Japan, Tokugawa

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Japan.gif
Foundation: 1657-date (T165-date)
Capital: Tokushima in Shikoku
Religion:

By Rob Pierce, updated by Martin Helsdon

Description

Tokugawa Japan is an independent Shogunate in the Nisei Empire.

Known as the Republic of Japan until 1661 (T167) when Tokugawa Gokunen effected a coup, ending with the extermination of the entire ruling Taira clan. Thereafter known as the Empire of Japan through at least T176 (~1680).

1744 (T207) became infamously known as the year of the Burning Wind after creatures known as Mi-Go directed an asteroid to Earth that landed in the Huangzhu Wan off the Chinese coast. Severe devastation was inflicted upon much of nearby land areas, including most of Japan. Still, it was later learned that the intended target of the asteroid was none other that the Shinto holy city of Ise - a small consolation given the destruction that was inflicted anyway.

The History:

Still to be written.

NewsFax Entries

Republic of Japan 1635-1661

1635-1636 T154
Republic of Japan: Diplomacy: Tuvalu(a), Solomons(ea)
Japanese agents in the south seas continued to pick on the Shinto Aotearoans (who had pretty much abandoned all pretense of resistance), murdering prominent chiefs and loyalists of the old regime. Back at home Kieto presided over the inauguration of the Diet, a dual-chambered body comprised of nobles and commoners who served to adjuciate the law and to serve as a legislative body to support the Shogun. The Taira were legally emplaced as rulers of the land and supreme commanders of the military.

Relief shipments of rice, corn and salted-fish were dispatched to the Mongols (who, as usual, were suffering from poor harvests). All Edo celebrated the birth of a son to Kieto, and the Shogun, to show his munificence, gave many gifts and presents to the people of the city. Lord Shintaro, who returned in victory from the southern seas campaign, was feted and lavished with gifts as well. The Shogun presided at the marriage of the Princess Ki'si to Shintaro as well.

The Shogun also issued plans to form a new realm in the Trans-Pacific, Naipon-Seahold, which would be the fief of the Yokatsu clan. Shigenu, the reigning daimyo of that clan was dispatched to the archipelagoes of the south to rule in the Shogun's name. The captured Aotearoan prince, Kaikanohi, was offered the role of puppet-king (or he could remain chained to an oar). The thought of regular baths and enough to eat won out and he accepted the somewhat humiliating post.

In line with this sweeping redivision of the realm, Admiral Shintaro struck south and subdued the hapless and undefended islands of the Aotearoan heartland... Te Ika A Maui, Akaroa, Te Wai Ponamu and Hokitika were all forced to bow their heads before the invincible might of the Taira. Later, all these lands were turned over to the Naipon-Seahold.

Naipon-Seahold: Diplomacy: See Japan
The Naipon-Seahold, newly constituted, comprises the islands and provinces of Akaroa, Borabora, Bouganville, Fiji, Hawaii, Hokitika, Kwejailin, Marquesas, Marshalls, New Caledonia, Ponape, Samoa, Solomons, Tahiti, Te Ika A Maui, Tekutea, Tewaiponamu, Tonga, Truk, Tuamotu, Tuvalu and Vanatu. Shigenu and his retainers settled in Te Ika A Maui and raised a new capital city, Joetsura, on the ruins of ancient Whangarei. The province was settled with Japanese and the Maori inhabitants (those few who remained) were driven off or enslaved.

Empire of Japan (1661-????)

1709-1710 T191
The Naipon-Seahold: At last provoked by the attacks of the devil-fish, lady Ahara authorized the raising of new troops and their armament with the newest weapons purchased from the Aztecs and Japanese.

1719-1720 T196
The Naipon-Seahold: Despite the tumult elsewhere, things in the southern seas were quiet. The only disturbances came with the abrupt cessation of trade from Japan in the north and the death of the elderly Queen Ahara. Her son, still in his minority, accepted a regency council. The merchants of Truk were bereft but life went on.

1721-1722 (Missing)

1723-1724 T197
Nanhai Wang'guo: The Javan fleet, accompanied by many Nanhai war-catamarans, sailed away to the north again, this time to fight the Black Fleet. Many young Nanhai went with them, eager to see legendary Japan (the home of their ancestors).

1739-1740 T205
Tokugawa: The specter of famine continued to plague the Japanese, but the largesse of the Ming saved them (again) from hollow bellies. Some of the Shogun's advisors began to point to the north again, saying the Ice was retreating from Amur and Zvoron and the deep forests - those colonies could be reclaimed and put to work to feed the teeming mouths of the home islands.

Musubu ignored them, his heart heavy with grief. His wife of thirty years had died attempting to gift him with a son. The child had been twisted and cold, even delivered from the fading warmth of the woman's body. "The touch of the Ice," the old women said, shaking their gray heads. The Shogun fell into a terrible depression, but his advisors were relentless. More than one pretty maid was sent to tend the Shogun's quarters - at last, after almost a year, one of them caught his eye - Reiko Matsugae. Within the month, they were wed, and at the end of 1740 a squalling, healthy baby boy was delivered into Musubu's grateful hands.

The fleet remained busy - dozens of new ships were added, and the ronin Saigo Tsumiguchi was hired to command a motley and suspicious looking rabble of pirates, free-ships and mercenary marines. The armies of Japan were off for southern seas, where the Ice Lords (or so it seemed) raised their dreadful countenance again. The Ming ambassador had come bowing and scraping and whining, and Musugu dispatched a powerful fleet and army in response.

