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Takanashi Clan
小鳥遊氏
高梨氏[1]
Takanashi Clan.png
Emblem of the Takanashi Clan ("Crossed eagle feathers in a circle")
Motto
色はにほへど散りぬるを
"Even the blossoming flowers will eventually scatter"
Ideology Fascism, Caesaropapism, Statism
Founded October 3330 (as official noble house)
Nation Beluzia
Sekowo
Headquarters Iliathar Strait, Bailon
Regional Thrones
0 / 5
Seats in Federal Council of Nobles
0 / 99
Associated Organisations
International Alliance for the Recognition of Ecclesias
Association for the Promotion of Gao-Showa Culture
Global Aggressive Military Alliance
IASRD
IAO
International Greens
ILGRA
IML
Religious Right League
Second Totalitarian International
SICA
Terran Broadcasting Union
Sub-national Anegawa Research Hospitals
Haruta Foundry

The Takanashi Clan (Gao-Indralan: 小鳥遊氏, Takanasi zi) is a noble house of Gao-Showan origin. Originally formed by shrine maidens and their families, Takanashi Clan is also the ruling house of the religion of "Way of Purification", or "Kiyomism" (Kunikata: 清めの道, Kiyome no michi), a religion similar to Kamism, but have undergo substantial modifications on its tenets from other Gao-Showan religions. The clan is currently led by Aoi Takanashi, who serves as the leader of both the clan and Kiyomism.

A big proponent of Caesaropapism, the fusion of religious power and secular authority, Takanashi Clan is often considered to be religious fanatics and theo-fascists, although many of its supports and believers argue that they are not fundamentalist, only limiting civil rights to preserve the greater good and the purity of souls.

History[]

Takanashi Clan is a clan of Gao-Showan origin, with its identity bound by the religion of Kiyomism. In the official history of the Takanashi Clan, Kiyomism was found in the 8th century, before the foundation of the Empire of Gao-Soto, as a denomination of the Kamism spirituality of Kunihito. Originated as worshipers of the heavenly water that gave life to the world, the shaman caste soon consolidated their authority and lineage to better protect their followers and subjects, as civil wars erupted in the declining empire. This marked the foundation of Takanashi Clan, whose members have since hold the title of high water priestess.

Followers of Kiyomism, believing the mainland of the Empire of Gao-Soto was too distracting due to its secular activities and wealth, started to migrate eastward towards the eastern territories during the 13th and 14th century, eventually settling in the eastern territories, with several enclosed shrines constructed as far as in Bailon by early settlers of New Dovani. However, their then-focus on withdrawal from the secular world meant few records of them, most of them in Bailon, survived to present day. Because of that, some skeptics have claimed that the history of Kiyomism and Takanashi Clan was fabricated by the clan to reinforce its legitimacy on both secular and religious ground. Nonetheless, most of the followers of Kiyomism believes in the clan, or at least claim the authenticity is of no importance.

Kiyomism maintained a relatively low profile during the decline and colonisation of the empire by Luthori, believing that too much involvement in secular politics will taint their souls, as well as fearing that increase in visibility might end in prosecution. It was not until the foundation of the Sovereign County of Beluzia in 2986, did Takanashi Clan start to spread its religion openly again, ultimately gaining its position as an official noble house in October 3330 under the divination of Aoi Takanashi soon after her enthronement.

Although the first election in 3330 since the entrance of the Beluzian political scene did not yield any seats for the Takanashi Clan, the subsequent election in August 3332 succeed in greatly increasing the political status of the clan, especially in the parish of Bailon, where the interventionist stance of the clan gained enormous supports. Aoi Takanashi, the leader of Takanashi Clan, is elected as the High Countess of Beluzia as well, after winning the second round of election with support from the Karav Dynasty. Although losing the title of both largest party and the High Countess, Takanashi Clan still maintains its position as the second largest party, as well as the throne of Bailon.

Takanashi Clan withdrew from the politics of Beluzia in late 3345. While it remains active in civilian activities within Bailon, it no longer holds any seats within the federal council. It is speculated that the clan was planning for an exodus to another country, presumably in the Gao-Showa homeland of west Dovani for the revival of a Gao-Showan country, as its ties with several pan-Gao-Showan nationalists possibly suggests.

