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In the culture of Rokugan, the term heimin translates as "half-person," and usually indicates someone who performs a useful function in society. Farmers, merchants, craft-workers, and artisans all fit under the heimin social class, which is essentially the lowest rung of the celestial order.

While it is not forbidden for a samurai to kill a heimin, it is usually frowned upon unless said heimin was insulting the honor of the samurai in question, a situation fairly easy to interpret. For the most part, no heimin is willing to risk his life to tell a samurai that they might be wrong to help themselves to a day's worth of the harvest.

Because they were not born samurai, heimin in general are considered to not possess the inner worthiness of character that accompanies being a samurai- likely, failing to live up to their karma in a past life- and as such are forbidden from carrying the two swords that compose the daisho. They are considered potential soldiers, though, and in times of need often take up light armor and a yari, assuming ashigaru status. If a heimin were found to be wearing the swords and pretending to be a samurai- even if they were ronin- they would be killed on the spot.

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