"They are but snowflakes. We are an avalanche."
|Translation||Village Hidden in the Snow|
|Status||Active - Minor Village|
|Leader||Third Lady Yoi Saya|
Situated on the foreboding island of Yuki no Kuni in the deadly northern sea Yukigakure no sato is the hidden village of a fierce and deadly land that produces even fiercer and deadlier shinobi. Though a minor village Yukigakure no sato is perhaps the most militarized of all the hidden villages resembling more a heavily fortified fortress rather than a village in truth. Like Amegakure no sato, Yukigakure no sato has chosen to invest deeply in the forward march of technological progress competing in terms of military technology rather than infrastructure with their sister village. Thus their advanced railway system is generally regarded as one of the engineering marvels of the world
Konohagakure no Sato
Iwagakure no Sato
Sunagakure no Sato
Kumogakure no Sato
Kirigakure no Sato
Kusagakure no Sato
Takigakure no Sato
Amegakure no Sato
Hoshigakure no Sato
Surrounded by high well guarded walls and sectioned into four main districts separated by rail tracks Yukigakure is less a village in truth then it is an elaborate fortress compound. Comprised of the Shinobi, Clan, Trade, and Civilian districts each district is sectioned off into smaller sub-distracts and threaded through with narrow winding streets with the largest main avenues only capable of handling two carts side by side. Leaving the main bulk of transport to the well guarded railway. Forcing enemy units to enter the maze like districts in small numbers and fight to take each district house by house, street by street, if they wish to take the village itself. The fact that buildings are purposefully built on a slight slope keeping the lower buildings towards the vulnerable harbor and the higher compounds backed against the section of the village closest to the Prison and Castle Black lends defending Shinobi a natural high-ground while still keeping the infrastructure below the top of the wall to prevent unneeded casualties should the village ever come under bombardment. Yukigakure itself is the very picture of a war-time village built by the hardened and desperate survivors of a lengthy civil war. The port, Castle Black, and the Prison are all kept sectioned off from the Village itself allowing them to be cut off from the village or the village cut off from them should either they or the village itself fall.
Shinobi District: The largest of Yukigakures districts situated between the distant Prison and the Railway Station the Shinobi district serves as the villages main military outpost outside of Castle Black. The Shinobi district houses most of Yukigakure's labs, research facilities, training fields, weapon shops, ect, as well as housing for those Shinobi not affiliated with a clan that do not wish to reside within the Castle Black barracks. It likewise houses the villages main hospital for ease of access by injured Shinobi and the Academy
Clan District: Situated below the looming Castle Black and between the Railroad Station while across from the Shinobi District the Clan district is secluded into various clan compounds. Each competing with the other in regards to wealth, appearances, and size. The buildings here are often the oldest and most elegant in the village with room enough for private training grounds and facilities where the clans may teach their youth beneath the ever watchful eye of their Lady in Castle Black.
Trade District: Situated between the Railway station and the port, and farthest from Castle Black the Trade distrinct is where most of Yukigakure's merchants, threaters, and businesses are located. Allowing them to take advantge of the visitors and trade alike from both land and sea with enstablishments both respectable and slightly less so. It likewise plays hosts to the majority of the rare festivals held within Yukigakure. The district itself is made up of sub-districts named for the various trades and enstablishments along with a smaller akasen district tucked away in it's far corner.
Civilian District: The second smallest district set between the back wall of the village and the Railway station the Civilian district is mostly residential playing host to those civilians that choose to live within Yukigakure and the few Shinobi that prefer the relative quiet of the district
The Village Hidden in The Snow lives up to it's name in that the snow rarely if ever ceases. Leaving it's residence to adapt to the perpetual cold and biting winds. On the days it does not snow heavy grey clouds block out the sun only allowing through weak light or in the depths of winter leaving the village in perpetual darkness. While incredibly rare at times the clouds will clear at night showing off a dazzling display of stars and the northern aurora borealis. However, these clear nights are often the most dangerous as the temperature drops like a stone low enough to freeze exposed skin in under a minute and kill the unprepared and unwary.
Yukigakure is a Hidden Village residing over a hard land that produces even harder people. Highly militarized it is not unusual for children showing Shinobi potential to be drafted from as young as the cradle should the village have a need of them. Loyalty and duty are taught to students in the early days of the academy if not from birth should an individual be born to a clan. Shinobi are expected to put the good of the village first above themselves and to be able to react and follow order quickly and efficiently. Despite this, individualism and critical thinking is not discouraged, but cultivated so long as the individual in question puts their unique skills towards the benefit of the Village. Yukigakure Shinobi and Civilians alike are resilient and adaptive people believing that in the case of conflict or capture it is better to die quick and quiet or live long enough to make their enemies regret ever harming them.
