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RodentJoe

Burakumin are excluded from the celestial order?

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This seems like a small and insignificant change from the original content- but I feel it has huge ramifications.

What motivation does a Burakumin/Eta/Hinin have to live in their terrible working conditions if not for the promise of coming back higher in the order in the next life? Sure there's the threat of samurai killing you, but there are more burakumin then there are samurai- and with out an cosmic positive incentive- i can see "burakumin" becoming synonymous with criminal.

Of course that's more of a practical argument instead of a religious one- but I feel including them in the order is more consistent anyways. Burakumin would still recognize the emperor as the son of heaven (they're uneducated- but they aren't THAT uneducated). They are still Rokugani. They still play their part. Still recognize the order, the emperor, the heavens, and the fortunes.

You cant say the same for Gaijin. Their only chance for salvation was to except these ideologies - that the unicorn would often introduce them to. Otherwise gaijin arent even nothing, they're less then nothing- and likely a danger.

The difference between hinin and gaijin is the difference between being the bottom of the barrel- and not being in the barrel at all.

Of course FFG is free to try new things with the material- I have no problem with that- in fact I like quite a number of the changes so far. But I feel in this case the original source material will lead to less inconsistency down the line.

(For source material on this I found the sections "Hinin and the Void", on page 122, and "Gaijin and the Void", on page 123, in the 4th edition supliment "The Book of the Void" to be very helpful)

 

Edit: addition of the snippet im referencing

Screenshot_20171005-111757.jpg

Edited by RodentJoe

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It isn't written explicitly that they are excluded from the wheel of reincarnations, on the contrary page 6 states:

From the Emperor to the lowest burakumin, all are born with a dharma,
a sacred duty of the soul; the performance of this duty in life is how a
Rokugani’s karma is measured, determining their judgment in Meido and
potential rebirth into a higher or lower caste.

They are excluded from the "feudal celestial order that the Kami imposed on Ningen Do" and have a status set permanently at 0 though.

It's more : While they are Eta, they are not part of the Celestial Order, so they should strive to have a good dharma to have a good rebirth. when they die, they will still go to Meido and be judged by Emma-O.

Edited by Nitenman

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Because they are  all know-better almighty gods, so they thought it was their duty to "civilize" Ningen-Do.

 

I recall when the CCG from AEG made the Dawn of The empire Box set, they were stories of each and indeed the speech about them coming to teach us was from Doji herself.

Hantei soon realized that this world had changed them. His body no longer shone with the brilliance of the Heavens. He could feel the weight of time now pressing upon him. He had become mortal. For a time, he sought a means by which to return to the Heavens, but no such path existed. This world was not a perfect world. It was a world of pain and dirt and toil, inhabited by primitive creatures that fought among themselves like animals. When Hantei realized that the heavens were closed, he sent out for his siblings to determine what must be done. What was to become of gods trapped in an imperfect, barbaric world? Was this to be his punishment for betraying and injuring his father?

It was Lady Doji who answered first. “We must follow the example of our mother and father,” she replied. “As the Sun and Moon gave shape to the formless, so must we create order from chaos. These mortals are not without worth, merely without direction. We must offer them that direction, Hantei. We must lead them.”

From

http://l5r.wikia.com/wiki/Dawn_of_the_Empire

Edited by Nitenman

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/pulls up in his van labeled "Realpolitik"

Excuse me, my fellow Emerald Imperials, is this a discussion about the Imperialistic Kami and their founding an empire which placed their descendants into a permanent state of feudal rulership, while instituting a violently enforced caste-system backed by an unquestionable divine right monarchy? Where they and their cool friends rule forever, and the people who were not cool are owned by their duty to farm the land and produce food for their social betters? And those who opposed them were either A) driven out (Yobanjin), B) turned evil (akutenshi), or C) slaughtered and erased?

Fortunately for us mere members of society, the Kami who set up this system were as infallible as their descendants, and it is only the Celestial Heavens testing us and calling us to be our better selves when we must serve an unworthy lord or lady. That Celestial Order, man... It sure does work in mysterious ways.

