Samurai Okyen, Okyen Sasano, Ishi Itagaki
17 Feb 16
Don "Major Deej" Finger
1970s;11 Jun 2011 (as current)
Toma Sasano (father)
Muri Sasano (mother)
Reiken Mori (Great Uncle)
Masushi Mori (Grandfather)
Riishi Mori AKA Samurai Sentinel (Great Grandfather)
Susan Morita (cousin)
The true person of this story is Okyen Sasano, who was born in the United States (because her father was there on business) but is also Japanese (parents are Japanese citizens), thus she officially has dual citizenship. Her family lineage is originally from an ancient and revered Japanese family, the Mori clan, but Okyen and her parents and immediate family go by the Sasano clan name (for the last 40+ years). Okyen's father is a Japanese citizen who owns a large home in the Osaka prefect and another home in Seattle, Washington, where he does business. Okyen has had to travel and live between two locations with a bevy of private teachers and tutors in tow. She can speak Japanese, English Korean and Chinese. However, before you get too far into learning about Okyen, you need to know more about her historic and convoluted lineage...and its recent history.
Okyen's great grandfather, Riishi Mori was considered to be one of the greatest warriors of Japan. Trained as a Samurai by the military under secrecy, Riishi was the last of the samurai in his nation. The one that taught him had died in an American air raid by B-25 bombers. Riishi was honor bound to fight for the emperor, however, what Riishi didn't know was that the emperor had never been told of Riishi or that he (nor anyone for that matter) was a samurai. The military kept him a secret from the emperor. Under the belief that his actions were noted and authorized by the emperor, Riishi took on the role as the "Samurai Sentinel", defender of Japan. In this role, he fought the super-powered super group, the Allied Fighters on many occasions during World War II. Although the Allied Fighters deserved death, Riishi considered them 'honorable' warriors and as such defeated them, but never killed them intentionally. This flew in the face of the Japanese Imperial Army and Riishi's handlers who demanded the kills. Riishi ignored them, stating once the emperor told him otherwise he'd follow.
The next day Riishi got a telegraphed communique that the emperor told him to kill all Americans no matter what.
An Asian-American hero with the Allied Fighters at that time, Katana Kuni, was told by Army Intelligence about the telegraph and mentioning that it was impossible for the emperor to have responded to that since they'd monitored all their messages after having broken the Japanese encryption codes weeks before. Kuni went off on his own to Samurai Sentinel's last known location to talk to Riishi about being misled, knowing the importance of a samurai to follow his emperor's will and obviously being lied to about it.
Sadly, Riishi and Kuni fought an incredible fight, with Kuni being stabbed through the heart. All during their fighting, Kuni explained the lies the military was feeding him, but Riishi didn't believe him. It wasn't until a minute later when the Allied Fighters arrived onsite to fetch Kuni back did they see Kuni's dead body and Riishi standing over it.
Captain Invader stepped in telling Riishi that Kuni came to honor Riishi and save his soul. The captain showed Riishi the decoded communiques which identified the emperor DID NOT know of Riishi nor would have authorized any of his actions in lieu thereof. To cement the point, Captain Invader sat penitent before Riishi and offered himself as an honor sacrifice should Riishi actually believe the captain was indeed lying. Riishi immediately went to talk to the generals on site, bringing along the Allied Fighters as HIS prisoners, not the empire's. When he confronted the general and the radiomen, the general snapped at him however, the radiomen, seeking to honor Riishi, told him of the duplicity, begging Riishi's forgiveness.
Riishi was devastated.
In a low voice, Riishi told the Allied Fighters to leave and take Kuni's body with them. Riishi handed Captain Invader a bag of gold for Kuni's family and his deepest sorrow over the unfortunate ordeal stating, in English, "Kuni was a more honorable man than I".
After the Allied Fighters left, Riishi demanded an honor sacrifice for the duplicity from his fellow soldiers. Nearly all of the enlisted troops lined up for this; no officers. Noting how things really were, Riishi lectured the men about what had transpired there today and to still carry on their duties they were sworn to perform. Riishi then lopped off the head of the general, mentioned to all to remember what happened here and never let it happen again and then walked off the base to a cargo plane and was flown back to Japan.
Samurai Riishi went back to his town located on the northern tip of Honshu island, disgraced. Interestingly enough, he was left to his own devices even after Japan surrendered in 1945. No one bothered him. No one put him up for charges. Nothing. Not even the occupying Americans visited him or charged him; "Major " (promoted) Invader saw to that.
Over the next few decades there, Riishi reacted to save lives during storms and earthquakes and when several instances of crime gangs tried to get a base of operations out of his town. Other than that, he kept quiet and to himself. He still trained every day.
