Rise of the Nakamura
Mito-jō no Oeyo
The mysterious, completely silent shrine maiden
A fierce-looking young woman of middling height, slightly north of average-looking, who constantly wears a long, red, slightly pleated skirt tied with a bow, and a snow white haori. Her common-looking chestnut hair is completely unadorned and falls to just slightly above her knees. While traveling, or when among a large crowd of people, she wears a very long, hooded cloak, the same shade of red as her skirt, and leaves the hood up over her head whenever possible. She wears no jewelry, other than a couple strings of prayer beads.
Her lime-green eyes are somehow always visible, even in dim light, and they always gaze intensely at everything in their path. The ferocity of her stare can unnerve people unacquainted with her, and there are very few people in the world who can say they are acquainted with her.
Nobody has ever heard her voice, and even her breathing is completely silent. She can only be heard by her footsteps.
Oeyo is the only daughter of the late Satake Clan daimyo, Satake Yoshiharu. Due to birthing complications, she was born deaf and mute, and as a child, there were few at Mito Castle who had the patience to try and communicate with her. As a result, she became a very aggressive and chaotic child, and as time passed it became harder and harder to control her. Though her father never went so far as to disown her, he soon had no other choice but to admit that she was worthless to him, even as a daughter. When she became a woman, he could find none willing to marry her due to her disability and her excessively— even dangerously— rebellious nature, and ultimately began to seek a humane way of disposing of her. He finally settled on sending her, at the age of twelve, to the great shrine of faraway Izumo province, to live the life of a miko.
Though unable to communicate and unwilling to dance, Oeyo otherwise adapted very well to the lifestyle of a shrine maiden, and it was in that capacity that she made her only true friend, the beautiful Okuni, who had a level of compassion for the little deaf girl that she had never before seen in anybody else. Over time, this friendship had a cooling effect on Oeyo’s fiery personality, and though still somewhat frightening, people who came to the shrine found her much more agreeable.
It was also during this time that Oeyo’s incredible psychic powers began to manifest themselves. Whether she had been born with such latent abilities, or whether her deafness created such a need for expression that she willed them to exist will perhaps never be known. But she quickly began to develop the fundamentals of telepathy, to the point that by the time she was sixteen she was able to actually have conversations with Okuni just by holding her hand. Within a few years, via the aid of a few more experienced psychics acquainted with Okuni, Oeyo had considerable skill with over a dozen powers.
When Okuni expressed her desire to travel the land performing theater to raise money for the Shrine, Oeyo naturally agreed to follow her friend wherever she might go. Though Oeyo could never hear Okuni’s performances, she still enjoyed watching them. Oeyo followed Okuni across Japan, serving as her best friend and left-hand woman, and using her psychic gifts to aid the troupe in whatever ways she could, even ways as ethically grey as coercing people to donate to the Shrine. When Okuni announced one day that the troupe’s next destination would be Hitachi Province, Oeyo was nervous to return to her homeland and see her father after such a long time, but she did not comment on this to her friend.
It came as quite a shock when they reached Shimosa Province and discovered that the Satake Clan was no more, having been destroyed by the Nakamura Clan, and her father had been murdered in her absence by Nakamura Eiji. Though she had never loved her father greatly, she still felt a deep sense of loss and resentment towards the one who had taken from her her only familial connection. It came as even greater a shock when Okuni was summoned by the daimyo who had slain her father to answer his request to be his mistress.
Though Okuni was concerned with her friend’s feelings, Oeyo told Okuni that she would accept it if she decided to bear Nakamura’s child. Though she felt that the warlords of Japan were inherently monsters, and the one who slew her father especially so, that was no reason why the heir to a more peaceful era had to be one as well, and she trusted that Okuni would be sure to pass her compassion onto such a child. In fact, Oeyo resolved that with Okuni as the parent to the heir of Japan, if perhaps the Nakamura clan could succeed in uniting the land, then maybe her father’s death wouldn’t have been for nothing. So Oeyo stayed silent, resolutely supporting Okuni and the child she was making for the Nakamura daimyo. She continues to watch over her friend, quiet and vigilant.