From PathfinderWiki
Holy symbol of Shizuru.

Empress of Heaven
Areas of Concern
The sun
Samurai, Minkai and other Tian
Practice with a weapon every day, honor your ancestors, protect nature and society from corruption and destruction
Abandon a companion in need, dishonor yourself, parlay with truce breakers, separate lovers
Cleric Alignments (1E)
Domains (1E)
Glory, Good, Law, Repose, Sun
Subdomains (1E)
Ancestors, Archon, Day, Heroism, Honor, Light, (Revelation1)
Cleric Alignments (2E)
Domains (2E)
Duty, perfection, sun, vigil
Alternate: Sorrow
Favored Weapon
Katana in front of the sun
Sacred Animal
Source: Faiths of Golarion, pg(s). 52–57 (1E)
Gods & Magic, pg(s). 70 (2E)

Shizuru is the Tian-Min goddess of the sun, honor, ancestors, and swordplay.2 As she holds swordplay in her portfolio, Shizuru is also the patron of samurai and other noble and honourable swordsmen and women.34


Shizuru and the moon god Tsukiyo are lovers; Tsukiyo is the Prince of the Moon and the brother of Fumeiyoshi. Aeons ago, Fumeiyoshi grew jealous of his brother's loving relationship with Shizuru and, on one occasion, grew so angry he murdered Tsukiyo. A legend holds that the very first stones of jade were formed at this time from the intermingling of Shizuru's tears with Tsukiyo's blood; jade is sacred within the church of the Prince of the Moon and his holy symbol is a crescent moon made of the stone. Shizuru successfully requested the aid of Qi Zhong, the god of medicine, to resurrect her lover. She then recruited Yaezhing, the punisher of the gods and the enforcer of divine justice, to punish Fumeiyoshi by banishing him to his brother's tomb and stripping him of his position. She stated Fumeiyoshi would forever envy his betters as the undead envy the living and, indeed, Fumeiyoshi is now styled the Lord of Envy and his portfolio comprises dishonour, envy, graves, and the undead. In contrast, after his rebirth, Tsukiyo added spirits to his portfolio.56


Shizuru resides in the Palace of the Eightfold Mirror, located on Clarion, the third tier of Heaven; the palace is where all Tian Xia deities meet on legendary occasions. The Palace is surrounded by countless connected shrines home to Shizuru's servants and bureaucrats.7

Holy symbol and sacred animal

The holy symbol of Shizuru is a katana in front of the sun. As with all the pantheon of Tian Xia, Shizuru is associated with a sacred animal; in her case, she adopts the carp.3


As stated above, Shizuru is the lover of Tsukiyo and an enemy of his brother, Fumeiyoshi. Shizuru's relationship with the Prince of the Moon is not an easy one, however, as they never meet one another, in a symbolic representation of the separation of night and day, save for the times of a solar eclipse; those rare times are, of course, fleetingly fast.456 When they are separated from each other, Shizuru willingly lets him go without knowing why, and views their separation as a bittersweet torment: she is proud of him and understands his role of giving comfort to those her light cannot reach.7 They have had at least one offspring, the star archon known as the Dusk Ronin. Although Dusk Ronin has not strayed from her original moral teachings, she has been banished from her parents' domain in Heaven for striking her father in anger over the toll his absences take on her mother, and now seeks to atone for her transgression.89

Shizuru views the other Tian Xia deities as her subjects, but seldom presses the issue, and in turn all other Tian Xia deities acknowledge her as their leader. As long as they obey her edicts, she is bound to allow them to handle their own affairs, including evil ones like Yaezhing and Lady Nanbyo. Foreign gods are not accorded this treatment; Shizuru only respects civilised deities as fellow heads of state, not evil ones.7

Shizuru is friendly with Abadar, Irori, Qi Zhong (whom she credits with the rebirth of Tsukiyo), and Shelyn, due to their importance in a stable society. Shizuru has much in common with Iomedae and sees her as a younger cousin, viewing her zeal and idealism with fondness.37

Shizuru has a half-brother: General Susumu, the Black Daimyo. He is also, like Shizuru, a patron of samurai, but his samurai lust for war and glory, rather than heroism and honour. It is unclear whom is their shared parent.5


Shizuru is a Tian-Min in appearance but, in art, she is sometimes represented as a golden dragon or as a noble and attractive samurai, or some combination thereof.3


Some of the powerful outsiders associated with Shizuru include:

Church of Shizuru

On Golarion, Shizuru's worship is most significant on the continent of Tian Xia where she is classed as one of their twenty major gods. Her faith is particularly strong in Amanandar, Goka (where there are impressive statues of Shizuru and Tsukiyo, some 250 feet tall, guarding the entrance to Xu Hong Bay12), Jinin, Quain, Shokuro, Xa Hoi, and Zi Ha.3


