A Tsi Smith

The Oriole Clan were founded in 1168 when Emperor Toturi III gave the former Tsi family, the longtime line of imperial blacksmiths, minor clan status.

Tradition[edit | edit source]

This family of armorsmiths trained in kenjutsu to better understand the crafting and function of swords, and their limited fighting style very reliant on defense with the blade. [1]

History[edit | edit source]

Ronin Family[edit | edit source]

The Tsi family was founded by a gaijin named Tsi Wenfu when his smithing work caught the eye of Emperor Hantei Genji. Genji declared that Wenfu couldn't possibly be a gaijin and allowed him to found the Tsi family. [2]

Imperial Vassal Family[edit | edit source]

During the reign of Emperor Hantei XXX the Tsi name was virtually unknown outside of the select fraternity of ronin sword-smiths who all claimed the name of “Tsi.” In the year 879 the Emperor commissioned Kakita Harunobu, a Crane swordsmith, [3] to make a sword for his son. The swordsmith had a ronin apprentice named Tsi, and the Crane allowed Tsi to create the saya for the blade. The Emperor was so taken with the beauty of their work that the Crane was made the personal smith of the Emperor. [4] Hantei XXX proclaimed the Tsi would only serve the Emperor, effectively becoming an Imperial vassal family. Henceforth the Tsi name would be passed on not by marriage or blood, but by skill. [5] Their ancestral duty was set to create the best swords they could. The Tsi Family continued to work exclusively for the Hantei for many years, forbidden to create weapons for anyone else without the ruling Emperor's explicit permission. [6]

Scarcity[edit | edit source]

The Tsi were an extremely small family, with only half a dozen members at any time. [7]

The Clan[edit | edit source]

The blessing of Toturi III came upon the Tsi in 1168 after Tsi Zutaka, the family daimyo was rescued from bandit thugs operating under the Ninube in Otosan Uchi. Zutaka had been sabotaging weapons that the bandits forced him to repair for at least a year. Zutaka was rescued by Mirumoto Ryosaki, Isawa Angai and Agasha Miyoshi on the night that Asahina Sekawa banished the darkness from Otosan Uchi. [8]

Mirumoto Rosanjin brought Zutaka to the Imperial Court. Zutaka came bearing the blade of Hantei XVI, Toturi Naseru's sensei, which had been in his possession for a time. [8] Naseru was away, so the blade was presented to Empress Toturi Kurako, as well as a recounting of the Tsi's aide in defeating the bandits. [citation needed] The blade recovered by the Tsi was of great sentimental value to the Emperor Toturi III. [9] Zutaka was given the Oriole's greatest honor, the commision to forge what would become the ancestral sword of the Toturi Dynasty, the Sword of the Righteous Emperor. For such blade of unrivaled craftsmanship they were elevated to the position of Minor Clan, the Oriole Clan. [10]

Tsi Bushi and Diplomats[edit | edit source]

Quite a few ronin swear fealty to the new Minor Clan, swelling its numbers. [11] Clan members who lacked the talent for blacksmithing were treated as second-class citizens. Daimyo shunt them off into unimportant duties or demand they served as yojimbo. [12] The Tsi also began to train some of his kin to become their representatives in the courts of the Empire. There were not yet any Tsi shugenja at the end of the 12th century, but with the number of cross-clan weddings taking place within the Oriole Clan, it was likely some would be born. [13]

Alliances[edit | edit source]

The transition from Imperial vassal to Minor Clan also brought new challenges. No longer connected to the Imperials, the Tsi no longer enjoyed the protection of the Emperor. They sought new allies, began to trade their blades, and forged new bonds. [14] The Oriole Clan was allied with the Dragon for their aid, [15] and joined the Alliance of Minor Clans the same year of its foundation. [16] Zutakas's sons were trained with both the Lion and the Dragon Clans. Upon returning home they established the first Oriole bushi dojo in West Hub Village. [14]

Details[edit | edit source]

Oriole Members

Mon and Colors[edit | edit source]

Kakita Artisans designed a mon for the Oriole Clan, and tailors provided a distinct set of clothing to wear on public occasions. Though their mon represented a bird, a number of Oriole adopted a butterfly leaving its cocoon to emphasize their gradual transformation from unassuming servants into a full-bore clan. [17] Steel, Gold and Silver were the clan coloring. [18]

Families[edit | edit source]

The Tsi family was the only family of the Oriole Clan. Its members were no longer ronin, but Minor Clan samurai.

