

First Legion

The First Legion was the first among equals of the Imperial Legions, as was shown by Kitsu Dejiko's "promotion" from the Seventh Legion Commander to First Legion Commander. It has had many prestigious commanders, among them the daughter of an Emperor and a future Scorpion Clan Champion. It had no specialization per se and was the most flexible of the legions. [20] The First Legion drew his ranks from every Great Clan, but the vast majority of samurai gathered here today wore the bright blue of the Crane and the fiery orange of the Phoenix. [22] In 1152 they defeated yobanjin riders near Yushosha Seido Mura. [23] They protected Kyuden Seppun in 1159 from the Shadowlands who survived the Fall of Otosan Uchi. [24] Following Tsudao's death in 1160 the First Legion was disbanded for seven days to mourn her passing. After a week's time, Toturi Miyako invited all of the Sword's former soldiers to the Imperial Capital to join the new First Legion and renew their oaths to the Emperor. [25] In 1165 was sent to Toshi Ranbo to keep order after the fire which consumed part of the Lion side, [26] making the capital its headquarters. [18] In 1170 Dejiko was still her commander. [27]

Second Legion

The Second Legion's style favored infantry and archery over cavalry and shugenja. While in Kaeru Toshi during the War of the Rich Frog, the Legion's commander Ikoma Hasaku failed to push back the Unicorn forces and was order to commit seppuku by Matsu Nimuro. His successor Doji Jotaro was successful at rebuilding the Legion back to its former strength. [20] Jotaro cited personal reasons to resign in 1170. [27]

Third Legion

The Third Legion's style focused on iaijutsu and the quick elimination of enemy leaders. [20]


In 1171 Hida Benjiro was at common command of the Third and Sixth legions during the Siege of Shiro Kitsuki. [30]

Fourth Legion

The Fourth Legion had a fearsome and ruthless reputation. Many members of it were dishonored or failed samurai who acted as extensions of their commanders will. Many of their ranks were Crab berserkers and Lion Deathseekers. [31] They were stationed at Toshi Ranbo. [32]


Tonoji led the Legion against the oni that pursued the Emperor rescue party remnants of the Battle of the Tomb in 1168. [33] [34] In 1170 the Fourth Legion discovered the destroyed Northern Towers of Flame in the opening phases of the War of Dark Fire, [35] and they saw extensive combat at the beginning of the War taking tremendous losses. [36] It was considered completely destroyed in 1171, holding the Dragon border against the Army of Fire. [37]

In 1173 under the command of Areru they fought against the forces of Kali-Ma at the Palace of Crimson Shadows, [38] and later in the defense of the Fortress of Blackened Sight. [31]

Fifth Legion

The Fifth Legion's focus was on shugenja. It acted as shugenja support for the rest of the Legions as a whole. [20] It was the smallest and most versatile. [39]


In 1173 during the Destroyer War the Fifth Legion moved to secure an area where forces of the Shogunate were ambushed by a major force of Destroyers who inflicted significant casualties. [38]

Sixth Legion

The Sixth Legion specialized in scouts and light infantry, it was among the first of the legions to be deployed. [40] It was often garrisoned near the Imperial Capital Toshi Ranbo. [20]


In 1171 Hida Benjiro was at common command of the Third and Sixth legions during the Siege of Shiro Kitsuki. [30]

Seventh Legion

The Seventh Legion's style resembled that of the Matsu family's approach to war, something that was instilled in it by Kitsu Dejiko and maintained by her successor Toturi Shigekawa. [20] Stationed at Kyuden Seppun, it was second only to the Ninth in the number of cavalry that it could field. [42] Resolute and honorable to the last, the officers and warriors of the Seventh Legion often find themselves promoted to join the First Legion. [43]

Eighth Legion

Eighth Legion

Eighth Legion

The Eighth Legion's focus leaned more towards cavalry and shugenja, modeled after the Baraunghar by Commander Horiuchi Nobane, [20] with its headquarter in the Shinomen Tower. [44] It was the fastest of the ten great legions. [45] Following his retirement to focus on his duties with the Unicorn Clan in 1169, [27] the Eighth Legion came under the command of Akodo Sarasa. Sarasa was killed during the War of Dark Fire during the defense of Shiro Morito in 1170, and was succeeded by Yoritomo Omura. [46]


The Eighth Legion participated in the Battle of Shiro Morito in 1170, successfully defending the castle, but losing the commander, Akodo Sarasa in the fight. [46]

Ninth Legion

The Ninth Legion was more or less a naval force since the reign of Toturi I. [20] In 1198 the legion was sent to the Colonies by Emerald Champion Utaku Ji-Yun under the command of Shinjo Kinto. [47]


The Ninth Legion were led by Egumi against bloodspeakers during the Blood Hunt in 1166. The Legion also fought at both the Temple of Osano-Wo and the village of Kudo. [48]

