Sources Websites I used for information .
All information here is from wikipedia . WARNING ! Contain Spoilers !
Each province in Saiunkoku is ruled by a noble family of the same name. All eight provinces and families are named after colors.
* Ran (藍, Ran?, Blue) — The most powerful clan in Saiunkoku, although they play a dormant role in the political issues of the country.
* Kō (紅, Kō?, Red) — Equal power to that of the Ran clan. Along with the Ran clan, the Kō clan is known to be the 'highest of nobility'.
* Heki (碧, Heki?, Green)
* Kō (黄, Kō/Ki?, Yellow) — Although pronounced the same as the 'Red' (紅) clan, the kanji (黄) means 'yellow'.
* Haku (白, Haku ?, White)
* Koku (黒, Koku ?, Black)
* Sa (茶, Sa?, Brown) — Known as the least distinguished clan in Saiunkoku, main estate in the Sa Province.
* Shi (紫, Shi?, Purple) — The family of the Emperor
The Kō (Crimson) clan
The second most powerful clan in Saiunkoku, after Ran clan. The clan's main activities are based in Kō province. The specialties of Kō clan are tangerines and special "seven-colored" ink.
Shūrei Kō is the daughter and only child of Shōka Kō of the Kō clan, one of the two most powerful clans in Saiunkoku. She is sixteen years old when the story begins. As a descendant of the direct line, she has the title hime, which means 'princess' or 'lady'.
Despite the high social status of her family, Shūrei grew up in relatively impoverished circumstances. Her father's job brought little income, and much of the wealth of their family home was given to the needy during the devastating fight for the imperial succession eight years ago. There are no servants at the Kō residence, so Shūrei has grown adept at household chores such as needlework, cooking and cleaning, traits unusual in a lady of high social standing.
She has also held a number of odd jobs to earn money, acting as a professional erhu player, working as an accountant at Kōchō's brothel in the Red Light District, and serving as a teacher at the local temple.
It is not shown explicitly whether she has some romantic feelings for Ryūki, but she showed some concern when Ryūki said that he would take Jyuusan-hime as Empress if Shūrei continues to reject him.
Seiran Shi started as a low-ranking army officer and the sole remaining retainer in the Kō household. Seiran was taken in thirteen years ago by Shōka Kō, and he has made a vow to spend his life repaying that kindness.
He helps the Kō family by protecting them at their home, performing repairs on the family estate, and taking small guard jobs to earn money. He is a very skilled fighter and swordsman and is usually found following Shūrei to guard her, even when she doesn't know it.
Seiran is later revealed to be the previously exiled second elder brother of Ryūki, Seien. He then discreetly protects the emperor by guarding him and giving him hints on decisions to be made, as Seien was often referred to as the son with the greatest potential to become a good emperor in his childhood.
Seiran is very secretive and keeps to himself most of the time. This makes Shūrei worry about him because he doesn't talk about himself much, while she talks to him about everything. He conforms to the idealism of "the end justifies the means".
The two are sometimes mistaken for a couple due to the amount of time they spend together, but there has been no evidence of romantic feelings on either side. His attitude towards her points more to him seeing Shūrei as his little sister.
Shōka is oldest of the Kō family and Shūrei's father. He also took in Seiran into his home thirteen years ago. After turning down the position of being the head of the Kō family, he was kicked out of the main household.
He then moved to the capital where his younger brother, Reishin, got him a job in the Palace. He works in the Palace as the head of the Royal Archives even though the pay is only a small amount. Ryūki often visited Shōka in the Royal library when he was young because Shōka seemed to be one of the few people who treated him with kindness.
His job is only that of a librarian, but he is highly respected by everyone.
At first, he just seems like a caring, gentle librarian who can't even make a proper tasting cup of tea, but it is later revealed that he is the legendary assassin, The Black Wolf. He leads the group called the Wolves of the Wind, a group full of expert assassins that served the previous Emperor. He has the deadliest fighting skills, as seen when he slashed down nearly ten thugs in an instant to protect Seiran.
His identity as the Black Wolf is still a secret to everyone except for Taishi Sō, Shūsui, and Reishin. Shōka said that he actually disbanded the Wolves of the Wind.
It was later revealed that he met his wife after being assigned a mission to assassinate her. Since he fell in love with her, he of course couldn't go through with it. In the second season, it is revealed that his wife was the "Rose Princess (Bara-hime)" of Hyou clan. The previous Emperor also gave him a mission to secretly protect the exiled Seien from assassination attempts.
Kōyū Ri holds the rank of Vice-Secretary of the Civil Affairs department, serving beneath Reishin Kō, who is also his foster father. In the anime, it is told that Kōyū was an orphan living in the streets before Reishin adopted him thirteen years ago; he survived by selling tickets to a street lottery of his own design in which the prizes included branches of plum blossoms and bags of salt. However, in the novels it is revealed that Kōyū had a darker past, which included being abandoned as a baby, having his first adopted parents murdered when he was very young, lived a miserable life as a slave, being continually sold off and moved around the place, and having been tied to a sacred tree for a sacrifice to the gods. It was Reishin who had rescued him from the sacred tree and took him to Kiyou with Yuri-hime. After Reishin and Yuri-hime married, Kōyū became their adopted child.
In the novel, Kōyū's name is originally 'Kō'. The name was given by the old couple who found him and adopted him as a baby. Later Reishin changed the name but insisted on keeping the original 'Kō' so the name was changed to Ri Kōyū.
Kōyū became the youngest person ever to pass the official examinations at the age of 16, taking the top ranked "Jougen" spot. As the series begins, Kōyū has been assigned directly to the Emperor, a position that infuriates him because the wandering Emperor never carries out his duties and can rarely even be found.
After Ryūki agrees to be tutored by Kōyū, however, and begins taking an active role in government, Ryūki offers Kōyū an iris flower as sign of trust. Kōyū openly accepts the flower as a token of his loyalty and his belief that Ryūki is a worthy Emperor. Kōyū often works closely with the Emperor and revises the work that Ryūki does, such as written proposals.
Despite his reputation as a genius, Kōyū is notorious for having no sense of direction. He gets lost in the palace within 30 steps and it sometimes takes him two hours to get to a destination that only takes 15 minutes for another person, though he does seem to find his way when there is trouble or when he is drunk.
He has a close relationship with Shūei Ran, though he loudly denies being the latter's friend. He's easily annoyed and gets nervous speaking in public. He frequently states that women are nothing but trouble and refused all offers of marriage after he passed the official exam, despite receiving many proposals from families eager to tie themselves to an up-and-coming star. He frequently tutors Shūrei, however, and appears to regard her as a friend.
It's been revealed that Kōyū's reason for taking the Exams and climbing to the top was to stand by Reishin's side and pay him back for everything that he did. He also wanted to be acknowledged by Reishin, but was frustrated by the older man's cool and callous exterior.
He thought that Reishin adopted him on a whim and wondered whether any of his efforts made a difference. He has since realized, however, that Reishin thinks of him as his own child and that the plum blossom, after which Kōyū Ri is named, is Reishin's favourite.
The Kō family (specifically Kō Kurō in episode 19) intends to marry Kōyū to Shūrei to lead the Kō clan in the future.
In the 13th novel, Kōyū was imprisoned because he was accused of abusing his powers as Vice Chamberlain of Civil Administration department (because Reishin never did any work). He later lost his position but remained an official.
In charge of the Civil/Public Administration Department and has been head of the Kō family for nearly fifteen years. He is Shōka's younger brother, Shūrei's uncle, and Kōyū's boss as well as adoptive father.
He said his reason for adopting Kōyū was that his older brother adopted a child so he wanted to adopt a random child to share his brother's experience. Although, Shōka revealed to Kōyū that Reishin thinks of him as his own child. He's good friends with Kijin since he's allowed to be around him when he's not wearing a mask.
