Born: 1088 
Died: Unknown 
Parents: Bayushi Uchinore,
Akodo Tameko 
Titles: Wasp Clan Founder,
Tsuruchi Daimyo,
Head of the Brotherhood of Shinsei

Tsuruchi was the son of a Scorpion and a Lion, who defied both clans to forge his own minor clan, the Wasp Clan. The clan was eventually absorbed by the Mantis Clan and later Tsuruchi joined the Brotherhood of Shinsei becoming Tanari, and later its leader.

Family Edit

Tsuruchi 3


Tsuruchi was the son of Bayushi Uchinore, the cousin to Scorpion Clan Champion Bayushi Shoju, and Akodo Tameko, the daughter of Akodo Ranabe. Their son was named Tsuruchi by his mother, meaning "Little Wasp". [1]

Tsuruchi's Training Edit

Their union was not welcomed by either clan, the Lion because they were publicly mocked with Tameko's dishonor, and the Scorpion because the parents decided to train their son by their own, rather than turn him over to his father's Bayushi relatives. [2] Both clans began plotting to take the castle they resided in. The courts whispered about the "Shame of the Akodo". Meanwhile, Tsuruchi grew up showing amazing skill with kyujutsu. [1]

Fall of Kyuden Ashinagabachi Edit

When Tsuruchi was nineteen, [3] during the New Year's Day [4] of 1107, before Tsuruchi had reached his gempukku, his parents were assassinated. At the same time a Lion army led by his uncle, Tameko's brother, moved towards the castle. It became clear that they intended to take Kyuden Ashinagabachi, and some of the troop stationed there were not loyal to Tsuruchi. Tsuruchi and those loyal killed the disloyal ones, but took heavy damage. By the time his uncle's army arrived he was given a choice between death and surrendering. As Tsuruchi was about to surrender he noticed his uncle reading a message. It was from his uncle's superior, Matsu Kajitoko, ordering the slaughter of Tsuruchi and all those within the castle. Tsuruchi barely escaped, and only seventy men remained with him. [1]

Embracing the Kyujutsu Edit

After such events his faith in the Way of the Samurai and honor code was totally lost. Tsuruchi broke his blade and swore he would not wield another again. From this day Tsuruchi embraced the Kyujutsu as the way to fight.

"I will never again carry the samurai's weapon. For I am samurai no longer."
- Tsuruchi [1]

Gathering his Followers Edit

One of his most trusted lieutenants, Ton, said his lord had gone mad when he knew that Tsuruchi was plotting to reclaim his birthrights. AS the matter could not go further, they agreed to settle the dispute upon an archery contest, shooting arrows each other to first blood, within a circle. Tsuruchi dodged the arrow fired by Ton, and in turn tumbled toward his opponent, cutting his opponent's cheek using an arrow as a melee weapon, and his liutenant conceded defeat. [5]

Wasp Clan Edit

Tsuruchi 1


Two years later, in 1109, Tsuruchi returned to reclaim the castle. He killed his uncle, who had held the castle for the past two years, and all those inside. Tsuruchi knew he would not be able to hold the castle from both clans with his remaining forty-nine men. Instead he approached the Emerald Champion at the time, Doji Tsukihi, and pleaded his case. Luckily the Champion had no love for either of the clans, and both came to the Crane Clan Champion, Doji Utori. Tsukihi declared that the castle would be a permanent garrison for magistrates and under the protection of the Emerald Champion. Tsuruchi, Mukami (his yojimbo) and the remaining soldiers founded the Wasp Clan and took up residence in Tsuruchi's family castle. [1] [6] [7]

Renowned Archer Edit

A half-drunk Kakita Toshimoko once chided Tsuruchi for refusing to pick up the sword. Tsuruchi leveled an arrow at the iaijutsu master's head to show that an arrow could be more perfect than a katana. Qhen a Lion was heard to call Tsuruchi a coward while a Wasp attended the winter court of Isawa Uona, the Wasp challenged the man to a duel, shooting three arrows into the Lion, one in each hand and a third in the foot, rooting him to the spot. [8] It was also known that once Tsuruchi attended an archery contest during a Bon Festival in which the contenders had been magically blind. [9]

