The House of Ichijo (一条家 Ichijō-ke), also known as the Ichijo Clan, is a centuries-old clan led by the pacifistic but weak-willed Nobuteru Ichijo. They were introduced in Shinobido: Way of the Ninja as one of the three factions vying for control over Utakata (or in their case, preserving it).
They have remained the ruling power of Utakata for most of the series, albeit their authority is very flimsy.
The House of Ichijo is a generations-old clan and the longtime rulers of Utakata. Alongside the Asuka Ninja, has maintained peace and order in Utakata for generations. Although the Asuka did not directly serve the Ichijo family, the two parties had long held an alliance designed to benefit and safeguard the people of the region.
Currently under the rule of the Nobuteru Ichijo, neighbouring leaders and powerful social figures have long despised Ichijo as a weak and cowardly ruler. Now, without the combined threat presented by the presence of the Asuka ninja, these leaders have decided to claim Utakata for themselves. Ichijo despises war and cares for his people, going to great lengths and expending military resources and finances to ensure the safety of Utakata's people by eliminating the barbarian tribes and wild animals infesting the province.
During Shinobido: Tales of the Ninja Ichijo attempts to strengthen his clan through alliances with neighbouring daimyo; he asks for the hand of Princess Azami in marriage so he can benefit from relations with the rich province of Tasogare. Her father Lord Uzuki accepts on the condition that he rids Tasogare of the problematic Kenobi. The Asuka succeed and the princess is sent to marry, but is kidnapped by Mosu Ninjas on the way. She is rescued and returned by the Asuka, but the Mosu direct a second assault with the intent of taking Ichijo's life; the Asuka manage to protect him and the wedding goes without further complications. Before the final mission, it's Ichijo who orders the Asuka to assassinate the rogue Amurita priestess Miroku, considering her highly dangerous and of much more importance than the secret diaries of Sadame.
At the start of Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen they remain the ruling faction of Utakata, and with financial support aided in the reconstruction of the Asuka Village. However, Hisahide Kazama, a former vassal, became disgusted with his lord's cowardice and rebelled, founding his own clan; meanwhile Sadame's mysterious dissapearance has been blamed on Ichijo by the Amurita Cult, now led by a woman known as Kihan. With the combined threats of both factions, and the looming invasion from Sekishu, the Ichijo Clan seek the aid of the Asuka once more.
Depending on Zen's actions, the House of Ichijo may keep their reign over Utakata or be finally overthrown by an opposing faction.
In Way of the Ninja, they start out with a decent amount of funding and military and will try to obtain upgrades as quickly as possible. They offer a wide variety of missions, many of which can be beneficial to the player as well (Collection and Reccoinnassance missions), but will often face food shortages and assaults to their shipping Oxcarts, resulting in the loss of provisions or the life of a Samurai General. Expect many Escort, Rescue, Thievery and Guard missions from them.
Missions demonstrate their underlining kindness in some occassions. Ichijo is the only faction that will request the rescue of citizens even if it doesn't directly benefit him, the assassination of dangerous Bears and Barbarians before they approach urban areas, the assassination of notorious serial killers and the shipping of rice to citizens and Merchants to support them. While this can be easily explained as a pragmatic desire to keep good public relations, the fact that they may do this even when facing shortages can contradict that opinion.
Their Soldiers seem to have a bumbling but dutiful personality, somewhat echoing the personality of their leader.
Both ruling clans of Fudo, the Akame Clan and Kazama Clan, have been constant enemies of the House of Ichijo during the series, both attempting to usurp Ichijo for the position of ruler of Utakata. This antagonism seems to be recent, as Onji explains that it was Akame who began the campaign of conquest against Utakata.
Amurita Faith Edit
The Amurita Faith is a new sect born during Nobuteru Ichijo's rule. While initially neutral, the sect began preparations for war once the news of the Asuka's demise became known. Ichijo tried to negotiate a peace treaty with Sadame, but she refused his conditions and declared her position as his enemy. Six months later Ichijo was blamed by the sect for the dissapearance of Sadame, ruining any possible truce between the factions.
Ichijo considers the province of Sekishu and its leaders to be enemies, and fears for an assault from them while his clan still struggles inside Utakata. The Hojo Clan once aided Kazama in his uprising and conquest of Fudo, and the only thing seemingly stopping them from a direct attack against the House of Ichijo is their own war with the Nagao Clan.
To fight off the Hojo Clan, Ichijo considered an alliance with the Nagao Clan, rulers of Iwafune, but was discouraged by Shu the Cypress under the belief that Nagao would betray Ichijo after his clan was weakened fighting Hojo.
Ichijo asked for Princess Azami's hand in marriage to gain the alliance of this rich neighbouring province. Lord Uzuki accepted on the condition he rid his country of the Kenobi Ninja. After that was done the princess was sent to Utakata for the wedding, and while both were initially ambushed by the Mosu Ninja they were both rescued by the Asuka and the ceremony went uninterrupted after that.
Asuka Ninja Edit
The Ichijo and Asuka clans held a generations-long alliance to protect Utakata from enemies and bandits. This alliance was severed after the Asuka's massacre and while three members survived to restore the clan they have mantained a neutrality stance since, aiding Ichijo as often as opposing him. Ichijo himself would rather believe he has the Asuka's full cooperation.
Notable Members Edit
- Nobuteru Ichijo (current head of the clan and Daimyo of Utakata)
- Kazama Torasaburo Hisahide (former vassal and defector of the clan)
- Princess Azami (Nobuteru Ichijo's wife and princess of Tasogare)
- General Tojo (former retainer and betrayer of the clan, deceased)
Like all political factions, the House of Ichijo has two exclusive strongholds and may ocuppy urban areas at any time.
- Utakata Castle (Ichijo's residence)
- Murakumo Fortress (Samurai General's base)
- Sengen Town
- Honcho Shimoyashiki
- Negishi Pavillion (Way of the Ninja)
- Ryonin Market (Way of the Ninja)
- Hachitenmangu (Revenge of Zen)