This article needs additional citations for verification.
|18 August 2970
|15 September 3054
|Duke of Luthien
|Coordinator of Worlds
|Hohiro Kurita (father)
- 1 History
- 1.1 Early Life and Career
- 1.2 Transfer of Power
- 1.3 Third Succession War
- 1.4 Fourth Succession War
- 1.5 The Dragon and the Heir
- 1.6 Clan Invasion
- 1.7 The Battle of Luthien and the Kado-guchi Valley
- 1.8 Reconciliation and the Dragon United
- 1.9 Death and Afterward
- 1.10 Marriage and Children
- 2 Philosophy and Traits
- 3 BattleMechs
- 4 Notes
- 5 Quotes
- 6 Portrait Gallery
- 7 References
- 8 Bibliography
Early Life and Career
Takashi was born premature in 2970 on Kagoshima at the home of his paternal aunt Florimel Kurita. The son of Coordinator Hohiro Kurita, he immediately became the heir to his father's throne. Two years after his birth, his mother gave birth to a brother, Miyamoto. In his youth, he met a young Subhash Indrahar in the exclusive First School on Kagoshima, beginning a lifelong friendship. Takashi received his MechWarrior training at Sun Zhang MechWarrior Academy through six years of standard MechWarrior training, graduating with top marks, and finished his military training at the prestigious Wisdom of the Dragon school where he earned the katana and wakizashi swords that he wears on all formal or ceremonial occasions.
After graduation a young officer in the DCMS, Takashi was assigned a lance command with the elite Second Sword of Light on Marlowe's Rift. Takashi rose to fame with his new unit, demonstrating his leadership and battlefield prowess and inspiring the already elite unit to even greater heights. Takashi was promoted to Captain in 2995 and eventually rose to command the regiment's heavy assault battalion. As of 2997 he held the rank of major.
In May 2988 he would visit New Samarkand on a military inspection, he naturally stayed as an honored guest of the Isu family, who provided a traditional banquet and entertainment. When Jasmine and her sisters performed budo for the Dragon's Prince, her skill, beauty, and high birth enamored him, and he soon arranged a betrothal. The two would not see each other until years later on their wedding day.
While he was the commander of the Otomo Takashi and Subhash Indrahar renewed their boyhood friendship as of that time Subhash was an aide to the Director of the ISF, in charge of coordinating the ISF's efforts with the Otomo. Soon both were again practicing the art of kendo swordsmanship, at which they were both highly skilled and evenly matched. It was also in this year that Takashi's only son, Theodore Kurita, was born.
Transfer of Power
In 3004, Hohiro Kurita was assassinated by an Otomo guard, Ingmar Sterenson, a member of the Tyr Resistance Movement from the Rasalhague Military District. Takashi had Sterenson executed immediately and his body hung by his feet until his bones fell to the ground. The swift killing of the assassin before he could be interrogated, combined with his leadership of the Otomo at the time of the assassination, led to rumors that he was culpable in the murder. The ISF informed the new Coordinator who was enraged. He used the Otomo to round up those he suspected of undermining his credibility, bringing them to Unity Palace. Once they were gathered he accused them of undermining the state, and then immediately executed them on the grounds.
Takashi did ease the harsh restrictions of his father, however, once his purge of opposition was completed, thus making life for the common citizenry more bearable. Nonetheless, the Coordinator always acted swiftly against any opposition to his rule, even nonviolent, in order to maintain his realm's internal harmony.
Given the failures of the military under his father's rule he made changes in the first years of his reign. He focused on making the military a competitive place, with each commander competing among themselves. One way that he encouraged this competition was by replacing the front commanders with a system of having each military district's Warlord control the local forces. These changes all proved successful.
In the end of 3004 - start of 3005, the first of the nine attempts on his life occurred. A distant relative of a man executed during the courtyard purge rushed up with a knife raised to strike. Takashi, whose padded jersey absorbed the knife thrust, also managed to break his assailant’s neck. He ordered that the assassin's body be hung from the main gate of the Imperial Palace, along with that of every member of the Otomo group charged with guarding him that day.
