Toturi Kurako 
Toturi Kurako 
Born: Unknown 
Died: 1169 
Spouse: Toturi III 
Children: None 
Titles: Empress of Rokugan,
Toturi Daimyo

Toturi Kurako, formerly of the Akodo, was the wife of Emperor Toturi III. Following the Emperor's death in 1168 she ruled the Empire until the Emperor's will could be found and read, however the ambitious attack on the capital by the Unicorn Clan Champion in 1169 cut short her life.

Early Years Edit

Kurako inherited epilepsy, and fearful that her condition might cause her death on the battlefield, as it had for her father, Kurako's mother arranged for her to be trained as an Omoidasu. She soon became one of the most respected students of her dojo. Her rendition of the epic Night of Falling Stars was so touching that she was summoned to Toturi I's Winter Court to recite it, and was rewarded with a Standing Invitation. [1]

From youth to Empress Edit

Kurako was a soft and nice child. She was formed mainly by the Ikoma family, but also followed a part of the Akodo training, making her a skilled warrior with a keen mind and vast knowledge. Her enchanting voice and story-telling ability were undeniable gifts, and made her looked-for future wife. Impassioned by the lives of past heroes, she was regularly pushed by her to sensei to achieve greatness, and not only remember it.[citation needed]

Imperial Bride Edit

Akodo Kurako

Akodo Kurako

In 1165 when the emperor Toturi III looked for a wife, he asked each family of the Lion Clan to present him someone. The Ikoma Daimyo Ikoma Sume proposed Akodo Kurako, in order to honor both the Akodo Family and the Ikoma School; [2] the Matsu was Matsu Aoiko, the Kitsu was Kitsu Dejiko, and the Akodo, already represented by Kurako, proposed Matsu Kenji. Naseru tasked Miya Shoin to find the more suitable between the four. Otomo Taneji arrived at Shiro Akodo and sneaked himself in the castle's library were Kurako was studying several military and martial books. Taneji was greatly impressed by the Lion, being educated, clever, and unafraid to speak her mind. The rest of courtiers were also impressed by their counterparts, Matsu Aoiko, Matsu Kenji and Kitsu Dejiko. Instead of weeding out the unworthy candidates, Shoin was merely able to find four more than acceptable choices. [3]

Emperor's Bride Edit

Charmed by Kurako's intelligence and manner, Toturi III chose Kurako in 1165. The Crane Clan gifted her with the recovered Empress' Seal, lost decades ago, and in return Naseru appointed the Crane to train the new Empress' Guard, being Doji Reju his leader. [4]

Empress Edit

In 1166 Kurako was married in a secret ceremony by Hantei Naseru, the Emperor Toturi III, in Ryoko Owari, within the Toku's Shrine, the night before the temple was opened to public. It was presided over by Seppun Kiharu, master of Toshi Ranbo's Ten Thousand Temples, witnessed by Yasuki Hachi, the Emerald Champion. It was not informed in advance to the Imperial Court and Naseru did it in the opening ceremony of the temple. The bold move surprised the members of the Gozoku who believed the emperor could not act without being aware of it. [5]

Fighting the Gozoku Edit

Kurako was shocked by those who undermined her husband's authority. She denounced several Gozoku sympathizers for their past dishonorable actions and ruining their reputations. Naseru embraced Kurako as an ally. [2]

Rosoku's Legacy Edit

This year shortly after the death of the descendant of Shinsei, Rosoku, at the hands of the Bloodspeaker Shukumei, Asahina Sekawa, the Jade Champion, was proven to be enlightened, and became the Keeper of the Five Rings. Sekawa had found the last book in a way it showed that Shinsei continued to guide the Empire even in death. Naseru proclaimed him the Master of Enlightenment in a ceremony at Toshi Ranbo. [6]

