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Rensslaer

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Somehow, I worry that Marukomo-san might not make it 'till tomorrow at midday!

I am liking this! Alot!

I really enjoy the Japanese cultural character of your dialogue, and the pace of the story. It eases the reader into the atmosphere of Japan, which is quite different from all the European perspectives we see all over.

I was rather amused by the sake story, which presumably relates to some random loss of liquor, yes?

Only one teency-weency nit: Your first update is still dated 1936. :rolleyes:

Keep it up!

Renss
 

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Rensslaer said:
Somehow, I worry that Marukomo-san might not make it 'till tomorrow at midday!

You may be right! But you'll have to read the next update to know for sure. :)

Rensslaer said:
I am liking this! Alot!

I'm glad you like it. Not bad for a first AAR... :)

Rensslaer said:
I really enjoy the Japanese cultural character of your dialogue, and the pace of the story. It eases the reader into the atmosphere of Japan, which is quite different from all the European perspectives we see all over.

I actually didn't know how it would turn out, but the style seems to work, which is a good thing!

Rensslaer said:
I was rather amused by the sake story, which presumably relates to some random loss of liquor, yes?

Yes. :D
I originally just wanted to throw that in, but I tied it into the upcoming updates too.

Rensslaer said:
Only one teency-weency nit: Your first update is still dated 1936. :rolleyes:

That's because it's still 1936. :p Don't worry, we shall presently roll into the new year. :)

lifeless said:
good update!

Thanks. Glad you're reading.

coz1 said:
Setting up the first of many revolts, I presume. Good luck.
Perhaps...but perhaps not. I haven't played out through the 1840s yet, so you'll have to wait for the updates. :)

coz1 said:
Best of luck my fellow Atlantan. I'll be following.
A fellow Georgian! I thought we only had Texans and Yankees... :D

To all readers, thanks for your comments. As many of you know, the first AAR is always the hardest. Thanks for the encouragement.

Again thanks to both readers and lurkers. I'll have an update ready sometime soon, depending on work I have to do... :)
 

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Takeda's Civil War

Noon, November 21, 1836 – The Shogun’s private gardens

Tokugawa Ienari stepped into the gardens, smiling. He was always happy here. Though once lush with vegetation, including his prized iris, late autumn made the garden look faded. Though faded, and not classically beautiful, it was wonderful for thinking.

He had issued his daily orders earlier, and left instructions that he was not to be disturbed except by his sons or Marukomo. His morning discussion with Ieyoshi was much more heated than normal. Ieyoshi would understand when he was older. Ienari pondered the great oak in the center of the garden, surrounded by fallen leaves. Composure. He needed composure. Like the great oak losing its leaves, Japan would make a sacrifice. Like the oak, though, Japan would regenerate what it had lost when the proper season came.

Furinto peeked through the spruce across from his father. His uncle had been quite explicit about his reward. Imagine being Shogun from the age of twenty-two until he died of old age! Few shogun or emperors in all of Japan’s history had that honor. He steeled himself easily. Perhaps that particular skill came with his name.

The door with the palace opened, and Kumaro Marukomo hobbled through. Ienari quickly walked over to his friend to help him to a bench set in the middle of the garden.

“Marukomo-san, did you rest well?” Ienari inquired.

“You know I didn’t, Ienari. The elderly are too fragile to sleep well.”

“I thought on your words last night. I have made out the proper orders. They are already in effect.”

“Ienari, you are a strong man to do this.”

They sat in silence for a while, reflecting on nature, both of humanity and of the world.

“Marukomo-san, I thank you for the guidance you have—“

Furinto’s dagger plunged into his father’s heart, spraying blood onto the grass at Ienari’s feet. Marukomo did not move. Furinto extracted the dagger, rather messily, from his father. He pivoted on his left foot, severing Marukomo’s jugular. Furinto made sure the two were dead, turned on heel, took a step, and stared as a sword opened his body from neck to groin.

Ieyoshi had an odd frown on his face. In his hands, he held his sword. His father had been right. It was not just some fancy that Furinto was plotting against Ienari. It still hurt to watch your father be slain, and be forced to gut your brother like a fish.

He cleaned the sword on Furinto’s still form, and replaced it in his scabbard. Walking back towards the palace, he frowned. He’d send for his father at dinner. That was the best way to do it. He almost felt capable of being shogun. Ienari would be proud.
 
