A clan specialized in puppetry and many aspiring puppeteers have bought parts or puppets from the clan's shops. A clan often producing some of the best puppet-users. They have ties to Sunagakure no Sato and a close history with the Shippai.
Over the many years the Chikamatsu clan have come to revere three traits, doing all they can to promote them among their own clan members as well as those who they spend much time with. While these beliefs originally stemmed from the Chikamatsu's theater puppet shops and the pride which they took in their craftsmanship, it has since then seeped out to largely control the daily lives of many clan members. While all might not live by these ideals, those that do not often find themselves ostracized from the clan proper.
The first of these traits is dedication, without dedication one can never hope to achieve the two other traits and as such it is the first lesson drilled into clan members head. No matter the job, you must finish it regardless of hardships or personal sacrifices.
The second trait is perfection. As stated before one can not attain perfection without dedication. Whether someone is a baker, a puppet maker, a shinobi or even a lowly dishwasher a Chikamatsu is expected to ensure their work is flawless and beyond reasonable reproach. It is for this reason that many Chikamatsu are often offered jobs that require great attention to detail or are of a tedious nature.
The last trait is innovation. While it may seem counter intuitive when the Chikamatsu already revere perfection, they believe that once perfection has been attained that it is the duty of a Chikamatsu to push past that perfection and raise the standard of what they see as perfect to an entirely new level.
It is the culmination of these three traits that has ensured the Chikamatsu have remained one of the most prominent and respect; if not overly powerful clans within Sunagakure no Sato since its founding and is likely why they will continue to be well respected among their fellow villagers.
The Chikamatsu have a very long and rich history, dating back before the creation of ninjutsu itself although such knowledge is known by few; with even the Chikamatsu themselves not having records back that far.
Originally the Chikamatsu clan was not a clan, but instead was a puppet theater show which traveled the world entertaining the people wherever they stayed. While it was a fairly humble life and they held few luxuries the people of the show were content with how they lived. Their way of life remained like this, even as war enveloped the world. Anytime the fighting made its way where they were, they would simply pick up and move to where people were not fighting.
As the age of ninjutsu and shinobi rose out of the Sage's teachings; the Chikamatsu too acquired these skills. Unlike others who made use of the sage's teaching for crude control over the elements to make war with one another, the Chikamatsu developed a more refined and innocent usage for chakra.
Slowly, but surely the Chikamatsu developed a method in which to control their tiny puppets without any strings at all allowing them to put on more and more impressive shows for their viewers.
As time went on, their art continued to grow into something new. At first they had focused on not using visible wires, then they focused on being able to activate tiny mechanisms, after that they thought how amazing it would be to have life size puppets.
Eventually the Chikamatsu Theatre Group shared their techniques with others, hoping that they too would use them to bring joy to the world. Much to their dismay however, their teachings like the teachings of the sage far in the past were twisted and used for war.
It was when the Chikamatsu had their own techniques turned against them, that members of the group finally fought back using their puppetry with killing intent. After that it was impossible to truly go back to how things were.
From that point on the Chikamatsu innovated new puppetry techniques, not just for theatre usage, but for combat usage as well. Eventually this led what was at that point known as the Chikamatsu clan to create a technique which many believe the world would have been better off without.
At that point in time the ultimate goal of the Chikamatsu when it came to puppetry was to bring true, sentient life to their puppets. What they wished for was a puppet that was not controlled by strings, but controlled by their own will.
This lead to what is considered the darkest century of the Chikamatsu's history. One that they will never be able to escape without tainting their name even further. The Chikamatsu attempted to play god, but as they could not create a soul they instead opted to transfer one.
Over the course of nearly a hundred years the Chikamatsu conducted one thousand experiments related to shedding a human being's body and placing their stripped soul into the body of a puppet. This series of barbaric experiments led to the creation of nine hundred and ninety-nine failures.
These failures bore largely shattered minds, minds unable to keep a hold of their memories or their original personalities. While they could operate without strings as the Chikamatsu had hoped for, they could not operate on their own will as the Chikamatsu had hoped.
While many of the Chikamatsu wanted nothing more than to cover up what they had done and destroy the abominations they had created, those who led the Chikamatsu at that time decided that it was they who had created such wretched beings and so it was they who should tend to them as best they were able.
With this the Chikamatsu Clan came to have a cadet clan, known only as the Shippai. Those that were part of the Shippai were given numbers as names correlating to when in the experiments they were made. The Shippai while reviled slightly by many of their creators were maintained and given a purpose to their lives, acting as sentinels for their creators.