Election History[]

Date Supporters for High Countess Supporters for Federal Council Parishes Federal Council Seats
Feb 3345 N/A 10,490,330
1 / 5
18 / 99
Feb 3343 20,629,179 (1st)
20,702,905 (2nd)
16,773,913
1 / 5
29 / 99
Feb 3341 15,071,262 (1st)
26,823,777 (2nd)
15,273,128
2 / 5
25 / 99
Feb 3339 16,134,362 (1st)
28,960,510 (2nd)
15,693,873
2 / 5
27 / 99
+ Head of State
Jul 3337 14,537,802 (1st)
27,102,757 (2nd)
14,332,908
1 / 5
25 / 99
+ Head of State
Aug 3335 17,002,595 (1st)
28,439,268 (2nd)
15,262,794
1 / 5
27 / 99
+ Head of State
Jun 3335 9,941,043 (1st) 9,273,067
0 / 5
16 / 99
Jun 3333 15,971,636 (1st)
21,676,283 (2nd)
14,491,992
1 / 5
25 / 99
Aug 3332 14,254,044 (1st)
28,583,450 (2nd)
14,516,723
1 / 5
26 / 99
+ Head of State
Nov 3330 36,162 (1st) 32,277
0 / 5
0 / 99

Structure[]

Emblem of Kiyomism, which is a stylised flower (possibly carnation) surrounding the crossed eagle feathers of Takanashi Clan.

Takanashi Clan and, by extensim, the lands ruled by it, is structured around Kiyomism, the official religion of the clan. Beyond its land, followers of Kiyomism is also theoretically subject of the ecclesiarchy, although the level of authority on them varies from place to place, and from individual to individual. Since its foundation, the head of Kiyomism, the high water priestess has been the leader of Takanashi Clan, combining the spiritual and secular power of both titles. In a way, Takanashi Clan itself is found upon the ruling priests and priestesses of Kiyomism.

The high water priestess is the highest and undisputed authority of the religion and the lcna, exercising the power to interpret tenets and divination, and rules both the clan and its followers accordingly. However, everyday function of the clan and the religion is laid on the hands of its priests and priestesses, who possess the authority on various subjects, from geographic divisions of communes, to ecclesiastical divisions such as theology, divination and religious judges.

High Water Priestess[]

The high water priestess (Kunikata: 天の水分りの姫, ame no mikumari no hime, often translated as "Princess of Divine Water") is the leader of Kiyomism. As Takanashi Clan is believed to be founded by generations of marriage between Kunihito water priestesses to consolidate their secular authority, the high water priestess also serves as the leader of Takanashi Clan.

Both Kiyomism and Takanashi Clan are matrilineal, meaning that hereditary posts, including one of the high water priestess, are passed from mother to daughter or sisters. This is based on the Kiyomist belief that the divine ability to interpret divination and to guide the followers is stronger in female than in male. While male priests do exist in Kiyomism, the post of high water priestess itself, along with the majority of high-ranking posts in the religion, is only hold by female since its creation.

Side Families[]

Like many other noble houses in Terra, Takanashi Clan possesses many side clans and families. Apart from the immediate relatives of the leader high water priestess, who are considered members of the "core clan", there are two general classification for the remaining members of the larger clan that bear the name of Takanashi.

The first one is often referred to as "noble Takanashi", as they are considered nobles and part of the Takanashi Clan in most definitions. Most of the noble Takanashi side-families are priests and priestesses of Kiyomism, and their hereditary estates are all tied to local shrines that they administer, which also served as their source of power, as local followers of Kiyomism tend to vote for their respective shrine during elections, not to mention having de facto power over the followers and their organisations, such as militia and local services. Noble Takanashi families are differentiated from the family of the high priestess by having "temple" titles assigned to them: these titles are similar to surnames, and are often named after environment of the shrine (and thus estates), or some notable works by the founding members of said family.

The second one is called "civilian Takanashi" and, as their name imply, civilians in nature. There are many sources for civilian Takanashi families, ranging from former nobles that relinquished their nobility, to civilians that are rewarded by Takanashi Clan for their works and contributions. Because of the long heritage of the clan, Takanashi is a common surname in several Gao-Showan societies, especially in places where Kiyomism remains as a popular faith. Although pronounced and rendered in the same way, civilian Takanashi use the Gaoji of "高梨" to distinguish themselves from the noble "小鳥遊".