Winter Court - 1121 Edit

Tsuruchi attended Winter Court in 1121, participating in the archery contest Bowmen's Wager. He defeated Matsu Agetoki in the final, so the Lion drank from the Cup of Defeat, which contained only water, but ill fortune was rumored to follow those who drink from it. Each year since Tsuruchi received an invitation to the Wager from the Crane, which he declined. [10]

Troubles in the Forbidden City Edit

While the Emperor hosted winter court in Kyuden Seppun during winter 1122-1123, the Miya Daimyo Miya Yoto invited the Three Man Alliance as kanrinin of the Imperial Palace, one of the greatest Imperial Honor a Clan might receive. Yoto's son, Miya Satoshi, despised the ronin and Minor Clan members, and he sought his father's dishonor. Satoshi arranged a number of the barbarian Moto to spend the winter in the Unicorn Guest Home. Yoritomo himself was embroiled, after the Moto requested to share the Kanrinin duties with the Three Man Alliance. The Moto and Minor Clans fought amongst themselves duel after duel in the Ekohikei. When Hantei XXXVIII returned the kanrinin were put to work returning the Forbidden City and Ekohikei back together. [11]

Saving the Emperor's pets Edit

Shortly before the Emperor arrived to the Palace, a group of seagulls, the beloved pets of the Emperor, were released. Tsuruchi grabbed his yumi and several Whistling Bulb Arrows, and standing inside the Karame,just above the open cages, he began loosing arrows into the air. One by one, the gulls plummeted into the Imperial Water Gardens, where they were retrieved by Moto guardsmen. The Emperor found the seagulls dizzy, unable to walk or fly correctly, and Tsuruchi was caught. When it was clear his action had saved the Emperor's pets he was remanded, then released. [12]

Tournament of the Minor Clans Edit

At some point Tsuruchi was the lead judge in the Kyujutsu contest in one of the Tournament of the Emperor's Favored. [13]

Joining the Yoritomo's Alliance Edit

In 1122, [14] at the onset of the Clan War the Mantis Clan Champion, Yoritomo, summoned the leaders of Three Man Alliance, Suzume Yugoki, son of the Sparrow Clan Champion, Ryosei from the Fox Clan, and Tsuruchi from the Wasp. Yugoki made no objection when the other leaders joined the Yoritomo's Alliance, but the scarcity of bushi within the Sparrow Clan forced Yugoki to stand aside. [15]

Phoenix Mission Edit

The Master of Fire Isawa Tsuke visited Tsuruchi, and hired his Bounty Hunters for the search of several powerful artifacts once guarded by the banished Scorpion Clan. [16]

Miya Troubles Edit

In 1126 Tsuruchi was visited by Miya Yumi, cousin of the Miya Daimyo Miya Satoshi. Satoshi recently had ousted his father Miya Yoto to lead the Miya. Yumi told that Satoshi had bargained an alliance with the Emperor's wife, Bayushi Kachiko, that could result in the reorganization of the Scorpion military forces, a disbanded clan since the Scorpion Coup. Ever eager to ruin the plans of the Scorpion, Tsuruchi agreed to aid her. He assigned his majordomo Ashinagabachi Ichiro to guide them towards the Traitor's Grove, so Yumi and her friends might investigate an enigma there. [17]

Shadowlands within the Empire Edit

In 1127 Tsuruchi led a unit of the Yoritomo's Alliance against Shadowlands forces, near the southern Crane border. Despite their small numbers, the combined archers of the Wasp, and shugenja of the Centipede and Fox delayed the oni and goblin horde until the Alliance's main army reached them. His loyal yojimbo Mukami was at his side. [18]

Defeating Yogo Junzo's Army Edit

In winter of 1128 the Yoritomo's Alliance, including Tsuruchi and his archers, defeated in the Battle of Sokustel Forest the Yogo Junzo's Army while the Shadowlands were traveling inside the forest to outflank the massing forces of Rokugan, prior to the assault on the Imperial City and the ensuing Second Day of Thunder. [19]

