Name: Katashi Chishiki
Height: Six feet, one inch
Weight/Build/Appearance: Getting on in his years, Katashi is lighter of frame now than he used to be, having a slighter build to him with shoulders that slope a little bit, much unlike when he was younger. He weighs approximately one hundred forty seven pounds with a stomach that, while still having a six pack, is slowly beginning to go a little bit soft. His legs are long and resemble pipes connected together.
Katashi has a dirty, unshaven appearance, having beard stubble on his face and chin and having a sour countenance about his face with his expression set in a grim scowl. His nails, while trimmed, are dirty and chipped, attached to spindly fingers and crooked, hook-like toes, giving him the appearance of a praying mantis, or maybe a vulture.
Facial Features: Katashi has an upside down triangle for a face with a medium sized nose and thin lips. His cheeks are starting to sink into his face a little, giving them a mildly hollow look. His eyes constantly glare outward, always scanning whatever is around him. His chin curves out just a little bit, almost like a small crescent moon. Katashi's mouth never smiles, or even smirks, seemingly stuck in a perpetually sour visage.
Eyes: Katashi's eyes are colored tombstone grey, the expression being set in a bitter, bleary scowl.
DOB: January 29th (Aquarius)
Skin: Katashis skin is gradually becoming lighter. At the moment, it is a shade of dark cream.
Hairstyle: Katashi has messy steel gray hair that he lets flow freely around his head. It goes down to the middle of his back, the texture slightly coarse but not altogether unattractive. He does not bother to comb or brush it very often, giving it an air of stringiness. The front of his hair loosely hangs down over his forehead in scraggly bangs.
Clothing: Katashi tends to dress in somewhat colorful clothing, mostly because he enjoys mocking the normalcy that Japanese society dictates. His usual attire consists of a silk white yukata belted about the waist with a crimson sash, or a golden gi top with a dark green hakama. On missions, he'll wear more appropriate clothes, such as peasant farmer's attire, or clothing that blends in with the shadows, but only if required.
(Question of Ethics)
Katashi was born into a family of nobility that served the Shogun, setting him up for a position as a general to the army down the line. Katashi had pretty much everything at his fingertips, his parents both providing him with an education, food, clothing, and shelter, not to mention the privilege that came with his rank. Katashi seemed to have the world at his fingertips.
There was just one problem: Katashi's family kept large amounts of slaves in their home, and as one could guess, they treated them exceptionally cruelly. Katashi regularly saw his parents beating, starving, and even torturing and mutilating slaves, some of which were children no older than three simply for sadistic enjoyment. This led the then young Katashi to question his place in his family as well as the society around him. His family encouraged him to be courteous and respectful of others, and yet they treated other people like garbage simply based on merit? And who or what made this 'merit' anyway? They were made of the same flesh and blood as them, so what was the difference between them?
As more questions whirled through Katashi's head, he began to help the slaves behind his parents' back, sneaking them food and water, even giving them garments to keep warm. It eventually led him to gradually fall in love with a slave girl about his age (Katashi was twelve around the time this romance budded) named Mayumi. Initially, he denied that he was in love with her if only because he feared repercussions, but once some time had passed, Katashi admitted his feelings to her. For several years, things seemed alright. Well, as alright as they could be. Katashi did his best to create loopholes for Mayumi and the other slaves to prevent them from suffering the wrath of his parents, but he didn't always succeed.
When Katashi was sixteen, the final straw came. He went to meet Mayumi in the stables, and instead found her missing. Frightened, he hurried back into the main building and smelled something from the dining hall. When he arrived there, he discovered his family enjoying dinner… and the truth came out. They had known about Mayumi all those years, and they were deeply ashamed of him, but they couldn't kill their own son as he would be useful to their name. The next best option was to raise his spirits for a little while, and then crush them at their peak. And wouldn't he like to sample the 'meat' on the table? He would just 'love' it…
But it was their undoing. Katashi left the dining hall and returned with the family katana. One by one, his family paid for their sins, and Katashi did not shed any tears for the blood he shed that day. If this was what his prestige meant, then he wanted nothing to do with it. To hell with society and its rules! Tossing aside the family blade-he wanted nothing to do with a tainted sword-Katashi fled into the night.
