Hapless swordsman and captain of the house guard
A bandy-limbed man of average height, Kobu does not count beauty among his virtues. Though each of his features is attractive enough when taken on its own, the combination is a jumbled mess of a face. His thin hair hangs limp to the shoulder, while his widow’s peak creeps higher every year. Even his body, which he keeps in top condition through daily exercise and training, has awkward, monkey-like proportions, making him seem like a house that was assembled slightly incorrectly. Though sincere and emphatic in manner, his resting expression gives the impression that he is slightly confused or upset.
Kobu is the youngest son of a village overseer in Daidoji lands. As a boy Kobu showed a talent for athleticism and rough housing, and was always the winner of fights, both play and real. His father identified a rare skill for swordsmanship in his son, and despite the family’s poverty went about trying to secure superior tutelage in kenjutsu. Eventually, Kobu’s father caught the attention of a kenzinshen who, impressed by the boy’s natural talent, agreed to sponsor him at the Kakita Dueling Academy.
Kobu was the star of his class, and was eventually nominated to represent his dojo at the prestigious Test of the Topaz Champion. Kobu placed second overall, only losing out to a brilliantly talented Shiba samurai, but tragedy marred his return to Crane lands.
Kobu spent the next year at the Daidoji Training Grounds, and eventually graduated as an Iron Crane. He spent the next three years as an infantryman in the Imperial Legions, but was eventually honorably discharged from that institution. With no where else to go, he moved to Turtledove province where his older brother, Hotaru, had recently put down roots.
Since then, Kobu has doggedly carried on with his responsibilities. The lord of the province, Daidoji Gihei, had great affection for the hapless warrior, and took him on as his yojimbo for the final decade of his life. When Gihei died and most of the other samurai left the province, Kobu stayed on, hoping to gain a place with the new administration.
His hopes were justified, as his skill with the blade and familiarity with the province made him a valuable addition to Doji Masuhiro’s regime. Now Captain of the Guard at Iyashii Castle, Kobu is one of the Doji lord’s most trusted vassals.
In the first year of the reign of Doji Masuhiro, Kobu participated in a raid intended to clear out a groupd of bandits that had taken up Lookout Tower as their base. During the fighting, his sword arm was critically injured, a wound that was only healed through the magical intervention of Asahina Shizu.