Winter was a Pillow Book [1] and monogatari [2] of one of the most famous storytellers throughout history, Kakita Ryoku. The novel was quite popular among the ladies in Rokugan, as it detailed some of the famous romances of her time. In addition romance the novel detailed many political strategies, and was considered by many to one of the best books on politics ever written. [3]

Excerpts Edit

A Kitsuki and Ryoku Edit

One part of the novel was about the conversation between a stoic Kitsuki diplomat and Ryoku. Ryoku attempted to make conversations, but was met with only skepticism leading Ryoku to decide that was the last time she would invite a Dragon to Winter Court. [4]

The Most Important Virtue Edit

In another part of the novel, Ryoku described a contest she provoked among the Champions of different clans. The contest's nature was to determine the most important virtue a samurai should possess. Different virtues were named by the Champions of the Crab, Lion and Unicorn, Hida Junuro, Akodo Kyuinjin and Shinjo Yuni respectively, but they were all taken by surprise when the Scorpion Clan Champion Bayushi Ujiro named loyalty the most important virtue. The ensuring scandal was augmented when Ujiro challenged the rest of the Champions to a test of the loyalty of their yojimbo. In the test, every daimyo should call his yojimbo and, one by one, order them to perform an action that Ujiro would set by example. Junuro, Kyuinjin and Yuni accepted, and discovered to their terror that the order Ujiro gave to his yojimbo Bayushi Shunsen was the order of killing him. Without doubt, Shunsen killed Bayushi Ujiro and then took his own life, leaving all those gathered terrified. [5]

The Game Edit

In other chapter, Asako Otogi's yojimbo was the last to recitea tale in the Game of One Hundred Candles. As he reached out a hand to extinguish the last candle a shadowy claw above the Shiba reached down in attack. The yojimbo drew his sword, and his swift action revealed the “hand” to be nothing more than the shadow of a spider on the candle. [6]


  1. Otosan Uchi:Book 1, p. 68
  2. Book of Void, p. 129
  3. Way of the Crane, p. 68
  4. Way of the Dragon, pp. 12-13
  5. Way of the Scorpion, pp. 15-17
  6. Book of Void, p. 179

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