(Channeling His Anger)
Katashi did not wish to spend his life in a hypocritical society, but he was forced to admit that he would need lodging and employment if he was to survive. He initially found work at a restaurant as a waiter, but he was quickly fired for his insubordinate attitude and an incident in which he beat an unruly customer with a sake bottle (that the customer had been assaulting a waitress made no difference). Unable to find anymore work, he retreated to the forest, unable to take society anymore. He would have starved to death had he not encountered a man named Katsumi.
Actually, it was more the other way around. Katashi had passed out from lack of food and water, and when he awoke, he was in bed in Katsumi's home, the location being deep in the woods. The man had taken pity on him and over a few days gave him food and water allowing him to recover. Once Katashi regained his strength, he asked why Katsumi had saved him. When Katsumi answered, 'Isn't that what people are supposed to do?' Katashi decided to test him. He tried to strike him and immediately found himself lying on the ground. Curious about how this man's mind worked, Katashi did something that he rarely, if ever did: he got down on his knees and begged to learn Katsumi's fighting style. Katsumi, intrigued that Katashi recognized that he used Jujutsu, accepted him as an apprentice.
For ten years, Katashi trained with Katsumi, learning everything he could from break falls and escapes to joint locks and vital point strikes. He also sharpened his sword skills even more and became an even more proficient swordsman. Katsumi, keen to Katashis emotions, could tell that his pupil was carrying a terrible burden on his shoulders and would sometimes inquire if he ever wanted to talk about his life, only to be rebuffed on how there was no point in musing about the past. Katsumi understood just why Katashi had tried to strike him that day, and he would not deceive him with techniques that were, so to speak, 'false'.
The day Katashi left Katsumi's home, the man said these words to him: "The past shapes us, but it does not have to define us." Katashi has not forgotten those words.
After leaving Katsumi's tutelage, Katashi sought to find a way to make a living in a nearby town, but upon entering it, he saw three men trying to rob an old woman. Without hesitation, Katashi reduced the men to whimpering dogs on the ground, but the old woman did not seem all that shaken up. In fact, she was looking at Katashi the way a jeweler would look at a rare diamond. It had been a set up, you see. She was an elder to the Yohebi shinobi clan and had been observing him for the past few weeks with Katsumi. Now that she knew what he was capable of, he had been selected as a new candidate. He needed a home and money, so this was a prime opportunity.
What reason did Katashi have for saying no, other than not being able to?
Katashis welcoming into the Yohebi clan was far from warm. Although he was an adult, he was still considered to be a 'kohai', and as such, he was expected to be placed with a teacher who would give him basic training in combative arts and espionage. The training ranged from having to balance on beams perched above spikes while demonstrating swordsmanship, sneak through the entire complex at night undetected by the guards, and defend against multiple attackers wielding weapons whilst unarmed. Katashi's teacher himself was far from a loveable person, and the two of them never forged any sort of bond, but Katashi had long since lost any desire for human interaction. He had shut away his heart and was content to be a rock.
Katashi quickly gained the attention of his teacher with his ability to simplify more complicated techniques and create more dirty methods of fighting. He had even gotten his teacher to compliment him on many occasions, a habit which was dispensed very carefully. Katashi was far from concerned with being a skilled ninja or even with becoming stronger or more skilled. What drove him was the desire to be free from society's bonds and be respected for his abilities, not how he carried himself or his bloodline. To this end, he disregarded both praise and criticism and in a way transcended those around him, his attitude to simply do what was right for its own sake and solve life's mysteries allowing him to master and even improvise techniques more quickly than some of the other ninja kohai.
(The First Test and the First Mission)
When Katashi was thirty two, he was tested by the Yohebi clan to be a senior ninja, said test consisting of surviving out in the wilderness for two weeks, then making it back to the compound unarmed while being assaulted at random areas in the forest by members of the clan. If he made it back, he would face his teacher in a full-contact fight. The test was unbelievably grueling, but with skill, patience, and some luck and weapon improvisation, Katashi was just barely able to pass and was promoted. Once his teacher regained consciousness, he went so far as to drink sake with his student and openly congratulate him.