Because of the close ties between the civilian and noble Takanashi clans, civilian Takanashi are often treated with respect similar to those for nobles by followers, and they have housed many important institutions, up and including the Beluzian cabinet whenever the Takanashi Clan is in power.

Famous Members of Takanashi[]

Name Birth Temple Title Roles
Aoi Takanashi May 15, 3310 Main Clan High Water Priestess of Kiyomism,
High Countess of Beluzia,
Princess Consort of Telamon
HRH Simon Kansar-Arinidi 3315 Kanna no Miya Husband of Aoi Takanashi,
Prince of Telamon,
High Countess Consort of Beluzia
Akane Takanashi Nov 11, 3324 Main Clan Sister of Aoi Takanashi.
Wife of Xin Emperor.
Sakaki Takanashi Jan 7, 3340 Main Clan Daughter of Aoi Takanashi and Simon Kansar-Arinidi.
Tsubaki Takanashi Apr 18, 3341 Main Clan Daughter of Aoi Takanashi and Simon Kansar-Arinidi.
Ayaka Takanashi Oct 1, 3342 Main Clan Daughter of Aoi Takanashi and Simon Kansar-Arinidi. Born in Valeria, Lirona, Telamon.
Kaede Takanashi Civilian Chief Secretariat of Takanashi Clan,
Prime Minister of Beluzia
Iroha Takanashi Jun 22, 3305 Civilian
Main Clan (former)
Grand Stewardess of Takanashi Clan,
Beluzian Minister of Internal Affairs (former)
Anko Takanashi Mar 3, 3315 Civilian
Main Clan (former)
Chief Lady of War of Takanashi Clan,
Beluzian Minister of Defence
Sakura Takanashi Civilian
Main Clan (former)
Minister of Physical Health of Takanashi Clan
Kanna Takanashi Civilian Beluzian Minister of Food and Agriculture (former)

Shrine[]

Shrines (Kunikata: 社, yashiro/sha) are the centre of worship of Kiyomism.

The first shrines are built by followers of Kiyomism at the centre of their settlements as a place for worship. As a place to venerate the divine water, Kiyomist shrines were often built upon natural source of water, and have an abundant supply of water whenever possible. Because of the flow of water, as well as dedicated cleansing by shrine maidens, these shrines are believed to be one of the cleanest place of Kunihito civilisation in antiquity, and thus also served as nursery and place of healing.

Following the rise of the shaman caste of Kiyomism and Takanashi Clan, these shrines also become their seats of power, as they are both the geographic centre of their ruling settlements, vital source of water and knowledge of their followers, as well as the main garrison of the shrine warriors of Kiyomism and Takanashi Clan.

Lists of Important Shrines[]

Name Location Shrine Rank Kuni Note
Umetatsuyama Shrine Iliathar Strait, Bailon Ichinomiya (First Rank) Bairou-kuni (Bailon) Oldest standing Kiyomist shrine known in Beluzia, main shrine of Takanashi Clan.
Port Tackstov, Iliathar Ichinomiya (First Rank) Kunashiri-kuni (Western Iliathar)
Umidamari Shrine Port Negunia, Negunia Ichinomiya (First Rank) Okamae-kuni (Western Negunia and Eastern Iliathar)
Ichinomiya (First Rank) Okanaka-kuni (Eastern Negunia and Parlos Decina)
Ichinomiya (First Rank) Okaato-kuni (Iker Ado)
Kiripachi Shrine Kiribati, Lirona Unclassified (de jure)
Ichinomiya (First Rank) (de facto)
(Lirona, Telamon)

Priesthood[]

A traditional Kunihito clothes for children from Takanashi Clan. It is a simplified version of clothes wore by adults of the clan, of which wearing is encouraged for followers.

Almost all officials, with the exception of some local administrators, of Takanashi Clan are hold by the priesthood of Kiyomism. While subjects of Takanashi Clan are not required to declare themselves as followers of Kiyomism (although publicly denouncing Kiyomism or violating its tenets is still a punishable crime by clan authority), most official posts can only be filled by the believers, and thus officers have to either denounce their post or convert, should they be stuck in such circumstances. Beyond that, higher posts of the clan can only be filled by recognised priests and priestesses of Kiyomism.