While well known for producing strong willed, fierce, and highly militaristic Shinobi Yukigakure is not without it's own unique customs. Civilians and to some extent Shinobi alike when not traveling or off duty favor rich and bright colors to contrast with the stark white of their homeland. Storytelling is a beloved and cherished tradition within the village with many tales being passed down for generations or recounted for crowds. Shadow puppetry is likewise fairly popular along with Kabuki theater though the village favors stories detailing honor and cleverness over more humorous plays. Swordsmen in particular are often the favorite protagonists of stories, second only to sailors, given Yukigakure's kenjutsu traditions, location in relation to Iron, and their alliances with the Ranmantaru empire this comes as little surprise. Origami is likewise a popular art-form since with the expense of importation and lack of green growing things many Okiya's and establishments craft brightly colored origami flowers in place of real blossoms and sell them to passerby's. Some of the more expensive origami bouquets even come scented with perfume allowing one to express the language of flowers even in the harsh cold of the north.
An island nation, if an icebound one, the sea is often depicted in the villages art. Wave patterns and ocean iconography are commonly painted or sewn on kimono's and haori's. Creatures of the ocean likewise are regarded with both deep respect and no small amount of fear given the nearly instant death falling into Yuki no Kuni's water can bring. Sailing is considered an honorable profession and many sailors sport tattoos of sea-dwelling creatures and beasts. Captains though usually carry their ship's symbol tattooed on their shoulder or collarbone. A tradition which has carried over to most ranking positions in not only the navy, but military, and ninja forces. Though in lieu of a tattoo some ranking members prefer to wear pins or patches upon their uniforms. Generally young ninja and sailors sport their personal or family mon until they either achieve a notable ranking position within an organization or are gifted their first pin, patch, or other notable symbol of their profession and organization by their senior. At which point such individuals will gradually begin to phase out their family mon in favor of it unless they are a part of a clan. While not forbidden choosing to wear the symbol of ones service rather then their clan's symbol is typically heavily frowned upon by most clanbred shinobi and viewed as showing greater loyalty to ones post then their family.
Cuisine wise Yukigakure natives heavily favor seafood or red meats like caribou that are native to their home. Spicy flavorful food such as curry and soups are likewise often a favorite of the Shinobi with flavored ice and icecream being a common desert along with hot coco. Fruits and vegetables are a relative rarity in Yukigakure though green houses churn out enough food to keep the population healthy when supplemented with shipments from outside trade partners.
Yoi | Body Alterations
Nue | Human Parasite
Masahiro | Weapon Projection
Yuki | Hyouton [Ice Release]
Kurara | Birthrite of the Sky [Bird kinship]
Nakajima | Cremation Technique Embodiment
The age of Country at War. -85 SD ~ -75 SD
The ninja village of Yukigakure was founded roughly 75 years ago. But to look at how ninja arts have started to spread throughout this cold, barren desert of snow and ice, we need to look somewhere else. Across the cold waters of the ocean, lies Kuma no Kuni, the Land of Bears. And 75 years ago, it was at war. War was not uncommon back then, and power-hungry warlords have always found excuses to spill eachothers blood. This land was ravaged by civil war.
Two prominent clans have fought over control of the land. The Tayuya clan, under Tayuya Odo, was in control of cities and settlements along the coastline, and had a powerful military and trade flotilla at their disposal. Their adversaries – the Ashikaga clan, led by Ashikaga Minamoto, united smaller clans under its command, and held sway to the territory deeper within the country. Neither half of the country was capable of becoming powerful without the other half, and so a war was fought. Both leaders wanted to unify the country, and both wanted to be called Daimyo. But only one succeeded.
Both sides trained and used ninjas in this war. It was not as centralized as it is now, but the Shinobi had made their impact. The Tayuya clan was known to produce the better ninjas out of the two, but the Ashikaga were more numerous, they had more resources and manpower in their hands. That, was enough to tip the balance in their favor. A lot of battles were fought, and a lot of blood was spilled. But in the end, the cause of the Tayuya was doomed. They were down to their last port town, surrounded, outnumbered and hopeless. They knew that no quarter will be given, once the battle is lost. In that situation, Odo had made a decision. He assembled all the boats and ships he still had left, and put everyone he could, on those boats. Men, women, children, elderly. Ships were cramped, almost drowning from too much weight put unto them. But nobody wanted to remain and face certain death. The flotilla had set sail, towards an unknown fate. Odo was the last to embark. Before he did, he vowed that one day he would return, and reclaim what is rightfully his.
