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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Farquharson

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The Origami Empire

Part 1: Introduction

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to this short lecture, “Reminiscences of a Shogun”. First let me - oh, yes * bows * Let me introduce myself. My name is Ashikaga Yoshimochi - what’s that? Spell it? Using which alphabet? Hmm - never heard of it. Where are you all from anyway?... Never heard of that either... Texas? Is that an inland province of China? Well, I’m terribly sorry but I’ve never heard of any of these places. Perhaps now would be the moment to reveal the depths of my ignorance and show my first visual aid...



So - hands up anyone who’s from Manchu? No-one. China? Korea? Hmm - I see I have my work cut out here. Perhaps these reminiscences aren’t going to be quite as short as I thought...

Well, perhaps the best thing is if you have a question, just interrupt... Yes - at the back there... Well, I wouldn’t call these “funny clothes” - you’re the ones with the funny clothes if you ask me. Anyway, let me take you back to the year 1419. It was the year that His Imperial Majesty Go-Hanazono was born, he who was destined to become Emperor of Nippon at the tender age of nine years old.

Yes, it may sound rather irresponsible to let a nine-year-old run an Empire, but that’s because you don’t know anything about our Emperors. Basically they don’t have to do anything much except sit on a throne in a big palace in Kyoto and get waited on. Pretty boring for a nine-year-old, of course, but harmless enough.



The Imperial Palace in Kyoto

A question - yes... Well I was coming to that. Who really runs the Empire is of course the Shogun, and the Shogun is me, Ashikaga Yoshimochi, or it was in 1419 anyway. So, to continue my tale, the Emperor back then wasn’t nine years old, of course. Then we were ruled by His Imperial Majesty Shoko, who was eighteen years old at the time. I was 43 then, so it’s as well it was me who was making the important decisions.

I had a number of decisions to make, and I spent many days consulting my advisors behind the closed doors of my private council chamber...




We had no particular friends among our neighbours, nor any enemies for that matter, but all that was sure to change. We knew that the Chinese hated the Manchurians for one thing, so it seemed imperative to choose which side we should be on ourselves. I had my eye on those regions to the north of Manchu, thinking they would make a nice addition to the Empire. Having Manchu as our ally would make that safer, perhaps, but having them as our enemies might enable us also to expand into their territory at the same time.

You’ll have noticed that I was something of a warmonger - well our army was certainly large enough. 30,000 samurai infantry and 10,000 mounted samurai knights, with a sizeable navy based in Edo on the eastern coast. Yes - a question... DP slider settings? I’m sorry I haven’t the faintest idea... wait - ah, my technical advisor has just gone off to find the relevant visual aid. Thankyou - is this what you wanted?



Good, well I’m glad that’s settled. Oh, and he tells me we’re playing 1.07 at Normal/Normal with the EEP. I see some nods, so obviously you understand even if I don’t.

And now, before I begin my tale in earnest, are there any other questions?
 
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Amric

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Does the EEP reduce the massive revolts you'll be getting as Nippon?
 

unmerged(16363)

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Good luck... let me see the origami growing!
:)
 

Semi-Lobster

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Another great start! I wish you good luck on your endeavour! But seeing as how you did so well as Tunisia I think you can do fine with or without luck!
 

ArmOrAttAk

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Unfortunatly I don't have time enough to read all the AARs. So I just follow the new ones that I can keep up with and maybe give some feedback. Nice screenshot all jazzed up.. Good Luck
 

Director

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What a nice beginning to a tale!

Origami, eh? Makes me think of scissors... hmmmm. Me like scissors! :eek:
 

Farquharson

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Thanks for all your posts! :) Unfortunately I got off to a bad start - I played fifteen years, was pretty pleased with my achievements, and then couldn't load either the save game or the last autosave. Augh!!! :eek: It was my first time playing with the EEP, and I spent some time trying to see if I was doing something wrong. Eventually I just started all over again, doing pretty much the same thing, but making a separate savegame every year. I'm now at 1432, two years short of where I couldn't reload before, and everything is fine so far.

To answer some questions:

ladyfabia: Is it funny? I hope it will be!

Amric: I've had one scripted revolt event so far, but it wasn't exactly massive. I've no doubt there's plenty of fun in store!

VPeric: Just survive as Nippon? No way - like Anibal, I want to see the origami growing!

Semi-Lobster, ArmorAttak and Director: Thanks for your encouragement - tis music to my ears and sushi to my stomach!

Here is:

Part 2: How to be a Good Shogun

Behind the closed doors, the discussions wore on...

Ashikaga Yoshitsugu: There is no question about it, Yoshimochi. The sushi bars of Kyoto are running low on supplies! We urgently need more fish - and there is plenty of fish in Vanin. Let us colonize it!

Yoshitsugu was my brother. His only interest in life was, in fact, sushi. It was to be his downfall...

Togashi Mitsushige: That is nonsense, Your Highness. It will cost a fortune to try to colonize Vanin, and the chances of success are next to zero. Let us spend our gold sending gifts to the Koreans - perhaps in time they will agree to become our vassals...