Third Succession War
The Davion front was the primary focus of Takashi at the beginning of his rule. In 3007 he directed the DCMS to attack the Davion forces on Cylene, Mara, Galatia III, Harrow's Sun, Benet III, and Crossing. All of these strikes succeeded, giving the Coordinator more confidence in the readiness of his troops.
When in 3013 during the Third Battle of Mallory's World ended with the death of First Prince Ian Davion and control of the Federated Suns passed to Hanse Davion, Takashi's desire to know his future enemy grew into an odd friendship of sorts. When Hanse's father died, Takashi made an unprecedented, kind gesture of sending a note of condolence. Since then, each has taken a keen interest in the life and career of the other. Hanse Davion even sent a message expressing the wish that Takashi's wife Jasmine Kurita would recover from a serious illness that befell her in 3019.
In 3023, elements of the First Sword of Light accompanied Coordinator Takashi to the Davion world of Quentin. The Coordinator Takashi came to see his newly hired mercenaries, the famed Wolf's Dragoons, in action on an objective raid. The Kuritan troops spearheaded the final push to secure the Independence Weaponry factory, though they lost some warriors during their charge.
The eighth attempt on his life happened in 3023 when a courtesan pricked Takashi's finger with a poison-tipped needle hidden on her person. Though Takashi survived, he was deathly ill for two weeks and could no longer tolerate milk products because of reaction to the poison.
The ninth attempt happened in 3024, while Takashi was sparring in his BattleMaster, and a microchip popped up from where it had been implanted in the 'Mech's coordination and guidance panel. It immediately began to send spurious signals into the Security Procedures panel. The controls of Takashi's 'Mech would no longer respond to his touch. Instead, the computer informed him that he was an intruder and had five minutes to vacate or else his 'Mech would self-destruct. The microchip had also latched the hatch to the BattleMaster, trapping Takashi. He barely managed to escape by desperately yanking every computer board in his display, which shorted out the rogue system.
The Concord of Kapteyn
In 3024, in direct response to the FedCom Accords (and with the assistance of ComStar), Takashi brought together unlikely allies Maximilian Liao and Janos Marik to sign the Concord of Kapteyn. This was an agreement of mutual support against their common enemies, House Davion and House Steiner. Though some back and forth raids would continue between the Confederation and the Free Worlds League, the agreement held in principle. As policy, however, it would prove ineffective during the Fourth Succession War, due primarily to incompetent maneuvering by the FWLM.
The Galtor Campaign
When the famed Wolf's Dragoons mercenaries worked for the Combine from 3022 onwards, relations between the Coordinator and the Dragoons' commander Jaime Wolf were mutually respectful, with Takashi even ordering a new DCMS unit, the Ryuken, created specifically to imitate the Dragoons' fighting style. The machinations of Warlord Grieg Samsonov, acting without Takashi's knowledge to keep the Dragoons employed by the Combine, permanently soured the relationship between Takashi Kurita and the Dragoons. Samsonov's failed attempt to prevent the Dragoons from leaving resulted in a confrontation which damaged the Dragoons but left them powerful enough to be a serious enemy of the Combine.
The resulting seppuku of Jaime Wolf's friend and Ryuken commander Minobu Tetsuhara led to Wolf's subsequent verbal confrontation with Takashi Kurita on Terra just prior to Hanse Davion and Melissa Steiner's wedding. The direct result of these events was an infamous feud between the two men and their respective factions, which would affect events in the Inner Sphere in subsequent years.
Fourth Succession War
Takashi Kurita's leadership during the Fourth Succession War, coupled with a notable increase in irrational raging and paranoia, proved to be disastrous to his realm. His anger towards Jaime Wolf and the Dragoons became a personal obsession, with Wolf goading him into fixating upon the three Federated Suns worlds where the Dragoons had been stationed. As a result, by attracting the lion's share of DCMS attention along that front, the Dragoons were able to prevent the Combine from making any major territorial gains at the Suns' expense while the bulk of the Federated Suns military was focused upon crushing the Capellan Confederation.
