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Mon of the Lion Clan

The Lion Clan were the Right Hand of the Emperor, recording the military and political interactions between the Clans. They were the epitome of bushido and the very example of valor. Next to the Seppun family they were most likely to serve as the Emperor's guardsmen. They comprised the greater portion of the Imperial Legions. The Lion Clan was founded by the Kami Akodo.

Lion Clan[]


The Lion was mostly identified with yellows, browns, and earth tone colors. [1]


The Lion were the most militant and aggressive of all the clans, revering bushido and loyalty to the Emperor as life's two most essential governing principles. The Lion's rigidity and strict adherence to tradition had made diplomatic relations with other clans very difficult, especially the Crane and Scorpion Clans. To the Lion, an ancestor was more than simply a spirit of the past; they guided the current generation of Lions in their everyday life and helped shape their destinies. They were more than the Clan's past - they were its present and future.[citation needed]


The Lion Clan Army was widely known for two things: their ferocity in battle and massive reserves. Over half a million samurai, organized into many thousands of units, made the total Lion army almost double the size of any other Clan army, besides that of the Crab. [2]

For further information on this section, please see Lion Clan Army

Views on other Clans[]

Crab Clan[]

The Crab were viewed as honored warriors for their strength at the most tested border, keeping the Shadowlands out of the Emerald Empire. But their lack of courtesy reminded that an impudent man was an untrustworthy one. [3]

Crane Clan[]

The Crane were gluttons, gorging with abandon, taking no heed of others starving around them. They art-prouded to be rich and were like dogs. [3]

Dragon Clan[]

The Dragon spent much time in their mountain temples, as cowards who were afraid to enter in combat. [3]

Phoenix Clan[]

The Phoenix relied on the elements to save them instead of using them to save others. Their magic ways were weaker than Lion one, the truth of the Forge. [4]

Scorpion Clan[]

The Scorpion were liars, who cared little for the Emperor. They could not be trusted. [4]

Unicorn Clan[]

The Unicorn would make a powerful army, but their wild impulse made them base, so they must be tutored. [4]


Sword of Akodo

Akodo and Matsu[]

After the Tournament of the Kami, Akodo went out in search of men and women worthy to stand beside him and protect the Emperor. Where a hundred others tried, often only one bushi stood up to Akodo's challenge and succeeded.

Akodo's bloody search was said to have been criticized in the courts of the Emperor by those who witnessed it, and some proclaimed him a scourge upon the land of Rokugan. Each year during Hantei's coronation anniversary, Akodo returned to his brother's palace with no followers or brilliant generals to lead his waiting armies.

Led by Ikoma and Kitsu, the Lion clan grew slowly. Akodo was not satisfied. The Lady Matsu, who was possibly the greatest mortal warrior of the time, had not come to be tested. When he finally convinced her to fight, the sky and the earth were said to have shaken. [5]

Forbidden weddings between Akodo and Matsu families[]

The samurai of the Akodo and Matsu families were not allowed to marry to prevent the strife such a child would cause. There were several of such weddings, as Akodo Toturi's parents, but in such cases one of the spouses had to take the family name of the other. [6]

The Lion Thunder[]

When the first monk, Shinsei, gathered the seven men and women who became known as the Seven Thunders, Ikoma Jujinin, eldest of Ikoma's nine sons, stepped forward as a candidate. Before he could follow, the Lady Matsu struck him down with a blow to his face. She then stood before the monk with a fiery passion burning in her eyes, silently challenging any Lions to refute her claim to be a Thunder. None did, and thus Lady Matsu became the Lion Clan Thunder. [7]

Enmity with the Crane[]

In the year 50 the Matsu family attacked the Kakita family's holdings south of Otosan Uchi, goaded by the stories of Kakita's insults against their founder. The Phoenix allied the Crane, while the Scorpion supported the Lion. The Emperor Hantei Genji decreed such actions legal and honorable. The Matsu eventually halted their attacks, feeling they had proven their point. [8]

The Lost Family[]

