Please note: This article is about the Matsu Daimyo. For other uses of the term, please see Kenji (disambiguation).
Matsu Kenji 
Matsu Kenji 
Born: Unknown 
Died: Unknown 
Parents: Matsu Atsuko,
Tsuruchi Kenji 
Siblings: Matsu Aritomo 
Spouse: Matsu Michi 
Children: Matsu Chizuki,
Matsu Hachiken,
Matsu Rika 
Titles: Matsu Daimyo

Matsu Kenji was a tall, sea-faring samurai-ko, who bore the name of her Mantis father, Tsuruchi Kenji. She became the Matsu Daimyo and was considered a paragon of Bushido.

Family Edit

Born the daughter of Tsuruchi Kenji and Matsu Atsuko, Kenji was a strong-willed and determined bushi. She was trained not only in the ways of the Matsu but also in her father's traditions of archery. Kenji was eventually accepted in the Lion's Pride, for her ferocity. [1]

Ikoma Otemi Edit

Kenji was Taisa of the Lion's Pride when alongside Ikoma Otemi, followed a map to the island that once served as the headquarters for the pirate Yasuki Fumoki. Together they vanquished the beast that lived there, King Orochi, and claimed the wealth there in the name of the Lion Clan. She was possessed by the ghost of the dead pirate captain Yasuki Fumoki during a short period. Fumoki freed her after his unfulfilled duty on life, to kill the King Orochi, was accomplished by Otemi [2] [3] in 1158. [4]

Matsu Kenji 1

Taisa Kenji

Otemi and Kenji had fallen in love with one another, but always placed their duties before their feelings, and never realized their union.[citation needed]

Otmai as captain of the Deathless was granted his request to assign Kenji as his permanent first mate, being accompanied by an entire unit of Lion's Pride. [5]

Ruins of Otosan Uchi Edit

In 1165 Kenji was part of a Lion expedition [6] to search for any historical records that could have survived Otosan Uchi's destruction. The mission was led by the poet Matsu Hyun, but Lion leaders as Akodo Shigetoshi or Akodo Tadenori were working as heimin carrying sheaves of scrolls. They killed an oni who was pursuing three men of the Sword of Yotsu. Yotsu Iemitsu told that more than thirty of these beasts had been appeared from the empty Imperial Palace. Hyun was ordered to ride to Kyuden Seppun asking for Imperial Legions reinforcements. [7]

Cornered Edit

The Shadowlands forces outnumbered the Lion and ronin Yotsu. They retreated and defended the Deathseeker's Shrine for three days, surrounded by the Shadowlands. They were released by reinforcements led by Ikoma Otemi and Kitsu Juri. The Battle in the Ruined City avoided the creation of a new Festering Pit in the ruins of the former Imperial City. [8]

Assassination Attempt Edit

Kenji fighting assassins

Kenji fighting assassins off

Otemi, his wife Yasuko, and Matsu Kenji were hunted by assassins, but they survived them. [9]

War of the Rich Frog Edit

When the Lion Clan noticed the Kaeru family was petitioning the Imperial Court for protection, Matsu Ketsui immediately promoted Kenji to Gunso and ordered her to march to Kaeru Toshi. This gave them a strong position from which the Ikoma could suggest to the Kaeru that they should become a vassal family. [10]

Proposed as Imperial Bride Edit

In 1165 the Emperor Toturi III tasked the Miya Daimyo, Miya Shoin, to find a suitable Lion bride for him. Shoin sent Miya Hatori to Shiro Matsu, where the courtier was impressed by Kenji not only with her honor, but with an unerring sense of what was right and must be done. The rest of courtiers were also impressed by their counterparts, Akodo Kurako, Matsu Aoiko and Kitsu Dejiko. Instead of weeding out the unworthy candidates, Shoin was merely able to find four more than acceptable choices. [11]

Ikoma Korin Edit

Kenji was later charged with testing the Unicorn defenses at Sukoshi Zutsu. Before she marched to battle Kenji met Korin, a former Lion who recently had become ronin. Korin in the Dragon-Phoenix War had saved a sister Lion's Pride, Matsu Watako, when their unit was isolated within Phoenix territory. The determination of Korin spirited Watako and returned to Lion lands after several months. Kenji knew of Korin's current situation and requested to join again the Clan and fight alongside her against the Unicorn, but the ronin refused. [12]

Sukoshi Zutsu Edit

Kenji's forces advance had been advised to the Unicorn by a traitor, Kaeru Meiji, the Kaeru Daimyo and ruler of the City of the Rich Frog. Korin had been advised of it, and followed Kenji's unit, only to see how the Lion was attacked, Kenji wounded and he was being injured as well. [12] Anzai, a woodsman, saw them wounded in the forest and gave the Lion refuge. There Korin told Kenji about the Kaeru traitor. While they were healing their wounds the Lion Clan Champion, Matsu Nimuro was killed by the khan, Moto Chagatai, Ikoma Otemi made a peace treaty and the traitor was killed in a casual duel. [13]