Exodus and founding of Yukigakure. -75 SD ~ -72 SD
The exiled flotilla set sail for a land across the ocean, known as Land of Snow. Tayuya Odo had known of it, that there were mining colonies established there to dig for precious minerals and metals, buried in land deep underneath the layers of snow. It was a harsh, barren land. But he, and the people that came with him, had nowhere else to go. The journey was harsh, crossing the waters willed with drifting ice and icebergs, without proper charts and guides, was a nigh impossible task. Many ships were smashed to bits against the icy walls, people drowned and froze to death in the cold waters.
Eventually, the ships reached the frozen shores.
The land that the exiled would call their new home was just as inhospitable as the sea they just had to cross. Blizzards, low temperatures, no sun, and a land on which nothing grows. They were doomed to die here. However, Odo refused to succumb to whatever plans fate had for him. He had reached out for the inhabitants of the land, for help. But it was not a plea – the man was too proud for that. It was a proposition to the Daimyo of the land. Among the people Odo had brought to these new lands, many, including himself, practiced ninja arts. In exchange for supplies, they would become the land’s military force. If their proposition were to be met with refusal, Odo threatened to simply take what he needs, since he and his people have nothing to lose. Faced with such an ultimatum, the Daimyo agreed. That same year, a settlement was built to house the exiles. That village later became known as Yukigakure.
Life in Yukigakure was hard for its populace. Endless snow, low temperatures, lack of any vegetation – it was a terrible punishment for those who lived in a land covered with forests, all their life. Many have regretted to not have stayed, preferring to face a quick death in battle rather than a slow one in here. Tayuya Odo, more than anyone, shared these concerns. The feelings kept bottling up. One day, that bomb was going to explode…
Yukigakure and the First Shinobi War. -72 SD ~ -68 SD
With the start of the First Shinobi War, Odo and his generals saw an opportunity to reclaim their land, return their people from exile, and exact vengeance on those who drove them out. Forging secret agreements with Sunagakure and Kusagakure, Odo’s army had entered the war. Their first action in this war was a full-blown assault on the Land of Bears. Morale was high, many clamored for war and battle. The plan was to catch the foes by surprise, as none would expect a clan long forgotten and sentenced to die, to be able to mount a powerful strike.
However, the plan was not without its flaws. Although very well trained, Odo’s force was not numerous. Its transport ships were those used in the Exodus, what were left intact anyway, as many have succumbed to frost and snow. Still, with how much drive and determination his men were showing, Odo believed nothing is impossible. The invasion flotilla was launched, to reclaim the lands once lost. Initially, the plan was successful.
Odo’s army successfully landed on shore. Then, they managed to storm and capture several cities along the coastline.
The attack had caught the Ashikaga unprepared. In order to answer this new threat, they had to pull out of all allied operations, and engage the invading Yukigakure ninjas in combat. Until they fully mobilized, Odo had the advantage. But once the Bear country focused on the intruders, the advantage began to dwindle. It was then, when the main flaw in Odo’s plan was discovered. He did not expect the Ashikaga to found their own ninja village – Hoshigakure. With trained ninjas on both sides, those with more numbers and resources had the advantage. Just like during the civil war.
Yukigakure’s attack managed to remove Hoshigakure forces out of the main theater of Shinobi War completely. But in the end, they were forced back into the sea once more. Odo himself was injured in one battle. His army embarked ships, and set sail once more. Returning to the Land of Snow, beaten, crippled, defeated, and ashamed. They say that the peoples’ hope to return to their homeland died that day.
-68 ~ -43 SD. Change of the guard. Rise of Furuikazan Yuriko.
The defeat of Yukigakure forces in its war against Hoshigakure during the first Shinobi War had delivered a crippling blow to Odo’s reputation as a ruler. The look of beaten, demoralized troops, as well as a long list of casualties had made many question the man’s ability to rule effectively. Opponents of his rule, which kept quiet while Odo was the charismatic and beloved leader, had decided to make a move.
In year 66 SD, Tayuya Odo died. The official announcement to the population was that the man died of heart failure, however there are speculations that he had been poisoned. After the man’s demise, the power temporarily was given to the council of elders, which promptly elected another ruler to lead the village.