There was considerable confusion in Nagi, where a huge police operation to swoop down upon a secret cabal of Shikongou Dantai terrorists was spoiled by the suspects themselves reporting to the nearest civil watch house and turning themselves in. With rising dismay, the Tokugawa authorities then learned the "hidden company" had declared itself openly and - more was the pity - it's papers were in perfect order.

In Ise and Kyoto, the Emperor continued to preside with great ceremony, slowly making the rounds of all the old Shinto shrines, blessing each one and reminding everyone of the ancient ways, and the gods who had lifted Nihon from the bosom of the ocean. The Buddhist priests grumbled and smirked, trying to hide their fear. Soon the people would turn away from them, and the ancient gods would hold sway once more.

Ming: While Yongzheng waited in his camps among the green hills of Kienchou; all matter of business came to his attention and was adjudicated. Shipments of grain, cloth, oil and timber were dispatched to Japan, Persia and Java. (Java? What the...) Equally lavish gifts of gold and silver coin were sent to Nisei and Java (hey now wait a minute!)

Java: At sea, admiral N'dret's Skull Fleet had been prowling the waters around Hainan island for some time, waiting for likely Ming prey to wander into his nets. So, the arrival of an enormous Japanese fleet in early fall of '39 was something of a surprise... but as the Japanese maneuvered to land their army on the beaches of Annam, N'dret struck.

The Javans were outnumbered almost two to one, but a large portion of the Japanese fleet was transports packed with men and guns and horses for the invasion of Annam. A sizable portion of the rest were light scouting frigates, who could not match the guns of the Javan trimarans. Still, N'dret planned a swift, sweeping strike to try and confuse the Japanese landing. What he got instead was a vicious sea-borne brawl. As the Javans lashed in, the Japanese fleet wheeled to protect their transports and the two lines of battle collided head-on. An enormous melee, shot with flame, clouded with smoke, filled with the cataclysmic rattle of ships burning, then convulsing as powder magazines erupted, spread across the Tonkin Gulf. The Javans were fearless, plunging in among the Japanese ships, gun-decks washed with blood and seawater, cannon blazing.

By the end of two days of swirling, confused battle, N'dret watched with surprise as his fleet clawed free, substantially intact, while the Japanese armada was a shattered wreck. Nearly every Tokugawa fighting ship was burning, captured or sinking.

The Japanese transport fleet cowered under Javan guns, and N'dret's captains urged him to send the entire lot to the bottom of the sea. "Oro is hungry," they exclaimed, shaking their skull pendants. "Let their white bones ornament his palace in the briny deep." The elderly admiral shook his head. "No - these men are samurai and used to fighting on land - there would be no fair contest against them, trapped in their ships." He turned, squinting into the glare of the noon sun. "We have no quarrel with Japan, only with Ming for the treachery they have shown our honest friendship. Escort them back to their islands."

So the honorable N'dret sent a messenger to the Japanese fleet commander, lord Ito, and then escorted the shame-faced Japanese back north. He intended to follow them almost to Japanese waters beyond Taiwan, but when the two fleets were approaching that island, a third armada appeared!

Admiral Falcon and the Judean navy came prowling south, looking for Shikongou Dantai pirates... immediately, lord Ito and his fleet scattered to the east, fleeing for the open ocean and escape. The Javans broke away, and Falcon ordered his fleet to give chase. N'dret's commanders sped away, satisified with the haphazard flight of the Japanese. The Judeans beat down, cramming on sail. The chase lasted six weeks, carrying both navies back into Hainan waters. Despite cunning efforts, N'dret failed to shake the Falcon, and was forced to give battle off Yu-Lin, despite being severely outnumbered[1] and out-gunned.

(1) Despite the addition of many captured Japanese warships.

Persia: Eventually, a fleet arrived from the east (having wended a cautious path through the various wars and conflicts) to report the main portion of the army was stuck, stranded on an island off the coast of Korea.

"Where?" The port commisoner asked, puzzled.

"It's near Japan," Abd 'al'Latif growled. The voyage had worn on him, as his ships threaded past two vicious wars - one of which had come perilously close to annihilating his ships under the crashing feet of titans. "You know, where they all wear those big hats..."

"Oh, of course." The port commissioner could see the admiral was dangerously on edge. "Well, in three or four years, we might have enough ships to get them back."

"In three or four years," Al'Latif snarled, "they'll be speaking Korean!"

1741-1742 T206
Tokugawa: Diplomacy: Yamaguchi(ea), Himeji in Shimane(ea)
Still smarting from their defeat at the hands of the Javans, the Tokugawa set about rebuilding their fleet - and just to make sure nothing bad happened, fortified the cities of Bahrau in Johor and Hongkong. A wide variety of local initiatives were also undertaken, making sure that every province and town was up to snuff. The island colony of Nootka (off the coast of North Amerika) was colonized to (1w4).

While the various admirals were smarting, Miiragi took the remaining transports and troop-ships and sailed to Cheju Do, where there were a huge lot of Persians waiting for a ride. Under dual-Japanese / Persian flags, he then set off for the Middle East, arriving in the hot Persian homeland a year later. Despite the wars and tumults around him, he managed to get through successfully.

At home, Kii Musubu enjoyed himself in the company of his new, young wife Reiko. He longed for more sons, and the blight of his previous wife's death seemed distant. Unfortunately, though Reiko bore him a second son (Shinturo) she fell ill due to complications and - though she was only twenty-four - sickened and died within three months of the boy's birth. The Shogun was greatly annoyed by this, but he immediately set about finding a third wife, barely waiting for the period of mourning to expire.

