They are known for their ability to utilize the element Hyoton [Ice Release]. Along with their kekkei genkai, they are capable of resisting exremely low temperatures when compared to people without the kekkei genkai.
There is one thing the Yuki believes in above all else - family. To them, family is everything, be the family blood related or not. After all, one doesn’t have to be related to another by blood to be considered family, this they understood from their time in the fishing village. Because of this belief, the Yukis of Yukigakure are extremely protective of one another and are extremely loyal to each other. They care and trust in each other, dislike seeing another clan member in pain or sadness (although, yes, sometimes it is necessary), and will do anything for each other. They value the bonds, the friendships they make and have.
Yukis can always find a friend and confidant in another Yuki, no matter what. Not even distances can tear apart the familial bonds, as no matter how far one travels from the clan, they are still considered family. Which is why Yukis will traverse land and sea to bring back their dead, or if such is impossible, destroy the bodies so they wouldn’t be defiled. No matter the situation, a Yuki could rely on a Yuki, and a Yuki wouldn’t kill a Yuki.
Of course, when they shifted to the shinobi village, this part changed - they understood that there would be instances were conflicting views would set Yukis apart. Wars and unease in a village especially could lead to such situations, and so during such times, while Yukis were still expected to be courteous to each other (manners are a huge thing in Yuki upbringing), harming and killing another Yuki wasn’t frowned upon, whereas another other time would result in execution.
After all, it isn’t like there’s a choice - due to the Yukis’ strong wills and determination (which comes off as stubbornness sometimes), they don’t back down from defending their views or beliefs easily. Death will thus be the easiest way to get one to back down. Until their passing, a Yuki will stand firm in their beliefs, ideals and paths. They don’t lack decisiveness, they aren’t wishy-washy in that aspect - once they settle on their morals, values and such, they tend to stick to them until a reason to change them -a very compelling one at that- pops up. After all, they do value flexibility, so they understand that at certain times change is needed, whether they like it or not.
Besides, it’s not a bad thing - being flexible allows them to adapt and keep up with the world, to change and ensure their survival. Change was good, even if they may not always agree with what was changing. So flexibility was another value that they have - it allows them to cope with changes in circumstances, since those who can bend and yield can beat those who can’t. Yukis are thus taught that it is not wrong to have to change their stance, outlook, or commitment if the situation calls for it - allowing them to adapt to situational demands evens if it’s against personal beliefs or such. This, together with their ferocity, makes them fearsome combatants.
In battle, Yukis act seemingly like they typically do - gentle, soft, tranquil. They seem almost fragile, delicate, as if they could break at one touch. Many people underestimate them because, and it tends to be a fatal mistake on their part - make no mistake, under that farce of their lies cold-hearted killers who have no remorse for those who fall to their blade…usually. They’re ruthless, calculating and analytical; traits which aid them in any battle or any situation. This, added with their natural charisma - which is in part due to their natural beauty, grace and elegance -, tends to make them good leaders and teachers, and also allows them to do well in areas such information gathering and politics.
They don’t mind hardships - rather, they embrace them. They view trials and obstacles as merely means of improving themselves, so find no reason to shy away from them. Such a belief means their members prefer to solve things on their own, and while may offer their help, would prefer if others could solve their problems themselves as well. They persevere even in the harshest of times, and don’t like the prospect of 'giving up'. They do, of course, know when it’s unprofitable for them to continue on venture, and will turn back in such a scenario - to them, they’re not giving up. Rather, it’s them knowing that 'it’s not their day', and that they’re better off coming back to it another time. Still, doing something like that still makes them feel uneasy, a little stressed that they can’t achieve what they wanted. It’s not something they let sit on their minds, however, since they know it’ll only serve to hinder them.
It’s the same with grudges - they keep their grudges in mind, but the Yukis are careful to not let them govern their lives. After all, if someone wronged them, it’s only right and fair to repay the favour. It’s another value the Yukis have - repay what one owes. In other words, if someone harms them, that person can expect to be harmed in return. If someone helps them, the Yukis will similarly help that person. They always repay their debts, especially if it’s to someone who had aided them.
