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Old 01-17-2009, 07:15 AM   #1
Res
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Default The Hakkenshi of Sand

The Hakkenshi
Believers in the purity of nature



Description

The Hakkenshi have been residents of Wind for ages. They have seen the rise and the fall of many a powerful political figure, throwing their weight around when called for. On the whole, their existence has been a quiet one, tending to the gardens of the country with utmost care – the many gardens of Enkaku are a testament to the skill of their handiwork. The clan is a pious one, harbouring a distinct respect for the environment and the beauty of it in a way no other clan can compete with. As a religious clan, they teach their children to retain an air of dignity and to respect all living things, from the greatest elephant to the smallest ant. Viewing themselves as an order of monks with zeal that is rarely found in modern society, many of the Hakkenshi swear themselves to a life of pacifism and non-violence. All of their internal matters are settled peaceably with discussion and meditation, fellowship and communal resolution. The clan is governed by a table of elders. Four men and three women understood to be the wisest amongst the monks govern everything the Hakkenshi are responsible for.

There are those within the family who have chosen a harder path. They travel to Sunagakure and aspire to become Shinobi, and while this conflicts with the pacifist teachings of the Hakkenshi, they uphold the values of their clan as best as possible. Non-lethal modes of combat are preferred, though if the situation deems it necessary, fatal blows are struck. Roughly a fifth of the Hakkenshi are Shinobi. At all times, one of the clan elders is a trained Shinobi, though at his or her age, is likely to be retired.

Despite being a devout clan, the Hakkenshi do not follow after the typical gods and goddesses of various religions. Instead, they take most devotedly to the three celestial beings of nature from which all things are born.
The Sun, who is seated in the blue sky, clothed in her robes of golden light, blesses the land and inspires the growth of plants. Despite the heat she radiates, her intentions are well meaning. It is through the sun that hope is derived, and from that hope, happiness and joy. When the sun shines, the spirit soars and the soul rejoices.
The Moon, pale complexion hanging in the navy canvas of the night, bears light to those who have lost their way. He hides in the darkest of hours, appearing in full only when he is needed the most – though many consider this to be an omen of ill will. Modesty and humbleness are the observed traits in the moon. When the moon beams, the heart is quieted and calmed.
The Water, flighty adventurer who flows where the earth would will him. The water is the symbol of life, bringing with it springs and pools of nature, rejuvenating a parched land and instilling peace. The true sense of beauty comes from the water, embodied by its crystal depths. The virtue of truth is also sourced by the water, reflected in its pure and gleaming surface in which nothing can be hidden.
The Hakkenshi generally never stray too far from each other in the genetic pool. “Soft” hair colours are predominant in the bloodline. Black, brown, a dirty blonde, occasionally a gentle white are the most common colours; red, golden blonde, and green are rare if not nonexistent. Their clothing refrains from being too flamboyant, revealing, or gaudy. Showy jewellery is discouraged, though plain bangles, wristlets, and anklets are acceptable.

The clan resides within the boundaries of Enkaku. Their clan possesses a district within the city, and much of the open space is comprised of zen gardens for peaceful meditation. The main sector is usually left open for visitors to come through and experience a moment of personal tranquility, though there are private sectors within the district where only members of the Hakkenshi are allowed to enter.

Within the center of the inner hub’s courtyard where only the Hakkenshi are permitted is a special zen garden. Fifty feet by fifty feet, the groundwork is of the smoothest and cleanest sand in the country. Various stones have been placed about in a pleasing pattern, and in the center of the garden is a perfectly circular pond of water (recycled and cleaned regularly) sourced by a natural spring. In the middle of the pond is an island with a single stone, and upon its face is written the names of the eight samurai who founded the clan

Unbeknownst to any outside the Hakkenshi is the secret of the stone: underneath it is a tunnel that drops straight down. A ladder has been attached to the wall for ascending and descending, and at the foot of the ladder is a hollowed out cavern. Jade statues of the founding samurai line the walls of the cavern with four on each side, and at the end of the passage, preserved within a secured glass case, are the entire teachings of the Hakkenshi: a record of their beliefs, an archive of their history, and the volumes of all their techniques. Along with the texts are the treasures of the Hakkenshi: the eight swords of the original samurai to represent the sun, the first rosary ever threaded by a clan member to represent the moon, and the mirror owned by the first woman to bear the Satomi name to represent the water. Together, the sword and rosary and mirror are labelled as the imperial regalia and hold a high spiritual value.

