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Ghost of SumoS

Rōnin: The Journey of Moritsugo Katsumoto

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The Journey of Moritsugo Katsumoto

Name: Moritsugo Katsumoto

Age: 44

Homeland: Okinawa, Japan

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Artist's representation of a younger Moritsugo

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His local town.

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The view from their propety out to sea.

Moritsugo Katsumoto was born in Okinawa in the middle of the turbulent and ever-changing decade of the 1960’s. Okinawa had a largely American militarized presence in the decades following the war in which Moritsugo’s father fought. The bitterness and resentment over the end was ever present in the household like a taint in the air. The house of Katsumoto on Okinawa was well known for owning large swathes of land and being devout practitioners of the old ways, primarily karate and bushidō.

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Moritsugo's father. Image is from an old camera.

Moritsugo’s childhood was structured and rigid. It was clear that his father saw the coming years and decades as the most significant time to modernize and profit from the American interests to prevent Asia swaying to the Soviet threat emerging. With that goal in mind, Otosama Katsumoto was preparing his son to take over the running of the estate, agriculture, and distribution along with his tutoring in his history to pass on to the following generation. Each day he was schooled in each discipline systematically. As the only son, with two younger female siblings, it was his right and most of all, it was his duty to honour his father and the family. The young Moritsugo relished the challenge and his aptitude grew under the ever-watchful guidance of his father.

The young man showed a much greater depth of understanding in the martial arts than his other studies. Karate seemed natural but his studies in the older ways of bushidō and the mainland samurai’s ancient ways piqued his interest further. He became obsessed with the understanding of the concept of ancient war and his father’s stories of the ‘Great War in the Pacific’ filled him with pride and a longing to achieve the same. Little did his father know that his son felt that his life was stagnating with being trapped in a life in Okinawa.

The military is where Mory (as his father labelled him passionately, only in private) saw his future but to dishonour his father and leave with no plan for the future was not done in Okinawa, especially for a family with bushidō so ingrained in their lives. The heir was the future.

Dutifully, he carried on learning. As he became an adult he was already entrusted with a large portion of the goings-on within the business.

All the while, his calling burned brightly inside him. Tempting and goading him…

As his twin sisters reached their 18th birthday Moritsugo could already see that both had the mind and skills to surpass their brother in the philosophy required for the business. They had been training in finance and accountancy and were already helping in the financials of the company.

Now he could see where the branch in his path could lead him to his desire of achieving his goals.

He approached his father and put all his thoughts towards him. It was a moving experience to finally release these in a torrent. Moritsugo kneeled, prostrate in front of his father as he expressed himself in a way he never had before.

As he continued, he could visibly see the disfavour in his father’s face. This was unheard of for a son to go against his father’s wishes but the boy’s desire was evident and the daughters were capable so with a heavy sigh he conceded to allow the boy to chase his ambitions. However, he would forever have this disgrace on his conscience.

With tears in the corners of his eyes, shining like polished pearls, Moritsugo had no choice but to abandon his previous life in the search to push the boundaries of his being.

-~-

Moritsugo had travelled to mainland Japan in the search of a sensei. He had approached many but did not get accepted, due to his background. Karate was unfavourable in the ancient ways of war. The man - dejected, heartbroken and home sick - pushed himself on. His path lay before his feet. If he kept walking then he would find his destination, as was taught to him.

One merely needed the courage to keep walking.

So he continued his search.

On his 28th birthday, he found himself a sensei by pure luck. Walking through a town, searching for work he bumped into the man in the market and bowed deeply, apologising profusely. The man grabbed him by the arm to reprimand him but Moritsugo reacted almost instinctively to grab his wrist. Immediately he let go and proceeded to apologise further for reacting to an elder in such a way.

The old man was impressed. Where originally there was hostility there was now a man standing in front of him with skill, an appreciation of the old ways and above all. Manners.

The man invited Moritsugo to his house, which had a dojo in its grounds. It was fate.

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The dojo belonging to his sensei.

