Usami Himiko

KĊshaku Usami Himiko is lord of the western end of Yokosuba Island and the Ogaki Islands in the Kingdom of Jin and Miko of the Cult of the Sun. Born 20th Middle Spring 2095, she ascended to her position 4th Late Summer 2114, after her mother Usami Nanami's death during the Siege of Asahi during the War of Ashen Petals. Since then, for the last twenty three years, she has ruled her lands with strict religious observance.

Character Quick Facts
Race Human, Silverstari (Kingdom of Jin, Usami family)
Date of Birth 20th Middle Spring (October 20th) 2095
Weapon of choice The Element of Fire
Religion The cult of Amaterasu Omikami
Current Location Wuhai Island
Role Religious and Secular leader

History

Childhood

Usami Himiko was born to Usami Nanami and Usami Masami on 20th Middle Spring 2095 in the provincial palace in Minobu. One of six children, she was second after her brother, Usami Tashiro, and before her brothers Usami Aritomo and Usami Rikiya, and sisters Usami Kochiyo and Usami Etsuko. As the first born female, she was declared Heiress Apparent five days after her birth, after being subjected to the Trail by Fire. Himiko was named after her great grandmother, better known as Daihonoo, the Great Flame. She was suckled by her mother, even during grand occasions, an was only cared for by her nurse Mai when circumstances of state made parental care impractical. Despite this, a strong friendship and fondness developed between the girl and Mai, ending in the unfortunate death of the elderly Mai from disease in 2106, an event that left Himiko bitter and withdrawn. She is most noted during her early years for her boundless energy and sharp intelligence, as well as a love of horses and dogs, a dedication to orderliness, and an air of regal command, even prior to her teens.

Teenage years

During her teenage years, Himiko commenced her religious training at the Rising Sun Jinja. She advanced rapidly through the mysteries of the Cult of the Sun, gaining honours and praise from her mother, who, as Miko, was also her Sensei. During this time she fell in love with a visiting Chugi diplomat, Takuya Keitaro, which sparked the Bad Tea Incident and lead to the Grassfire War. While her part in the incident was concealed by the framing and execution of two maid servants in the Pure Flame trials, Himiko has never forgot her grave error and became even more withdrawn.

Gempuku and Marriage

As a direct result of her involvement in the Bad Tea Incident, Himiko's Gempuku was particularly harsh, requiring her to travel to the summit of the volcanic Mount Kigamuzukashii, commune with the Kami and recover a stone from within the crater. This she managed alone, and regained some of her mother's trust in the process. Within days of her return she was betrothed to Maki Kohei, the young scion and first born of a Shishaku family from the Takayama region of the Kingdom of Meiyo. The marriage to such a low ranking individual caused some discussion, but was arranged to honour the Meiyo's assistance in the Grassfire War and was thus considered a combination of gift and sacrifice.

Ascension

Four years after her Gempuku her mother was killed at the Siege of Asahi during the War of Ashen Petals. The Nakushu week of mourning was postponed until after the war's conclusion, but Himiko, childless, was prohibited by tradition from taking her mother's place in the army as a prominent general, instead appointing her sister Kochiyo in her stead, a woman of scarcely fourteen years and not yet having completed her Gempuku. Needless to say, Mae ni Taisho Usami Kochiyo held nothing more than nominal power and had no impact on the war's outcome. The body of Usami Nanami was preserved with magic and returned to Minobu for the Taiyo Kawaita, then subjected to the Junsui na hi cremation ceremony. Upon completion of the ceremony, Himiko she ascended to her position on 4th Late Summer 2114.

Early Reign

Himiko's early reign was dominated by repairing relations with the Kingdom of Chi after the War of Ashen Petals. She publicly distanced herself from the aggressive and expressionistic policies of Shogun Yoshimaru Tatsui, using her position as a religious leader to create a prevailing sense of distance from secular matters. Privately she supported the invasion, but as her lands were closest to the Chi, she suffered the greatest threat of reprisals. It was during this time that her daughter, Usami Maiko, was born on 4th Late Autumn, 2115.

The Falling Apple Incident

Maiko proved immediately to be a reflection of her mother in almost every respect. She was not, however, possessed of any connection to Amaterasu Omikami. During the Trial by Fire the flames parted as she approached, neither burning her nor passing over her without harming her. The portent of this event through the cult into an uproar, some even demanding the death of Taiyo nai Fureru, the one the sun does not touch. Her mother's stern guidance won through, however, and Maiko lived, but was not declared heir. Further more, she displayed no ability with the Ofuda magic. Pray as she might, no kami would head her call, almost unheard of for a woman of the Usami. Her destiny remained uncertain until the intervention of Yoritomo Masaru. The training of the prominent hero allowed the Usami family to maintain some honour out of the whole affair, which had been dubbed the Falling Apple Incident.

Later Reign

With fragile peace restored between Jin and Chi, Himiko's agenda changed. She began advocating a return to the Jin's more religious past, prior to the Yoshimaru Dynasty. Within her own lands she embarked on a campaign to restore religious orthodoxy, demolishing some shrines, building others, and ordering the execution of dozens of heretics during the Purifying Flame. She has become a prominent feature at court, gathering a considerable faction about herself.

Physical description

Possessions

Relations

Current State

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