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Posted: Dec 9 2016, 07:07 AM
Member No.: 114
Joined: 30-November 16
OKADA, MIRAI no clan
HAIR: Black hair, straight to just below her shoulders with a fringe. Often keeps it tied up in a bun or ponytail.
BODY TYPE: A little chubby, though she has fairly solid arm and leg muscles. Quite athletic and has a good amount of stamina.
STYLE: Though she's grown up wearing expensive, more extravagant clothes, she prefers to wear simpler and more practical styles such as T-shirts paired with shorts or jeans and comfortable (or no) shoes when she's not in her school uniform. Ultimately, she cares more about whether her clothes are practical and/or comfortable than what they look like, though she does prefer clothes that aren't overly feminine-looking.
Mirai is very much a doer, not a thinker. She finds herself feeling happier when she's busy doing things and learns better from practical demonstrations and workshops rather than from reading it out of a textbook. She also expresses her thoughts and feelings more through her actions than through her words. She's not exactly frank, both with others and herself, about what she's feeling and how much getting what she wants means to her; she's so used to things happening that she doesn't like and can't do anything about that her standard response to troubles is to force a smile and pretend they don't exist rather than trying to actually fix the problem. Lying about what she feels is just one way she pushes her negative thoughts and emotions to the back of her mind. Mirai is an extrovert and very friendly and cheerful but she's also very unconfrontational so she'll often just go with whatever someone else is doing/saying, even if she doesn't exactly believe in it, just to avoid conflict. She's not used to getting her own way anyway, and often she'll just grin and bear it rather than trying to come to a compromise that satisfies her as well. She doesn't like to cause trouble for others either and will go to similar lengths to avoid this. She tends to take things at face value and often doesn't catch subtle hints or hidden meanings. She'll often offer help without someone even having asked for it and without expecting anything in return.
• Good at focusing/not easily distracted
• Doesn't stand up for herself and what she wants
• Low emotional intelligence
• Not book-smart
• Takes everything at face value
• Dishonest about and often ignores her emotions
• Gives up easily (lacks resolve)
• People who are always honest (she admires people who are like this and wishes she had it in her to be totally upfront and honest)
• People who are accepting of others
• Being busy
• Upholding outdated, unnecessary and/or invasive traditions solely for the sake of upholding traditions when there's a better way of doing things
• People who try to force their opinions and way of doing things onto other people
• Her own lack of honesty and practical household skills like cooking and sewing
• Books & reading
• Spending more than necessary on something rather than putting the extra money to good use
AMBITIONS: She just wants to do good things for people. In addition, Mirai can't help but dream of one day being a kendo teacher or doing some kind of volunteer work, if not both, though she knows that due to her circumstances it's a stupid, impossible hope so she tries not to think about these dreams too much. In the short term, she hopes to improve many practical skills that she's lacking (such as cooking), hence why she joined the Home Economics club.
WEAPON: Mirai owns both a wakizashi and a katana. In fact, she owns two katana; one of them (and the wakizashi) were provided by her parents, and both these blades are of excellent quality. The other katana was a going-away present from her kendo dojo back in Kitakyushu, which the members of the dojo pooled their money to buy for her. Neither its quality nor its style even remotely stand up to the katana her parents gave her (the kendo dojo couldn't afford anything too fancy) but she still prefers to use it over her parent's one, which she only ever takes out to maintain.
In general, Mirai prefers to use her katana over her wakizashi (though she does practise with both and in a combat situation she keeps both of them on her) because its length is closer to that of the kendo shinai and bokutō she's more used to wielding, even if the katana is still shorter. Her background in kendo shows in her fighting style: she's very good at observing an opponent to judge if/when they are about to strike and taking action to dodge or counter the strike, but she tends to subconsciously aim specifically for the four areas that score you a point in kendo rather than aiming for the area that would be easier or better to hit.
• Okada Hideyoshi: Mirai's father. Head of the company "Okada Steel". Not as harsh on Mirai as Atsuko but still adamant that she has to run the company one day so that it stays in the family. Generally lets his wife run the show in regards to Mirai anyway because he's busy with the company and raising children is the woman's job, right? (He's not a very modern-thinking man.)
