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TheWanderingJewels

A word on Goshi "countryside/village warrior"

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While do some research over on the Samurai Archives. I came across this enty:

" Gôshi (lit. "countryside/village warrior") were Edo period samurai who remained situated in the countryside rather than residing in castle towns. This was possible only in a few parts of the archipelago, including chiefly in Satsuma han, which had the highest samurai to non-samurai ratio of any domain, and which was powerful enough to exact from the Tokugawa shogunate exceptions to policies such as that removing samurai from the land. Gôshi could also be peasants or commoners who have been granted certain privileges of the samurai, similar to goyô shônin, such as the right to bear swords, the right to audience with the lord, or the right to use of a family name in official documents, albeit without being actually made members of the samurai class.[1]

Unlike in many areas (such as Satsuma) where gôshi were retainers to the daimyô, gôshi in Fukuoka han were those who refused to swear loyalty to the lord, choosing to instead remain in, or relocate to, the countryside. The gôshi of Fukuoka retained some degree of elite status, and were considered of a separate class from the villagers around them, but were not retainers in service to the domain.[2]

Gôshi thus had more personal, direct power over the peasants of their local area, though many also worked the land themselves."

 

Well, it looks like there was a form of 'transitional' social rank that occupies a grey area between peasant and bushi. Not quiet bushi, but not really peasant either. might back for some interesting back ground fluff in any event

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For purposes of storytelling and world building, who else might player characters typically encounter in a Rokugani village?  I suppose there would be:

  • Possibly a goshi or low ranking samurai
  • The goshi's retainers
  • Possibly some ashigaru guards
  • The village head-man/peasant-in-charge
  • The local priest, shrine keeper, or shugenja
  • The blacksmith
  • The fletcher
  • The inn keeper, sake house proprietor, tea seller, and/or gambling den owner
  • Several farmers
  • A few low ranking peasants who make leather and handle bodies

Anyone else?  I'd like to have some generic NPCs in my back pocket in case players ever need help, witnesses, or just someone to ask questions of.

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In a random village? They could also meet the local lord or his men, other traveling samurai (ronin or otherwise), one or more merchants and whatever retinue they can afford, criminals (here I'm thinking thieves/pickpockets, muggers, peasants traveling without papers), possibly a retired samurai related to the area (usually would be a priest, but not always), and PLOT NPCs (here I'm thinking rumours of disappearances, people trying to get them to leave immediately, surprisingly important or out of place samurai with no apparent local connection, one or more dead bodies, a goblin/troll/kenku/kitsu/zokujiin/etc..., a horse that seems to have no owner).

 

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Sorry for the thread necromancy but as I was doing some research for a Hombrew Sparrow Clan I found this:

“A Sparrow does not easily command respect from others; he owns no nice clothes, has dirt beneath his fingernails, speaks a rural dialect, and eats foods associated with the peasantry. He is humble to a fault, rustic and unpolished, and the value of expensive things seems lost on him. Sparrow are often called “hayseeds” or “country bumpkins” or other less flattering terms. A favored slur among sophisticated samurai is goshi, a term meaning “country-dwelling samurai,” but over the course of centuries the Suzume have embraced this term as their own identity.”  Secrets of the Empire p. 91 

Poor Suzume, scarce food and no respect... Guarding the greener fields beyond the fence... The life of a Minor Clan...

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