Takashi's focus upon the Dragoons resulted in even worse damage along the Lyran border, as the Coordinator's neglect of the Lyran front contributed to the loss of over fifty worlds to House Steiner's enormously successful offensive. Only the actions of his son Theodore, who managed to stall the LCAF incursion into the Dieron Military District, averted further losses.
Finally Constance Kurita, as Keeper of the House Honor, ordered Takashi to undergo medical examination. It was discovered that a stroke sometime in the two years prior had resulted in impaired mental functioning, and that another inevitable stroke would do even worse unless surgery was undertaken. Nonetheless, the damage had been done. Partly due to Takashi's impaired leadership, the Fourth Succession War had cost the Draconis Combine fifty-three worlds and ruined several elite regiments, against the paltry gain of the Galtor Thumb and a few other minor Federated Suns' systems near the Periphery.
The Dragon and the Heir
In the aftermath of the War of '39, the Coordinator was forced to acknowledge his son's military policies had been successful, bringing honor and glory to what had been a demoralized DCMS. Encouraging this may been a medical procedure Takashi had underwent to relieve abnormal blood pressure on his brain. His approach gradually became more relaxed and diplomatic, though he continued to adhere strictly to bushido. He would reconcile with Theodore, both publicly and privately. Takashi would eventually even privately acknowledge that his son was now the driving force, having usurped his military authority and no small amount of his political power. The years from 3040 to 3049 were, in many ways, a golden era for the Combine. For the first time in years, the leadership was at least somewhat united, and the military was growing stronger and more united than it had been in decades with Theodore's new policies, and there was relative peace on the Combine's borders. With the assistance of ComStar, technological breakthroughs began, hearkening to the era of the Star League.
Then came the Clans.
|It is not enough that you leave Luthien for nine months to consult with our enemy, but now you bring him here! Then I find you turning over to him responsibility for the safety of Imperial City! Maximilian Liao was fortunate in his child. At least Romano had the mercy to assassinate him before destroying his nation!
|If that is truly your mind, shall I get a gun and shoot you?
|— Takashi and Theodore Kurita
When Clan Smoke Jaguar came smashing into the Combine in 3050, Takashi remained effectively in the background, leaving the fighting of the war in the hands of his son. The DCMS managed some level of successful resistance, particularly by units trained in the fashion of the Ryuken and Genyosha, trained and equipped based on the Wolf's Dragoons and Kell Hounds models respectfully, the Combine suffered many early blows in the war. Most grievous was the capture of Takashi's grandson Hohiro on Turtle Bay, and the subsequent orbital bombardment of the world in revenge for the later rescue of Hohiro by Shin Yodama and the Yakuza.
Takashi appeared content to remain in the background during the war, letting his son, in his capacity as the Gunji-no-Kanrei, manage the war as he saw fit without interference, even to the point of not refusing his son permission to consult with the leaders of the Great Houses of the Inner Sphere and about the invasion for an extended period of time.
However, Takashi would not remain in the shadows forever. He made a most dramatic reentry to the Combine's political and military landscape as the Smoke Jaguars and Nova Cats prepared to attack no less a target then Luthien itself. Hanse Davion, having seen the direct strategic threat a collapse of the Combine would mean, yet bound by his promise to Theodore to not send any AFFC troops into the Combine while the Inner Sphere grappled with the Clans came upon an inspired political and strategic masterstroke; he would send Wolf's Dragoons and the Kell Hounds, neither technically AFFC troops but mercenaries, to back up Theodore's defense of his capital world. Welcomed warmly by Theodore and Hohiro, the Kanrei's attempts to keep the news from his father proved futile, with the enraged Takashi storming into Theodore's briefing session and for the first time since Hanse Davion's wedding where the two had all but declared war on each other, came face to face with Colonel Jaime Wolf.