It was solely due to the power of these sentinels that the Chikamatsu were able to retain their sovereignty within Kaze no Kuni for such a long time. Eventually though, as Shippai were destroyed or their minds fell into a state where they were no longer usable, the Chikamatsu eventually found themselves having to join with other clans of the desert to form a shinobi village.
While many might assume that Sunagakure no Sato was the last of the great shinobi villages to form because they were the weakest, the Chikamatsu and many other powers originating in Kaze no Kuni would argue that it was because they were all powerful enough to stand on their own for such a long time.
Upon the founding of Sunagakure no Sato, it was one of the Chikamatsu who were chosen as the first head of this village. He was somewhat of a cold man emotionally, but he was always fair and just. Due to this nature he gave the Shippai, which had largely seen as mere objects by all who were not Chikamatsu the status of a clan. While they would still be effectively used as tools by the village, by doing this the Shodaime Kazekage was effectively able to ensure that the people of Sunagakure would understand that while the Shippai were a largely broken people, they were still people and most importantly they were people of Sunagakure.
While the Shodaime Kazekage would eventually fall in the coming Shinobi War, this display helped cement the various clans and factions of Sunagakure no Sato together. . . to make them see each other all as citizens of Sunagakure.
The Chikamatsu clan has a fairly simplistic hierarchy to it. They are simultaneously loose knit yet supportive of one another. While most issues are kept among immediate family members, other members of the clan do not hesitate to ask one another for help if they need it.
As far as who speaks for the clan overall, three heads of the clan are chosen with all adults of the clan casting votes whenever one of the heads passes away or becomes incapable of fulfilling their duties. These heads of the clan are referred to as the three masters and are given titles to correlate with the three traits the clan values above all else.
The Dedicated Master
The Dedicated Master is supposed to be the most dedicated individual within the Chikamatsu clan and almost always comes from the Chikamatsu among Suna's most elite shinobi forces. For this reason most military related matters fall under their authority and during times where the village is at war they will generally assume command of the clan with the other two masters acting as advisers.
The Perfection Master
The Perfection Master like the dedicated master is supposed to be an individual who best embodies the ideal of perfection. Most often this individual is chosen from among the numerous civilian merchants of the clan. As such this has come to mean that all financial matters concerning the clan fall under their authority. Generally this means that they will help to manage all businesses owned by the Chikamatsu and will entirely take control of any that continually struggle to make a profit. Furthermore this individual will handle all trade agreements between the Chikamatsu clan and other powers/clans as well as will place any mission requests the Chikamatsu have with Sunagakure no Sato.
The Innovative Master
Last, but not least is the Innovative Master. As the other two masters, they are supposed to embody the trait of innovation; unlike the other two masters however there is no one group that this master generally comes from. They may come from the shinobi forces, the medical forces or even the civilian population. While their backgrounds may vary greatly, their responsibilities vary even more. Essentially anything that does not fall under either of the two other master's domains is relegated to the Innovative Master's authority. By and large this means that they act as the head of the Chikamatsu clan in the majority of matters.
While the Chikamatsu do not have any major Hijutsu or Kekkai Genkai, what they do have is a very deep understanding of puppetry; such an understanding is only natural since it was the Chikamatsu clan who created the puppetry technique to begin with.
While they long ago shared the majority of puppetry techniques with others and it has long since spread across the entire globe to be used by shinobi from all nations, most people will still acknowledge that the Chikamatsu are most likely the best puppeteers in the world. This is not only in the sense of the best at fighting with their puppets, but also the best makers of puppets.
It is for this reason that many of the puppeteers within Sunagakure no Sato who are starting out will buy preassembled puppets from Chikamatsu puppet shops and why even many older puppeteers will still buy parts and components from Chikamatsu shops when designing their own.
Kugutsu Keijō Tensō
The Chikamatsu do carry a few unique puppetry techniques which they never shared with the world. While not as highly specialized as the hijutsu or kekkai genkai, they are techniques that are considered powerful or inhuman enough to be labeled as kinjutsu.
The chief among these techniques is Kugutsu Keijō Tensō [Puppet Form Transfer] which is capable of transferring the soul and consciousness of an individual to a puppet's body. It was from this specific technique that the Chikamatsu's minion clan, the Shippai came to exist in the first place and it is due to the fate of the Shippai that the technique was never shared and is hidden away in the darkest of the Chikamatsu sealed documents.