Absorbed by the Mantis Edit

Many of the Minor Clan samurai who had joined Yoritomo during war were returning to their homes. Tsuruchi, disgusted at the lack of dedication shown by other members of the alliance, threw his lot with Yoritomo. [20] In 1128 the Wasp Clan joined the Mantis Clan and became the Tsuruchi family. [21]

Hidden Emperor Edit

Mantis Magistrates Edit

Tsuruchi 2


Tsuruchi viewed the role of his family as the Mantis Magistrates on those lands yoritomo would conquer, like the Scorpion lands emptied being exiled its former holders; the Lion lands, being the Lion army marching toward Crab lands; the Phoenix and Crane lands, depopulated and unable to defend themselves from external threats such as the Shadowlands. Tsuruchi expected to guard lands uncontrolled by the Great Clans. [22]

Seeking Toturi Edit

In 1132 Yoritomo gave Tsuruchi an Akodo Dagger brought by a spy from outside the clan to help him to find the Hidden Emperor. The spy was probably a kolat minion, because the only lost Akodo Dagger was seen in the hands of Akodo Kage, the uncovered Kolat Master. [23] It was not clear if the kolat were helping the Empire against the Shadow, the opposite, or only playing on both sides. Tsuruchi and Yoritomo Yukue followed the Emperor's trail, [24] disembarked with ten loyal men in Toshi no Omoidoso and marched to the Morikage Forest. Yoritomo had promised to meet them on the far side of the Phoenix lands, to prepare their march to Kyuden Isawa.

Morikage Forest Edit

In the forest they were attacked by Goju who killed his men, and Tsuyu was revealed as a faceless minion of the Nothing. Tsuruchi managed to escape into the forest. [25]

Morikage Castle Edit

Shiro Mori Kage

Mori Kage Castle

When Tsuruchi was fleeing he met with a group of naga who were taking care of a wounded Unicorn. Tsuruchi tried to explain himself and the foes who were chasing him when the Unicorn, Otaku Kamoko awoke. The naga, Balash, Isha, and Malekish were aware of the kind of enemy which was in the forest and provided Tsuruchi with Crystal Arrows. When the minions of the Darkness appeared the Mantis fired at the faceless. After a sudden explosion not far from them, the group retreated to the Mori Kage Castle. [26]

Rescue of Toturi Edit

Inside the castle Tsuruchi saw a shadow and fired at it, only to realize he had wounded the bloodspeaker Jama Suru, who had Otaku Xieng Chi as a hostage. A Goju appeared and tore some shoji screens to ruin, revealing a chained man standing in the center of the room, Toturi I. The minions of the Shadows attacked the Tsuruchi group, and the sorcerer. Suru released Xieng Chi and began to chant, the Otaku released the Emperor from his chains, and the rest fought the Goju. Suru created a hole in the floor of the castle and many Goju fell through it. Xieng Chi was saved from falling to his death by Balash. While the Goju were rallying, Suru, Xieng Chi and Toturi magically departed with a maho spell empowered with Kamoko's blood. Tsuruchi was the last to escape from the castle, and the group survived after they were found by a Mantis patrol led by Yoritomo himself, who had entered the forest with their Ikoma allies to find what had happened to their men. [26] Tsuruchi reported to Yoritomo about the dark activities in the Morikage Castle and the Mantis Clan Champion used it to march with his troops toward Phoenix lands. [27] Strangely, Yoritomo informed Tsuruchi was dead, the reasons remained unknown. [28] The followers of Tsuruchi did not believe it and began to seek him. [29]

Shinjo and Otosan Uchi Edit

Tsuruchi 4


In 1132 the Kami Shinjo and the Empire forces marched to the Assault on Otosan Uchi, and Tsuruchi joined them. When they entered the Imperial Throne room they faced the Champion of the Moon. Tsuruchi stood in the Emperor's window, aiming his bow at the heart of the Moon's avatar [30] but Tsuruchi's arrow did not fly true. [31] The Crystal Arrow he fired had been gifted to Tsuruchi by a spectral guide, who already had advised he had only one chance. [32]

