The Tokonatsu clan is one of the Kekkei Genkai clans belonging to Takigakure no Sato. They are known for their ability to draw out toxins from the environment and have an increased resilience to toxins and poisons.
Hailing from the jungles of Bonchi no Kuni, the Tokonatsu have a deeply held reverence for nature and its power. Seeing things such as the mobile Black Garden, the Tokonatsu see humanity as just another piece of nature’s grandeur. Nature is above all, and humanity can only strive to emulate her splendor. And so, the Tokonatsu try their best, knowing they can never achieve that goal.
Being in Takigakure, a village of adaptation and progress, the Tokonatsu ascribe to those ideals in their own way, seeing human experimentation as a necessary step in that journey towards higher power. In short, they are as much a part of the culture of Takigakure as anyone. Their symbol, the wheel of Morning Glories, reflects their motto “Beauty, Pain, Ascension”. Morning Glories are toxic to many things, even to humans. They induce hallucinations and dehydration if taken in large quantities. And yet they are beautiful, cultivated by humans for that aesthetic appeal. The Tokonatsu liken themselves to such a plant, cultivated by the hands of nature herself to serve her own ends. With the power of their Kekkai Genkai, they seek to beautify the land, allowing nature to flourish, even at the cost of their own bodies and lives.
This passion for beauty extends into the clan’s interests and role in the Takigakure economy; those who are not ninja (or don’t possess the clan’s Kekkai Genkai) are florists, botanists and farmers, people who grow and nurture the land and what grows. In less occupational ways, the clan’s ideology leads to them having an obsession with appearing refined and sophisticated, leading to a clan wide interest in things like hanakotoba (the language of flowers) and kumiko (incense games), which both take a long time to learn properly and are basically useless in everyday life. This often can make them seem snobbish and aloof, which the clan does very little to combat as a whole.
Religion and the Tokonatsu
The Tokonatsu are not a religious authority, though to outsiders that can come as a surprise given how much of the clan’s ethos regards Nature as if she were a god (of which she is to the Tokonatsu, make no mistake). The Tokonatsu do not see themselves as shamans or priests or cheval of Nature (though the last one is the most accurate), but rather as her taskmasters and lay workers. To the Tokonatsu, humankind is simply not worthy of beholding Nature in her grandest glory. They have not evolved enough, not strived enough, not capable of handling the power they so seek. This is one of the reasons they fit in so well in Takigakure, as they approve of the actions of the village in an ideological sense.
Members of the clan are allowed to join whatever religions they wish, so long as that religion does not interfere with their clan duties or their devotion to Nature herself. In short, the Tokonatsu are a strange brand of Henotheists; worshipping an animist concept of nature as their singular patron deity, while still accepting the existence of other gods out in the world.
While the Tokonatsu may act as if their clan has some storied history and ancient roots and has the force of eons behind them or whatever they think is in style nowadays, the fact of the matter is that the clan’s Kekkai Genkai (and thus, the genesis of the clan) happened through sheer luck and circumstance.
Well, not entirely luck, surely. There’s no place on Earth that would have produced the Tokonatsu outside of Bonchi no Kuni, and Takigakure especially. In a land so filled with toxin, poison and unchecked scientific exploration, it’s unsurprisingly that some people would develop abilities previously only seen in certain plants and microbes.
The mythos behind the clan states that the Tokonatsu were given the role of Sacrifices by Nature herself, a great deity comprised of the will of the earth itself, and the Kekkai Genkai was her gift to them for performing such a service for her. The likely truth of the matter is much more mundane.
The jungle of Bonchi no Kuni are filled to the brim with poisonous and venomous creatures, plants, and probably rocks. It’s literally something in the water at this point. The ancestors of the Tokonatsu definitely came from the jungles of Bonchi no Kuni, it is both logical and a part of the aforementioned mythos. Logically speaking, some of those survivors (if not most of them) when they reached Takigakure had a level of toxin resistance inherent just through natural selection.
With the founding of Takigakure, and all manner of strange human experiments being legal, it would stand to reason that the clan’s Kekkai Genkai was a result of such ethically unsound practices.
The Tokonatsu are a relatively recent addition to Takigakure no Sato, though they claim to have existed in the area for much longer. They joined quietly in the interim between the Second and Third wars, long after the Mikatakujira had settled the Waterfall Village. Their main contributions were in their botanical and agricultural skills, finding ways to ensure fresh produce survived it’s trips to the front lines and their hungry soldiers.
The Tokonatsu were instrumental in keeping the war effort going on in the deserts of Kaze no Kuni, allowing the village to create a supply line unbroken for years even through the onslaught of the Aiel’s raiding parties. However, they were eventually forced to retreat towards the end of the war, though the Tokontasu and their allies on the supply line were entrenched enough that they gave the sand dwellers considerable losses.
Such a defeat could have spelled the end of the clan, but the Tokonatsu were resilient, and have bounced back since the end of the Third War. They are nowhere near as a numerous as they were over two decades previous, but they are at a comfortable number. The clan is going nowhere any time soon. Their skills in both healing and cultivating the land made them once again, incredibly useful once the war was over and fields needed to be resown, people needed to eat, and life needed to continue. And so the Tokonatsu continue onward, like an endless summer.
