Yomiko is the keeper of the Imperial Library, and a full bore book freak. She is, to say the least, obsessed with books. This causes her to heavily resist anyone but the Emperor in person (or anyone she becomes an ally of), trying to check out books. She is somewhat shy, absent-minded, and utterly relentless without much thought for consequences when she sets her mind on something.
Tendo Kaneda is a notable merchant of Osaka, one of the wealthiest men in Japan. Some believe he may actually be of Imperial descent; certainly he has some source of power over Shadow, for he has made his vast wealth through his ability to find goods common in shadow and rare in Nihon and vice versa and trade them profitably.
Senile Old Jari Catspanker is one of the greatest pirates in the history of piracy. He's evaded multiple attempts by both the continental and Nihon governments to crush him and his merry band of pirates. But now he's getting old, and the word is out that he's gotten senile. The word's also gotten out that he's very rich and has hidden his treasures away somewhere; now half the pirates on the seas are out looking for it, following various clues he's dropped over the years.
Hoji is a minor noble of an obscure house, who makes his living as a sort of publicist for more important nobles. He writes books, poems, etc, praising them, and makes a good living that way. He also performs eulogies at funerals, speeches of praise to those being honored, and so on. Hoji is in fact a respectable artist, and while a groveling toady to anyone important, a skillful writer as well. There are rumors he writes pornographic novels based on real events around the court in secret.
Jubei-chan is a silent, mysterious female ninja who wears a heart-shaped eyepatch. Her clan is unknown, but she seems to follow the style of the long deceased Ninja Master Jubei, whose school displeased the Emperor of his time, and was wiped out by Shogunate Ninjas as a favor to the Emperor. Her goals are unknown, but she does seem to have cut quite a bloody swathe through the local ninja community.
Sanbonmatsu is quite publically known to be the Yakuza boss of Osaka, one of the richest cities in Nihon. He takes pride in being an uncouth ruffian and in his ability to beat people down. His strength is renowned, although stories have it that he once challenged Sanosuke to a fight and was beaten flat. But so are most people who try to fist fight Sanosuke. But he's also a bit of a romantic, and said to be a sucker for a pretty face. He's known to have been cursed by some mage, and now his clothing always has characters on it which give away what he's thinking.
Ryujoji heads a small ninja clan. They're fairly honorable, and they're currently for hire. He's known to possess a powerful blade passed down by his family for generations, and rumored to know a secret technique used with it.
Ryujoji is more likely to support any Bakufu than Ishin, but will sign up along with his clan with anyone who can offer steady protection and employment, as times have been hard for them as late.
Ryojoji brings a small clan of ninjas with him as an ally, along with his knowledge of the ninja community.
Prince Genji is, simply put, a horndog. He seems to find his purpose in life to be sleeping with all that is sleepable with. He also finds joy in the courtly graces of writing poetry, drawing pictures, painting, and writing about his many sexual adventures. He's not a bad sort, unless you have a pretty wife.
Hidden Master Lao lives in the forest, seeking enlightenment and communing with nature. He is noted for his magical skills and his great wisdom, which he happily shares with all who seek him out. He is known to be hundreds of years old.
Serene Master Go is a peaceful, cheerful old man, kind to everyone, who has kept the royal gardens in order just about forever. He knows all about flowers and plants, and is said to have studied the art of Feng Shui, carefully laying out the gardens to maximize the harmonies.
Henya is a noted inventor and mercenary, who seems to have developed both a way to fly and some form of functional explosives using alchemy. He often works as a scout for military forces to earn money for his experiments.
Takata is a professional big game hunter. He frequently travels to the East, where he beats up big animals and brings them back alive for menageries. His superhuman strength is quite famous, as his collection of trick weapons for capturing creatures. .
Junpei is a good natured idiot. He wanders the countryside as a mercenary, hiring out his strength to help people who need someone who can beat their foes down. Sadly, Junpei is not exactly very bright, and his tactics tend to be 'Hit foe until foe falls down'. Given how hard Junpei hits, though... Junpei really likes to eat, especially to eat curry.
Airi is a woman who knows how to exploit male stupidity. She is famous for her intellect, her sensuality, her beauty, and her ability to get men to fall in love with her. Her acting skills are quite reknowned as well. She is perhaps the most famous actress in Nihon, and quite possibly the most famous woman, period.
Lord Aburatsubo rivals Bish in the 'Flamingly Gay' department. He is utterly bishonen, rather feminine, and very accomplished in the social arts. He seems to attract many female admirers who are determined to convert him to heterosexuality, but they have all failed so far. He is quite noted for his skills as a painter and poet. He's also known to dabble in Eastern Mysticism.
Meiko is one of the most famous exorcists in Japan. Her ability to defeat evil spirits is renowned, as is her strength of will. She is a traveling priestess who follows the commands of the spirits.
Bekkara was the only survivor of some mercantile expedition out into shadow. He returned, a maimed, twisted shadow of the man he once was, though time has shown he still remains one of the hardest to kill men in Nihon (as his constant complaints about the 'shrapnel' imbedded in him, his headaches, his scars, etc, have driven many to try to kill him). Still, if you can put up with him, he remains an effective mercenary, armed with very nasty arrows he seems to have acquired on his trip.
Cho is a wandering mercenary, famous for his whipsword, an unusual weapon that can be used as either a REALLY big whip or as a sword, made of some unusual, flexible metal. Cho is also noted for being followed by a trail of disasters, but somehow he always seems to come out on top.
Judge Dee is one of the most famous investigators in Nihon. His ability to get to the bottom of things and find the truth is quite reknowned. He has a great reputation for being just and for ensuring justice to the lowly as well as to the rich.