|Oriental Time and Seasons|
|You need at least 1 point in History (Local Rokugan) to gain access to this page.|
|A Rokugan hour is actually 120 minutes.
The hemin do not care much about a formal track of the days, merely the seasons; when to plant and when to harvest. They work during most Imperial holidays.
|Days: 24 hours/8 days a week|
|Hour||Common Name||Formal Name||Common Symbol|
|10 PM- Midnight||Boar||Hida|
|2-4 AM||Ox||Fu Leng|
|The day normally starts at the hour of the Hare.|
|Seasons: 12 months in a year, 32 days in a month|
|Seasons||Common Name||Formal Name||Festivals in Rokugan|
|Spring||Hare||Sun||1st Oshogatsu (New Years)|
|Summer||Horse||Akodo||6th Chrysanthemum Festival|
|Dog||Shinjo||32nd Bon Festival|
|Tiger||Ryoshun||32nd Toshi no Ichi|
The time to plant and Bushi patrol, often a first posting for a samurai after gempukku. Ambitious daiymo send out small numbers of troops to get a head start on the wars of summer. Daidoji saboteurs could strike quickly to hurt a rival's production. Bandits may also take advantage of unprepared clans. Most of the time little happens. As the winter courts are dismissed the courtiers must do everything in their power to make sure that the alliances, agreements and other negotiations achieved over the winter are not wasted. Usually the most important treaties are brought to the attention of the Clan Champions. Such agreements are often altered several times by the Champions until all parties are satisfied, this can take the whole spring. Less important negotiations are usually handled by the families and provincial diamyo.
Oshogatsu, the New Year's Celebration marks the beginning of spring and
the Rokungai New Year. All Rokugani celebrate their birthdays on the New
Year. There are festivities, parades, festivals and other activities as
Rokugani visit family shrines and holy temples. The following day is spent
thanking the Fortunes, ancestors and Heavens for their blessings, and
for another fruitful year. The Emperor typically cloisters himself in
his chambers after dusk on the first day to commune with Lady Sun on behalf
of the Empire.
Though not as physically taxing as the planting season, farmers relish this time no more than spring because the midday heat can be staggering causing some heimn to collapse in the field. The humidity is oppressive. In other areas the heat is so intense that a simple spark can ignite an uncontrollable brushfire.
It is impossible for a summer to go by without one diamyo insulting another, intentionally or not. Large scale war was outlawed hundreds of years ago, but smaller battles are common. The Lion are infamous for taking insult at any small offense. Often the Lion ambassador will state that the Lion farms will not be able to support the armies of the Emperor, and demand that another Clan, usually the Crane, allocate some of their land to the Lion. They are often ignored and war is the result. The Crab use the same excuse claiming that the constant war with Fu Leng is draining them. If the small scale wars become too large the Emperor will demand the fighting stop, once. If his word is not heeded then the Emperor himself will send out his armies to stop the fighting. He lets small scale wars go on frequently, but prevents large scale ones, to keep the Empire strong. Minor Clans are protected by the Empire and the major Clans may not declare war on them, unless insulted. Innocuous actions can serve as "acts of war" so most of the Minor Clans avoid visiting the court when possible.
Courtiers generally spend the summer delivering messages for the clans at war, to insight or to entreat alignments or look for a way to end the war. Less important courtiers travel the roads wooing the favors of other families or carrying out the terms of a treaty.
On the 6th day of the Horse, the Chrysanthemum Festival honors the day
on which the Kami are believed to have fallen to the earth. It is the
most popular festival, 4 days before, the day of the festival, and 3 days
later there is no work done, even with the peasants. On the 4th day following
the festival minions of the Shadowlands have historically created a bonfire
and performed foul and bloody rituals for their dark master, with human
sacrifice. The bonfire could be seen from the watchtowers of the Kaiu
Wall, however for the past 7 years no bonfire has been lit.
Yearly monsoons, also the season of tax collection. Generally, it is in the form of food, but some towns with well known artisans pay in koku. Autumn ends the wars as the warriors have to return home or starve and freeze. Armies that do not withdrawal could be snowed in, but an attacking army has to have something to show for their battles; hostages are appropriate or supplies of some sort. Courtiers are busy preparing for the Winter Court, only the honored and gifted are invited. Courtiers work with bushi to settle negotiations to end the fighting and to save face if the war went badly. A common tactic is to withdrawal humbly stating that the enemy has defended honorably, or to invoke the will of the Fortunes. Most are polite about it.
The last day of the month of the Dog, is the last day of fall and sees
the Bon Festival. It is a very ritual holiday to honor the dead and commune
with the wisdom of the ancestors. Every major city is bedecked with representations
of the Elemental Dragons, the Great Kami, white-faced ghosts, and famous
spirits of the past. During this time the spirits are closest to the land
of the living. The festival ends with the lighting of small color paper
lanterns, marked with the names of those who died in the past year. The
lanterns are then released either to float down a river or to fly and
Fierce snowstorms and sleet making outside labor almost impossible. Most of the time is spent indoors and it is custom to gather in a single peasants hut for warmth. Fuel is very valuable. Bushi spend the winter training or braving the Winter Courts, troop movement across the Empire is nearly impossible. Promotions are awarded shortly after the training starts to those who performed well in the summer. Bushi who attend the Winter Court are either political or serve as yojimbo (guards) to the courtiers and shugenja. Almost every winter sees one honor duel. Diplomats conduct dangerous plots, to pit enemies against each other, to curry favor, bring favor to their clans, or allies. "Nothing ventured is nothing gained." The Emperor chooses the location of each Winter Court and changes it year to year, it is a great honor to host the Winter Court. Generally the Champions of the Great Clans attend this court as do representatives of the large families.
The year-end festival, called the Toshi no Ichi starts on the 32nd. The
kami are said to look down upon the world in this time. Peasants hang
a rope of straw known as the shimenawa inside their houses so the evil
spirits of the year can't enter, at the end of the festival the ropes
are burned. Homes prepare a toshidana, an altar covered in rice cakes
and sake to honor the spirits of the new year. At dusk the temples of
the Brotherhood of Shinsei are emptied and their walls and floors are
scrubbed. They then ring the bells of the temple 49 times and invite the
peasants back into their temples.
Oriental Table of Contents
Oriental Table of Contents