Unsurprisingly given their focus on refinery and society, the Tokonatsu are divided into a multi-part hierarchy that is partially determined by birth, but mostly determined by function and aptitude. Themed around flowers, each house has a specific role within the clan’s workings. Due to this, there is very little concept of “ownership” over children. A child is not owned by the parent, the child is not “their’s”, they belong to the clan. This often leads to young children being shuffled around from household to household depending on their position with the clan’s houses.
朝顔 (Asagao “Morning Glories”) ==== What would be considered the “main branch” of the clan by outsiders, the Asagao use the clan’s Morning Glories as their symbol, meaning “willful promises”. The Asagao house is the face of the clan, and they make all of the political decisions for the clan. All members of the house possess the Kekkai Genkai, and oftentimes when the ability surfaces in another house Asagao might snatch them for their own ranks. The official Clan Head is always a member of this house, and they are voted from a council of the other house’s elders. However, the Clan Head may request a successor, or Heir. Said Heir is not automatically the Head with the death of the previous, but is often given preferential treatment by the voting council given the previous leader’s recommendation. The Asagao prize affability and eloquence more than the other houses, and those of the house are trained from a young age to repress their emotions and be able to maintain poise in any social situation.
美女桜 (Bijozakura “Verbena”)
If the Asagao would be the “highest” house, then Bijozakura would be the middle house. Most of the clan belongs to this house, and with the theme of “cooperation” Bijozakura members are excellent team players. They perform many roles, being much of the clan’s layworkers. Botanists, greenhouse workers, doctors- you name it, there’s probably one within Bijozakura. The house is often considered very closed off to outsiders, but that is less intentional and more of a side effect of Bijozakura’s own clannishness. They work for the clan and with the clan, and that oftentimes comes with a lack of respect or thought towards outsiders.
小百合 (Sayuri “Orange Lilly”)
Sayuri is the closest thing the Tokonatsu have to a secret part of the clan, but they are less secret and more hard to find and obscure. With the titular Sayuri signifying “hate and revenge” this house focuses exclusively on poison. From the plants they grow to often their specialities as ninja, the Sayuri are known for their knowledge of botanical poison and many of them experiment with their own Kekkai Genkai to try and weaponize it. This has not yielded any results over the clan’s history, but they keep trying. Such experimentation and danger is the primary reason this house is so small, by far having the fewest members of the houses as a whole.
紫陽花 (Ajisai “Hydrangea”)
Signifying “Pride” in Hanakotoba, all children all considered members of Ajisai until they are old enough to be put in one of the other three houses. Ajisai is the most looked-down upon house, as despite the name, Ajisai is for clan members who haven’t exhibited any worthwhile aptitudes, hence why children are here. Some miscreants throughout the clan’s history have forsaken the Tokonatsu surname and taken Ajisai as their surname instead, rebelling against a system they think doesn’t work. This has not really done much to shake the clan, however, as most of those who do this tend to get themselves killed in stupid ways (such as overusing the Kekkai Genkai as a matter of pride) or reform once they’re older and less hot-blooded.
Bioremediation | The Rite of Spring
The Kekkai Genkai of the clan, the Tokonatsu have discovered a way to take on pollution and toxins in the ground and incorporate them into themselves. This of course, does not reduce their toxicity, and while the Kekkai Genkai does a fair bit to strengthen the Tokonatsu to said toxins, plenty of rash and unwise clan members have died agonizing deaths to things like lead and iron poisoning.
Atop of dying horribly from overuse (or taking on something even the KG can't handle) this ability has a whole host of other limitations. While powerful, it only works on the earth, and can't draw toxins out of a living person (the way medical ninjutsu would be able to), which would be great for prepping things like old battlefields for settling, does little to help the practitioner in combat. The process of taking in toxins takes time, and is usually described as physically unpleasant at best.
Other downsides include things such as; once a toxin is in the body, it is downright impossible to get out, meaning that Tokonatsu blood is downright useless in blood transfusions, this comes with the added downside of probably killing the user eventually if they don't pace themselves over time. The ability can also only be used in flesh-to-ground contact, and takes time (some have compared the process to taking in natural energy of Sage fame, even if the concepts are unrelated), if a Tokonatsu loses a limb to poison, it's usually a foot.
It's not all awful, however. The Tokonatsu are downright hard to kill with just poison alone, having a minor resistance to pretty much anything due to simply incorporating it into their systems. This does not make them immortal by any means (see above about dying painfully and slowly) but it is a nice perk in a land so known for poison and medical experimentation.
Given a few hours and a lot of concentration (and a will of iron to bear the pain) a Tokonatsu lying on the ground can draw in roughly half a square meter around them worth of heavy metals and leave the land arable. Whether or not they survive that kind of intense absorption is another story, but the concept is there.
The Kekkai Genkai is not developed in every member of the clan, though it has surfaced in enough of them to be significant. As a bloodline limit, it's not a thing that can be taught. Either you have it, or you don't.
Theoretically, if a Tokonatsu immersed themselves in a contaminated body of water for a long period of time, they could purify it with their ability, it's not very feasible since it would take upwards of double the time, and the logistics of staying in the water for that long have dissuaded the clan from attempting such things.
Well known for their skills with all things green and growing, the Tokonatsu are incredible botanists. It is said that they can grow anything, anywhere, which is a bit of an exaggeration (some things just simply cannot be grown in the desert of the tundra), but if there is a way to grow it, there's a good chance the local Tokonatsu knows how. This gives them a large knowledge of seemingly inconsequential facts, but in the agriculture sphere that knowledge is invaluable.