Gion Family Geisha and the House of the August Moon

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The House of the August Moon

[OOC Note: Jason Weeks created much of the following. I adapted/edited to fit my needs.]

Gion Kaiyoikomachi is the Okaasan of the House of the August Moon and at first glance, nothing more. She is a supremely likeable woman, the face you see typically the one you wish to see. She was a prominent geisha in her youth and only age has kept her from remaining so. But she is not bitter. She has always known that her place would be to lead from behind the masks of other beautiful women, influencing the world around her by influencing the men and occasional women in said world. She still stands straight and proud, deferential enough to be respectful but forward enough that it is evident she is stronger than a simple geisha.

There is more than one way influence the world. When the People’s Legion was in force, Kaiyoikomachi was young and ambitious. She saw the problems in the world around her, the inequality between classes and she wanted to do something. As the organization grew, she used her influence in the samurai world to alter policy, distract warriors, and incite feuds that weakened the samurai who would oppose the group’s goals. When things came to a head and the People’s Legion found itself destroyed and hunted, Kaiyoikomachi quietly removed herself and her house from the group. There are a few threads that can still tie her to the uprising, but most of them know that arousing her ire is not something done lightly.

1142: The House of the August Moon is established

In its current incarnation, the House of the August Moon has representatives in the provinces of every great clan, but only one school which resides in Kurogane-hana. The training required is intense. Recruits come from all across the country, peasant families presenting their daughters to representatives of the Gion for inspection and hopefully a reference to be inspected again upon reaching Kurogane-Hana. These children are almost always between 3-5 years old but occasionally exceptional students up to 10 are accepted for training. Compensation is made to the families for the children.

Established geisha who wish to join the Gion family undergo an extensive test and if accepted, are under probation for 2 years. If they make it through the probation period they take a secondary name, Otu. It is honored above unaffiliated geisha, but still not considered the equal of a geisha who carries the name Gion.

The school in Kurogane-hana is the only established school that can bestow the name of Gion or Otu to a geisha. There have been cases of geisha receiving training from a Gion geisha away from the school, but they are never allowed to take either name. Some have done so, but the repercussions are usually severe. Many disappear or suffer great shame placed upon their career. The Gion do not take well to their name being used by others.

The school itself is very small, only a handful of students present at a time. Often, the later stages of education are handled away from the school, inside of the various cities so that the future geisha may be more accustomed not only to life outside of the school, but also the various cultures that are present within the empire. It would be ill suited for a geisha to become noticeably uneasy if a Unicorn bushi were to offer her a handshake simply because she had never been exposed to such behavior before. The approximate ratio is two traveling students to one in the school. This is because it is far more common for a girl to wash out of the school at an early age than years later when they have already invested a significant amount of time to their studies and future profession.

Notables

- Okaasan: Gion Kaiyoikomachi (see Daimyo’s Council and above)

- The Bitter Rival: Otu Shirako

Shirako is an ambitious young woman who resents that she will never carry the Gion name or be favored as much as those who do. But she is not stupid and knows that her attachment to the family is what gives her the prominence she has received. She has also taken to heart the lessons taught to her by the head of the Gion family, if you wish to change an organization, it is most easily and permanently done from within.

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- The Prodigy: Gion Miko

Miko is a prodigy, an amazingly rare find among the villages and is obviously being groomed to take over the family. Unfortunately, she finds little interest in the arts she is learning. Her mind is filled with battles and glory, not music and conversation. There were rumors that her parents were ronin but with nothing to prove it, she has led her life as best she can, following the path of a geisha and reveling in the stories of battle when she can. She has even picked up some skill with the sword from the occasional indulgent client.

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