/drives off in a cloud of "Have you talked with your priest about Kolat, and if its right for you?" and "Iuchiban: Sieze Your Rightful Destiny Through Positive Thinking (and maho) Today!" pamphlets.

 

Though in all seriousness, I think the conflict of the fantastic feudal system backed by a literally divine hegemony against our more modern, much more secular humanistic worldview of the modern day is part of the fun of Legend of the Five Rings, and the source of the wonderfully gritty human drama of Giri vs. Ninjo now hardwired into the RPG. You do make a very good point about Gaijin and burakumin, in regards to the Celestial Order. Personally, I have always enjoyed the idea of a burakumin who picks up a spear and kills an oni in Crab lands, saving a daimyo, only to have that daimyo declare the burakumin having been born samurai the whole time, and it was just Fortune and fate that it was revealed in that moment. Having a degree of social mobility is useful in all societal systems, and I feel Rokugan should reflect that.

The Crab should welcome any warrior who can kill enough goblins and monsters, and make them samurai. The Dragon fiction talks about samurai families adopting peasant children to bolster their numbers. The Phoenix should have a standing policy about adopting ANY child with the gift of the shugenja found in their lands, no matter how low their birth. The Unicorn probably have a policy regarding "If you have one Unicorn samurai parent, you're a Unicorn samurai", which allows all the gaijin blood over the years. The Scorpion have stories about second children outside of the inheritance being sold to geisha houses and raised a hinin before they are returned to the Clan as samurai. The Lion would not grant samurai status, but they would absolutely value career ashigaru and doshin as much as their farmers, and the Crane would likely value highly skilled artisans and merchants the way certain wealthy elites value well-trained servants.

However, abusing the burakumin can very quickly lead to a Lord's downfall. Rokugan is probably filled with stories about a burakumin and hinin becoming Bloodspeakers and having to be put down hard, along with their families. And the burakumin are likely a breeding ground for the Kolat philosophy. The social conflict inside a rigid caste system is a fascinating thing, and this current iteration of the game shows it to be aware of this.

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7 minutes ago, sndwurks said:

/pulls up in his van labeled "Realpolitik"

Excuse me, my fellow Emerald Imperials, is this a discussion about the Imperialistic Kami and their founding an empire which placed their descendants into a permanent state of feudal rulership, while instituting a violently enforced caste-system backed by an unquestionable divine right monarchy? Where they and their cool friends rule forever, and the people who were not cool are owned by their duty to farm the land and produce food for their social betters? And those who opposed them were either A) driven out (Yobanjin), B) turned evil (akutenshi), or C) slaughtered and erased?

Fortunately for us mere members of society, the Kami who set up this system were as infallible as their descendants, and it is only the Celestial Heavens testing us and calling us to be our better selves when we must serve an unworthy lord or lady. That Celestial Order, man... It sure does work in mysterious ways.

/drives off in a cloud of "Have you talked with your priest about Kolat, and if its right for you?" and "Iuchiban: Sieze Your Rightful Destiny Through Positive Thinking (and maho) Today!" pamphlets.

This was cracking me up. loved it!!! :lol:

Attention, Burakumin are not Heimin.

Even Heimin would bully and hate the Burakumin.

But indeed celestial order moves in mysterious ways. I recall the 1st Edition awesome adventure module Void in The Heavens, where the plot was the Oracle of Fire choosing an Eta girl to succeed him, and the Scorpion trying to mess with it.

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4 hours ago, Nitenman said:

Because they are  all know-better almighty gods, so they thought it was their duty to "civilize" Ningen-Do.

Yeah, but why feudalism? Tengoku is more like an abstracted republic, and at that point, the Kami knew only that system. You can't really hear about the Dragons abusing the Great Fortunes, so to speak.

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1 hour ago, AtoMaki said:

Yeah, but why feudalism? Tengoku is more like an abstracted republic, and at that point, the Kami knew only that system. You can't really hear about the Dragons abusing the Great Fortunes, so to speak.

 

Because that is the fairy tale we rokugani have been led to believe for more than 1000's year. it's not the Kami that set up the feudal system.

The feudal system is really the result of the followers of the Kami and their descendants settling in Rokugan during the 200 years of reign of the Shining Prince and trying to keep power and control.

