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 Keigyou Senzen Jokage (Bone Flower)

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yanamari

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PostSubject: Keigyou Senzen Jokage (Bone Flower)   Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:30 pm

"See how the Yellow River's water moves out of heaven.
Entering the ocean, never to return.
See how lovely locks in bright mirrors in high chambers,
Though silken-black at morning, have changed by night to snow.

Those who have past come as a mocking of shadow
Spinning thin silk in the dance of geisha.
And through their fall into intricate pattersn woven from the edges
of Yamamoto histories,
A whisper is uttered.

This is the question?
What is the answer?"

-----

The bone mother lays down a tea cup filled with tea leaves, her hands appear like silver, china, and white jade. You catch a glimpse of them before they fold back into the shadows. She perhaps died at a very young age like yourself for her hands still maintain their youthful, yet deathly, exuberince<sp?>

"Your question is deep in the history of these lands. They begin with a young women, daughter of a noble lord. She sought out the desire to love, to feel the souls of her body inter-lay with another. In these young days, such thoughts were rare. The dreams of love were nothing more than a gift that peasents give to another, yet she desired it. She cared nothing for duty, for the honor of her father. A demon heard this plight, and came to tempt her with love, confusing it for the sin we now know as 'lust.' Yet she was honest, and true, and thus the tempter became the tempted. He feel in love with her, a Gaki and a mortal women. She kept a journal of this unnatural connection, though she was not aware of his impurities."
"Another demon felt this unholy union, and was not pleased with it, for reasons one cannot form into sentences. This demon was afar, and had the hate of Nihhion barried deep in his breast. He came to this girl and tempted her again. She would not faulter. The Gaki on the other hand, stood up to this very powerful demon, and they fought and her lover died. For the first time this girl felt sorrow and pain, for love is another a half a step away from hate. The great demon felt this new sensation, and took that time, that moment, to kill her."

"As he did so, he sang out a prayer, a moment that this little girl never forgot:
The Old Man
Sinking effortlessly in
The bottom
He is pleased
Though he feels intensity
And pleasure

His family
They are vast and different
They Ponder
They do weep
And only smile at the mask
They all ask

What is the answer?
This is the question?

The falling
The falling leaves of the fall
The name of
The family
That seeks the suffering of
Emma-O "

"The demon, Emma-O did suffer from being unable to tempt this girl, and when she went to his home, he did return the favor, so much so that the girl had no choice but to escape and gained a second breath."

"Time passed between her death and rebirth, so much so that their were ships on the sea, and white men on horses. She thought Japan had been invaded, she was correct. She came to her family and saw that it had been cursed. Though many bloodlines split and formed new families, they all suffered the same ailment. The curse of Emma-O was a curse of love. If they were to marry for anything other than love, then they would be damned to live as reflections of themselves, spirits, and ghosts. Emma-O even made a place for these ghosts to exist so Emma-O can torture them without the Yellow Springs comming for them. The girl sought answers, and the only one she was ever to get from heaven was 'they will be found when the winds rip the mountain down' a portents that happens signaling the final decades of the 5th age."
"The girl did not know that this curse could be broken by love. The thought in her dead cold mind could not have come to such a simple answer, but when it did it brought her a place of enlightenment. It would be when love would return to the family line that the curse of ghosts would end, but sadly the sin did not."

"You are the question and the answer, and so is your sister whom is niether dead or damned. She is in a place protected by the girl, living a mortal life though she recently gained a new insight and a transformation has taken place. She can see chi now, she can do things she does not understand. The agents of Emma-O do not know where she is, and they do not know you. They simply want you, and will lay down seeds of deception to call her and you. If you are the question, what is the answer?"

----------

Jokage spun her mind into whirls of thought. A nexus of musings and tangents as a laying of branches or spinning of webs.

My blood has flowed into forking rivers, become a tangled skein of ancestors and descendants. Emma O has hunted my blood for an age beginning with the poet. She loved a Gaki and fell to her death as Emma O's claw sought her life's blood sufficed with anger's drought. Rage took her into Yomi. And she was hastily given a second breath. From that night onward, she has sought the answer. And it revealed itself as love.

