Sendai and Chikakuji

A nation weaker than all but Maze, ruled by the Feline. The current system of government is Imperialist Monarchy, with an Emperor or Empress as Head of State. Its military is only ahead of Maze, as the Yamahanese Army and Navy. It geographically shares a large continent with the Territory of the Ravens. Similar to Earth's medieval Japan.
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Sendai and Chikakuji

Post by Madame »

READ THIS FIRST: The following is an extensive article detailing the city of Sendai and the main temple thereof. This article is NOT necessary information. Even if you are creating a Yamahan character from Sendai, you do NOT need to read this article. This article is only for those of who are interested.

Sendai, the Ikedas and Chikakuji
Sendai is a farming town in the mid-west of Yamaha originally known for its large mustelid population, its nearby spring and little else. Situated in one of the few natural clearings in the vast jungles of the big cat country, Sendai was founded by twenty or so settlers moving out from the larger cities in search of ‘the simple life’, among them a sable family named Ikeda.

Chikakuji or "Blood Pavilion" (a.k.a. Ikeda Temple to most outsiders who have difficulty pronouncing the temple's true name) was originally named for its bright red tiled roofs and the sacrifices the Ikedas made to build it for the town, though in later years it became a reference to the yakuza living and running it -- was built in the center of the town. It was by far the grandest of the buildings in the relatively poor area and it was also the only structure large enough to draw any attention from the outside world. It started out as a simple main hall with a bell, cemetery and wooden fence. Through the years as the Ikedas acquired their mysterious fortune, however, other structures were gradually added.

As it stands now, Chikakuji, painted mainly in red, black and gold, as per the family colors, consists of a magnificent main gate that faces north along with two smaller gates facing east and west on their respective walls, a main hall that has been greatly expanded to include living quarters, a lecture hall where most of the town meetings are held, a three story pagoda to store historical, as well as religious relics, a larger bell designed by Masahiko Katori, one of the foremost Yamahan bell-makers, a much expanded cemetery and a private well.

The citizens of Sendai, however, have always had mixed feelings in regard to the temple and the Ikeda family that keeps it, largely because it is well known that ‘those dirty Ikedas practice cross-species breeding’ and that the hybrids house more than just themselves and sacred relics within the temple walls. It’s also known that way back, one of the Ikedas’ Main House dared to take up relations with a skinned avian. The only reason the (then) sable/avian family wasn’t ostracized was because of their black market dealings that kept the temple and the town of Sendai itself from falling into disrepair, if not disrepute.

Another interesting feature of the Ikeda family, as it was noted by older town folk was that the family did not age as the rest of the ‘natural’ community did. Ikeda children were still children when most of their peers were entering late middle age and local legend held that the Ikedas made a pact with a demon in return for their unnatural long lives. No one ever bothered to suggest that it might be the avian blood in the family that was to ‘blame’; a deal with a devil was much more interesting to relate when gossip was slow.

Regardless, whether by demonic intervention or their own cleverness, the Ikedas eventually took hold of all aspects of Sendai life and it was Ikeda Katsu and his wife Ikeda Aya who first launched the family from simple black market traders to full-fledged yakuza. In the early years, loan sharking, killing demonstrations and taxing the townsfolk for ‘protection’ were commonly used as intimidation tactics. However, as successive generations of yakuza continued these deplorable deeds, the peasants grew restless. An outright revolt was barely avoided when the peasants’ leaders, a pair of ferrets named Monaitto, were assassinated.

Though they fell quiet, the Ikedas realized their peasants were never going to be silenced completely again. When the current leader, Ikeda Rin took over the family business fully not long after, she decided to try a different tact. Instead of exploiting the peasants in such a blatant way as her ancestors had (and as she had when younger), the hybrid decided to gain the creatures of Sendai’s trust and then manipulate them to suit her purposes. It worked perfectly.

By extending a paw of friendship rather than brandishing a sword, Rin found most of the townsfolk willing to offer their diverse services freely that they might profit themselves from the activities of the yakuza outside Sendai’s borders. There were still illicit activities within the town, especially the Temple, but no one tried to stop them because it was much better to have happy, friendly yakuza using your town as their base of operations than angry, vengeful yakuza pillaging and plundering your village to service only themselves.

Thus is Sendai as it stands today in the medieval realm of Feila.
"It's hard to argue against cynics - they always sound smarter than optimists because they have so much evidence on their side."
~Molly Ivins (R.I.P.)

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