Twenty-Seven Days of Darkness Edit

Onnotangu was dead and Amaterasu had fled the Celestial Heavens, beginning the Twenty-Seven Days of Darkness. In the tenth day Hitomi visited him at Kyuden Ashinagabachi as a sign of destiny. [33]

Wasp Code Edit

Tsuruchi wrote the Wasp Code, a codified form of the behavior that they had already been following since the clan was formed, and given to his followers in 1133, just before he left to fight at the Battle of Oblivion's Gate. [34]

Retirement Edit



Tsuruchi retired from the position of daimyo, taking the name Tanari, at the end of the War Against Shadow in 1133. It was not known to most, but Tsuruchi had been almost crippled from a wound in the war [35] and his choice to step down from leadership was to prevent the Wasp from appearing to have weak leadership. When the Wasp clan was absorbed it put Tsuruchi in a position he never wished. He found himself following orders he sometimes did not believe in, freedom was replaced by politics. Tsuruchi stepped aside because there were others who could do the job better. Tanari decided to seek enlightenment. [36]

The Tsuruchi family constructed a new shrine for Tanari in their lands, the Temple of Kaze-no-Kami. [35] At first, his retirement was quiet, and few knew what had happened to him. Eventually, a ronin loyal to the Wasp named Kagehisa, found him. Kagehisa respected the First Wasp's wish, and kept his secret. [37]

Death of Kaze-no-kami Edit

The temple suddenly came into the spotlight when Fu Leng assaulted the Heavens in 1159 and slew a number of fortunes and minor kami, including Kaze-no-kami himself. Pilgrims came to the temple out of curiosity for a few years, wondering how the Brotherhood would take the change. [35]

Shumai Edit

Another change would come when Tanari was joined in 1165 by Shumai, the man who was once Tsuruchi Ichiro, Tsuruchi's successor to the Tsuruchi leadership. With Shumai taking over more and more of the temple business, Tanari gained more free time, and was able to be more involved with Brotherhood in general. [35]

Head of the Brotherhood Edit

When Shoan died in 1166, shortly after the death of Rosoku, during a bloodspeaker attack to the Ten Thousand Temples, [38] Tanari was made head of the Brotherhood of Shinsei. [35]

K'mee Edit

In 1168 the nezumi K'mee came to see him. She was seeking the man he once was, Tsuruchi, and Tanari explained the changes he had suffered. K'mee told that a building in his former lands housed something that could be a threat to Rokugan. Tanari traveled with her to see what it was. The building was guarded by the gunso Yoritomo Satako and Yoritomo Batei. They did not let them pass until Tsuruchi Fusako, an Emerald Magistrate appeared and requested so. Inside the building was a box which contained a katana. The box had been retrieved from a vessel of the Dark Wave Fleet and put under custody there. K'mee saw Tomorrow on the blade, it would bring Darkness in the future. Fusako would bring it to the Mantis Clan Champion Yoritomo Naizen, and Satako would march with her. After the journey He became friends with K'mee who asked if she could join the Brotherhood, and Tanari accepted her. [36]

Kumitae Edit

This year the pirate Yoritomo Buntaro "discovered" Kumitae, a treatise on the martial arts written by Shinsei himself, and given to Tanari for examination. The Brotherhood determined its authenticity and the Mantis held a tournament to determine who should protect the manual. Kumitae was won by Hida Nichie and was protected by the Crab Clan. [39]

The Empty Throne Edit

In 1169, Tanari sent out a request for an audience with Togashi Satsu. Satsu was unable to attend but Togashi Ieshige went in his place. Upon meeting the ise zumi, Tanari explained that the Brotherhood of Shinsei would support Satsu's bid for the throne as he felt the Empire needed a wise ruler to keep Rokugan out of a state of constant internal conflict. [40] The current Tsuruchi Daimyo Tsuruchi Nobumoto had loobied to endorse Tanari as the Mantis candidate in the Race for the Throne. It was not known his own opinion. [41]