And she held yet another verse...they will be found when the winds rip the mountain down. Yet the book asks through the voice of my P'o to be taken to the mountain. Perhaps this book, long old and now awake, has learned to lie to save what it perceives as its end? Perhaps it sees my youth as maleable?

If it were no longer to exist, as my ancestor saw, perhaps it would no longer have a purpose? Cease to exist? What would happen if I were to take it to the mountain? What would happen if it was destroyed? No one has completed this quest. Could the book seek this purposely? To forever remain powerful?

I begin to wonder if the book gains power from every ghost captured. And now that the ghosts escape and run to Yon Chi, perhaps it seeks their essence to grow stronger. It has a function, and no matter the sentience, it cannot escape it. It has become aware...to its own futility.

Perhaps it is the mountain.

And I am the destined hand. But what of my sister? Does the book seek her to gain a turned hand? She knows far less than myself. And yet-- Another image suddenly imposed itself within her mind. And it made a certain clarity. The others that were sent to take care of the book, to take it to the mountain, had a twin of a strange power...a chin tah. And they had been captured by the Kumo of Mikaboshi.

Otagi. I must speak with him.

I am the question and the answer. I am the one who loves according to this prophecy. I seek to bring together the family parted. And my sister is part of this.

In a soft voice, she answered. "A mirror." And this simple answer became as complex and simple as a night sky and the millions of stars in it. Cold, frozen, reflective. Yet the reflection could hold endless things. In the flat place of glass and lead, magic created what science answered. And in another turning, it represented the lands that mirrored the Middle Kingdom.
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PostSubject: Re: Keigyou Senzen Jokage (Bone Flower)   Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:31 pm



Shimbakuru Hiroko was born to a loving mother and father. She was active and happy despite illnesses she suffered from. No matter what ailment attacked her body, she continued to smile and laugh, painting, drawing, and singing to keep everyone's spirits up.

During her first years in school, her teacher gave an ancestry assignment. Arriving home before her parents, Hiroko dug through boxes in their small storage area. And there she learned the truth. Her parents were brother and sister. The truth crushed Hiroko. And as the days and months past, she became more closed and sick.

From age 6 to 10, the laughing child became a walking health problem. Her depression laced every movement and thought. She went to the hospital for many problems, all of them aggrivated by her depression. Her parents took her to psychiatrists and spiritualists. And through it all, she secretly sought to learn more.

She had always wondered about her grandparents. In the hidden photos, she could see the woman and man that were her own. And like the children in the schools, she wished to eat sweet soy milk and treats from them. To hear of her ancestors. To visit temples and shrines with them. But she could only look at the photos. During the night, she would speak to them as if they were imaginary friends. But she knew the shame of her blood would damn her in their sight.

She was a bright girl, but wayward. In attempts to regain their lost girl, her parents placed her into Maiko, apprenticeship to a Geisha. Was was pretty, but drawn. She was not as beautiful as the other Maiko and Geisha. But the opportunity gave her the chance to be truly honorable. She learned the art of song, poetry, dance, and tea. She painted her face and walked in slow grace. Her parents praised her, but that only angered her. She wanted nothing of them. But she would never disgrace them. By 13, she was becoming the perfect daughter.

One of the amazing feats she had within her, the only thing of true beauty, was her skill in piano and flute. Her fingers and grace evoked haunting melodies, always telling of her pain and need for tradition, to be cleansed of something dark...a seed she called it in her journals.

Time past, money came in, and the family received many honors. Yet through it all, Hiroko seemed as a fire caught behind ice. How she hated her parents and her birth. She was trained by tutors and continued her life, hoping for the day she would escape their clutches. And it was in her 16th season that her hand was promised in an arranged marriage. Hiroko then faced a chilling certainty. The world would know of her shame and dishonor as the child of incest.

She ate less. And what she did eat, she expelled. Her health, already fragile, took a sharp turn for the worst. And in a quiet fall evening, as the cherry blossoms and oaks began to let go of their leaves, she faded and died in her sleep.

