Legend of the Five Rings Aftermath
Like all Clans, the Crane were wounded to their very core by the first war against Fu Leng. When Shinsei came to the lands of the Crane Clan to gather Doji Yasurugi to be one of his Thunders, the young warrior accepted without hesitation. For the simple act of being named by Shinsei as a hero of the mortal race, Yasurugi was rewarded with death by a demon assassin sent by Fu Leng to stop the Little Teacher’s plans. As Kakita and Doji watched in horror, even after the assassin was destroyed, their first son bled to death on the floor before them. All was not lost, however, as Yasurugi’s twin sister, Konishiko, picked up her fallen brother’s blade and proclaimed that his spirit lived on within her and within his sword. The tale of Doji Yasurugi is a definitive one for the spirit of the Kakita family, as it emphasizes the family’s dedication to hope, honor, and the blade. Even in the darkest times, the spirit of the Kakita family is that of searching for hope and worth in everything.
Outside of the Crane, the Kakita are known primarily as swordsmen due to their founder and the powerful Kakita Dueling Academy. Possibly the largest and easily the most prestigious school of swordplay in Rokugan, the Kaita Academy teaches the ancient secrets of Kakita’s own technique – a style as old as the Empire. Kakita was a humble and multi-faceted man and even though he is known primarily for his skill with the blade, he also practiced the arts of crafting and other peaceful pursuits. In Kakita’s image, the family consider themselves artisans and not necessarily warriors, even those who study the way of the sword to the near exclusion of all other things. They take every endeavor as seriously as any samurai’s sworn duty, and as a result excel in whatever they apply themselves to.
The Kakita have a rivalry with the Matsu family that spans back to the dawn of the Empire when Kakita and Matsu faced one another in the First Emperor’s tournament. Kakita watched from a distance and Matsu defeated then humiliated every opponent that rose to challenge her, and just before Akodo’s vassal was declared the champion, Kakita emerged to duel her himself. Kakita’s prowess was easily enough to overcome Matsu, who had severely underestimated the little man, and as punishment for Matu’s poor treatment of her previous competitors, Kakita insulted her by refusing to acknowledge her at all once the duel was over. The insult has not been forgotten by either side to this day, and the rivalry has grown to involve both the entire Lion and Crane Clans at times.
While not as extravagant as their Doji cousins, the kaita also place great emphasis on their personal appearance. They do not often bleach their hair as other Crane do. Kakita are lithe and graceful in their appearance, the most elegant predators.