Legends of Rokugan
Akodo and Bushido
THE AKODO PHILOSOPHY
AND THE TENETS OF BUSHlDO
The Akodo are quite literally descended from the one who conceived,
wrote, and embodied the tenets of Bushido. If possible,
the code means even more to them than it does to the other
families within the Clan, for it came from the hand of their
great ancestor, the Kami called Akodo One-Eye. The Akodo
consider Bushido to be the sole guideline necessary for a samurai
to live a virtuous and honorable life, and they adhere to
it very closely.
The basic tenets of Bushido as laid out by Akodo are as follows:
Gi (Honesty) – Honesty is highly regarded by the Akodo because
they believe deceit and deception create a stain upon
the soul. The exact origin of this belief is uncertain. Some
claim it stems from the Family’s desire to hold to Akodo’s code
above all else and at all cost. Others believe that some Akodo
samurai fear what lingering effects the Lying Darkness may
have on their souls, and giving in to deception can strengthen
whatever meager power it may yet hold over them.
Yu (Courage) – The Akodo display boundless courage, as do
their Matsu cousins. For the Akodo, however, this comes not
from a need to prove that they have no fear, but instead from
the certainty brought by their absolute devotion to Bushido.
Because they cling so closely to their founder’s code, the Akodo
know without question that their course is certain, and that
their actions will unfold as they must. This frees them from
any fear, solely because they know that if they die, they die in
fulfillment of their duty and their destiny. What is there to fear
from such a fate?
Jin (Compassion) – Generally speaking, the Akodo are perhaps
the only Lion Family that truly embraces this tenet, as
fully as they embrace the other six tenets of Bushido. The
Akodo are warriors, but they wage war because it is their duty.
They do not possess the Matsu’s blood-lust, and see no point
in fighting when fighting is not needed. To do otherwise would
be a perversion of their duty, after all. Mercy can be extended
to defeated enemies, because it proves that the Akodo is the
Also, the Akodo loses nothing by showing mercy. Those enemies
who squander this mercy to wage war again have only
aided in their second defeat, and have given the Lion another
chance to wage war in their lord’s name. Likewise, the Akodo
treat well those who serve them, for anyone who fulfills their
role in the Celestial Order is worthy of respect, no matter how
gruesome or unpleasant their tasks may be.
Rei (Courtesy) – As with compassion, the Akodo are foremost
among the Lion in their demonstration of courtesy to others,
particularly those outside the Clan. The Akodo believe that everyone
must be treated with courtesy and respect, regardless of
the circumstances. In this way, they demonstrate their status
as noble warriors, and encourage others to behave similarly
through their actions alone. Only those who have irrevocably
proven that they are unworthy are treated with dismissal.
Criminals, traitors, and disrespectful enemies are among the
Meyo (Honor) – All Lion embrace the tenet of honor, even if
their interpretation of it varies. Honor is particularly important
to the Akodo in light of their Family’s unpleasant experiences
over the last century. Although history has afforded the Akodo
that rarest of gifts, forgiveness, they are all too aware how easy
it would be for allegations of dishonor to resurface if their behavior
or reputation were to be tarnished in any way. For that
reason above all others, the Akodo do not tolerate dishonorable
conduct among their ranks. There is far more to lose than
the reputation of a single warrior, and far worse ramifications
than the disapproval of one’s ancestors.
Makoto (Sincerity) – Sincerity has always been an important
element of Akodo psychology, but in recent generations
it has taken on an even more important role. There are some
among the Akodo who believe that their liberation from the
Lying Darkness decades ago may have some lingering effects,
and that by engaging in activities that benefited the Darkness,
such as deceit and misdirection, they may somehow empower
that entity in some way. Hence, the Akodo place extraordinary
emphasis on being true to themselves, speaking exactly what
they mean, and generally representing themselves as truthfully
and sincerely as possible at all times.
Chugo (Duty) – There is no disagreement or variance among
the Lion Families with regard to duty. A Lion given a duty fulfills
it without question or pause. There is simply no other option.
To the Akodo, this is perhaps their most sacred belief, and
one that they hold to lifelong, each and everyone.