From here, for hating herself and other such sins, she fell into Yomi. The Hell of Burrowing Maggots welcomed her soul filled with hatred and pain. Falling upon the dunes of squirming retribution, she felt her soul sink inch by inch. The maggots burrowed deep, moving under the surface of her skin mimicing the sins she always felt were within. The pain was terrible, far worse than any she could have imagined. And through it all, she refused to accept that she deserved it. Her parents deserved the tortures of the soul. Her parents broke tradition and natural law. They coupled to create a sin. But she had lived virtuously. Soon...she learned she was wrong. Screaming against the unfairness of it all, a voice told her she could escape. What happened then has been lost.

She rose from her immaculate grave. Leaving the pit of her life, she walked as the Deceiver. A wu of Cranes found the returned sister. She was sitting below the window of her parents kitchen, crying silent tears yet smiling all the while. She reached towards the window, yet could not seek their acknowledgement. Speaking to the girl in lovely silks and chipped stone, they noticed the broken nails and blood. She had escaped yomi.

Leaving her with the devil tigers, they constantly sought to break the girl. But she would never speak, never cry out. They tortured the P'o into submission, but they did not notice the change between P'o and Hun as Hiroko took over. She was becoming cold, losing and leeching all emotion. She had failed to face her parents in death. Now she had nothing. The elder Devil Tiger, a mandarin of the Devil Tenders, looked deep into her soul and understood. She would definitely become a Bone Flower.

He told her to follow. Rising as quiet as a soft breeze, she moved behind him. He took her to a pool, removing her death kimono which was bloodied and torn from the ministrations of the Devil Tigers. He gave her orders. She followed them without question. Yet there was a difference in the following, not like a slave but as interpretation. He cleaned her body in the waters, telling her what had happened and what would come. Wrapping her in a white robe, he sat her upon a rock, coursely brushing her hair and touching her face as a child with a doll. She was luminous in her beauty, her terrible heartache and hatred that slowly leeched away with the dirty water.

Hell had created a truly wonderous creature. The Devil Tiger had seen only two others such as her. A student of the Black Axis, he pondered how the two hells could produce similar results. She was lovely in grace and form. Her skin shone as mist upon water. Her hair black and soft as a raven's wing. Her eyes limitless as the sea. Lips the taste of lotus and orchid. Yet, within was a dark and ugly desolation. Taking her upon a path as the other two so like her had taken, he left her to the Singers of Shadow Song.

And there...she left Hiroko and became Keigyou Zensen Jokage, Illuminated Star in Slow Descent.

From the Within, Unto the Supplicant
Upon the thinking of tenets as penned by Keigo Senzen Jokage

For many days and nights, I have lived as a Running Monkey of Tokyo's Gaki. But I have taken few breaths in the limit of my life returned. These words, a growing lexicon, of my thoughts on dharma and path as a song sung shadows.

When I awoke and took form within this body, it was blessed with a beauty untold. I never questioned what happened, thinking it nothing more than a cruelty of yomi. Now, I begin to question my mother-aunt and father-uncle. Perhaps their sin granted us these forms. Mine and my sister's.

We are as the torn semblance of yin and yang. She moves in quietness, yet I do not know if it is in cold.

Of my tenets, those of the family, of never forgetting the heat for the cold, and the pressing of truth have remained steadfast in my vision. But now, the movements of my hand take me further into consideration of them all. The following are my thoughts and meditations at this singular point on a widening path into the inifinite.

Bathe in the breath of the Ebon Dragon, but hold fast to the Scarlet Queen's teardrop.
The fire burns. The cold freezes. When jumping into the fire, you burst into life and dust as the hurried life of a thought, a love spurned, a mote in the eye of heaven. Yet, too far in the clutches of the glacier keeps beauty for eternity. Captured as the eternal image of blossoms on rice paper by the artist. Seeing too long in the cold blinds us. We became lost without movement. To remain between the flame and the ice brings a measure of warmth and chill. Never delve too deeply within the yin for you may never come to realize the visions of eternity as a frozen thing. Our brothers of the dragons act as reminders of the warmth of flame, the world of yang.