• Okada Atsuko: Mirai's mother. Concerned over Mirai's wellbeing and future and genuinely wants the best for her daughter. However, she sees what's best for Mirai not through the lens of Mirai's feelings and desires, but instead based off what she would want if she was in that situation. Though Mirai always insists that she's perfectly happy, Atsuko gets the feeling that something is wrong but she can't for the life of her figure out what it is or why her attempts at making Mirai happier - things such as buying expensive clothes for her - don't work. She's also very strict on Mirai, wanting her to be the perfect child and achieve near-perfect school grades and restricting her from doing things she considers "too dangerous" or things that would be "too distracting" from her studies.
• South Kitakyushu Dojo: Though they're not related to her by blood, Mirai felt much more at home with her friends from the dojo than her real family. She was very friendly with everyone there, but particularly close with three people the same age as her who started kendo at roughly the same time: Yuki, Akane, and Fukumi. She's also immensely grateful to the instructor, Hanaki-sensei, for guiding her in the art of kendo and supporting her to reach the skill level she has attained now.
BACKGROUND: Mirai is an only child, the daughter of the wealthy owner of a steel foundry in Kitakyushu, Buzen. All through her childhood she's enjoyed a life of privilege, with her every need catered to in a fashion perhaps more extravagant and expensive than strictly necessary. Any material comfort she's required (or that her parents ever even thought she required) were provided in a instant, though she sometimes did find herself wishing that her parents wouldn't invest so much when something less extravagant would do. Her parents have also always employed someone to do all the cooking and cleaning for them; Mirai has never had to do chores of any kind and as such lacks a lot of life skills like cooking and how to do the laundry.
As she is their only child (and they are unable to have another due to complications from the C-section Atsuko had to have when Mirai was born), Mirai's parents have the expectation that one day when she's older she'll take over the steel foundry, a business which has been passed down through their family for generations. If Mirai tried to do anything else with her life, it would be unacceptable; her parents take it for granted that when her father starts to get too old to run the business properly, he'll retire and Mirai will take over as the head of the company. And they're hardly subtle about it: they'd frequently reference that one day she'll make a fine head of the company and refer to her as such in the presence of guests. It's even visible in the name they decided to give her: "Mirai" means "future", a name they gave her to represent that she is both the future of the family and the steel company. Mirai can feel the weight of their expectations almost like a physical weight on her shoulders, dragging at her the whole time, constricting her. Whenever her parents bring up their plan for her future directly, Mirai feels like she's locked in a closet and the walls are closing in; it's suffocating, and even if she tries to tell them that she wants to be able to choose what to do with her life, her parents simply won't listen. So she gave up trying to convince them otherwise or find a way out a long time ago and nowadays simply lies to them that she's happy to take over the company and tries to ignore the fact that it will become a reality one day and that she's really quite distressed by the prospect.
And if her parents' expectations and the way they're bound to restrict her future aren't bad enough, her parents hold her to an incredibly high standard - nothing else will do from the future heir to Okada Steel. They push her to achieve super grades at school, even though Mirai isn't really an academic person. Mirai has to put a ridiculous amount of effort into studying to get anywhere close to the straight-A level her parents desire, and even then she still falls short of what they want.
When she still lived in Kitakyushu, almost all of her time was taken up by school and studying hard. She could only occasionally fit in many of the things that her fellow students were doing in their spare time, like reading for fun and watching television. She'd spend her lunch breaks doing homework and never made a lot of friends at school; she was acquainted with people, but she never really got close to any of them. She had the people at her kendo dojo, but that didn't stop her feeling jealous of all the close bonds the people around her at school were forming.
