|The Morikano Family|
of the Ryoshun Shogunate
Uedanabe, Central Yamahisa
Head of Family
Daimyo Morikano Ayumu
Morikano family records track their descent from the legendary ronin Masaru, who travelled the land battling gods and armies both. The first verified Morikano ancestors, on the other hand, appear in 880, as samurai in the service of an aristocrat house in the city of Kuroka. Their bravery in battle had earned them small lands in Uedanabe, near to where their stronghold still stands today. Morikano of the time were considered 'simple but honourful', 'barely above peasants in their intellect, as stubborn as mules and as loyal as hounds' by their noble masters - typical views of the samurai class of those days.
After a failed rebellion in 1010, the noble house fell to ruin and the Morikano were left without a master. However, determined not to live the lives of dishonourable ronin, the Morikano seized the lands originally given them by the aristocrats and sent a delegation to the current Emperor, returning successfully with an official proclamation.
The Morikano - now a growing Clan - would lead a secluded life for the next three decades. Excursions into their territory by Kuroka or the petty aristocrats were soundly defeated, though an attack in 1027 set fire to their holdings, forcing them to rebuild at the current location on the slopes. These forces were often small, poorly-trained and equipped and made up of levied peasantry, but that did little to dissuade tales of Morikano skill in battle and bravery. In 1039, the Morikano were approached by another young independent samurai clan, the Kenzuki, to forge an alliance that would remain for a hundred years.
Time of TroublesEdit
In 1051, Emperor Mitsuku died, leaving the throne for his unpopular niece. Overnight, Nihon went up in arms. The Year of A Thousand Fires begun, and with it the balance of power changed forever. To combat the rebelling noble houses, the young Empress called upon the growing samurai class, including the Morikano Clan. Driven by an Imperial mandate, they set out from their secluded stronghold and laid siege to Kuroka, sacking and burning it after it surrendered - a fact Morikano records like to forget. A similar campaign of brutality followed, the petty lords of the area subjected to torture and humiliation before being executed. In a matter of years, central Yamahisa was theirs. These actions would lead to a multitude of resentment and rebellion in the following century.
Linking up with their Kenzuki allies and the samurai of the Yusawa Clan, the Morikano continued to advance into southern Yamahisa between 1059 and 1070, eventually splitting ownership between the three. In the north, however, they were stymied by samurai loyal to the aristocrats. While they would eventually be defeated with Imperial aid in the Battle of Nishimura in 1069, the region was never fully brought under Morikano control, and they were forced to abandon it to rebellion shortly afterwards.
In 1072, the civil war finally ended. The nobles were defeated, their powers and priviledges greatly reduced at the expense of the samurai class. The samurai Daimyos were officially recognized by Imperial mandate, not subject to the complex bureaucracy that had existed before.
As a sovereign daimyo, the Morikano flourished. Though they continued to suffer from internal strife from their rebellious new provinces, trade with the Kenzuki and overseas greatly increased their wealth and prosperity and led to the introduction of new foreign inventions and technology into their courts.
Military conflict during the time was scarce. With a new focus on knowledge and wealth, their samurai traditions began to fall out of memory. The tales of their defense against the petty lords in their early years and in the civil war still abounded, and their military might was greatly exaggarated. Perhaps seeing this, the once-allied Yusawa attacked, seeking to increase their hold on the island. Morikano troops marched to meet them, but were driven to Uedanabe in a series of humiliating defeats. With Kenzuki help, the tide was turned in the Battle of the Mountain, but it was too late. The Morikano had lost their grip on the island, and the Yusawa demanded great concessions for peace - and got them. The clan was reduced to a small territory centered around Uedanabe and Kuroka.
The Morikano would never rise to their previous glory again. In 1211, when the Kenzuki called upon them to fight the rising Ryoshun Clan, the Morikano could barely raise a thousand men. The Ryoshun swept through Yamahisa, culling both Kenzuki and Yusawa. The Morikano were given the choice of vassalization or destruction, and they chose the former.
Under the Ryoshun, the Morikano were granted back some of their old lands. Their forces were called upon to bolster the Ryoshun forces as they moved through the north - notably, the small Morikano forces employed some of the very first versions of breakwire and shrapnel bombs in these battles. Morikano forces followed the Ryoshun as they continued their campaign. They would not be released until the Unification was complete and the Ryoshun had been proclaimed Shogun.
The Morikano were not quick to assimilate into the Ryoshun. They could not be called a Ryoshun Family until years later, when intermarriage and time had healed wounds and memories. But today the Morikano have all but forgotten their years as a sovereign clan. They keep the Shogunate's peace on Yamahisa, and focus on the arts and technology instead of power - though internal politics in the Shogunate are not unheard of. Their heartlands in Uedanabe are some of the most industrialized and modern in all of Nihon, cities with buildings reaching high into the skies, constant electricity, rails underground and aboveground, true hubs of innovation.
The Morikano possess rather unique military tactics and weaponry. While the majority of their forces are made up of samurai, they utilize weaponized technology to bizarre extent. Inventions from breakwire - electrified metal wire set to break charges to devastating effect - to shrapnel bombs - simple explosives filled with sharp pieces of metal or glass - fill their arsenal, and they often avoid direct battle and strike directly into the hearts of their opponents with demoralizing explosives and machinery of little practical value. Their technology isn't known for its reliability, but the Morikano remain unwavering in their support of it. Their most effective use so far has been in the Battle of Gozutsuma, where an entire flank of the opposing army was routed by a vastly numerically inferior force.
Morikano Bushi SchoolEdit
- Morikano Hayato, nephew of the current daimyo.