The Kou Clan (红家 Kōke) is one of the Seven Coloured Clans of Saiunkoku and the second most powerful. The clan's name translates to red or crimson. The clan seal bears the emblems of a paulownia, bamboo, phoenix, and kirin.
The province of the Kou clan specializes in growing mandarins and creating special "seven-colored" ink. Members of the clan are also known for their ability to play the biwa, which is regarded as the clan's traditional instrument.
With power equal to the Ran Clan, the Kou Clan is known as the "highest of nobility". Their influence in the rank-and-file of Saiunkoku is so tremendous that Saiunkoku once suffered a crisis on manpower because one of the officials of the Imperial Court was suspected to have influenced the National Exams, and many of the workers in the Imperial Court (a majority of whom come from the Crimson Clan) stopped their work in protest.
Kou Shuurei (紅 秀麗 Kō Shūrei) was the daughter of Kou Shouka, the first female Imperial Court Official and Shi Ryuuki's Consort.
Kou Shouka (紅 邵可 Kō Shōka) is Kou Shuurei's father and the current Head of the Kou Clan.
Shoukun (薔君 Shōkun) was the mother of Kou Shuurei, adoptive mother of Seiran, and wife of Kou Shouka.
Shi Seiran (茈 静蘭 Shi Seiran) is the sole remaining retainer in Kou Shouka' household. His true identity is Shi Seien (紫 清苑 Shi Seien), the exiled prince.
Kou Reishin (紅 黎深 Kō Reishin) is the former Secretary of Civil Administration, former Head of the Kou Clan, Shouka's younger brother and Li Kouyuu's adoptive father.
Li Kouyuu (李 絳攸 Ri Kōyū) is the former Vice Minister of Civil Administration and Kou Reishin's adoptive son.
Kou Kurou (紅玖琅 Kō Kurō) is the youngest brother of Kou Shouka and Kou Reishin and is the former Proxy Head of the Kou clan.
Yuri (百合姫 Yuri-hime) is Kou Reishin's wife and Li Kouyuu's adoptive mother.
Gyokukan (玉環) was Kou Shouka's great-aunt and a former concubine of Emperor Shi Senka's father. She is the mother of Yuri.
Hyou Shusui (縹 珠翠 Hyō Shusui) was the Chief Lady-In-Waiting in the Imperial Harem and is the current Head of the Hyou Clan. Shusui is deeply attached to Shouka, although he oblivious to her feelings for him and doesn't feel the same way towards her because he is still very much in love with his wife. He only sees her as an adopted daughter.
Kyuuka (九華, Kyūka) is Kurou's wife.
Kou Hakyuu Edit
Kou Hakyuu (伯邑, Hakuyū) is Kurou's son.
Kou Sera (世羅) is Kurou's daughter.
The Crimson Retainers Edit
Each colored clan has four branch families as their retainers. The retainers of the Kou clan are called the Crimson Retainers or the Crimson Gates. Only one retainer is known so far.
The Ki Clan Edit
The Ki Clan is an infamous clan renowned for its proficiency in scheming, plotting and strategizing. The clan head is called the 'Hourin' derived from the kanji of the name of the Kou Clan's seal Phoenix and Kirin similar to how the Ran clan's 'Ryuuren' is derived from the clan seal's name 'Souryurensen'. Like Ryuuren, Hourin is also an important figure of the Kou clan and acts as the brains behind the clan. The members of this family are called the 'Crimson Military Strategists'.
The clan lived secretly in the Mt. Kou of Kou province and employed many traps to make sure the clan's existence wasn't discovered by anyone outside the Kou clan. However, they were eradicated by the previous emperor as he thought of them as a threat. The known members of this clan are Tei Yuushun and his great-grandmother.
In the English dub of the series, the clan's name is rendered Hong to distinguish it from the similar sounding Yellow Clan which is also pronounced as Kō. By the request of Saiunkoku's original creator, Geneon changed this name in the official North American version to Hong, the Mandarin Chinese pronunciation of the same logogram, in order to minimize confusion with the other Kō name belonging to the Yellow clan. Funimation has retained this name change in its distribution of the Geneon DVDs.