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shineyorkboy

Bloody Harvest

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I don't know that I agree with that.  I think the reality of a period piece is more nuanced than that.  Also we are talking about a personal choice Kamoko is making which is informed by her own life experience.  I don't think the author made a wrong choice here.  I think you could write it either way.  The ending does imply a much darker mindset for Kamoko, but Kamoko wasn't really portrayed as a bright and cheerful character at any point in this continuity.

I think we as people of modern morals want her to make the other choice desperately.  Who knows.  Maybe she does.  Though those words don't leave us much room to wiggle on the outcome.

Edited by phillos

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10 minutes ago, phillos said:

 I think the reality of a period piece is more nuanced than that.

This is actually an established in-universe rule. Children are not small adults, they are essentially nonentities. Participation in the samurai drama is strictly age-restricted. Failing to act according to this is exactly that: a misconduct (a pretty embarrassing one for that). You are not talking to a child after you kill her mother and you are not giving her any kind of fighting - both of those are for adults only and a child is not an adult. 

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Does Kamoko care Atomaki?  That's the question you should be asking.  Not what is the societal expectation here.  We break societal norms all the time.  If everyone played by the rules we'd have no story worth telling.

Edited by phillos

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8 minutes ago, phillos said:

Does Kamoko care Atomaki? 

No, and that's why I'm saying that the question of whether she was in the right or the Lion samurai is ultimately a hollow one because both of them were jerks. Kamoko gets to be the bigger jerk but the story is giving her a more winding excuse too, so I guess she breaks even. 

14 minutes ago, phillos said:

If everyone played by the rules we'd have no story worth telling.

In my experience, you get the most intense games when you play by the rules. 

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41 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

This is actually an established in-universe rule. Children are not small adults, they are essentially nonentities. Participation in the samurai drama is strictly age-restricted. Failing to act according to this is exactly that: a misconduct (a pretty embarrassing one for that). You are not talking to a child after you kill her mother and you are not giving her any kind of fighting - both of those are for adults only and a child is not an adult. 

This is a yes and no situation, while children are not bound by the tenets of Bushido and so can be forgiven outbursts and not following the code, that does not mean they are to be treated as if they were not present as well. 

The Lion Samurai was correct in that they commended Kamoko's mother for her courage and returned her equipment for proper veneration to her children.  Kamoko's outburst was properly addressed in that they defended themselves from her assault and rebuffed her with the minimum force required.  Afterwards the Lion noted how upset Kamoko still was and rather then taking offense they forgave the childish outburst and acknowledged that when she was properly prepared Kamoko should seek her vengeance  out on the battlefield to redress their perceived wrong.

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I circle back to the questions of "what is honor?" and "are we really upholding it?" as part of the Suijindai idea.  I don't think this story (or virtually any of them) are supposed to give us a simple good guy/bad guy.  Was it honorable for Kamoko to give this girl the death she sought, or was it honorable for the Lion samurai to spare her?  Many of us - outside the story and with a very different set of morals and cultural standards - will think we have an absolute answer, but I very much don't think there is intended to be one for the characters.

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12 hours ago, MirumotoKatsuro said:

I circle back to the questions of "what is honor?" and "are we really upholding it?" as part of the Suijindai idea. 

Exactly.

Utaku Kamoko sees 'giving the honourable fight' to the girl as honourable because that's what she wanted in the same situation.

The lion saw putting her down and telling her to grow up first as honourable because there's very little ethical about butchering a child who literally can't win.

It kind of points at the two clan's views on bushido, too.

  • The Lion Clan's guiding virtue is Honour - which is about doing what you know is the 'right thing' regardless of other's opinions or the rules*. The right thing in the abstract (purely considering the samurai's honour rather than the child's) is to spare the child and the child's own opinion is kind of irrelevant.
  • The Unicorn's guiding virtue is Compassion, so the wants, needs and suffering of others, regardless of status, should be the key driver. Kamoko gave the girl plenty of chances to surrender and was very clear that to fight meant her death, and if that was still her choice, it wasn't Kamoko's place to make a different one for her, child or not.

 

 

14 hours ago, phillos said:

If everyone played by the rules we'd have no story worth telling.

 

13 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

In my experience, you get the most intense games when you play by the rules.

To be more precise, I find the most intense ones are where everyone is trying to play by the rules but the rules themselves are in conflict. Real drama tends to pop up where different bushido tenets demand two mutually exclusive courses of action.

