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Thread: Bishamon - a Magna Mundi AAR

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    Not a Sahib Milites's Avatar
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    Bishamon - a Magna Mundi AAR

    B I S H A M O N



    The year is 1477.
    For almost a hundred years, the Ashikaga Shogunate has ruled Japan from its capital in Kyoto.

    However, the recent Onin War has shown that they no longer have the power needed to control the country’s great clans. The time has come for a new warrior to claim the title of Shogun – and establish a bakufu that will bring the power of the samurai caste to new highs.
    Japan is divided between ruthless warlords, provincial governors called Shugo, whose armies are swelled each season with loyal retainers who spill blood in the frequent and vicious battles that give this era its deserving name – Sengoku Jidai, the Age of the Country at War.

    ***


    Welcome to my third AAR for Europa Universalis III.

    I shall be playing with the mod Magna Mundi Platinium for the Heir to the Throne expansion pack. Country of choice is the Uesugi clan of the Echigo, Kozuke and Musashi provinces. Furthermore I’ll be using a few custom made GFX options (advisor images/new flags) which means that I, amongst other things, will use the clan moro of Uesugi Kenshin instead of the generic clan heraldry as faction flag (because it looks cool). On a related note, the AAR’s title derives from said Kenshin’s nickname – Bishamon or Bishamonten- which is the Japanese name for the God of War. Considering the setting of the Sengoku Jidai, I think it quite fitting.

    *


    __

    Table of Contents
    __


    Prelude -
    The Onin War

    Part One -

  2. #2
    Not a Sahib Milites's Avatar
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    Prelude - the Onin War




    *


    The Ashikaga Shogunate had been the undisputed rulers or the Japanese isles for exactly 75 years when a trivial dispute regarding the succession escalated into a full blown civil war that eventually rendered the bakufu’s[1] Muromachi district in Kyoto reduced to a smoking pile of debris.

    Itself founded by Ashikaga Takauji on the defeated remains of the first warrior government in Kamakura, the Ashikaga family had overcome both provincial insurrection and imperial restoration[2] on its quest to establish buke[3] control over the sacred isles of Japan.

    Although referred to as a singular entity, the War of Onin and Bummei (named so on account of the period names of the 11 year long war ) was, for all intents and purposes, a succession of armed conflicts centred around the Ashikaga’s capital of Kyoto and fought between various loose coalitions of “eastern and western” military provincial governors known as shugo. Ostensibly fought over the right of succession following either the death or retirement of the 8th Shogun, Ashikaga Yoshimasa, the true cause of the 10 year long disturbance was precisely the exhausted power and authority of the Muromachi bakufu and the equivalent ascendance of the shugo clans to national prominence.


    The first and eight shoguns Ashikaga Takauji and Ashikaga Yoshimasa shown side by side.


    The Onin War involved nearly all major shugo houses and, as mentioned earlier, left Kyoto scorched and deserted by the provincial governors. Who in turn had been forced to the capital by the bakufu in the first place.

    However, above the other great bushi families, two major houses rose to champion the opposing candidates for the title of Seii Taishogun[4].

    These were the great Hosokawa and Yamana families - and they were the ones who would spearhead the coming battles and rally the other clans to their sides in a conflict which would eventually descend into a display of primal, brute strength.

    All in all, the successional dispute that ushered in the Sengoku Jidai was a tragic affair.

    Ashikaga Yoshimasa had been childless his entire life and certain that he would sire no heir from his own seeds, he brought his younger brother Yoshimi out of his Buddhist convent and named him heir-presumptive to the reeling Muromachi bakufu.

    However, the very next year, a son, Yoshihisa, was born to the shogun – causing serious friction between the two brothers whilst also prompting the Yamana and Hosokawa to declare their support for respectively the infant son of shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa and his designated heir Yoshimi. With the two great houses maneuvered into such antagonistic positions, political tension escalated.


    Provinces and regions (kuni and chino) at the end of the Onin War,


    Although warnings from the bakufu had declared that the first shugo to initiate hostilities would be branded a traitor, Yoshimi’s Hosokawa stewards attacked and incinerated the mansion of a Yamana general within the capital’s boundaries.
    Within the blink of an eye, the entire country was catapulted into civil war as the clans shed blood for their pretender’s claim to succession. And whilst Kyoto went up in flames and Yamashiro province was sacked by some 160,000 Hosokawa and Yamana troops, Ashikaga Yoshimasa retreated to his lavish palace and practiced poetry. A far cry from his ancestor’s bold deeds that won the house of Ashikaga the mantle of shogun.

