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The Kengan matches (拳願仕合, Kengan shiai) are a system of underground fist fights implemented over 300 years before the events of Kengan Ashura. Their purpose is to settle disputes and business deals between large corporations, organisations and businesses by sending fighters to determine the victor in organised fights.

History

In Shotoku Year 5 (1715), in the darker recesses of the nation of Japan, there were bloody conflicts between various merchants who all desired the status of Shogunate Purveyor (the highest rank among all merchant purveyors). With the merchants willing to go to any lengths to achieve this status, the increasingly violent conflicts spiralled out of control. Finally, sick of all the bloodshed, the 7th Shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate, Tokugawa Ietsugu intervened; summoning all the merchants at the heart of the quarrel, Ietsugu told them to settle their conflicts by "battling it out fair and square". Naïve and idealistic as this command was, it moved their hearts.[1]

In accordance with the Shogun's command, the merchants formed a guild and, whenever a dispute arose, they would establish a venue of competition through the guild with the results of the competition being indisputable. Conflicts were settled in a simple 1-on-1 fist fight between combatants hired by opposing merchants. As such, merchants entrusted their desires to the fists of fighters.[1]

The first official Kengan match was not between merchants, but was actually to decide who would become the next Shogun after Tokugawa Ietsugu's early death. The two branch families, the Owari Fief and the Kii Fief, put forward their fighters and the Kii Fief came out victorious, with their fighter being none other than the Lord of Kii Fief, Tokugawa Yoshimune, himself.[2]

The Matches

There are currently 1205 registered fighters in the Kengan matches with fighters having an average of 8.5 matches a year. Because of how frequent and brutal the fights are, fighters retiring early or even dying are by no means rare. However, they are promised decent compensation in return.[3]

CEO's are free to hire any fighter who is willing to fight for them, regardless of the fighters background, they can be a professional stage fighter, a police officer, a foreign military soldier, or even a death row criminal and so on. The youngest person ever to become a Kengan fighter was Imai Cosmo, who fought in his first Kengan match at the age of fourteen.

Though the matches are a secret from the public at large, they always draw a large crowd. Other members of the Kengan Association like to keep track of the Kengan matches, so they send representatives to witness the matches and report back. Although, some CEO's prefer to go watch in person. Larger tournaments can even attract foreign politicians.

After Nogi Hideki became the new Chairman, following the most recent Kengan Annihilation Tournament, Yamashita Trading Co. forsook its Kengan Association membership and became a referral agency for the Kengan Association instead. Whereas in the past, most corporations would hire their fighters directly, now they hire fighters on one-time or short-term contracts through Yamashita Trading Co.[4] As a result, corporations are no longer allowed to hire new fighters directly and only freelance fighters registered with Yamashita Trading Co. can be hired.[4]

Kengan Match History
Participants
Fighters
Wager
Result
Nogi Group
vs
Yoshitake Real Estate
Tokita Ohma
vs
Lihito
Construction rights to new Makunouchi Building Tokita Ohma is victorious (5 minutes 17 seconds, K.O.)
Nogi Group wins the wager
Koyama Mart, Inc.
vs
Nogi Group
Kaburagi Koji
vs
Tokita Ohma
The "Rose" painting by Western artist van Cough (market value: ¥5 billion) Tokita Ohma is victorious (2 minutes 11 seconds, Forfeit)
Nogi Group wins the wager
Gandai
vs
Nogi Group
Sekibayashi Jun
vs
Tokita Ohma
Gandai's endorsement in Nogi Group's proposal of a contest for the Kengan Association chairman's seat Tokita Ohma is victorious
Nogi Group wins the wager
Nishihonji Security Services
vs
Babylon Planning
Imai Cosmo
vs
Johnny Waters
Unknown Imai Cosmo is victorious
Nishihonji Security Services wins the wager
General Foodstuffs
vs
Taniishi Confectionery Inc.
Gaoh Ryuki
vs
Utsubuki Kokuro
Value of the match is over ¥50,000,000 Gaoh Ryuki is victorious
General Foodstuffs wins the wager
Japan TV
vs
Cent Real Estate
Gaoh Ryuki
vs
Yurikawa Taiju
The plot to Shiodome Gaoh Ryuki is victorious
Japan TV wins the wager
Unknown
vs
Unknown
Tokuno'o Tokumichi
vs
Yuzaki Mumon
Unknown Tokuno'o Tokumichi is victorious
Unknown
vs
Magatanien
Chiba Takayuki
vs
Kiozan Takeru
Unknown Kiozan Takeru is victorious
Wakasa Life Insurance
vs
Unknown
Akoya Seishu
vs
Gaoh Ryuki
Unknown Akoya Seishu is victorius
SF Cold Storage
vs
Unknown
Lihito
vs
Mokichi Robinson
The right to purchase an 1855 vintage of Chateau Bognoine Rihito is victorius
SF Cold Storage wins the wager
Toyo Electric Power Co.
vs
Unknown
Hayami Masaki
vs
Utsubuki Kokuro
Unknown Hayami Masaki is victorius