He's also the one making all those different masks for Kijin. Kijin describes him as being crafty, coolheaded, and coldhearted, but Reishin is usually seen very cheerful, easy-going, and sometimes childish. He sometimes plays tricks on other officials. He and Kijin are always seen as very serious people in public, but they both always have a sort of comedic attitude when they're alone together or when it's just them and Shōka.
He decided not to publicly reveal that he is the head of the Kō Clan, so only a few know of his status. He even hides the fact that he's Shūrei's uncle from her because he believes that she blames him for kicking her father out and becoming the head of the family. In fact, he's been trying to protect his older brother ever since he found out that Shōka adopted the exiled prince, Seien. Shūrei however learns that he is her uncle in the 13th novel, when she was investigating about Kōyū.
He respectfully calls Shōka his elder brother and actually likes the fact that Shōka corrects his mistakes and that his elder brother scolds him for being too strict in front of others. He truly acts like a little brother to Shōka and is always so happy when seeing him.
Reishin is also very protective of Shūrei and watches her from the shadows, often getting angry at Ryūki for saying that he'll one day marry her. While hiding behind a door, he once threw a wooden fan at Ryūki for almost saying that he's going to marry her. Though, Ryūki didn't notice it was him since Shōka walked in and said it flew out of his hand. He also secretly becomes Shūrei's sponsor so she can take the Exam.
He was accused of manipulating the results of the Official Exams and was temporarily confined. Being the head of the Kō Clan, his arrest outraged the Kō clan causing nearly half the country to cease functioning. The charges were later dropped after the arrest of the real criminal, who was involved in illegal activities and was also the one who started the rumors about Reishin.
It is mentioned in the novel that Reishin plays biwa, and so do his brothers. Reishin is the only member of the Kō family who knew about Shōka's real identity as Black Wolf. He is overprotective of Shūrei, to the extent of not wishing her to get married to anyone. He even mentioned once that he would even take Shūrei as his own wife, but Shōka said that Reishin was already married.
His wife, Yuri-hime, used to be his servant. It is mentioned in the novel that he had fallen in love with Yuri-hime when they were children. When she was still his servant, he continued to treat Yuri-hime in a rude manner, though in truth he secretly liked her. Yuri-hime was the only person allowed to touch and cut his hair. When Reishin decided to leave Kō province to follow Shōka and take the Imperial Exams, Yuri-hime was the only person he took with him. His feelings for Yuri-hime was revealed when he spied on her date with Kō Kijin (accompanied by the reluctant Tei Yuushun) and when he ransomed her from Kōgarou. He also mentioned to Yuri-hime that even though he thinks Shūrei and Shōka are special, he would only play biwa for her. He registered Yuri-hime as his wife when she was half-conscious and stated that since they already have a child (Kōuyuu), they needn't have more children.
Reishin finished second in the Imperial Exams, earning him the title of Bougen.
Later in the 13th novel, Reishin was stripped from his position as Chamberlain of Civil Administration department and had plans on returning to Kō province.
Her character has only made an appearance in the gaiden and the 13th novel, which wasn't animated.
Previously servant to Reishin and a promised bride to Shōka. She used to be in love with Shōka, but the latter never returned her feelings and dissolved the engagement. Said in the novel to be younger than Shōka but older than Reishin, but there were no specifics (Shōka is older than Reishin by five years). She was raised as a boy in the Kō family under the name of Yuzuriha. She was close to Kurō as she was the person who helped raise him. Kurō later encourages her to be Reishin's bride and sent her a letter stating so; however, the letter got wet and Yuri-hime mistook the message for saying 'please find Reishin a bride'. That was why she joined Kōgarou in pursuit of an ideal wife for Reishin. She later liked Reishin, despite the way he treats her.
She was one of very few people who didn't faint after seeing Kō Kijin's real face, which made Kō Kijin became fond of her. When he asked her out on a date (via message to Reishin), she was uninterested at first but she later complies after Reishin persuaded her to go.
She is close to Kōyuu, and she thinks of him like her own son. She warned Kōyuu never to escape from the Kō manor supposedly because the manor was haunted. To effectively make Kōyuu believe this, she arranged for the furniture to be rearranged all the time such that Kōyuu would always become lost, which eventually resulted in lack of any sense of direction. Kōyuu, like Kurō, also wanted Yuri-hime to be Reishin's bride and become his mother.
After Yuri-hime was taken as Reishin's wife, she was often out of town doing Reishin's duties as head of Kō clan. Kōyuu thought that Yuri-hime was an ideal partner for Reishin, but Reishin was not an ideal partner for her(since Reishin rarely shows his likes and dislikes), and worried that Yuri-hime was unhappy. Responding to this, Yuri-hime said she was happy and would never leave Reishin and Kōyu.
Unknown by many, she is the younger sister of the previous Emperor, Shi Senka. Thus the title 'hime' or princess. She has a splitting image of her brother and also looked similar to Ryūki, which confused Seiran when he first met her a long time ago in the Kō residence.
Her mother was from the Kō clan so she has mixed heritage of the Kō clan and the Shi clan. Princesses of the Royal Family like Yuri-hime are traditionally sent to become priestesses of the Hyōu clan or to be married. Yuri-hime's mother didn't wish for her to become a priestess so Yuri-hime was sent to the Kō house disguised as a boy (named Yuzuriha). Later, her mother was killed by Black Wolf (Shōka) who received orders from Senka. Before Yuri-hime married Reishin, she managed to slip into the Palace and meet Senka. The latter thought that Yuri-hime would kill him, but it turned out that she didn't. Senka asked Yuri-hime to stay in the Inner Palace and care for Ryuuki, but in that moment Reishin burst in and dragged Yuri-hime back to his place. Reishin later ransomed her from Kōgarou, beating Kō Kijin and even the Emperor Senka himself.
Previously she had never appeared on the main storyline until the 13th novel. She returned to Kiyou upon learning Kōyū's imprisonment, meeting Shūrei and Ensei on the streets. She later revealed her identity as her aunt to Shūrei when she visited Kōyū in jail. She played biwa to Kōyū which caused the trance from the Hyō clan upon Kōyū to dissolve. After her husband and child was stripped from their positions, many officials from the Kō clan decided to withdraw from their positions. Reishin himself wanted to return to Kō province. Yuri-hime however decided to remain in Kiyou with her son, much to Reishin's dismay.
The youngest brother after Shōka and Reishin, he acts as the proxy head of the Kō family. Because of his long rule, many outside of the clan believe him to be the true leader rather than Reishin.
A man of traditions and family loyalty, Kurō wields the enormous power of the Kō to protest the arrest of Reishin, single-handedly causing nearly half the country to cease functioning when he orders clan members to not go into work.
It is he who worked to get their father, the former family head, to pass over Shōka in favor of Reishin as the next clan leader, as he views Shōka as useless. In terms of personality, he and Reishin are more similar than he and Shōka.
Though he may view his eldest brother with disfavor, which does not prevent him from taking action on those who would act unfavorably against Shōka. When Kurō found out that the servants of Shōka's residence stole all the valuables, while Shōka remained in shock over his wife's passing, the proxy head ordered that each servant, to the last of them, be found and shown the tortures of Hell. Not only did that happen, their severed ears and eyes were sent to their families to warn them against any such future behavior towards a member of the Kō family.
Unbeknownst to Shūrei, Kurō comes to the capital in order to give her more protection than Shōka could offer that when she begins on the path of an imperial officer. To that end, he provides her the protection of the Kō clan via the travel pass made for her journey to the Sa Province to take up co-governorship.
Though the mark on the travel pass was of the Kō (Yellow) clan's, as it was Kijin who issued the pass, the special "seven-colored" ink used could only be made by the Kō (Crimson) clan, marking her as a person of importance to them.
He intends to have Shūrei and Kōyū wed, with the two of them to lead the clan in the future.