    The war dragged on as both parties swept through the capital, but a year later (1468), the Hosokawa triumphed politically by convincing both the retracted Shogun and the emperor to brand Yamana Sozen, known as the Red Monk on account of his complexion and former trade, the leader of the Yoshimasa clique, a traitor and enemy of the state. This denunciation was further strengthened by the Hosokawa alliance with the majority of shogunal officials. Yet the Yamana did not particularly seem to care about the catastrophically damaging edict. Yamana Sozen still held the loyalty of the fearsome Ouchi Masahiro of Nagato province as well as the support of the mighty Toki clan and with their support, he aimed to reduce the enemy’s denunciation to empty howls in the Kinai’s wind.



    Western half of the Japanese Isles, showing the domains of the three major houses that partook in the Onin War.


    With the backing of the Toki and Ouchi houses, Yamana Sozen reasoned that he, in the end, would just have the shogunal ban overturned at a later point when his coalition had driven the claimant Yoshimi from the throne. However, in the end, neither Sozen nor his counterpart Hosokawa Katsomutsu would live to see the end of the conflict – let alone force change in the line of succession.

    Despite their deaths, the war dragged on, until in 1477 when Ouchi Masahiro – after having defied the Shogun time upon time - finally left the capital. Japan’s greatest city[5] had by then already been abandoned by lesser shugo who realized that the scorched urban centre no longer held substantial political significance. This instead, they found in the country’s provinces.

    In a sense, the Yamana had been victorious – since the son of Yoshimasa retained the throne – but their triumph rang hollow amongst the laze embers that covered the bakufu’s capital.

    Legalised by the spineless indifference of the bakufu , the great buke houses of the country now strove to assert their influence and prestige across the fiefs and domains of the land in order to fill the growing void the Ashikaga had left behind.

    The War of Onin and Bummei had been concluded. The Age of the Country at War was about to begin.





    *


    [1]Literally, “tent government.” The government of the military caste headed by a shogun.
    [2]Referring, of course, to the so-called Kemmu Restoration.
    [3]The Japanese military estate/class/caste. Also known as bushi or samurai.
    [4]Generally translated as “barbarian-subduing generalissimo” and often abbreviated as shogun, the shogunal title was resurrected after the Gempei War and bestowed by the emperor on the military rulers of Japan, who acted independently from the civilian government.
    [5]At the time of the Onin War, it is estimated that the city had a populace of some 200.000

  3. #3
    Oh, my, goodness. This is going to be good! Where's the popcorn?!

  4. #4
    Second Lieutenant SouthernKing's Avatar
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    It is a good AAR

    I never got the chance to play MM as I only started playing EU3 with DW, so I will be following this closely.

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    Second Lieutenant WGPower's Avatar
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    Cannot wait for the first update, Milites and Magna Mundi.. Delicious.

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    A Milites AAR I can follow from the very start, fantastic!

    BTW If your AAR is about Kenshin and the Uesugi, why does Date Masamune feature so prominently in the header?
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    Oooo. Good country choice (plus I'm just beginning to "encounter" the Uesugi in my own game), and the intro has me hooked already. I'll definitely be following this.

    (And as another Chronicles-buyer, I have no idea what MM is like, so that has me curious as well! Although I hear it's like if EU3 were trying to viciously crush all your hopes and dreams.)
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    Part Time Warp aldriq's Avatar
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  9. #9
    Not a Sahib Milites's Avatar
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    Oh, my, goodness. This is going to be good! Where's the popcorn?!
    Thanks for the trust I hope I can live up to the 'modest' expectations.

    It is a good AAR

    I never got the chance to play MM as I only started playing EU3 with DW, so I will be following this closely.
    Magna Mundi's representation of the Japanese situation is pretty solid and if you play your cards right, you'll avoid the nastier things Ubik cooked up for the mod. Hopefully the Uesugi will prosper unmolested by the horror of penalty events.

    Cannot wait for the first update, Milites and Magna Mundi.. Delicious.
    Thanks! An actual update shall be along shortly.

    A Milites AAR I can follow from the very start, fantastic!

