Legend of the Five Rings Aftermath
Emerald Champion, Crane Champion, Doji Shizue's "father".
Satsume is quick and deadly in combat. He is the epitome of honor. He is hard and uncompromising. He has to be. He has Lions and Scorpions to deal with. He has a strong sense of history.
Satsume was never considered a handsome man, but his face had always been full of vigor and life. Once, during his tenure as the Emperor’s guard, there was a ninja infiltration of the palace. In defense of the Emperor, Satsume was badly injured. This injury healed, leaving a strange scar running from his eyebrow to the corner of his mouth. The half-grin this scar created is where Satsume has acquired his nickname (especially from Scorpions) of the “Grinning Crane”. He treats it as a badge, a reminder of his loyalty to the Emperor and his own fighting ferocity.
Satsume’s long hair has been traditionally dyed white and sharply contracts with his dark, almost black eyes. He is not a tall man, standing only slightly over 5’6", but his bulky frame is covered in tight muscles and his strength belies his stature.
He walks bow-legged from the long rides on horseback he did in his youth. His stride is still purposeful and direct, as is his speech. His voice is sonorous, but harsh, and carries with it a hint of threat. His eyes are narrow and clouded, as if he has seen some great evil and fears to look upon the world again. But you can be certain: not only is he aware, he is calculating your every move.
Satsume is the Champion of the Crane Clan, and has the honor of being the Emperor’s personal champion. He was trained at both the Daidoji Iron Warrior’s School and Kakita Dueling Academy. He is considered the best swordsmen in the empire, even if his personal style appears ruthless at times.
He was a reticent child, thoughtful and quiet. The only things to pique his interest was hunting and war. His father would regularly take him out into the woodlands near the Doji palace. Even then, he was aware of his responsibilities as heir. He took the Crane idea, “Take each action as if it were your last” very seriously.
He served on the Daidoji line against the Lion, keeping the Akodo legion at bay while his father warred with them. He personally slew the Daimyo of the Ikoma house in single combat when he was sixteen, and has had the hatred of the Lions to contend with ever since.
At twenty-one he bested his father, Doji Shuai, in the tournament for the Emerald Champion. He is the youngest Champion to ever take the position, in which he still serves today.
Although he once was able to perform both tasks as the Emerald Champion and Doji daimyo, the Clan Wars have caused Satsume to rely more and more on his son, Doji Hoturi, to maintain the daily maintenance of the Doji family. He only hopes his happy-go-lucky son is ready for the challenges.
At just a few years shy of 60, many have questioned why Satsume has not retired yet. Sasume isn’t ready to let go of the reins until he is certain of his clan’s future.
Requested to marry Kakita Teinko, his one true love and her parents were more than happy to oblige their Champion’s request. Although she did not return his love, she performed the duties of the daimyo’s first wife with flair and honor, giving him no reason to mistrust. She gave birth to two sons, Hoturi and Kuwanan.
When Satsume’s brother, Doji Ichihara, died in combat and his sister-in-law died in childbirth, Teinko begged her husband to allow her to raise the orphaned girl (having wished for a daughter herself). The Crane Champion adopted the baby, Doji Shizue, though he had little use for the crippled girl and paid her no attention. Teinko, on the other hand, doted upon her and taught her many skills, including stories of the past. She spent most of her time with her three children, teaching them skills of the Kakita Artisans and helping them see the world through a Crane’s eyes. They were the center of her life.
Satsume ha no time for his children while they were growing up. He had a clan to run, Lions and Crab to defend against, and Scorpion plots to uncover. It wasn’t until his wife’s death seven years later that he took notice of his children again. He could see the spirit of the woman he loved in their eyes, and thought they perhaps were the only ones who understood the depth of his grief. He has not remarried in the many years since, and every year travels to the seashore and watches the setting sun alone to commemorate her faithfulness and his love.
Outwardly, Satsume respects both of his sons and teaches them the ways of the Empire and their duty. Inwardly, he has concerns about his elder son’s ability to lead. He does not respect the life Hoturi chooses to live and hopes that his son becomes more serious before he accepts the mantle of the Crane Champion. He criticizes him in private and demands to see greater prowess from his son’s swordsmanship. When he see’s Hoturi with the ladies, he makes a point of deriving his activities as a waste of time. This is not due to hatred, but because he loves his son very much and believes this is the only way to forge him into a warrior.
His younger son, Kuwanan has spent time training with the Hida and has proven to be a tough fighter and resourceful strategist – much like his father. He is the apple of his father’s eye. Though never said in public, often Satsume regrets that Kuwanan was not the eldest child.