M A T S U N O R I C H O S O K A B E
Matsunori Chosokabe holds the rank of Samurai Lord and serves as the captain of the Shoryu Maru.
Matsunori Chosokabe was born the youngest and only boy of seven children in the small village of Kantak on the Choro Isle off the coast of Muromachi. His father, Hideo, was a fisherman, and his mother, Nozomi, was a simple cook who worked for Shogun Heika Fukomada.
Since he had been a boy, his father Hideo had gazed upon the Great Sea, dreaming of one day being the captain of his own ship in the Muromachi navy. On his sixteenth birthday, he enthusiastically pledged his loyalty to Muromachi and joined the navy—but soon thereafter, the ship to which he was assigned was capsized in a terrible typhoon and its crew set upon by a frenzy of man-eating crusher sharks. Most the crew disappeared, either drowned in the high waves or eaten by the sharks. Hideo survived, however, washing ashore and barely clinging to life as the result of savage hunks of flesh torn from his abdomen and thigh. Counted lucky by all those who knew him, Hideo was still desperately bitter, the savage shark bites having ruined his military aspirations.
A few years later, in a moment of like father, like son, Chosokabe also found himself dreaming of joining the military—specifically, subscribing to the samurai codes of martial virtues. He was athletic and strong and easily bested the other boys in his village when it came to brinkmanship with wooden swords and bow. Yet, despite his son’s physical prowess and determination, Hideo’s deep bitterness still burned hot—he vehemently forbade Chosokabe from the pursuit of silly dreams.
“If you abandon your family and village, who then will feed us?” Hideo would say, a common scolding he often challenged Chosokabe with. But the obstinate son would always reply, “Yuri and Reiko.” His sisters were easily the best fishermen in the village. It was the worst kept secret; he knew it, his father knew it, everyone knew it. It was as if the sisters magically conjured the fish, beckoning them to leap into the boat and into their welcoming hands. But Chosokabe? The fish he caught—if he caught any at all—were… scrawny. And they never quite tasted as good as those caught by his sisters.
One day, a troop of samurai came to visit the shogun. Seeing the proud warriors marching through the village in their ornate armor and with their deadly swords and bows held purposefully, Chosokabe was overwhelmed with passion and awe. He approached the great samurai Kenzuo Ishida and pledged his undying loyalty.
Chosokabe was just twelve years old.
In the decade that followed, Kenzuo Ishida taught Chosokabe the way of bushi sword and bow and schooled him in military tactics and grand strategy.
At age 22, Chosokabe saved Ishida’s life in the Battle of Twenty Serpents. When the Shoryu Maru was later taken as a prize, Chosokabe was appointed the captain.
Relationship with Kage
Chosokabe first crossed paths with Kage in the Pleasure District of Port Facility. To say Kage was getting the crap beaten out of him would be a vast understatement—the local riff raff were brutalizing him, apparently the result of a disagreement regarding the price of a prostitute’s services. Chosokabe, always one to favor the underdog, stepped in, saving Kage’s proverbial hide.
Chosokabe’s intervention, however, had quite the opposite effect from what he anticipated—in fact, his presence escalated matters further. Soon, street agents were pouring out of every back alley and rat hole. Pursued by thugs, Chosokabe and Kage hotfooted their way back to the docks and onto the Shoryu Maru where Chosokabe’s samurai retinue was waiting. Facing ten samurai, all with bows at the ready, the pursuers reluctantly chose to pull up and allow the ship to leave without further violence.
Weapons and fighting always came naturally to Chosokabe, but when it came to business, coin, and the day-to-day operation of a ship, he was far less skilled—the Shoryu Maru’s financials balance sheets were routinely precariously verging on bankruptcy. Luckily, Chosokabe was loved and respected by his crew, and so his ongoing dire financial situation had not yet ruined him.
Kage felt, for the first time in a long time, safe and was able to sleep soundly to the sounds of the lapping waves on the hull. Surrounded by honorable samurai warriors who would die to protect him, Kage knew he needed to make himself indispensable; otherwise, captain and crew would have no need for him and might toss him overboard or, worse, send him back to Port Facility.
Among his skills, Kage had a keen understanding of squeezing a copper for all its worth. It was a talent that did not go unnoticed by all those aboard the Shoryu Maru. Weighing Kage’s penchant for troubles against the hardships of bankruptcy, Chosokabe wisely chose to take on the former.
As for that initial meeting in the Pleasure District…Chosokabe has never heard a full and accurate accounting of the incident, as Kage’s version of the tale changes direction as quickly as the tide.
C H A P T E R O G R A P H Y
S E A S O N 1 . 1
S E A S O N 1 . 2
P E R S O N A L D E T A I L S
Captain of the Shoryu Maru
R E L A T I O N S H I P S
Matsunori Chosokabe is portrayed by Hidekun Hah