The mother of Shūrei, adopted mother of Seiran, and wife of Shōka. Shōkun is known in her lifetime to be a legendary beauty that could even pale the moon, and had the kind heart to match. She was the person who taught Shūrei how to make manjuu buns (though she later discovered that Shūrei was a much better cook than she was), how to pick tangerines from the trees, and how to behave like a lady. She was also the one who gave the name 'Seiran' to the boy she and Shōka found lying in the snow when the family traveled to Kiyō. The name meant 'Silent Orchid', and was given because the boy that they found never said a word and was presumed to be a mute. She grew very close to both Shūrei and Seiran, and encouraged Seiran to smile all the time to make Shūrei happy.
Shōkun suddenly passes away one summer about eight years ago on a stormy summer day while Shūrei is ill. With her death, Shūrei mysteriously recovers and has had a healthy constitution since. In her deathbed, she made Seiran promise to protect Shūrei until Shūrei could walk her own path. She was perhaps the only person Seiran regarded as a mother figure, and her death devastated him. From time to time, he would visit her tombstone located on a hill facing the city. He also visited the tombstone alone before he left for Sa province to guard Shūrei and Eigetsu.
Shōkun is later revealed to be the Rose Princess (Bara-Hime) of the Hyō family. She also had the ability to cure any illness and many men sought her hand in marriage. Her beauty even mesmerized the leader of the Hyō family, Riō, who locked her from the world. She was considered a threat by the previous Emperor and was arranged to be target of assassination by the Black Wolf. The Black Wolf failed and died in process, and a new Black Wolf with the nickname of Kaito was appointed to continue the job. This new Black Wolf is none other than Shōka, who after meeting the Bara-Hime forgot completely about his mission and fell madly in love with her. Shōkun survived the assassination attempt and was taken away by the Black Wolf. After some time and difficulty, she returns his feelings. Later, she lost her powers of healing but she had the power of one wish. Shōkun used this wish to make Shūrei healthier in the cost of her own life.
The Shi (Purple) Clan
The royal family clan of Saiunkoku.
Ryūki Shi is the reigning emperor of Saiunkoku. He is nineteen years old when the story begins. The youngest of six brothers, he was an unlikely candidate to ascend to the throne. Of his five elder brothers, four killed each other over the succession and one was exiled for treason.
As a child, Ryūki was badly treated by his mother and his brothers, except for his brother Seien, who seemed to be the only one who truly cared for him. His other brothers and mother used to beat Ryūki and lock him in a storage house for hours at a time, telling him his birth order was bad and that he stole affection from his siblings.
These experiences led to a lingering fear of the dark and sleeping alone. Ryūki often took refuge in the garden or the imperial archives, where he first encountered Shōka Kō. Shōka tutored the young prince and encouraged War General Taifu Sō to teach him swordsmanship.
Due to his father's dying wish, Ryūki ultimately rose to the throne. However, he avoided any involvement in politics or government, wandering the palace for hours so no one would be able to find him. He even spread rumours that he preferred the company of men to fuel speculation he could not produce an heir.
Ryūki secretly hoped that Seien, his beloved older brother, would eventually return and take his place as Emperor. Ryūki's avoidance of responsibility came to an end when he met Shūrei, who told him of her dreams of making a better life for the nation's people. Ryūki decided to take on his responsibilities and become a respectable Emperor.
When Ryūki first met Shūrei, he was charmed by her earnest and nurturing personality, going so far as to compare her to a nagging mother while devouring half a dozen of her red bean-paste buns. Ryūki's romantic pursuit of her has been complicated by his lack of experience courting women and Shūrei's initial belief that he is homosexual and therefore more interested in Seiran.
Even after discovering Seiran's true identity, Ryūki harbors some jealousy over the fact that Seiran spends more time with Shūrei and she confides in him more. Ryūki's devotion to Shūrei has also revealed a capacity for subterfuge and cunning, providing an explanation for his survival during the fight over the succession. When Ryūki agreed to participate in politics, he initially pretended ignorance of government in order to study together with Shūrei. He used his fear of darkness as an excuse to sleep in her room at the palace.
He also concealed from Shūrei the attempts to poison her in order to determine the true identity of the conspirator, going so far as to take poison that was intended for her. After Shūrei left the palace, Ryūki sent her many absurd gifts such as boiled eggs, blocks of ice, and even a voodoo doll made from straw.
To get Shūrei back to the palace and enable her to pursue her dreams, he passed a law allowing women to take the official exams. Before sending Shūrei to Sa Province as co-governor, Ryūki privately told her that he would not take anyone else as his wife other than Shūrei (but retracts it far later in the novel).
The previous Emperor of Saiunkoku and father to Ryūki, Seiran, and the other four princes. He had six concubines, all of whom he had married for political reasons and had sons from each of them. He had the habit of not seeing his concubines again after they bear him a child. This happened to Lady Suzuran, Seien's mother, who went pregnant after their wedding night and was never visited by the Emperor Senka again. In truth, Senka had only loved one woman in his lifetime and this frustrated his concubines, especially the Sixth Consort who begun to unleash her anger to her son Ryūki. Later, Senka's fate was shared by Ryūki, whom only had one woman he truly loved.
He had three men who acted as his royal advisors, and gave them the title 'Choutei Sanshi' (three royal advisors). Those men had accompanied him from the start of his coronation, and they were Shou Yosei (Shou Taishi), Sou Taifu, and Sa Enjun (Sa Taiho). He was also the person who came up with the Officials Exam system because he wanted to minimalize the noble's intervention in politics and gave chance to other people. Known to rule with a cold hand and had never hesitated to kill or exterminate certain noble clans (with the Wolves of the Wind acting as his assassins). He was also regarded prejudiced against the Eight Royal Noble families, since he had let them get away of far worse crimes than the other noble clans. For that reason, he was deeply disliked by the survivors of the minor noble families. But he was highly respected (and feared) at the same time.
He fell sick in his youth, causing chaos in the royal court, and died almost a decade later leaving the throne to his youngest son, Ryūki. In the novel, it was revealed that he died from protecting his second son, Seien, from a certain deadly curse sent by the Hyo clan and Lady Suzuran. Before his illness had grown worse, he had made sure that both Ryūki and Seien would be taken care by Shouka.
The Four Shi Princes
Sons of the previous Emperor of Saiunkoku, Senka, and brothers of Ryūki and Seiran (Seien). All were born from different mothers. They competed fiercely against each other for the throne and had plotted to eliminate Seien, the second prince, who was the most talented in all the six princes. They liked to bully their youngest brother, Ryūki, whenever they felt upset but didn't dare touch him whenever Seien was around the boy. After Seien's exile and their father was pronounced sick, the brothers' fight for the throne reached climax and caused civil war in Saiunkoku. After Sho Taishi's intervention and the civil war ended, the brothers were executed and some of their followers were exiled. Ironically, it was their youngest brother whom they liked to bully in the past, Ryūki, who was later crowned as Emperor .
The Ran (Indigo) Clan
The most powerful clan in Saiunkoku, directly below that of the royal family. Based in the water margins in Ran province, the specialties of the clan is producing salt. Shiba is the main retainer clan of Ran clan.
He is the General of the Shaorin army. Also part of the Ran family, one of the two greatest clans. The fourth oldest of five brothers. A very skilled swordsman and is usually calm, but likes to tease others. His fighting skills were legendary, due to the fact that he was trained by the Shiba clan (retainer of the Ran clan) that excelled in swordsmanship. He revealed that the only people that could beat him were Koku-Daishogun and Haku-Daishogun. He was supposed to be guarding the Emperor with Kōyū, but since Ryūki was nowhere to be found, he and Kōyū were left in the library for a month being bored.
