Minoru Kurita (28th c.)
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|Born||30 April 2705|
|Died||14 September 2796|
|Profession||Coordinator of the Draconis Combine|
|Parents||Takiro Kurita (father)|
Heaven's Gate (concubine)
|Children|| Jinjiro Kurita|
Marriage and Children
Minoru's first marriage was to Clarissa, who bore him no children before her death; many historians suspect a chemical overdose caused by Heaven's Gate, one of Minoru's concubines, caused Clarissa's death.
Minoru then married Yvonne Toshi and produced one child, Zabu. However, his direct heir Jinjiro was born to a concubine known only as Heaven's Gate. Deeply manipulative, she was able to see off any other possible contenders and convince Minoru to adopt the child as his heir before her enemies caught up with her.
Collapse of the Star League
Minoru succeeded his then 121 year old father Takiro Kurita in 2766. Takiro died days after suffering a heart attack induced by news his grand-nephew and Kurita ambassador to the Star League Drago Kurita was "detained" by Stefan Amaris during his seizure of Terra. Minoru was by nature a very aggressive man, and only because his father made a death-bed last request to favor negotiation instead of violence did he actively court and offer assistance to Amaris during the Amaris-Kerensky Civil War in an effort to protect his relatives held hostage. This move was misunderstood widely in the Inner Sphere as willing collaboration.
It is not known exactly how much Minoru actively aided Amaris during the seven years of the Usurper's war against the Star League, but Kurita turned down a request from Colonel Bradley, commander of the 3rd Regimental Combat Team (the Eridani Light Horse), to use Combine worlds as bases of operation for their attacks against Amaris forces. There is also circumstantial evidence that suggests he might have been behind the order for the ISF to tip off Amaris regarding the plans of the 3rd RCT's 19th Striker Regiment. Amaris used the information to ambush and destroy the 19th, one of the best units in the Regular Army.
The Draconis Combine suffered under poor public relations with the other member states, who were confused and angry at Minoru's strange actions. Kurita's realm withstood further crisis when General Aleksandr Kerensky was forced to invade a portion of the Combine to access SLDF bases there. It was only after Terra was recaptured by Kerensky's victorious forces that the Inner Sphere discovered the reason behind Kurita's odd behavior: Amaris had killed the captured Kurita family members in the lead-up to his take-over.
Minoru was raised in the Kurita tradition to consider universal dominion of inhabited space by the Draconis Combine as natural, and so put forward his name as candidate for First Lord, flatly and vehemently refusing to consider any other claim than his. When the other council members made similar demands for themselves, he realized that there was little hope left in the Star League, and he stepped up his preparations for war. As soon as Minoru returned to Luthien, he placed his military on a war footing and snapped up as many resources from the Hegemony and other member states as possible before the borders closed.
After four years of fruitlessly attempting to convince the Council Lords to reform the League, in 2784 Kerensky secretly set in motion Operation Exodus. As Kerensky's forces marshaled around New Samarkand, the generals of the DCMS desperately pushed for a first strike against what they felt was an SLDF invasion of the Combine, but Minoru favored continuing to stockpile resources for the war to come.
Likening their actions to the story of the 47 Ronin, Minoru correctly suspected that instead of pursuing vengeance against the House Lords the SLDF would choose to quietly and honorably withdraw from events. He was right: the SLDF entire fleet left the Inner Sphere to never return, in what became known as the Exodus.
The last brake against open war had been removed.
First Succession War
Once the Star League forces left, Minoru Kurita sent emissaries to Trondheim to recruit the Eridani Light Horse. Though the unit did not accept to join DCMS forces as a line unit, it would at least defend those worlds.
In 2785 Minoru began to test the defenses of the Lyran Commonwealth, ordering an unmarked DCMS force to slip across the border and assault the undefended world of Bone-Norman near the Periphery, fanning Commonwealth fears of the possibility of bandit raids. The Lyrans reacted as Minoru had hoped by pulling troops away from border with the Combine, and his troops brushed aside their now weakened defense to capture Trolloc Prime and Gram. Draconis forces prepared for a Lyran counter-attack, but the LCAF continued to stay on the defensive, still unwilling to declare open war.
In response, a Combine regiment jumped into the Skondia system, completely outflanking its defenders on its inhabited world, then obliterated both its civilian and industrial areas. The DCMS attacks on the Commonwealth and the lack of effective response convinced Coordinator Kurita that the Lyrans were a weak opponent that he could pick off at his leisure, prompting him to shift his attention to what he viewed as a more worthy and honorable foe, the Federated Suns.