Tenth Legion

The Tenth Legion drew heavily from the Dragon, making great use of various monastic [49] and unarmed combat styles. Its basic structure was unaltered. [20] This practiced slowly died after Suguhara resigned and Ishino succeded him. [27]

Other Imperial Legions

Eighteenth Legion

After the failure of the Scorpion Coup Shiro no Shosuro was put to torch by the Scorpion when the Legion appeared at its gates. One fifth of the legionnaires were slew by the noxious smoke which came from the poisonous herbs of the Shosuro Gardens. [50] The Eighteenth Legion occupied Ryoko Owari Toshi as part of the Imperial retaliation against the Scorpion Clan after the failure of the Scorpion Coup. [51] In 1127 the Legion was completely destroyed by the surprising attack of the Crab led by Hida Kisada. [52] During the Four Winds era the Legion was commanded by Bayushi Paneki. [53]

Nineteenth Legion

In 1125 the Nineteenth Legion was assigned to guard Beiden Pass. [54]

Known Technique

External Links

Sources Conflict
The sources relating to this article are in conflict with each other.
1st Legion commander at the time of the Battle of Toshi Ranbo is uncertain. Some sources as Fealty and Freedom page 121 claim it was Toturi Shigekawa the appointed commander, while the fiction The Empire Besieged and Emerald Empire page 218 claim it was Kitsu Dejiko. I guess Dejiko was 1st Legion Commander and Shigekawa 7th Legion Commander, but the sources don't match with it. I will modify the pages in the best way I can manage. Oni no Pikachu (talk) 11:40, December 19, 2013 (UTC)


  1. Per Shawn Carman
  2. Winter Court:Kyuden Asako, p. 16
  3. 3.0 3.1 Winter Court:Kyuden Asako, p. 17
  4. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, pp. 10-11
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Emerald Empire, p. 217
  6. Imperial Histories 2, p. 108
  7. Winter Court:Kyuden Asako, p. 19
  8. Imperial Histories, p. 162
  9. Secrets of the Empire, p. 134
  10. Unexpected Allies 2, p. 61
  11. Heavy Infantry (Lotus flavor)
  12. Measured Ferocity, by Brian Yoon
  13. The Third Front, by Rusty Priske
  14. Charter of the Legion of Two Thousand (Promotional flavor)
  15. Primal Tempest (Evil Portents flavor)
  16. The Dawn of Onyx Edition: The Battle of the First Seal, by Shawn Carman
  17. The Embrace of Oblivion
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Masters of War, p. 75
  19. Winter Court:Kyuden Asako, p. 18
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.5 20.6 20.7 20.8 20.9 Emerald Empire, p. 218
  21. Winter Court:Kyuden Asako, pp. 18-19
  22. 22.0 22.1 Nightmares, Part I, by Rich Wulf
  23. 23.0 23.1 Wolves, by Rich Wulf
  24. Keen Eye (Fall of Otosan Uchi flavor)
  25. 25.0 25.1 The Wave Man, by Rich Wulf
  26. Return of the Master (Diamond Rulebook Story), by Rich Wulf and Shawn Carman
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 The Empire Besieged, by Brian Yoon and Shawn Carman (Imperial Herald v3 #1)
  28. One Man (Imperial Herald v2 #12), by Rich Wulf
  29. Blue Skies, by Rich Wulf
  30. 30.0 30.1 The War of Dark Fire, Part 11, by Shawn Carman and Nancy Sauer
  31. 31.0 31.1 The Destroyer War, Part 13, by Shawn Carman
  32. Masters of War, p. 26
  33. The Battle at the Tomb, Part 4, by Shawn Carman
  34. Dark Knowledge, by Brian Yoon
  35. The War of Dark Fire, Part 1, by Shawn Carman
  36. The War of Dark Fire, Part 2, by Shawn Carman
  37. The War of Dark Fire, Part 7, by Shawn Carman, Nancy Sauer, and Brian Yoon
  38. 38.0 38.1 The Destroyer War, Part 11, by Shawn Carman
  39. The Fifth Legion (Siege: Clan War flavor)
  40. The Sixth Legion (Siege: Clan War flavor)
  41. Guardians, by Shawn Carman
  42. Masters of War, p. 76
  43. The Seventh Legion (Siege: Clan War flavor)
  44. Masters of War, p. 132
  45. The Eighth Legion (Siege: Clan War flavor)
  46. 46.0 46.1 The War of Dark Fire, Part 4, by Shawn Carman
  47. Defenders of the Empire, by Shawn Carman
  48. Blood Hunt, Region 12
  49. The Tenth Legion (Siege: Clan War flavor)
  50. Way of the Wolf, p. 114 Sidebar
  51. Winter Court: Kyuden Kakita, p. 15
  52. Time of the Void, p. 11
  53. Test of the Sword, by Rich Wulf
  54. Winter Court: Kyuden Kakita, p. 108

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