It's easy to play by the rules when the ethical choice is "do you brutally murder the innocent girl in the street for no reason......or not?".

When the girl is a declared enemy, wants to die, and is going to keep trying to attack you until she makes you kill her....the question is a more difficult one.

 

 

 

* Note: this doesn't guarantee what you think is the right thing isn't actually the polar opposite. Assuming - to play oni's advocate - that Matsu Tsuko truly believes her rebellion is right, she is acting in accordance with the tenet 'Honour'. She's just violating basically all of the others in the process.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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15 hours ago, Schmoozies said:

This is a yes and no situation, while children are not bound by the tenets of Bushido and so can be forgiven outbursts and not following the code, that does not mean they are to be treated as if they were not present as well. 

Of course, but they shouldn't be treated as adults either. A child is a child. If you have adult problem with the child then you turn to the adult closest to the child and not treat the child like they were an adult. The Lion samurai should have talked with Kamoko's dad and nobody else. Then Kamoko's dad would talk with his daughter if he felt the need of it. Similarly, Kamoko should have dragged the girl to the nearest adult villager and tell them to keep her down. You are not supposed to crap-talk a child after killing her mother, let alone unironically accept a declaration of "honorable combat". In Rokugan, adult games are not children games, period. If you still feel the need to play it off with a child then you are a child yourself. 

This last part actually raises the question of how old Kamoko is supposed to be. If she is just, say, 16 then I would say that she has the benefit of doubt because a 16-years old facing off a 12-years old is within the margin of error, so to speak. 

2 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

To be more precise, I find the most intense ones are where everyone is trying to play by the rules but the rules themselves are in conflict. Real drama tends to pop up where different bushido tenets demand two mutually exclusive courses of action.

I like it more when the rules come into conflict with the world itself. And of course the real goodness, when the rules start to make too much sense

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Well you could say that about any system of morality that's based in religious belief.  Though people still make the choice to sin or more appropriately struggle with the correct action per their moral code.   I'd say the question to ask here is does Kamoko think what she is about to do is violating bushido as she understands it?  I think that is getting to the real meat of the story. 

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22 minutes ago, phillos said:

 I'd say the question to ask here is does Kamoko think what she is about to do is violating bushido as she understands it?

I'm not even sure if Bushido can be applied to her situation. Akodo did not write Leadership with samurai striking down children in mind, I reckon. The whole scene is so outlandish by the standards of Bushido it is like arguing whether doggy style is a honorable love-making position or not. 

I think the better question is how Kamoko projecting her grief so much into the Lion she is willing to strike down a child for it compromises her. Remember guys, Altansarnai unironically listens to Kamoko, so we potentially have a massive timed bomb here!

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The guidance of Bushido is how these characters determine whether they are living a moral life.  I think it's directly relevant here. 

Also Magnus put it best:

Quote

It's easy to play by the rules when the ethical choice is "do you brutally murder the innocent girl in the street for no reason......or not?".

When the girl is a declared enemy, wants to die, and is going to keep trying to attack you until she makes you kill her....the question is a more difficult one.

The circumstances here are less cut and dry.   She's not just cutting down children in cold blood like Anakin Skywalker.  She's making a measured choice in the fiction.  Discussing whether it's the right or wrong choice is the point.  Imagine the contemporary scenario of being in the middle of a warzone where a child pulls a gun on you and screams at you for taking her parents away.  The Lion Samurai actually had the easier scenario to be honest.  They weren't in an active combat situation at the time.

Edited by phillos

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The main problem is that this whole "you gotta mind the children" is a fairly modern western concept that seemingly does not stand too well in Rokugan. In Rokugan, a child cannot declare themselves as an enemy, they do not get to decide whether they want to die, and when they attack you they are throwing a piss-fit like children often do. The latter stands even if they are waving a gun at you in the middle of a warzone - at which point the better question is who let the child run around with a gun unsupervised. 

If anything, Kamoko violated the tenet of Righteousness for not recognizing an obviously wrong act. If she had had another Battle Maiden watching this then the Battle Maiden would have violated Compassion (and possibly Courage) for not stopping Kamoko. Duty might be also involved because Kamoko was hurting someone she was technically responsible for (a rebellious subject is still a subject) tho this would need clarification on Kamoko's exact status in the whole operation. 

