Fans and Blades
Togashi (Tsuru) Seigi
Clan: The Dragon Clan
Name: Togashi Seigi
School: The Togashi Tattooed Order
– Ascetic (136): 3
– Dark Secret (158): 4
– Driven (159): 2
– Fascination (160): 1
Tsutomo was a child when he first met someone bearing his own name. A wounded Ronin, having assisted his family, was taken in while he healed. The two Tsutomo’s quickly formed a strong relationship, and spent much time together while the elder Tsutomo healed. The younger Tsutomo, witnessing the forms practiced by the elder began to copy them. When this was seen, the elder Tsutomo encouraged the practice, and for the next several weeks, when the younger Tsutomo could find time in his busy farming schedule, the two could often be seen practicing – Tsutomo-san healing and Tsutomo-chan learning.
The time came when Tsutomo-san, however, had healed enough that he took his leave. Tsutomo-chan was heartbroken. Tsutomo-chan, however, thought he could see that Tsutomo-kun also felt some strain at his need to part ways. However, he promised to return.
And return he did. For much of the next decade, Tsutomo-san would visit whenever possible. Often it would be overnight, but less often it would be for several days – even several weeks on two occasions. Tsutomo-chan was always glad to see him. It was during these visits that he learned that Tsutomo the elder was not simply a traveller – but was actually his namesake. The younger brother of his mother. Just prior to his sixteenth birthday, and 3 weeks before his arranged marriage, Sensei (the two had formalized Tsutomo-kun’s training) Tsutomo again returned – more somber this time. With Tsutomo-kun and Tsutomo-kun’s father both present, Sensei Tsutomo Tsutomo-kun’s mother told him the story of their family’s disgrace. A story that Tsutomo-kun’s father had apparently been told before.
Tsutomo’s mother and uncle had previously belonged to a major clan family. Upon the death of their father, however, a corrupt member of the Dragon Clan, an investigator of the Kitsuki family, used his influence to make false accusations against Tsutomo-sama and his family. The honor and knowledge of the accuser was well-known and Tsutomo’s mother and her brother were cast out of their family. After some time they assumed different names and made the lifestyles for themselves that Tsutomo-kun currently knew. Tsutomo-san made it known that he sought to restore his honor. He indicated that the false accuser was still living and that he wanted justice – though he stopped short of indicating that he wished for revenge. He, after all, was more honorable than his false accuser.
Despite this knowledge, Tsutomo-kun still had a peasant’s farm to run. Indeed, Tsutomo would admit that he rather liked farming and was known for constant experimentation and the learning of possible new techniques from travellers or neighbors (Fascination). He married, as was expected, and had several children. His marriage was satisfactory if loveless, and he truly adored his children. They also knew the wandering Tsutomo-sama, who still visited, though they were never told the story. Tsutomo knew that his wife would be displeased if she knew dishonor had touched the family. Tsutomo, known for his generosity and good nature, was smiled at for one peculiar practice – he could often be seen, when other farmers were resting in the hot sun, balancing on his leg, leaping through the air, twirling a fanciful but strong cane of bamboo through the air, or various combinations of each. More than his peers, Tsutomo stayed lean and lithe even as his years advanced.
Many years later, Tsutomo’s wife became ill and died. The couple had cared for one another in their own way, and Tsutomo experienced significant grief at her passing. Tsutomo’s children, one son and two daughters, lived nearby where they had also married into peasant families and worked on their own farms. Tsutomo’s mother, though old, still lived with him, his father having passed more than a decade ago. It was shortly after his wife’s death that Sensei Tsutomo returned for the final time. He weepingly admitted that he had failed in his quest to bring honor to the family and asked that he be allowed to live his remaining years with Tsutomo the younger and his sister – Tsutomo’s mother. Tsutomo-kun, feeling grief for his Uncle’s predicament and tired of the powerlessness to change such an injustice, immediately granted the wish of his Uncle, but also spent two nights on a nearby mountain to simply think. Upon returning, Tsutomo made arrangements for the upkeep of his farm. His children would participate in its maintenance and the sharing of all that it produced while every need of his mother and uncle would be provided. Though confused and begging for answers, Tsutomo answered none. Tsutomo, however, did speak to his uncle on the morning of his leaving, telling him his intentions. Tsutomo-kun was going to join a monestary. But not just any monestary. He would be travelling to join the Togashi Monestary – one of the few schools that allowed all to join – of the Dragon Clan. He would continue his uncle’s quest for justice from within the clan that had betrayed his Uncle. He further told his uncle that as he felt he had no honor to protect, he would settle for revenge if justice could not be meted to his satisfaction (Driven). Thus, the 49-year-old farmer, after having packed a lunch but little else (Ascetic), set off for his first day of school.
Upon his arrival at the Togashi Monestary in the North, as was custom, Tsutomo adopted a new name, but eschewed the tradition of the peasant adopting a clan name, instead choosing Tsuru Seigi, an esoter equally respected by the monks. However, his bare torso and two tattoos make it known to all that he is a member of the Togashi Tattooed Order.
note: “Esoter” is an informal use of ‘Esoteric’ as a noun.
Tsuru, Seigi: Seigi – "Justice” in English. “Sei” of the first character means “right “, and “Gi” of the second character means “morality”.