Since joining Yukigakure, a few of their beliefs changed - for example, children are now brought up with a firmer hand, and are more disciplined. They have less freedom than their fishing village counterparts, who are allowed to do as they please in childhood. Now, under the reign of the third lady of the shinobi village, this is a rule of the clan that is strictly carried out, and a rule that is recently adjusted to fit the new leadership.
Children who show interest in the shinobi lifestyle are taken under wing by the adults, who ensure they follow strict training regimes and lifestyles. Sparring is commonplace, and adults don’t mind drawing blood as long as it’s not crippling or fatal, as it makes the spars a little more realistic. They have to prepare them for the real world, after all, since their enemies won’t hold back. Though, the adults do feel bad that now the younger generation could not enjoy childhood they way they had. Life was easier in the second lady’s reign, discipline was there, but not as much as now. Now, showing disobedience results in severe punishment, rather than the past of mere scoldings. It’s better to correct them at a young age then have them make a mistake that warranted the leader’s wrath at a later time. Better the clan’s punishments than the leader’s.
Also, their lifestyle had to change following the new reign. Although already used to rather modest lifestyles following the belief of 'not taking more than you need' - something they kept from the fishing village - now they cut back even more. With the rationing of commodities, so too do the Yukis. They take care not to use too much, saving what they don’t need one day for another. The elder Yukis are used to this, having grown up in the fishing village where sometimes resources were scarce. However younger Yukis find it harder to adapt, not being used to the hard life, the sudden change of the clan following the switch in leadership. But they understand it is all to prepare the younger Yukis for the new Yukigakure.
Though, there were some other things that didn’t change - their appreciation for life and beauty in all their aspects, for example, and their freezing cold natures towards strangers, acquaintances and enemies. They don’t like outsiders, and are very secretive towards them, also being anything but friendly or kind. Or maybe not - some have been known to put up excellent acts, taking the rule of 'never let an outsider or stranger know the true you' a step further. They completely act like a different person; the Yukis in this clan are used to deceit and acting.
Further, they kept their idea of 'freedom for all, a chance to do anything you wish'. Even in the current Yukigakure, it’s an ideal they can’t discard, an expression of rebellion to the Yukis of old. While in the old clan where only children with potential were trained to become shinobi and others had to be scribes or serve the clan as businessmen and the like, this branch chose a different path - they value freedom and the ability to do what one wants. So no matter the talent one shows, if one wants to be a shinobi, then so be it - Yuki will teach their own. If they decided that being a shinobi isn't meant for them...they so be it, no pressure there. Anything is possible, so long as one has the heart and determination to try and try until they get it. It's a belief that tends to run strong in the clan as well, and a belief that will be hard to break.
The Yuki clan began long ago in ages past, a tribe of hunters and warriors that called the icy plains of the Snow Country their home. Unlike others, the harsh environment of their homeland did nothing to quell their numbers, and learning to embrace it, the Yuki only grew. It was thus of no surprise that, when they finally expanded outwards, no one could stand in their way. All fell before the might of the Yuki, who now reigned above the rest in a fortress-compund built by the conquered.
Things changed, however, when one of the lowest families that made up the clan - families, whose children, were expected to die for the sake of those above them - gave birth to a girl - Tsuki. This girl held in her hands the ability to manipulate the very ice that surrounded them, bending them to her will, and seemingly able to create them from thin air.
With her abilities, she shot through the ranks, eventually reaching it to the top of the chain - clan leader. Yet, her reign was short lived - there were those who didn’t wish to see her in such a position, either out of fear or jealousy, and they rose against her. They imprisoned her, locking her in the cells of the fortress for public viewing and using her trapped visage as a means by which to crush the spirit of any other who wished to go against them.
When this happened, many of her associates took their own lives to save what left of the dignity and honor they had, while Tsuki simply waited, enduring the mocking and scraps of food she received. She waited, until she grew thin enough to slip through the bars of her cell, and there she made her escape - scaling down the cliffs below and swimming down the river from her prison, promising her revenge as she went.
For years she wandered the wilderness, resisting the cold, feeding on vermin, honing her abilities and building her strength. She survived, and during her journey made new allies - outlaws and bandits who, despite bearing a worse status than her, were willing to fight and die for her cause, even with the odds stacked against them.
