History of the Ishii clan & the Enkaichi sect
The history of the great Jingu on Kamijima and the Ishii
clan go back further than all others in Zaidan-Tai, stretching all the way back
to the very dawn of time.
During the Time of Pure Glory, Kamijima was the personal home of the Grandmother and Grandfather. When the Demon Tyrants overran the land, driving the people to the east, they were pushed further and further back until only the lands in the extreme north east of Zaidan remained free. When faced with the final onslaught of the Oppressors, the local people evacuated the women and children to the island and made their stand. They were defeated and enslaved, as had been every defending army before them. This left only the holy island Kamijima unconquered, and the Oppressors soon determined to finish the conquest and to finally destroy the great Kami of Zaidan who had all taken refuge on the holy island.
A great force of the Demons assembled and crossed the narrow strait and invaded the island. The defenders consisted of the young, the old, and the women, and they, though they were greatly outnumbered by the creatures of the Shadow, decided that it was preferable to die fighting to defend their land and gods than to submit, and so they armed themselves and went out to give battle.
Mon of the Ishii Clan
At the center of the battlefield stood a stone well, and the defence of that particular feature was entrusted to a group of young women who served at the great shrine. The Oppressors drove back the defenders everywhere except at that stone well, where the maidens held on, and though they were cut off and surrounded, they drove off wave after wave of the foul demons.
Seeing the matchless courage and skill of the maidens, the remaining people were inspired to even greater efforts, and the Gods, who had been hiding within their shrine were so impressed upon seeing this brave and heroic stand that they too came out to join the fight, and through their blessed intervention, and the boundless courage of the desperate defenders, in particular that of the girls at the stone well, the Demons were driven off, and The Queen of the Sea set strong and violent currents to run through the narrow strait to form a barricade to any return of the Oppressors to her sacred home.
The maids at the well were recognized as the heroes of the battle, and their leader, a maid named Kokoro Kiyoi was proclaimed the ruler of the people in gratitude to her heroism. She, and her sisters took the name of Ishii, meaning Stone Well, and their descendants have ruled the Holy Realm since that time.
Mon of the Enkaichi sect Finally when after one thousand and a half years, The Old God revealed the secret of the Tamichizen and Blood Magic and The Great Fishwife gave up the Pearls of Power that control it, it was determined that the time was ripe to drive the Shadow-spawn from the land, and The Earth Shaker raised up the islands of the Ade Retto to block The Grandmother’s raging currents, and the Ishii, under the leadership of Ishii Hanako, known as Chinobara, which means the Blood Rose, being the 39th ruling maid of the Ishii, crossed the straits to Masaki and thus began the long and bitter struggle to free the people and land of Zaidan-tai.
The unique practices of the Ishii clan and its deep connection to the Jingu and to the Enkaichi sect all stem from this heroic beginning at the very dawn of time. Thus it is that unlike with all the other sects of the Great Kami, the Shrine Maiden of the Jingu, and therefore High Priestess of the Enkaichi sect is not chosen by the other Shrine Maidens of the sect, but rather is chosen by the people of Kamijima from among the maidens of the Ishii clan to rule both the sect and the land beholden to it as they have been since time immemorial.
It is also this history that makes the Jingu the highest and holiest of all the shrines of Zaidan, it being the oldest, and the only shrine to date from the time when the great Kami dwelt and walked freely among the people of Zaidan-tai. And it is also the reason why the first Sacred Priestess enthroned was Ishii Sachiko, the 46th maid to rule the Ishii.
These traditions have been maintained to this day, and the current Lord-Lady, Ishii Mokoto, is the 74th maid to rule over the Ishii and the Jingu on its sacred island, in an unbroken line stretching back to the very beginnings of the Time of Oppression, making the Ishii the oldest clan in all of Zaidan. This is why those few clans that are still headed by women (the Arai of Yokosuka, the Sasaki of Yachimata, the Ito of Nagara, and of course the Fujita, Ishii, Naagusuku, and Yamagusu of Masaki) are known as Shin no Ishii, or “Ishii true” clans, as they still adhere to the original model of matrilineal descent and inheritance established by the Ishii so long ago.
Original by Maggie