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Higashiyama Shigure

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Higashiyama Shigure

Emperor of Minkai
Source: The Empty Throne, pg(s). 52

Emperor Higashiyama Shigure was the last legitimate Emperor of Minkai before his murder at the hands of Soto Takahiro and Renshii Meida. Like all noble families of Tian Xia, Emperor Shigure could trace his family back an extraordinarily long way. He claimed to be able to name all of his ancestors, going back 296 generations to the goddess Shizuru herself.12


Shigure was born as the twelfth and last child of his parents, and never expected to succeed his father as Emperor. During his youth, he paid only token attention to politics or his compulsory martial training, preferring to focus on scholarly pursuits. Due to their close ages, he grew close to his bodyguard Soto Takahiro, considering him more of a brother than his actual siblings. Takahiro would intentionally throw their sparring matches, while Shigure in turn completed Takahiro's history and culture homework, both duping their instructors that they had mastered their lessons.2

When the oracle Renshii Meida offered her services to the Higashiyama family, Shigure spent many months making himself appealing so he could convince his father to let him marry her, but she only paid her infrequent attentions to Takahiro. During this time, all of Shigure's siblings died in mysterious accidents secretly arranged by Anamurumon, leaving him as the heir.2

When his father died in 4708 AR, Shigure ascended to the throne, but he was unwilling and unready for the responsibility and fell into a deep depression. His reign lasted for a mere week: Takahiro and Meida convinced Shigure that there would soon be an attempt on his life. He agreed to hide in the Imperial Shrine, a magical island that only those with imperial blood can set foot upon. Takahiro further convinced Shigure to grant him the Higashiyama Seal and name him the regent of Minkai so he could lead the country in Shigure's absence.

As soon as that was done, however, Takahiro killed Shigure and named himself the Jade Regent, while having his minions spread stories that Shigure had gone into hiding while the threat to his life remained.234 Without knowledge of Shigure's fate, and despite growing dissent among the populace for tax increases and a rise in police brutality, the Higashiyama family continued to staunchly defend the Jade Regent.5

The emperor's ghost lingers on, seething in anger over his betrayal and murder.23


For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

  1. Erik Mona, et al. “Chapter 1: Characters” in Campaign Setting, 33. Paizo Inc., 2008
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Neil Spicer. “The Empty Throne” in The Empty Throne, 52–53. Paizo Inc., 2012
  3. 3.0 3.1 Neil Spicer. “The Empty Throne” in The Empty Throne, 8. Paizo Inc., 2012
  4. James Jacobs & Patrick Renie. Jade Regent Player's Guide, 4. Paizo Inc., 2011 The Jade Regent Pathfinder Adventure Path takes place after Shigure's death but before Takahiro's deception is revealed, and the Adventure Path and Pathfinder Chronicles Campaign Setting begin by assuming that Takahiro's story is true.
  5. James Jacobs, et al. “Regions of the Dragon Empires” in Dragon Empires Gazetteer, 32. Paizo Inc., 2011