Since the dawn of the Empire, the Crane have often been called the Left Hand of the Emperor. Beginning with the Lady Doji, theirs was the hand that shaped Rokugan's art, that shaped Rokugan's politics, that shaped Rokugan's culture. Their focus above all else, is excellence. They were masters of commerce, bastions of great politcal and economical power, and they always had the Emperor's ear.
In the Shadow Wars, the Crane fought an entirely different sort of battle. Wealthy Crane merchants strove furiously to keep the country supplied with food and weapons during the terrible war. When the nations of the world gave up on Rokugan, the Crane had to strike out into the world economy and find support for their beleagured nation. Many formerly wealthy Crane dignitaries squandered their fortunes and political leverage to support the war effort, and when Akuma was destroyed the Clan was a mere shadow of itself.
The Mantis Clan, having a long and bitter rivalry with the Crane dating back to shortly after the Clan Wars, were the new ruling house. They chose the Lion as their right hand, as the Emperors before them had. The Crane, they had no use for. Yoritomo II announced he was giving the Crane "Time to rebuild before burdening them with their former duties."
The Crane wait still.
Now the Crane Clan are perhaps more powerful than they ever were. Except in Rokugan, that is. Dojicorp is a huge multinational corporation with controlling interests in the worlds fashion, entertainment, and technological markets. They now create the beauty and culture of the entire world, not just the Diamond Empire.
In the Emperor's courts, however, their voice is all but gone. Mantis distrust of Crane political maneuverings runs deep, and the Yoritomo Emperors have gone out of their way to exclude the Crane's presence from their courts. They have even gone so far as to cease the tradition of betrothing the Emperor's first born son to a Crane wife, a tradition held since the Hantei Dynasty. The Cranes have had a solitary success on the political front in the last one hundred years, and that is to return one of their own to the office of Emerald Champion. Perhaps that will be enough.
Families of the Crane
The Doji Family are the political and cultural leaders of the Crane. They are the largest and most wealthy family. Even in foreign lands, the name "Doji" is equated with wealth and beauty. The Doji Family are the founders of the Dojicorp megacorporation, perhaps the most powerful corporate entity in the modern world. The current daimyo of the Doji Family is Doji Meda, an honorable but proud man, who struggles daily to divide time between his duties as Dojicorp CEO, Emerald Champion, Crane Clan Daimyo, Dojo House Daimyo, and father to his daughter, Kamiko.
The Kakita Family the Kakita have traditionally been the Crane Clan's master artisans. They are seekers of excellence; if a Kakita seeks to do something, she will seek to do it well. In modern times, this is no different. The Kakita are the greatest playrights, acrobats, artists, and musicians in not just Rokugan but the entire world. They have also branched their expertise into the field of computer programming, at which they excel like no other except perhaps the Shosuro. Kakita Inoue is the current head of the family. She is a master painter, sculptor, writer, and vocalist whose paintings have sometimes sold for hundreds of thousands of hyakurai.
The Asahina Family are the priests and shugenja of the Crane Clan. The Asahina have taken it upon themselves as their personal duty to maintain the Crane's sense of duty and connection to their ancient heritage. Many of the younger Cranes playfully call the Asahina "throwbacks" but the priests take their duties very seriously. Though Asahina avoid modern technology, they do not condemn it. They merely believe it is necessary to acknowledge the importance of the old ways as well as the new. Their current daimyo is Asahina Munashi, caretaker of Dojicorp's renowned Fantastic Gardens.
The Daidoji Family are the warriors of the Crane. Since the time of the first Daidoji, Hayaku, the family has valued the power of strength as well as skill and grace. The Daidoji are the militant arm the Crane, the force behind Dojicorp's monetary might. More than anything else, they make the corporation a foe to be feared, and a force not to be trifled with. Their current leader is Daidoji Eien, a skilled tactician despite his youth, fervently loyal to Doji Meda.