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The kingdom of Hou is one of the four "outland" kingdoms, located in the northwest and separated from the mainland by part of the Void Sea. It is currently without a ruler or kirin since the execution of Chuutatsu (仲韃, Chūtatsu) (posthumously known as Retsu-Ou (洌王, "the Pure King")) and Hourin and it is uncertain when a new ruler for Hou will be chosen as no ranka for Hou has appeared on Mount Hou. Its capital is the city of Hoso and the royal palace is known as the Falconhawk (Youshun) Palace.
Chuutatsu had previously been a government official named Son Ken (孫健, Son Ken), who believed the citizens of Hou were corrupt and enacted extremely strict laws and harsh punishments, usually beheading. His wife, Royal Consort Kaka (佳花, Graceful Flower) often executed citizens under false charges. The people of Hou eventually revolted under the leadership of Lord Gekkei (月渓), who believed divine crime of executing the king was better than allowing Chuutatsu and Kaka to continue their reign.
After the king is beheaded, Hourin, who suffered from shitsudo, allows herself to be killed and Princess Shoukei, Chuutatsu’s daughter, is removed from the register of immortals, stripped of her royal name, and sent away to live as a commoner known as Sonshou. She is later sent to the kingdom of Kyou when she inadvertently reveals her former identity to local townspeople still hostile towards her family for their errant ways before running away to Kei in jealousy to confront Youko Nakajima, the new ruler of Kei. Since the revolt, Lord Gekkei has been governing Hou with the intention of regaining some order until the new kirin of Hou appears and chooses Hou's next king.
In episode 31 of the anime, Rakushun tells Shoukei that the first Buddhist temple was created in Hou during the rule of Hitsu-Ou (必王, "the Unwavering King"), when sankyaku visited the kingdom and built it.