Rules

There are a set of rules that keep the order of the Kengan matches including, but not limited to:

  • Any conflicts between corporations outside of official Kengan matches are strictly forbidden.
  • Use of weapons by fighters is considered cheating and results in a disqualification.
  • Any agreements made between CEO's regarding the outcome of a match are to be kept, no matter what. This includes side bets.

When Nogi Hideki assumed office as the new Chairman, he enforced a new rule regarding affiliated fighter safety:[4]

  • Any corporation that causes a fighter to die will be banned from the Kengan matches for up to a year.
    • If the corporation sends in a fighter with overtly heavy injuries and that fighter dies, the corporation who sent in the injured fighter will be held responsible.[5]
    • If the fighter kills the opponent after the ref has called the match or the opposing corporation has surrendered, the corporation who hired the murdering fighter will be held responsible.[5]
    • In the case of "ring death", neither corporation is held responsible.[5]

Kengan Association

Main article: Kengan Association members

The Kengan Association (拳願会, Kengankai) is made up of the managers of the Kengan matches. They all represent prestigious businesses and it is customary for members of the association to stand witness to the match results.[6]

There are currently at least 418 members in the Kengan Association[7][8] with the current and 59th chairman of the Kengan Association being Nogi Hideki of the Nogi Group.[9] The Kengan Association itself is run by employees on loan from its member corporations.[4]

To 'legally' become part of the Kengan Association, a CEO needs wealth and social standing in addition to having the recognition of the Kengan Association. That aside, the business the CEO runs can be pretty much anything.

However, there are those who use the Kengan Association's authority to conduct unofficial matches with "membership" at stake, doing it for the money paid as the "challenger's fee". Despite the matches being unofficial, the referees are dispatched from the Kengan Association and the results of the match are absolute.[10] The "challenger's fee" is ¥100 million.

Kengan Annihilation Tournament

Main article: Kengan Annihilation Tournament

When at least 50 members of the Kengan Association endorse it, a contest for the Kengan Association chairman's seat becomes eligible.[11] In recent times, Nogi Hideki of the Nogi Group, gathered the required amount of endorsements, eliciting the chairman of the Kengan Association at the time, Katahara Metsudo, to create a Kengan Annihilation Tournament, an influential event that decided who became the next Kengan Association chairman.

Notes & Trivia

  • In the early days of the Kengan matches, the Kengan Association had a rule that members were only allowed one fighter in their employ.[12]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Chapter 2
  2. Extra: Oldest
  3. Chapter 8
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Chapter 9 (Omega)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Chapter 22 (Omega)
  6. Chapter 4
  7. Chapter 35
  8. Chapter 100 - The number rose to 418 with the addition of Honma Kiyoshi; number may have increased during 2 year timeskip between Kengan Ashura and Kengan Omega
  9. Chapter 2 (Omega)
  10. Chapter 19
  11. Chapter 17
  12. Chapter 218

Navigation

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Kengan Bodyguards (Extermination Force · Fang of Metsudo) · Guardians · Kengan Annihilation Tournament · Members (Ashura/Omega) · Kengan matches · Referees
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