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Momoko Kotone
MomokoKotone
Name Momoko Kotone
Kanji 桃子琴音
Personal Status
Birthdate November 19
Age 25
Gender 20px-Gender Female1.svg Female
Height 5' 10"
Weight 161 lbs
Blood Type AB
Relationships
Hometown Land of Iron
Home Country Land of Iron
Affiliation Samurai
Previous Affiliation N/A
Occupation Seieibushi (エリート武士; Elite Samurai)
Previous Occupation Chukanbushi (中間武士; Middle Samurai)
Team N/A
Previous Team N/A
Partner Ai Mizuumi (Romantic partnership)
Previous Partner Isamu Eiji (first master, deceased), Tamiko Yoshiyuki (second master, deceased)
Family Shoji Atsushi (father), Rie Kotone (mother)
Ninja
Rank Seieibushi
Classification Samurai
Skills
Jutsu Iai Beheading
Iaidō
Kenjutsu
Kibishiichiheisen
Samurai Sabre Technique
Yuragi Dansu Hana
Weapons Raionsuraisā (ライオンスライサー, lit. Japanese for "Lion Slicer") (katana)
Chīsanaashi (小さな足, lit. Japanese for "Little Paw") (wakizashi)

"Drawing a blade is a regrettable act.... and a world in which one needs to raise a blade against another is a sad one. It saddens my heart, but I will do what I must." - Momoko explaining her beliefs to Ai Mizuumi.

Momoko Kotone (桃子琴音, Kotone Momoko, lit. Japanese for "Peach Child Harp Sound") is a samurai from the Land of Iron who holds the rank of Seieibushi (エリート武士; lit. Elite Samurai). A former member of a small sect of samurai who believed in isolationism, Momoko has had a change of heart during the course of the Fourth Shinobi World War and is now a proponent for unity and peace.

Recently, she has left the Land of Iron to travel the world, in the hopes of learning all she can and happening across friends she has made during the war.

AppearanceEdit

Momoko is a lean woman with stern facial features. She generally has an aura of harsh, reserved authority about her, which compels people to assume that she is an aggressive, violent and aloof individual - an assumption that clashes directly with her personality. Her hair, brown in color, is worn in a long fashion and is typically kept in a braided ponytail. Sometimes, such as when she is outside of battle, she wears her hair in a top-knot fashion.

During battle, she wears a suit of traditional samurai armor, which is red and bronze in color. The armor also sports her own symbol on it's shoulder guards; the head of a lion. Unlike the majority of her samurai brethren, Momoko does not wear a mask, helmet or face protector. Outside of battle, Momoko usually wears a white floral patterned kimono. Slung about her waist via an obi is her pair of swords (the traditional daishō combination).

PersonalityEdit

Momoko's personality places itself at odds with her appearance. Unlike her stern and harsh outside appearance, Momoko is in fact a gentle, calm and somewhat firm woman who believes that violence is an abhorrent action and that diplomacy and understanding is the only path to ideal and lasting peace. Rather than the physical and combat-orientated side of her training, Momoko emphasizes on the philosophy of the samurai lifestyle.

Momoko, like her master and instructor, has a strong spirit and an indomitable resolve and will. Momoko strongly believes in loyalty and will fight to the last breath for her friends, allies and what she believes in. This belief is so strong that Momoko has demonstrated an almost reckless readiness to throw herself into combat against superior enemies or greater numbers. Her ability to remain calm and resolute in battle has had an inspiring effect on allies and fellow soldiers in the past; some have remarked that Momoko has remained calm even in the grimmest hours of loss.

She has also demonstrated a strong sense of right and wrong, with an incredible sense of justice. She is a woman who is firm in her beliefs and would harbor no evil or wrong-doing, stating: "Not once have I had to make a morally questionable choice or bend the rules."

AbilitiesEdit

"If you've seen her in battle, you'd understand. Elegant as flower petals.... deadly as fire."

Momoko is, without a doubt, a formidable combatant and a fierce warrior. She has trained in the samurai arts of battle and war since childhood. She has shown to have high agility, high hand-eye coordination and great expertise in swordsmanship.

Master Swordsman: Due to her training, Momoko has great skill with a blade. She has shown to fight on equal footing with superior foes, all because of her ability with the sword. She possesses considerable knowledge on several forms of swordsmanship - including the simultaneous usage of both her katana and wakizashi. She is able to execute advanced kenjutsu maneuvers with relative ease.

