The term Gao-Showa Clan is often used to refer to two similar category of descent group: clan (Gao-Indralan: 氏, Standard Indralan: shì, Kunikata: uzi, si), or phratry (Gao-Indralan: 姓, Standard Indralan: xìng, Kunikata: kabane, sei).
A clan is the basic social unit of traditional Gao-Showa society. Similar to the concept of family in many different culture, members of a clan usually claim descent of a figure from four to six generations ago, although exceptions are not uncommon. A clan is also part of a larger social unit known as phratry, and the beginning of a clan usually starts from a branch of a previous clan, such as an individual who moved to a different location, take a job that is both notable and different from its other members, as well as merits gained from various source. Because of that, the name of clans is more often than not connected to these events, the most common one being the environment of the new location. Clan name is also subjected to change when the aforementioned conditions are changed.
A phratry is a collection of clans, all of them claiming a common and remote, if not legendary, ancestors. Unlike clans, whose name is changable depending on the identified common ancestor, location, even jobs, phratry name is usually set in stone and not subject to change, for it carries the very connection between the living members of a phratry and the legendary ancestor, and any change is considered a disgrace towards the entire descent group. Because of the immutable nature of a phratry, and it being too large and distant for everyone concerns, it is not very often used, except in large religious ceremonies concerning the legendary ancestor, then all clans in a phratry will participate in a grand event for cerebration, as well as intermarriage and dispute settlement.
Every phratry and clan have their own emblem (Gao-Indralan: 家紋, Standard Indralan: jiāwén, Kunikata: kamon) to decorate and identify themselves. These emblems often originated as totem used by precursor tribes of the phratry, later turned into simpler symbols to be put on shrines, clothes, buildings and so forth.
With the expansion of numbers in phratry, clans started to appear due to difference in geography, tradition, jobs, as well as other factors. To separate a clan with another clans within the same phratry, clan emblems were also invented. These clan emblems often share the same theme with the phratry emblem, but with additional modifications for separate identification. For example, the emblem of the Takanashi Clan, "crossed eagle feathers within a circle", "eagle feathers" most likely originated from the emblem of an unknown phratry, which is commonly shared between clans with warrior history. It includes two modifications to the phratry emblem, namely the feathers are "crossed" to form a X shape, and it is "within a circle", possibly indicating their isolation from the outside world. Further modifications exist, and it is not uncommon for dozens of similar emblems to be shared between numerous clans, all claiming ancestry to a legendary figure in mythical times.
Social Status of Clans
Many clans who had hold noble titles, important jobs and roles, or simply own a lot of land and wealth are often unofficially referred as "noble clans", for their members were usually nobles, or influential individuals within a particular sector. While there are definitely advantages of being part of these clans, as rich clans have more resources and influence to put their members into a high position, even landlords in case of hereditary noble, royal, or feudal possessions. However, in most parts of the history, Gao-Showa culture is known to be relatively meritocratic, and clans and individuals who are too incompetent in their responsible jobs will be removed from their position despite its established authority and problem.
Clans in Modern Day
The clan system remained as important as it was first conceived in pre-Gao-Soto times as it is today, retaining its position as the basic social unit of many Gao-Showa society. Not only is the "family name" of a Gao-Showa usually coming from the clan name, some clans and phratries, especially those famous for being in a particular career for generations, also tend to be specialised, to the point it might prevent members of other clans from rising into high position, or members of those clans to start other career due to familial expectations and trainings.
List of Gao-Showa Clans
|Iwanami||Iwanami||Empire of Gao-Soto||Chief clan of the Iwanami phratry. In decline.|
|Tomowe||Tomowe||Empire of Gao-Soto||Chief clan of the Tomowe phratry. In decline.|
|Takanashi||Unknown, possibly Iwanami||Bailon, Beluzia||Religious clan of Kiyomism, a denomination of Kamism.|
|Winoue||Winoue||Empire of Gao-Soto||Chief clan of the Winoue phratry. In decline.|
|Okatori||Winoue/Okatori||Empire of Gao-Soto||Former ruling clan of Gao-Soto. Extinct in the male line. Was declared the chief clan of an Okatori phratry with the creation of the new Kurosawa clan.|
|Kurosawa||Okatori||Empire of Gao-Soto||Ruling clan of Gao-Soto. Newly formed from a female-line branch of the Okatori to address the extinction of the Okatori male line. Named after Emperor Okatori Kurosawa, who serves as its progenitor.|
|Tengyuan||Unknown||Indrala||Ruling clan of Indrala.|
|Famous financial and business clan.|
|Peoples||Central: Kunihito • Sekowans • Kyo | Northern: Utari • Welang | Southern: Indralans • Đinh • Phra | Western: Tukarese • Mu-Tze • Bianjie|
|Languages||Gao-Indralan: Kunikata • Sekowan • Kyo • Indralan • Đinh • Phra • Utari | Jelbo-Tukaric: Panmuan • Bianjie|
|Regions||Dovani • Seleya • Gao-Soto • Sekowo • Dankuk • Indrala • Tukarali • Jinlian • Dalibor • Great North Dovani Plain • Kalistan • Bianjie|
|History||Empire of Gao-Soto • Kingdom of Sekowo • History of Sekowo • History of Indrala • History of Dranland • History of Tukarali • Great Sekowian War • Southern Hemisphere War|
|Religion||Gao-Showan Religions • Daenism • Mazdâyanâ • Zenshō • Kamism • Guidao • Jienism • Kanzo|