He claims to be Kōyū's best friend, though Kōyū keeps denying it. He met Kōyū during the Imperial Exams and from that point on he decided to always look out for Kōyū. He passed the Imperial Exams and took the second highest honor as Bōugen (the same title that his younger brother will earn), and worked as a civil official for a while during Ryūki's first days after being crowned as Emperor. Seeing that the new Emperor wasn't interested in politics and kept disappearing, Shūei and his three elder brothers were disappointed so Shūei decided to switch to military. He joined the Left Uringun army and he rose to the position of Shogun. He was later assigned by his superior (Koku-Daishogun) to be the personal guard and advisor to Ryūki, and thus became re-acquainted with Kōyū.
Shūei is usually the one that gets Kōyū all riled up by mentioning things like his lack of direction and his woman-hating ideals. Unlike Kōyū, Shūei is a womanizer. He often mentions how nice it is to spend time with women and was seen surrounded by a horde of women after winning the fighting tournament. He's also a regular at the Red Light District and usually spends time with the number one woman in the number one brothel.
Along with Kōyū, Shūei also receives a flower (purple iris which he later engraved in his sword) and swears his loyalty to the current Emperor, establishing Ryūki's reign since the top two upcoming officials of the palace now back him up. He knows Seiran's true identity since he recognized Seiran's swordfighting techniques. In the novel, he and Seiran are mentioned to be the greatest military officials in Ryūki's reign as Emperor.
In the novel and drama CD, it was known that he had been sent to Kiyō by his brothers when he was a child to assist one of the princes (who was later revealed to be Prince Seien). He had encountered the young prince once when he was trying to rescue the prince from being killed in an alley, but his swordsfighting skills weren't strong enough at that time to defeat the assassins. Seeing this, Seien told Shūei that he was weak and useless. Shūei had even lost a sword battle with Seien and was humilliated in front of the previous Emperor and his elder brother. Frustrated, Shūei trained hard to prove Seien wrong with his childhood best friend Shiba Jin. However, when he returned to the capital, he learned that the prince who mocked him had been banished because of treason. Shūei revealed to Kōyū that nine years ago, his elder brothers ordered him to track down Prince Seien's whereabouts, but he didn't succeed.
Shūei often flirts and sleeps around with the palace ladies. He does this in the hope of attracting the attention of Shūsui, who was irritated by his behavior and said that he treated the Imperial Harem like a red light district. It was love at first sight when Shūsui helped him once in the past. Shūsui does not remember the meeting between them. Shūei was once in love with Gyokuka, a woman that married his eldest brother from which he escaped by going to the imperial palace.
In the late episodes of the second season, he felt torn between his responsibilities as member of the Ran clan and as Ryūki's ally. He felt that he was only given the flower (symbol of trust) because he was part of the Ran clan. He then resigned from his position as Ryūki's bodyguard and returned to his birthplace, Ran province. He later returned to Ryūki after he was convinced that Ryūki accepted his duties as Emperor and would accept Shūei even though Shūei no longer had the backings of the Ran clan. Shūei had himself banished from the Ran clan after winning a bet with his three elder brothers (he managed to successfully tell the triplets apart).
Seiran calls him 'saifu #1' (wallet #1) since he is the one to pay for the ingredients everytime he dines in the Shūrei's manor.
He is the youngest of the five brothers of the Ran family. He is eighteen years old. It is said that, out of his four older brothers he was the most worthy of the name Ryūren Ran because he is a genius. Always seen with flashy clothing and playing a flute (specifically yokobue). His flute-playing is considered dangerous as it can alter one's mental health. But in the novel, it is revealed that Ryūren is actually very good at playing other musical intruments so it came to his brothers' surprise that he chose to play yokobue instead. A lover of art and nature, Ryūren is also highly skilled in martial arts.
He calls his older brothers foolish and doesn't call them by their name, rather: Shūei, "foolish elder brother the fourth". Recently, he's called Shūrei, Soul Friend #1, and Eigetsu, Soul Friend #2 (He refers to Yōgetsu as Soul Friend #2.5).
He does things on his own time and is quite impulsive: when he was going to buy ingredients for chicken stew with Shūrei, he ended up buying soy beans, then he traded that for boiled eggs, then traded the eggs for spring onions, then the spring onions for wood blocks, then flowers, then fish, then straw, and then he gave away the straw to a little girl and just ended up with one stalk of straw.
Later in the series, he goes ghost hunting after hearing about a late-night ghost. He also pulls out his flute and plays it without warning, often off key. Since he can't be easily told what to do and is very unpredictable, he's necessary in the Ran family. Although, because of this behavior many find him weird and annoying, so they usually distance themselves from him. Shūrei was the only one who put up with him, so he said that she's now his soul friend.
He travels to different places playing cards, famous under the nickname ‘Ryuuteki tobaku-shi’ (龍笛賭博師/dragon flute gambling master), but is only allowed to wander around if he takes the official exams and finishes in the top three. He wanders off again and is finally seen again taking the final exams with Shūrei and Eigetsu. He declares that Eigetsu is also his soul friend since he's Shūrei's friend. He passes the Official Exams with the second highest score, taking the "Bougen" spot.
Though, while the others were all concentrating on studying in the dorms, Ryūren didn't study once and preferred to sleep, eat, and play his flute. The preparatory dorm he was staying in ended up being called the Cursed 13th Building because his flute playing drove other examinees insane and seven officials resigned after having incomprehensible conversations with him. After passing the exams, he decided to skip out on the Shinshi Ceremony, which inducts the examinees into becoming officials. He claimed that the wind called to him to start a new voyage. He most likely left to wander around again since he already fulfilled his promise in ending up in the top three in the official exams.
When Ryūren once again showed up in the palace, Ryūki gave him an important task, which he claims will help Shūrei and Eigetsu a great deal. This task turned out to be the delivery of the governor's seal to Sa Province. After helping out Eigetsu and Shūrei, Shūrei decided that she didn't want him to get involved any further because the situation might become even more dangerous. As he walks away from the capital, he tells himself that he knows it'll become more dangerous and that's why he wanted to stay. He mentioned that the only 2 people in the world that could take advantage of him would be his soul friend No. 1 and 2. Namely, Shūrei and Eigetsu.
The name, Ryūren, is not a name by birth. The clan enthrones it, and only once in every few years will there appear a clan member who is worthy of this name. In other words, the person who inherits this name will eventually become the head of the clan. Ryūren was given the name at the age of four, and possesses the tag "Twin Dragons of the Lotus Spring"[双龍蓮泉].
He claims to have no interest in becoming neither an official nor the head of the Ran clan. In season 2 we find out that the clan leaders are considering to have him marry Shūrei and Kurō is taking his proposition seriously.
The three older brothers of Shūei and Ryūren Ran head the family as one entity. The three brothers live in the water city which is a stronghold of the Ran family. In episode 23 of Season 2, it was revealed that the three older brothers are actually triplets. It was bad luck to have triplets or quintets at those times so people traditionally slay the babies until there is only one left. However, their lives were spared by their father on the grounds that they would live such that people would in no way distinguish one from another. They all go by the name of Setsuna, but they have individual names: 'Yuki' (meaning snow), 'Tsuki' (meaning moon), and 'Hana' (meaning flower). Currently, only the oldest triplet, Yuki, is married. The triplets were taught by Shoka in their childhood and had grown close to him. However, they don't get along well with Reishin.
Fourteen years before the story started, the triplets used to live in the capital and served as a government official (under the identity of one person named Setsuna). After the previous Emperor was taken ill and chaos erupted in the capital because of the succession issue, the triplets returned to their home town and never returned. They were described by Ryūki as the 'sleeping dragons'.
When their youngest brother was given the name Ryūren at the age of four, the triplets took it to themselves to let that brother grow without the influence of other clans. They assumed the role of head of the Ran clan, causing a stir in the country because for the first time more than one person was appointed as head of one of the Eight Honorable Clans. They were the ones responsible for sending Shūei to the capital. They let Ryūren wander across the country and made Ryūren promise to pass the Imperial Exams with the top three grade if Ryūren wishes to continue his journey.