Behold the pillar of the family and safeguard it against vandals and thieves.
What is family? The mortals that surrounded you in life? Friends and neighbors before your walk into yomi? Your wu of gaki seeking their paths yet connected through the bonds of friendship, love, and spirit? The spirits seeking love ones, those that disgraced them, or the next step of the cycle?

Varied and whole, the family is more than a character or unit. More than the guanxi of our unlives. More than the trappings of our mortal days. It is the eternal connection to our ancestors, fellow travelers, and the living. Consider what the word means to you and guard it well.

Of all tenets, I have sought this one more than any other. My ancestors sent me visions of a journal. Willow and rind, it details their imprisonment. Yet, if my ancestors of this Middle Kingdom are nothing more than spectres or teapots, how did I receive this vision? From heaven? Perhaps Yomi?

My wu, family of the spirit. I give council and direction. Their hot hands push and pull me, yet I will not melt against them. Their intrigue is a farce that brings me enjoyment of a whole home. But now they must learn to think on their own. I can become a guide, but only when logic is needed. I am not spun of gold. With two of such color, I can begin to trek further within.

My mother and father and their relatives. I am ancestor to them now. I must never be Hiroko. She died long ago and lives eternal in a box within my remembrance. Father has accepted. Mother will need time. Perhaps I can give them the strength they need on their roads back to their father. I can only provide support...but not force their feet. If only our ancestors were not bound into service. How I wish I could speak with the spirits of my past. I am hollow... Perhaps a mentor of my following would provide greater insight. I am unsure of my station now in these nights.


Kiss the spirits in their houses and the ghosts in their shrouds. Both are lonely and adore the healing touch.
To turn west is to die, to enter the state of being transcendent and ephemeral. It is to become one with the Middle Kingdom. To turn west brings a full circle of intent, for the circle must turn back to the east and the rising sun, of life and living. Yet, those who pass beyond the veil of night should not be forgotten.

In China, they have a world of memory and faith to provide those that live. But the walls of their world are made from the ghosts of mine. To seek the spirits of the world, the essence of Yang and life. Without them, we have no earth to tread, no blossoms to watch, no life for our families. Seek the ghosts in their shrouds and remember them. The turning of the cycle brings them back into this world. They are our ancestors. We once walked their path...and if forgotten, they may become unhinged from the circle of nature.

The world of the living and dead depend on the care of yin and yang, of ghost and spirit. As singers of shadow song, we bring forth the messages of the realms to the living and the living to their past kin. The mirror cannot exist without the face and the reflection. But now, I find I am unsure in my step.

Turning the pages of my memory and the learning from Chonquing, I begin to consider a singular thought. We have lost our ancestors, but what of their memory? Perhaps, a spirit of Japan, of our heritage exists. Perhaps I can seek this spirit, this ghost, and save it.

Gather what you can from the falling leaves of knowledge.
Words are characters that reflect thought, consideration, intellect, conflict, resolution. Yet, words may fail without knowledge. Learn all that this world, the next, and the realms of failing and rising light inbetween. Through lessons, texts, and whispers on the wind, we gain the insight to understand all things. Through the pursuit of knowledge, we gain insight and enlightenment of Tian and Yomi, of life and unlife in its varied forms. Knowledge is the key to the door within. Once unlocked, all that is required is to move through it. This is the singular path of Singers of Shadow. Learn all you can, and the way of ascension will follow.

Press the truth like fine paper and ink it with the visions you have seen.
Nothing is gained through fire but ash. If gone, what would be known of the experience? What truths found are lost? Those who taste of the Middle Kingdom's waters come from all ages, all times. To pass from one life to the next is a travel of a thousand steps that begins with none if forgotten. Watch the world with cold logic, and all will become clear. Seek the way of cold metal, of solitude and observance. What is gained through the attention and cold mind brings to the surface all truths. Never accept without review. Ours is the way of understanding through logic, gleaning the pearl within the sands. And once learned, we document it for eternity.