Now that Katashi was a senior, he would be taken seriously by the clan, and he was given a mission. It was a simple sweep and clear: he and a handful of other shinobi had been hired to assassinate a branch of the yakuza that had taken control of a small village. The mission was carried out successfully, with Katashi and his fellow ninja burning down the hideout and killing the gangsters, but Katashi dealt personally with the leader. It just so happened that the leader of the yakuza was a prominent samurai, and the fact that he happened to prostitute children made him unworthy of an honor blade in Katashis eyes. After taking the leaders life, Katashi stole the sword he owned and kept it for himself. A real sword should be used for a true purpose.
(Not Exactly a Father Figure)
As a senior, Katashi was given charge of two kohai to raise and train, namely Kodora and Susumu, two young adolescents who had been newly sworn into the clan. Katashi was not the nicest person to them as they grew up with him, often disregarding them unless he absolutely had to pay attention to them, and when he was, he was usually scolding them for doing something reckless or spanking them raw. Through all of this, that wasn't to say he was flat out abusive to them, but Katashi wanted them to find their own paths and disregard the rules of society. When he punished them, again, it wasn't because he secretly cared about them in the bowels of his heart. It was simply because he was teaching them a life lesson.
Katashi's efforts paid off in the end and the two boys became respectable shinobi in their own right, although it was hard to believe that they were such good friends. Kodora was catlike, flippant, and flirtatious with everyone, always playing mind games and could at times appear downright enigmatic, while Susumu was the straight arrow, and something of a father figure to the younger members of the clan, always there to provide moral support in contrast to his deadly abilities. Katashi simply writes this off as two fools permanently caught in March and chooses not to analyze it any further.
(Grumpy Old Man)
As the years rolled by and Katashi undertook various jobs for the Yohebi clan, it came time to decide who would become the next clan elders. Three of the four positions had already been decided by the clans' current ailing elders. They needed one more to close the gap. There were many choices, all of them likely picks, as they were all wise, logical, and quick witted alongside the versatile skills they had mastered when they were younger. They needed somebody whose judgment was keen and who was sincere in their word.
It was a wonder why they picked Katashi for this veritable position. He was irascible, disagreeable, and had a tendency to mock those he worked with. Was this some sort of joke? It was not, actually. Katashi may have been crude in behavior, but it was his ability to solve problems quickly than most others could and come up with solutions in seconds that others would take precious time to come to that made him such a valuable asset. From that day forward, Katashi was a Yohebi clan leader, and so far, he has done a good job. While he does not enjoy the idea of working for the benefit of a group, he enjoys seeing a plan through to its completion.
Katashi and the other three elders have seen the clan through several storms, one of which was caused by supernatural forces, the source of which was unknown. He also caused took Takeo Goemon Gensai under his wing for combat training as per Kodora's instructions. This was a tactical maneuver in more ways than one, as Takeo was of samurai descent, and letting out the information of his heritage would cause problems within the shinobi community. Having the direct protection of an elder would ensure he would stay alive.
In addition to this, Katashi also arranged for Tempo Musica and Masao, the former being a demon child from another dimension and the latter an orphan, to undergo training within the clan, provided that within a given amount of time they be tested with a gauntlet. If they passed, they would be sworn in as kohai, but if they failed, they would face execution. Katashi especially wanted Tempo on their side as he wished to see what the boy's dragon form (drake form, in Tempo's terms) looked like. It could also be used as a powerful weapon.
As the roleplay has ended here, so does the history, sadly.
Personality: Katashi is very bitter and cynical, often giving snarky remarks at people's accomplishments and even going so far as to sneer at people's charity toward him. He mostly gets pleasure from deducing and picking people apart, and he grows uncomfortable in social situations, finding them tedious or simply boring. He even goes so far as to mock the other council members either because they are wrong or because he simply has a more pragmatic approach to things. None of this makes him easy to get along with.