Wife of Ran Setsuna (specifically Yuki, the oldest of the triplet). Previously, she came to the Ran household as a future new concubine for the previous head of the Ran clan, who was also the boys' father. She had long blonde hair and freckles, and was excited at first to be the stepmother of the triplets, Shūei, and Ryūren. She was a very cheerful, rational, and positive person who loved the outdoors. She was also a great cook. Though she was not a legendary beauty, but she charmed Shūei. Gyokuka was oblivious to Shūei's feelings for her and fell for Yuki, the oldest of the triplets, instead (who was at first very cold and cynical towards her). She later married Yuki, which devastated Shūei and caused him to flee from Ran province.
Jyuusan-Hime or the 13th Princess
Like her name, she is the thirteenth daughter or princess of the Ran clan. She is the half-sister of Shuuei, Ryuuren, and the Ran triplets, but she has the closest relationship with Shuuei. She was sent to the palace to become Ryuuki's consort by the triplets (with the choice to either become a consort or marry Seiran), and she soon became a target of assassination by a mysterious group. The head assassin was none other tha Jin Shiba, her first love, who was a death-row prisoner. After Shusui's departure, Jyuusan-hime replaced her position as head lady-in-waiting and later on challenged Shuurei in a contest of making steamed buns. She has all the skills of both being a princess and a fighter, being raised by the Shiba family, a famous retainer clan of the Ran clan who specialized in combat. By looks, she resembles Shūrei so much that Shūrei was once given the task to impersonate her. She is the most likely candidate to be Ryuuki's concubine, should Shuurei continue to show disinterest in the time period that was given.
The Kō (Yellow) Clan
In charge of the Department of Treasury and Taxation (Finances). Wears a mask all the time and always has his hair loose. He has many different kinds of masks, most or all of which are given to him by Reishin. Though he changes them all the time, he's never seen without one.
His masks also have a button that opens the part that covers his mouth and nose, allowing him to drink or eat in public. Many find him mysterious, eccentric, and strange. He's a bit strict and is quite a slave driver, but also has a nice side since he's seen comforting Shūrei during the thunderstorm. He already knew that Shūrei was a girl when she started working for him but he found her helpful so he stayed quiet about it and he knew that she was Reishin's niece. He mentioned (teasingly) to Reishin once that he is considering whether to take Shūrei as his own bride, which drove Reishin utterly furious. He had also shown attention to Shūrei since he brought her tsubaki (camelia flowers) when she was sick (he brought her orchids in the novel).
Very few people know his actual name, (凤珠, Hōju?). He often gets into meaningless, friendly arguments with Reishin. He and Reishin have a very friendly relationship.
People assumed that he wears a mask because he's ugly. In fact however, he wears a mask because he's so beautiful that everyone falls in love with him, even men. Another benefit of the mask is that it muffles the true sound of his voice, which is as silky and beautiful as his hair, and just as likely to captivate one should they hear it. He once took off his mask in the anime and the novel when demanded by a corrupt official and the man who saw his real face nearly lost his mind. The other officials who were in the same room and had forgotten to plug their ears fainted and had gone to hysterics.
When he took the imperial examinations, candidates and officials in the same examination hall were so besotted with him that they did not do their duty. All the candidates, aside from himself, Reishin and Yūshun, failed to pass, while 30 officials were sacked. This incident caused his exam year to be referred to as "The Nightmare Exam". That year, he received the title of Tanka after he passed third on the exams.
He started wearing a mask when the woman he loved rejected his marriage proposal by saying, "I can't stand beside someone with a face like yours." He didn't know that it was in fact Reishin who sent the message. Reishin did this because they were both in love with the same woman and Reishin didn't want to lose Hōju's friendship. In the end, the woman married Reishin. Hōju started wearing masks on their wedding night, changed his name to Kijin (since everybody called him Kijin or 'weirdo' already), and continues to do so with permission from the administration so that a repeat of "The Nightmare Exam" does not occur while he is in office.
A mysterious old friend of Shō-Taishi who often share drinks together. He also took care of Shūrei when she was young and sickly. Dr. Yō is a renowned legendary doctor who lives outside the capital, but Shō-Taishi called him to the capital when news of the Sa Province disease spread. Dr. Yō's expertise in surgery is used to teach the imperial doctors in treatment of the disease. His surname is Kō, meaning that he comes from the Eight respectable noble family in Saiunkoku. Later, he is also revealed to be one of the eight sages (Sage of Kō/yellow). Like Shō-Taishi, he looks much younger in his sage form.
The Sa (Brown) Clan
Enjun Sa (Sa-Taihō)
One of the three Grand Officials of the Palace, Taihō is Sa Enjun's title. He had offered Ryūki to take his granddaughter as wife, but was refused. Always wanted to be the top, but his longtime friend, Shō Taishi, was always above him. He grew an inferiority complex towards Taishi because he could never beat him, even being found out by the other in his plot to kill Ryūki and make Seiren his puppet emperor.
In the confrontation between Enjun and Seiran, Enjun causes Seiran to pass out unconscious, but not before Seiren verbally and physically refuses to become emperor. Enjun is fatally wounded in the back by a small dagger thrown by Seiren, and is comforted in his last moments by his friend, and rival, Shō Taishi.
His plot to kill Ryūki is actually part of his plan to allow the emperor to control his power-hungry family back in the province of Sa. As Enjun's family will be a threat to the emperor in their bid for control, he set himself up so that the family will lose their pillar of support and power in the government. Only then will the emperor be able to get rid of his family.
Enjun's wife is named Eiki and his granddaughter is Shunki. His son and daughter-in-law were murdered by his grand-nephew, Sakujun, nine years ago in retaliation for trying to curb Sakujun in.
It is unknown if Enjun knew the identity of the real culrpit. Eight years ago, he takes Kōrin, the girl who collapses in front of his residence at the capital, into his household and becomes her benefactor at the palace.
The younger brother of Sa Enjun who desires to surpass his brother's accomplishments. Has plans to become the next Head of the Sa Clan and is very ambitious about it. He currently has Eiki, Enjun's widow, imprisoned at an undisclosed location as she had been taking care of the Sa Clan in the absence, and then death of her husband.
When he heard that the newly appointed co-governors, Shūrei Kō and Eigetsu To, were arriving to take up their posts, he works with the Satsujinzoku to kidnap them so that he could keep them from it while also thinking to arrange Shūrei's marriage to his second grandson, Sakujun, to help in his consolidation of power.
Disregarding the cost and chaos involved, he orders that the seals of the previous governor be found for his use and views his grandsons as pawns in his aim for power.
Eldest grandson of Chūshō Sa. He has two brothers, Sakujun and Kokujun. Sōjun is also familiar with Seiran and Ensei, and wishes to become the most powerful of the Sa Clan. As such, he takes part in kidnapping the two newly appointed Sa Province governors, Eigetsu To and Kōrin, who he believes to be Shūrei.
Believing that the Satsujinzoku is under the control of his grandfather, he tries to persuade Meishō, leader of the group, to work with him instead in an attempt to gain more power. Sakujun later kills Sōjun, though he believes, to the last, that it is Kokujun who arranges it.
The middle brother. He finds the world very boring and seeks to amuse himself; morals are of no consequence. Upon being told by his grandfather that he is to marry the Kō princess, Sakujun arranges to meet Shūrei in person, under the disguised name of Lin Senya, and finds himself intrigued by her (though Shūrei was twelve years his junior and he was old enough to be her uncle).
It is later revealed that Sakujun supports the Satsujinzoku, having been with them since a teenager to relieve his boredom. Fourteen years ago, he finds Seiran collapsed in the snow and takes him into the band, already knowing of Seiran's past. Nine years ago, in retaliation for all the obstacles his great-granduncle, Sa Enjun, places in his way in hopes of reining him in, Sakujun kills his uncle and aunt, the son and daughter-in-law of Enjun, as they were within his reach as Enjun was not.