The only other thing she was able to make time for was kendo. Ever since she was very very little, Mirai liked sports, though her mother never let her play any, particularly ball sports, because she though they were too dangerous and Mirai might get hurt. But when Mirai heard about kendo, six-year-old her found something about it attractive and pestered her parents non-stop to let her join the nearest kendo dojo, South Kitakyushu Dojo, until her father convinced her mother that it might be a good thing for her to try a sport, reasoning that kendo was probably a bit safer than something like rugby. Mirai was not disappointed by kendo at all; if anything she fell completely in love with it after her first attempt at it. In grade school she'd practice mostly only at the dojo sessions and then once or twice during the week, but once she started junior high and her parents started to give her more pressure about her grades she started to get up an hour earlier than she needed to every day just so she could practice kendo in the morning for a while to blow off some steam. While sparring and practising with others invigorates her, she finds running through the techniques on her own to be very calming and used it throughout junior high as a way to help ease (and forget) her concerns and stresses about school and her future. Naturally, all this practice resulted in a girl who is quite good at kendo; in fact she was able to pass her nidan exam shortly before she was sent to Edo Bugei. While kendo is quite different from using a real katana in a fight with the intention of hurting or killing, it has still taught her a lot of useful things about the fundamentals of fighting someone using a sword and improved her fitness. Overall she's fairly competent with her katana, especially as her parents made her start practising with one in the months leading up to her going to Edo Bugei, though she doesn't excel at it as highly as she does kendo.
The kendo wasn't the only good thing about joining the dojo; the socialisation was important, too. Mirai never really fit in too well at school, and though there would be some people that she'd talk to, she could hardly ever hang out with them outside of school (her parents would only let her do it occasionally; they wanted her to focus on studying instead, and she went along with them even though she really wanted to be socialising with people from school) and as such didn't form any close connections with them. And really, though Mirai would talk with those people at school, she always had a feeling that it wouldn't bother them at all if she wasn't there. They didn't hate or exclude her, but they didn't make any particular effort to include her either. But the people at the kendo dojo were always friendly and accepting, and Mirai felt entirely wanted and at home with them. They were the only people she felt she could trust and confide in without reservation. As well the kendo itself providing an escape for her, the members of South Kitakyushu dojo, in particular her three closest friends Yuki, Akane, and Fukumi, were a pillar of emotional support during her time in junior high and late grade school.
As early as the start of her second last year of junior high, her parents began to consider where they might send Mirai for highschool. They thought about various options, both local and distant, and Edo Bugei was the one that stood out amongst all the others. If Mirai went there, not only would she have a prestigious education to enhance her reputation, she would also be able to form connections with some of the most important people in Japan, which could come as a boon later in life if, for example, a clan lord was building infrastructure, needed to purchase supplies for it, and remembered that girl from school who was the heir to a steel company...
Due to her father's large presence on the Buzen business stage, it wasn't too hard for him to secure a meeting with the head of the Kobayakawa clan - the ruling clan of Buzen province - to discuss the possibility of the Kobayakawas sponsoring Mirai and thus paving the way for her to attend Edo Bugei, rather than leaving the chance that she might not be accepted. A short discussion and a significantly large bribe later, and the Kobayakawas agreed to sponsor Mirai and thus ensure her a place at Edo Bugei.
When her parents explained they had decided to send her to Edo Bugei rather than a local high school, Mirai wasn't exactly happy with the decision because it would mean she'd have to leave South Kitakyushu Dojo behind. Mirai had long since given up trying to get her way with her parents and usually meekly accepted their decisions, but leaving Buzen to study at Edo Bugei was something Mirai actually argued with her parents about. Her parents wouldn't budge on the issue, though, and after a heated spat which ended in her parents ordering her to go to her room and not come out till they said she could, Mirai realised they weren't going to compromise and meekly (and kind of distressedly) accepted that she'd have to leave Buzen and the dojo behind. However, after the initial rush of emotions regarding it, after Yuki, Fukumi and Akane had pestered her into telling them what was wrong and she finally talked it through with them, and as the day of leaving began to grow closer, Mirai began to realise that it might not be so bad after all. She was becoming more and more fond of the idea that Edo Bugei would give her independence, something that she's never had before, and the freedom to express herself and do what she wants without her parents' close watch and harsh attitude.
Fun fact #1: Mirai and the South Kitakyushu Dojo frequently send each other letters and emails.
Fun fact #2: Mirai believes in Buddhist teachings though she puts them into practice only casually and doesn't go to shrines/temple as frequently as she should.
Posted: Dec 9 2016, 08:57 AM
Member No.: 1
Joined: 18-November 15