A bit late to the party maybe, but here is my piece:
Name: Jean-Baptiste (aka Kakita Kasukaru)
Where are you from, tell us about your playgroup? I am a French guy but I've lived in various countries (most notably the Netherlands, England and now Greece). I participated in expending the play group in Southern Holland at the time I used to live there. Now I'm part of the Athens group. It's one of the nicest bunch you can imagine: always ready to help you with cards or tactics. And they have deadly tsipouro.
How did you hear about or get involved in L5R? A friend of mine in Lyon talked to me about the RPG. We used to read Yoshikawa's books too, translated of course. And I remember reading the old AEG fictions in English. But I did not play at the time. After moving to the NL in 2001, I was invited to play the RPG (1st Ed) by a guy in my play group in Gouda. I accepted enthusiastically. After a while I started mastering as well (3rd Edition). Frustrated by the inability of RPG players to significantly influence this living setting, I took on the CCG at the end of Samurai, learning in the Rotterdam CCG group. I kept playing both RPG and CCG (and Love Letter Rokugan) since then.
Did you/Do you consider yourself a clan loyalist? Yes, without a doubt. I am a true Crane: politics and culture first, but backed up by fast deadly steel.
What did you like about or what drew you to your clan of choice? Politics and art? What's not to like? There is a certain attraction to a charming and polite aesthete who can still cut your head off in one perfect draw...
What was your first L5R tournament experience? My first tournament experience was the Lille Kotei in France in 2009 I think. I had a blast there, even though I lost a LOT of games against a lot of good players.
Favorite story or quote from the fiction? Why? My absolute favorite quote is one from a Kolat about the Crane: "The Crane have better food, better entertainment, and the charming custom of killing their enemies in broad daylight, in front of witnesses" (Shiba Yoma).
Favorite character? Why? I liked Kakita Noritoshi. The doomed "badass" type that can kill one of the best ninjas through a wall, because she had killed his beloved wife, that was something. And what an end to his life!! Also he had flaws. He was not perfect: he was human and you could feel his pain. And the mistakes he made.
Best memory or experience you had playing L5R or because of L5R. Simple: moving from one country to another and always having a group of friends waiting for you, that's priceless. I know I'm not the only one who changed country for work or love and just could rely on the community to help integrate.
Favorite deck that you built or played and why. My favorite deck used to be a Scout honor deck at the start of Celestial. That deck was a thing of beauty, mechanically. Everything worked with the rest. It wasn't a super fast honor runner, but it could slaughter military decks in defence.
Favorite Arc and why. Celestial. I preferred the duelling rules then. Even though the focus effects were too overpowered, at least the duelling rules made deckbuilding interesting and duelling decks feared. Now it's just boring and a bit useless.
Favorite Tournament experiences. Getting to the EU Championship in Dublin. That was an absolute top experience of friendliness, great games and even the thrill of playing at the 1st table for one game during the second chance tournament. It didn't last, but it was intense.
Anything else you would like to tell players about L5R at that time, or any stories to bring back some fond memories for old school players or inspire new ones? Not much to say but that this game used to be one of the best there is. Not because of great mechanics or super design. But because you always had the feeling to be part of the family. And the RPG is probably the only one which inspired me to write actual poetry.