Berating his son for "emasculating" the Combine by placing its fate into the hands of mercenaries, the Coordinator bitterly declared that at least Max Liao had been fortunate in having his daughter kill him so he would never see what she would do to his nation. Theodore's dry rebuttal that if this was truly his wish, he would go and get his gun right now only refueled his father's anger, but his father would in no way risk his nation by relieving its best General from command at this hour. Theodore then pointed out that the DCMS was entirely manning the front line, that the Dragoons and Kell Hounds were deployed as the reserve force directly protecting the Capital if they fell, because there was no other unit to be deployed in its defense.
At this, Takashi revealed that there was indeed one last Combine unit to be deployed; the Dragon's Claws. Formed in secret by Takashi as a hedge against a coup d'état by his son, they would form the final line of defense under his personal command.
The Battle of Luthien and the Kado-guchi Valley
|I warn you, I will not tolerate being ordered by one of my son's hoodlums. To him, you may be special, but to me you are Yakuza! I've dealt with your kind before and I can do it still. I demand you release my 'Mech!
|— Takashi Kurita
The Battle of Luthien started well for the Combine. The elite of the DCMS under Theodore Kurita's personal command drew the Smoke Jaguars into a well prepared trap which turned into a killing ground for the Clan Warriors, until the Nova Cats managed to break past the fierce fighting, running straight into the reserve Dragoon and Kell Hound units just behind the front line.
Anxious to join the fighting, Takashi and his Regiment were rather rudely surprised to find out that Theodore had programmed their BattleMechs with a "lock" code, freezing them in place in their assembly area. As his sole strategic reserve, the Kanrei had positioned the Dragon's Claws in a valley that would allow them to rapidly shift position to halt any breach in the front line and needed to hold his father's unit back until needed. Correctly guessing that his Father would simply take his troops and charge into the battle as soon as he powered up his BattleMech however, Theodore had placed the code to ensure that they would only be released when he wanted them to. Knowing also that the Coordinator would easily be able to order any subordinate in the DCMS to unlock his unit, Theodore sent as the "liaison" officer the one man on planet who would not bow to Takashi's demands; Shin Yodama. A Yakuza fanatically loyal to Theodore above all, Shin refused the enraged Takashi's demands to release him, declaring he would gladly commit seppuku to atone for the grievous dishonor to his Liege, after the battle, for he would not release his men until Theodore gave the order. While his technicians were able to figure out the override code soon enough, Takashi's hand was again stayed with Shin revealing that his son had, again, correctly guessed his father's actions, and equipped his unit with a second code that would instantly self-destruct their 'Mechs and leave Imperial City completely open to attack.
Aghast at the seeming insanity of his son, Takashi was only mollified when Shin informed him that a single person had refused to evacuate the city with the rest of its people; he and his men were the only force standing between his Granddaughter Omi Kurita and the Clans and Theodore would do whatever it took to ensure her Grandfather remained in position to protect her.
Annoyed but finally accepting his place in the battle, Takashi moved his unit according to Theodore's instructions into a blocking position, staying always between the raging battle and the Imperial City until finally, the Nova Cats main force broke through. Given the order to advance and hold the Clan force until the DCMS and Mercenary units could regroup and close a box around the final Clan forces, Takashi and Shin together led a storied full-speed charge into the Kado-guchi Valley, smashing into the surprised Clan unit and checking their momentum in a vicious, glorious, close range brawl. At one moment, Takashi found himself alongside the mercenary unit's Crescent Hawks commander, Jason Youngblood. Despite that unit being a traditional enemy of the Combine, Takashi respectfully bowed to him. Jason, impressed by his gest, returned it and fought beside Takashi.
Although heavily outnumbered, they succeeded in buying time and soon the Kell Hounds, Dragoons, First Sword, Otomo and Second Legion of Vega arrived, closing the other three sides of the "box" the remains of the Clan Invasion force suddenly found itself trapped in. Predictably, the Nova Cats reoriented on the Dragon's Claws, the weakest side of the trap, and threw themselves in desperation at Takashi and his warriors in a last-ditch attempt to break out. The Nova Cats failed and were subsequently annihilated, albeit at a horrific cost to the Dragon's Claws, with only three of his unit's BattleMechs still operational by the time the guns fell silent.