Katashi is openly nonconformist, defying social norms and customs and viewing them as hypocritical. He sits open legged at meetings, plays with his hair, never bows to other people before speaking to them or as a return gesture, and has even been known to pick at things while other people speak to him. While this is terribly rude of him, he is still listening to you, so don't feel he is not paying attention to you while he fiddles with whatever he is doing. He simply has no manners.
Narcissistic, irascible, and sometimes quite cold and unfeeling, Katashi rarely sticks his neck out for other people, wanting them to discover the mysteries of life on their own, and becoming disgusted when they seek comfort from groups instead of themselves. Even on the occasions that he does something good for somebody else, Katashi does not do so because he secretly has a warm heart underneath his sour visage, nor is he doing so because he's having a momentary change of heart. He's doing it simply because it is the right thing to do. The same could be applied to why he is such a jerk to everyone he meets, but that may be stretching it a bit…
Katashi is also an ardent atheist, having renounced his faith at the time of Mayumi's murder and refusing to follow any spirituality afterward. He is convinced that life is mysterious enough without 'mystical nonsense' cluttering it up, and he has no use for abstinence of any kind.
At the core, Katashi's life philosophy is this: you are what you make of your life, not somebody else or society. Don't ever let the imbeciles determine things for you. To this end, he is very much a freespirit, although a very difficult one.
-Katashi has been extensively trained in a form of Jujutsu that resembles Aikido, focusing on locking, twisting, and breaking joints with minimal effort. After so many years of training, he can now disarm and/or subdue even an armored and armed opponent using very little force. In addition to various locks and throws, this style also focuses on Kyushojutsu, or strikes to vital spots and nerve centers on the body.
-Katashi is also an exceptional swordsman, first trained by his parents, then during his time with Katsumi. His swordplay is considered revolutionary by the council, focusing on using unorthodox or dirty techniques to defeat his opponent, such as kicking an opponent when they raise their weapons, stomping on their heads while on the ground, slashing at their wrists from odd angles, and even single handed sword techniques.
-Katashi is an expert in concealment. Being able to hide in shadows as though he was the darkness himself and supernaturally silent, it is difficult to detect him in a dark place.
Kodora: One of his two students. Their relationship is somewhat strained, with Katashi being more like a wolf, and Kodora more a cross between and innocent kitten and a sly fox. Even back when Kodora was a boy, the two of them did not get along very well (a memorable incident involved serving Katashi tea with a live salamander in it). Kodora once told Katashi that he was fully willing to kill him, but he said this so casually that it was impossible to tell if it was a joke or not. Interestingly, Katashi is the only one who seems to be able to annoy Kodora if only a little, and yet the cattish man still knows just what to say to counter even him. In short, they don't flat out hate each other, but they never quite see eye to eye.
Susumu: The other of his two disciples. Once again, neither of them quite looks at each other without some bitterness, although in this case, Susumu seems to have some slightly higher degree of respect-and yes, perhaps a little bit of fear-for his teacher. Perhaps Susumu's gentler nature has been the cause of this (or it could be the lashings he got from the man as a youth), but he prefers to simply ignore Katashi rather than directly engage him. However, it was also Susumu who convinced Katashi and the elders to take Masao under the cloak of the Yohebi clan, so there is apparently some rebellion in him.
Yori: Katashi has only viewed the boy from a distance as he grew, but he can sum him up in a single word: brat. The boy needs to stop whining about his imperfections and realize that there's no such thing as the best; only good in your own field.
Hitomi: As long as she stops being so formal around him, he doesn't mind her. He never was one for manners.
Takeo: He first encountered him when the boy defended Hitomi's honor by attacking Susumu, an act which earned him a severe caning from Katashi. Later on, Kodora gave the boy to him as a personal student, something which Katashi has taken as an opportunity to teach the boy both his unique fighting style and his cynical, objectivist philosophy. The two of them butted heads many times, the child once hurling a knife at him for mentioning Hitomi (who Takeo looked up to as an older sister) and Takeo at one point received a painful lashing with a tawse from Katashi for fleeing the building, but the boy seemed compelled to learn, even calling Katashi 'Sensei'.