With her new entourage, the Yuki returned to her clan, attacking and taking over the keep. She slaughtered her usurpers, forgave those who surrendered, and executed those of her first group of supporters who still dared to remain alive where others had chosen to kill themselves when she was trapped. Tsuki had kept her promise, and with the clan now in a new state of sorts, she rebuilt it. It is from her bloodline that the ability to manipulate ice began to flow through the blood of the Yuki, flourishing and expanding…-or so the legends go.
Generations passed from her reign, and with the foundation she had laid, the Yuki clan continued strong, their rule unopposed. Tales of the warriors and assassins that streamed from their clan were renowned, and with their abilities, the Yukis’ services were sought by many during the warring eras - yet another source of profit for their treasury. But, even the great clan was not immune to discord within its ranks, and with the passing of time, the clan would soon find itself in a state of ruin.
This all came to be one day when the then clan leader, Yosuke, passed, leaving his son to take the place as clan leader. Yet, due to views that the lad was weak and unsuited for the role, many opposed this idea, seeking to overthrow Fuyuki to replace him with someone whom they thought would be better as leader of the clan.
In the months that followed, tensions rose in the clan, and while seemingly stable on the outside, the Yuki were facing an internal struggle for power. It was a battle between the supporters’ of the late leader’s son, Fuyuki and his opposers - one that the Yuki leader sparked off by having those loyal to him seize and execute the conspirators. In response, the supporters of the conspirators rose up, rebelling against him - it led to a bloody 'civil war' of sorts.
This, of course, drained the clan, and Fuyuki noticed this. He wanted to end the fighting and suffering that had come about, and so he released those left in his prisons, even going so far as to marry a daughter of one of the leaders that went against him in a bid to make amends.
But this backfired, badly. At the dinner which would solidify the union of the clan, he was betrayed by those he had welcomed to the peace of the clan. Stabbed multiple times and beheaded, his corpse was paraded through the keep and the surrounding lands, his followers following suit in the purge that came after. Yet, there were those who were lucky enough to escape that fate, leaving the keep and evading the hunting parties that came after them. These were the Yukis who would be the sole survivors of the clan, as those who remained in the keep continued their squabble for power, leaving the clan weak enough such that their hold on the area weakened, and the ones they oppressed rebelled, taking the keep and wiping out those who had chosen to stay. And thus the Yuki clan faded from existence in the land of Yuki no Kuni, becoming nothing more than legend or myth.
For the lucky ones, the trials weren’t over yet - they still had to find a place to call home, and would have to go through various obstacles to reach it. At first, the idea was that the group would find their home as one, settling down on one of the nearby islands of Mizu no Kuni. But, there were those who were too tired, too old or too young, too sick or too feeble to make such a journey - they had to split. And so while one group of survivors continued on, one chose to remain behind, just outside of the borders of the land they once called home.
There in the new land they found a village, a small sea port that made its living on fishing and hunting, that welcomed them. They fitted right in, for the villagers were kind-hearted and sweet, and were quick to grow on the battered Yuki. They aided the surviving clansmen, providing beddings, food and whatever they could to help their recovery - and in return, the Yuki did what they could to help the villagers and the village. Initially, this only meant simple harvesting and sewing, though as their strength returned it expanded to include patrolling, defences and helping with the villagers’ hunters.
By now, weeks since they first joined the village, the Yuki had integrated into the society, finding their 'home'. Yet, noting that these were villagers with little interaction with the types whom came from the Yuki - warriors, assassins, whatever you called them- they were careful to keep their ability hidden - those with it took extra care to refrain from any sort of activity or situation where it was likely their powers would show. They didn’t want to frighten the villagers, scare the people they called family. It was starting to weigh on their hearts that they hadn’t told the truth in the first place, having given the villagers the story of a nomadic group who were travelling about looking for a new home.
Years passed, and the clan flourished in the village, with few who were alive when the old Yuki still reigned remained. But even then, they themselves were but babes when the clan fell and their clansmen escaped - all they had left of the old clan were writings and stories they had been told. Not even a teaching of how to use the clan’s ability remain - only how to keep it under wraps, as the first survivors hated the ability, finding it a major cause as to why their clan had fallen for various reasons.