After the first war came the need to organize the small tribes and scattered villages of Rokugan, protect them from the leftover of Fu Leng Army and from the barbaric tribes that opposed the rule of the Hantei, remnants from the world that preceded the Kami. Some men had to work, to produce food, and others had to arm, to protect them. Of course, the followers of the Kami were veteran of the First war, so they took this role. Kami gave their followers dominion over lands, and thus dominion over those who worked it. I guess it was merely a matter of decades until those that fought started to consider themselves above those that work, based on divine justification (the so-called celestial order).

The setup of the feudal structure coming from divine right was truly done by followers of Genji and mortal children of the Kami, men who sought to assert their base of power, the likes of Hantei Yamato (Founder of Otomo Family), writer of the divine Branch, the basis for what we know of the Kami's myth and their relation to Amaterasu. the likes of Kakita Shimizu, successor to Kakita as Emerald Champion, who helped setup the Tournament rule of using the Iaijutsu developed by his father, and who will be himself succeeded by guess who? a Crane...

And most of all, the likes of the men called Doji Hatsuo and Soshi Saibankan who did create the Rokugani political and legal system. Or Yasuki Tanaka, that created the Koku as based on rice yield, but giving its control to those who didn't work the fields.

So what really happened with the Kami? did they really enlightened the world of man by their rule? No. One after they other, they left Ningen Do, like Lady Doji or died as a mortal like Lord Akodo , the last one being lord Hida leaving for the shadowlands, hoping to find Atarasi, his beloved son.

And what shall we say of Lord Togashi himself...

 

If you want to know more about the truth, search for the signs of the Tiger, find the Kolat

 

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On 10/10/2017 at 6:06 AM, Nitenman said:

While they are Eta, they are not part of the Celestial Order, so they should strive to have a good dharma to have a good rebirth. when they die, they will still go to Meido and be judged by Emma-O.

Wow. I have no clue where this topic went after this comment.

 

Bringing it back though- I found the parts you quoted and that does alleviate a lot of my concerns. I suppose that i was confused because I assumed that being excluded from the  Celestial Order implied that you were excluded from dharma and reencarnation altogether- the concept of dharma is brought up in relation to the order after all. 

 

Over all I just want some clarity on what the order is in relation to the afterlife. Because if it has no connection- then dharma and karma should not be in the section about the celestial order. Yet it is. 

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5 hours ago, RodentJoe said:

Wow. I have no clue where this topic went after this comment.

Ow, sorry, got a bit carried away by my Kolat propaganda, but basically we were discussing on the why this class distinction is in place in Rokugan.

My point was: It's hard to understand the position of the Hinin in the Order, being at the same time in and out of the order.

But I believe this is because we are really facing two concept of celestial order intertwined.

First, we have the metaphysical order, which include the wheel of reincarnation, the dead being judged by Lord Emma-O in Meido (the realm of waiting) and sent to Jigoku (realm of Oni, basically h*ll) , Toshigoku (realm of slaughter), Gaki-Do (realm of hungry "ghosts") for the wicked, Yomi (realm of blessed ancestors) for the worthy who fulfiled their Karma, or reincarnated into Chikishudo (realm of animals) or Ningen-Do (realm of men, the "plane" where Rokugan exists) for those found wanting in regard to kharma.

This order is the way the Kharma works and predates the fall of the Kami (who fell from Tengoku, the celestial heavens).

Then we have the "political" celestial order, Rokugan's caste system, which justify the rule of the samurai class by divine right, and ostracize the Burakumin. According to the Kami, it is supposed to mirror Tengoku on Ningen-do.

For me (and its a theory) the ostracism of Burakumin is a result of the political order, (thus the theory that the burakumin are descended from those who refused the Hantei) and might have no real bearing in the grand scheme of the metaphysical celestial order.

And the Kolat (which means "To question" in pre-kami language) is a conspiracy that believes all men are equal ( even burakumin) and that they should rule themselves instead of being ruled by gods or their descendents. The aim of the kolat is to cast down the political celestial order and the caste system. It's not atheism but more like an heresy.

