|First mentioned:||May 7, 2007|
yamagatofellowship.org is the real-life website for Yamagato Fellowship, the gallery owned by Yamagato Industries. The gallery was headed by Kaito Nakamura until he was succeeded by his daughter Kimiko Nakamura.
The site contains an English translation of a speech given by Kaito Nakamura (the original speech in Japanese is also available in video form), stating how history has always told the stories of heroes. It also has links to a repository and a videos and events page (which is currently unavailable).
The repository page of the website features images and stories of a select few mythological and real-life heroes including:
On August 27, 2007, yamagatofellowship.org began airing a five-part documentary about Takezo Kensei. The documentary is narrated by John Rhys-Davies, written by Chuck Kim, and directed by Yule Caise. The director of photography was Kent Hughes and all parts were filmed at the Sunset Gower Studios. Interviews are conducted with experts, including Professor Donna Dorn (from the University of Chicago, Japanese Studies), Curator Tatsuya Atsumi (of the Museum of Cultural History in Tokyo, Japan), and Professor Karen Chamberlin (from the University of Cambridge's Literature Department).
Chapter 1: The Battle of 12 Swords
Despite Japan's isolationist stance, Whitebeard ravaged the country from within. Culminating in an attack on Otsu, the overconfident Whitebeard marched into the town with only a handful of men. He was met by Kensei, who singlehandedly defeated the entire company. The battle was to become known as The Battle of 12 Swords. Determined to defeat the rest of Whitebeard's army, Kensei set out on a journey to find Whitebeard's Hidden Fortress. These adventures became known as The Trials of Takezo Kensei.
Chapter 2: The Trial of the Fire Scroll
After defeating Whitebeard, Kensei set out to find Whitebeard's Fire Scroll, which was said to contain many secrets, including the location of the Hidden Fortress. Whitebeard, who is said to have conspired with oni, or devils, to set the scroll in a circle of fire, would burn the families and villages of those who attempted to seek to the scroll. As legend has it, Whitebeard chose ninety angry ronin to protect the scroll, even possibly resorting to cannibalism if necessary. Kensei defeated these men, acquired the scroll, and set off on his next two trials: climbing the frozen waterfall and finding the single crimson peony.
Chapter 3: The Trial of the Hidden Fortress
After completing the last two challenges, Kensei defeats the Black Bear, from whom he gains a map to Whitebeard's fortress. Before arriving, however, he is ambushed by the Snake Women, two female assassins said to be half-snake. They escape with their lives, and Kensei reaches the Hidden Fortress. There, he defeats every one of Whitebeard's men in a battle lasting 11 days. Finally, he duels Whitebeard himself, and after an epic battle, Kensei emerges as the victor, saving all of Japan from tyrannical rule.
Chapter 4, Part 1: Kensei and the Dragon
Before his trials, Kensei fell in love with a beautiful princess who made him swear to defend Japan from Whitebeard. To prepare, Kensei sought the Dragon of Kiso Mountain, who taught exceptional sword skills to those who truly needed to be taught. The Dragon taught Kensei and made him a "sword saint", but demanded that Kensei give what he loved most. After Kensei's trials, he and the princess decided to marry, but the celebrations were short-lived--the enormous Dragon interrupted their marriage ceremony and demanded the princess. To protect his love, Kensei plunged his sword into his heart, then offered his heart to the Dragon.
Chapter 4, Part 2: Kensei and the Dragon
Though Kensei died in the arms of his love, exactly what happened next to him remains a mystery. Legend says that the Dragon, moved by Kensei's love and honor, replaced Kensei's heart and brought him back to life. Likewise, the identity of the princess is uncertain. One unpopular theory is that she is Yaeko, daughter of the sword maker, resident of Otsu, and the creator of the Kensei scrolls.
Chapter 5: The Mystery of Kensei
Some believe that before his trials, Kensei was a savage and undisciplined figure, feared for his rage and temper. It is believed that it was Kensei's sword which focused his great talent. Little is known of the weapon's origin, though popular belief dictates that Kensei drew the sword from a field of solid ice, similar to the story of King Arthur. However, the actual existence of the sword and of Kensei himself were doubted for centuries, until 1977 when Daniel Linderman, of the Linderman Corporation, claimed to own the actual sword. Mystery once again shrouded the tale of Kensei when the sword was stolen from Linderman's archives, and Linderman was found dead in his office shortly thereafter. The sword was believed to be cursed, never meant to be owned or kept in one place.
On February 12, 2008, yamagatofellowship was updated to reflect Kaito Nakamura's succession by Kimiko Nakamura to the position of President of Yamagato Fellowship. A suggestions page was added asking for additional repository requests to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Information about Khufu was also added to the repository. A section was added to each of the repository subjects called "Why he is a hero".
On March 3, 2008, Benjamin Franklin was added to the repository page.
- At the end of the last chapter of Sword Saint, Hana hacks into yamagatofellowship.org with a pop-up message which reads:
- The kanji underneath the word "Yamagato" in the header translate to "furtherance group". The kanji in the red circle on the far right means "preface" or "beginning".
The Home page contains links and the English translation of a speech by Kaito Nakamura.
According to legend, Kensei learned his sword skills from the Dragon of Kiso Mountain.
Kensei was able to defeat Whitebeard in the Battle of Twelve Swords.
Kensei then prepared to marry his love...
...but killed himself on his wedding day in order to protect her.
Yaeko, the creator of the Kensei scrolls, is also believed by some to be the Kensei's princess.
Many believe that Kensei retrieved his sword from a field of solid ice.
- For other uses of Yamagato, see Yamagato (disambig).
- For information about Yamagato Fellowship, see Yamagato Fellowship.
- For an interview in which writer Chuck Kim discusses Sword Saint, see here.
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Syn Anders • Ngozi Badu • Lukas Bahn • Brian • Cameraman • "Captain Douchebag" • "Captain Douchebag"'s mate • Cassandra • Karen Chamberlin • April Clifton • Alistair Coles • Dan • Brian Dante • Ahlrich Dekker • Donna Dorn • Arthur Dowland • Robert Ferguson • Dee H • Jeff • Layla Jesrani • Johnny • Kenjiro • Trevor Mason • Liza Messer • Hsiu-Mei Park • Pushing woman • Rooijker • Albert Rossling • Kelly Shoemaker • Ricardo Silva • Mindy Sprague • Charlie Svenson • Walter • Alex Woodward • Zhang Yang