The name of the new ruler of Yukigakure was Furuikazan Yuriko. She was the leader of opposition to Odo’s course of action, and his plans, so it was no surprise that after his fall she filled the power vacuum that was left after Odo’s death. Some had blamed her for death of the old leader of the village, but none dared to voice their suspicions aloud.
Yuriko was a strong proponent of military isolationism of the nation. She had announced that never again Yukigakure would use its forces to engage in full, head-on and useless wars. At the time, that sentiment was shared by many, after 2 failed attempts to reclaim their rightful home. People were tired of fighting, and were content on making a life on the cold, lifeless frozen ice-cube which was the Land of Snow.
However, it did not mean that Yuriko was going to disband Yukigakure as a military force. Instead, she repurposed it. Shinobi of the land of Snow were now focused on running missions for clients, and even other villages, for money. Mercenaries, supplied to any conflict, big or small, where they fought, and brought riches to their village. She had created a very rigid contract system, which prevented the employers from sacrificing Yukigakure ninjas needlessly, due to a much greater fee to be paid in case of a ninja’s demise. At this time, her village started gaining notoriety as ‘village of exotic mercenaries’. But efficient, non the less.
It was a time of rapid industrial growth. Money earned from mercenary work was used into building up the village, its industrial and mining complexes. The infamous Snow country railroad net was founded in 60 SD, and finished in 45 SD.
-43 SD ~ -38 SD. Yukigakure’s participation in Second Shinobi World War.
Despite being a strong proponent of getting involved in any large-scale war effort with her troops, Yuriko had joined her village in a coalition with Kumogakure, Iwagakure, Amegakure, Kusagakure, Otogakure and Takigakure. Although the war was not theirs, there was a reason for such a grand action on her part – the coalition had offered her a prize for participation – The Four-Tailed Bijuu.
Like all grand wars before and after, the powers behind each were too strong to be overthrown. A lot of blood has been spilled on both sides.
This time, although a tempting target, Hoshigakure wasn’t the object of Yukigakure forces’ advance. Instead they were deployed in the icy region of Shimogakure, where the familiar terrain and weather conditions had helped them overwhelm and eventually defeat the land’s shinobi force, and lay waste to the village.
Hoshigakure had attempted its own war effort against the land of Snow – a full-fledged invasion force was dispatched towards the land, in a flotilla of ships. Their ships were strong and sturdy, however the attack plan was flawed – they did not account for the drifting ice that surrounded the island like a frozen barrier. The attack never reached the shore – losing half the ships, Hoshigakure forces were forced to turn around, and sail back, where they had to repel attacks coming from Iwagakure border.
The Second shinobi war came to an end only after the death of lord of Yugakure, who was a friend to many, and not a part in this conflict. There are speculations that he had been assassinated, in order to stop the conflict, but no actual clues to whom. The end of the war was beneficial to Yuriko and her village, as the profits they earned were about to be outweighed by the losses.
-37 SD ~ -28 SD – Yukigakure’s participation in 3rd Shinobi World War.
Yukigakure largely sat out of this one. Second Lady of Yukigakure felt that it was too soon to engage in another conflict, and wanted to give her village time to recover. However, there have been reports of sightings of Yukigakure shinobi in camps on all sides of the conflict, which suggested that the village supplied mercenaries to all, for a price.
This period is also known in the land of Snow for construction of Castle of Black Ice – a powerful fortress on top of the mountain overlooking the village. Made of black ice, it towers above the village, and served as the seat of power for Second Lady of Yukigakure, and all that came after her. Inside the powerful and magnificent fortress there is a palace made of white ice, a much smaller and delicate structure, the beautiful ‘soul’ of the structure, surrounded by the fortress, like encased in armor.
This period is also known for the arrival of the Yoi clan on the political arena of Yukigakure. A small and unnoticeable clan of scientifically-inclined individuals that were bent on improving human race, they quickly gained favor of Yuriko, though reasons for such sudden adoration remained unknown. She makes several representatives of the clan her closest advisors, thus securing the clan’s political foothold.
-24 SD ~ -6 SD. Age of peace and stagnancy.
After the end of the 3rd Shinobi world war, the world was caught in several decades of peace. The lands needed a breather after 3 consecutive and devastating wars. However, it also meant that Yukigakure’s main source of income was steadily decreasing – large military contracts were forgot, in favor of one – shot and small-scaled missions. This was hitting Yukigakure’s economy.
