Cultures And Traditions
In the village, children that are born are require to undergo gruesome training in the ways of killing to start off their career as ninja. According to Gabimaru, very little survive the training. Any disputes between shinobi are settled with fights to the death.
The women in the village are used to give birth to children and are restricted from living a normal life. They also have the eligibility to become a kunoichi.
It is forbidden to abandon the village and results in punishment leading towards death. So far, the main reason for people wanting to leave the village stems from them wanting to start a new life. When Gabimaru's parents prepared to leave the village to raise Gabimaru, the village's chief had them killed. The same act followed as Gabimaru requested to chief to offer his wife a peaceful life, leading Gabimaru to be tricked into being captured and executed by the authorities.
Gabimaru the Hollow
Gabimaru the Hollow (だがらんの画眉丸 Dagaran no Gabimaru?) is the title given to Iwagakure's strongest shinobi. Currently, a new Gabimaru was recently chosen after the previous one betrayed the village, however, since the previous holder still remains alive, the chosen successor is unable to take their place until they have killed the previous holder. Therefore, an official Gabimaru the Hollow has yet to be instated.
To society, people believe that Gabimaru the Hollow is a single bloody murderer that has been in serve to Iwagakure for decades and is incapable of aging or dying, even if others had witnessed his death right before their eyes or have heard about it. In actuality, "Gabimaru the Hollow" is an alias that has been passed down from generation to generation within Iwagakure with each successor causing more bloodshed down the line. Because of this, those who have claimed to have seen Gabimaru and live to tell the tale would describe him in a different way, making it difficult to distinguish the truth. Since the infamous shinobi continues to live throughout history, the alias serves as Iwagakure's symbol of terror, bringing fear to the eyes of many, even to other ninja villages, and is considered to be of high value to the chief.
Rite of Succession
When it comes time for the next inheritor, the Iwagakure chief would pick a suitable candidate from one out of the few children that survived their shinobi training. However, before they can earn the title, the successor must complete the Rite of Succession (襲名式 Shūmei Shiki?) where they engage in a death match with the current Gabimaru. This ceremony is said to be important since the alias must be held by only one individual.
|Gabimaru the Hollow|
|Aogyōbu †||Ginkakubō||Karasutengu †||Kinkakubō †||Kumokiri †|
|????? †||????? †||????? †|
|Arakagi||Hagetaka †||Hyakume||Nobusuma †||Susubikimaru|
|????? †||????? †||????? †||????? †||?????|
Click here to see the legend of the symbols used
- †: the character is deceased.
- *: the character's status is unknown.
- ‡: the character is no longer part of this group.
The shinobi from Iwagakure are highly revered and feared. Their strength are highly valued that even the shogun trusted their skills in acquiring the Elixir of Life from the dangerous island known as Kotaku. After the chief tricked him into being captured, Gabimaru, Iwa's former elite and most infamous ninja, did not resist arrest in fear of Iwagakure's forces hunting him down until the very end.
Iwa shinobi follow the belief that they are meant to lay down their lives for their masters on the mission and their purpose is to be used as tools no matter the order they receive. This was proven when one ninja killed himself after being ordered by Yamada Asaemon Kiyomaru to do so.
At a young age, Iwa shinobi gain the mindset of killers. They have no qualms who they have to assassinate, including one of their own. Any Iwa shinobi who show signs of weakness is looked down upon and are to be dealt with severely, such weakness being sentimentality. Gabimaru is a well-known example. Since he was personally raised by the village chief, Gabimaru grew up being taught that having sentimentality did not make him strong and meant that he was unable to protect anything he cared about. Because of this lesson, Gabimaru became an emotionless killer who was well respected by his peers for his cruelty and feared by others.
Iwa shinobi wear long sleeve black robes, pants tied with a white sash, armguards, and tied gaiters with sandals. Their heads are covered by a black headpiece along with a black mask covering the lower-halves of their faces, leaving only the eyes visible. They also wear masks to further conceal their identities.
Abilities and Powers
Iwa shinobi are trained at a young age to have their bodies enhanced. The bodies of Iwa shinobi are quite sturdy as noted and demonstrated by Gabimaru. After being sentenced to beheading, Gabimaru was able to harden his neck and snap the blade in half. Since they are ninja they are capable of using ninjutsu as well as genjutsu in combat.