They are also the holders of the fearsome hijutsu, Maisou no Jutsu, or the burial technique.
While many clans pride theirselves as naturally superior to those around them and like to think of the clan as a whole, the Yamakira tend to think on a much more individual level. While they do indeed see themselves as a group they view the clan more as a group of individuals or group of families rather than one large family.
Even the children of the clan are not spared from being forced to learn this idea. For example, if one child were to be attacked and have their toy stolen from them by a second child; the parents of the first child would scold them for not being strong enough to protect their possessions and the second child would be praised for the new toy he'd attained.
Of course, this mindset often gets clan members into trouble when dealing with outsiders. As surprising as it is, people do not understand the concept that they should not own something simply because someone stronger wanted it. As such this often leads to clan members resorting to further violence or in more recent years since joining Takigakure being disciplined by higher-ups within the village.
The history of the Yamakira starts nearly seven hundred and fifty years ago, with a single man known only by the condemning name of Zainin. This was not the man's true name of course, but as he refused to give his name in the prison he was kept at, it was what he was referred to as for the longest time.
The man had plagued the lands of modern Hi no Kuni, Nohara no Kuni and Bonchi no Kuni for nearly ten years. The man used his knowledge of ninjutsu to utterly overpower those who came after him and to instill terror among the citizens he targeted. While no one was able to stand toe to toe against him, eventually he would be captured by the forces of the Fire Country's Daimyo with their sheer numbers eventually winning from his sheer exhaustion. Upon being captured the man was spared from execution and instead chained within a pit lined with stone in the capital of the nation to serve as a warning to all others who might even consider turning to crime.
For the first year Zainin attempted to slowly work his chain's anchors out from the wall, but anytime he managed to make some progress his captors would simply repair the damage he had caused. After the first year the guards noticed their prisoner become lethargic, apparently having given up any hope of an escape. While the Daimyo showed off his prisoner to anyone of importance and spoke of how quickly the man had broken, the truth is that Zainin had simply decided that it was his ninjutsu that had allowed him to overpower everyone before and it would be his ninjutsu that freed him.
For nearly seven years the man simply sat within his cell. While his hands were bound and he was kept in an exhausted state all the time he was able to barely keep the doton element formed within his chakra network. He worked at his chains with the elment in an attempt to break them, but to no avail in that time.
Unknowingly, the man's near constant holding of the doton element within his chakra network slowly changed him over the course of the many, many years he was held. After nearly twenty-five years Zainan's foot would sink into the stone he was standing upon. While the man was obviously a little surprised at the occurence, he leapt upon his chance and poured what little chakra he had through his body and into the chains, the massive chain simply shifting through the wall like water being poured through a screen.
While he was still in no shape for a fight, the man was able to summon enough strength to escape the city and within the week lost himself within the depths of Bonchi no Kuni, with the soldiers of Hi no Kuni's Daimyo too scared to follow him into the deadly country.
From there the history becomes more murky even to members of the clan. What is known is that the man known only as Zainan used his new strength to gain more followers through brute force and intimidation. It is also known that Zainan came to perfect the technique which had transformed his body and gave it to those who proved theirselves the most.
From there the clan's camp atop a mountain in Bonchi no Kuni became more, expanding out further and further until the small bandit camp became a fortress that housed several hundred people. Where once only men had dwelled, now there were women and children as well.
The mountain the group operated out of was placed perfectly within Bonchi no Kuni. It was near one of the few roads that cut through the country and allowed trade from three of the neighboring countries and it was due to this that the bandit group quickly grew to be one of the richest criminal organizations in the world even though their tactics were a bit on the brutish and brutal side.
It was this brutality that allowed the bandits to operate with impunity for hundreds of years. Over time their attacks transformed into monstrous legends. Stories arose of the mountain killers, demons of stone that would rise out of the mountain and kill any who dared tread upon their land. More and more people became fearful of the mountain passes and as they became more fearful the bodyguards traveling with the caravans slowly came to be comprised of more and more potent warriors.
This gradual change in turn made the Yamakira become more potent warriors. Those who had not been gifted the Premature Burial technique were forced to become deadlier else they fall victim to their targets. It was partially due to this as well as the brutal home lives of most the brigands that the group developed a fierce sense of self sufficiency. From this came the Yamakira's words of owning what your strong enough to take.
