Matsu Ketsui 
Matsu Ketsui 
Born: Unknown 
Died: 1170 
Spouse: Ikoma Koetsu,
Isawa Kokei 
Children: Matsu Nimuro,
Matsu Domotai,
Matsu Satomi 
Titles: Matsu Daimyo

Matsu Ketsui was the cousin of the Matsu Daimyo Matsu Tsuko and succeeded her when she committed seppuku in defiance of Hantei XXXIX. [1]

Demeanor Edit

Ketsui was an impulsive, fiercely inde­pendent, prideful, and headstrong samurai, disdainful of all save her Matsu sisters. She took insult easily and reacted violently, quickly accruing a reputation as a feared duelist. [1]

First Husband Edit

Ketsui married to Ikoma Koetsu, a brash young bushi who challenged her to a jiujutsu duel at a Winter Court. He had been beaten by Ketsui but never surren­dered. Three years later, while Ketsui was still pregnant with their second son, Koetsu was slain in a duel with a Kakita Kenshinzen. A week after her child's birth, Ketsui took the Kakita's head in another duel. [1] Her two first sons were Matsu Nimuro and Matsu Domotai. [2]

Matsu Daimyo Edit

Ketsui was selected as the Matsu Daimyo [3] after the Second Day of Thunder, being vacant the post since Tsuko's seppuku. [4] She wore the Armor of the Golden Samurai, an unreliable nemuranai which was fully awakened by her dedication to Bushido. [5]

Meeting a Phoenix Suitor Edit

Matsu Kokei

Matsu Ketsui laughing off Isawa Kokei

Ketsui was notorious for her open conflicts with Lion Clan Champion Ikoma Tsanuri, often ignoring Tsanuri's orders in battle. An angered Tsanuri arranged for a political marriage between the Matsu Daimyo and a pacifistic young Isawa Shugenja named Isawa Kokei. When Kokei visited Shiro Matsu to meet Ketsui, she turned him away with mocking laughter. [1]

Hidden Emperor Edit

Yokatsu Edit

Ketsui came to parley with Unicorn Clan Champion Shinjo Yokatsu for the incidents between both clans while the Imperial Throne was empty. [6]

Searching the Emperor Edit

Ketsui was in Morikage Forest with Matsu Turi following Emperor's captivity there. Ikoma scouts had been found a trace of Toturi. [7]

Madness of the Emperor Edit

Matsu Ketsui 2

Matsu Daimyo Ketsui

Storms over Matsu Palace Edit

Ketsui commanded the Lion army at the battle of Storms over Matsu Palace fought in 1132 beside Shiro Matsu. She sent Ikoma Gunjin to parley Shinjo Hanari before the battle, but the Lion stood firm in their belief that the Unicorn had no authority to enforce an archaic dictate, while the Unicorn demanded that the letter of the law be obeyed. [8] She defeated the Unicorn army with the support of oni and tainted bushi. [9]

Shocked by Okura's Corruption Edit

Ketsui was shocked by Kitsu Okura's corruption, realizing that her pride had led her to ignore the rumors about shady dealings among the Kitsu. Ketsui met Tsanuri, apologizing for her foolish, arrogant behavior and begged permission to commit seppuku, but Tsanuri forbade it because she needed all the experienced samurai to march on the City of Volturnum. [1]

Lion Unexplained March Edit

During the unexplained Lion march into Crab lands, Matsu Hiroru and Ginawa tried without result to convince Ketsui to stop the march. Ketsui behaviour was strange, and she believed Matsu Tsuko's soul talked with her. [10]

Volturnum Edit

In 1133 Ketsui fought in the Battle of Oblivion's Gate. She saw the returned spirit of Matsu Gohei, who killed the Senpet General Abresax, responsible of Gohei's execution in the Burning Sands. [11]

Married Again Edit

Tsanuri died during the War Against Shadow, but Ketsui followed the promise her Champion had requested before the March to Volturnum. Isawa Kokei became her new husband, taking the Matsu name. The couple bore a daughter, Matsu Satomi. In 1149 Kokei fell ill and died during a harsh winter. [1]

War of Spirits Edit

In 1150 the solitary Kitsu Motso died, without designated heir. Akodo Ginawa and Ketsui distanced themselves from the position. She suggested her son Nimuro as new Champion, and Ginawa supported the suggestion. Emperor Toturi I agreed, though he required Ginawa serve Nimuro as advisor for as long as the new Champion required his aid. [2]

Four Winds Edit

Seikitsu Pass Edit

The Unicorn Clan had blockaded the Seikitsu Pass, but in 1159 the Khan wished to curry the Lion's favor with the Shogun. Chagatai had sent word that the Lion might have free passage through the Pass. Ketsui was commanded to march from Shiro Matsu to Shiro Moto to met the Khan and gave thanks. [12]

Akodo's Remains Edit

Ketsui was present alongside the other daimyo of the Lion Clan in 1159 when Lion Clan Champion Matsu Nimuro revealed the letter from the Dark Oracle of Water Matsu Turi announcing the discovery of the remains of Akodo. Turi demanded a Matsu vassal of true lineage in exchange for the remains, which became her son Matsu Domotai after he volunteered in 1160. Domotai commited seppuku rather than serve Turi once the remains were safely in Lion hands. [13]

City of the Rich Frog Edit

When in 1159 the Kaeru family, who ran the City of the Rich Frog, petitioned the Imperial Court for protection, Ketsui answered the petition. She promoted Matsu Kenji to Gunso and sent her to Kaeru Toshi with troops, to be the first to put their foot on the Kaeru lands. They also requested Kaeru Tomaru, the Kaeru daimyo, to swear fealty to the Ikoma family. [14] This effectively triggered the War of the Rich Frog several years later.

War of the Rich Frog Edit

When in 1166 Matsu Ketsui believed her son, the Lion Clan Champion Matsu Nimuro to be dead in the War of the Rich Frog, she named Otemi as his successor until Nimuro's eldest son, Matsu Yoshino, came of age to assume the Lion Clan Championship. [15] She had no real authority to act so, but her declaration was well received by the Clan, unanimously accepted by the Lion daimyo, and Otemi himself accepted the championship in this way. [16]

Halls of Ancestors Edit

Since Domotai and Nimuro's deaths Ketsui became the guardian of the Hall of Ancestors. She was visited by Hida Kisada, who had returned from Yomi to defeat Iuchiban. The Great Bear retrieved a piece of the Hidden Heart of Iuchiban which had been hidden in the Ikoma Hidemasa's burial urn by Toku decades ago. [17]

Retirement Edit

After having served for many years as the Matsu Daimyo, Ketsui retired when it was believed her last child, Nimuro, had been killed. [citation needed]

Death Edit

Ketsui was killed by her daughter Matsu Satomi in 1170, who had fallen to the corruption of the Dark Oracle of Water Matsu Turi. In turn, Satomi was killed by Matsu Kenji. [18]

See also Edit

External Links Edit

Preceded by:
Matsu Tsuko
Matsu Daimyo
1128 - 1166
Succeeded by:
Matsu Kenji


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