They didn’t wish the same fate their clan had upon their new home, and as such they felt the need to root out the ability. But, they didn’t dare - no, rather they couldn’t - kill those who had it, so instead they taught them how to hide it. No matter how much hiding the truth from family weighed upon their conscience, they had to do it, if only to protect them. Even if that meant giving up all that made them…them.
But they couldn’t have been more wrong.
There came a day when pirates came by, demanding precious resources the villagers couldn’t spare. When met with opposition to their demands, they attacked, and the village was soon enveloped in the flames of battle. At this the Yuki responded with a fury - no one would hurt their family and get away with it. No one. In a bid to save the village, those who possess the ability to manipulate ice attacked, laying waste to the forces of the pirates and snagging victory for the villagers. The battle was won within a month.
Yet the Yuki were under the impression that despite saving the village they would be thrown out due to the secrets they had kept and the threat they posed. So they were prepared to leave…they could have never expected the celebration that followed, the victory feast held in their honour after the burial of the dead. They weren’t hated, nor feared - they were loved and accepted. From then on, no secrets were kept between villager nor Yuki, and only harmony fostered in the village.
Things, however, changed the the shinobi village of Yuki no Kuni heard of the clan’s abilities - they were soon sought by the village, who was then under the leadership of their second lady, to join them, an offer they took with the urging of the villagers. However, not all were able to leave the place they called home, so an agreement was made within the clan’s ranks - those who wanted to go would, forming a clan branch in the shinobi village, while those who sought a life of peace would remain. The agreement lasted - any who were born in the fishing village yet wished to be a shinobi were guided to the shinobi village, whereas those in the shinobi village who wanted a more simple life headed for the fishing village. No matter how long had passed, both Yuki groups were in contact, and held strong bonds between each.
This event led to a new 'birth' of the clan, as before the split to the shinobi village, the clan spent time to consolidate a new pair of leaders - one for the fishing village and the shinobi village - and their set of heirs. Further, new rules and regulations were laid in place, each vastly different from the Yuki clan of old, yet still possessing some similarities. With this finally done, the Yuki split, those wanting to be shinobi heading for Yukigakure.
Upon arrival, they were welcomed to a shinobi village still recovering from a past war, and they were quick to aid its recovery. Having known how harsh such things could be, they felt an innate need to aid the village, even if it wasn’t yet a place they called home. They helped with the citizens’ recovery, and even with the building of the 'Castle of Black Ice'.
Yet, since they had joined in such an…awkward timing, with their own untrained in many of the shinobi arts, the Yuki clansmen spent a good portion of their first few years learning from the shinobi of Yukigakure, many unable to be deployed for high-ranked missions. However, despite their battle skills lacking, they were able to help with the industry and infrastructure of the village, having learnt the skills required while still in the fishing village. It was an area in which the Yuki members took a proactive role in, helping many ideas to come to fruition. As for their 'battle debut', it came in the border conflict between Amegakure and Sungakure, by which time the clansmen were sufficiently trained such that they were able to participate with other Yukigakure mercenaries, finally able to fight in another country other then their own.
Life was good, and as the years passed the clansmen came to know Yukigakure as another home. The loved it, enjoyed life, even if they tended to live rather simple ones. Things, however, changed when the second lady of Yukigakure died, and her successor Yoi Saya took over. With new changes made to how the village was run, the Yuki clan too had to change with the times - the leaders reviewed their rules and laws, and after some debating, deemed that for the rule of Yoi Saya they would adjust some of their clan ideals accordingly.
On a side note, to this day, neither Yuki clans get along. The Yukigakure branch hates the Kirigakure branch for abandoning what they call their 'home country', and for not returning, becoming mercenaries who ended up joining Kirigakure.
A mix of new and old, this Yuki clan's hierarchy is based partially on the people's wishes, and partially that of the leader's. As it stands thus far, the leader still bears most of the power and responsibilities in the clan, having the final say on most decisions and being the public face of the Yukis as their main diplomatic representative. It is a tough job to handle alone, and it is thus why below the leader are the elders, who due to their old age and therefore wealth of knowledge and wisdom, act as the leader's main advisers.