Months after Japan's surrender, Riishi realized he needed legacy and married. He and his wife had two sons, however the 2nd son, Masushi, caused complications at birth for which Riishi's wife died hours after Masushi's birth. The first son, Reiken grew up to be an exceptional student and was taught the ways of the samurai by his father, even though it was still officially forbidden to be samurai (the Japanese military leaders had lied about the emperor's decree of lifting the ban on Samurai too). Masushi, the 2nd son, however, was embarrassed over his father's legacy and left home as a teenager, taking up a friend's clan name of "Sasano". Masushi went to college and became a profitable businessman. Reiken was trained by his father, even through it was illegal to be trained or called a samurai in Japan in those days.
Reiken eventually became a powerful yet secreted samurai warrior. On the day Riishi died, Reiken was told that it was his duty to bring honor back to the family and to carry on the training of Samurais for the good of Japan and not the machinations of less honorable and corruptible men.
Reiken swore on his father's deathbed he'd do everything he could to clear the Mori name and bring honor back to the samurai.
Over the decades, Reiken created a secretive Samurai training camp on an inhospitable island not far off the coast from their ancestral home. There, he'd take in at least one new student each year and train them to be secretive samurai; secretive in the sense that one day their skills would be needed to defend Japan, and then and only then would they expose themselves to the world of their existence.
By the year 2000, Reiken had over 30 fully trained samurai warriors at his beck and call. each of these 30 samurais would carry on normal lives as Japanese fishermen, farmers, mechanics, etc, all the while practicing secretly in secluded locations once their initial training with Reiken was complete.
Reiken's brother, Masushi, had a large family of eight children, four of them boys. Masushi slowly grew his radio component business into a major Japanese company. His eldest son, Toma, eventually took over the family business, which had grown to the value of millions of dollars by 2000 and had two factories; one in Osaka, Japan and another in the United States in Seattle, Washington. Toma also married and had three daughters, the youngest was Okyen, born in 1995. Up to the year 2000, Okyen traveled back and forth with her mother between Japan and Washington state, living a life as a young rich girl. In 2000, however, all that changed.
In 2000, the alien Soltan Empire invaded Earth. every major city and continent was awash of invading aliens. Heroes and military units fought them, but were ill-equipped at the time of the invasion to fight them off. That's when Okyen's great uncle, Samurai Reiken, unleashed his 30 highly trained samurai warriors onto the invading Soltans on the Honshu Island. It was a slaughter...a slaughter of Soltans, that is.
Thousands of Soltans were killed by the Samurai in the first few weeks of the invasion. As the invasion pressed on though, the samurai's ranks dwindled, Samurai Reiken's forces were thinned greatly months into the invasion. All in all, it was said Reiken's samurai killed over 7000 Soltans as a whole during the invasion. The samurai's actions actually caused the Soltans to retreat from Japan for good, making Japan one of the first nations to be rid of the Soltans. Eventually, the Soltans were driven off Earth by the rest of the combined efforts of the world's heroes and military forces. In the aftermath, only three of Reiken's samurai were left alive and amongst them was the war-torn and battered Samurai Reiken himself. more than half of Japan had been destroyed; as such rebuilding was the next phase...and not just buildings, but rebuilding what was now the greatest heroes in Japan - the samurai.
As a result of the samurai saving Japan, the Japanese prime minister announced the authorized and legal (yet limited) reinstatement of Samurai training in Japan and the restored honor of the Mori clan. Only 12 men a year would be allowed to be trained as Samurai and that they themselves, once trained, would make up a unique specialized unit known as the "Samurai Squadron". Samurai Reiken wasn't 100% keen on the idea of a 'samurai squadron', but if it allowed him to openly train and restore the Mori family name, it was a step in the right direction, even though it did run against what his father told him about allowing 'less honorable and corruptible men' lead the samurai.
As little Okyen grew up, she was amazed at her newly discovered family lineage regarding Great Uncle Reiken whom she'd never known about. Although her family kept their clan name as Sasano, Okyen dreamed of becoming a Mori - and a trained Samurai. She would waltz around her room pretending to fight like a samurai, only for her father, Toma, to yell at her and discipline her for her actions. As far as her father was concerned, none of his children would ever have anything to do with the Mori clan or its samurai legacy, especially for a girl, for which there had not been a female samurai warrior in over 120 years (at that time).
Even as she approached her teenage years, when Okyen tried to logically discuss this topic with her father, Toma would get angrier at her, almost enraged. She found herself asking why her father was so set against this and why there was such a division in the clan. Always the curiosity-seeker, the teenage Okyen started a search for truth that would end in changing her life forever.
