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Thread: Dawn in the East--A Japan AAR

  1. #321
    GunslingAAR coz1's Avatar
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    Hmm...I wonder if this meeting is good or bad. At least Osahito has a notion of what is happening, suggested by his early recognition of being watched and recognized.
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  2. #322
    I am confused when I read Japanese names.

  3. #323
    kingmbutu: The plot's been thickening since post one...and I'm not done yet.

    stnylan: Well said. You're probably right, though the AAR hasn't told me what's going to happen yet.

    coz1: Hints abound. After all, who always shows up to meet with random important people?

    mainpower: Foreign names are more difficult to remember and to associate with their characters than those of one's native land. However, to try to help people out, I'll start work on a character list to be added to the first post.

    All: Thank you all for your support. I have an update ready, and as usual, you'll get a bonus one if Tech wins.
    "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver" --Proverbs 25:11

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  4. #324
    Tanaka accepted the tea from the serving-girl with a slight smile. “My friend, during your absence, we have witnessed an act of great political maturity by the Shogun. I thought he had the potential, though I was certain it would not manifest itself for another couple years.” Osahito raised an eyebrow at that. Tanaka gave a small laugh. “You have not become a foreigner yet.”

    Osahito cracked a smile at that. “What is this act of maturity you speak of?”

    “After your disappearance two and a half years ago, there was only minor apprehensions in Ieyoshi’s court that there might be a succession crisis. Ieyoshi himself was rather upset, however. He did not send men to grab you in Kyoto. That was Date’s plot, to shatter the shaky Tokugawa hold on the country. It almost succeeded.”

    “Ieyoshi, confronted with the increasing senility of your father, began to look for someone suited for the regency, to hold the Throne until you were found, in case Emperor Ninko died, or were ruled by his physicians to have lost his grip on reality. During this time, however, Ieyoshi determined that every potential candidate had either thrown their lot in with Date, or had questionable loyalty to his policies. Many, Aizawa included, were certain Ieyoshi would take the regency himself, or worse, to establish the Tokugawa House as the new Imperial House. After all, a Tokugawa ancestor was an uncle of Jimmu, according to legend.”

    “I assume this has not come to pass, Tanaka?”

    “No, it has not. Though I know Ieyoshi was not considering the establishment of a new Imperial Line, he had contemplated taking the regency. Though it would have increased Date’s support, no regent at all would have been far worse, as you could imagine.”

    “So, he wouldn’t even consider yourself as regent? Nor old Yamashita? Yamashita was quite apolitical, and would have cooperated.”

    Tanaka grinned at Osahito. “You forget, you have been out of the country. Yamashita was one of the first to declare for Date.” Osahito winced. “And myself? My sympathies are well-known, and not accepted by the population. I am not nearly as close to Ieyoshi as I once was, though he still puts great measure in my advice. My friend, if there is one thing Ieyoshi is not, it is stupid. Believe me when I tell you he looked at every possibility.”

    “You still haven’t told me what the act of maturity was.”

    “All in good time, all in good time. Anyhow, Date’s troops were crushed a little less than two years ago by Watanabe in the Hokkaido mountains. Date has gone into exile, and his followers scattered. Peace returned to Japan, though it was an uneasy peace. The peasants do not like uncertainty or change, and both were ever-present from Date’s defeat to the present day. Ieyoshi has continued to push his reforms, and unfortunately for him, his defeat of Date has actually united the opposition in the Council. A cruel irony, eh? Succeed in your task, and find your allies opposed to you. Ah, ’tis politics at its finest.”

    “Back to Ieyoshi, however. About nine months ago, Ninko died suddenly. His physicians were certain it was not poison, and that He had been recalled to sit amongst the Japanese Pantheon. This is when trouble began to brew, Certain members of the Council brought up the succession issue, demanding a vote on a clear line of succession for the Throne. In addition, they demanded a regent be nominated while the succession was being debated.”

    “You enjoy stringing stories out, don’t you?” Tanaka grinned at him.