Last edited:

lz14

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hey could someone translate to me what has happened in game terms so far ? :D I have no idea.
 

unmerged(51332)

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Send for his father at dinner? You mean alert the garuds? Let me get this straight. Ineiri(sp?) told his eldest son Farinto(the heir) to kill him so he could be shogun. But he also told his 2nd oldest son that he thoght Farinto might kill him- Mabey to garud him? Regardless Farinto fell into the trap and killed his father like he asked. And was killed by his brother in turn, meaning that the 2nd oldest is now Shogun and...Ineiri's plan worked? Btw the old guy was this really his advice that he hinted at? Or had Ineiri misinturpireted it? Im assuming it was because he didn't move- you know because he knew he had to die. Blah Just ramballing trying to make sense of it!

Awfully well written! Very interesting! :D
 

unmerged(47162)

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gasp! he killed his father and his brother? how dastardly... :p
 

Rensslaer

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Fj44,

You know that last update has been sitting there since before I last looked... and I missed it somehow!

Further... I'm with Iron Skull! I'm still trying to parse out just what happened. But wow! Who'd a thunk, Byzantine plots in Japan? Actually, I'm sure they were there. But that's a little beyond the dysfunctional noble family norm, there... :eek:

Very well written! I mean VERY well written. I'm really looking forward to more of this!

Rensslaer
 

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fj44 said:
@Garuda: Glad to hear you've played Japan before. Feel free to give advice, as I really don't really have a long term plan just yet.

Have you played as Japan before? if not you may want to pop over to Vickywiki and look at the Japan guide. It details some of the more important decisions you'll face. Foremost of these being the 'Dutch Letter'. I always decline and wait for the US ambassador instead.

Keep up the good work! :cool:
 

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Getting right into the family intrigue, I see. Very good. I look forward to more. :D
 

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Garuda said:
Have you played as Japan before? if not you may want to pop over to Vickywiki and look at the Japan guide. It details some of the more important decisions you'll face. Foremost of these being the 'Dutch Letter'. I always decline and wait for the US ambassador instead.

Keep up the good work!

I have read the wiki guide, and refer you back to house rule #2 as regards the Dutch Letter:

fj44 said:
2) To not compromise national values (Gradual change to democracy and civilization--no self-inflicted revolutions).

In other words, we'll see if I can maintain the conservative monarchy until the Meiji restoration. :)

Rensslaer said:
Fj44,

You know that last update has been sitting there since before I last looked... and I missed it somehow!

Further... I'm with Iron Skull! I'm still trying to parse out just what happened. But wow! Who'd a thunk, Byzantine plots in Japan? Actually, I'm sure they were there. But that's a little beyond the dysfunctional noble family norm, there...

Very well written! I mean VERY well written. I'm really looking forward to more of this!

Rensslaer

By the decline of the Tokugawa Shogunate (roughly 1820 to the Meiji Restoration), political wrangling was commonplace, and the only way to last as a Shogun was to be extremely stupid or extremely smart. This was true to a lesser extent earlier in Japan's history. Though the relationship between Daimyo, Shogun, and Emperor was oddly similar to the relationship between the German Princes, the Holy Roman Emperor, and the Pope near the end of the Dark Ages.

Thanks for your kind words, too. I've been trying to develop my writing skills, so any critiques on my writing is welcome!

lifeless said:
gasp! he killed his father and his brother? how dastardly...
Not quite... ;)

I recommend rereading the last update. Even I had to reread it at least a dozen times while writing it. :)

Iron_Skull said:
Send for his father at dinner? You mean alert the garuds? Let me get this straight. Ineiri(sp?) told his eldest son Farinto(the heir) to kill him so he could be shogun. But he also told his 2nd oldest son that he thoght Farinto might kill him- Mabey to garud him? Regardless Farinto fell into the trap and killed his father like he asked. And was killed by his brother in turn, meaning that the 2nd oldest is now Shogun and...Ineiri's plan worked? Btw the old guy was this really his advice that he hinted at? Or had Ineiri misinturpireted it? Im assuming it was because he didn't move- you know because he knew he had to die. Blah Just ramballing trying to make sense of it!

Awfully well written! Very interesting!

You puzzled out most of it. Still some mistakes in your summarization, but not bad. I'm not going answer any of your questions, though. :p

Iz14 said:
hey could someone translate to me what has happened in game terms so far ? I have no idea.

Absolutely nothing. :p

No, stuff has happened, but I had to deal with the succession crisis right away, as Tokugawa Ienari officially died in 1837. I bumped it up a little for ease of consumption by the reader. After all, you wouldn't want to bounce back and forth between at least five byzantine plots, would you? ;)

You'll get some real Victoria-like happenings soon. However, I need to do my coursework, so you'll likely need to wait until tonight or tomorrow.