As a teenager, Okyen was highly athletic and smart. She'd spend her time not only studying for school, but about the world and of course the deepening mystery of the Mori and Sasano clans. Finally, in a school field trip to an ancient religious site that happened to be mere miles from the Mori clan estate, Okyen took it upon herself to 'ditch' her field trip's tour and go the the famous Mori clan estate located only several miles down the road. When she arrived by taxi, she was greeted at the front gate as if expected to arrive. She was brought before the master himself, Samurai Reiken, now very old and frail, yet still very domineering in deportment. Surprised, she discovered that Samurai Reiken was indeed her great uncle and that he'd been watching the Sasano clan's children's development for many years, especially Okyen's. They sat and had lunch for a few hours. by the end of the conversation, her great uncle stated that if she so chose, she could be trained as a samurai, but it would have to be in secret. Since the government had recently told the "Samurai Squadron" what type of training they'd allows 'their' samurai to receive, one such edict was still in play - no women were allowed to be trained as Samurai.
Reiken stated that he truly wanted to train Okyen, but she would need her father's permission, and that was not going to happen by any account. Reiken's brother, Masushi had died earlier than year and Reiken was not invited or authorized to attend the funeral; a major dishonor to Reiken.
As such, Reiken knew Toma's answer before it would even be asked. When asked how she'd be trained IF she was ever to be trained, he mentioned that Okyen wouldn't be trained in the men's path, but instead in a traditional way for women; a variety of traditional specialized martial arts with one unique twist to include a 'Atarashii Naginata' (a modern form of combat using the Naginata weapon (a long staff with a blade on one end)). Okyen's dreams seemed so close, yet vastly distant. As such, Okyen realized the time, thanked her great Uncle and told him that her greatest wish was to do what he said he'd want to do for her. Reiken looked very sad as Okyen left to go back to the train station and meet her classmates.
At the train station, Okyen arrived to see her classmates about ready to board their train...as well as her father and several policemen standing on the platform next to her classmates.
When she arrived at her father's location, her father was furious. They argued even after the other students left on the train. The policemen were dismissed, allowing Toma and Okyen to drove off in Toma's limousine. Toma was so furious his face was flush with red and his eyes looked like those of a man about to loose control. For the next few minutes of the ride though, Toma said nothing.
That's when Okyen noticed they were not driving in the direction of home, but instead to the great uncle's house...the Mori clan's estate.
Once there, Okyen and her father were greeted in a way befitting an honored family member's status and met with Reiken. For Tomo, this was the first time other than Okyen that anyone from the Sasano family had formally met and talked with the Reiishi side of the Mori clan in many decades. Reiken was formal and kind, Tomo was not. He was furious and angry at Reiken for 'filling his daughter's head with delusions of being a samurai warrior'. Reiken said he could not apologize for something he did not directly do, but offered his condolences on the 'loss of her father's respect'; a formal jab if ever there was one.
Agitated, Tomo screamed and tossed Mori centennial-old dishes around, demanding that he should be talked to in greater respect, only for Reiken to smile and produce several more verbal jabs. At that time, Tomo was red with rage and grabbed a sword from a sacred shrine, threatening Reiken. Okyen was beside herself with emotion, screaming at her father not to further embarrass or dishonor himself. Tomo lunged at the old Reiken, only for Reiken to easily sidestep the lunge. This exchange went on for two minutes with Reiken never once drawing his sword. Finally, Tomo charged Reiken with the sword. Reiken easily disarmed Tomo and reversed the sword to a floored Tomo with the blade to his throat. Reiken then gave Tomo an option; for his life and the dishonor he's presented in the Mori house, he'd accept a formal apology by formally allowing Tomo's daughter, Okyen, to stay with him permanently and take the Mori clan name, otherwise, he'd kill Tomo right there for Tomo's attempted murder of a 'federal' employee and a traditional, reinstated samurai (which was then considered to be a legal offense in Japanese law after the samurai were reinstated).
Reluctantly, Tomo chose to leave Okyen with Reiken forever, stating he 'disowned' her and she was now considered a blight on the Sasano family name. Her name would be stricken from everything they owned; every picture of her destroyed; all her things, thrown in the trash. Her name would never be allowed to be spoken, not even by her own siblings.
His honor barely intact, Tomo left, but before he left, Tomo was ordered by Reiken that he nor the rest of his Sasano clan would ever be allowed to return to the Mori clan estates ever again under penalty of death. Tomo agreed and said he never wanted to have anything to do with the Mori ever again as well. Okyen over the next few days had her name legally changed to Mori and was relocated to the Mori estate. Within a month, she began her training as a female samurai - in secret, of course.