Though there was no open insult offered to the Matsugae family, the brothers of beautiful young Rieko were tormented by grief and the callous and indifferent nature of the Shogun. The youngest, Mishuru, resolved to take action. As he was still residing in the Shogun's court (the Matsugae remained part of the court until Musubu married again), he soon found an opportunity to face the Shogun in close quarters.

Kii was no fool - he went everywhere accompanied by a phalanx of bodyguards - and the boy's wild attack, shouting a challenge and hurling himself into the midst of the Fujiwara guardsmen - was immediately met with a blizzard of steel. Reiko's brother perished, nearly hewn in half by a dozen blades. But Musubu took fright from the maniacal expression on the boy's face. For the first time, a sliver of fear cut into his cold heart.

"Kill them all!" He shrieked, and his guardsmen rushed into the quarters of the Matsugae amid a wild melee. The clansmen fought bitterly, but they were outnumbered by the Fujiwara and all were slaughtered. Musubu then found himself crouched over the cradle of his new-born son, staring at the coverlet bearing the entwined mon of his own house, and that of his late wife.

Face ghastly with fear, he groaned aloud. "They will remember this... they will grow up, and the spirits of their brothers will whisper dreadful things into innocent ears..." His hand twitched to the wakisashi at his belt, then the short, glittering blade slipped from it's sheath. A mirror-bright point drifted over the baby's throat.

"I must be safe," Kii argued with himself, transported into a world of visions only he could see. The blade pressed against tender flesh. "I will find another bride... a safe bride..."

The sound of metal squeaking through flesh, shearing through bones yet soft with youth, the bubbling gasp of the tiny figure twisting and trying to cry masked the soft shhhh of a shoji door opening. Two men entered, then froze in horror. Musubu turned, his wakisashi slick with blood. "Yes?"

Sakuramachi, Emperor of Japan, tenno-no-Nihon blanched, seeing the dreadful grimace on the Shogun's face, the blood spattering his snow-white silk kimono, the dripping blade held in a claw-like fist. Before the Emperor could react, the man at his side stepped forward, katana leaping from its sheath in a fast, glittering arc. Yoshimune, younger brother of the Shogun, twisted his shoulders into the blow and the keen metal severed Musubu's head from his neck with a sharp thwack!

The Shogun toppled loosely to the floor, blood gouting from his neck, and Yoshimune gathered up the trembling, silent shape of young prince Sano (all of four years old) from where he had been kneeling beside the cradle.

The Emperor looked around the room, holding a scarf over his nose. "We will burn this building to the ground," he said in a soft, almost effeminate voice. "A tragedy, a terrible tragedy spawned by the revolt of the Matsugae clansmen."

Yoshimune wiped the blood from his katana, nodded grimly, and the two men stepped out of the room without looking back. Within the hour, an entire wing of the Shogun's palace at Tokushima was roaring with flames while alarm bars rang wildly and hundreds of samurai and policemen labored to contain the conflagration.

Nearby, on a hill, under spreading cherry trees, Yoshimune held the boy Sano to his breast, watching the confusion below. The Emperor was sitting on a silken camp-stool in the shade, a scroll of Chinese poetry unwound over his knees.

"And now?" Yoshimune did not look at the Emperor.

"Now," Sakuramachi said, without raising his eyes from the graceful writing, "now you are Shogun, and rule a Shinto Japan in my name."

And so it was. The great changes set in motion by the onset of the Ice, and the terrible war, and the revelation of Ameratsu's protection had driven the people to their ancient gods in great numbers and now, particularly with the ascension of the notably Shinto Yoshimune to the Shogunal throne, Japan became Shinto once more, both officially and even among the people.

Of all the Japanese provinces, only Budokan on Nootka, Akone on Okinawa, and Shimane (including the city of Himeji) remained Buddhist. All else became Shinto.

Ming: A great deal of rice, wheat, pickles and barreled honey was shipped off to the Japanese, and by a circuitous route to distant Persia, where a terrible famine was ravaging the land!

Persia: Myriad fleets plied the waves, going and coming from the distant isle of Cheju Do - recovering the Persian army stranded there - and ferrying them back to either Al-Harkam in Carmania (for most), or Awaz in Palas (for some). Soon everyone would be home safe.

Nisei: Despite his promises to return to the land of the Golden Mountain, Emperor Sakuramachi did not visit the Nisei lands in '41 or '42, as the trouble in Japan required his presence to smooth things over (and make sure certain bodies were properly buried).

1743-1744 T207
Somewhere in near-Earth Space: Ice-shrouded gray rock tumbled through darkness. The surface of the flying mountain swarmed with uncounted numbers of winged, crustacean-like creatures. They labored in the darkness, drilling and shaping with their machines. The vast stone tumbled slowly, end over end, though the mob of creatures burrowing within its mantle was so great even the light of the distant sun failed to reflect from their carapaces and velvet wings.

Near the northern pole of the asteroid, a lean black shape drifted on the solar wind, engaged in the rudimentary communications which prevailed between the denizens of Yuggoth and other creatures.

<Once split,> the messenger radiated, <one striking | falling | incinerating stone will strike | crush | shatter these islands...> The messenger radiated a picture of four great islands lying alongside a vast continent. Great importance was placed upon a certain coastline, and a particular bay.

The Mi-Go flashed agreement in cerulean and azure.

<the other hammer | vessel | tool will impact | rend | absorb this place, at the foot of these mountains | dimples | grains of sand.>

The messenger waited, but the Mi-Go did not reply. Instead its rumpled, chitinous skin flared and coruscated with a dozen nameless colors. Other of the fungi nearby gathered, and they fell to an inscrutable conversation, even to the dark messenger. At length they replied no.

A dispute followed, and the dark messenger was forced to admit defeat. Who could divine the thoughts of the fungi? They were beyond the byakhee's poor skill in such things.