To all: Thanks for reading. Your comments are truly appreciated. Lurkers: I appreciate you guys too. :p

I edited the last two updates slightly, as I left out some minor plot elements. It shouldn't greatly affect the story, though.
 
Last edited:

fj44

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In case any of you are wondering, this actually is based on my game. To prove it, I'll put up screenies of these events from in game.





How's that?

A real update will arrive tomorrow or Wednesday.
 
Oct 28, 2004
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wow.. you sure take everyone by suprise there. What a bloody family affair.
 

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Takeda's Civil War

November 22, 1836—The town of Hakata, fifteen miles east of Nagasaki

Isoroko Samyueru, the newly appointed chief of the Hakata prefecture knew trouble when he saw it. Riots had wracked Hakata in the past, but nothing in the past fifteen years compared to this. This time, the revolt was not instigated by one of the daimyo. This time, they were not calling for the prefecture chief’s head. A sharp knock on the door brought his head and thoughts away from the window and crowd outside.

“Come!”

The door opened softly, his secretary bowing. “Samyueru-san, the leader of the people outside wishes to speak with you.”

“Send him in.” It wasn’t like there was anything he could do. The Daimyo Shimazu tied his hands, not allowing any negotiations with the mob. Samyueru sighed to himself. Maybe this is why they need a new chief every year, he thought to himself. Over the past twenty days, he had made efforts to reduce the corruption in the local justice system. This not only removed more criminals from Hakata, but the people had been very happy with his performance. Still, they would be upset with him in a few minutes.

The door swung open once more, and a man of medium build strode in. His posture exuded confidence, and his eyes were hard as rock. Fujiro Biru was the veteran of at least twenty disturbances—from muggings to riots; the two had met often, not always in amity. Surprisingly, he brought no bodyguards with him. The door swung shut, sounding louder than it should have.

“Samyuero. It has been long since my eyes have rested on you.”

“Fujiro-san, the pleasure is all mine.”

“You have moved up in the world since we last met.”

“So have you.”

“I have a proposal to make, Samyuero. You are a good, apolitical man. You command respect in this area. We support Takeda over Ieyoshi the child. I know you do not care who is shogun, but I would like you to retain your post under Takeda’s administration.”

“The current shogun commands my loyalty, and you know it, Biru.”

“Then I would like you to stay home for the next three months. You will paid as if you still are chief. Do not reject it out of hand. Just think on it. I will be back tomorrow for your answer.”
 
Last edited:

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Takeda's Civil War

November 23, 1836—The Hakata Prefecture, Five in the morning

Isoroku Samyuero had thought on Biru’s offer. It was tempting to take the easy path offered him. Biru, whatever his character was a man of his word. If he took the out here, he would be rewarded. But honor is priceless.

Fleeing never entered his mind. He gave two letters to his secretary, telling him to get his pregnant wife out of the province. Nagasaki was large enough to hide her. One letter was to explain to the mayor of Nagasaki what was happening, the second to bid farewell to his wife.

He slipped into a trance, relaxing his mind before the dawn and certain death.

Dawn and loud knocking broke Samyuero’s trance. He stood, looked at the door, shook his head.

“Come!”

Fujiro Biru and ten rebels filed into his office. The rebels fanned out, flanking their leader.

“Well, Samyuero?”

Samyuero’s eyes rose to meet Fujiro Biru’s. Icy calm was evident in his dark brown eyes. “Fujiro-san. I will serve the emperor and his shogun until death seizes us all.”

“Then you will die!”

Isoroku Samyuero slowly drew his sword, and embraced the most honorable death of the Hakata revolt. Legend held that the greatest samurai in Japan’s past had fought eight and barely survived the fight.

The Hakata revolt, before it became known as the Kyushu rebellion cost the lives of exactly eight men. Isoroku Samyuero and seven rebels perished in what Fujiwara Hansu* would later call the spark that ignited the nation.





*Japanese Historian (1858-1931)


NOTE: I had one giant update ready, but decided to divide it to make it easier for the reader(s) to deal with.
 
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coz1

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And the revolts begin. Ugh. That's one reason I have never played as Japan.
 

fj44

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coz1 said:
And the revolts begin. Ugh. That's one reason I have never played as Japan.
This is actually my second run through. My first run was under Vanilla. Under Vanilla, Japan really doesn't have revolts until the Meiji Restoration at the earliest. I thought that this didn't really reflect the unstable nature of the country during the Decline of the Shogunate. So I created a couple events to make the country unstable, though hopefully not too much so! :)

The events shown earlier are ones I wrote. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
 

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Takeda's Civil War

November 28, 1836—A field ten kilometers outside Sendai

Tenjiro winced as the offender was tied between two wagons and lashed mercilessly. The young man had been ten seconds late to roll call this morning. He supposed it was a way to enforce obedience, but was also a way to precipitate a mutiny. This particular practice dated back beyond recorded history.