However, Shizuru's faith is strongest in Minkai and she is often portrayed as a Tian-Min in form and acts as the patron goddess of Minkai and of its capital, Kasai.1314 Furthermore, the former ruler of Minkai, Emperor Shigure Higashiyama, claimed to be her mortal descendant, albeit separated by 296 generations; to this day the emperors of Minkai revere Shizuru as their divine ancestor.31516

In actual fact, Shizuru took on her draconic form and granted the five imperial families of Minkai the divine right to rule in 2600 IC; subsequently, members of these families became emperors of Minkai.171819 This authority and blessing was made manifest in five Imperial Seals, one for each family.20 Twelve years later, in 2612 IC, the Teikoku Shogunate was created; it is sometimes called the First Kingdom of Minkai. Shortly thereafter, Shizuru placed her imprimatur on the promotion of the Teikoku family by granting them the right to rule all Minkai over and above the other four imperial families.21

This arrangement lasted over 3,500 years until corruption grew to unacceptable levels within the Shogunate. In response to this decline, the Perfect Swordswoman Setsuna Kuga raised the armies of the four other ruling families against the Teikoku Shogunate and was victorious at the Battle of Eight Bridges in 6116 IC. Thereafter, the modern empire of Minkai was formed with all five imperial families returning to peer status with one another, sharing the rule of the empire in a fashion which Shizuru had originally designed.21

The largest and oldest temple in Kasai is devoted to Shizuru: the Temple of the Sun's Blade.14

Aims of the church

The followers of Shizuru strive to lead virtuous lives and, by their example, inspire virtue in others. In recognition of the Empress of Heaven's portfolio, the church teaches people to respect their ancestors; it also teaches honour in sword fighting. Despite this militaristic element to the faith, Shizuru's warriors do not seek out battle, but hope for peaceful times.22


In both the faith of Shizuru and that of Tsukiyo, the times of a solar eclipse are very sacred, as their worshippers understand this is the short time when these lovers are able to reunite.3 The links between these two faiths are further reinforced in larger temples to Shizuru by the existence of a shrine to Tsukiyo attached to the temples.23


Paizo published a major article about Shizuru in Faiths of Golarion.

For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

  1. Jessica Blomstrom, et al. “Divine Influence” in Champions of Purity, 21. Paizo Inc., 2013
  2. Dave Gross. Master of Devils, 398. Paizo Inc., 2011
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 James Jacobs, et al. “Life in the Dragon Empires” in Dragon Empires Gazetteer, 62. Paizo Inc., 2011
  4. 4.0 4.1 Colin McComb & Tim Hitchcock. “Faith: Gods of the Dragon Empires” in Dragon Empires Primer, 27. Paizo Inc., 2012
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 James Jacobs, et al. “Life in the Dragon Empires” in Dragon Empires Gazetteer, 59. Paizo Inc., 2011
  6. 6.0 6.1 James Jacobs, et al. “Life in the Dragon Empires” in Dragon Empires Gazetteer, 62–63. Paizo Inc., 2011
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Kate Baker, et al. Shizuru” in Faiths of Golarion, 52–57. Paizo Inc., 2018
  8. Judy Bauer, et al. “Introduction” in Heaven Unleashed, 2. Paizo Inc., 2016
  9. Kate Baker, et al. Shizuru” in Faiths of Golarion, 57. Paizo Inc., 2018
  10. Paizo Inc., et al. “Monsters A-Z” in Bestiary 3, 81. Paizo Inc., 2021
  11. Neil Spicer. “The Empty Throne” in The Empty Throne, 20. Paizo Inc., 2012
  12. James Jacobs, et al. “Regions of the Dragon Empires” in Dragon Empires Gazetteer, 24. Paizo Inc., 2011
  13. Patrick Renie. “Continuing the Campaign” in The Empty Throne, 67. Paizo Inc., 2012
  14. 14.0 14.1 Michael Tumey & Frank Carr. Kasai” in The Empty Throne, 75. Paizo Inc., 2012
  15. Erik Mona, et al. “Chapter 1: Characters” in Campaign Setting, 33. Paizo Inc., 2008
  16. James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 207. Paizo Inc., 2011
  17. James Jacobs, et al. “Introduction” in Dragon Empires Gazetteer, 3. Paizo Inc., 2011
  18. James Jacobs, et al. “Regions of the Dragon Empires” in Dragon Empires Gazetteer, 16. Paizo Inc., 2011
  19. James Jacobs, et al. “Regions of the Dragon Empires” in Dragon Empires Gazetteer, 32. Paizo Inc., 2011
  20. Neil Spicer. “The Empty Throne” in The Empty Throne, 7. Paizo Inc., 2012
  21. 21.0 21.1 James Jacobs, et al. “Regions of the Dragon Empires” in Dragon Empires Gazetteer, 46. Paizo Inc., 2011
  22. Jessica Blomstrom, et al. “Divine Influence” in Champions of Purity, 20. Paizo Inc., 2013
  23. James Jacobs, et al. “Life in the Dragon Empires” in Dragon Empires Gazetteer, 63. Paizo Inc., 2011