Take up the pen, chisel, and voice. Recall what you learn for your mind and the next. To be one with the metal egg is to allow the hot emotion to fall away for greater insight to come. Through unity of motionless peace, the inner sight becomes clear, unhindered. Through the reading of the journal, experience is gained, wisdom earned. Trust in your hand, eye, and mouth. Document the world you left, the one you enter, and all the sights and sounds you have encountered. Then the steps commence, and heaven attained.


Give freely of your knowledge, but wrap it up like a precious gift.
To learn something that awakens the mind, expands the senses, is never gained easily. Bone Flowers seek knowledge in all of its forms. When we teach or speak of matters important, complex, or simple for the mind to gain lessons from, endeavor to teach as befits the knowledge gained. When answering if you prefer the color blue or black may not provide enlightenment to another. Yet, when teaching of spirits, the way from one realm to the next, the proper attunement for reaching forth and changing the path of the stars, must we not give information in a fashion bespeaking its importance?

Create koans and riddles through words and art for those you teach. Impart through your inner journey. Nothing sought of importance should be given as easily as breathing. The seeker gains nothing but disrepect in such ways. Create and represent the knowledge as a wonderful gift to be treasured, contemplated, and learned from.

Look beyond the obvious and discern a deeper meaning.
Where do we gain knowledge? To study the cherry blossom from the tree's snowencrusted limbs, to the first opening bud, the awe of thousands of petals, and the falling of petals upon water we can learn the insights of the worlds within and without. The path of the elderly man up Mount Fuji. The rot of cancer in a child's body. The lies of the Yomi realms. The truths of Heaven. All things carry within them the budding of knowledge. Seek out the hidden meaning of all things around you. In a land of images, symbols can be found for all things...to mean not just one but none and all.

Console the grieving and remind them to respect the dead.
We have returned from the mouth of Yomi. Entering our decaying forms, we took the Second Breath. So many reside in Yomi...in the Middle Kingdom. They are forgotten as the traditions of mourning and death. The world has became too too fast. People move and speak without thought of yesterday or five minutes ago. They do not live for every moment. Without the proper grieving and service learned, taught, and followed for ages untold, people remain locked in a state of near mourning. Their ancestors cannot move or become lost shades. To learn and sing of shadow, we remind the world of the past...of those who have walked this way and that. We teach them to console and mourn. Through our efforts, the ancestors and Heaven are not forgotten but redeemed. Pull away the urgency of the stop watch. Bring mortalkind full circle with those they have lost.
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PostSubject: Re: Keigyou Senzen Jokage (Bone Flower)   Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:31 pm

Final Information on Jokage:

Bone Jounral (first journal) - This book is bone in thin bones, bound and woven like a bamboo mat. The bones are hollow, like birds. The paper is fine rice paper, smelling of jasmine and lotus. The ink is scripted like shadows across the page, heavy black. It is written in traditional kanji. A long bone bookmark mark the final page. When you flip to it, you find the rest of the book hollowed out with two bone boxes. Each one has a kanji: Akoto & Minamiguchi. Inside the small boxes is dust.

Crimson Spiral Journal (second journal) - This book is bound in red leather with a white dragon inlaid of bone. The pages are fine rice paper smelling of jasmine and spice. The ink is heavy black, in traditional style. The bookmark is a black bird's feather. It has many, many more pages to fill in with entries...never to be entered

Puzzle box - You find a box of rosewood with inlaid onyx. Requires 25 accumulated successes, 1 roll per hour, of Wits + Enigmas to open. Inside is the only copy of Akoto's work, The Hateful Lotus.

White Jade Mask, artifact. Provides wearer -2 dif in social situations dealing with ghosts. Made by Hakari, Ancestor of Tokyo.

Jade Talesmin of Yin - Black with the look of a bridge. Holds 2 Yin chi (only yin).

Sword of Eternal Cherry Blossoms - Lethal yet beautiful sword of yin ice. Will last until sunlight touches it. Str + 3 agg. 1 foot wide and 3.5 feet long.

Pink and Gold Egg of the Druids - Gift from Sai. Use once per month to convert all damage one damage rating less.