    BTW If your AAR is about Kenshin and the Uesugi, why does Date Masamune feature so prominently in the header?
    Dang it, the proper AAR hasn't even started and already someone found one of the Easter eggs. It is indeed Masamune which I've portraied in the opening GFX. Have a Kenshin Cookie Now I just wait for a Japanese speaking person to come by...

    However, the AAR is not per se about the Kenshin we know and love. Remember this is alternate history and even though I might fit him in somehow, the AAR will predominately deal with the Sengoku Jidai as it is simulated in my game.

    Shiny new AAR, MMP and pretty maps! What's not to like?
    Lack of an actual update, lol? I shall strive to deliver a decent product

  10. #10
    Not a Sahib Milites's Avatar
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    Chapter I
    * * *
    – Of Koku and Kanrei -





    *



    Raised from the Fujiwara seed, the Uesugi clan blossomed from the Onin Disturbance as a strong regional force. Collecting dues from the three provinces of Echigo, Kozuke and Musashi, the fiefs and domains of the family stretched from the vast Kanto Plain to the cradling waves of the Hokuriko coastline.

    Trade with Sado island off Echigo as well as shady dealings with the sea borne raiders, the wako, who pillaged the coasts of Great Ming and their Joeson vassals made the Uesugi rich on wealth as well as knowledge. However, wealth did not make all well within the three-province border of the clan.

    The retainers and shugodai[1] of the clan were at the wake of the 10 year war in the Kinai area not too chastened to refrain from wanton disobedience to the directives issued from Kozuke.



    Within provinces, feuds are still fought.

    *


    However, not all of shugo Akisada’s vassals were uppity.

    The slopes of Mount Akagi, the Red Castle Peak, held several Buddhist shrines wherefrom the bushi estate of the prefectures could draw on considerable support when it came to crushing uprisings from bands, or ikki[2], who had arisen from the chaos commenced by the Hosokawa-Yamana feud over the succession. True, uprisings had preceded the armed conflict between the two great bushi houses – sparked by economic crises, such bands of malcontents and poor had penetrated the capital and extorted tribute to serve as relief in their hour of darkness – but the dislike for samurai and kuge authority had increased steeply since the conclusion of the Ashikaga succession war.


    *


    When Ashikaga Yoshimasa failed to assert his influence in halting the bloodshed on the doorstep of the Muromachi quarters, the provincial commanders concluded, logically, that the armed conflict which had forged the buke caste in the ascendancy of the Kamakura government had once again been sanctioned from the capital.
    As the shugos arrived from the blaze of Kyoto they discovered that the power of the sword had all but surpassed the edicts of the bakufu. Their vassals, being close to the real centre of military and commercial power, had become inclined to bouts of insubordination. Those too weak to assert themselves in their designated provinces were swiftly replaced and their local counterparts assumed full title and regalia of a shogunal appointee.

    Although this was the case in the provinces (especially in those furthest away from the central government e.g. in the northern Tohuko and southern Kyushu fiefs) the outbled Hosokawa managed to cling unto the title of Kanrei which secured the safety of the capital’s sodden populace.

    Coveted as a symbol of strength and prestige, the title of Kanrei had originally been established in order for the bakufu to draw great bushi clans to their banner and serve as the warrior government’s officials and deputies in areas outside the strong influence of the Ashikaga heartland in the Kinai. Not hereditary in its infancy, the Kanrei position had been rotated between the three families of Hatakeyama, Shiba and Hosokawa who were known as the sankanrei – the three deputies. With the latter of the three Kanrei clans obtaining legitimacy from the ancient title, others too sought to advance themselves by pleasing the shogun.

    Akisada, however, at first decided to cement his fiefs through a matrimonial alliance with the neighbouring Satake clan of Hitachi province.




    *



    Outside goodwill from the neighbouring shugo who were reeling as well from the recent nation-wide disturbance were unfortunately not enough. The deputies of the many provinces that made up the Uesugi domains had, as already mentioned, strengthened their sense of independence and as such, Akisada had to cultivate the support of the crucial warrior caste which in the West has been famed under the name samurai.

    In order to understand the crucial and dominating role this particular social group held in medieval and early modern Japan one has to look back through the fog of time to the Gempei War of old where the Minamoto and Taira cliques had battled for supremacy.

    In the years before this conflict, the original division of Japanese society did not altogether envision a warrior government. That entity was purely formed by the migration of the social elite away from the provinces to the imperial centres of governance. Once entrenched in the cities the courtiers became deluded in their sense of control over the public and private landed estates (koku-garyo and shoen) and loosened their grip over the provinces.