Topaz Championship - 1167 Edit

In 1167 Kurako was witnessing the Topaz Championship. During the event the Crane Clan Champion's wife, Doji Akiko was accused of treason and Gozoku membership in presence of the Emperor by Ikoma Masote. She was killed by her husband, Doji Kurohito. [7]

The Vacant Throne Edit

This year an ambassador from the Shadowlands, Daigotsu Soetsu, had been attended at Court and received as a guest in Scorpion lands. [8] Following the Emperor had entered into seclusion. [9]

The Wanderer Edit

Toturi III decided that he must seek Enlightenment, as it had become apparent that many others had found it and departed disguised the Imperial Palace [10] after he told it to Kurako. [11] The Empress and the Imperial Chancellor Bayushi Kaukatsu oversaw the Imperial Court in his absence. [12] Kurako and the Jade Champion Asahina Sekawa knew the disguised Emperor was wandering the Empire but kept the secrecy of it. [13]

Shogun's forces Edit

Shogun's forces arrived to defend the capital until the Emperor emerged. After the return in 1168 to the capital of the Emerald Champion Yasuki Hachi, he was summoned by the Empress and requested to remove the shogun's forces from the Imperial City. [12]

Court knows the Truth Edit

Shortly after Zin'tch, the nezumi ambassador to the court, urgently requested a meeting, where he explained to the Empress and the Imperial Court that a nezumi scout had recognized the scent from a rice ball that a wanderer had thrown in the Twilight Mountains when walking south. Zin'tch confirmed it was Naseru's scent so Toturi III was in danger, journeying alone into the Shadowlands. The Jade Champion Asahina Sekawa guessed Naseru was seeking the Tomb of the Seven Thunders and Hachi began to assembly a scouting party to find the Emperor. [12]

Protector of the Imperial CityEdit

Toturi Kurako 2

Toturi Kurako

In 1167, the Emperor left on his search for enlightenment and the Shogun moved his forces into the Imperial City to "better protect it". Kurako did not trust the Shogun Kaneka, and declared in 1168 that the defunct position of Protector of the Imperial City should be resurrected. While the necessity of the position is questioned by some there were no-one willing to pass up the opportunity to gain the Empress' favor, and therefore laid their support behind one of the four candidates the Empress nominated. The Imperial Advisor Doji Tanitsu counseled against this course of action. He also warned the Imperial Chancellor Bayushi Kaukatsu was an adversary, and about the Khan Moto Chagatai's ambitions. She did not follow Tanitsu's advices. [14]

Chosen Protector Edit

During Winter Court at Kyuden Otomo Kurako chose Bayushi Norachai as Protector. [15]

Fuzake family Edit

Kurako knew the Khan was approaching and not all of the clans stood against him. Norachai had requested troops to defend the capital but few Clans answered. Following Kaukatsu's counsel she took Toku Haruka of the Fuzake family as her personal attendant, and promoted the Fuzake from the position of a vassal family to a full second family within the Monkey Clan. [16] Kurako returned to Toshi Ranbo shortly thereafter. [17]

The Khan's Assault Edit

In 1169 the Khan began his assault upon the Imperial Capital. Kurako at this point had forced all but five hundred of Kaneka's troops away from the city. With the arrival of the Akodo army Kurako suggested Kaneka's presence was no longer needed in the city. Kaneka tried to convince her otherwise, but was not successful. [18]

Death Edit

In 1169 during the Battle of Toshi Ranbo the Empress heard the commotion just outside of the palace and grew despondent. She never trusted the Empress' Guard, as they were mere Crane and not proper Lion warriors. She believed they were no match for the Unicorn invaders. [19] Kurako committed seppuku to prevent the Khan Moto Chagatai from capturing her. Her body was discovered by Norachai. [20]

External Links Edit

Preceded by:
Toturi III
Empress of Rokugan (Regent)
1168 - 1169
Succeeded by:
Iweko I
Preceded by:
Toturi III
Toturi Daimyo
1168 - 1169
Succeeded by:
Toturi Shigekawa


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