As one of the twenty thousand levies called up by the shogun for the duration of the succession crisis, he had been pulled away from his small farm. He was a little resentful, and the strict discipline made his blood boil. The levies were being forced to watch one of their comrades lterally be beaten into a pulp.

Commotion by the Edo road pulled the assembled troops’ attentions away from the whipping. Two-dozen riders cantered into camp.

The lead horseman rode up, bowed from his mount, and spoke. “Where is Commander Nakajima?” His loud voice easily carried over the still soldiers.

Nakajima sauntered up, bowing just a fraction. “I am he. Who are you?”

The horseman ignored the insult. “Commander, it is the directive of the shogun that you cease the practice of lashing soldiers for anything but mutiny, desertion, or espionage.”

“Peasant, you have not named yourself to me. Your supposed orders lack any authority.” The contempt was evident. Tenjiro heard gasps along the line. Perhaps he had, too. “Lieutenant Beiru!”

“Sir!”

“Place this man in your custody until I feel like dealing with him.”

A man on horseback slowly walked his mount forward as Beiru was still trying to find the courage to arrest a man who came in the name of the shogun.

“Lieutenant Beiru!” After he was sure he had Beiru’s attention, he lifted his hands, removing his helmet. “Place Commander Nakajima under arrest by order of the shogun.” His young voice did not impress the assembled soldiery. His face did. To a man, the soldiers took a knee. Nakajima’s face turned pale. That face cast all of Beiru’s doubts aside. He stepped in front of Nakajima.

“Your sword, sir.” The words were shaky, but he looked Nakajima in the eyes. Nakajima forfeited his sword. “After you, sir.” Beiru’s hand gestured towards the small stockade at the north end of the field. Before turning to escort Nakajima, Beiru turned to the troops. “Release the prisoner.” His voice was stronger now, for he had looked into the eyes of God, and survived.

Tokugawa Ieyoshi quietly watched Beiru walk away. That man would follow him to the pit of doom. He made a mental note to place Beiru near a strong general. He turned to the commander beside him. “Commander Iwazaki,” he said softly, “I direct you to take charge of Sendai force. Be ready for action in forty-five days.”

“Yes, Great Lord.”

Ieyoshi nodded, and turned his mount. He needed as many men as possible. The rebels were gaining ground. Perhaps he needed more levies. He grunted to himself. You could always need more troops. He rode back to the Edo road. If he pushed his mount, he could make it back to the palace by morning.

He did not notice all the troops’ heads bowed still. These men, like Beiru, were his now.
 
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Oct 28, 2004
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Great writing, reading more and more like a novel. I see great potential in this AAR. Keep it up.
 

fj44

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Takeda's Civil War

Excerpt from Fujiwara Hansu’s The Dawn of the Rising Sun: Japan in the XIXth Century

The succession crisis tried the shogunate horribly. There was a point in early 1837 where, as the shogun’s advisor Kumaro Hideki writes, “the world seems to be ending, the peasants seem ready to sink Japan into the sea.” Though an over exaggeration, December 1836 through May 1837 were dark times for the shogunate.

Isoroku’s stand in Hakata was important. His sword fight, though interesting and noteworthy, was inconsequential. The letter to the mayor of Nagasaki, however was important. An excerpt is printed below:

“Honorable one, the rebels are coming your way. Though General Watanabe marches to your relief, the rebels will beat him by almost a month. I urge you, honorable on, to prepare for a siege. The rebels have an assortment of siege weaponry. I have seen these terrible weapons. Prepare, honorable one. Make your stand for the Emperor and His shogun. Watanabe is coming to your relief.

Your eternal servant,
Isoroku Samyuero
Chief of Hakata Prefecture”​

This advanced warning was almost spoiled by the hesitancy of the mayor. Luckily for Japan, the mayor’s advisors prevailed. Nagasaki was almost ready for the siege, a militia formed, storehouses filled, and a rationing system in place. Even so, the walls were almost breached within a week.

The rebels, 9700 men strong, invested the city within hours after burning the outlying villages. The besiegers, realizing that the city had not been taken by surprise, quickly brought up the siege train.

The insurgents launched their first assault on the night of January 3, 1837. The assault was preceded by heavy bombardment of the walls by catapults and ballistae. The attackers attempted to both scale the walls and infiltrate through the breaches. It was the second group that would threaten the city.