In December 2786, Minoru proclaimed himself First Lord of the Star League and declared open warfare against any who would oppose his claim, signaling the beginning of the First Succession War. As the Federated Suns would be the only foe that could match the Combine, Minoru had given permission to his violently unstable but militarily brilliant son Jinjiro to plan for a major offensive against them. After first lulling the Davion forces into a false sense of security by staging undermanned raids, and with the AFFS distracted with their own planned activities on the Liao front, in 2787 the DCMS amassed a force of 50 'Mech regiments that struck across the entire length of the Federated Suns / Combine border, with little warning. The suddenness of the attack broke and shattered the Davion defenses as both Jinjiro and Minoru personally led thrusts deep into Federated Suns territory. The offensive went well and, as time passed, Minoru's forces drew closer and closer to the Federated Suns capital of New Avalon.
During the first half of the First Succession War, the Capellan Confederation put forward a proposal for an alliance with the Draconis Combine. Lord Kurita flatly rebuffed the Liao diplomats, as DCMS forces were riding so high on their military successes. Instead, he countered with a proposal that the Capellans join with him unconditionally in an immediate offensive against the flank of the Federated Suns. This brusque treatment by the Coordinator ended any further discussion of the Kurita-Liao alliance.
By 2796 while his son strongly favored continuing the offensive to prevent the Davion forces from regrouping, the now 91 year old Minoru chose to ignore this advice and called a three month halt to allow his forces to rest and to ensure that pockets of heavy resistance on previously captured worlds could be cleared up first. One such pocket on New Rhodes III prevented its use as a supply point for the final offensive, endangering the attacks on numerous worlds such as Kentares IV, where a stalled invasion led to Lord Kurita sending (and personally accompanying) the 6th Sword of Light there.
Death & Legacy
With the arrival of these fresh, elite troops the stalemate on Kentares IV was broken, forcing the Davion defenders onto a single continent. Outside the town of New Snowfield, Minoru was so taken with the scenery that he left his BattleMaster and traveled on foot, accompanied by a small number of troops and a Buddhist priest. Sitting alone with the priest as they talked privately, Latha Pischel, a sharpshooter from the 7th Crucis Lancers shot Lord Kurita in the back, killing him.
His last words -- whispered to those gathered around him -- are lost to posterity, for Minoru's companions never betrayed their leader's trust.
When Jinjiro learned of the assassination, he calmly ordered that his forces exterminate 90 percent of the civilian population, in what would be later known as the Kentares Massacre. While Jinjiro's actions damaged the honor and morale of the DCMS, it enraged the entire Federated Suns to vengeance. The revitalized AFFS forces pushed the Kurita invaders back to the pre-war borders as quickly as they'd come, virtually undoing all of Minoru's gains.
|“||Is it villainy to take advantage of a situation? Better to keep silent and prepare for the inevitable than to speak and grow weak.||”|
|— Minoru Kurita, in his speech broadcast by State Holo Channel 5, 2771|
|“||If war is inevitable, then why wait for a formal declaration? Strike when you are ready. Pride heals far quicker for a victor.||”|
|— From The Fall of Red Autumn leaves, by Minoru Kurita, 2794|
|“|| The noonday suns burn
the dozing Dragon. He'll wake
when the suns must set.
|— Battle haiku sent by Coordinator Minoru Kurita to all troops participating in the offensive against the Federated Suns|
|“||My grandfather knew the story of the King of the mice. The King of the mice was worried about cats. He asked the other mice to keep cats away, and to tell him if there were any cats about. When one day they did see a cat, they did not want to tell the King, because they would lose face for not keeping the cat away. The cat crept up on the King, as the mice argued among themselves about ways of removing the cat. One little mouse, whom no one had ever noticed before, finally ran up to the King to warn him of the cat's approach. The King hurried from the cat, now just a mouselength away. He ordered the mice together and directed them in scaring away the cat. When it was over, he banished the mice who would not tell him his own business, and took as his closest friend the little nobody mouse who did the wise thing.||”|
|— Memoirs of Minister Roland Cranshaw, University of Pesht Press, 2798 - extract from a history from Minoru|
Titles and Positions
|Coordinator of the Draconis Combine
2766 – 2796
| Succeeded by|
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), "The Draconis Combine's Line of Succession and Partial Kurita Family Tree"
- Handbook: House Kurita, p. 40
- Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1, p. 64, "Minoru Kurita Profile"
- Handbook: House Kurita, p. 40 "JINJIRO KURITA: A STUDY IN CALM VIOLENCE"
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 50 "Stefan the Usurper"
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 52 "THE FIRST SUCCESSION WAR"
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 53-55 "THE Dragon Strikes"
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 55 "Kentares IV"
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 49, "Misplaced Trust"
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 53, "Bujitsu"
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 53, "The Suns must set"
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 92