War of Dark Fire Edit

In 1170 Tanari and K'mee arrived to winter court at Kyuden Bayushi. He told to the Empress Iweko I that numerous temples in the rural north had been destroyed in the initial attacks of the War of Dark Fire. Ide Eien offered the Unicorn support and aid to rebuild them. [42]

K'mee's place in the Brotherhood Edit

Tanari was seeking an order which would fit with K'mee, and in 1172 they came to the Temple of Kaze-no-Kami. When they were there, Tanari was not convinced with what he chose. Yoritomo Tadame, a visitor, suggested him which would be the order more convenient for K'mee. [43] K'mee remained in the Temple with Tanari, and she was who had taught him to appreciate the world around him. [44]

K'mee's death Edit

K'mee was the noblest person Tanari had ever known. She aged and when her time came both went to a river where Tanari sang until the little nezumi passed away. [44]

Tanari's death Edit

Years later Tanari returned to the place where he sang the song. Now it was his time, and he had written a scroll with a list of things that he intended for the monks of the Brotherhood. In these last moments it was as if the universe had opened up to him, as if he were enlightened, and died. [44]

See also Edit

External Links Edit

Tsuruchi's Legacy

Tsuruchi's bow

Preceded by:
Tsuruchi Daimyo
1109 - 1133
Succeeded by:
Tsuruchi Ichiro
Preceded by:
Head of the Brotherhood
1166 - ?
Succeeded by:


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Tsuruchi, by John Wick
  2. Way of the Minor Clans, p. 100
  3. Fealty and Freedom, p. 10
  4. Way of the Minor Clans, p. 101
  5. Art of the Duel, p. 75
  6. The Imperial Histories, Part I
  7. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 17
  8. Clan War: Toturi's Army and Yoritomo's Alliance, p. 18
  9. Walking the Way, p. 67
  10. Winter Court: Kyuden Kakita, p. 66
  11. Otosan Uchi:Book 2, pp. 95-96
  12. Otosan Uchi:Book 2, p. 96
  13. Tournament of the Emperor's Favored, by Shawn Carman
  14. Fealty and Freedom, p. 87
  15. Player's Guide: 2nd Ed, p. 72
  16. Coils of Madness, by Robert Denton, Yoon Ha Lee, Seth Mason, & Brian Yoon
  17. Time of the Void, p. 26
  18. Time of the Void, pp. 50-51
  19. Time of the Void, p. 100
  20. Hidden Emperor, pp. 9-10
  21. Legend of the Five Rings; Fourth Edition, p. 217
  22. Clan Letter to the Mantis #5 (Imperial Herald v3 #1)
  23. Prayers and Treasures, p. 133
  24. The Storming of Morikage Castle, Part 1, by Ree Soesbee
  25. The Storming of Morikage Castle, Part 2, by Ree Soesbee
  26. 26.0 26.1 The Storming of Morikage Castle, Part 3, by Ree Soesbee
  27. Clan Letter to the Mantis #6 (Imperial Herald v3 #2)
  28. Clan Letter to the Mantis #11 (Imperial Herald v3 #3)
  29. Tsuruchi's Legion (Ambition's Debt flavor)
  30. War in the Heavens, by Ree Soesbee
  31. War in the Heavens (GenCon 99 Storyline Tournament Results)
  32. Spectral Guide (Fire and Shadow flavor)
  33. Strike At Midnight: The Twenty-seven Days of Darkness
  34. Way of the Samurai, p. 50
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 35.4 Masters of Magic, pp. 63-64
  36. 36.0 36.1 Threat from Tomorrow, by Rusty Priske
  37. Secrets of the Mantis, p. 62
  38. Rebuilding the Temples Storyline tourney
  39. Kumitae, by Rusty Priske
  40. At the Heart of the Empire, by Brian Yoon
  41. On Land and On Sea (The Race for the Throne Book), by Rusty Priske
  42. The War of Dark Fire, Part 2, by Shawn Carman
  43. Scenes from the Empire, by Rusty Priske, Nancy Sauer, & Shawn Carman
  44. 44.0 44.1 44.2 Two Quiet Days, by Rusty Priske

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