Desiring Shūrei and yet understanding the power of the Kō Clan, Sakujun arranges the murder of his elder brother, Sōjun, so that he may become head of the Sa family instead. This is in order to have the power of the clan to wield against the Kō should they protest his taking Shūrei to be his wife.
He is later assumed to be dead, after consuming a poison he intentionally drank. However, his body is no where to be found and in the second series, he made a dreamlike appearance to one of the characters (presumably as a spirit).
The youngest of the three brothers. He is kind, but is considered the weakest because of it. He reminds Lady Eiki and Sakujun of Enjun.
Kokujun is fond of Shunki. It is because of this fondness that he releases Seiran and Ensei from confinement, hoping that they would rescue Shunki. Ensei lectures him harshly instead, and from that talk, Kokujun acts to help take Eigetsu and Kōrin safely to Kinka, concealing the fact that he knows Kōrin is not the real Shūrei.
Later in the series when the ring of the Sa clan was brought back, he took on the burden of the new head of the Sa clan. He is close friends with, and admires, Ran Ryuuren
Eiki Hyō (Sa)
The wife of Sa Enjun, Eiki is of the Hyō family. Though not of noble lineage, their history is about as long and the bloodline is reputed to have other powers, of which Eiki has the ability to use precognition.
It is also revealed that she sealed her granddaughter's ability to speak in the girl's childhood. Though the females of the Hyō family do not normally marry outside of their family, Eiki pursued Enjun until he agreed to marry her.
During their long marriage, they were physically apart more often than not, as she took care of the Sa Clan while living in Sa Province and Enjun carried out his duties as one of the Three Grand Advisors to the emperor at the capital.
She was imprisoned by Chūshō Sa, her brother-in-law, at an undisclosed location in his bid for power. Kokujun reminds her very much of Enjun. She bears a deep grudge towards Shō Yōsei (Shō-Taishi), because she knew he would be the cause of her husband's death.
he granddaughter of Enjun (Sa-Taihō), her father and mother were murdered nine years ago by her cousin, Sakujun Sa, though that fact is unknown to her. Her ability to speak was sealed by her grandmother, Eiki, when she was a child. Therefore, she communicates primarily through writing. Because she is of the main Sa line of descent through Enjun, she is a threat to Chūshō and other branch family members during their power struggle.
To protect her, she has been hidden away and watched over by Shōrin and Yōshun, under orders from Rō Ensei.
Later, she used her strange power to rescue Kokujun together with Shūrei. When Kokujun accepts the burden of the Sa clan, she vowed to be always by his side.
The Hyō clan
The Hyō clan is not one of the respectable Eight Colored Clans of Saiunkoku. But the clan holds an important position in the country, since it was found by the first Emperor's sister Sou Youki. So the Hyō clan is somehow related to the royal Shi clan. There is a mystical feeling among the clan members, and they usually marry a member of their own clan. The only exception was Hyō Eiki, who chose to marry Sa Enjun. Usually the princesses of the royal family (Shi) are sent to the Hyō clan, where if they have supernatural talents, they become priestesses and spend their lives with the Hyō clan, and if not, they're married off to suitable families. In a place called Nine Colors Cove located in the Ran Province, Sou Youki used to seal 108 spirits with a mirror, then calmed them with her erhu.
He is the head of the Hyō clan and though he is suppose to be 80 years old, he maintains a youthful appearance. He appears to have past links with Shōka, and travels to the capital to meet Shūrei, who looks like his true love. When Shōka and Riō meet face to face, Riō mentions how Shōka stole his bara-hime (which is revealed to be Shōkun) and Shūsui.
Riō's son. He is first seen during the Sa Province plague arc. Follows his father's orders and goes on missions for him. His name is written exactly the same way in kanji as his father's. Ryūki often confides in Riō about his feelings about Shūrei. Hates being treated like a child, Riō currently works in Kiyō as the Head of Sentoshō (Department of the Cave of Immortals).
The older sister of Riō (senior). Unlike her brother, she has the physical appearance of an 80 year old woman. She is nonetheless very powerful and is quite ruthless. She is somehow obsessed by her brother. She has a son named Ren, who was the real mastermind of Jyasenkyō that started the problems in Sa province during Shūrei and Eigetsu's time as governor.
She is Shūrei's main lady-in-waiting and a well-known beauty of the Imperial Harem. Her beauty was said by Ryūki to can only be compared to Kocho, the famous courtesan in the Red Light District. She appears kind and caring to Shūrei, and also to Ryūki, but Ryūren was initially suspicious of her swift agility in handling with Kōrin's clumsiness. She was revealed to be an assassin and part of the Wolves of the Wind. Sa-Taihō had believed that she was an assassin loyal to him, but was actually working as a double agent under the orders of Shō-Taishi, the real master of the Black Wolf and Wolves of the Wind.
She is deeply fond of Shōka (who adopted her and sent her to the palace), but he doesn't seem to feel the same way. When she passed out, she called Shōka's name, which broke Shūuei's heart. Her feelings for Shōka is so strong that even at the mention of his name, she would snap out of a strong hynotic trance by Hyō Ruka. She is also the only one who says Shōka's teas are delicious.
She was terribly bad at embroidery (something Ryūki likes to tease her for), but is somewhat improving. She made a handkerchief that she intended to have a sunflower-like floral pattern, but Shōka mistook it for a lion.
Shusui is shown to had attempted suicide as she is hearing sounds in her head and fears to be possessed and controlled by the Hyō clan. Later in the second season of the anime, it is revealed that she is actually from the Hyō clan and she was rescued by Shōka when he released Bara-hime. She was later adopted by Shōka and sent to the palace.
She later insisted on remaining in Ran province and face the Hyō clan, leaving her position as head lady-in-waiting of the Imperial Harem. She was deemed missing (though the Emperor knew where she was) and her position was filled by Jyuusan-Hime.
Imperial city of Kiyō inhabitants and officials
Introduced as Shūrei's young lady-in-waiting at the palace. She was adopted by Taihō-Sa after he saw her collapsed in front of his house due to the war eight years ago. She looks up to him a lot and was even willing to poison Shūrei and then sacrifice her life for him by drinking poison.
After his death, she was sent to Taihō-Sa's wife so she could live there. She traveled back to the capital with Ensei later in order to deliver information about the situation in Sa Province.
Whilst traveling back to Sa Province with Shūrei, Eigetsu, Ensei and Seiran, she was mistook to be Shūrei and thus kidnapped and imprisoned by Sōjun along with Eigetsu. During her imprisonment, she succeeded in re-writing the poem, which made the poet Mei Senshi famous on demand, thus convincing Meishō and Sōjun that she is indeed Shūrei. Kōrin and Eigetsu later escaped to Kinka with the help of Sōjun's younger brother, Kokujun.
Reunited with Ensei, Seiran and Shūrei in Kinka, Kōrin shows some signs of having romantic feelings for Eigetsu; her manner towards him is a mixture of concern, annoyance, and often, exasperation.
When the bond between Eigetsu and Yōgetsu is weakening, he leaves Kōrin by telling her that he loves her and finally kisses her. They reunite after Yōgetsu voluntarily enters a state of hibernation in order for Eigetsu to be with her. After that, she decided to stay in Sa province serving Eigetsu.
One of Shūrei's and Eigetsu's assistant officials. First seen in Sa province, but later moved to the capital permanently with his appointment as Prime Minister.
He is mild-mannered man who is in his late-thirties, and walks with a cane. It is mentioned in the anime by Ryo Anjuu that Yūshun is from a very noble family that even surpasses the power of both the Kou clan (both crimson and yellow). Despite his gentle exterior, Yūshun is considered to be dangerous and very powerful. Yūshun can be a very effective politician who can give accurate predictions of the current situation and he can also be very convincing in debates that even the Merchant Alliance didn't want to engage in a negotiation with him.