Intellect: Momoko is able to create complex and, sometimes, convoluted strategies inside and outside of battles. Some of these strategies, much like a game of chess, are made several "moves" in advance. In addition to her martial training, her samurai training and philosophical outlook on swordsmanship and battle has refined Momoko's intellect and mental capability. She is able to deduce weaknesses and weak points in her opponents and able to overcome and/or work around any of her own weaknesses or shortcomings through thinking on her feet.

Taijutsu Expert: Alongside weaponry training, Momoko has also honed her body for combat. She is in excellent physical shape and is capable of holding her own even when unarmed. However, due to her more pacifistic nature, Momoko will utilize Taijutsu to take down an opponent without drawing her sword. She favors techniques that restrict and temporarily paralyze the enemy; preventing them from forcing her to kill or wound them in defense.

HistoryEdit

Childhood and Early YearsEdit

Momoko was born to samurai Shoji Atsushi (翔二敦司) and Rie Kotone (理恵琴音) in the Land of Iron. From a young age, like the majority of the children born in the Land of Iron, Momoko was subject to teachings on the way of the samurai (Bushidō, (武士道) lit. "The way of the warrior"). However, Momoko faced discouragement from this course, as traditional samurai felt that a woman's place was not on the battlefield. Momoko, determined to embrace her heritage, defied this sentiment and continued with pursuing her training.

Her indomitable spirit and resolve towards her own path impressed veteran samurai Isamu Eiji (勇永次), who took the young girl on as his apprentice.

ApprenticeshipEdit

"You must learn that our way is not one of sheer, brute strength. It is also about internal strength.... peace of mind and harmony." - Isamu Eiji.

Isamu began Momoko's training in an unorthodox fashion. Rather than granting her her own blade to train with, he instead taught her primarily through lectures and instruction on meditating and philosophy. He made her meditate alongside himself under a waterfall to toughen her body, as well as her focus. During the winter, he made her run barefoot in the snow to heighten her body's resistance to extreme weather.

After months of grueling exercise did Isamu finally bequeath a training sword to his pupil. She was first taught the "points of impact" - the ideal spots on the human anatomy to attack - and trained with tatami logs and straw dummies. Once she began to be comfortable wielding the katana, Isamu switched her weapon with a wakizashi and made her train with the shorter blade. Once again, as she got used to the weapon, he again switched the training regime up, this time making her wield both the katana and wakizashi simultaneously. During one particular training session, both the long and short blade became lodged into a dummy once Momoko struck it. Isamu demonstrated that the art of kenjutsu wasn't necessarily centered around brute force; instead, it was rather the opposite. With a seemingly gentle swipe, he cleaved the dummy clean in two.

Forging of the LionEdit

"A training blade, although it can be quite an efficient weapon in the hands of a master, won't satisfy you, I think. You desire a weapon of your own. I cannot give you such a thing. You will have to make it - forge it - on your own. But I will show you the way."

As her training progressed, Momoko repeatedly questioned her master on whether or not she will receive a better weapon to call her own. Isamu kept her using the training katana he provided until he deemed her worthy of advancing her training and education. Momoko, eager to have her own sword, was delighted when Isamu had told her that he was willing to enable her to forge her own katana and would show her the basics. He told her that to correctly forge a blade, it would require both sheer force and a gentle hand - much like the art of wielding a sword does - and permitted her to use the forge he had built into his home.

She toiled over the heated forge, hammering and cooling the metal in shape using her master's tatara forge and smithing supplies. It took her a period of a two months and a half, and several failed or broken swords later, to completely construct her own sword. Katana completed, she deigned to test it in a match against her sensei. He declined - much to Momoko's chagrin - and stated that "the measure of a sword is not by it's quality or sharpness, but by the person wielding it. The measure of a warrior is not determined by battle alone." But having forged her own personal blade, Momoko was well on her way towards completing her training.

A Teacher's Betrayal! A Masterless Samurai?Edit

"Momoko, my pupil, you know in your heart that I am right. Will you stand there and do nothing? Will you not speak out against this injustice? Will you let them kill me in cold blood - just because I believe in something different?"

"Sensei.... what you've done - what you're doing - is wrong!"

"So that is your view upon this? It seems I was wrong, then. My greatest pupil is in all actuality my greatest failure. A shame." - Isamu Eiji and Momoko on the former's execution day.

Near the completion of her training, Momoko was beginning to be introduced to her master's more radical ideas concerning the future of their country. Being that her master has been such an important and central figure in her life, somewhat more than her own parents, she accepted his views without question. Delighted with his pupil's positive reception, he introduced her to a secret cabal he formed of like-minded samurai. To prevent any leaks of information or chance of detection, he prevent Momoko from learning of their true plot; the group, to the outside, appeared as a group of peaceful, albeit radical, preachers. Momoko, eager to please her sensei, began to become like-minded to the group.