Edited by Nitenman

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12 hours ago, Nitenman said:

But I believe this is because we are really facing two concept of celestial order intertwined.

I definately think your right about that. I just hope that FFG does one of two things for the RPG.

1. Make the difference between political and metaphysical clear. Scholarly debate could be fun in game- but there no point if the players cant even grasp the difference.

2. Make it one system. Having gods literally make the system makes it perfectly believable that the political system is how the system literally works in the afterlife. Have Burakumin move to the bottom of the healed system- otherwise it would imply they are not a part of the government (and thats not good for social order).

This werid middle ground that AEG had doesn't need to remain through FFG. And it doesnt even need lore change- just clarification.

Edited by RodentJoe

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I think that just makes it impossible for a player to become immersed in their character if they can't believe in the system that the game should be laying out.

Also there's a difference between something being up for debate for a character and  incomprehendible to a player.

There are bits in book that point out the paradoxical nature of ancestor worship and reincarnation. But that weirdness is made clear to the player- which leads to great roleplaying oppertunity. With the order though- the inconsistency is not even addressed. It is on two completely different pages as if multiple authors just didn't come to an agreement on this. They can keep the Dual system ideology- but they need to make it clear that it is in fact two systems and not one.

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I agree on that, but it might be hard to make it clear, it might confuse player even more if we say: That's the way it is, but it might be a lie (the righteousness of the kami I mean)

its my kolat training that helped me pierce the web of lies. :)

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Togashi-kami/Togashi-hakase/Togashi-dono/Togashi Yokuni is proof that the fallen kami are not mortal in the same sense as men...  he still walks amongst mankind in the clan war. 1100 years... The deaths of the other kami may or may not have been by choice...

yet, before he reveals himself, most Dragon are unaware Togashi does so; perhaps even most Togashi do not know. 

(Reference Clan War Daimyō edition, p 181)

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Spoiler!!! Not a big one anyway :) googling Togashi Yokuni would give anyone the info.

Despite his knowledge and power, Togashi kami isn't a being of action. He sat the kami's tourney and then sat 1000s year. Was it foresight or immobilism due to a lack of clear vision, theory varie.

As a Kolat I'd say its a proof that kami brought nothing to humanity that humanity couldn't have done itself.

 

Edited by Nitenman

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He sat and watched. He's the model of the oral encyclopedia - one of the near-universal mythic archetypes - who, in western stories has learned secret wisdom, but in the east and arabia, lived to earn secret wisdom. Togashi forbids written history, yet teaches oral history...

He's the "neutral narrator" and witness to the "fundamental truths" of the mythology. He is the one who should have acted, but fears death as the end of eyewitness oral history of the Kami and of Doji and Hantei's visions.

At least, until Oblivion's Gate...

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He sat and watched. He's the model of the oral encyclopedia - one of the near-universal mythic archetypes - who, in western stories has learned secret wisdom, but in the east and arabia, lived to earn secret wisdom. Togashi forbids written history, yet teaches oral history...

He's the "neutral narrator" and witness to the "fundamental truths" of the mythology. He is the one who should have acted, but fears death as the end of eyewitness oral history of the Kami and of Doji and Hantei's visions.

At least, until Oblivion's Gate...

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He sat and watched. He's the model of the oral encyclopedia - one of the near-universal mythic archetypes - who, in western stories has learned secret wisdom, but in the east and arabia, lived to earn secret wisdom. Togashi forbids written history, yet teaches oral history...

He's the "neutral narrator" and witness to the "fundamental truths" of the mythology. He is the one who should have acted, but fears death as the end of eyewitness oral history of the Kami and of Doji and Hantei's visions.

At least, until Oblivion's Gate...

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On 16/10/2017 at 8:40 PM, AK_Aramis said:

Togashi-kami/Togashi-hakase/Togashi-dono/Togashi Yokuni is proof that the fallen kami are not mortal in the same sense as men...  he still walks amongst mankind in the clan war. 1100 years... The deaths of the other kami may or may not have been by choice...

yet, before he reveals himself, most Dragon are unaware Togashi does so; perhaps even most Togashi do not know. 

(Reference Clan War Daimyō edition, p 181)

You assume that this reality will be like the last one.

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