Reconciliation and the Dragon United
|This House, though divided against itself, has defeated the Clans twice. Imagine their distress when they learn we now devote all our energies to fighting them, together!
|— Takashi Kurita
In the aftermath of the epic battle, Takashi strove to make peace with his family. He admitted that his son had been correct to place Shin Yodama as a "brake" on his willingness to fight for glory above all else, and admitted that his son's reforms had indeed proven their worth in the most spectacular fashion. Further, while not going so far as to "bury the hatchet" with Jaime Wolf, he was willing to go so far as to "agree to disagree" and acknowledge that their help, and by extension Hanse Davion's, had proven critical to defending his Homeworld and realm from the Clans.
Striving to work with Theodore rather than against him from this point on, the two Kurita's opened up a new chapter in their relationship. A matter of months later, when Hohiro became trapped behind enemy lines with no line units available to be deployed to get his grandson back home, Takashi was a vocal supporter of his granddaughter's plan to ask Victor Steiner Davion to help, noting with a great deal of amusement to his son who was somewhat aghast at his daughter's presumption, that as a father he would learn as he did that he would win the occasional battle against his children, but never the war.
Death and Afterward
In 3054, he had a challenge delivered to Jaime Wolf on Outreach, offering to settle their grievances once and for all in a BattleMech duel to the death. Wolf accepted. However, on the morning of the 15th of September - the day of the battle - Michi Noketsuna, former aide to Minobu Tetsuhara, managed to corner the Coordinator seeking revenge for the treachery of Misery. Takashi calmly explained his version of events, causing Noketsuna to doubt the honor of his actions. At that point, Subhash Indrahar arrived with a team of ISF commandos. Takashi at first greeted his old friend as a rescuer, but was soon enlightened. Subhash recognized that a duel to the death between Takashi Kurita and Jaime Wolf would have devastating consequences for the Combine. If Kurita won, Wolf's Dragoons would claim vengeance and would attack the Combine, weakening it against the Clans. If Wolf won, House Kurita would be forced to attack the Dragoons, likewise leaving it weakened. The ISF was there to ensure Takashi Kurita's death before the duel could be fought. Indrahar promptly gave Noketsuna permission to continue.
Noketsuna, recognizing that to attack Takashi Kurita under such circumstances would be dishonorable, instead charged the ISF Commandos and was promptly shot down. (Though he would survive.) Indrahar then had his commandos attack Takashi with swords, as gunfire would put a lie to his assassination cover story. Despite his advanced age, Takashi defeated two of his attackers before the alarm was sounded. Indrahar and his men departed, though not before reminding Takashi of the consequences of his prideful actions.
Meeting with his son Theodore, Takashi realized that Indrahar had been right. With no other means to avoid the duel honorably, he committed seppuku with Theodore standing as his second. Theodore Kurita would then assume the throne as Coordinator of the Draconis Combine, later reaching a peace with Jaime Wolf. (Officially, however, Takashi Kurita was reported to have died in his sleep.)
Marriage and Children
Philosophy and Traits
Becoming Coordinator after his father's assassination in 3004, Takashi was a strict conservative samurai and a firm believer in the Dictum Honorium. His manner during much of his life was severe, even with his wife and child. Ruthlessly cunning, he more than once would replace a successful commander if he felt the commander's popularity might threaten him. Though some might consider such policies as signs of paranoia, they successfully helped him survive nine assassination attempts and two coup attempts by members of his own family. Despite all of this, he was considered extraordinarily skilled in military affairs, with the iron will needed to rule a Successor State.
