The Yakimara culture's origin is shrouded in legends and myths. The expanse of the Yakimara clan and people used to be much bigger than it is in the present day. Having their own distinct language and culture, the Yakimara differ from the Taika and Chonobi. Yet, they uphold a neutral and sometimes friendly connection to both the Taika and Chonobi - despite their differences.
Currently, the Yakimara culture is sustained by the three clans of Akimichi, Nara and Yamanaka.
The faith of the Yakimara can be split into two. A large number of the Yakimara are devout followers of the Way of Fire. These mostly live in the urban centres of the Yakimara heartlands. Their temples and architecture do differ from the Taika temples to the Way of Fire. However, if one were to rural parts of the Yakimara heartlands, they will encounter a different belief. One that is considered to be older than the Way of Fire and still having a large number of devout Yakimara.
This belief is called 'Vetei', which stands for 'Old Gods' in Yakimara. The worshippers of the Vetei have a large number of deities that they pray and worship to. A lot of ancestor and nature worship can be sighted within the followers of the Old Gods, who are stark loyal to what they consider the true faith of the Yakimara. Over the course of history, there have been various unpleasant events between the Vetei and Way of Fire worshippers in the Yakimara heartlands.
The language of the Yakimara differs heavily from Taika and Chonobi. There are a few dialects, most notable between rural and urban areas. The language of the Yakimara is often described as being quite pleasant to the ear, sounding less harsh than Chonobi and less complex than Taika. Together with many fine Yakimara scholars and seers, the language has spread to nearby regions. It is within the Empire of Akino considered as a language of intellect, being highly favoured by scholars, poets and intellectuals. Leading to the habit of intellectuals giving Yakimara names, using them as scientific names. Of course, this habit is only so far limited to the Empire of Akino.
The language, to give an idea to readers and writers of the roleplay, is close to our own world's latin. For example, Vetei is a portmanteau for 'Vetus Dei'. Latin for 'Old Gods'.
The weddings of the Yakimara culture are an important part of the culture, much as like how it is for the other cultures. The weddings of the Yakimara depend on the location, for the traditions on the countryside differ from those in urban centres. But in general, the weddings are considered a festive event between the families of the bride and groom. Various traditions of old are kept in place, though some influences of the Way of Fire have left their mark.
The clothing of the Yakimara culture varies from the other cultures. Some like to describe the Yakimara fashion as a middle road between the elaborated Taika and the rather pragmatic Chonobi clothing fashion. The trademark for many of the Yakimara styles are likely the earthly colours and usages of various asymmetrical traits found within the Yakimara fashion.
Gallery will be up soon.
The hairstyle of the Yakimara is centred around braids. Both for men and women alike. The Yakimara hairstyle is usually accompanied by simple accessories, such as pins for example.
What is interesting about the names of the Yakimara is that they differ a lot. The urban centres tend to go for names that we can associate with Latin and perhaps even somewhat Hellenic. Whereas the rural areas tend to go for names that can be associated with more Celtic styled names. Surnames are, however, not really common among the Yakimara. To distinct oneself from another, the Yakimara in question usually refers to their father or sometimes grandfather. Mothers and grandmothers are only being used to distinguish oneself if the mother or grandmother held more prestige. It is thus not a question who the child favours more or who they respect more.
To give visualise this a bit better, here is an example of when a Yakimara has to fully introduce oneself:
"My name is Saki Yamanaka, daughter of Iso."
Due to the constant interaction and presence of the Taika, many Yakimara have given their children Taika names. This is quite notable for Yakimara that live in Taika dominated areas. Such as Konohagakure or Keishi, for example.
Many think or believe that the Yakimara have only joyful traditions of sung and dance. While they aren't entirely wrong, the Yakimara have a myriad of traditions that can vary among the three main clans. The traditions can differ but here are some traditions that are followed by the majority of the Yakimara populace:
It is considered taboo to scribble or write in any form or way a name with red. This is because only those who are dead are allowed to be written with or pictured with the colour red.
It is tradition that before a long journey that the lady of the house prepares a certain ritual. From the garden, porch or anywhere close to the home some earth or water will be put within a mug. This mug will be placed close to an altar or shrine. When the respective family members ventures out on a long journey. Earth is for travels over land and water over large bodies of water. When the respective family member departs, the lady of the house empties the mug in front of her house. This is to invoke luck and health upon their relative.
At the winter’s solstice, the Yakimara prepare a small ritual. Families spend all night up or a good portion of it to tell each other stories, pray to their gods or God. During this the Yakimara won’t eat any meat, fish or anything that was alive.
When a beloved of a Yakimara family dies, it is usually a big event. Relatives from nearby travel to pay their respect. The room in which the deceased used to sleep is cleaned up by the oldest female relative. Once that is done, the oldest male relative lights three candles. One for a swift journey to the afterlife. One so that the deceased soul might find peace. And another that they aren’t forgotten. This ritual does have several variants but is often concluded by a communal prayer by the deceased relatives, led by the oldest male relative.
