Kindred of the East: the Song of Lanterns
Kitsune Taikou, Ayaka Watanabe, Pink Fox,Kit, Kit-chan, Taikou-san
Her body is adequately proportioned to compensate for her lack of height. Admittedly, her body still retains a tiny bit of puppy-fat around her cheeks and stomach, but it does not do anything detract from her beauty.
Age: 81 (apparent age: between 16 and 18)
Dance of The Thrashing Dragon
Kitsune just barely over five-feet in height (in truth, she is literally a centimetre under being five-foot two inches tall, but frequently refers to herself as being five-foot two to avoid complications) with an unusually life-like complexion, on account of her infusion of Yang energies. That‘s not to say she does not still retain the porcelain skin of the undead, but frequently during times of Yang imbalance it’s not as evident.
Her body is adequately proportioned to compensate for her lack of height. Admittedly, her body still retains a tiny bit of puppy-fat around her cheeks and stomach, but it does not do anything detract from her beauty. The only other modifications to her anatomy that has been made since taking the Second Breath are a small silver loop piercing on her left nipple and a mesh of inter-linking irezumi tattoos of cherry blossom, dragons, suns and ribbons along her arms, shoulders, bust and ribcage.
Since travelling across the ocean, Kitsune began dying her hair a bright and healthy-looking bubblegum pink colour, to which she would typically tie into long pigtails (though in other more formal situations with Kuei-jin Elders, she will tie her hair up into a pair of ox horns, as to reduce the amount of potential offence she might provoke).
Choice of Clothing: Although her choice of hair colour might provoke her as being a very rebellious and unorthodox member of the Hungry Dead, Kitsune still honours the traditions of her Japanese heritage. When meeting with fellow Kuei-jin or in more formal situations, she will garb herself in a highly colourful kimonos, along with an extravagant obi, as expected, white tabi socks and zori (flat-soled sandals) on her feet.
During more casual settings, however, Kitsune expresses her love for her homeland’s recent craze of “Gothic Lolita” fashion, both on account of it‘s compatibility with her body type and how easily it can blend her into society whenever her skin starts looking unnaturally pale. She literally owns a vast multitude of dresses and accessories, the majority being black, pink, white, or red in colour.
Personality: Kitsune is both a contrast of mild-mannered tradition and explosive impulsive emotion rolled into one…
On one side she comes across as a demure, kind-hearted and cultured young lady whom deeply respects the conservative traditions of her culture’s ancestry and respects the role that her people play in repaying their karmic debt. On the other side, however, this young Laughing Rainbow can be as impulsive and hot-tempered as any Brujah Kindred when provoked and just as prone to end up falling into Fire Soul and start swinging.
The stereotypically lusty outlook of her Dharma Path follows through into her own personality, as her periods of Yang imbalance bring with it a desire for warm sake, shrimp dumplings, ramen, and long steamy sessions of hot kinky sex… though she tends to prefer to indulge the latter with those she has an intensely personal connection with rather than the first person she meets off the street.
Kitsune‘s P‘o mimics a lot of about her Hun’s persona, though the clear and notably differences between the two of them are quite apparent… firstly, the P’o will greedily consume whatever it pleases without heed to others, and secondly, the P’o is extremely bad-tempered and prone to random acts of destruction the likes of which would meet the approval of many of the Devil Tiger Path.
History: Born as Ayaka Watanabe on April 13th in the year 1929 in Nagasaki City, Japan. She was the only child of her parents, her father a civil servant and her mother a housewife, but unconditionally loved nonetheless by both of them.
The pre-WWII changes to the country, most notably the gradual expansionism and militarisation of Japan after the end of World War I, as well as the occupation of Manchuria, the withdraw from the League of Nations and the signing of the Anti-Comintern Pact with Nazi Germany threw out the 1930s drew little attention to the young girl‘s interest despite the ever looming threat of war breaking out in a world just recovering from the stock market crash that started the Great Depression.
Even as the world changed into the 1940s and Japan entered World War II with the attack on Pearl Harbour, Ayaka cared little about the political and potential dangers of global warfare… much preferring to spend her time playing games of Go, Shogi, Hanafuda and such with friends who, growing into their teens, started to express their uncertainty about the future. Which, subsequently, greatly annoyed the young Ayaka… who felt that having a care-free attitude to life would get one threw such hard times.
Her attitude was shattered, however, when on August 9th 1945, the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki City at around 11:00am… Ayaka was outside of the school grounds that day after having left during the midday break when the bomb dropped and wiped out the majority of her home city’s population.
Luckily, she was no where near the point of detonation and managed to survive the blast as well as the shockwave the followed it… but was unable to survive the ashes of death falling from the sky and died several days later from radiation poisoning.
The time between suffering and the moment when she took her Second Breath, all threw out her torment in the Yomi World of Mikaboshi’s Wicked City, Ayaka could think of nothing but cursing those who had shattered her quiet existence on Earth. More so than anything, her rage stemmed from the fact she never had a chance to truly live… to truly know what life was like after compulsive education finished when she could get married and possibly have children.
The rage that dragged her out from her grave enabled her to take the Second Breath… straight away she was beset by hunger and quickly feasted on some passing American soldiers from where she immerged.
Less than an hour later, Ayaka was captured by a small uji of Devil-Tigers belonging to House Bishamon who’d come to admire the damage done by the nuclear detonations and promptly brought her back to their haven before she could cause any more damage to the environment or to herself.