The definition of followers of Kiyomism and priesthood of it is, like Kamism, not very clear. However, most consider those who follow the majority of the tenets of Kiyomism, including reverence of the high water priestess, to be the most basic requirement of being a follower. While violations of the tenets can be made sparsely if absolutely necessary, such actions will need to be redeemed afterwards, or will be declared impure and have the follower status revoked.

Apart from the aforementioned requirement, being a priest or priestess of Kiyomism need to follow additional restrictions apart from being a good follower. As spreaders of the faith, they are required to wear traditional Gishotoi clothes and speak Kunikata in public locations, if not always. They are also required to be well-versed in the tenets, practices and rituals of Kiyomism, and have been recognised by senior priests to be able to hold ceremonies when called upon. Different posts have more requirements on top of these, depending on the nature and status of the post. For example, spiritual guides of militia and paramilitary group of Takanashi Clan are required to have sufficient military training and the ability to motivate their followers in dire situation, while religious judges have to be able to memorise and interpret religious laws accordingly.

Because of the special status of Kiyomist priests and priestesses, they are considered "above" non-believers in terms of social status and rights, although still subjected to laws, if not even more subjected to laws than civilians, as proponents of Takanashi Clan consider the priesthood to be a living model for enlightenment.

Shrine Warriors[]

Two shrine warriors stationing near a local Kiyomist shrine in Bailon.

The Shrine Warriors (社兵, yashiro no tsuwamono/shapei) are the paramilitary force of Takanashi Clan. As their name implies, the shrine warriors are organised based on the local Kiyomist shrines, of which the geographic distracts of Takanashi estates are also defined upon. However, the shrine warriors usually are not stationed inside shrines, but have their independent bases for garrison. They do, however, receive blessings from the designated shrine, and priests from that shrine are also attached with them to provide unit cohesion and spiritual guidance.

In estates ruled by Takanashi Clan, shrine warriors also maintain law and order of the land and population, serving as gendarmerie of the authority. Unlike Beluzian police, who can only carry non-lethal weapons in usual circumstances, shrine warriors are usually equipped with standard firearm, as well as military grade weapon, depending on the local situation and the warrior unit. They are traditionally armed with Haruta semi-automatic rifle, which uses the eponymous Haruta 6.5x50mm cartridge for lower recoil and easier aiming due to its ballistic characteristics. Pistols (which use 8x22mm cartridge) and shotguns are also employed by the shrine warriors.

Ideology[]

The ideology of Takanashi Clan is mostly based on their religion, Kiyomism, which itself is a product of syncretism of Kamism and many Gao-Showan religions, with tenets influenced by fascism and other authoritarian and traditionalist ideologies. Because of it, Takanashi Clan tends to support religious policies, especially those that devolves federal rights to local governments, for that benefits the authority of the clan most. However, due to the cultural differences between Beluzian houses and people, some policies deemed to be secular sometimes receive support from it as well.

Due to its pantheistic belief, Takanashi Clan is also considered environmentalist, for they support policies that regulate pollution and damage against the environment. It does not, however, considered very fanatic against certain subjects such as animal testing. In general, rather than an outright ban, Takanashi Clan calls more for strict regulation, for they believe everything, natural or man-made, contain spirits, and these spirits are to be respected. Because of that, while development that might harm the environment can be performed, the process must reflect the respect to them as much as possible to gain support from the clan.

Takanashi Clan is a proponent of greater government intervention due to their influence from statist ideologies. They believe that rather than to retire from the secular world for a spiritual lifestyle, practicing their beliefs and rituals openly and virtually in every moment of life not only purify their souls, but also spread the purification for all to benefit. This, combined with their belief in ecclesiarchy, means the clan constantly advocate an increase of government authority, in order to pave the way of spreading Kiyomism through the state apparatus.

Despite its pantheistic belief and focus on withdrawal from the world in most of its history, Kiyomism is generally considered militant. It believes that it is the duty of every followers, from peasants to the high priestess herself, to defend the faith, families, and clans if needed to be. This is often considered a relic during its exiled past, when all members of clans had to defend themselves against raiders, invaders, as well as hostile groups. Combined with its statist ideology, Takanashi Clan advocates mandatory national service as part of the education system. These services are often military in nature, although one can opt for civilian or theological works if deemed unfit for military service. Because of that, practically all followers of Kiyomism possess the skill of using a range of weapon, from modern firearms to traditional weapon like glaive and bow.