<rend | slaughter | consume | know> it spat in disgust. The master will not be pleased...

EDITORS NOTE: The first target's description clearly appears to be Japan ("four great islands"), which lies off Asia ("lying alongside a vast continent"). Other sources have intimated that the specific target was the sacred Shinto temple at Ise. Indeed, the city of Ise sits on the eastern peninsula of the region of Yamato which forms the western shore of Ise Bay ("Great importance was placed upon a certain coastline, and a particular bay").

The second target's description is far less definitive ("this place, at the foot of these mountains | dimples | grains of sand"). Although the second target was rejected, the description nonetheless appears to fit the eventual impact site of the city of Venice - a city at the foot of the Alps. So the question that remains is: what requested target was rejected in favor of Venice?

Seventy Miles from the mouth of the Yangtze River: Late in '44, the skies above the balmy and pacific coast of China split wide with a monstrous, unimaginable howl.[2] The air convulsed, slammed aside by a quarter-mile wide rock, and rushed out from the oncoming beast at typhoon speeds. Vast dark banks of stormcloud raged with lightning, spilling away across the China Seas. A huge flaming mass punched into the ocean, catapulting out waves a mile high. Most of the water in the area of impact vaporized into a boiling cauldron of superheated steam. The asteroid sledgehammered into the ocean floor, sending a shockwave through the muddy bottom of the shallow sea.[3]

Within hours, the atmospheric shockwave crashed across the Chinese coast, shattering buildings, flattening temples, tearing trees up by the roots, whirling thousands of people away into the sky. A wall of superheated steam followed, parboiling or incinerating everything exposed to the air. Cities and towns burst into flame. Two hours later, the burning cities of Lin'an, Shanghai and Fuzhou vanished under a vast tidal wave which came roaring up out of the deeps like the doom of god.

Multiple aftershocks rippled out across the sea floor, causing waterspouts and whirlpools to consume shipping. The huge wave thrown out - which had annihilated the provinces of Kiangsu, Taiping, Chekiang and Fukien[4] - was still a hundred feet high when it slammed into Cheju-do, northern Taiwan and Okinawa. Tens of thousands more perished, and there was heavy damage to all the cities facing the Huang Hai and the Tsushima Strait.[5]

The plume of steam (and vaporized fish and dust and rock) thrown up from the impact mounted into the heavens, eventually spreading out into a vast black pall across northern Asia. A dense cloud, impenetrable to the sun...

(2) Hum deed um... ok, rolling for a spotting round. Hm, only one round, so I guess they're firing for effect. Roll... scatters off ground zero (Ise) to the... roll... southwest... roll... four zones and into the Huangzhu Wan. Shoot. That's messy. Better email Briana about this... (later) ok, one asteroid into the drink!
(3) Luckily for everyone in Japan and on Taiwan, the impact did not strike the China Sea fault line.
(4) In addition to everything just being smashed down, incinerated and washed away. Everything was drenched in seawater and brine from the depths of the sea, which is just not good for the local agriculture.
(5) Is Tom being nice? Yes, he is. Check out this page: [1] for a depiction of a cometary impact off New York. In this case, I'm saying the amount of kinetic energy injected into the sea and atmosphere is much lower as the asteroid the mi-go dropped was not moving when they tipped it into the atmosphere, so it did not have a lot of momentum. Still wouldn't want one dropped on me...

Tokugawa: Diplomacy: Kagoshima(c), Yamaguchi(a, part of Nagi prefecture)
The new Shogun was eager to show his skill and to secure the loyalty of both nobles and the people. As a result, a huge effort was devoted to rebuilding the fleet and expanding the various fisheries along the coastlines. The Shinto clergy, meanwhile, had attempted to turn the Buddhists of Shimane to follow the old ways - with disastrous results! Rioting and fisticuffs between the Buddhists and Shinto adherents disturbed the public peace and the local daimyo had to outlaw any kind of public religious event just to keep things on an even keel.

The Emperor - pleased with the revival of the old, proper faith in Japan - took ship for the Amerikas to visit his other constituents. Hideyoshi Anosuri (who had commanded the Imperial Guard for so many years) took his troopers west, for the sound of the guns was calling from the Middle East.

Late in '43, the fleet dispatched to the Persian Gulf under the command of Admiral Mirragi returned - without being sunk by the rascally Javans or consumed by sea monsters or crushed by the falling sky! The shogun turned a blind eye to the celebrations which ensued. Everyone stuffed themselves with Ming pork and rice. Hmmm... very tasty.

The year 1744, however, was one of calamity and woe. Those surviving accounts name it, the year of the Burning Wind, for great typhoons roared up out of the south-west, lashing the islands not with chilling rain, but smoking steam and terrible heat. Fires broke out in every city, causing widespread destruction and loss of life. The crops failed - the rice cooked in the paddies - and even in Holy Ise there was great mourning.

A strange high darkness like a heavy cloud beyond sight blotted out the sun, and made even the strongest of men lose heart. Where was the Sun Goddess now, when her people needed her most?

PM&T: Luzon took a heavy blow from the tidal waves and burning rain flung down by Jehanantukul (Hell's Hammer), but the port of Kryztin was spared much of the destruction by the high mountain ranges across northern Luzon.

Pure Realm: Cho Hun remained in the south, attempting to restore some order to the wreckage of the Realm's temples and farms there. Only by good luck did he escape death during the "rain of fire" and the dreadful killing fogs which followed. All reports from the north were worse, and he despaired of seeing Fusan again - for the seas had turned strange and travel by boat was impossible.