Clad only in her torn and tattered school uniform, she soon enough relearned the ability to understand her native tongue and managed to coax the sadistic Devils of Heaven to stop poking her with sharpened bamboo sticks and let her out of the cage they‘d thrown her in.
Ayaka was introduced to House Bishamon, a dynamic sect of Japanese Gaki who inducted her into her new existence and instructed her on how to live as one of the Hungry Dead, including her choice to make the Road Back via the Five-Fold Way.
Shortly after her induction, Ayaka choose to undergo tutelage in the Dance of the Thrashing Dragon… though uncharacteristic of most Gaki, she decided to forgo the customary mortal lifetime granted to Running Monkeys and embraced her Dharma Path with zeal.
Her first decision upon adopting the Path was to distance herself from the person she was before by undergoing the Rite of Embrace The Spirit’s Change, assuming the mantle of Kitsune Taikou (roughly translated into English as “Pink Fox”), before she began undergoing her tutelage by a Thrashing Dragon Jina by the name of Hayato Musashi, who just so happened to be one of the original shinobi of the Rokkaku Clan in what was now Kōka City where she resided for the majority of her training.
In addition to teaching her about the principles of the Dharma Path, Musashi also saw to it that Kitsune learn of the power of stealth, secretly at the request of several Bishamon Elders eager to possess an assassin to combat against their rivals in House Bishamon at a later date, passing on the secrets of Kôga-ryû to her.
Her transition from Hin to Disciple came auspiciously on her first visit to a gambling den in the city with Musashi in the summer of 1948…
The revelation came to her when she won her very first dice game that evening and subsequently started her hobby for the next two decades; gambling.
Drawing from her childhood love of games, Kitsune began to frequent gambling dens around the Honshu island of the Japanese Archipelago. It didn’t matter much to her whether she won or lost, only that she was able to experience the thrill of the game and experience the zest of life. And, for a while, it was good… until December 1968.
Amidst her nightly existence and search for Enlightenment, Kitsune meet a young American Private named John Sheldon who had been stationed in Japan shortly before he was to be shipped out to Vietnam.
Although she still held a minor distrust for Americans for what they had done to her and her country a little over two decades ago, Kitsune couldn’t help but become enraptured by him…
Here was a man, an American, who was barely old enough to drink in his own country, fresh out of being conscripted by his own government, being sent into the meat grinder… yet he appeared so calm and accepting about his position.
Both lust and sympathy weighed heavy on her heart, prompting Kitsune to take John back to a Love Hotel in Tokyo for a good two hours of passionate sex. A little going away present for them, as despite their good karma, she believed they were unlikely to survive their tour of Vietnam. But John left her a going away present of his own. Something Kitsune knew was impossible, yet it happened anyway; she became pregnant.
She had been in a state of Yang Imbalance at the time and willingly allowed herself to be for the nine month duration of her pregnancy, beckoned by the feeling of life growing inside her.
On August 4th 1969, Kitsune gave birth to a son, whom she named John Watanabe after his father and gave him her old family name. Tears flowed down the Thrashing Dragon‘s face as she gazed upon the Dhampyr she’d given birth to, into the boy whose eyes were the same as his father’s… and it was then that Kitsune came to a nihilistic conclusion; she had been foolish. She had rushed ahead without thinking of the consequences of bringing a half-dead child into the world. And, more importantly, she didn’t have the maturity or self-discipline to raise a child.
At once, her P’o roared for his destruction… but Kitsune couldn’t bring herself to do it. John’s only sin was being born, and that was something he didn’t have any say in. In her eyes, and in the eyes of many, he was truly innocent.
Fearing that the Bishamon Elders would want to experiment on her son and knowing nobody she knew she could trust to raise her son, Kitsune discreetly left John at an orphanage in Tokyo before promptly leaving for Osaka, the home of the Yakuza, to continue her search for Enlightenment.
At the behest of those same Bishamon Elders, Kitsune became the mistress of the then Yamaguchi-gumi’s wakagashira, Shinobu Wakari, using it as cover for her role as one of House Bishamon’s assassins, semi-routinely taking contracts out on whomever her Elders asked her to; be they Kin-jin, Bishamon pawns, or rival shen. During her affiliation with the yakuza, Kitsune had a series of colourful irezumi tattoos drawn across her shoulders and on her breast.
At the time of the Great Leap Outward, Kitsune decided to leave the yakuza behind after her paramour was shot dead in a restaurant by a rival gang member, choosing instead to live a solitary lifestyle and embrace the new Gothic Lolita trend that was sweeping Japan at the time.
Although somewhat jaded to the obligations imposed on her by the Elders in House Bishamon, their proposal of her emigrating to the United States as part of the Japanese contingent, and secretly part of the plan for the Clans of the Sun to take over the predominantly Chinese “colonies” already established by the Golden Courts in light of their failure to gain as much ground as they had originally anticipated, intrigued her.
She spent several years in San Francisco before returning to Japan, triumphant in several of her dealings with the Americans, with several contacts in the San Francisco branch of the Zaibatsu.
Her return to Japan in mid-2005 prompted multiple impulsive decisions from Kitsune. First, she started dying her hair a bubblegum pink, and secondly, she got a night job as a dancer at a Tokyo strip club named “Vesuvius.”
Since then, the Thrashing Dragon has been kind of a sleeper asset to the Clans of the Sun in their systematic take-over of the New Promise Mandarinate, one ready for mobilization whenever necessary against the Kin-jin or whomever they believe is a threat to their “investments.”