Note: Hanako is based on our own fictional rendition of the Sengoku Period (16th century Japan). The legend goes much deeper than it appears; more will come over time and the rest will be up to you to paint.
It’s a time of warrior’s, people fighting for honor, love, greed, and above all the future of a
nation. In this time friends become enemies, enemies become brothers and every day is a
good day to die for lord and country.
The Shogun dies and the land is split between many Daimyo rising for power, but
two clans slowly rise to the top. To the West of the capital rises the Yamai. Through
violence and bloodshed they make their way through the other warlords’ territories
slaughtering hundreds along their path. Holding no oaths to the sacred samurai code of
bushido they throw aside honor for victory. The nation will be renewed and if war is what
it takes the Yamai will bring it. They will bring this whole country to its knees in fire and
ashes and rebuild it if necessary.
East of the capital rises a noble clan, Hanako, renowned for unifying the Daimyo
together striving for a strong nation under the current Emperor. Upon hearing news of
what was transpiring in the West, the Hanako clan starts reaching out further trying to
unify the East faster in an attempt to meet and stop the Yamai. A new country cannot be
built on blood and violence. We should strive to build a nation as one.
As the two forces grew it became clear that there would be no way to avoid a
conflict between them. Unfortunately, the Yamai were closer to the current capital and
could make haste to bring siege to Kyoto. Fearing what tragic fate could await their great
Emperor the Hanako clan unified its strength and raced towards the capitol. With luck on
their side they made it in time to aid their Emperor and bolster his forces. The Yamai were
violent but not without craft, they had anticipated someone might come to aid the Emperor
and sent in spies long ago to infiltrate the city. The Hanako clan had heard of the Yamai’s
use of dishonorable tactics but never did they think the Yamai would go so far. The city
would fall, but not before the Lord of the Hanako clan begged his Emperor to flee. He would
stay behind to give him time enough to flee to safety.
These words humbled his Emperor. For such loyal subjects deserve such loyalty
back. He commanded the Hanako clan lord to flee the city, but he refused. He commanded
again, but still he refused. He commanded once more even threatening treason, but still the
lord refused to leave his Emperor behind. Seeing his loyal subjects resolve the Emperor
went over and grabbed a scroll with an attached medallion. He wished for the Lord of clan
Hanako to take up the title as the new Shogun of the Emperor. The lord humbly accepted
the title as the new Shogun. Upon learning this Hanako clan fought with a renewed energy,
but still the damage was done and Kyoto would eventually be taken.
Seeing what the future should hold if the Yamai were to win the Emperor made a
decision. He called in his new Shogun and told him to take his clan back to the West. The
lord refused, but this time the Emperor told him he must. If the country was to survive the
Hanako clan was its only hope. Only through unifying the rest of the clans and eliminating
the Yamai could his country reach peace. The lord was not surprised by his Emperor’s great
scope of vision and insight for his country. The lord had but one question if the Emperor
were to stay behind and the Yamai one day defeated who would then rule the country?
Seeing his vassal’s concern brought a small smile to his face. He told the lord that Hanako
would serve as the protectors of his single greatest gift, his two sons, who upon re-entering
Kyoto after the Yamai were driven back could reclaim the throne and bring a new age of
order and peace.
With that the Hanako clan fell back, taking the two young princes with them. The
Yamai took Kyoto thinking it victory, but upon only finding the corpse of the late Emperor
they were enraged. The princes had escaped and they could only assume to where. The
Yamai could never fully claim the throne as long as the princes lived and so they vowed to
kill them and eradicate the Hanako clan for helping them. They have retreated for now but
only to ready themselves for the long march ahead.
The Hanako clan made it back and healed their wounds. They took the princes in
and began teaching them their way of life. The type of life that made them so respected
among most of the clans and Daimyo in the East. They are preparing, preparing to unify the
East once more and carry out the final wishes the late Emperor passed on to his Shogun. To
retake the old capitol, return the princes to the throne and above all eliminate the Yamai
from their nation.
War between these two great clans is once again inevitable. Old wounds revisited,
honor to be restored, glory to be had and the future of a nation within their hands. Who will
be victorious Yamai – Shinigami of War or Hanako – Soul of the Samurai…
Colors: Dark Red, White and Gold
Location: Near Mt. Yari
Symbol: [coming soon]
Overview: The Hanako are known for their devout practice of Bushido, the Samurai’s code of honor. They are the official Shogunate of Japan, and sworn protectors of the Emperor, peace and nature. They revere the sakura tree and cultivate beautiful trees despite frigid conditions up in the mountains. Many believe these trees to be sacred; with healing abilities to those meditating in their presence.
The shogun made a pact with the Emperor that Edo would remain safe, and they would defend Japan with honor against the Yamai. The Emperor considers the Hanako Clan to be the yin of Japan, and the Yamai the yang. This refers to their polar opposition of beliefs and approaches to war and self-cultivation.
Colors: Black, Green and Bronze
Location: Southwest Shiga Prefecture to the east of Kyoto.
Symbol: [coming soon]
Overview: The Yamai are known as the scourge of Japan. After almost single-handedly defeating nearly all of the Sengoku Era clans, they have left southwestern Japan as a war-torn land of depression and brutality. The Yamai’s reputation is one of terror, intimidation and blatant disregard of Bushido. They do whatever is necessary to be victorious, and retreat like cowards if they’re unable to win.
The Yamai Clan have a bitter hatred for the Hanako Clan due to their offering of refuge to the Emperor after word of invasion spread and Kyoto was too dangerous to remain the capital. Where the Yamai have traveled is obvious by the burned, scorched terrain and lack of life. Commoners in the north that are out of reach due to the Hanako-Matsumoto alliance refer to the Yamai as the “scourge of Japan.”
Colors: Orange, Black and Silver
Location: On the east end of the Nagano prefecture, to the west of Edo.
Symbol: [coming soon]
Overview: The Matsumoto Clan are a small clan that managed to survive the scourge of the Yamai. The Matsumoto are known as fierce warriors that strive for balance. They believe that Bushido is a great guideline but there certain circumstances where one must do what is necessary. Due to this, there have been clashes in the past with their neighbors to the west, the Hanako, who believe all Samurai should adhere strictly to Bushido.
After the Emperor awarded the Shogunate to the Hanako, a quick alliance with the Matsumoto was made since they are only a day or two of travel apart. This allowed for two points of stout defenses against the Yamai should they attempt to invade the North and attempt to siege Edo, the new Capital.