    Leadership in the countryside thus fell to men of distinction whose source of prestige lay with the martial way of life. Although governorship for some time continued to be rotated between courtiers, the provincial title of shugo had by the time of the Onin disturbance become pretty much entrenched, cementing the status of the buke class[3].


    Akisada enforces cohesion. (New NI, national conscripts, one move towards quality)
    *


    Considering the influx of the traditional elite following the shugo back to the Uesugi domains, Akisada had to walk a veritable tightrope in order to satisfy the two opposing castes – the warrior samurai and the courtier kuge estate. This he did at the expense of the third grouping, the poor and the peasants.

    Whilst enforcing stronger conscription amongst the peasantry of the three provinces, Akisada made sure the edict had to be processed by the returned clan administrators. However, such a change was perceived as cosmetic at best, thus generating a certain degree of hostility amongst the courtier fraction. Still, their bickering was muffled by the enthusiasm of the landed buke aristocracy and as such the reform wasn’t met with open denunciation.




    *



    With his domains and family relations strengthened with an anchor post to the west, Akisada threw himself into the race for the priced Kanrei position and turned the diplomats of the clan towards the Tokai and Kinai. A retainer from Kozuke named Tadatsune Abe who held fiefs in vassalage for the Uesugi was loaded with treasure and secretaries and sent on his way towards the great Biwa lake and the haunting capital of Kyoto.

    Tadatsune courted the beleaguered Ashikaga Shogun who found great relief at the apparent subordination of the great western clan and thoroughly admired the military skills of the Uesugi envoy, who had fought in several pitched battles during the recent Onin disturbance.

    Soon a marriage proposal had also been negotiated with the Muromachi bakufu, catapulting Akisada into a very favourable position amongst the shogun’s key supporters.



    *


    Although the prized negotiator and loyal retainer Tadatsune had been employed by the bakufu’s administration as a part of the negotiations, the Uesugi found the loss of a single military man a small price to pay when considering the massive prestige and security boons the bond with Muromachi would produce.

    The effect of Akisada’s manoeuvre was soon made obvious when the great Toki house in the central Tokai region made advances regarding a possible common military league. Although it was ostensible founded to combat interprovincial rebellion and the growing banditry in the mountains on the border of Echigo, the pact between the Uesugi and the former Yamana allies in the Toki clan would cement the ability of both families to project their power and influence in the east as well as in the west.

    With these two major political adventures completed, the Uesugi had practically played into the hands of the Yamana clan. The Toki had been their stewards in the east and the current shogun was their favoured successor. However, the Yamana remained frosty towards the ambitious engagement of the surging eastern clan and as such, Akisada did not gain the total endorsement of the Yamana clique he had desired.

    The Uesugi alignment with the ‘victors’ of the Onin disturbance had been a major and controversial one, since bad blood between the clan and the shogun had been shed over the assassination of Uesugi Noritada in the early 1450s, however, the move did not destabilize Akisada’s grip over the three provinces in any major way and when shogun Yoshimasa wished to launch a campaign[4] against a local vassal in Omi province who had been confiscating funds meant for the imperial family, the Uesugi in support marched an army of an estimated worth around 2000 koku[5] into the Kinai – since the Muromachi were unable to produce any breakthrough against the rebels.

    Completed by the early days of 1479 and won through the skill and bravery of men such as the Uesugi shugo and his young retainer Sojun Tsutsui, who originated from the neighbouring Yamato province, the offender was chastised and Akisada won the respect and trust of the Muromachi bakufu. Within a fortnight the Uesugi had ascended to confidential ally of the military government, entrenching the prestige of the ruling shugo in Kozuke.




    *


    As the 1470ies came to an end, Akisada had brought his clan out of the isolation of the east and propelled it into the centre of the reeling bakufu’s schemes and intrigues. Allied and on good terms with a majority of his neighbours, the shugo could now turn his attention towards the fractured patchwork of retainers that filled his own provinces. The campaign in the Kinai had only been the beginning – a war that had been fought in order to claim the legitimacy needed to spread the Uesugi influence amongst the minor clans that still resisted the great Fujiwara descendants in the three provinces.

    The Mariyatsu and Satomi clans of Musashi were in particular beginning to annoy the shugo, but in the remaining pair of provinces, unrest had also begun to rise in the wake of the western expedition with the deputies of certain fiefs hiring their own men of renown.