For the next four years, Okyen learned the ways of the samurai from her great uncle. When she wasn't training physically with her new skills, she was studying and passing her regular Japanese education requirements. During that same 4 years, the government 'retired' Reiken from teaching any more Samurai, and instead had another of the first wave of Samurai Squadron graduates head up the squadron's training and operations. Reiken was nothing more than a figurehead. Knowing this is the path his father was concerned about, he knew he'd have to make 'adjustments' to ensure the samurai didn't get turned into what his father became; a pawn of the military.
Okyen graduated at age 17 from Reiken's secret female samurai school days after she'd graduated form her formal primary education. At age 18, Okyen was ready to take on the world...or go to college as her great uncle enticed her to do.
Unfortunately, Okyen's father, Tomo, had been devising his own revenge against Reiken. After working hard paying off executives with enormous bribes, Tomo became the senior executive government official in charge of the Japanese Defense Service. The day after he received his appointment (and the day after Okyen graduated), Tomo told the Japanese federal government about his 'unfortunate' discovery made an hour before that his uncle, Reiken, was performing illegal female samurai training with Toma's own 'daughter' whom Tomo had 'allowed' for her to stay with for family's sake. He demanded the arrest of Reiken and his daughter. A judge, however, demanded only house arrest until the legal details were drawn up about how to 'arrest a samurai'.
The next day, the "Samurai Squadron" was placed under full control of the government, with all training and active students moved overnight to a new facility outside of Tokyo that Tomo had already set up in secret. Existing Samurai Squadron samurai were ordered to take an oath in serving the Japanese government against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
Several of the devout samurai committed ritual suicide by Harikari; most others were heartbroken, but instead followed the edict of the government.
Reiken was placed under house arrest. his training island was now considered government property. Okyen was also placed under house arrest until, again, the legalities were solidified and identified.
That night, while the Mori Clan estate was surrounded by federal police and federal agents, Okyen escaped the estate with the help of several other samurai that Reiken had trained and that stayed within the Samurai Squadron as sleeper agents for Reiken. Those samurai got Okyen on a flight to the United States where she was to be met by a distant relative of the Mori that had settled in the United States before WWII and had long since become American citizens.
Met in San Francisco, Okyen was taken by her distant cousin, Susan Morita, to Boston, Massachusetts via a road trip across the country. Once in Boston, she met with the near-centennial aged legendary superhero, Major Invader.
Reiken had contacted Major Invader and asked him to care for her and allow her the opportunity and freedom necessary to redeemed the Mori clan's name again. He cited the Samurai Sentinel/Katana Kuni meeting during WWII and told the Major that he was considered 'the most brave and noble person ever known to me (Samurai Sentinel) next to Karate Kuni', and as such entrusted Okyen to his care and safety, as well as teach her the ways of the modern 'superhero'.
The Major obviously agreed and took her in, giving her a new identity as 'Ishi Itagaki' and giving her a mask and costume with a simplified hero code-name - "American Samurai".
A week after Okyen escaped Japan and went 'underground', the Japanese government tried to arrest Reiken at his residence only to find Reiken murdered at his Samurai shrine on the Mori estate. An Interpol-based manhunt went out for Okyen Sasano/Mori, stating she was responsible for the murder of their legendary and venerable Samurai Reiken.
Okyen has been devastated over the entire situation since.
Today, Ishi Itagaki is going to college at Boston University studying Asian Culture. "American Samurai", however, has since joined Major Invader's modern Allied Fighters group and has been promoted to fight with Alpha Squad. She is happy fighting alongside the Major and considers him a puzzle she must solve to understand her great uncle's vision of what he sees in the Major.
Thusfar, no one has come hunting for Okyen in the United States, but rumor has it that the "Samurai Squadron" has been on the hunt for her since the arrest warrant. It's only a matter of time before they find her to arrest her for her great uncle's murder...which Okyen is truly innocent of.
Powers Origin: Natural
She has no powers.
Special pole arm weapon: Naginata
Monstrous material strength
Sharp blade at one end of the pole
Length of pole covered in fine highly detailed stylized leather for ripping
Provides Feeble physical protection
Provides good fire and burning protection
Provides good radiation protection
Provides poor toxin/acidic protection
Current Occupation: Secret Civilian identity: College student; Hero identity: Registered Superhero
Covert Operations/Spy (Proficient)
Reduces target's intuition towards her by 1x when in Stealth
1x intuition vs opponent's stealth
1x movement agility when using stealth
1x knowledge about stealth equipment, operations, history, personnel
Horseback Riding (Proficient)
Certified to ride three horse types
1x knowledge and understanding of horses and riding horses
Martial Arts (Master)
2x melee fighting
increased melee initiative
1x evasion skill
1x base knowledge of anything related to archery
1x agility with weapon
Weapons Expert: Naginata (Master)
3x base knowledge of anything related to weapon
3x fighting agility with weapon
3x agility with weapon