The hengeyokai of Wa had long stood outside mainstream human society, and so had enjoyed some freedoms. However, from around Wa Year 1773 (1355 DR), Shogun Matasuuri Nagahide made edicts aimed at controlling the local hengeyokai population, removing these freedoms. The hengeyokai were naturally unhappy with this, but as they'd never been organized or social, they had no good means to protest the edicts. Some formed bandit gangs and secret societies.
The Hengeyokai Society gathered for the purported reason of studying the classics, but actually debated over how to respond to the shogun's restrictive edicts. Three main views arose, held with equal strength. One desired to just escape into the woodlands and give up on the world of men. Another wanted to protest directly to the shogun, an honorable approach that would nevertheless prove fatal. A third called for violent protest so that if they fell, they would at least do so with honor and dignity. The Hengeyokai Society remained deadlocked.
Regardless, the Hengeyokai Society was always seeking new members, whose views and words could swing the balance of the debate.