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Number of posts : 604
Age : 36
Localisation : Japan
Registration date : 2006-12-04

PostSubject: Ronin   2007-03-28, 7:43 am


A ronin (literally, "wave man" - one who is tossed about, like a wave in the sea) is a masterless samurai. A samurai becomes masterless from the ruin or fall of his master, or after the loss of his master's favor or privilege. A samurai is forbidden to become employed by another master without his previous master's permission. When the samurai's previous master dies without an heir, or is stripped of his lands and title, the samurai is unemployable by other daimyo.

In addition, a samurai can become ronin if he is not recognized as an heir by his samurai parent, is outcast for a failure and denied seppuku, or is simply someone who has chosen to abandon his station.

To a samurai, for whom their duty to their master is their life, the loss of duty is often seen as a fate worse than death. Generally, a samurai will request to commit seppuku to absolve himself of whatever shame caused him to become ronin, though this step could be forbidden by the samurai's daimyo, if becoming ronin were a punishment.

Traditionally, ronin are generally regarded as disreputable and are frequently targets of humiliation and satire. In addition, ronin often pose a serious threat, as the masterless life often degenerates into a life of thievery and malice. Ronin bands frequently threaten settlements and commerce. This is a problem that arises somewhat regularly and that the magistrates of Rokugan put forth every effort to quell.

Ronin exist outside the Celestial Order. They are still samurai, but they are not subservient to any greater power. They wear the daisho, but they do not have the protection of even the eta who live under a daimyo. Many ronin feel that their freedom is worth the sacrifice, but there are also many that would disagree.

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