    “ Now, now, my friend. You must show respect for your elders’ inferior mental processes. Iesada, Ieyoshi’s younger brother, had long been known to be a little unstable, and not very close to the Shogun. When Ieyoshi had first been looking at candidates for the regency, he passed over his family members, assuming they would be rejected by the populace.”

    “About seven months back, one of the lesser Daimyo recommended to Ieyoshi in private Iesada’s candidature. He hinted that it would pass quite handily, and that Ieyoshi ought to save his political skills for the debate on the succession. And so, Iesada is the current regent, but the Council inserted a condition for their acceptance. Iesada is to become shogun after Ieyoshi, and only after Iesada’s death or abdication will Ieyoshi’s son, Iemochi become Shogun.”

    “Why?”

    “To let Ieyoshi know he can only control the regent at their sufferance.”

    “That seems designed to provoke jealousy in little Iemochi when he gets older.”

    “Perhaps. The succession is still being debated. Ieyoshi has decided to drag out the debate as long as possible, so as to have a good shot at having Nishimura bring you back before you no longer have claims on the Throne. However, if Ieyoshi is called on this, and questioned as to why the debate must go for so long, it may destroy him.”

    “So he needs my appearance to keep his station?”

    “He needs your appearance to save him from the axe.”

    “Edo?”

    “Yes, make your best speed for the Shogun’s palace. I’ll meet you at Kyoto to give you as much news as possible before you must meet with Ieyoshi.”
    "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver" --Proverbs 25:11

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  5. #325
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    Osahito doesn't really need Ieyoshi, it seems to me, where as Ieyoshi obviously has a great deal of need for Osahito. He should be able to play this out for great gain.
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  6. #326
    Compulsive CommentatAAR stnylan's Avatar
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    I agree entirely. Osahito has all the bargaining power here - if he plays it right.

    There is a sense of his foreigness here - that he would forget Tanaka's obvious handicap with becoming Regent. That could lead him to pitfalls, and be used against him, in as great a degree as it will enable him to pull surprises on his opponents too.
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  7. #327
    Colonel kingmbutu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stnylan
    I agree entirely. Osahito has all the bargaining power here - if he plays it right.

    There is a sense of his foreigness here - that he would forget Tanaka's obvious handicap with becoming Regent. That could lead him to pitfalls, and be used against him, in as great a degree as it will enable him to pull surprises on his opponents too.
    yeah, he needs to rapidily reintegrate himself before his foreignness leads to problems
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  8. #328
    Strategy GuidAAR Rensslaer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fj44
    The weathered wood had a green tint, though paint or fungus, Osahito could not say.
    I hereby declare this my favorite line that I've read this week.

    Not done catching up, yet, but not too far behind.

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  9. #329
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    I like how Tanaka draws out the last scene -- the explanation -- and concludes with the assertion that Osahito must hurry! Not unrealistic -- what does a few minutes matter? -- but funny.

    Great work!

    Looking forward to more!

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  10. #330
    coz1: We shall see if you are right on this point. As of right now, it seems like it, but things are not always what they seem.

    stnylan: This is the question mark of the whole situation. Will that foreignness lead to trouble or success? It all depends how the dice land.

    kingmbutu: Problem is a pessimistic view. Opportunity is an optimistic view. It seems you are a pessimist.

    Rensslaer: I'm glad you liked that line, as well as the whole thing.

    All: Apologies for the delay in updates. School is starting to pile up, but I should still be able to update on a somewhat steady basis. Thanks for sticking around, guys.

    Update follows.
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  11. #331
    Osahito watched as Tanaka walked out of the inn. He shook his head in amazement. Tanaka’s life was absolutely amazing. From rebel commander to Christian missionary to chief advisor for both Crown Prince and Shogun, Tanaka had lived many lives in one.

    Osahito took a sip of the lukewarm tea and shivered. He had talked too long, and now the tea was undrinkable. He pushed it towards the middle of the table, that servants going by would realize he was done, and would remove it. He stood, and walked towards the stairs. He did not notice the man whose eyes followed him up the stairs. Nor did Osahito see the man drop a few coins on the table in payment, and leave quickly.