The Shimizu was the lost fifth family of the Lion. [9] Shimizu Tamayu was the warmongering Shimizu Daimyo who turned on maho to claim more power. By happestance he opened a passage to Toshigoku, and he was taught in Summon Oni by the Tsuno. Oni no Tamayu was named, and the family was bound to its will. The Shimizu was eventually destroyed some generations later, in 927, by Akodo Giri, descendant of the actaul daimyo Shimizu Otori, and their records were stricken from the Ikoma Histories. [10]

Treaty with the Crane[]

The intermittent war­fare between the Shimizu and their neighbors destroyed a substantial amount of farmland. The Lion turned to the Crane for help, and the Lion vowed to make no further incur­sions into Crane lands for at least 30 years. The capture of Shiro no Yojin in the Night of the Falling Stars in 960 ended the treaty. [11]

Storms over Matsu Palace[]

In 1131, the recently rescued Toturi I commanded Unicorn Magistrates to force the Lion to answer for their crimes committed in his absence. The Lion had been practicing maho, and the Jade Champion himself, Kitsu Okura, had a hand in the corrupting of the Lion. The Unicorn marched upon the Matsu, but were eventually repelled by foul arts, maho-tsukai, and Shadowlands creatures in 1132 in the battle of Storms over Matsu Palace. [12]

Feuds with the Unicorn[]

In the middle of the 12th century, tensions between the Lion and Unicorn erupted into war on a several occasions.

War of the Rich Frog[]

Through shrewd political maneuvering, the Lion Clan obtained control of the City of the Rich Frog in 1165 by making the Kaeru family a vassal family of the Ikoma. The Unicorn retaliated with military strikes. The conflict escalated with the Emperor's edict charging the Dragon Clan with ending the dispute, causing a three way war. Most notably the Lion Clan Champion Matsu Nimuro was believed to have been killed by Moto Chagatai, the Unicorn Clan Khan. In actuality a clone of Nimuro created by the Egg of P'an Ku was slain instead.[citation needed]

The Khan's March[]

Following the death of Emperor Toturi III, the Khan Moto Chagatai felt the Empire needed a strong ruler. In the winter of 1169 he led a daring march through the snow, using Iuchi magic to elude the Lion Clan.The Khan successfully struck at the capital. After fierce fighting between the Lion and Unicorn, they were both pacified by the Phoenix Clan. The Lion Clan Champion Matsu Yoshino, the son of Nimuro, swore vengeance upon Chagatai, who was allowed to live by the Elemental Masters. There were many notable casualities of this conflict, including Iuchi Lixue, Kaneka and Isawa Sezaru.[citation needed]

Fall of Shiro Moto[]

In the year following the Khan's March the Lion Clan launched their counteroffensive, which roared all the way to Shiro Moto itself. In the Fall of Shiro Moto both Yoshino and Chagatai perished when the castle was set alight with them inside, locked in mortal combat. The fiery death of the Khan settled the Lion's thirst for an honorable solution. Other notable deaths in the conflict were Akodo Bakin and Shinjo Shono.[citation needed]

Following their vengeance the Lion Clan has returned home to rebuild and honor the passing of their Champion and others. As per Yoshino's instructions, Akodo Shigetoshi became the new Lion Clan Champion. [13]

Mass seppuku[]

In 1173 after the end of the Destroyer War the Spider Clan had been conferred the status of Great Clan as part of an arrangement with Daigotsu, the Master of Jigoku at that time. The Imperial edict issued by the Empress Iweko I respect the Spider and the bargain she made with Jigoku was seen by many Lion samurai as acts that they could not reconciled themselves to. Shigetoshi allowed to all of them to commit seppuku, as a denouncement of Iweko's actions. [14]

Age of the Conquest[]

The Lion strongholds had taken few damages during the war, but of all the clans, the Lion took one of the greatest tolls. The massive peasant class and centralized location of the Lion lands made them an obvious target for both the plague victims and the Destroyers themselves. The Lion lands were ravaged by bandits, violent bands of starving veterans, and lingering terrors for years after the end of the war. [15] The existence of the Colonies wa a matter of great consternation to the Lion, as they did not see how their Clan fit in this new land. There was a risk that their depleted ranks could not deal with the new duties that came from them. [16]

