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The Yamada Clan (山田家の屋 Yamada ke no ya?) are ronin who serve as sword testers and executioners. They are also infamously known as Neck-Chopper Asa (首斬り朝 Kubikiri Asa?) or Decapitator Asa (人斬り朝 Hitokiri Asa?).

Overview

Duties

In the clan, those who are given the name Yamada Asaemon (山田浅エ門?) are task with testing new swords on corpses and executing convicted criminals. They are highly skilled with the sword, being able to cut off a person's head while leaving a single flap of skin attached to the body, a feat which is considered difficult given how complex the human neck is. Women who chose to become an Asaemon in the Yamada clan are looked down upon and are viewed as being unworthy of such position as the next head.

Although sword wielding and executing is the clan's main focus, they also create medicine by examining corpses.

Ranking

The Yamada clan have a ranking system to determine the next suitable head. Each Asaemon are ranked based on their level of skill with the Tameshi Ittō-ryū. However, abilities are not the only qualifications that determines the ranking of a Asaemon. If a Asaemon displays a unique quality, such as high knowledge in a certain field, then they have a chance to receive a rank as well.

In some occasions, the ranking does not necessarily define the strength of the Asaemon. Despite the fact that Yamada Asaemon women are looked down on for pursuing a career as an executioner, they are still eligible to gain a ranking, though they will be given a lower rank regardless of their strength possibly being higher. In the case of Shugen, despite being below Eizen, the highest ranked Asaemon, he is recognized as the strongest member in the Yamada clan.

Unranked

Unranked Asaemon (段位無浅エ門 Danina Asaemon?) are Yamada Asaemon who do not have a ranking due to their lacking in certain areas. So far, Kiyomaru and Isuzu are the only known unranked Asaemon. Kiyomaru was not given a ranking due to being too young, while Isuzu was not given a ranking because of her gender. Despite being unranked they are nevertheless undoubtedly skilled as proof by the fact that they have earned their names. As a matter of fact, unlike the first group of Asaemon that partaken in the shogun's mission, the unranked were chosen for the next team based on pure ability alone.

Members

Yamada Clan
Head
Yamada Asaemon Kichiji Portrait
Yamada Asaemon
Kichiji
Ranked Asaemon
Yamada Asaemon Eizen Portrait Yamada Asaemon Shugen Portrait Yamada Asaemon Jikka Portrait Yamada Asaemon Shion Portrait Yamada Asaemon Senta Portrait

Yamada Asaemon
Eizen

(Rank 1)

Yamada Asaemon
Shugen

(Rank 2)

Yamada Asaemon
Jikka

(Rank 3)

Yamada Asaemon
Shion

(Rank 4)
Yamada Asaemon
Senta

(Rank 5)
Yamada Asaemon Genji Portrait Yamada Asaemon Fuchi Portrait Yamada Asaemon Tensa Portrait Yamada Asaemon Kisho Portrait Yamada Asaemon Sagiri Portrait
Yamada Asaemon
Genji

(Rank 8)
Yamada Asaemon
Fuchi

(Rank 9)
Yamada Asaemon
Tensa

(Rank 10)
Yamada Asaemon
Kishō

(Rank 11)

Yamada Asaemon
Sagiri

(Rank 12)

Unranked Asaemon
Yamada Asaemon Kiyomaru Portrait Yamada Asaemon Isuzu Portrait
Yamada Asaemon
Kiyomaru
Yamada Asaemon
Isuzu
Other Members
Aza Toma Portrait Unknown Yamada Asaemon Portrait
Aza Tōma ?????

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.


Appearance

Eizen and Kisho design

The Asaemon wear kosode, which is colored white to express their sorrow for the condemned, a hakama that bears a single red band at the left gusset, a red waist cord to hold their katana, and sandals. Tied to their left collar is a bell dangling. The purpose of the bell is to console the soul of the deceased when it rings whenever the Asaemon begins to behead their victims. An Asaemon can also have their uniforms customize to better suit them.

They also have the option of wearing either a black haori aligned with stitches or a black kataginu with diamond shaped reefs on each shoulder over their uniform.

Historical Reference

The Yamada Clan are based off of the real-life line sword testers of the historical Yamada Asaemon. Up to the early 19th century, the Yamada Asaemon family served the Tokugawa Shogunate as ronin sword testers, as well as executing criminals by incorporating Tameshigiri. The Yamada Clan also reference the nickname of Yamada Asaemon (山田 朝右衞門 Yamada Asaemon?), the protagonist of Samurai Executioner. Yamada Asaemon was a ronin who was responsible for testing new swords for the shogun and was known as "Neck-Chopper Asa".

Trivia

  • According to the side story, the technique in which the Asaemon decapitates a victims head leaving only a single flap of skin attached to the body is called Embraced Head (抱き首 Daki Kubi?). Another technique was given called Two Trunks (ニつ胴 Nitsu dō?) where the Asaemon cuts the bodies of two corpses stack together in half.
  • Shion and Jikka are the only known Asaemon to not wear their funerary bell attached tied to their collars. The reason for Shion's being that the noise made him feel uncomfortable.
  • Shugen is the only Asaemon to not wear a white robe and hakama. Up until Chapter 56, Shugen initially wore the standard white robe of an Asaemon but was later redesigned to wearing a black robe. This suggests that this adds to Shugen's hatred towards criminals since the white robe is meant to symbolize the Yamada Asaemon's sorrow for criminals as they execute them.

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