Previously he was posted as Ensei's assistant during Ensei's time as the governor and remained in Sa province after Ensei gave up the position. In order to protect Yūshun from the Sa clan, both Yūshun and Ensei agreed to lock Yūshun in a tower facing the city. While in the tower, Yūshun held the power of temporary governor of Sa province until the appointment of the new governor, and still does his government duties while locked in the tower. Upon Shūrei's and Eigetsu's appointment as co-governors of Sa province, Yūshun lost all his power and was in a dangerous position. Nevertheless, Ensei ensured Shūrei and Eigetsu that Yūshun will be fine and even Sakujun Sa couldn't even harm Yūshun.
He made his first appearance in the 28th episode of the anime's first season as an official sent from Koren to help Shūrei and Eigetsu (who had just arrived in Kinka). He used the name Official Yū Jun at that time and readily gave the young co-governors with advice. Only Ensei realized who he really was and the two worked closely together to support Shūrei and Eigetsu. It was him who helped give an order to the military forces in all over Sa province to prevent the riots that was previously arranged by Sa Chūshou and to capture the corrupt members of Sa clan. He revealed his real identity as Tei Yūshun when Shūrei and Eigetsu found out that the tower Yūshun was supposed to be locked in was burning. He said that he was rescued by Ensei's master from the well-locked tower and was thrown to the streets of Kinka the next day, unconscious.
Yūshun is a very good friend of Kijin and Reishin, who both took the official exams with him when they were younger. In the trio, he is older by a few years. He passed first in the Exams (with the title Jougen), with Reishin passing second (Bougen) and Kijin third (Tanka). From the side story of the manga, it is mentioned that he actually knew Shūurei ever since she was a child and Shūurei even gave him some of her homemade buns.
In the novel, it is mentioned that he had been in love with Rin Sai, Shō Sai's twin sister, even before Rin proposed to him. He never thought that he had a chance because of the age gap. He would always reject her proposal from year to year because he didn't want her to get involved in the Sa conflict. This made him very depressed, and also caused much drama for Ensei and Sai Shō. When the Sa family coflict was resolved, he finally accepted Rin's proposal in the Autumn Festival and they were married. They are referred as the newlyweds in episode 38 of the first season anime.
Yūshun has recently been promoted by Ryuuki to Prime Minister and serves as his close advisor. He wields a feathered fan upon his appointment. There have, however, been mentions that his life is in danger. Seiran is currently assigned to guard him, though Yūshun repeatedly said that he did not need protection.
Yōsei Shō (Shō-Taishi)
He is one of the three Grand Officials of the Palace. Taishi is his title and not his name. It was his plan to bring Shūrei to the palace as the temporary wife of the Emperor.
He also had a master plan to expose the true mastermind of the plot to kill the Emperor. He says that he doesn't serve the country and is only loyal to a worthy Emperor. By introducing Shūrei to the palace, the Emperor was finally worthy to rule and Taihō Sa's plot to kill the Emperor was exposed.
He had been able to control the Black Wolf and the Wolves of the Wind, but after risking Shōka's daughter and Seiran's life, Shōka decided not to follow his orders any longer and vowed to kill him.
He served the previous emperor. He saw Taihō-Sa as a close friend of his for many years and was saddened by his passing, but thought that it had to be done. He and Taifū are also great friends.
He seems to be more than human since he was seen as a young man with a white aura surrounding him when he went to comfort his friend, Enjun, during his last moments. Later, it is shown that he is able to summon Enjun's spirit. It is later revealed that he is one of the eights sages, the Sage of Shi (purple), that served the first Emperor.
He once made a pact with someone that he will only serve the emperor he deemed fitting and will do everything he can to help him survive and nothing more. That's why during the imperial succession battle eight years ago; he did not do anything to ensure that the country is in great condition. He did only the bare minimal to ensure the country will survive while he searched for the king worthy of him. When he realised that Ryūki was finally turning into the kind of king he was searching for, he made sure that no one threatens Ryūki's place on the throne.
Taishi-Shō's name has been revealed to be Yōsei by Eiki Hyō (Sa) in episode 36
One of the three Grand Officials of the Palace and a War Hero. Taifu is his title, not his name. He is a fighting master and had served the previous emperor. He is great friends with Taishi, and has taught both Ryūki and Seien (Seiran) on swordsmanship.
He often knows the plans that Taishi comes up with and is aware of the actual existence of the Sages.
Kochō is the mistress of Kōgarō, a pleasure house in the red-light district. Shūrei had been working for her for many years as an accountant, and she feels fond of the younger girl. Not only is she one of the most sought after courtesans. Also it is revealed that she is also the underground boss in charge of the red-light district. She bestows Shūrei with a makeup set, with the lesson to use it for strength and support.
An old doctor who works in the Imperial Palace. At one point he is seen treating Ryūki. When Shūrei asks the Palace's doctors to help her with treatment of the Sa Province disease, Dr. Tō convinces the other doctors to join Shūrei's cause and learn surgery.
Works in the persecution department. From the middle-high class, he proposed to Shuurei under his father's orders even though he was not interested. He was first introduced wearing lots of raccoon accessories and carrying a golden raccoon so he was nicknamed 'Tan-tan' (raccoon in Japanese is 'tanuki') by Seiran. Seiran also likes to tease and torture him with bamboo shoots, calling him 'saifu #2' (wallet #2) and making him pay for certain things.
He does not like putting effort into anything and thus is both intrigued and annoyed by Shuurei's antics of always trying her best. However, Tan-tan has the ability to clearly see the big picture and can also see through people very easily, making him a valuable asset to his department. He also tries to show Shuurei the evils of the world hoping to lessen her naiveté. It is for this reason that Seiran thinks Tan-tan is a somewhat good influence on Shuurei and allows his company. Tan-tan is also one of the people with whom Seiran speaks a lot to. Tan-tan was roped into the counterfeit paintings incident by Shuurei and ends up arresting his father who was used in a bigger plot. He also saves Shuurei when Riku Seiga steals her research and proposal when the workers with lower positions faced the danger of being fired. Since then, he has followed Shuurei and re-entered the persecution department as her assistant.
Sa Province inhabitants and officials
First seen as a traveler who was taken in by Shūrei when she saw him passed out, due to a summer heat wave, near the entrance of her house. She invited him into her house to eat and Ensei always called her 'Hime-san' (princess) from that point on. When Seiran returned home, Ensei recognized him and called him "The Little Whirlwind". He seems to be an old acquaintance of Seiran, but Seiran doesn't seem to like his presence even though they seem to have a friendly relationship. They were most likely old acquaintances during Seiran's time in Sa Province, and it is later found out that the both of them destroyed the Satsūjinzokū bandits 13 years before. Seiran assigned him to be Shūrei's temporary bodyguard while he's off fighting bandits. Also assigned to be the temporary administrator for the Department of Treasury and Taxation by Kijin. Seiran finds out he's been fighting against thieves from Sa Province every night.
Ensei used to be the Governor of Sa Province. Before he took office, high officials from Sa Province were assassinated or bribed so no one wanted to become an official there anymore. Grand Guardian Enjun Sa announced that whoever could turn the tables on an assassin would be made provincial Governor.
At the age of 17, Ensei was appointed as temporary governor and was able to defeat all the assassins that sneaked up on him and he was even great at governing. Though, once Enjun died, no one wanted to accept Ensei as a high official since he didn't even take the imperial examination. He then left to see the new Emperor and asked him to appoint a legitimate governor. The reason the thieves were after him was because there was a bounty placed on his head. He returned to Sa Province and then came back to escort Kōrin to the Capital. He once again returns to Sa Province, but this time as Eigetsu and Shūrei's official assistant.
Ensei is a highly skilled fighter and his weapon of choice is a pole/staff which is why he was nicknamed 'Little Staff King'. However he is in fact most skilled at close range hand-to-hand combat.
He has a cross-shaped scar under his left eye, and usually sports a bushy beard which irritates Shūrei. He was described like a bear by most people, which finally convinced him to keep his beard shaved.
After Shūrei's time as governor of Sa province was done (due to suspension), Ensei still helps her out because he admired her.