The Lion samurai violated Courtesy towards Kamoko's dad for trash-talking his daughter. I would think what he did was a good basis for a duel as this kind of untoward misconduct should be taken as an insult. 

What they both violated, however, is not a Bushido tenet but basic human decency. 

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6 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

What they both violated, however, is not a Bushido tenet but basic human decency. 

Ha ha ha.

Oh, wait, you're serious? Let me laugh ever harder.

HA HA HA.

Samurai showing human decency. The things some people come up with.

 

Let's not forget that these are peasants we're talking about. They're basically chattel. They can be killed at any time for any reason or no reason at all and the only ramifications one would face would be due to the potential lost tax revenue which isn't applicable in this case. Really I think Kamoko is being a bit overly indulgent for even suggesting a peasant is even capable of engaging in honorable combat.

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3 hours ago, shineyorkboy said:

Ha ha ha.

Oh, wait, you're serious? Let me laugh ever harder.

HA HA HA.

Samurai showing human decency. The things some people come up with.

 

Let's not forget that these are peasants we're talking about. They're basically chattel. They can be killed at any time for any reason or no reason at all and the only ramifications one would face would be due to the potential lost tax revenue which isn't applicable in this case. Really I think Kamoko is being a bit overly indulgent for even suggesting a peasant is even capable of engaging in honorable combat.

Well, that, and getting removed from the line of succession in favor of your less murderous brother by your father the Emperor.

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Well, yeah, that's my point. Basic human decency is not something you can Bushido because being a massive a-hole and being a paragon of honor are not mutually exclusive. 

5 hours ago, shineyorkboy said:

Samurai showing human decency. The things some people come up with.

The Perfect Land shall rise, brother!

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11 hours ago, Manchu said:

I doubt there is room for samurai in the Perfect Land.

The Perfect Land Sect is not anti-samurai, it just condemns their pretension. Heck, their card has a samurai on it:

Perfect_Land_Ethos.png

7 hours ago, shineyorkboy said:

*scoff* Delusional fanatics.

The Perfect Land is something the Crab Clan would be quite comfortable with, I guess. They generally share a stance on Rokugan aka "ungratefulness and lack of humility are BAD" and the Crab Clan is already pretty close to what the Perfect Land wants to achieve. So if the PLS takes over then nothing really changes with the Crab but everyone else would suddenly become nicer and, you know, not f- around with the supplies meant for the Wall. 

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Except then the Peasants become equal to the Samurai.. Which even the Crab don't agree with by any stretch of the means. It's why most of the Samurai in the Perfect Land Sect are Dragons due to their odd thoughts on things. 

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On ‎11‎/‎22‎/‎2019 at 7:15 PM, ZebioLizard2 said:

Of course those rules are what keep you part of the Celestial Wheel, so it's reasonable to keep honor when it keeps your soul from being pulled down.

Yes, but there's a distinction between Honour (as in "being broadly in accordance with all seven tenets of Bushido") and Honour (as in "being in accordance with the specifc Bushido tenet of Meiyo, who's name is usually translated as 'honour', potentially at the expense of complying with the other six tenets.")

 

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13 hours ago, ZebioLizard2 said:

Except then the Peasants become equal to the Samurai.

I'm fairly sure that the PLS is not about this. They are okay with the Celestial Order and samurai outranking peasants, they just don't want samurai to be pricks about it and show proper respect to the commoners. Samurai shouldn't just take it as granted that they are better but actually act like they are better. A pretty justifiable expectation, even (especially!) by Bushido standards. 

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18 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

I'm fairly sure that the PLS is not about this. They are okay with the Celestial Order and samurai outranking peasants, they just don't want samurai to be pricks about it and show proper respect to the commoners. Samurai shouldn't just take it as granted that they are better but actually act like they are better. A pretty justifiable expectation, even (especially!) by Bushido standards. 

I may have misinterpreted things it seems, but I don't know.. We really need to see more of the PLS to see what will occur.

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Considering how the PLS line we've heard so far is mostly promising an afterlife paradise (rather than the cycle of reincarnation) and blaming the sins of the era for the troubles the Empire is enduring, I get the feeling they're a Kolat brainchild that's either about to slip its leash or already has.

And certainly, any respect they have for the Celestial Order is refracted through a theology that isn't quite in line with the accepted order of things.

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