Kakita Setsuka - Crane Bushi

Kakita Setsuka is a spiritual swordsman that embodies the aesthetic of the Kakita artisans in his pursuit of mastery of the Iaijutsu duel, the Katana, and his own spirit. What sets him apart from the stereotype is an emphasis on the spirituality of swordsmanship. He aspires to spiritual perfection of his art.

Setsuka is a combination of the Kanji characters setsu ("cut") and ka ("song") which I am putting together in the hopes of creating "cutting song". These are kanji #156 and #84, respectively, in Henshall's A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters.

Physical Description

The man is quiet and unassuming, but difficult to ignore. His gaze stretches off into the distance, yet he seems aware of his surroundings. He moves with grace and serenity, his fine light blue kimono shifting slightly with his form.

The white obi that rests upon the hilt of his katana seems to be a clumsy choice but as he turns, it is clear that the appearance was misleading. The position of the Obi is such that it would push back the sleeve of his kimono when he reaches for his katana, aiding the action rather than hindering it.

He walks past you and you are uncertain of the focus of his attentions if any. From this angle, the Mon of the Kakita family can be seen on his left shoulder, embroidered in fine white thread, with pearls for the eyes of the crane and silver thread for the blade. As you look away from his mon, you notice he is watching you. There is no malice or confrontation in his eyes, but the color is strange. They are blue as ice and their color is enhanced by the color of his kimono. His motionless form and still gaze make you feel momentarily as though you are staring into a picture. His bright white hair is pulled back on top of his head, leaving a billowing mane of hair to fall down and frame his face and shoulders.

A moment passes and then he looks away again. Now he is far enough away that he looks not unlike any other crane Bushi, a bright white Crane mon emblazoned upon the back of his ice blue kimono. His medium build fades into the ranks of other Bushi as a cool wind draws your attention to the court's next procession.