In this time, another legend arose within the bandit group. Their leader Zainan had already been considered a fearsome man, but over the course of roughly two hundred years, the man had apparently been able to beat down nearly every individual who dared challenge him and while he was not invincible, the times he lost he'd stay dead only for a decade or so before making his return.
People called out saying that he had kept a more potent version of the Premature Burial technique for himself or that he had found a way to take the life force of those who challenged him and lost, that he could not be killed permanently and that he would simply rise from the grave. The truth of the matter however is another matter entirely, the truth is that Zainan had died to his second challenger. Rather than the challenger show he had won, he instead chose to assume the identity of Zainan, using the Premature Burial's transformative properties to sculpt his body to match that of Zainan.
While it was not intended, this process of assuming the identity of Zainan would become a ritual that all other subsequent leaders would follow and in doing so, created the legend of the Yamakira's leader who could not be killed, the legend of a stone demon chief.
In the years to come, it was one of these chiefs that helped to shape the future of the world, although he never would have dreamed of it having such a large impact at the time. On a fateful day, a woman swarming with black tendrils was brought before the chief of the mountain killers. Rather than some attempt to avenge their caravan which had been attacked, she brought the group of bandits an offer. Protect the carvans of her clan and in exchange for several gifts. While knowledge of medicine, poison and other herb lore was given, the Yamakira by and large were more interested in the wealth these things would bring. Additionally, the chief at the time found himself very interested in the abilities of the woman and so, he agreed to the alliance.
Still, the group refused to give up their home easily. It was decided that the youngest generation and the oldest generation would go to live with the Mikatakujira in their hidden crater and the middle generations would remain in the Yamakira's mountain fortress where they would continue raids on non-Mikatakujira caravans as well as serving as a forward garrison against those who might encroach on the two clan's territory.
By and large the two clans lived in peace from that point on, with both of them doing their best to teach one another their ways. And most importantly, at least in the eyes of the Yamakira; proceeded to accumulate a vast amount of wealth. Within a short time, the deal with the Mikatakujira put more gold in the Yamakira's vaults than nearly a hundred years of raiding had, although many historians might point out that the Yamakira had more commonly captured goods than gold.
Still, this gold gave the Yamakira a lot of power and the chief of the Yamakira and the head of the Mikatakujira planned out a way to make the best use of it. For this plan the two of them approached the Daimyo and proceeded to convince him of how much Bonchi no Kuni needed to have a hidden village, going so far as to have each clan front a quarter of the cost.
After the Daimyo agreed to it, it was decided that Takigakure would be split into two separate villages. The true Takigakure would be kept hidden from the world within the Mikatakujira's concealed crater and as such Yōsaiyama would be the true leader of the shinobi village. In a show of respect the Yamakira's mountain fortress was chosen as the false front for the village where contract requests and trade goods would move through. Additionally, the defense of this town was largely the responsibility of the Yamakira, for they had defended that mountain for centuries.
From that point, the history of the Yamakira is a simple one. Content with the power and respect they commanded, the Yamakira simply continued as they had for hundreds of years. They fought the enemies their chief ordered them to fight and fought each other to prove their power. This kept the blades of the Yamakira sharper than any of the other clans within Takigakure and as such, keeps them as one of the most powerful.
In this time chiefs rose and fell as the wars raged on, with even Zainan reemerging as the chief of the clan. Since Zainan came to power once more, the Yamakira have grown restless. They are beginning to ache for a new war, for a chance to prove themselves and to show their power. As such many of the mid standing clan members have called for the Taki Lady to declare war against the foes of Taki so that they may destroy them.
The clan has an extremely simple hierarchy within it. As with their ideology, the strong within the clan rule. While individuals within the clan will usually be submissive to those who are stronger than them, there is also two important titles within the clan the first of which is "chief" which is passed from one member to another.