Sensei taught him the ways of the samurai, as was taught to him by his father… and his father. The family history dated back to the days of the old Emperor’s and his guardians, the samurai.

In a way, Moritsugo’s sensei saw the young man as a Rōnin. A samurai with no master. Nothing to live for, until he found a new leader and a goal. With purpose’s hilt grasped in both his hands Moritsugo felt at peace. He pushed himself to learn and learn he did.

-~-

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Moritsugo and his master during training. An American politician watches in the background.

For ten years he honed his body and his mind to become a master of his art. Hi was a sword needing sharpening now. All the while his sensei’s son, Noburo, was being trained alongside. These two had developed a mutual unease at each other tempered only by the will of their master. Competition among the two was common place, leaning favorably on Moritsugo as the more skilled.

Moritsugo saw a part of himself in Noburo. A man being groomed to take over after his father. He had no aims or aspirations to lead and felt endeared to his training partner, even with his hostile demeanour. He was a devout follower and dedicated himself to be an eager student.

Sadly these qualities made him the better ‘seito’. The apple of the eye of the sensei and the swelling ire of Noburo, who was gradually becoming a dangerous opponent.

With both men becoming equally skilled at sword play over the years and their title of samurai fully earned at this point, it was a good time for Moritsugo. He had pride in himself and he honestly felt satisfied. If only his father could see what he had become.

The devastation and grief that was to follow came as a shock.

His sensei died suddenly in his sleep, from what appeared to be old age. The will had been brought out by the family and Moritsugo and Noburo had been named to take over the dojo together. The instructions were implicit that this must be done.

This was the last straw and Noboru’s great hatred for Moritsugo reached its peak for dishonouring him by becoming more favourable and demolishing his birth right. He felt his inheritance had been ‘usurped’ by Moritsugo.

They mourned as individuals and waited the three days until their master’s funeral was ready.

The day of the funeral. As both men stood over the shrine that had been put above the grave. Noburo challenged Moritsugo as per the old ways. They would meet in the grounds at midnight and battle. Noburo would claim his birth right and kill he who had dishonoured him so greatly, as was custom.

Deep down Mory regarded him as a partner. He dreamed of the day he could embrace the man who he wished to call brother. He was afraid to take whom he regarded as a friend’s life and so he fled, dishonouring Noburo even further.

Moritsugo could not fight this man and now he had failed his sensei, besmirched his family, dishonoured who he desperately wanted as his closest friend. This was the last straw before the ultimate sacrifice would need to be made...

Disowned with no sensei and no direction, he boarded the first boat he saw that was to leave Japan to avoid Noburo tracking him down.

-~-

Sitting on the boat with his meagre possessions and his sword, his only item of personal value, he gazed out to sea.

His sensei’s words rang true in his mind…

“A samurai with no goal and no master…”

“A Rōnin…”

Again his path lay in front of him but now he had no destination. The road before him was long and undetermined.

Only the end was certain.

As per the old ways, he could take his own life. A small comfort for a man that was searching for purpose.

Rousing from his solemn mood, he looked at the destination on the crates on the foredeck. His English was patchy but ‘…South Zagoria’ could be made out…

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He stared ahead of him, over the railing, and pursued a purpose.

Once a

侍) Samurai

Taught by a

先生 Sensei

Become a

浪人 Rōnin

我が道を行く

//First new character in a while. Feel free to critique.

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Guest Astycc   
Guest Astycc

Holy shit, that was a great read, I wish Moritsugo Katsumoto luck around Chernarus!

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Hofer    20

God damn Sumos. That is some impressive writing right there.

10/10. Flawless

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Holy shit, that was a great read, I wish Moritsugo Katsumoto luck around Chernarus!

He wishes you great luck and honour too, Gaijin!

Thanks for reading :)

Good job SumoS!

You alway put down top stories !

Cheers Alan!

God damn Sumos. That is some impressive writing right there.

10/10. Flawless

A few bits and bobs I can improve but I will iterate on this over time.

I miss Honda :(

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