The priests Polu Than and Chan Fo (attempting to organize a great temple in Lin'an) was not so fortunate, and both perished with all the people of that great city. Wan Ho, in Fusan, saw the enormous flash in the southern sky and (having some knowledge of recent events) evacuated the shoreline and the docks. The tidal surge at Fusan was twenty-five feet, destroying much of the lower city. Everywhere the people wailed and lamented, for the gods had turned their faces from the faithful and only torment awaited all men and women in this life.

Mongol Empire: Substantial efforts were also made to return the Iced land to cultivation, which was wise for the shockingly huge storms of '44 wrecked most of the coastal settlements in Koguryo, Anshan and Bandao. The 'black sky' reported by Japanese merchants also afflicted the Manchu, and the failure of the late harvest in '44 boded ill for everyone.

Judah: Still displeased with the way the Ming were making a mess of the war in Annam, Yui-Yen considered dispatching a few Yaqui rifle regiments to clean things up... but then changed his mind. There were more pressing matters at home. Indeed, he'd started to get a queer feeling of impending trouble. Acting on the intuition which had saved him more than once, the Hand ordered massive stockpiles of food, firewood, coal and animal feed be gathered in every city and town. His provincial police were put on alert, and he gathered his armies to him in Pienching, waiting for Something to happen.

Then, of course, the southeastern sky rippled with flame, and a vast crashing boom rolled across the land. Old Yui-Yen rose from his gilded chair, blind eyes turned to the sky, and he snarled in disgust. "Foul carrion," he muttered - and one of his courtiers, cowering nearby, heard him - "digging worms, crawling before His black feet, licking His hands. Well, I know their fate - and they will rue this day..."

A rushing wind howled across the land, and everyone looked up in fear. Yui-Yen gathered up his little boys and bade their nurses take them into the deepest cellar of the palace. The Hand, himself, betook himself to the armories and girded blade, pistol and rifle to his hand. Within the hour, the winds had risen to a gale and the entire city shook and moaned with force of the hellstorm roaring out of the south.

Thanks to the Hands' foresight, though there was great destruction in the south, the army and the police were ready to help and aid as they could. No one, at least, would go hungry this year. Admiral Falcon - who had suffered such plights - was killed when the tidal wave hit Nantong, and the last of the Judean fleet was torn to shreds. General Wui also perished in the south, vanishing with so many others whose bodies were never even recovered.

Ming: Though Yongzheng had long railed and ranted against the Annamese, his presence (and that of the entire Ming army) in the south saved them from the horrific destruction visited upon the Ming coast around the mouth of the Yangtze - and even Wuhan suffered from the terrible burning winds. Only by great luck did the hapless Emperor Hongzhi (who had run outside to see what was happening) survive a great fire in the city, as well as vicious tornadoes and cyclone winds.

Hosogawa: Though the shogunate suffered from terrible storms in the north, and the same darkening sky afflicting other Asian nations, the immediate damage from the Hell Hammer was limited to Luzon, where the port at Kryztin suffered fires and many ships were destroyed.

1745–1746 T208
Tokugawa Japan: Diplomacy Kagoshima(hostile)
The aftermath of the Year of the Hell Hammer was a seeming eternity of frost and dim skies and failing harvests. The great cities of Japan were plagued with famine and sickness. Thousands upon thousands perished, grubbing in the ashy soil for food, or fighting among the burned ruins of the southern towns for those few scraps left… late in ’46 a few ships arrived from the south – having taken a long journey around the Burning Sea to bring some moldy yams and casks of pickled pork from Afriqa. This was too little, too late, for many. The old and the young alike were harvested by Grandmother Death and her white sickle. Indeed, the city of Himeji in Shimane province was reported abandoned by the end of ’46 – so terrible had conditions become.

Faced with the specter of annihilation, the Shogun sent many priests to pray at Ise, begging the Sun Goddess to turn her beneficent light upon the Holy Islands once more. And – for the Japanese were not a race to shirk from battle or the tumult of war – the fleet and near every man who could still raise a musket or load a cannon, was dispatched to the west, where a great struggle was underway.

Efforts to woo the Kagoshimans to join the Shogunate were driven off with gunshots and massed bands of samurai on the border. The southern farmers knew what the northerners wanted … their special extra-tasty rice!

PM&T: The company also marshaled a huge transport fleet and the Moro mercenary regiments under its employ. This force, under the command of Juchen himself, sailed for the Ming coast to take aboard a large number of Chinese troops and join the Japanese fleet for transit to the Persian Gulf.

War Against the Beast - war details

Republic of South Afriqa: Heeding plaintive cries for help, the Republic took care to ship enormous amounts of food, grain, textiles and ivory north to the hungry Swedes, Carthaginians and Japanese.

Nisei Republic: A small squadron of “homeland” Tokugawa warships arrived at Budokan on Nootka island, bearing relief regiments for the garrison there, and a number of visitors – who were sadly disappointed at the dank woods and constant mist of the island – particularly with the lights of New Yedo shining so enticingly across the bay.

1747–1748 T209
Tokugawa Japan: Diplomacy Nagi in Yamaguchi(f)
Doings in Japan were remarkably quiet – the cities of Nakamura and Tokushima were expanded and their fortifications rebuilt and improved. The various fleets which had been dispatched to the far corners of the earth were recalled and the sailors got some shore leave, which helped boost the local economy. The Shogun's wife and son, who had been dispatched to hide in safety, returned, as it seemed the sky would not, in fact, fall (again).

Lord Yamazaki, who had been blatantly collecting a considerable side income from the pilgrims thronging to the shrine at Ise, was finally accused of corruption, tried by the Shogun's court and exiled to the northern islands to hunt for crabs. A brisk auction followed to re-appoint his lucrative position with a more circumspect governor.