Lieutenant Sakai was in charge of the northeast ramparts that night. “We had repulsed their [the rebels] eighth charge of the night. Cries of ‘treason’ and ‘they’re behind us’ rose among my men. I turned, just as a rebel brought his spear back to thrust. I dove sideways, losing my sword in the exertion. Grabbing my dagger, I backpedaled, the rebel following.

“Seeing the spear of a dead comrade on the ground, I grabbed it. The rebel closed as I reached for the spear, and stabbed at me. The spear clove through my armor right here [Sakai pointed at his chest, five centimeters below his throat]. Luckily, I was wearing my fianceé’s pendant that she gave me for remembrance. The spear broke the pendant, but only bruised my chest. I retaliated, sticking him through the belly. After what felt like days later, the dawn rose, and we beat the rebels back.”

With a strength born of desperation, the besieged held the city. Though the cost was horrendous, Nagasaki stood fast. On February 18, 1837, General Watanabe engaged the rebels outside Nagasaki, routing them. The pursuit to Hakata destroyed any chance the rebels had of standing against Watanabe. By February 25, 1837, the tide had begun to turn. Ieyoshi’s levies had completed training, and another 30,000 were training at Kyoto. The rebels, though not beaten, were contained. Takeda, who instigated the rebellions, was still at-large. The next threat to the shogunate would be at the hands of the daimyo.

Writer's note: I wanted to try to throw in 'history book' excerpts from time to time. Let me know if you think I should continue or not. As always, critique my work.

Rensslaer: I like the Dr. Herz history posts a lot, and they are the inspiration for Dr. Fujiwara's book :)
 
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fj44

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Takeda's Civil War

February 20, 1837—Palace of the Shogun

Tokugawa Ieyoshi, though only twenty-seven, felt exhausted. Rebels seemed to be coming out of the woodwork. His secretary knocked politely on the door.

“Come!”

His secretary opened the door, and entered the room, bowing deeply. “My Lord Shogun, here are your daily reports and letters.”

Ieyoshi sighed. How had his father managed to make this look so easy? “Thank you, Kumamoto. Take the afternoon off.”

“Yes, my Lord Shogun. If I may be so forward, it might be advantageous for the nation if my Lord Shogun got more than four hours of sleep tonight.” Kumamoto was hiding a smile.

Ieyoshi smiled to himself. “I’ll try, Kumamoto.” His voice was laden with humor.

Kumamoto retired, closing the door behind him. Ieyoshi wondered if his lack of sleep was taking its toll. Was he getting snappish and short-tempered? Was he still able to think clearly on four hours of sleep? All questions he knew would never be answered. He would not ask, and even if he did, they would not tell. Ah well…back to work.

He noticed two letters, prominently placed by Kumamoto at the top of the stack. He picked up one. He read the dark, flowing script of General Iwazaki. Iwazaki! That was another problem. The man seemed to be innately corrupt. It was an open secret that anyone offering him gold could escape capture. That was not good. Unfortunately, he was better than any of the mediocre commanders he held in reserve.

Iwazaki’s letter read as follows:

February 7, 1837​

My Lord Shogun,

I am engaging the rebel scum tomorrow. I look to be slightly superior in numbers, and unless Takeda has stiffened them with his house troops, greatly superior in quality. The battle will be fought around the town of Morioka. The rebels have entrenched around the town, forsaking the heights in favor of maintaining a siege. The town still holds, though they do not look in good shape. I hope to relieve them tomorrow morning.

In the name of the Emperor
And His Shogun,
General Iwazaki Nakai”​

The other letter was from General Watanabe. Watanabe was a decent general. He had sworn personal fealty to Ieyoshi, and was a man of honor. Watanabe had attempted to lift the siege of Nagasaki February 18. He also issued a warning about the levies.

“My Lord Shogun, the peasant levies under the Imperial banner are of mixed strength. If they have feelings of awe and respect towards you, they will be as strong as any elite house troops. If, however, as I believe many levies do, they feel as if you conscripted them from their farms for a purely dynastic struggle, they will be more deadly than Takeda. I urge you to command a battle with either Sendai or Hyogo Force. This will stiffen our levies across the country.

Your Servant,
Watanabe Goto”​

Ieyoshi thought on Watanabe’s letter. Yes. It made sense. He already had done well with Sendai Force. Now-Lieutenant Commander Beiru and his men were already devoted to him. Perhaps Hyogo Force, on its way to battle at Okayama, could use some inspiration.
 
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