A minor clan was a clan recognized by the Emperor of Rokugan that was formed after the foundation of the Empire. Minor clans were officially under the Emperor's protection, and the Great Clans were forbidden to begin an offensive war against them. The minor clans were all considerably smaller and less powerful than the great clans, and most had only a single recognized family name.

Creation of a Minor Clan[edit | edit source]

Only the Emperor might create a new minor clan, and the formation of a new minor clan was a very rare event. If a samurai had performed a great service for the Empire or had gained unusual and valuable insight, the Emperor might choose to allow him to gather samurai into his service and form a new minor clan, settling upon a tract of land granted to the new Champion by the Emperor. [1] This small bands of samurai were called Jizamurai, [2] and the new minor clan daimyo was expected to teach those who entered into his service to follow his example. This new minor clan would quickly form their own bushi or shugenja school to teach and develop the techniques of their founder. [citation needed]

Ancestral Weapon[edit | edit source]

When a group attained the Minor Clan status, they were formally given a katana from the Emperor's hands, a weapon which would become their ancestral weapon. If the Minor Clan was ever disgraced and had their Clan status revoked, their clan weapon was broken by the Emperor's hand. [3]

House name[edit | edit source]

Not all Minor clans had family names, and some had no 'first' or house name. House names were given separately by the Emperor's command, and only on rare occasions. In the early 12th century only seven family names were recorded to have been given to Minor Clans. [3]

Unofficial Minor Clans[edit | edit source]

In the past, several minor clans were created without the Emperor also recognizing a family name for the clan. The Tortoise and Mantis clans were examples of minor clans that through most of their history had no recognized family name. Emperor Toturi III ended this practice when he granted in 1166 the Morito family name to the Ox Clan, the only minor clan left that did not also have a family name. [4]

History[edit | edit source]

First Minor Clan[edit | edit source]

The first minor clan, as acknowledged by the Emperor, was the Fox Clan [5] in 90. [6]

The founding of the Mantis Clan did occur in 80, a full ten years prior, but they were not recognized as a minor clan until some time later in 429. [7]

Ascension to Great Clan Status[edit | edit source]

For most of Rokugani history no minor clan managed to attain anywhere near the strength or influence of a great clan. This changed on the Second Day of Thunder, when Yoritomo, through the power gained from his alliances with other minor clans, forced the other great clans to accept the Mantis Clan into their ranks. [8] [9] This was the only example of a minor clan ascending to Great Clan status in history. The only other instance of a group ascending to Great Clan status was that of the Spider Clan, although in this instance they group had not been a minor clan prior to their ascension. [10]

Minor Clan Alliance[edit | edit source]

In 1167 the Minor Clan Alliance was formed, for mutual gain. [4]

Most Recent Minor Clan[edit | edit source]

The most recent creation of a minor clan was that of the Oriole Clan in 1168 in recognition of the Tsi family's (a family of ronin) service to the Empire. [11]

Minor Clans[edit | edit source]

There were thirteen Minor Clans in Rokugan during the reign of Hantei XXXVIII. [3] The known minor clans recognized by the Emperor's court were:

Minor Clan Founded Founder
Badger Clan 110 Hida Domogu
Sparrow Clan 400 Doji Onegano
Tortoise Clan 442 Agasha Kasuga
Dragonfly Clan 704 Mirumoto Asijin and Isawa Maroko
Hare Clan 750 Reichin (ronin)
Monkey Clan 1129 Toku (ronin)
Firefly Clan 1152 Shinjo Jainu
Ox Clan 1158 Shinjo Morito
Bat Clan 1165 Yoritomo Komori
Oriole Clan 1168 Tsi Zutaka (ronin)
Boar Clan 1200 Restored under Heichi Tochiko

There were also several clans that were once minor clans, but which had since been destroyed or absorbed by other clans:

Minor Clan Founded Founder Dissolved Reason
Mantis Clan 80 (Officially in 429) Hida Kaimetsu-uo 1128 Became a Great Clan
Fox Clan 90 Shinun 1169 Joined the Mantis Clan
Tanuki Clan Unknown Unnamed Badger Clan Samurai Unknown Disbanded by the Emperor, to erase a Clan he considered as an embarrassment to his grandfather's name
Snake Clan 339 Isawa Chuda 401 Destroyed by the Phoenix Clan
Centipede Clan 347 Isawa Azami (1127)
(Allied with the Mantis Clan)
Fully joined through marriage
Boar Clan 447 Heichi 501 Disappeared (sacrificed to create the Anvil of Despair). They were restored in the year 1200.
Falcon Clan 834 Yotogi 1125 Joined the Crab Clan
Wasp Clan 1109 Tsuruchi 1128 Joined the Mantis Clan
Snake Clan 1159 Refounded by Asako Mishime as Chuda family c.1159 Joined the Lost, then later the Spider Clan, then later diverged from the Spider.
Sources Conflict
The sources relating to this article are in conflict with each other.
There is some contention as to whether the Falcon's absorption into the Crab Clan occurred in 1125 or 1129. Most sources point to 1129, but the official word from Unicorn Marketeer and Shawn Carman in the two threads linked in the Talk:Toritaka family Talk Page indicates 1125

Schools & Paths[edit | edit source]

Schools[edit | edit source]

The following were the basic Schools available within any Minor Clan:

Paths[edit | edit source]

The following were the Paths available within any Minor Clan:


  1. Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 21
  2. Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, pp. 39-40
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun, p. 43
  4. 4.0 4.1 Fealty and Freedom, p. 76
  5. Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun, p. 29
  6. Imperial Histories, p. 19
  7. A Hero's Death, Chapter 2, by Rich Wulf
  8. The Son of Storms (Yoritomo's Alliance)
  9. The Yoritomo Alliance (Time of the Void, story back)
  10. Goddesses, Part 4, by Shawn Carman
  11. The Ruins of Otosan Uchi, Part 3, by Shawn Carman
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