Matsu Daimyo Edit

She was named Matsu daimyo when Matsu Ketsui retired after she believed all her children to be dead. [1] Her younger brother, Matsu Aritomo, was appointed as Defender of the Hall. [14] Kenji was aunt of Matsu Mikura. [15]

Yoshino, new Lion Champion Edit

This year Matsu Yoshino, Nimuro's son, who had been tutored by Otemi and Ikoma Fujimaro, proved himself worthy destroying a unicorn army that was seeking a covert path to Toshi Ranbo. Kenji attended the ceremony that granted Yoshino the Lion championship. [16]

Winter Court - 1168 Edit

Kenji attended Winter Court at Kyuden Otomo in the winter 1168-1169. After an extremely violent and bloody sparring match with Toritaka Tatsune, the crab decided he had become too old to serve his Clan, and prepared for retirement and gifted his katana to Kenji. The two also privately agreed that, if Kenji were ever to marry and bear sons, her sons would marry into the Toritaka family, and that one of Tatsune's grand-daughters would be fostered to Shiro Matsu for training. [17]

Chagatai's ambition Edit

Kenji wounded

Kenji wounded during Khan's attack

In 1169 Kenji was wounded during the Khan's Defiance, but endured until reinforcements could arrive. [18] She was the commander of the Lion army who escorted the Khan Moto Chagatai back to Unicorn territory, after their defeat in the Battle of Toshi Ranbo. [19]

Lion returned to Toshi Ranbo Edit

The Phoenix had banished the Lion from the city after a riot with the Mantis. When the Dragon of Fire returned to Tengoku Kenji led the Lion force until the capital's gates. She did not intend to fight her way into the capitol. It was simply a political statement to assert the position of her Clan. Shiba Naoya, Captain of the Imperial Guard could not stop them from entering the city without engaging in battle, which would ruin all that they had worked for. The Lion were allowed to enter the city. [20]

Satomi Edit

Kenji slew Matsu Satomi after she murdered her own mother, Matsu Ketsui. [21]

Audience with Matsu Edit

In 1170, Kenji was courting Miya Taihu, one of the greates engineers in recent history. She was called from that important visit to Kyuden Miya by a messenger from Kitsu Daimyo Kitsu Katsuko. Coming as bid to the Hall of Ancestors and finding Matsu Benika also present, she learned that her presence had been demanded by the spirit of Matsu herself. Channelled through Katsuko, Matsu offered mild praise to the Matsu Daimyo, though warned her against complacency. She then warned them of the coming upheaval in the heavens and the soon to be dooms of Lord Sun and Lady Moon. [22]

Iweko's Reign Edit

Celestial Tournament Edit

Kenji competed in the Celestial Tournament held at Seppun Hill to choose the new Emperor. She progressed on it but in a surprise upset she lost to Moto Jin-Sahn in a kenjutsu match. The tournament winner was Kitsuki Iweko, who became the divine Iweko I. Jin-Sahn became the Shogun as one of the Empress' Chosen, and the Lion lent him twelve Lion legions for a secret mission tasked by the Empress. Kenji appointed Matsu Fumiyo to enter Shogun command group as liaison to the Lion forces. [23]

Destroyer War Edit

Kenji commanded the Lioness Legion during the Destroyer War. [24] In 1172 the Legion arrived the Badger lands seeking Daigotsu Oki as ordered by the Empress Iweko I. She was accompanied by Matsu Kasei who had delivered the Imperial orders. A superior force of Yobanjin ambushed them, but the intervention of a Shinjo Scouts detachment commanded by Shinjo Dun defeated the Army of Fire forces. [25]

Uprising Edit

Kenji met the bearer of the Hand of the Jade Dragon, Matsu Benika. News arrived about an uprising in a village within the clan's easternmost provinces. It was claimed the threat originated from within the Legion of Two Thousand, which could not be proved. The two led the vanguard and put the village to the torch. [26]

Betrayers to the Empire Edit

The Legion alongside the Bayushi Elite Guard engaged and defeated an enemy force whose members appeared to be Rokugani, but that they flew banners with symbols associated with the Destroyers. [27]

End of the Destroyer War Edit

In 1173 at 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. [28]

Otemi's seppuku Edit

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. The Lion General and beloved Ikoma Otemi was one of them. Kenji performed as his kaishakunin, his second. [28]

Married Edit

In the Month of the Goat of 1193 Kenji married Matsu Michi. [29]

Sensei Edit

Kenji was the sensei of Akodo Dairuko, the younger daughter of Shigetoshi, who would become the Lion Champion in the late 12th century. [30]

Children Edit

Kenji had several children, Matsu Chizuki became the Matsu Daimyo, [31] who somebody dared to suggest in court that was actually the result of a tryst between the venerable Matsu Kenji and Ikoma Otemi. The younger son was Matsu Hachiken, [32] and the youngest children was Matsu Rika. [33] In 1199 an aged Kenji still was passing her knowledge to her granddaughter. [34]

See also Edit

External Links Edit

Preceded by:
Matsu Ketsui
Matsu Daimyo
1166 - ?
Succeeded by:
Matsu Chizuki


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