Please note: This article is about the Little Teacher and advisor to the Kami. For other uses of the term, please see Shinsei (disambiguation).
Born: Unknown 
Died: Unknown 
Children: unnamed son

Meaning "New Way," Shinsei was a travelling monk who taught the Kami what he could of his wisdom. He had a crow as a permanent companion.

He was also called Little Teacher. [1]

Origins[edit | edit source]


Fall of the Kami[edit | edit source]

Shinsei was in the lands which would be known as Rokugan when the Kami fell to the Mortal Realm. He had seen many conquerors come and go in his long life, and he did not trust that such strange creatures would rule mortals wisely. He departed, seeking new lands to explore. [2]

Learning about the Day of Thunder[edit | edit source]

During his travels across what would one day be called the Plains Above Evil, Shinsei took refuge within a secluded cave, where he found the ruins of an ancient temple. Shinsei had learned the language of the kenku, so he could understand some of the writings he found. Through the records of the Five Races he learned that every one Thousand years, there came a confrontation between Jigoku and the Celestial Heavens through Ningen-do, the mortal realm, the Day of Thunder. Jigoku always championed near-divine beings, while Tengoku always had simple mortals, guided by honor and courage. Shinsei returned to Empire, wearing a robe he had found in the cave. [2]

Shinsei and the Oracles[edit | edit source]

According to Stories of Shinsei, prior to the Day of Thunder, Shinsei sought out the advice of the Oracle of Earth. [3]

It had been said that both Shinsei and his descendant, the Hooded Ronin, had been made Oracle of Thunder by the Dragon of Thunder.[citation needed]

Shinsei and the Kami[edit | edit source]

Shinsei and Bayushi[edit | edit source]

"Pain is the liar's only reward, Bayushi."

Shinsei approached Bayushi during the Tournament of the Kami, after he had defeated his sister Shinjo. Bayushi was to face his twin Shiba in the next round, and Shinsei took him aside and told him the tale of the Scorpion and the Frog. Bayushi was perhaps the first kami to learn and apply wisdom from the little monk, because after the story Bayushi took a scrap of silk and masked his face. He then intentionally lost to his twin brother Shiba, letting every member of his family underestimate him. [5]

Shinsei and Hida[edit | edit source]

After Hida was defeated in the Tournament he berated himself for hours, cursing his clumsiness and inability to marshal his strength effectively. Shinsei told him his inability to accept his weakness caused him to fall. Knowing this, Hida's weakness transformed into strength. Hida took what the man had told him and over the years he learned to temper his strength with strategy, watching the Lion and Dragon Clans gain their tactical knowledge. [6]

Shinsei and Hantei[edit | edit source]

"So much weight placed on the babbling of a simple old man."

Hantei and Shinsei

Shinsei came to Otosan Uchi to see the Son of the Heavens. The little monk had to struck down the Imperial Guardsmen that barred his passage to the Emperor. Shiba faced him and Shinsei told that he had came to give advice against Fu Leng. Hantei was interested in what Shinsei could teach him. [8] Hantei had noticed the black crow emblazoned upon the back of the Robes of Shinsei, symbol of the ancient kenku. Even the Kami respected the kenku's wisdom, thus Hantei offered Shinsei an opportunity to speak his piece. [2] They discussed the war with the dark kami, and their conversation was recorded by Shiba. The transcription became known as the Tao of Shinsei, [9] and became a founding stone for the Shinseism religion. [10]

Shinsei and Shiba[edit | edit source]

After the Tao was recorded Shinsei began a discussion with Shiba, who as a god considered all the deeds and words only the present, while for the mortals they would see as history, lessons learned. Shinsei transmited Shiba that he could not appreciate history, because Shiba would live forever. Through Shinsei, Shiba learned how the lives of the mortals were linked to the divine. Shiba became a devout follower of Shinsei. [11]

Shinsei and Akodo[edit | edit source]

When Shinsei spoke with the Emperor, Akodo had stood behind Hantei, frowning. Finally Akodo spit on the ground, turned and walked away. Hantei stood, angry that his brother had insulted the Little Master, requesting an explanation. [12]

"For this is way is not my way."
-Akodo [12]

Shinsei and Togashi[edit | edit source]

After his lesson with Shinsei Togashi retreated to the mountains in northern Rokugan where he thought he could be left alone. This turned out to be impossible as two others, Mirumoto and Agasha, had followed him there. [13] Togashi did not eat or drink and stood on meditation, convinced he had to not move until he could understand Shinsei's teachings. Mirumoto and Agasha each day brought him food and sake, but Togashi did not move. In the ninth day they begged to Shinsei, but the little prophet did not act this day. In the tenth day, Togashi was near death, and saw Shinsei moving to him. Togashi told he would not move until he could understand, and Shinsei sat alongside him, and said, 'Neither will I.' Togashi smiled and realized the task of seeking enlightenment could not be found in that way. He began to eat, and Shinsei followed. [14] While Togashi was starving himself, he was also starving those he promised to protect; a very selfish act in Shinsei's eyes. By sitting down next to him and saying, "Neither will I," Shinsei showed Togashi the consequences of his actions. [15]