Holdings[edit | edit source]

Upon its foundation on the reign of Hantei Genji the family was granted with a small estate in the West Hub Village of Otosan Uchi. [2] The Tsi family remained there after the Fall of Otosan Uchi. [19] Within six months of their founding the clan began purchasing and developing holdings within the Imperial City. Tsi Uchi was their estate in the new capital, Toshi Ranbo. [20] They also held ceded lands as far south as the Kaiu Wall and as far north as the Unicorn plains. Most pieces of Oriole territory composed a few villages situated along a major road. Beyond the smithies, the most important Oriole holdings were its iron mines in the Spine of the World Mountains. The new clan stronghold, Kyuden Tsi, would be located a short distance away from the Imperial City, but in 1170 the palace was still to be built. At Otosan Uchi they paid homage to their fallen brethren in the abandoned Ninube stronghold where they were killed. [21] They had other mines, holdings, and strongholds spread from the Carpenter Wall to the Utaku Plains. [14]

Samurai[edit | edit source]

See Samurai of the Oriole Clan for a listing of notable members of the clan, both current and historic.

Schools & Paths[edit | edit source]

Schools[edit | edit source]

The following are the basic Schools within the Oriole Clan:

Paths[edit | edit source]

The following are the Paths within the Oriole Clan:

Oriole Clan Champion[edit | edit source]

The following is a listing of all Tsi family daimyo since their founding, and Oriole Clan Champions since their ascension to minor clan status under Tsi Zutaka in 1168.

Tsi Wenfu c. 172
Tsi Tianlin (c. 1158)
Tsi Matsuo ? - 1159
Tsi Zutaka 1159 - 1181
Tsi Soshu 1181 - Present

See also[edit | edit source]

Sources Conflict
The sources relating to this article are in conflict with each other.
Fealty and Freedom page 65 claims the Oriole Clan is created in 1167, but the events that preceded such events happened in the Month of the Hare, as written in Four Winds page 27. This sourcebook wrongly indicates year 1167, as if the Hare Month was the last of the year, but the Month of the Hare is the first month of each year, so the Oriole Clan has been created in 1168. Oni no Pikachu (talk) 20:30, March 22, 2014 (UTC)


  1. Book of Earth, p. 35
  2. 2.0 2.1 Way of the Samurai, p. 6
  3. Secrets of the Empire, pp. 68-69
  4. Legend of the Five Rings: Third Edition, p. 76
  5. Secrets of the Empire, p. 69
  6. Fealty and Freedom, pp. 66-67
  7. Way of the Samurai, p. 14
  8. 8.0 8.1 The Ruins of Otosan Uchi, Part 3, by Shawn Carman
  9. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition Revised, p. 70
  10. Legend of the Five Rings; Fourth Edition, p. 222
  11. The Atlas of Rokugan, p. 201
  12. Fealty and Freedom, p. 68
  13. Secrets of the Empire, p. 75
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Secrets of the Empire, p. 70
  15. West Hub Village (Rise of the Shogun flavor)
  16. Toku Butaka (Rise of the Shogun flavor)
  17. Fealty and Freedom, pp. 67-68
  18. Adrian Burton's comment about Oriole Imperial Vanguard art
  19. West Hub Village (Rise of the Shogun flavor)
  20. Legend of the Five Rings; Fourth Edition, p. 362
  21. Fealty and Freedom, pp. 69-70

Toturi's Army.gif This Ronin related article is a stub. That means that it has been started, but is incomplete. You can help by adding to the information here.

Imperial.png This Imperial Families related article is a stub. That means that it has been started, but is incomplete. You can help by adding to the information here.

Oriole 2.png This Oriole Clan related article is a stub. That means that it has been started, but is incomplete. You can help by adding to the information here.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.