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When it comes to courtly interaction in Rokugan, it is a significant offense for a samurai to touch another person. In fact, this seems to apply in general. There are exceptions for intimate interaction, but what is acceptable behavior in private among family members?

  • In Rokugan, how taboo is familial touching?
  • Kissing a cheek or forehead?
  • Hugging?
  • Are there any acceptable forms of touching that don't involve injury?
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1 Answer 1

up vote 9 down vote accepted

In Rokugan, there are two problems with physical contact with other samurai:

The specific taboo of touching another samurai

Even if it is the affectionate kind of contact, like holding hands with your spouse, a father patting his son's head, or a hug between brothers that have not seen each other in a long time, if you are being observed. This means that many samurai refrain for doing this even in the most private circumstances, simply because they can never be sure that nobody is watching at them. Note that any other type of contact, such as helping a fallen man to stand up, shoving another person out of the way, or grabbing someone to stop it from moving or falling, is always done only in case of need or duty and always avoiding skin to skin contact. Otherwise that could bring consequences, from a stain on both samurai honor to the one being touched perceiving it as dire insult.

Familial touching is often a show of affection

And, for many samurai, that alone is a sign of weakness of character. That's something no samurai would ever want to show, even to his own family. This prevents most samurai from hugging, kissing or doing many other things that would be considered normal to most players mindsets, even in the most intimate circumstances.

This mean that any kind of physical contact has negative connotations and, as with many other things in Rokugan, is restricted to the most private moments or avoided completely.

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What do you mean by "affective contact", please? I don't understand the distinction between this and other forms of contact. –  Wesley Obenshain Jun 21 at 10:10
@WesleyObenshain Added examples –  MACN Jun 21 at 11:42
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