A World clan situated in Yukigakure, Takigakure, and Sunagakure. Many of the Sesshoku Kioku Clan has found an early grave due to growing insane from their Kekkei Genkai, Buttai Yomitori - the ability to read 'memories' of inanimate objects.
Born from pain and loneliness, the Sesshoku Kioku rest their ideology on four pillars: Honor, Duty, Family, Herd. The order of these pillars is very specific and is to never turned around for one's own benefit.
it means obligation towards oneself and act with integrity. Speak the truth and fight with no fear while loving with no reservations. Be full of passion but never degrade oneself or the other. This is the first pillar.
the second pillar and higher than the first. This represents the obligations towards others, which includes working hard and do your job with pride. Obey to your elders, stand by your word.
third pillar of the clan's ideology, it has more importance than the previous ones. Family is what is most precious, be them of your blood or not. It means that their needs and desires come before your own. Love your parents, teach and discipline your children with care. But also defend them without hesitation and help them on their path in life with compassion and support.
Herd [Ghôsh in an ancient language] -
Being born from a nomadic clan in the past, the Sesshoku Kioku are mostly farmers now, recluse in their world and territories. Herds, or the farms in most cases now, is what feeds the family and holds it together. It binds the clan together and unites them as a single front, filled with love and care. Herd also comes from an old word that means 'clan'. Your clan is most important for the Sesshoku Kioku members; it outweighs everything else. If the well being of the clan requires the sacrifice of your honor, your duty or your family, one should sacrifice them. In the end, all are tightly connected, thus rarely leading to the true abandon of one's principles. But if someone is discovered to shirk this fourth pillar, than they will be severely punished.
The Sesshoku Kioku have no written traditions and those that did appear only came in far too recent times to truly record the old stories of the clan's origins. However, an old language remained among them, even though it has been worn down to being one only used in formal events, leaving only a few words in daily conversations.
In this oral tradition, a main story remains in focus, that of the very first, true Buttai Yomitori user - Chi Gung. This person was the one that brought the meditation training in the clan, so to spare those going mad from their abilities. He was the one who managed to channel the gift of their bloodline into something productive and turn it into a blessing instead of a curse.
In the past, nomadic life was the only way for the Sesshoku Kioku to be spared from being completely shunned, if not wiped out because of the recurrent madness among their own. But as it was not in their nature to reject those of their ghôsh, they would bear bravely the bad reputation their kind had.
However, Chi Gung became an oddity among the clan members. He decided to live an independent life before he would bring himself to suicide and traveled through the world, until he met the Monks of Bishamon. The monks of Bishamon taught him the art of mediation, as well as gave him the education that would lead to the final build of the clan's ideology.
Chi Gung discovered that meditation helped him sorting out his memories from those of the things he touched, as well as chase away heavy emotions that were already driving him to a certain madness. Enlightened by this, he returned to his kind when he turned twenty-five; up till then, none with the Buttai Yomitori had survived till that age. It was a miracle for his ghôsh, and quickly they worked his knowledge into their habits.
The Sesshoku Kioku savior died of old age after having had many children and the greatest herd the clan had seen.
The clan grew steadily thanks to this discovery, large enough to eventually split up and travel through the world. Three branches only survived of these wandering days and they settled in two of the most extreme climates possible: one in the desert, the other in the eternal winter and the last one in the thickest jungles possible. The clans grew prosperous there and slowly integrated the military ranks of their respective villages.
The clan has a simple hierarchy, based upon how a regular family works. But in the end, the only true leader of the clan members are their Ghôsh, or Herd. The well being of one another is what guides them and they are known for being able to work with one another in full synchronicity without needing much communication - even if they have never met before or are from two difference branches.
Clan leader - Desert Branch
The leader of the clan members in Sunagakure. This branch of the Sesshoku Kioku is usually one that is close to the current Kazekage. Having a treaty with the village hidden in the Wind that allows them to keep their independence from the local politics in exchange for food and cattle, it is up for every new Kage and Clan Leader to sign it with every change in rulers.'
Clan leader - Snow Branch
The leader of the clan members in Yukigakure. Usually an elder person, of the same gender as the actual Lord or Lady. It is not unheard that it is an actual couple that leads the branch together. They rely upon the good graces of the Village's leader's graces, for the land is harsh to live upon and difficult to cultivate. And without the support of the Lady or Lord that reigns, they would not be able to survive. If such was to happen, then the clan would leave the premises and move on to a new territory.
Clan leader - Jungle Branch
The leader of the clan members in Takigakure. Tradition dictates that a vote is held and the candidates are children that carry the gift of the clan. The children have to be younger than sixteen and cannot remain leader of the clan for longer than three terms, each of them being one year long. It is tradition for the clan leader to greet the Lady with a gift with each beginning of a new term, usually made with their own hands.
Usually, the grandparents if they are still alive, or the father and mother. They are the ones who will speak for their own, adopted or from their blood and who will take responsibility for any incidents those under their care could cause - even die for them if it came to that.