    In a show of goodwill, Yoshimasa convened a blessing on his ‘most loyal retainer’ to enforce authority if any of his kokujin[6] or shugo-dai were to prove a nuisance. Such campaigns would then be fought in the name of the shogun, the Muromachi government thought, but in reality any land claimed by such a campaign of feuds would fall to Akisada’s own family and trusted vassals. However, the lesser families of the Uesugi fiefs had used the Onin disturbance well. And inside their forts they were committed not be ousted easily.



    *




    [1]Deputies of the shugo.
    [2]A term that originally meant “to act in consort” but later came to denote uprisings by organized bands of farmers, retainers or religious groupings – such as the Ikko Ikki.
    [3]I realise that this is a rather short introduction on the rise of the bushi estate, but I will probably expand upon it later on.
    [4]Event: Feuding Daimyo in Yamashiro.
    [5]Koku, the historical term for the amount of rice needed to feed a person for an entire year.
    [6]Also known as ji-zamurai, or ‘samurai of the land’ the title of kokujin described a landholder of feeble status who often served as retainer for a more powerful bushi family.


  11. #11
    Major Chris Taylor's Avatar
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    As mentioned above, Milites and Magna Mundi ought to be an epic combination. And the graphics are simply astounding!
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    Indeed, outstanding graphics work on this chapter Milites. I can't very much comment on your moves, as I haven't really played around much in the Far East when it comes to Magna Mundi, but I'm sure you'll be able to guide the Uesagi clan to the dominate position as Shogun of all of Japan!

  13. #13
    On Probation thrashing mad's Avatar

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    Great stuff Milites. Congratulations - you are new WritAAR of the Week!

  14. #14
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    Following. Awesome graphics!

  15. #15
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    Solid beginning, great graphics, a fantastic Milites offering as always.

    Congratulations on WotW!
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  16. #16
    Not a Sahib Milites's Avatar
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    In other news, arranging a party for some 1800 people is a rather daunting task that gets in the way of updating.

    As mentioned above, Milites and Magna Mundi ought to be an epic combination. And the graphics are simply astounding!
    A mark of quality from yourself is a pretty neat endorsement as well as an encouragement to write more updates. I hope to live up to the expectations.
    Indeed, outstanding graphics work on this chapter Milites. I can't very much comment on your moves, as I haven't really played around much in the Far East when it comes to Magna Mundi, but I'm sure you'll be able to guide the Uesagi clan to the dominate position as Shogun of all of Japan!
    Really? I always thought the Sengoku scenario was one of the MM players' top starting points - but maybe that's just me being strange. As for the Shogunal ambition, well... I've been playing some more ahead and let me tell you, claiming the mantle of the bakufu isn't a cakewalk :0
    Great stuff Milites. Congratulations - you are new WritAAR of the Week!
    Wow! That must be some kind of record with only two entries. Thank you very much my friend, your acknowledgement means a lot to me I hope to reach graphical excellence on par with yours one day.

    Following. Awesome graphics!
    Thank you! The GFX will hopefully only improve over time.

    Solid beginning, great graphics, a fantastic Milites offering as always.

    Congratulations on WotW!
    Thank you for the kind words, buddy. Very glad to have you aboard

  17. #17
    General Winner's Avatar

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    I won't add to the praise, lest you'd become too complacent Let me just say you really should make a tutorial for the less talented on how to produce such great graphics for an AAR Especially the maps are to die for.

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  18. #18
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    It looks like the starting point of the clans is very insecure – 20 years of strengthening and consolidation were very much needed.
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  19. #19
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    I've started writing the next chapter, but school's really swarming me atm.

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    I won't add to the praise, lest you'd become too complacent Let me just say you really should make a tutorial for the less talented on how to produce such great graphics for an AAR Especially the maps are to die for.

    (*goes into hiding again*)
    You write very flattering non-praising posts then, my friend Regarding the possibility for a map-making guide, well, I might look into that.

    It looks like the starting point of the clans is very insecure – 20 years of strengthening and consolidation were very much needed.
    Indeed - some AI clans can spend the entire game just trying to restore order to their domains.

  20. #20
    Argentina Delenda Est Tanzhang (譚張)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winner View Post
    Let me just say you really should make a tutorial for the less talented on how to produce such great graphics for an AAR
    I second this.
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