Culture[]

Because of the highly isolationist and statist ideology as a result of centuries of isolation in a land of foreign cultures, Takanashi Clan and its followers maintained their old culture brought from the ancient Empire of Gao-Soto, as well as their days of exodus through Dovani, creating an unique cultural and religious identity among their societies and settlements.

Morality[]

As part of the isolationistic culture, the moral sense of Takanashi Clan and Kiyomists is noticeably different from other existing cultures, even those of Gao-Showa, the supposed source of Takanashi Clan. There are many possible explanation of it, ranging from the restoration of lost cultures in ancient times, syncretism with aboriginal morals, or the fact that Kiyomism itself was not a major faith in its time in Dovani.

Because of the significant role of the faith of Kiyomism in their society and authority, Takanashi Clan is known to have a strong emphasis on morality and adherence to the tenets of its own faith. Such morality is mostly also uphold and promoted by its followers whenever possible, and those of deviance are said to be discriminated against, or even lynched in some of the more conservative settlements, although officially, Takanashi Clan support peaceful expansion unless provoked and violence is deemed absolutely necessary.

Lore[]

As a religious clan by nature and origin, the history of Takanashi Clan is dotted with numerous reference to the lores of Kiyomism, to the point it affects almost all aspects of the society, and has become source of many arts and works of fiction.

Umetatu[]

Artist's impression of Nadeshiko and umetatu.

Umetatu (梅龍, "plum dragon") is one of the most famous lore of Kiyomism, as well as the most important one for Takanashi Clan, for it (indirectly) grants it the mandate of heaven.

Set during the times of exodus, when the Takanashi Clan was migrating eastward from Gao-Soto, the lore was part of a larger auto-biography style epic of the mythical high water priestess Nadeshiko ("carnation blossom"). However, it was divided into two parts, one from the prospective from Nadeshiko herself, and another part from the eponymous umetatsu, or plum dragon.

Umetatsu is a legendary being from the sky, as the incarnation of the heavenly fire that, when combined with the heavenly water, created the souls of all beings. Because of that, umetatsu is also in charge of collecting souls from departed life or destroyed inanimate objects, so that their essence can be merged with ones of the entire world, before being shaped into another form to be given to a new life or a new object. In a certain way, umetatsu is also a death deity, for he possesses the ability to destroy beings to collect their essence for multiple reasons.

The lore starts on an instance where umetatsu, manifested in a male human form, encountered Nadeshiko and was forced to hide in her shrine to recover from a fight against a powerful being. Both of them quickly developed a mutual crush on each other, a relation that is never meant to come to fruition, for umetatsu is effectively an immortal being, who will definitely outlive the human Nadeshiko. Knowing such relation will only end in pain and tears, as he had suffered since time immemorial, the umetatsu tried to avoid the priestess with whatever abilities he can use, but the sheer determination of Nadeshiko managed to outwit him every time, forcing him to finally confront her in his full form - a towering dragon, and warn her that she will be destroyed should she persuade further.

Nadeshiko did not back down from the seemingly terrifying threat, though, and proceed to reach umetatsu once more. Being a competent and very determined warrior herself, the priestess manage to withstand several fights against umetatsu himself, moving the dragon and made him return to his human manifestation. The attacks was too much for a mortal being, though, as she finally fell onto his shoulders. It was said that umetatasu shared his inner heavenly fire to her in order to save her life, an action of sacrifice that forced him into a decade-long hibernation.

Bearing part of umetatsu inside her body, Nadeshiko is believed to have supreme ability in both physical and spiritual strength, and managed to unite the fragmenting Takanshi Clan and Kiyomism during the exodus. It is believed that her ability was carried along her heritage, and could be evoked when her offspring possess the same determination and practice.

Contrary to popular beliefs, the flame of umetatsu did not make Nadeshiko or her bloodline divine or immortal, nor did their souls being maintained after death. The only hint for the newly-waken umetatsu of Nadeshiko's death in the epilogue is the warmth from her soul, and it is only noticed due to the pure heavenly fire from umetatsu himself.

Footnote[]

  1. "高梨" is an alternative Gaoji writing of the name Takanashi, which is sometimes adopted by former clan members after relinquishing their clan name, as well as branches of the clan.
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