Shinsei and Sumai Mura[edit | edit source]

After the formation of the Great Clans Shinsei moved to the lands of Shiba and Isawa. He witnessed the arrogance of the people of Sumai Mura, a village of burly warriors. Shinsei made his home there for two months, and at the end of that period, the people of Sumai Mura were humble and philosophical individuals. They wished to change the name of their village to honor their teacher, but he insisted that they keep the original name. As a compromise, the name was changed to Shinsei and Sumai Mura. [16]

Gathering Thunders[edit | edit source]

When Hantei was convinced Shinsei revealed that a small group of seven individuals could infiltrate the Shadowlands and defeat Fu Leng. [17] He wished to send his brothers and sisters along with Shinsei, but he told they would have to be mortals, for fortune favors the mortal man. [18] Hantei, grievously wounded from a recent battle, declared that one individual from each clan be sent to join in this endeavour. Shinsei assembled the Seven Thunders personally, and joined them on the quest to defeat the Ninth Kami. [17]

Shinsei and the Thunders[edit | edit source]

"Any but the Thunders who stand before Fu Leng will be ground beneath the wheels of destiny."

Matsu and Mirumoto were the first to join, and they next sought to find the Crane candidate. While meeting Doji Yasurugi, the son of Doji and Kakita, they were attacked by an oni. Yasurugi was slain and all hope appeared lost, until his twin sister Doji Konishiko stepped forward to take his place. Next they travelled to Phoenix lands where the powerful shugenja Isawa was easily convinced to come, plotting revenge for the losses the war had inflicted on him and his tribe. Otaku joined the group while they were travelling south to Crab lands. When they arrived in Crab lands, Hida's son Hida Atarasi joined them as did the Scorpion Shosuro. The Seven Thunders and Shinsei set out to find and fight Fu Leng. [17]

Little Crow[edit | edit source]

Shinsei had a son, whom he called nicknamed Little Crow. His son was just a child in 42 before the Day of Thunder, but Shinsei took him along with him when he was gathering the Seven Thunders. [17]

Shinsei's Teachings[edit | edit source]

Before Shinsei left for the Shadowlands, witnesses report, he held a number of lectures conveying his philosophy. For four nights, he sat under a pine tree and revealed his philosophy. Each of these lectures was written down by his students and given a fanciful title like ‘the Lotus Teaching’ and ‘the Empty Hand Lecture’. On the morning he and the Seven Thunders set out, Shinsei delivered his final lecture, generally called the Path of Purification. [20]

Day of Thunder[edit | edit source]

Fighting Fu Leng[edit | edit source]

"Fu Leng has always known he would face the Thunders, though he did not know who you were or when you would come. He has avoided this conflict for as long as possible, building his strength."

Shinsei stood alongside the Seven Thunders as they battled Fu Leng, but was knocked unconcious by the Dark Kami early in the battle. After Fu Leng's soul was bound to the Black Scrolls, Shosuro escaped carrying Shinsei and the scrolls. [19]

Shinsei's Last Hope[edit | edit source]

A lone Crab scout discovered Shinsei, Shosuro and Shiba in the valley where Fu Leng was defeated and killed, as they set out to return to Rokugan. Upon noticing the scout, Shinsei prophesized that while the Crab Clan protected the valley, it would remain pure of Taint, and then charged the scout to hold the valley alone. Within a week others found him, and there they built Shinsei's Last Hope. [21]

Escape[edit | edit source]

Shosuro and Shinsei were cornered by the First Oni, but were saved by the timely arrival of Shiba. [22] Shiba killed the First Oni, but succumbed to his wounds shortly after. Shosuro and Shinsei escaped with the Black Scrolls. [23]

Path of the Man[edit | edit source]

Before Shiba died, Shinsei trusted him the wisdom of a thousand lost sages. [24] Shinsei told Shiba about the Path of Man, the secret of human immortality. Shiba understood he had to pass this knowledge, and that he had to become the eternal protector of the Phoenix. Shiba's soul and memories passed to his son, Shiba Tsuzaki, who in turn gifted the secret to Asako, marking the beginning of the Henshin. [25]

Legacy[edit | edit source]

Shinsei tasked his descendants to guide the Empire from a distance and only to make themselves known when it became necessary to gather the Thunders once more. [26] His descendants were hidden within the order of the monks of Bishamon. Only the head of the Four Temples, the Elemental Acolytes, and the Emperor were aware that Shinsei's descendant lived, and even they were not aware of his identity. [27]

Writings[edit | edit source]

Shinsei wrote Kumitae, a treatise on the martial arts, illustrated in great detail, explaining and teaching techniques with unparalleled clarity. [28]

Leaving the Empire[edit | edit source]

Shinsei and his crow

Warning Togashi[edit | edit source]

Before Shinsei departed he told Togashi of his reasons for leaving. Togashi understood, and promised that when Shinsei's descendants returned that he would be the first to greet them. He also promised that he would remember Shinsei's warning. When one thousand years had passed and another Day of thunder approached, he would help prepare the mortals for what they must do. [29]

Traveling[edit | edit source]