Random notes on pieces of paper left in a box all written in poetry. Library of occult, poetry, history, and cultural anthropology books. Gifts from people at court. Gifts for people at court, all handmade.

Thousands of photos of the wu. All of them candid. All of them capturing an amazing amount of detail and emotion. They are kept in a library of books detailing the life and times of the wu. Includes photos of all wumates beginning with the first night of game onward. None of you will remember having any of these pictures taken.

Thousands of photos of Oliver Thrace's kin-jin, gargoyles, gaki at court, kumo, nezumi, hakken, John, China, Hong Kong and a godzilla looking creature, a crashed plane, etc.

3 T-shirts of manga drawings of the wu (Akoto, Jokage, Kami, Tetsuko, and Minamiguchi) leaping from an exploding DisneyLand. Made and sold by the Thrashing Dragons.

CD and written sheet music for a symphony Jokage wrote (20 successes). Called: Harmony of Elements

A small book of notes, drawings, and photos of carvings with an address in Asakusa. If you go, you find the cemetary. With some looking, you find a large building that houses a set of tombs for a family. The symbols remind you of Fire and Water. Located in a greater tomb in Asakusa are four tombs completed and one in the works for the current wu. Carved from gray slate with inlays of jade, pearl, and blown glass. Each tomb for Tetsuko, Ichi Watashi, Takeshi, and Jokage have symbols and inlays that remind you of yourself. Some include information on your lineage if she could find it. Hers is a think of delicate beauty. Inside each is a soft lining of raw silk in colors of your direction and dharma. Hona O's was being completed. There are also urns or reminders of the past wumates.

Anything else...you can't find. You are also not sure of every location of places she had for herself. You know there were at least 3 storage rooms...somewhere. The 5 dots in resources Akoto left are also missing...and untraceable. The piano is also...missing. She moved alot of this stuff out from the house during the 2 yrs.


Last edited by yanamari on Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Keigyou Senzen Jokage (Bone Flower)   Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:31 pm



Jokage’s Treasures - Located in the Tomb of Asakusa
Perception + Investigation (dif 6) to locate these items.

Journals in bound metal covers. Cold to the touch. Black yin ice pages. Carvings with silver inlaid. If you allow the pages to be touched by the sun, they will crack and be forever destroyed.

Volume 1, The Tears of the Willow - Book contains information on the Willow Book. The Willow Book was a spirit created by a Chinese Chin’tah or by Emma O himself during the darkest of ages of man. It became old and powerful, this written ritual gained clarity and emotion. Soon it awakened and spawned many brother and sister spirits. The ritual binds spirits and locates powerful entities. Emma O used this spirit trying to capture Jokage. Emma O hoped to have her summon all spirits of the Willow Book together…springing some sort of trap.

Volume 2, Line of Shimbakuru – Book contains the lineage of the Shimbakuru line, beginning with a Princess. Some of the later members are listed in the north and in Hokkaido. There are notes that her grandfather and uncle in Hokkaido know of Jokage's gaki existence. Jokage has a mother, father, and twin sister in Tokyo. Her mother and father are brother and sister. The twin sister was protected by Hakari from Jokage’s learning of her. Jokage’s mortal name was Hiroko.

Volume 3, The Curse of Emma O – Book contains dreams and enigmas about the curse.

The following are words that introduce the book:
Long ago, a princess felt a stirring of words while watching cherry blossoms fall into the gentle currents of a brook. She spoke them to her handmaidens. And they swooned from the melancholy blend of love and life. The princess closed her eyes, feeling the awakening of such dreams as thoughts, and she wondered what dreams would be when night closed her eyes.

But then darkness came not as the night but as a man. Emma O came before her, resting her cheek in his hand. She was pale as snow, small and gilt as the craft of blossoms that give the sun such delight for falling upon the leaves and petals. An ecstasy of vision and life. He wanted her. She did not wish him. The cold that filled his heart raged into a storm that would bring death to all. He smote her with a curse, never to die, never to fade. An eternal blossom, outside of nature and beyond all expectations of a solemn demise. Fear filled her, but the torment was nothing compared the searing winds that tore at her soul. The curse traveled with her daughters and sons. Forever would they be touched by it.