Republic of South Afriqa: Grain was shipped off to the Japanese and Swedes.

1749–1750 T210
Tokugawa Japan: Diplomacy Nagasaki in Kagoshima(nt)
The industrial suburbs of Edo continued to hum with activity – a new naval yard opened, and (despite efforts to keep things hush-hush) a sprawling new complex of airship hangars, hydrogen separation tanks and workshops filled the fields near the village of Michida. The tongues of tired, frost-bitten sailors wagged as well (so much sake, so many geishas!) leading to rumors of hazardous expeditions into the northern Ice and battles against horrific, inhuman monstrosities.

Manchu Mongol Empire: Though the Emperor eyed them with suspicion, the Pure Realm clergy continued to make steady, patient inroads into influencing and directing the religious life of his people. This was made slightly easier by the Jade-sect priests being involved in a massive missionary effort in the far north, on the Dzungur Coast, where the Manchu priests found – to their surprise – a huge number of Japanese and Ming and Pacific Trust troops, engineers, laborers and ships involved in tearing the old Frost Wolf city of Drakenroost apart and packing it into crates for shipment.

“Hm,” old priest Ju-ho said, as a Japanese squad charged towards him with a net, “methinks we’re not supposed to see all… this. Oof!”

However, there were so many priests (many fleeter of foot than Ju-ho) and they found good success in converting the barbarous tribesmen to the way of the Enlightened One (and sending back news of what they had found).

Supreme Primacy of Oro: The Shark-Priests mostly minded their own business, though a lucrative trade in various religious handicrafts began with both the Thai and the Japanese.

1751-1752 T211
Tokugawa Japan: Diplomacy Kagoshima in Nagasaki(t)
Thanks to an unexpectedly bountiful rice harvest (could the skies be clearing the slightest bit above Japan?), Yoshimune undertook a vigorous slate of projects… work began on a series of huge shipyards in Tokushima, while the farmlands of Kwanto sprouted more enormous wooden sheds and hydrogen separation plants. A trade-town, Omikami, was built on Palau, while the abandoned city of Dorzen on Sakalin once more hosted human inhabitants and Edo itself expanded again.

Ferried by the fleet, and protected by an enormous number of troops, waves of settlers returned to Amur and began clearing new growth and snow from the farms and lumbering operations abandoned with the onset of the Ice. Even further north, an arrangement was reached with Aeronautical Research & Fabrication - wherein control of Dzungur Coast was returned to the Company until such time as they could reconstitute the city of Drakenroost to normal operation.

1753-1754 T212
Tokugawa Japan: Diplomacy Nagasaki in Kagoshima(ea), Yamaguchi(f)
Busy industry continued to be the watchword in the Blessed Isles - the devastated city of Himeji began to bloom into life again, while both Edo and Kyoto expanded. In the provinces of Aichi and Shikoku, a number of new agricultural techniques were adopted by the village farmers, greatly increasing harvest yields. Much further to the north, Port Kuzon was established in Amur, to keep a watch on the wilderness of the Ice and the demon-haunted ruins of Nagora.

The Japanese presence in the Dzungur Coast continued to expand, though now the disparate parties of Manchu priests filtering up through the forests from the south were beginning to make a real nuisance of themselves. More than one altercation erupted between the learned and erudite Buddhists and the keenly theosophical Shinto monks.

Similarly, in Edo, lord Ito - despite the frenzied attempts of his soldiers to save him - pitched drunkenly off the roof of a Willow World house in Panagemi district and into a canal, where he rapidly drowned, clad as he was in full samurai armor. The local authorities took pains to hush up the tragic accident.

1755-1756 T213
Tokugawa Japan: Minded their own business.

1757-1758 T214
Tokugawa Japan: Diplomacy Kagoshima (^nt)
Fueled by the steadily-increasing industrial power of the Shogunate, the cities of Edo, Kyoto and Kumamoto all expanded a level. At the same time, the farmers in such provinces as Aichi, Shikoku and Nigata began to use ever-increasing amounts of steam-power (mills, lumbering operations, water-pumps for the paddies) and increased their productivity by a marked amount.

Wood-cutters working the backwoods of Amur happened upon placer gold in one district, inciting a sudden gold rush into the remote fastness of the province. The abandoned city of Nagora (now protected by the looming guns of Fort Kuzon) was swiftly filled with enterprising types looking to make a quick koku.

The flow of gold from the north make Edo sparkle, where the bakufu had also mandated wide-ranging improvements in sanitation, public cleanliness and road-repair. The muddy, dirty city which had sprung up from the ashes of old Yedo was now something more like a proper dwelling-place. Lord Nagumo also arrived to take up permanent residence in the port as ‘warden of the east’. He brought a large number of troops with him.

The continuing fortification of Nagora and Kuzon also provided a secure base for a vigorous community of Shinto priests, missionaries and monks working among the cannibal tribes of Dzungur Coast – where the holy men found excellent success despite the even greater presence of Buddhist faithful in the hinterlands. They had a bit of a boost in their proselytizing as the Tokugawa government had dispatched the lords Itichi, Sumitomo and nearly thirty thousand samurai to keep the peace (and throw a whole passel of Manchu Buddhist missionaries out on their ear).

Prince Sii was officially proclaimed Yoshimune’s heir and wed to a relative of the previous dynasty. Though their connubial bliss only yielded a daughter in ’58, the prince had every expectation of many strong sons.