By the time the group's plan was to be reality, Momoko was approached one night at her home by her sensei, who implored her to join him in overthrowing the current regime and placing their isolationist one in it's place. Momoko, shocked that her peaceful sensei would suggest such a course of action, was uncertain and declined. Isamu, clearly disappointed, left without incident. Momoko, however, was shaken to the core and told her father, who in turn summoned the authorities - himself leading the group who apprehended Isamu and his cabal, which did not surrender without a fight. The other members of the group were killed on the spot but Isamu was taken prisoner for the ultimate dishonor; a trial to be executed. Isamu himself killed four of his would-be captors and cut off Momoko's father's left arm before being apprehended.

Momoko, present for both his capture and trial, was heartbroken that someone she had grown to trust and love as a father figure would sink to a path of dishonor. She watched as his charges were brought up in the court and as he tried, unsuccessfully, to implore her to action against an "injustice". Momoko then watched as Isamu was led to an empty field of snow and was beheaded by her own father, who earned the honor of being his executioner by capturing him and bringing his crimes to attention.

Momoko, now masterless, would attain the rank of Aonisaibushi (アマチュアサムライ; Amateur Samurai) on her own.

Rōnin YearsEdit

"Am I something less because of my status? I am still Momoko Kotone. I am still a samurai. If it means I have to change myself to earn my status as a samurai back, then I shall stay a rōnin for the rest of my life!" - Momoko to the panel of judges who watched her duel.

Momoko, now without a master, was branded a rōnin (浪人, lit. "Wave Man" a.k.a: a masterless samurai) by many of her peers and elders. Even her father, a traditional samurai to the core, had felt she had been shamed at the loss of her teacher, but urged her to find her own destiny. Her new found status of shame has led to a lack of friends or close confidants. Alongside this, Momoko's status as a samurai and her rank was effectively stunted.

This changed a year later when Momoko met a fellow woman samurai, a Seieibushi named Tamiko Yoshiyuki (多美子義行). Tamiko offered to waive Momoko's rōnin status and take her on as her student on one condition: Momoko must defeat her current student, a young samurai named Aki Hideki (秋英樹) in a duel. The winner would remain or be taken on as Tamiko's student. The loser would suffer death. Momoko, seeing this as her only chance to redeem her status, gladly accepted. What she hadn't known was that Hideki was a Chukanbushi, a whole rank above hers, and was several years her senior; in both age and training. Once she discovered this, on the day of her duel, she did not back down and readily faced the other samurai with unwavering spirit - a factor that, much like Isamu before her, impressed Tamiko greatly.

The duel was quite vicious and started greatly in Hideki's favor. It was witnessed by several other veteran samurai, Tamiko included, and a general to confirm the winner's status and accomplishment. Hideki was able to parry and counter all of Momoko's attack and retaliate viciously in return. Momoko, nearly beaten, recalled one of the first lessons of her former master: Viewing the enemy as a mirror. As Hideki loomed over her, intent on finishing her off, she slashed him at the knees, severing his legs. With that, she sheathed her sword and refused to attack her opponent any further. The majority of the panel was outraged that a lowly rōnin would dare defy tradition. Momoko declared that if she had to change herself in order to regain her status, she would stay a rōnin for the rest of her life. Her speech greatly impressed Tamiko and the general in the panel of judges, so much so that she was declared the victor, her status as a rōnin waived and was accepted as Tamiko's student. Hideki, critically wounded but alive, was sent to a nearby hospital to recover. Both Hideki and Momoko, despite their initial hostility and differences in level of training, would later continue to learn under Tamiko as students. The two gradually became very close friends.

Word, however, began to circulate throughout the Land of Iron about a young samurai of strong spirit who showed mercy towards her enemies and defied tradition in face of following her own destiny.

Behind the ScenesEdit

Momoko is influenced by the character Mifune and heavily influenced by the real-world samurai Tomoe Gozen, who serves as the chief example of female samurai, which were incredibly rare due to feudal culture. She is also partly inspired by the character Himura Kenshin, of Ruroni Kenshin fame.

Momoko incorporates many Taoist and Buddhist principles into her character.

If according to the Naruto Databook:

Traditional symbolism of lions fashion them into symbols of strength and nobility (not just in the sense of being a noble, prince or king), which fits well in Momoko's adoption of the lion as a personal motif or insignia. Lions are also commonly depicted as war deities for their strength and ferocity, which matches up with Momoko's being a samurai. Common in Asian culture as well, lions have been made into symbols of guardianship or protection.

Momoko's theme song is Peace by Apocalyptica.

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