    Coins exchanged hands in an alley three streets closer to the Kyoto Road. The two men did not trust each other, but business was business. Information for coin had been their profession from the cradle, and even the new daimyo’s police chief and his intrusions would not dissuade them from easy money.

    Tamaguchi slowly pocketed the money, bowing slightly to his counterpart. Information in these times was expensive by nature, and none of the true powers in the city liked paying. He was quick with a knife, as one had to be, but he suspected there were a couple thugs out by the street, possibly with more dangerous weapons.

    The man standing in front of him returned the bow. “Tamaguchi-san. Would you be willing to enter my employ?”

    Tamaguchi smiled. “No.” It leapt out before he could stop it. When in danger, never, ever, slight someone who might let you live, he snarled at himself.

    “I am truly sorry to hear that, Tamaguchi-san.” The big man whistled, signaling his goons. Tamaguchi turned, and ran the other way, desperately hoping this alley had another exit. His father had taught him one thing: knowledge is power. He had neglected his father’s advice. He should have come to this meeting with at least three possible escape routes.

    Panic seized Tamaguchi as he almost ran headlong into the wall at the end of the alley. He turned to face his pursuers. The big man held back, twirling a long knife. Two smaller men walked towards him, eyeing him warily. They each held a knife at the ready, closing for the kill.

    Tamaguchi reached down towards his boot, and withdrew the dagger he kept there. It would not be nearly enough. He felt the panic wear off as he became adjusted to the situation. He began to think more clearly. Tamaguchi looked up, hoping for a handhold for climbing. Instead, a black cloaked man with a crossbow crouched on the roof above him, with a finger to his lips, signaling quiet.

    Following orders, Tamaguchi returned his gaze to the two attackers, who had, by now, begun circling around him, to force him to expose his back. An odd idea occurred to young Tamaguchi. Caution should no longer be followed here. His life was at stake.

    He adjusted the grip on his dagger, and threw it as hard as he could at the left adversary. He began charging as fast as he could at the man facing the dagger. It twirled end over end, with the handle finally smashing the man’s nose in with bone-crushing force. Well, he was no Tomoko Izaki, after all.

    The target dropped his knife, and brought hands up to nose. Just as they got there, Tamaguchi smashed the thug’s body into the wall, elbow cracking ribs. He dropped to a crouch, reaching for the dropped knife. His hands curled around the strips of leather on the handle. He began to turn around, just as a gigantic pain blossomed in his side, as the other thug smashed his dagger into Tamaguchi’s helpless body.

    The dagger did not get jerked free, however, as Tamaguchi’s assailant dropped to his knees with a crossbow bolt sticking out of his heart. Tamaguchi looked up through the blinding pain. The man in black crouched, back to him, with an axe in his right hand. The big man had stopped smiling, and had begun running. The man in black was content to let him.
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  12. #332
    Compulsive CommentatAAR stnylan's Avatar
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    Well now, that is a surprising turn of events. I do wonder about who the man in black with crossbow is - and whether Tamaguchi is really any better off now that he was (with or without the dagger in his side).

    A good fight scene.
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  13. #333
    Colonel kingmbutu's Avatar
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    wow that was an exciting scene... who is this man in black i wondeR?
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  14. #334
    stnylan: It was a surprise indeed. For both of us.

    kingmbutu: Glad you liked it.

    This is a little late, but I'll throw it out there anyways:

    Please vote in the AARland Choice Awards, if you haven't already done so. Voting goes to November 12, though I truly apologize for forgetting to advertise for it.

    Thanks for reading, everyone.
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  15. #335
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    Intrigue swirls around Osahito even as he is unaware.

    Tamaguchi intrigues me. T-man number 7, I shall deem him. Or is it 8?

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  16. #336
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    Hmm...interesting turn of events. That was surely not just luck for Tamaguchi, but it was very good timing. But I am intrigued what this has to do with Osahito. Nice tension.
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  17. #337
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    It's been a long time since I've had time for Haiku...