In the middle of spring, Flower’s day is organised and held. It is considered bad luck to not head outside during Flower’s Day. Couples tie a green knot above their door or another place that holds importance to them. During this day various activities are organised by local Yakimara communities to inspire unity. It is considered the time that teens who have reached the age of 17 are considered adults. Next to being coerced to find a possible date for the evening’s fireworks or bonfires.
Clans, Politics and Factions
The Yakimara culture is composed out of three clans that form the majority with some smaller and much less renowned clans being part of the culture. What follows is more insight into the politics and factions that exist within the Yakimara culture in general, that diverse in some cases from the other cultures.
An interesting note is that most of these clans have a Taika name but some still cling on to their old clan’s names, for reasons of pride and history or simply because they refuse to adopt a name given by outsiders.
The three largest powers and political entities within the Yakimara culture, known as the:
- Akimichi Clan
- Nara Clan
- Yamanaka Clan
There are, however, other (minor) clans that are part of the Yakimara culture are usually not called clans but tribes. This might have to do with their size, political influence as social-political structure being more 'tribal' compared to the major clans. The most notable of these tribes are:
- The Arna Tribe
- The Astald Tribe
- The Huor Tribe
The politics of the Yakimara are dominated by the three major clans. The three clans work close together but have their own agenda as preference for how to achieve their goals. This cooperation is further seen as the tribes of the Yakimara are usually loyal to one of the three major powers.
While it might give the idea to outsiders that the Yakimara are inherently cooperative and without strife, this is far from the actual reality. There are various old feuds and diverse as clashing desires among the clans and tribes. Leading to various factions having risen and still being around that have their own agendas.
Various reasons and factors exist, or have existed, why none of these factions have been able to fully fulfil their desires or agendas but they have continued over the ages to influence various prominent Yakimara.
The most notable factions within the Yakimara culture:
Many are aware that the Chonobi are stalwart fighters and lovers of war. That the Taika are masters of the horse and many tales exist in which the Taika fight to the last, to preserve their honour and oaths. But not many believe or assume that the Yakimara are fighters or capable of waging war as effective as the Taika or Chonobi. The prospect of the sing-loving Yakimara doesn't instil fear or doubt, unlike the Taika samurai or Chonobi Úlfhéðnar. Yet, the Yakimara aren't helpless or strangers to conflict. Quite the contrary.
For untold centuries, the Yakimara have been on the western continent. Some scholars state that the Taika's capability to smith weapons of iron and later steel allowed them to dominate the Yakimara led to the latter's culture to be assimilated and driven off. But there are some historians who debate against that, stating that the Yakimara clans and tribes have been able to win against Taika aggressors in many conflicts - even without some advantages. Their way of war differs from the Taika in both style and ideology. The majority of the Yakimara don't depict war as a manner to gain glory or establish themselves as being the betters. The idea of war is a last resort to correct wrongs and avenge slights. Thus leading to a style of warfare that would irritate and confuse those unaware of Yakimara tactics.
Style of Warfare
The Yakimara aren't fond of pitched battles. If anything, the past has revealed that the Yakimara favour cunning and mobility over brawn and risks. This has made the Yakimara prefer to conduct guerrilla warfare and raids on their enemies than to amass large armies to face off against each other. This has led to a lot of struggles that early Taika opponents had. For the Yakimara would more likely decline the offer of an honorable duel. Instead of resorting to avoiding any contact unless they could get the jump on them.
This tactic would pay well off in terrain where their Taika adversaries couldn't deploy their famed cavalry and where Yakimara could conduct their guerrilla styled warfare with more success. Eventually, the cunning Yakimara would still be losing ground to the more numerous Taika. Certainly when it became apparent when the Taika metallurgy was proving superior to the Yakimara.
Yakimara tools, armour and weapons
The Yakimara haven themselves to be more in favour to apply cunning to win their battles, instead of relying on brute strength. Favouring rough terrain to conceal their movements and utilizing devastating ambushes and (night) raids on enemy transports, camps and supply lines. It comes to no secret that the average Yakimara favours ranged weapons over close ranged. Much like their Taika counterparts, the Yakimara warriors have favoured a mixture of spears and bows. With the addition of shields and javelins. Those of wealthier origins are capable of purchasing better quality tools, weapons and armour.
An interesting matter is that the Yakimara engages in a different way with their levies and forces than most clans and cultures - that are present on the western continent. Instead of letting them fend for their own equipment or supplying them with a minimum, the ideology is that a leader is required to fund those willing to fight and bleed for them. This means that many Yakimara leaders fund and gift their military followers the resources they need to operate, usually leading in more loyal and capable levies than one would expect from them.
- The name of 'Yakimara' for the culture is not as accurate as one might expect. The people of the culture don't usually refer to themselves as Yakimara, unless it is more convenient. There are several names and words that describe but the most popular among the Yakimara is: 'Mínnúr', which can be translated back to 'Our People'. - WIP