1759–1760 T215
Tokugawa Japan: Diplomacy Kagoshima (ˇun)
Representatives of the Shogunate visited the airfields and machine shops outside of Edo to celebrate the launch of the first Japanese ‘large’ zeppelin – a milestone hailed as the maturation of their native airship industry.

“Never again will our divine nation quail at the threat of barbarian airships in our skies,” the Minister of Aerial Transport declared to a cheerful throng of onlookers. At much the same time, enormous efforts continued in Nigata, Aichi and in the Kwanto to tidy up the last of the damage from the Ice War.

In the south, however, no effort had been made to repopulate the devastated provinces on Kyushu, like Kagoshima, which led to intense bitterness and hatred for the Shinto northerners by the Buddhist southlanders (those few who remained, at least.) Lord Doh’s embassy, traveling in the still-desolate countryside, was often attacked and found no one to talk to.

An equally hostile reception awaited Lord Nobunaba in the far, far north, where the Windwalker-worshipping tribesmen of Tigil (along the newly-ice-free shores of Zaliv Shelikova) assailed his landing party, captured the ambassador and then roasted him alive for dinner. Not quite as tasty as young seal, but a nice change of pace for the needle-toothed nomads.

To the south-west, meantime, General Itichi had marched quite an enormous Japanese army up the coast from Amur and into Dzungur Coast. Once arrived at Drakenroost, the samurai embarked on a vicious and thorough campaign of religious extermination – the remaining Ice tribesmen in the province, plus any Buddhist, had to go! Shockingly (as Itichi was not exactly the brightest field commander Nippon had ever produced – prince Shinturo, one of his junior commanders, showed admirable skill, however) the army performed adequately in the field, routing the bands of tribesmen, flushing out Buddhists from under rock and tree and establishing worship of the Shinto deities throughout the land.

1761–1762 T216
Tokugawa Japan: The mighty industrial machine which was modern Japan continued to forge ahead – the huge airship yards at Tokushima and Edo expanded at an almost Javan rate. The cities of Edo, Kumamoto and Chi’lung expanded as ever more peasants flocked in from the countryside (or on boats from Qing lands, in the case of Chi’lung) seeking jobs. The agricultural revolution brought on by steam-powered mills, pumps and even crude tractors affected essentially every region in the kingdom.

In the south, the devastated province of Kagoshima was resettled to (1c6) by Shinto families imported from the north and particularly chosen for their loyalty to the Tokugawa. A substantial Shogunal army under General Ichigawa was on hand to make sure there wasn’t any trouble… Colonial efforts also continued in the Siberian provinces, where the foundations of a powerful fortress (“Yoake Kin’iro”) were laid on Dzungur Coast, overlooking the ruins of the Gate of Winds.

Missionary work also proceeded apace in Dzungur, where the Shinto bonzes now spent their time repudiating the claims of the Blue Jade Buddhists and smacking their priests around (and burning their temples, etc.). In an odd turn of events, both of the generals charged with suppressing possible revolts in Kagoshima and Dzungur Coast died by the end of 1762, and their commands devolved upon the unexpecting Governor Takachi and Prince Shinturo respectively.

The Emperor of All Japan made a quiet visit to the Home Islands, praying at ancient shrines, speaking to the temple clergy about upkeep and maintenance and generally going about his traditional business.

1763–1764 T217
Tokugawa Japan: The Tokugawa Shogun lazed about, sipping tea and listening to the Noh singers in the courtyard.

Manchu Mongol Empire: Having finally managed to figure out how to build a gas-tight airframe and superstructure, and importing Japanese-built rotary engines, the Manchu broke ground on their first airship yard at Harbin.

1765–1766 T218
Tokugawa Japan: The University of Tokio was astounded to receive a grant from the Shogun's Ministry of War to design, manufacture and operate what Professor Kizu had called (in the scientific lecture which had precipitated the grant) a ‘calculating machine’. Given the enormous size of the allotment, it seemed the Shogun had some particularly tricky figures to finesse.

With substantial government investment flowing forth from Edo to the regional districts, the province of Kagoshima improved to 2 Gpv and Saga to 3 Gpv. Yoshimune was fixated on increasing crop yields and providing for the thriving urban populations of his domain. Coupled with the still steadily improving harvests (and the discernible brightening of the sky), he hoped to make his nation self-sufficient in food within the decade.

In the far south, in sleepy, hot Johor, the recent rise of something very much like Orange Catholicism in the ‘free city’ of Singapore provoked an unexpectedly violent reaction among the Shinto plantation owners and settlers on the peninsula – indeed, a local religious figure, Hozen Fusode (a dismissed Tokugawa military officer), and his “Brilliant Palm” temple took up the task of driving these ‘unclean foreigners’ out of the region. Attacks by bands of armed, masked men followed on Singaporean merchants traveling in Johor and the city authorities were forced to post armed patrol boats in the Johor strait to keep the angry Japanese from raiding the city.

A truly staggering amount of gold was transferred to the Qing embassy in Edo, whereupon four heavily-armed merchantmen took the vast store of bullion away to the west. The project left all of the bankers in Japan faint and queasy, and their coffers empty of every last scrap of coin, bar and gold dust to hand. The effect upon the economy was peculiar – the government was forced to issue paper yen to cover the lack of high-value coinage, which then caused the paper value of gold to surge – but as most citizens had not been able to afford gold coinage anyway, the more common silver coinage suffered inflationary pressures. Costs in the marketplace jumped notably, particularly for those forced to use the paper ‘Yamada’ currency.