In yomi, her tears froze and became as shards of glass, seeking to cut her heart out of her flesh. But the princess was beyond such torments. She recalled the dreams of beauty. She sent them out from her as a shield against the harsh landscape. Many women have become his servants, mimicking his need for her beauty. Every one of the women born to the curse of beauty have died to rise again. All have succumbed to his tremulous need.

I am the next. Twinned soul with a sister so caught. We suffer the same fate. I know not if she has seen the truth of our beauty. She is Chin’tah. I am Kuei-jin. Neither is free of the taint that pulls us in this game. But we must speak…and learn together.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The following is a reflection on a dream after Hokkaido:
I had a dream, after Hokkaido. In it, the shadow soul spoke. What follows is what I recall…

What fun we can have with your sister
She is the piece of the puzzle
Though the path to her is not like walking forward
Nor can you jump under the ground

There is no cute trick you can do
No Truth that will let her come
Only the right moment can seek her
But the wrong moment comes.

Oh! My dear Jokage. Are their any other requiems I can sing to you now? Why should I thought. You have never listened to my meaning, just my words. You never feel my pauses, never understand why I still take breath.

Do your parents know that you lay with your own brother?

I remembered a time when I was meditating within the mountain standing before a stone Shinto Statue of one of the first Ancestors of this place. The Ancestor was a very beautiful bone flower, though I do not know what happened to her. As I stood to turn around, a shadow moved past my eyes. Looking back over at the statue, I saw myself, or who I see now as my sister standing in the lap. The mouth of the “Hiroko” opens and it echoes… “I am the tether that binds them down, take it to the peak Jokage, take it to the peak...”

Later I learned the Bone Flower to be the princess…my ancestor… Mother of us all opened my eyes with cold logic and terrible certainty.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The following is writing about awakening a calligraphy set that belonged to her grandmother (which is hidden somewhere unknown):

Smoke rises from the case of the set for just a moment, the cloud rises up and collects itself into the shape of a face, a face that looks just like yours. The smoke delves back into the set for a moment. The brush picks itself up, and writes....

The Old Man
Sinking effortlessly in
The bottom
He is pleased
Though he feels intensity
And pleasure

His family
They are vast and different
They Ponder
They do weep
And only smile at the mask
They all ask

What is the answer?
This is the question?

The falling
The falling leaves of the fall
The name of
The family
That seeks the suffering of
.........

“The Falling Leaves” is a cult in Tokyo that despises anything western, but they are so extreme that even Gaki think that they are insane. No Kuei-Jin has claimed them, and no supernatural has ever taken them seriously. They have a large presence in North Japan, but they do have some chapters in Tokyo.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The following is a conversation recalled and written by Jokage with Mother, the Bone Flower Mandarin of Tokyo:
Jokage speaks, “See how the Yellow River's water moves out of heaven.
Entering the ocean, never to return.
See how lovely locks in bright mirrors in high chambers,
Though silken-black at morning, have changed by night to snow.

Those who have past come as a mocking of shadow
Spinning thin silk in the dance of geisha.
And through their fall into intricate patterns woven from the edges
of Yamamoto histories,
A whisper is uttered.

This is the question?
What is the answer?”

The Mother speaks, “Your question is deep in the history of these lands. They begin with a young women, daughter of a noble lord. She sought out the desire to love, to feel the souls of her body inter-lay with another. In these young days, such thoughts were rare. The dreams of love were nothing more than a gift that peasents give to another, yet she desired it. She cared nothing for duty, for the honor of her father. A demon heard this plight, and came to tempt her with love, confusing it for the sin we now know as 'lust.' Yet she was honest, and true, and thus the tempter became the tempted. He feel in love with her, a Gaki and a mortal women. She kept a journal of this unnatural connection, though she was not aware of his impurities.”