During these years Yukigakure focused on building up its infrastructure and industry even more. Trade was made with other regions, as the country exported minerals and metals, and imported food and supplies that it could not grow or create on its own.
The greatest achievement of the peaceful period would be Yukigakure’s alliance with a very far away land known as Ranmataru empire, which was achieved by marrying a member of the Yoi clan to the king of that land. Such marriage secured a very profitable trade agreement, through which the village has received healthy shipments of famous Ranmataru steel – one of the strongest alloys available to a shinobi, excellent for creating both weapons and armor, and worth a fortune to foreign market.
However, mercenary activity continued, whenever a chance presented itself. Yukigakure mercenaries have participated in both a border conflict between Sunagakure and Amegakure, known as the Pipeline War, and in a war between Shimogakure and Kumogakure in 12 SD. Rumors say that one of the mercenaries was responsible for assassination of Kumogakure’s kage, which had ended that war in a separate peace.
-5 SD ~ Present.
On October 25th, -5 SD, Furuikazan Yuriko, the second lady of Yukigakure, died of old age. She left a memory of herself as that of a smart and efficient ruler, even though she did like to indulge in lavish living. The people were approving of her way of ruling the village, and her death was … expected, but mourned.
After she died, the power went into hands of the council again. However, instead of simply electing a new Lord or Lady of the village, the council had made an odd decision. Instead of election, a tournament was held among the shinobi of the village, to determine the strongest combatant, worthy of leading the village. It was a bewildering event, and some suggest that the council members were manipulated into it through bribe or veiled threats, but these accusations have never been given much proof.
In a series of duels between the contestants, soon a winner had emerged. It was a member of the Yoi clan, which went by the name of Yoi Saya. Her name was well-known in the village – she was a relatively young (only 26 by the time of the tournament) but a famous mercenary for the village, known for her exploits during the Pipeline war and the Shimo – Kumo conflict. After winning the tournament, she was given the title of the Third Lady of Yukigakure.
She rules Yukigakure with an iron fist ever since. Her style of leadership is starkly different from that of Furuikazan Yuriko. Adopting a Spartan way of life and introducing it to the rest of the village, Saya took course for self-sufficiency of the country and gradual renouncement from imports. Despite lack of potential large military contracts, military spending has been doubled, and many resources were invested to building a standing navy. Saya’s dislike of the village’s current reputation of, as she says, ‘a backwater country where one can hire mercenaries’ is known, and she is looking to change that. Her rule signified an increase in the country’s nationalistic opinions, with ambition of becoming a major ninja village.
This Castle was built by the Second Lady of Yukigakure, Furuikazan Yuriko. It is a mighty fortress located on a steep hill, overseeing the village below. It is built out of Black Ice, which is stronger than steel, can withstand chakra-based attacks, and is imbued with chakra, making climbing over the walls with ninjutsu techniques impossible. The Castle serves as an HQ for the Land's shinobi, and contains enough provisions to withstand a 2-year siege. Its purpose is to provide shelter for the villages in case of an invasion.
Palace of White Ice
The Palace of White Ice is a small, yet majestic structure, located at the very heart of Castle Black. It is made out of stone and ice, and has very little defensive capabilities, yet is stunning aesthetically, holding about itself the frigid yet pure image of the Winter itself. It is a very quiet and solitary place. It was built by the Second Lady of Yukigakure to serve as her residence, and has been home to future rulers of the village ever since. The Third Lady, Saya Yoi, lives here now, in the highest tower, in the middle of the Palace.
Set upon a low hill opposite Castle Castle black and surrounded by craggy maze like rocks sits Yukigakure's prison. A thick metal structure shaped like a star housing barracks for those guards that choose to stay near the premise and training yards. At it's very heart however, behind thick massive metal doors is a single elevator descending deep beneath the earth into the real Prison.
Yukigakure's Prison is in truth an underground facility, located to the south-west of the village. It is used to keep dangerous prisoners and criminals in and those who might seek to free them out. It is made out of a unique type of stone which disallows the use of Doton Ninjutsu to aid in an escape attempt other then by the Warden himself who is attuned to the Prison. The whole facility is a complicated and deadly maze, which is rumored to change directions from time to time, making mapping and escaping impossible. While most guards can navigate with relative ease the only one who knows his way around the Prison with certainty is Dai Ri - the Prison Warden, who also helped design and build the facility. The Prison is generally believed to be impenetrable and in the thirty years it's Warden has held the post there has never been a breakout.
Village Specifc Jutsu
- Yuki no Akuma Hoin - Snow Demon Sealing Method