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Chuutatsu

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Chuutatsu (仲韃) is the reigning king of Hou in the prologue of The Twelve Kingdoms: Skies of Dawn and the father of Shoukei. His reign lasted thirty years and he was post-humously known as Retsu-Ou (洌王, "the Pure King").

Before he was enthroned, Chuutatsu was Son Ken (孫健, Sonken), a government offical of Hou known for standing up to corruption. Chuutatsu, seeking to create an absolutely virtuous kingdom, went to extreme lengths in creating laws designed to ensure people would not commit crimes. However, he failed to use compassion to see why his laws were failing and believed the only solution to prevent crime was to enact even harsher laws with harsher punishments. As a result, he executed nearly 300 000 citizens in Hou for petty crimes and trivial problems in the final year of his reign.

As Hourin became ill with shitsudou because of Chuutatsu had lost the way, she was kept in seclusion with Chuutatsu's wife, Kaka, and their daughter, Shoukei. Unable to endure Chuutatsu's oblivious cruelty, Gekkei, the governor of Kei Province rose up and reluctantly beheads Chuutatsu and executes Hourin and Kaka to end the reign. In hopes that Shoukei would reform herself, she is spared, but removed from the Divine Registry and sent to anonymously live amongst the peasants of Hou until she reaches the age of majority.

Though Chuutatsu was reviled for his cruelty during his short reign, Gekkei remembers Chuutatsu as a man who was utterly uncorruptible to the point where it became his downfall. In failing to see that laws alone could not create a peaceful and virtuous kingdom, Chuutatsu lost the way and no official had the courage to stand up to the king and point out why his laws were failing. As a result, Gekkei blames himself for not acting sooner to stop Chuutatsu from losing the way.

ReferencesEdit

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