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  18. #338
    Rensslaer: Indeed it does. Intrigues are attracted to men of power like flies to week old beef.

    coz1: This will have more relevance as the story moves along. Right now, though, it likely looks like I ran out of ideas, and threw in a random fight seem, right?

    Rensslaer: Sorry, the analogy should be:
    Quote Originally Posted by fj44
    Intrigues are attracted to men of power like Rensslaer to week old updates.


    Update coming within a couple days.
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  19. #339




    Kyoto was a capital, full of nobles, courtiers, and royalty. Kyoto was a capital, full of knaves, spies, and assassins.


    The tavern’s rice lanterns flickered as nightfall’s sea breezes swept in through the front door, carelessly left open by one of the tavern’s patrons. Suzuya scowled at the hooded man across the table from him. The scowl was not because of the chilling wind, though cold weather put Suzuya in a vile mood. These arrogant nobles would never admit who they were, especially when coming to the Brown Tiger. The daimyo thought they were smarter than the common folk, something which rubbed against Suzuya’s pride.

    Suzuya spared a quick glance around the room. Clusters of men sat around the room, losing themselves in their sake and conversation. All sat bareheaded, enjoying the fire’s warmth, now that old Giro finally closed the damned door. This was a place of relaxation, never business. That is, except for the Black Hand.

    Suzuya’s gaze returned to the hooded man sitting across from him. “What may I do for you, my esteemed guest?”

    “Do I have the honor of speaking to Suzuya Ichiro?”

    “Perhaps. It depends on what you wish to say.”

    “Why…?”

    “An interesting question. An even more interesting answer. However, everything has its price here.” Suzuya gestured around. “Sake, 3 kendo. Women, 10 kendo. Comradeship with one’s fellow man is free. Business is not.”

    A deep chuckle emanated from within the cowl across from him. “This is true, Suzuya-san.” The visitor readjusted himself on his bench, and pulled a brown cloth bag from his cloak, dropping it on the table with a soft clink. “I would like to make an inquiry into a man’s motions. A man, who I am sure you know.”

    “I know many men, esteemed visitor. Unless your inquiry is more specific, I may not be able to help you.”

    “He is a tall man, who walks with a poise one might find in a samurai. He has been known to go by a variety of names, none of which would help very much.” The man’s hand came up from his side, bearing a hand sketch of a face. “This is the face of the man, Suzuya-san.”

    Suzuya scowled at the sketch. He knew exactly who that was. “I will make inquiries, esteemed visitor. Perhaps if you visited back here next week, I might have some information for you.”

    The hooded man stood slowly, looking down at Suzuya. Suzuya stood as well, so as to not seem rude. The man bowed slightly. Suzuya responded with a slightly deeper bow. Respect never hurt one’s chances in his profession. “Suzuya-san, I look forward to it.”
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  20. #340
    Strategy GuidAAR Rensslaer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fj44
    The tavern’s rice lanterns flickered as nightfall’s sea breezes swept in through the front door,
    Favorite phrase of THIS week! You're making quite a game of this!

    Intrigueing!

    Rensslaer
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    Kriegsgefahr (Impending War) - (HOI3/SF/HPP) - Germany attempts to remain at peace! (Updated Apr '13)
    Locarno - Italy vs. Germany (HOI3/SF/HPP) - What if Mussolini stood with France against Hitler?
    The Die is Cast (Roman Civil War) - Caesar will make a name for himself! (Updated June '12)
    Império Novo - An Axis Portugal AAR for HOI 3 (Updated May '13)
    Fire Warms the Northern Lands - A Prussian Victoria 1 AAR (Awarded the VictAARian Cross for Jan-Jun 2006)
    Castles In the Sky (Vicky 1) * Sforza!!! - A Milan AAR (EU III) (Updated May '13) * I Am Siam (V2 Minor) (tied for Silver VictAARian Cross for Best AAR completed in 2011) * A Long Time Ago... (HOI 1 Argentina)* Check Rensslaer's Inkwell! (list of online writings)

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