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In Legend of the Five Rings, the Emerald Champion is the hand of the Emperor, responsible for enforcing the mandate of heaven. The position is decided by a great iaijutsu tournament.

Although the Emerald Champion is technically not supposed to be influenced by his former Clan, more often than not, blood proves to be thicker than law. As the warrior Kakita was the first man to hold the position, the Crane Clan has had the most time and power invested in this important position- almost eighty percent of all the Emerald Champions have been former Cranes, although there have been a number of Lion samurai who have held the position. Every Clan except for the Unicorn Clan has had one of their members serve as the Emerald Champion, and the Unicorn only lack that because they only returned to the Empire two hundred years ago.

While the Emerald Champion is the most powerful of all samurai in the Emerald Empire, he is still beholden to the code of bushido and to his lord, the Emperor.

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