The Fourth Succession War, however, and the feud with Jaime Wolf seemed to have broken something within the Coordinator, making him reactionary and paranoid. He strongly resisted his son Theodore's political and military reforms, but eventually accepted them when Theodore succeeded in repulsing the Federated Commonwealth assault in 3039. He adopted more a diplomatic approach to his rule, though he remained a lifelong believer of bushido. Takashi eventually even accepted Shin Yodama, a yakuza, as the new commander of his Dragon's Claws, recognizing the young officer's service and ability.
In his later years, he seemed to have grown sentimental regarding his enemies. After the death of Hanse Davion, he was said to have declared there were "no more worthy enemies left to fight". Later, he had an Archer posted outside of his palace painted in Wolf's Dragoons colors, a clear tribute to Jaime Wolf. When asked about it, he whispered. "The Fox is gone now. All I have left is the Wolf." He later challenged Wolf to a duel on Luthien, launching a series of events ending in his death.
Early in his career, he favored a BattleMaster. Later, with the rediscovery of Star League technology, he piloted a Grand Dragon. Takashi's great-great-granddaughter, Coordinator Yori Kurita, took Takashi's BattleMaster as her personal BattleMech as a way to reiterate her connection to the ruling family line.
- Takashi was a master at kendo, the art of fencing, having achieved tenth degree mastery, or judan.
|It's not enough to run here and there to strike at the enemy. Guile and cunning are required tools of a warrior, too.
|— General Takashi Kurita, commander of the Imperial Palace Guards, 3002
|I could never understand my father's harsh attitude toward the people. You would not give constant whippings to a horse you must ride every day. The beast would either throw you off or die. That's no way to treat a horse or a realm.
|— Coordinator Takashi Kurita to Precentor Ambassador Isabel Sephran, 3005
|I'm a firm believer that history, and perhaps Buddha himself, judges people not by their friend, but by their enemies.
|— Coordinator Takashi Kurita, from a speech to the graduating class of the Sun Zhang MechWarriors Academy, 3014
|Of all my enemies, and there are many, I see the most honor in Prince Hanse Davion. His is a mind capable of seeing the advantages to be won from disaster.
|— Coordinator Takashi Kurita in an overheard conversation with Subhash Indrahar, 3019
Takashi from 25 Years of Art and Fiction
Takashi from BT:Legends
Takashi at age 64 in 3034 from Brush Wars
Takashi at age 69 in 3039 from War of 3039
Takashi at age 80 in 3050 from ER:3052
Takashi at age 82 in 3052 during the Battle of Luthien
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), foldout: "The Draconis Combine's Line of Succession and Partial Kurita Family Tree"
- Field Manual: Draconis Combine, p. 9
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 165: "Takashi Kurita"
- Lost Destiny, ch. 44
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 85: "The New Millennium"
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 6
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 86: "Takashi's 'Benevolence'"
- Era Report: 3052, pp. 68–69: "Takashi Kurita" profile
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 87: "Takashi's 'Benevolence'"
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 87: "Military Revival"
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 90: "Internal Squabbles"
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 87: "Attitudes Towards His Rivals"
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 88: "The Halstead Station Affair"
- Wolves on the Border, p. 69
- The Galtor Campaign, p. 11: "The Dragon Moves"
- The Galtor Campaign, p. 55: "5th Galedon Regulars"
- Wolves on the Border, p. 108
- Wolves on the Border, Epilogue (PDF version)
- Operational Turning Points: Death to Mercenaries, pp. 8–9
- Handbook: House Kurita, p. 65: "The Rise of Theodore"
- Heir to the Dragon, ch. 36 (PDF version)
- Heir to the Dragon
- 20 Year Update, p. 84
- Wolf Pack
- Era Report: 3062, p. 37, 'Izanagi Warriors'
- Yesterday's Enemy
- Era Report: 3062, p. 12, 'Timeline of Events: 3053-3062
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine)
- Historical: War of 3039, p. 19
- Lost Destiny
- Wolves on the Border
- BattleTech: Legends, p. 37
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 85: "The New Millennium"
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 86: "Takashi's Benevolence"
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 87: "Attitudes Towards His Rivals"
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 88: "The Halstead Station Affair"