Edict of Exploration[]

In 1198 the new Imperial Governor of the Colonies Otomo Suikihime issued the Edict of Exploration, allowing any samurai to explore and claim any treasure they found for their clan, permitting them entry into those regions previously earmarked for the Spider Clan alone. Many skirmishes happened between the Spider and several other clans, but the Spider soundly defeated their attackers due to being far more acclimated to the environment. However, the Lion forces seemed doggedly determined to corner the Spider into a larger fight. [17] To the Lion, the Spider represented an offensive, twisted reflection of their own clan stripped of the notions of honor and purity. [18]


In 1198 Yodotai strategies were recognized in the attacks upon the Unicorn forces of the Ki-Rin's Path. The Lion pressed the Unicorn to grant them leave to patrol the route to the Colonies, but the recent Blood Feud between the Khan Shinjo Min-Hee and the late Lion Clan Champion Akodo Shinjiro blocked any attempt at cooperation. [19] A lost scout Yodotai party was met in the Empty Plains by Lion forces. The Lion was the first Great Clan to which the Yodotai offered a vassalization alliance, to be elevated over the other clans overseeing Rokugan after it would be conquered. [20]

Colonial Conflicts[]

When the Lion accused the Spider Clan of attacking their holdings in the Colonies, the Dragon, as watchers of the Spider, interceded and demanded some manner of explanation that truly showed the Spider's involvement. The Lion took that as an act of defiance and began striking out at the colonial Dragon holdings as well. [21] Eventually the Kitsuki found a vial of the Blood of the Preserver, concluding the Lion were not baseless in their claims. [22]

Perceptions of the Lion Clan[]


The Lion Clan were called the Hert'chik by the nezumi. [23]



  • Capital: Kyuden Ikoma
  • Population: 5 280 000 (approx)
  • Military: 292 000 samurai
  • Imports: Raw Materials
  • Exports: Copper


The Lion territories had a central position and bordered with many of the Great Clans. They bordered to the south by the Spine of the World Mountains; to the north, to the Dragonfly, and through them, the lands of the Dragon. To the south, the Scorpion and the Crane contested the Lion for rulership of Beiden Pass until it was destroyed during the War of Spirits. To the west lied the lands of the Unicorn. [24]


The following are the families of the Lion Clan:


See Samurai of the Lion Clan for a listing of notable members of the clan, both current and historic. For the leaders of the clan, see also:

Palaces and cities[]

Lion Clan Holding

Schools & Paths[]


The following are the basic Schools within the Lion Clan:

Paths and Advanced Schools[]

The following were the Paths and Advanced Schools within the Lion Clan:


  1. Player's Guide: 2nd Ed, p. 15
  2. Way of the Lion, p. 26
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Way of the Lion, p. 18
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Way of the Lion, p. 19
  5. Way of the Lion, pp. 16-17
  6. Way of the Lion, p. 64
  7. Way of the Lion, pp. 17
  8. Imperial Histories 2, p. 33
  9. Secrets of the Lion, p. 23
  10. Secrets of the Lion, pp. 87-88
  11. Secrets of the Lion, p. 88
  12. Hidden Emperor, p. 28
  13. Words & Deeds part I, part II and Part III, by Shawn Carman
  14. Aftermath, Part 4, by Yoon Ha Lee
  15. Judgment, Part 1, by Lucas Twyman
  16. Age of the Conquest: The Clans
  17. A Brief History of the Sanctioned Spider Clan, by Seth Mason
  18. Views of the Clans, by Seth Mason
  19. Embers of War, by Shawn Carman
  20. Defenders of the Empire, by Shawn Carman
  21. Gempukku Starter Fictions
  22. Kitsuki Judgment (Torn Asunder Picture and flavor)
  23. Clan Letter to the Nezumi #5 (Imperial Herald v2 #5)
  24. Way of the Lion, p. 111

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