“Another demon felt this unholy union, and was not pleased with it, for reasons one cannot form into sentences. This demon was afar, and had the hate of Nihhion barried deep in his breast. He came to this girl and tempted her again. She would not faulter. The Gaki on the other hand, stood up to this very powerful demon, and they fought and her lover died. For the first time this girl felt sorrow and pain, for love is another a half a step away from hate. The great demon felt this new sensation, and took that time, that moment, to kill her.”

“As he did so, he sang out a prayer, a moment that this little girl never forgot:
The Old Man
Sinking effortlessly in
The bottom
He is pleased
Though he feels intensity
And pleasure

His family
They are vast and different
They Ponder
They do weep
And only smile at the mask
They all ask

What is the answer?
This is the question?

The falling
The falling leaves of the fall
The name of
The family
That seeks the suffering of
Emma-O”

“The demon, Emma-O did suffer from being unable to tempt this girl, and when she went to his home, he did return the favor, so much so that the girl had no choice but to escape and gained a second breath.”

“Time passed between her death and rebirth, so much so that there were ships on the sea, and white men on horses. She thought Japan had been invaded, she was correct. She came to her family and saw that it had been cursed. Though many bloodlines split and formed new families, they all suffered the same ailment. The curse of Emma-O was a curse of love. If they were to marry for anything other than love, then they would be damned to live as reflections of themselves, spirits, and ghosts. Emma-O even made a place for these ghosts to exist so Emma-O can torture them without the Yellow Springs coming for them. The girl sought answers, and the only one she was ever to get from heaven was 'they will be found when the winds rip the mountain down' a portents that happens signaling the final decades of the 5th age.”

“The girl did not know that this curse could be broken by love. The thought in her dead cold mind could not have come to such a simple answer, but when it did it brought her a place of enlightenment. It would be when love would return to the family line that the curse of ghosts would end, but sadly the sin did not.”

“You are the question and the answer, and so is your sister whom is neither dead or damned. She is in a place protected by the girl, living a mortal life though she recently gained a new insight and a transformation has taken place. She can see chi now, she can do things she does not understand. The agents of Emma-O do not know where she is, and they do not know you. They simply want you, and will lay down seeds of deception to call her and you. If you are the question, what is the answer?”

Jokage considers it all…
My blood has flowed into forking rivers, become a tangled skein of ancestors and descendants. Emma O has hunted my blood for an age beginning with the poet. She loved a Gaki and fell to her death as Emma O's claw sought her life's blood sufficed with anger's drought. Rage took her into Yomi. And she was hastily given a second breath. From that night onward, she has sought the answer. And it revealed itself as love.

And she held yet another verse...they will be found when the winds rip the mountain down. Yet the book asks through the voice of my P'o to be taken to the mountain. Perhaps this book, long old and now awake, has learned to lie to save what it perceives as its end? Perhaps it sees my youth as maleable?

If it were no longer to exist, as my ancestor saw, perhaps it would no longer have a purpose? Cease to exist? What would happen if I were to take it to the mountain? What would happen if it was destroyed? No one has completed this quest. Could the book seek this purposely? To forever remain powerful?

I begin to wonder if the book gains power from every ghost captured. And now that the ghosts escape and run to Yon Chi, perhaps it seeks their essence to grow stronger. It has a function, and no matter the sentience, it cannot escape it. It has become aware...to its own futility.

Perhaps it is the mountain.

And I am the destined hand. But what of my sister? Does the book seek her to gain a turned hand? She knows far less than myself. And yet-- Another image suddenly imposed itself within her mind. And it made a certain clarity. The others that were sent to take care of the book, to take it to the mountain, had a twin of a strange power...a chin’tah. And they had been captured by the Kumo of Mikaboshi.

Otagi. I must speak with him.

I am the question and the answer. I am the one who loves according to this prophecy. I seek to bring together the family parted. And my sister is part of this.

In a soft voice, she answered Mother. "A mirror." And this simple answer became as complex and simple as a night sky and the millions of stars in it. Cold, frozen, reflective. Yet the reflection could hold endless things. In the flat place of glass and lead, magic created what science answered. And in another turning, it represented the lands that mirrored the Middle Kingdom.
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