The elders are respected in the clan, have a more pronounced say in the clan's leadership, and tend to be sought after for as senseis to the younger Yukis. Sometimes, if diplomats are needed, elders go in place of the leader, should said Yuki be preoccupied. The clan also takes care of the elders, as it is only fair since they have spent their lives serving the village and the clan. Often because of this, elders have better personal belongings or abodes then other clan members, and are given priority in various situation. Otherwise, they are simply just like any other of the clan members.
After the elders are the heirs, Yukis chosen by the rest of the clan, narrowed down by the elders, then handpicked by the current leader to be next in line to the leadership. Other than being allowed to sit in at clan meetings, offer their views, act as diplomats with an elder or the leader to watch over them, etc, they do not hold much power with in the clan, compared to that of the leader and the elders. In essence, they are students, learning the role of the clan leader from the elders and leader themselves. Usually they take on the same jobs as the leader, however are accompanied by an elder, a trainer or the leader themselves. Often, heirs can be found in the presence of the elders and the leader, as they have to spend time learning how to effectively lead the clan. Yet make no mistake - heirs still have jobs outside of this, being able to be merchants, senseis, anbu, etc.
Finally, there are the other clansmen - mainly their power stems from them being able to vote the heir candidates, offering their views on clan life - for what better way to understand the problems the clan bears than to have those who suffer the problem speak of it? - and what needs to be changed, as well as affecting the economy and standing of the clan. After all, the members of the clan who are not heirs, the leader or the elders are the bulk of the clan's workforce, and as such they have a huge bearing on the clan's economy and standing, for whatever one Yuki does reflects on the whole clan, more so if they are in a position of power. Because the clan relies on these members to continue running, whenever problems arise that are brought to the leader's attention, are often first prioritised by the elders, and are dealt swiftly with, or as swiftly as possible. Further, whenever the leader calls a vote, these members are the one with the power.
On a quick note regarding leaders and heirs, a single Yuki as the leader is not the only possibility, as is a single heir. Dual leaders have been present before, and will again, and there will never be only one heir at any given time. In this case, there are three spots for the heirs, and as such usually 2-3 heirs will be present at any given time. When one passes, the next one is chosen with haste. It is also not atypical to see leaders have two shinobi fill out a heir spot together, though such cases are when the two are foils to each other, making up for the other's weaknesses with their strengths.
The heirs are ordered - when the leader passes, the first heir would get the leadership, but should anything happen to the first that prevents them from taking charge, the position is passed on to the second heir, etc. In the case where a heir is made up of two shinobi, both become leaders of the clan together. Should one of the pair dies, the remaining has the option to pass on leadership, or simply continue on should they think they can handle it. In such a scenario where they choose to continue on, the elders will watch over their performance of a year, and should any serious problems arise in their leadership during that period, they would be asked to pass on their position. When a heir ascends, the remaining heirs, at the new leader's discretion and the elders', may either remain as heirs, become the leader's bodyguards, or join the elders as advisers. A heir may choose to retire at anytime, and when such occurs, a new heir would be chosen.
- Hyoton [Ice release]
The Yuki possess the elemental nature of Hyoton, an advanced nature which is derived from the basic elemental natures of Fuuton and Suiton - natures that tend to make up the natural chakra element of clan members. Hyoton users are able to freely create and manipulate ice, allowing them to form various shapes with it and thus being very versatile in battle. Surprisingly, Hyoton jutsus are highly resistant to fire-based techniques.
While each member carries the latent ability to use Hyoton, it is rare among the clansmen, with only few able to utilise it each generation. Hyoton users need not have parents who can use the element, and those with proficiency in Hyoton also show an aptitude in Fuuton and Suiton unsurprisingly, being able to master both elemental natures.
It seems to be in the genes that Yuki members both past and old show high resistance to even the most extremem low temperatures and are immune to their own techniques. Also, their chakra, upon being released causes temperatures in the environment to drop, going so low as to cause it to start snowing. Another thing - as ice is a form of water, Yuki members can use nearby sources of water to aid them...or any surrounding ice or snow. Yuki members also typically seem to be quite lean and lithe. They're fast, have excellent reflexes and reactions, and make good infiltrators due to their stealth and general smarts in tricking others.