Not exactly a leader, but still seen as figures of wisdom and that bestow certain traditions on the members of the clan. The Shamans are those who have studied medicine and who are in full control of their powers. They are the ones to tattoo the newborns with the traditional qukuuf, symbols of one's family allegiance. The qukuuf is in two parts: one on the face, usually very simple lines of a certain color (usually shades of red, green and yellow that stand out well on the dark skin tones the clan members sport) and one, or more, on the arms with far more complex designs. The latter tattoos are applied at budding adulthood, at the age of thirteen in the clan and are usually designed by their wielders. They are also the ones who take care of the dead from the clan: they prepare the corpses for a funeral pyre and supervise the mourning (in the past it was not unusual for those with the clan's gift to throw themselves in the fire out of desperation or simple insanity).
Buttai Yomitori [lit object reading, also known as psychometry] is a latent gift among the Sesshoku Kioku. One in every generation gains this power and will be considered as an elite in the clan. This kekkei genkai gives the user the ability to read 'memories' from inanimate objects, corpses and in legends even from humans. Not only memories, but also emotions from the last user, as well as their visual identity. However, with great powers come great responsibilities...and difficulties.
The psychometry starts at birth. It is why parents will make sure that everything is prepared with joy and love for the child. No negative emotions may taint the child's toys, clothes, furniture and room. If such is not observed, then the child will grow up disturbed and lose itself. It is tradition to cover the child from head to toe in clothes until they are five years old.
The gift is uncontrolled until the child understands and can follow instructions given by their parents. Until then, they are incapable of protecting themselves from barrages of information and external influences that could warp their nature.
At the age of five, the child will mature very fast with their powers. They will have to learn control while keeping themselves open to any kind of 'visions' they can receive from objects. It is great luck if children with little training will only be able to feel the emotions and impressions of the last person and most 'recent' memories [last few hours] of the object they touch. But as they grow older, these impressions will become stronger and will eventually turn out for them to be able to go back even years if the touch is kept long enough [in this case, they would have to meditate while touching it for several days without any interruptions]. The 'visions' are precise and never false, as no shinobi can influence upon what an object will tell - not even genjutsu could falsify the true memories. An experienced psychometry user would be able to distinguish even impressions from heavily used objects that are manipulated by a great amount of people - or even relics from ages past.
it is not rare that users catch up a few habits from other people through using their psychometry. Small quirks, or preference in battle styles for example - even speech patterns or even in some cases gain a gift in a particular element in which they weren't inclined before.
This is where the true dangers and responsibilities start. While it is quite fantastic to be able to see and discover this much, it is not without risks for that person either.
From the age of thirteen, the member is considered as an adult, because everything they will have experienced through the objects' memories will linger and influence them heavily, but also because their training is considered complete - it has to be, as clothes will no longer be a barrier for them to rely upon so not to be assaulted by objects' memories. The clan member will be able to refrain from seeing the 'visions', however, slipups are common (which means you could see someone making use of the toilet for example by accident, or other equally terrible experiences).
As centuries passed for this clan, less and less children have been lost to madness and/or suicide from too many things assaulting their minds and influencing them to become another person. But the chance for this to happen is still strong - even adults can fall for this. To prevent this, meditation and counselling after traumas are obligatory and non-negotiable.
Mediation is required several hours a day, preferably distributed throughout the day. Counselling is more frequent when one is a shinobi and not going to a mind healer could be costly as the Sesshoku Kioku have more troubles compartmentalizing their emotions than any other human being.
If these things are not done, or if the psychometry is used too frequently and strongly, then the clan member will go mad in a question of days, and irremediably so. Children who fail to learn to control their emotions and to meditate properly usually die before the age of twenty and turn insane before the age of ten. Insanity is translated into erratic actions, violent emotions and incapacity of being solely oneself and not a whirlwind of every impression of other people they picked up. It is highly advised not to have Sesshoku Kioku kill too often or too much, to keep them out of highly traumatic situations and from having to touch other people too often.
The responsibilities are many and heavy, especially as a shinobi. As madness lingers continuously in the back of their mind, clan members with psychometry are bound to land upon unwanted and/or secret information by accident. This could be prevented by wearing fully covered clothes, but as such is not in the nature of the clan, these incidents happen regularly. It is not rare for these shinobi clan members to be part of the ANBU or elite, if they are stable enough, of course. However, if such a thing happens to outsiders of these ranks they are bound to a contract of secrecy and well, self preservation. It is not unheard of for some clan members to have their memories wiped if they can find a person to do so.
If they wish to keep the information, or are asked to find any, they are to decide if it is wise to speak about what they have seen or not. Too much secrecy would eventually cause more harm than good and have them break the clan's pillars, while on the other hand, not speaking up could cause the same results. It is a fine line they have to walk, while keeping their natures in check from being destroyed from the memories and emotions they receive and making sure they do not break their ideology either by not being truthful or without fear.
While this is not part of their Kekkei Genkai, meditation is used to control it. While the Sesshoku Kioku walk continuously on the road between insanity and fear, they need a way to release their heavy emotions that are continuously influenced as well as sort their thoughts out. Mediation is a personal thing, done in private, unless the presence of another is requested. This mediation could be done by letting oneself 'empty' their mind, wander through memories to sort out events or by busying oneself with a mindless task to find inner peace. A seance usually takes up a good hour, if not more, and results often in the end with a clear mind and thoughts, ready to face the new barrage of information.
Meditation is rumored to help somewhat with budding fuuinjutsu and genjutsu users, as it sharpens one's intellect, patience, eye/attention for detail and critical thinking.