For gaijin, when visiting Rokugan.

Common Terms
-san : added at the end of the name. Connotes that the person you are speaking to is of the same social status as you, but you wish to appear respectful and polite. It is considered proper to address people by their family name, followed by -san when you are unfamiliar with them. Referring to someone by their personal name, followed by -san, is only proper when you are very familiar.

-sama: added at the end of the name. Connotes that the person you are speaking to is of greater social status than you. Absolutely required when speaking to daimyo .

sensei: teacher, instructor, master

ronin: masterless samurai

yojimbo: bodyguard,protector, guardian

doshi: comrade in arms, trusted companion

Customs and Unspoken Rules
Never touch a samurai’s blade. A samurai’s katana is considered to be his soul, and the soul of all his ancestors.

Gifts must be offered three times before they can be accepted. Anything less would be considered rude. [This custom mainly refers to official gifts, given publicly, or to people of great station. A wandering samurai may pass the rice bowl to his doshi without any fanfare.]

Touching dead flesh is unclean. This taboo mainly relates to human corpses, but some families take it as step further to include any animal other than fish.

There is no specific nudity taboo, but most samurai would avoid being seen nude in public as it would be viewed as low-class.

North-east is considered to be an unlucky direction. Anything that comes from that direction, or travels in that direction is thought to be ill-fated.

[More to come. -DM]


The Ocean of Not Sommerset