With Shogunate patrols rousting bonzes from their hiding places, and mass expulsions of Manchu provocateurs from the province, the Buddhist infestation in Dzungur Coast was expunged. The army, however, withdrew, for the Shogun had summoned all the vast forces at his command to attend him at Edo…

Events in Western Austral…
September 1765: Laden aboard a squadron of Japanese clipper-ships and commandeered merchantmen, the Tokugawa General Kato arrives at Tempyo with 1,200 samurai to reinforce the defenses of the city.

1767–1768 T219
Tokugawa Japan: The heartbeat of the Japanese economy continued to throb strongly – Akita and Yamaguchi both improved a GPv as modern farming practices began to penetrate to the Nipponese hinterland. Heavy industry continued to thrive in the Kwanto and on Shikoku. Prince Kii – lately much seen on the social circuit in Tokushima and Edo – received orders to rejoin his military command and bade a lengthy farewell to the ladies of both cities. Much of the main fleet then put to sea.

Meantime, in Austral, General Kato remained with his small army at Tempyō in Broome, keeping watch on the land and sea alike, waiting for the expected attack of the Meteor Men.

In late September of ’68, the main fleet reappeared at Omikami on Palau – weather-beaten and well-exercised – and put in for careening, repairs and restocking provisions. In the far south, where the plantation-owners of Johor were troubled by the swift rise of the ‘Brilliant Palm’ sect among the workers and rural peoples – this religious group was led by a fire-breathing orator named Hozen Fusode and espoused an amalgam of both traditional Shintoism and Orange Catholicism (which had influenced him via the free city of Singapore).

This caused growing unease in Edo, as reports had also come from the far north – the denizens of the icy coast of Takama, where there was little but an Aztec waystation, had abandoned their Catholic ways and embraced the Orangist creed as well.

The War against the Meteor Men
February 1768: A large Japanese fleet arrives at Na-iki in Nullarbor, takes on water, food and the latest mail, then leaves again.

1769-1770 T220
Tokugawa Japan: The skies over Japan continued to clog with the dark grey smog of industry. Modern shipyards were put under construction at Nakamura and Tokushima. A planned railway between Edo and Kyoto started as well, with track laid down into Aichi province. At the same time, a vigilant air-watch was instituted the length of the islands, waiting for the seemingly inevitable arrival of the hellbats. The citizens of Tokushima, in particular, were issued gas-masks and every block was equipped with a raid-siren.

Down in Johor, where the Brilliant Palm sect had been gaining strength among the rural population, the nascent Orangist teachings of Hozen Fusode were brought to an abrupt end by his murder, and the arrest of his followers by the Tokugawa police. The brisk efficiency of the arrests bespoke a traitor amongst Hozen’s confidants…

The War Against the Meteor Men
February: Prince Kii Sano falls sick in the Japanese encampments at Na-iki in Nullarbor and dies within days, apparently of natural causes. Leadership of his force falls into dispute between the three remaining Tokugawa generals – but the wily Isoki wins out.
May: In Manchuria, a Chan Mongol army musters at Shenyang, ready to board a Japanese fleet and sail south to join the rest of the Asian Alliance forces mustering in Broome.
June: A Qing/Japanese force, under General Heshan, marches north through Nakakao (having disembarked from a fleet in Nullarbor the previous year), heading for death and glory in Yandal. They sorely miss the Borangi, who have treacherously abandoned the desert campaign.
July: The Japanese lord Nagumo arrives in Shenyang to join the Manchus and Admiral Mirragi. That worthy arrives within the week with a large transport fleet. The Manchus begin loading aboard while the Japanese take on fresh water, supplies and repair storm damage.
September: The Qing/Japanese force toils out of the deserts of Nakako and into Yandal, where a stunning vista greets them: A lush landscape painted in russet and purple and amber, tinged with scarlet. Shining metallic towers of brass and adamant, a great city fuming with industry, ringing with the sound of hammers, the squeal of saws and lathes… a whole new world being born out of the desolation.
Surprisingly to the human commanders, they had neither encountered the machines of the enemy, or sighted their flying machines. Emboldened and realizing their chances of returning home were slim indeed, the combined force attacked at all speed, racing for the city of the enemy.
Even as the first human cavalry galloped past the towering walls, the enemy reacted at last, the infernal shapes of their machines rising among the towers… the roar of their dreadful servants ringing back from the clear blue sky. The Japanese and Qing subcommanders urged their men on, and the hammering thunder of human guns answered the feral shrieks of the meteormen
November: The Japanese general Isoki crawls out of the desert, accompanied by a handful of men. The Qing lord Lo Pan is being carried on a stretcher. They are all who have survived the forlorn attack on the 'red city'. With the defection of the Borang, and the untimely death of General Sano, a slim hope of victory was extinguished.
July 1770: The Japanese Adamiral Mirragi’s fleet and the Manchu troops arrive, earlier than expected, at Sasaki in Camoweal. They offload to a continent awash in terrible rumors. Mastaka's agents are on hand, however, to bring them greetings from the new Emperor and to assure them the war is still underway -- or, it will be, once a few internal matters are settled.

The Emperors

  • Sakuramachi 1739-date
  • Amaratzhin Takauji 1669-1670

The Shogun

  • Kii Yoshimune 1742-date
  • Kii Musubu 1739-1742
  • Tokugawa Kusagi 1704-1739
  • Tokugawa Moyoi 1700-1704
  • Tokugawa Iiewasu 1676-1700
  • Tokugawa Gokunen 1661-1676
  • Taira Kieto 1657-1661

Players

  • T191-date (1709-date) Michael Work
  • T190 (1707-1708) Ken McGee
  • T188-T189 (1703-1706) Eddie Efsic
  • T165-T187 (1657-1702) Forrest Johnson

Last updated: 9 April 2005

© 2003 Robert Pierce

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