This title of chief stems from the first leader of the clan who had been a prisoner in one of the Earth Daimyo's prisons where the warden was called chief by all his subordinates. After escaping, the prisoner formed a bandit group and demanded that all his followers call him chief.This title as you might guess is passed on by one member beating or killing the former holder of the title in single combat. However, to this date no one has visibly been able to beat the chief. Naturally it is the chief who makes all major decisions for the clan, additionally it is the chief who picks the two enforcers within the clan and most importantly it is the chief who decides which clan members are worthy of undergoing the clan's transformation process.
The second important title within the clan is that of enforcer. There are always two enforcers within the clan, with these individuals acting as the right and left hands for the current chief. Furthermore, it is the most often occurence that a chief will be succeeded by one of their two enforcers, although anyone within the clan is allowed to challenge the chief. However, if an enforcer wishes to they might attack the challenger themselves.
This is usually not out of loyalty, but more commonly from the desire to appease the chief and be rewarded in turn. It is for this reason that enforcers are often called "The Chief's Dogs" for their apparent eagerness to please their master and recieve a treat. As one might guess the enforcers are usually the second and third most powerful combatants within the clan.
The Yamakira possess a single ability that long ago allowed them to be the most terrifying group of criminals known throughout all of Bonchi no Kuni and argueably one of the most feared in the entire world. Namely, the Yamakira possessed a technique that would modify their very bodies to permanently hold the earth element.
While their technique is often compared to the body modification used by the Hozuki of Kirigakure no Sato, there are two key differences between the two. The first is that the method used to modify a clan member's body relies more heavily on brute force in terms of chakra. Ten individuals take up positions around a subject and combined with some crude, but effective fuuinjutsu the individuals pour their earth natured chakra into the subject.
This process is maintained for a month with those pouring their chakra into the subject being switched out with others when they collapse from exhaustion. After the month is over the clan will finalize the fuuinjutsu which locks the changes in place before dissolving off of the subject. While the seal has disappeared the effects the subject underwent become permanent. In doing this the subject's body is now entirely flooded with the earth element, this effectively causes them to turn to a mixture of stone and dirt allowing them to reform for a minuscule amount of chakra so long as there is earth or stone nearby.
Unlike the Hydration technique utilized by the Hozuki, which allows them to retain a lesser control over Fuuton, Katon and doton; this process effectively locks these other basic elements away from the subject making them unable to ever use them. In return for this harsher technique though subjects find their selves able to utilize doton far more effectively than any other human could ever hope to use it. To be more precise they're able to utilize doton techniques with minimal handseals and at a highly reduced amount of chakra consumed.
A further difference between them and their water based brethren is that while the Hozuki will turn to water upon being injured or when needed for a jutsu, the Yamakira are constantly in an earthen form and must focus their chakra in order to turn themselves back to flesh and blood.
Naturally with their own bodies being made of earth and stone, they're able to utilize their own bodies in many doton techniques. They can manipulate their composition, making it entirely dirt if they need to slip through areas or pulling more rocks into their body to increase their mass and density. Naturally the clan has made several variations of common doton techniques that only they are capable of effectively utilizing due to their composition. An example of this would be the clan's tendency to alter the shapes and composition of their bodies so as to appear like demons with blackened flesh and large teeth.
As far as weaknesses are concerned, the Yamakira have a very surprising one. While many would assume raiton due to their doton nature bodies they would only be half right. While raiton can cut through them just as easy as it can cut through stone it is nothing beyond what they can reform from. In a surprising turn of events the earth embodiement's weakness is the very thing doton is normally strong against, suiton.
When hit with powerful suiton techniques a clan member with the body modification will quickly find their earthen body erroding away from the water. Even after the technique ends, the clan member will find it incredibly difficult, if not impossible to reform their body due to the mud like consistency it will be in. About the only blessing in this odd outcome is that most shinobi a Yamakira fights might automatically assume that suiton techniques would be ineffective due to their doton nature. This often could lead opponents to try fuuton, katon or doton techniques which a clan member is essentially impervious to due to their being able to pull earth or stone to regenerate and while Raiton might blast them apart it will not keep them down like suiton does.
For this reason the most effective method for taking down a Yamakira clan member is to attack them with a powerful raiton technique and then follow up with a suiton technique. By doing this it allows the attacker to shatter any type of armor they might have and then by following up with a suiton, makes it near impossible for the clan member to properly reform themselves thus rendering them useless in a fight.