Shi Clan (紫家 Shike) is one of the Eight Coloured Clans of Saiunkoku and the imperial clan. The clan's name translates to purple. The clan's seal bears the purple iris, a motif given to those especially trusted by the Emperor.
As most of Saiunkoku's emperors have been chosen from the Shi clan, many lesser clans have encouraged their daughters to marry into the clan. The custom of intermarriage eventually sparked a civil war which forced the current Emperor, Shi Ryuuki, to rise to the throne despite his status the sixth son of the previous emperor after four of his brothers are arrested for treason and his brother Shi Seien is exiled.
Shi Ryuuki (紫 劉輝 Shi Ryūki) is the Emperor of Saiunkoku during the events of Saiunkoku Monogatari. As the youngest of the previous emperor's six sons, each by different mothers, he was not expected to succeed the throne. After the exile of Prince Seien, a bloody succession battle was fought between Ryuuki's remaining older half-brothers and ended with all of their deaths. Ryuuki became the sole heir to the throne and ascended upon the death of his father, Emperor Senka.
Shi Seien (紫 清苑 Shi Seien) is the second eldest of Shi Senka's sons and highly regarded for his intelligence, skills in combat, and his kindness towards his youngest brother, Ryuuki. However, as a result of political scheming, he was actually very cynical towards most people despite his young age. The prince and his mother, Suzuran, were eventually exiled for treason as a result of a conspiracy by his maternal relatives to ensure that Seien would take the throne. His whereabouts after his exile are unknown to most people and many think he is dead.
Shi Senka (紫 戩華 Shi Senka) is the previous Emperor of Saiunkoku and the father of Shi Ryuuki, Shi Seien and four unnamed princes. Senka's reign was known to be tumultuous and bloody, leaving the imperial court with corruption and in chaos.
Princess Yuri (百合姫 Yuri-hime) is the half-sister of Emperor Shi Senka and the daughter of Kou Gyokukan. This is a fact unknown to most people.
Sons of Senka, the previous Emperor of Saiunkoku. They were born from four different mothers and competed fiercely against each other, agreeing only in wanting to eliminate Seien (the most talented of all six princes) and bully Ryuuki. After Seien's exile and their father's grave illness, the brothers' fight for the throne caused civil war in Saiunkoku, ending only with Advisor Sho's intervention. The four princes were executed and some of their followers were exiled. Ironically, it was their bullied youngest brother, Ryuuki, who survived them all and was crowned as Emperor.
Shi Chouka (紫 重華, Shi Chōka) is Shi Ryuuki and Kou Shuurei's daughter. She succeeded Ryuuki as the next ruler and ruled the country for 70 years. She was one of the rare empress regnants of Saiunkoku.
Consisting of the women of the daughters of the noble clans who were sent to become the emperor's consorts or concubines. Due to their status, many of the women could exert political influence and intrigues within the court.
Lady Suzuran (鈴蘭の君 Suzuran no Kimi) is Shi Seien's biological mother and was one of Emperor Shi Senka's concubines.
Lady Gyokukan (玉環の君 Gykokukan no Kimi) was Kou Shouka's great-aunt and a former concubine of Emperor Shi Senka's father.
The Sixth Consort (第六妾妃 Dai Roku Shōhi) is Shi Ryuuki's mother and one of Shi Senka's Concubine.
The Four Consorts are emperor Shi Senka's concubines. They each bore him a son.
Kou Shuurei is the only consort of Emperor Shi Ryuuki. She is the mother of Ryuuki's daughter Shi Chouka. Shuurei initially entered the Imperial Harem as Ryuuki's consort at the request of Ryuuki's advisor Sho Yosei in order to force Ryuuki to take his duties as emperor seriously and voluntarily left the harem in order to become an official bureaucrat. About 14 years later, she officially became Ryuuki's wife and was given the status of the Empress.
The Purple RetainersEdit
Each colored clan has four branch families as their retainers. The retainers of the Shi clan are known as the Purple Retainers or the Purple Gates.
The Ou Clan was one of the four retainers of the Shi clan. The Ou Clan is actually the Sou clan, the true imperial family. The known members so far are Ou Ki, Ou Tsuyuri, Ou Hien and Hyou Riou Jr. from his mother's side. The first members were the first emperor Sou Gen, his son Sou Shuu and his younger sister Sou Youki.
The Ki Clan was one of the four retainers of the Shi Clan. However, the family was purged by emperor Senka for a false accusation. The sole survivor of this clan is Ki Kouki. He possesses the family heirloom, a Dragon Flute.
The Riku Clan was one of the retainers of the Shi Clan. However, the family was purged by the emperor Senka. The sole survivor of this family is Riku Seiga. He possesses the family heirloom, a silver antique bracelet.