Uesugi Katsumoto – Iren Hirth

(The text is a fusion of multiple sources. The format is broadly derived from the Infinite Land Sutra, also known as the Longer Sukhavativyuha Sutra, which has both sections describing historical events and sections of dialogue. This was modified with references to the Shitennou and Shichifukujin, who are groups of deities in Shinto and the Shinto/Buddhist fusion of Japan. This combination is appropriate for a member of the Uesugi clan—Uesugi Kenshin is one of the most famous warlords of the Sengoku Jidai period, and was both an ordained Buddhist monk and believed by some of his followers to be an avatar of the war god Bishamonten.

The reference to a crab is familiar to anyone who knows Katsumoto. He has a crab mon, Japanese heraldry, on his armor which he also uses in Amtgard; and is well known to his friends for playing a member of the Crab Clan in the Legend of the Five Rings roleplaying game.

Hatamoto literally means ‘guardian of the banner’, and referred to a class of direct retainers of feudal lords. A koku is a unit of currency worth the amount of rice required to feed one man for one year. At the end of SCA period 10,000 koku was considered to be the dividing line between a hatamoto and a daimyo, i.e. a peer. As such, creating Katsumoto as a Hatamoto with a stipend of 2000 koku per year seemed appropriate for a Huscarl)

Thus it is known: During the reign of the righteous Tenno Hirsch, the warriors of the Empire were called to service once more. The Tenno and his wise Chugu Magdalena gathered the bannerman of the Emperor to their side, and together spoke of those who had demonstrated great merit in the art of war.

The Emperor prayed: O Shitennou, four kings of heaven, guardians of the four directions, bless these lands and guard them from those who would do them harm. Send us those who would strike with your strength.

The Empress prayed: O Shichifukujin, see to these lands We have been given to hold that none may disturb their peace. Send us those who would lead our warriors with your virtues.

And the warriors spoke to them in counsel: There is one such bushi in your service. He has stood steadfast upon the wall and defended the people like Bishamonten himself. His armor has deflected the blows of the wicked like the shell of the crab, steadfast and sharp pincered.

The Emperor asked: Has he shown bravery in the face of death, and brought auspicious heads for inspection after?

The Empress asked: Has he shown wisdom in leading his warriors, and training them for battle?

The warriors replied: He has shown bravery and wisdom, brought auspicious heads and trained his men well. He has stood before the invaders and told them he would not fall.

Thus the Emperor and Empress spoke to their court: Let Uesugi Katsumoto be named a hatamoto of the Iren Hirth, and given a stipend of 2000 koku per year to maintain his arms and honor. Let him place the mon of his rank on his armor and banner, that all may know when he comes to battle the wrath of the heavens follows behind.

Thus it was done by those mighty Imperial hands on the 23rd day of July, in the 38th year of the Kingdom of Chushinchi.

Hirsch                                  Magdalena
Tenno                                  Chugu

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