Eigetsu To (Yōgetsu)
He is a shy yet intelligent thirteen-year-old boy who is from the Seika Village, Koku Province. He came to the Capital to take the Imperial Exams after passing the Provincial Exams at the age of twelve. All the people in his village gave his money to wish him well. He later lives with the Kō family since he sends most of what he earns to his village.
Eigetsu possesses dissociative identity disorder. He turns into a completely different person after consuming alcohol. Yōgetsu is the name of his other persona. In this state, he becomes more confident and somewhat arrogant, but more mature when it comes to certain things. Yōgetsu also has cat-like eyes, a deeper voice, and prefers to have his hair loose. He has superior fighting abilities, agility, and great strength. He was able to stop the blade of a sword with two fingers, then breaking it, and even throwing the man holding the sword into a wall.
Also, after winning a drinking contest at the Red Light District, he ended up beating up three men from a notorious gang and stole their money afterwards. Before passing out, he insisted that Shūei, who found him after the fight, bring him to the number one brothel in the Capital. This resulted in Eigetsu waking up at the brothel not knowing how he got there or the exact details of what happened while he was intoxicated.
Yōgetsu is also quite intelligent, making him very calculating and strategic. He also spends most of his money on special, expensive sake without telling Eigetsu, leading him to believe he was robbed. Even though Yōgetsu calls Eigetsu a dim-witted fool, he always looks out for him. He even made sure that Eigetsu's Exam token was safe since he thought that Eigetsu would lose it during all the commotion. He gave the token to a businessman and asked him to deliver it, along with the sake he ordered, to the number one brothel the following night.
Eigetsu tells people that he's weak against alcohol and that he prefers not to even smell it. He's definitely aware of the existence of Yōgetsu since they are able to communicate once Eigetsu consumes enough alcohol (Eigetsu, who got thrown into a barrel of alcohol, asked Yōgetsu to save Shūrei when they got involved in a fight). After the commotion the Bosses of Downtown even started arguing about who could claim Eigetsu into their clan after seeing his monstrous abilities. Though, Eigetsu already decided on taking the Exams and becoming an official.
Eigetsu passes the Official Exams with the top scores, being the youngest person in history to pass at the top of the year, taking the "Jougen" spot. At a banquet, he got asked by many high officials to marry into their family and was forced to drink Sake causing him to have to run out so he wouldn't cause a ruckus as Yōgetsu inside a noble's house. Even being the Jougen, after becoming a Shinshi, many officials gave him trouble, like asking him to shine their shoes and "accidentally" kicking him, since he turned down all the marriage proposals.
Eigetsu, along with Shūrei, was assigned to be one of the governors of Sa Province. He made history after becoming the youngest governor the country has ever had and by being part of the first co-governors system. His first job as an official proved to be a difficult one. After entering Sa Province, he was separated from Shūrei and the others and was left with Kōrin, who was pretending to be Shūrei. Shortly after being separated, they were captured by the Satsujinzoku. Fortunately, once they entered the capital they were saved by Seiran, Ensei, and Ryūren (and Yōgetsu) and were finally able to reunite with Shūrei.
In the second series, it has been revealed that Yōgetsu is actually a spirit of one of the eight legendary Sages named Byakuya (Sage of Haku/white). Many years ago, when Dōshu found Eigetsu, Yōgetsu saved Eigetsu's life by fusing into his body, strengthening his dying soul, and granting him 20 more years to live. After 20 years have passed however, Eigetsu will die and his body will then belong to Yōgetsu, as technically it is Yōgetsu who is keeping Eigetsu alive and Eigetsu accepts that fact. However when Dōshu passed away, in order to bring him back to life, Eigetsu begged Yōgetsu to do whatever it took, even if it meant he was to share half his soul with Dōshu and his already short life time will be cut down even further. Touched, Yōgetsu granted Eigestu's wish and brought Dōshu back to life. But after Dōshu finally passed away, Eigetsu's realized he doesn't have much time left in this world. With only a month's time left, Eigetsu decided to set out by himself to help the people of Sa Province who were affected by an epidemic, with the belief that he will at least be able to directly help some people before his death.
Before leaving, Eigetsu told Kōrin about his imminent death, and confessed his feelings to her.
When it came down to when Eigetsu's life was to end, Yōgetsu decided to go into a deep sleep in order to let Eigetsu live.
Though he had a great part in handling the cult activities and plague in Sa province, his actions were considered reckless by the central government. Eigetsu is then stripped from his title as governor, and was demoted to vice-governor.
The Governor of Koku Province who is also a renowned ladies' man. He is said to be the oldest man in the position of governor in Saiunkoku. Initially, he had wanted to be governor of both Koku and Sa Province, but the previous Emperor wouldn't let him because of his old age. Kai was the guardian of Eigetsu when he applied for the ministerial exams, and passed Shin Ka's medical documents onto Shūrei. Kai has an agreement with Shūrei that he will become the governor of Sa Province upon her or Eigetsu's death. He is transferred to Sa Province, to replace Shūrei and Eigetsu as the governor after the epidemic and cult problems there have passed, and becomes Eigetsu's mentor after Eigetsu was demoted to vice governor.
Meishō has a past with both Seiran and Ensei, but he did not know that both of them were involved in wiping out the Satsujinzoku over a decade ago. In the end, he loses his life to Seiran in combat.
Shōrin is the leader of a group in Sa Province called the Condors. Together with his younger brother, Yōshun, he is entrusted by Ensei to look after Shunki.
It seems his father incurred a great debt of gratitude with Shōka Kō in their past. Though only thirteen, Shōrin is quite skilled as a tracker and has displayed acrobatic skills and good endurance. At Shunki's request, he takes her into Kinka in order to help Kokujun.
Together with his older brother, Shōrin, he is entrusted by Ensei to look after Shunki.
Shō is the head of the merchant guild in Kinka, second largest city in Sa Province. He decides to help the new governors of Sa, Shūrei and Eigetsu, in exchange for peace within the province. He is the younger twin of Rin Sai.
Though his father is the head of the military of Kinka, he and his sister opt for the merchant life instead. He repeatedly promotes the idea of using eight-tenths of his power to help, saving two-tenths for emergencies.
The military commander of the city of Kinka in Sa Province, Shin is mistaken by Shūrei for the head of the merchant guild when they first meet. He is the father of the twins, Shō and Rin Sai, and was angered when the two chose to pursue the merchant's path.
Rin is Shō's twin sister. She fell in love with Yūshun Tei when he was still Ensei's assistant and had always proposed to Yūshun on the Autumn Festival (an event which was similar to Valentine's day where girls would give handmade gifts to the person they like). For years, Yūshun had always rejected her. When the Sa conflict has dissolved, Rin stated that it would be her last try to propose to Yūshun. If he was to reject her again, she would only wish for his happiness as she knew he would return to Shi province. When Rin approached Yūshun, he seemed to be asleep so Rin just gave her gift, wished for his happiness and turned to leave. But suddenly Yūshun grabbed her wrist. It turned out that Yūshun felt the same way and they were later married. They were described as newlyweds when they were going to Shi province for the New Years.
She was the Head of the Merchant Guild in Koren, but choose to become an inventor after her time as guild head was over. When Shūrei tries to call the doctors to treat the disease in Sa Province, Rin takes it upon herself to design a smooth knife suited to surgical operations.
Rin is apparently renowned as the "manliest woman in Sa Province.
A kind doctor who found and saved Eigetsu in Koku Province, later becoming his adopted father and mentor. His real name is Ka Shin(華真), which was revealed in episode 6 of the second season. He was a profound doctor and it was thanks to his research and findings that the epidemic in season 2 was solved. Treats both Eigetsu and Yougetsu as his beloved children, something that agitates Yougetsu extremely as he is much, much older than Ka Shin. He taught Eigetsu to smile and live life to the fullest and also passed on his medical knowledge to him.