When Shinsei felt he no longer had any wisdom to offer the Empire he decided to leave. Traveling south, he was constantly approached by other travelers begging him for some piece of final wisdom. Shinsei had none to offer, but eventually he met an old woman named Someisa. Instead of asking him for an answer she asked if he had any final questions for her. Shinsei smiled and whispered in her ear his final riddle. Someisa lived for another three hundred years, eventually turning into a tortoise. [30]

Lands of the Senpet[edit | edit source]

Shinsei went to the Burning Sands under the name of Mekhem, and the first people he visited healed his wounds using the poison of a scarab. He named them the people of the Senpet and they were rewarded with his wisdom. [31]

Hanif[edit | edit source]

The Hanif, a people that had left behind their cousins, the Yodotai and Sheel, [32] were wandering in the desert. Shinsei found them when they were desperate and near to the death. He guided them and saved their lives. [33] They were attacked in the desert by the slavery Empire of the Senpet. The Hanif broke in fourteen tribes, and the Eleventh Tribe followed Shinsei. It was the only one which was not enslaved by the Senpet. [34]

Medinaat al-Salaam[edit | edit source]

When Mekhem and his followers reached Medinaat al-Salaam the city was still not considered the Jewel of the Desert, it was instead a chaotic growing city. He began to teach the villagers, and their number increased with time. There he taught the various factions and tried to unite them, under the name of Mekhem. It was also known there as the Little Prophet. Mekhem used the knowledge he had gained with the Senpet to improve the city economy, and the knowldge from the city-states of J'li'lu to create better roads. He and other great men as Hanam the "Architect", Yanad the "Merchant", or Akbar the "Irrigator". [35]

Teachings[edit | edit source]

Mekhem was seen as a menace by the followers of Hakhim, the first sahir who was worshipped after his dead as the Wise Man of the Desert and confronted their teachings. After a private conversation with Harik, Hakhim's succesor, the group of sahir accepted Mekhen's teachings. One of these sahir recorded the Forty-Seven Sayings of Mekhem. [36]

For further information on this section, please see Forty-Seven Sayings of Mekhem

Califa and Sultan[edit | edit source]

Mekhem gave to the city a new government system, the Caliph, arbitrator of disputes, and the Sultan, the Law Maker. The Sultan made the laws the people needed, and the Caliph was the enforcer of the laws. [37]

Departure[edit | edit source]

Vision of the End

Mekhem paint a picture depicting a bad omen. Before he departed the little prophet said he would return when this image would become true. [38] It would be his descendant, Duqaq, who would be there.

Ivory Kingdoms[edit | edit source]

It was said that Mekhem went to the Ivory Kingdoms, and there he defeated a Dark God, the Lying Darkness. He imprisoned it inside a stone which became black because its evil influence. Shinsei tasked a group to protect it, and they would become the Order of the Ebon Hand, protectors of the Ebon Stone. [39]

Tomb[edit | edit source]

Shinsei's Tomb

Somewhere his tomb was found. [40]

See Also[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]


  1. Nightmares, by Rich Wulf
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Way of the Open Hand, p. 16
  3. Way of the Phoenix, p. 106
  4. I Can Swim (Dawn of the Empire flavor)
  5. Way of the Scorpion, p. 19
  6. Way of the Crab, p. 18
  7. Scribing the Tao (Dawn of the Empire flavor)
  8. The Hidden Path, by Shawn Carman and Rich Wulf
  9. Way of the Phoenix, p. 115
  10. Way of Shinsei, p. 33
  11. Way of Shinsei, pp. 42-43
  12. 12.0 12.1 Way of the Lion, p. 28
  13. Way of the Dragon, p. 15
  14. Way of the Dragon, p. 5
  15. Way of the Dragon, p. 30
  16. Secrets of the Phoenix, p. 70
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 A Gathering of Thunder, by Rich Wulf
  18. The Gaijin's Guide to Rokugan, Part I
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Day of Thunder
  20. Clan War: Thunder's Challenge, p. 41
  21. Shinsei's Last Hope, Part III, by Rich Wulf
  22. The First Oni
  23. Way of the Phoenix, p. 44
  24. Way of the Phoenix, p. 45
  25. Way of the Phoenix, pp. 6-7
  26. The Final Keeper, Part One, by Rich Wulf
  27. Way of Shinsei, pp. 38-39
  28. Kumitae, by Rusty Priske
  29. Way of the Open Hand, p. 17
  30. The Lost Secret of the Tao
  31. Lands of the Senpet (LBS - Shadow of the Tyrant flavor)
  32. Legend of the Burning Sands Roleplaying Game, p. 226
  33. Blessing of the Prophet (LBS - The Awakening flavor)
  34. The Eleventh Tribe (LBS - The Awakening flavor)
  35. Legend of the Burning Sands Roleplaying Game, p. 92
  36. Legend of the Burning Sands Roleplaying Game, p. 113
  37. Legend of the Burning Sands Roleplaying Game, p. 93
  38. Vision of the End (LBS - The Awakening flavor)
  39. Legend of the Burning Sands Roleplaying Game, p. 263
  40. Shinsei's Tomb (Tomorrow Title)

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