Obviously, information of this vault’s existence is kept in secret.

There exists a branch house within the Hakkenshi, though those of the branch are considered as equals. It is almost as if a branch family does not even exist and that all the members are of the same blood, but for history’s sake, the institution is kept alive. The branch retains the same surname as the main family, though unmarried females within the branch carry their original surname of Satomi. The majority of the Hakkenshi Shinobi come from the branch house, and the only instance in which there is a clear delineation between the main and the branch is in the elders: only main family members can be eligible to join the table of elders.

History

The Hakkenshi once began as eight roving samurai. They travelled across the lands upholding the law as they saw fit, living by their code of bushido to the strictest letter. Though they all carried the same surname, it is unclear as to whether or not they were actually related, or in mere brotherly affection during their journeys changed their names to match. Many rumours revolve around the eight, ranging from legendary clashes with the Seven of Mist to aiding small villages being harassed by lowly bandits. Eventually there came a time when they were forced to settle down and put aside their swords to live the commoner’s life.

Each of them took a wife and fathered children, though they remained as close to each other as they had ever been. Because of their sheer closeness to each other, they were assumed to be a growing clan. However, as time passed, rivalries between the descendants of the eight brothers began to arise. Whose line held the strongest blood, which gods and goddesses possessed the most desirable traits, petty squabbles that led to bloodshed on many occasions tore the Hakkenshi apart. Five of the eight lines joined together while the remaining three were outcasted – it was this group of three that later became the Satomi branch house, though in the end all was resolved. Once the feuding members of the family grew old with age and realized the foolishness of their disputes, the Hakkenshi became one again, though several still carried on the Satomi name. With the clan reunited, they sought to bridge their differences by means of acceptable compromises. For example, they chose to no longer worship the deities of other religions and instead look up to the things they could all agree upon as divine: the sun, the moon, and the water of the land. The Hakkenshi also took on a nonviolent lifestyle, casting aside blades and spears for staffs.

Since then, the Hakkenshi have resided within the country quietly, assisting whenever called upon. With the death of every Kazekage, the clan have had a hand in organizing the funeral ground. In the war against the Suna no Soushoku, the monks have made themselves available to calls for aid. They will continue to serve the country of Wind as they have been doing so for the past generations, humbly providing their services as requested while maintaining the beauty of the land.

The names of the eight samurai (as evidenced in the clan jutsu) in order are…
Musashi, Yoshitou, Masamori, Tanetomo, Tadatomo, Moritaka, Yasuyori

The beads comprising the 8 Bead Rosary are named after the traits each samurai most exemplified. Musashi (Jin) was the most sympathetic and caring towards his fellow man. Yoshitou (Gi) was a man of duty and justice, strongly compelled by the direction of his heart. Masamori (Rei) embodied knowledge, always seeking to gain more intelligence. Tanetomo (Chi) brimmed with wisdom, guiding his actions through the judgment of his mind. Tadatomo (Chuu) represented loyalty and never turned his back on an ally, even to the point of death. Nobumichi (Shin) owned a heart of faith, always believing the best of people before suspecting the worst. Moritaka (Kou) was known for his piety, the only samurai amongst the Hakkenshi who refrained from killing unless it was unavoidable. And finally, Yasuyori (Tei), a man who gained strength from his friends, empowered by their collective spirit and heart.

Abilities

Hakkenshi Clan Member/Satomi Branch Member
Special: When taken as the Primary Archetype, the clan member gains the first stage of Hakkendan for free once they meet the stat requirements.
Primary: Chakra
Secondary: Mental or Physical
Tertiary: Mental or Physical
Stat Merits: +1 Power, +1 Control, +1 Reserves
Stat Flaws: -1 Intelligence, -1 Strength, -1 Speed


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[url=http://narutorp.net/showthread.php?t=43360]Hakkenshi Masahiro[/b]













Note: This clan was inspired by the Japanese epic novel Nanso Satomi Hakkenden – namely the eight samurai. The original concept of the 8 beads (and the virtues they symbolize) comes from the series Hakkenden which itself was inspired by the epic novel.
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Last edited by Kana; 06-13-2017 at 04:02 PM..
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