According to Shinsei, once every thousand years the Champion of Ningen-do must face the Champion of Jigoku on the Day of Thunder to determine whether the next thousand years would be a Thousand Years of Peace or a Thousand Years of Darkness. The ten centuries until 1128 had been a Thousand Years of Peace, but only in a certain sense of the word.
The term peace might seem a vast overstatement considering the countless wars between clans that had been fought in the last thousand years. But these civil wars, and even the rise and fall of Iuchiban, paled in comparison to the battle against a Kami, Fu Leng. Historians used the phrase peace to show how close the fledging empire came to being unmade by the Dark Lord; that every war since the first Day of Thunder was nothing when compared to the power of Fu Leng. 
Cold War Edit
The Shadowlands was a constant threat outside Rokugan's borders. However, most creatures were content to stay within and there had only been a few major invasions of the Empire, such as the Battle of the Cresting Wave. On the other hand, any large scale invasion of the Shadowlands by the Clans had been disastrous. It was impractical to station an army near the Black Finger River and too costly for the empire to manage, an idea greatly supported by Crane and Otomo Courtiers trying to stop the Crab Clan from gaining power. Without Fu Leng's physical presence, the horde was undirected and unfocused. Until Fu Leng was restored, the Shadowlands was content to wait as it gained more allies and seeped slowly into the Empire. 
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