Yoshitsugu: But the sushi bars...

Yoshimochi: I grow weary of these wearisome discussions. It is time for action!

Mitsushige: Then send a gift to the Koreans, Your Highness.

Yoshimochi: Yes! I will send those worthless Korean monkeys a gift. The Imperial Army, all 40,000 men, will be sent immediately to invade them!

Gasps of horror filled the room at this point.

Yoshitsugu: You are a fool my brother - we have no possible quarrel with the Koreans!

Yoshimochi: My quarrel is simple - I want to expand the glorious Nippon Empire and their provinces are closer than anyone else’s.

And so preparations for war began. Yoshitsugu still continued to oppose me, and even plotted to overthrow me and become Shogun himself - all in the name of sushi.



I could see that the Empire was in danger, and all might be about to be sacrificed for the sake of some lumps of raw fish. Deep down, I’m a peace-loving guy, so it was only reluctantly that I had my brother murdered. I did think that Togashi Mitsushige, who was entrusted with the task, went a little overboard, strangling him with an octopus tentacle, but the job was done, and that was what was important.

Ah, yes - a question... Well, I know it sounds a little barbaric to murder your own brother, but hey, that’s the kind of thing a Shogun has to do from time to time. Unfortunately Togashi got a little carried away after that, however. More and more of Yoshitsugu’s supporters began to be found dead in the same kind of suspicious circumstances as their leader. Eventually I myself ordered the death of Mitsushige. Needless to say, all this caused a certain amount of unrest among the more sensitive elements of the population.

Meanwhile, the Chinese had, predictably enough, gone to war against the Manchus, and Korea had joined the Chinese. In February 1420 we declared war on the Koreans and immediately invaded their southern province of Kyongju, besieging the city of Pusan and capturing it by July.


Origami model of a worthless Korean monkey - with thanks to Judas Maccabeus

Unfortunately, when the Imperial Army arrived at the Korean capital Seoul, they found that the Manchus were already besieging it.

Nippon commander: What are you doing here?

Manchu commander: What does it look like, you idiot. We are besieging this worthless Korean dungheap.

Nippon commander: No need to trouble yourselves, we can take care of it...

Manchu commander: Get lost! We were here first. If you want to sack the city you’ll have to get in line.

So the Imperial Army got in line, and the Manchus took the city and sacked it in January 1422. The Koreans, however, still refused to hand over Kyongju to us.


Kyongju province

There then followed a two-year-long struggle by the Imperial Army to gain a foothold in the Shandong province of China, but without lasting success. We were now having to fight Dai Viet forces, and troops from other places we had never even heard of before.

In August 1423 the great playwright Zeami Motokiyo wrote his brilliant Noh play, Nohsakusho. So now, I would like to spend the remaining part of this lecture explaining the intricacies of Noh... What’s that? You want to know what happened with the war? You uncultured barbarians - I should have you buried alive to your nostrils and pecked to death by pigeons. You’re all just lucky I’m such a peace-loving guy...

Well, in 1424 Manchu made peace with Korea extracting a vast amount of gold from them, and the Imperial Army immediately got busy besieging Seoul. It took nearly two years for the city to fall, but when it did, the Koreans were soon persuaded to give up Kyongju with all their gold. They then promptly formed an alliance with their old enemies the Manchus.

That brings us more or less to the present. If the Koreans could ally with their old enemies, we could ally with ours, so in February of this year, 1428, we entered a royal marriage with China. And in July, of course, the Emperor died, aged 27, leaving his nine-year old son Go-Hanazomo on the imperial throne.

Now, if I might be permitted, I will explain to you the finer points of Noh. This is a highly stylized drama form which... Hey - why is everyone leaving? look, I have some wonderful visual aids - here...



The hall gradually empties, while Yoshimochi looks on in dismay.

Well, I’ve no idea who all those people were, but if we ever discover their countries, they will pay dearly for this unspeakable insult, that’s all I can say...
 
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Farquharson

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Well, ladyfabia, if I'm going to expand at this point there's only Manchu and China to conquer! I do have a dream, however, of sailing across the Pacific and colonizing America - a sort of Columbus in reverse, trying to discover a trade route to Europe...:)

Oh, sorry John - I wondered who the guy at the back was who didn't leave with everyone else. If I have the time I will incorporate some Noh drama in the story as we go along! Noh promises, though...:D

Part 3: Have we got Seoul...

Ashikaga Yoshimochi retired from being Shogun in 1423 and spent the rest of his days watching Noh plays, collecting Pokemon cards, and other high-brow activities. He died, somewhat irresponsibly, in 1428 without naming a successor to the Shogunate. For some time chaos reigned in the upper echelons of power, until Yoshimochi’s brother Yoshinori took the situation in hand.

Extracts from the memoirs of Shogun Ashikaga Yoshinori

August 1429
At last! I am Shogun of the mighty Nippon Empire! OK, so I cheated a little, but that’s the kind of thing a true Shogun has to do from time to time. Declaring the Emperor to be temporarily insane was admittedly stretching the truth, but being ten years old and being insane kind of has the same effect when it comes to running an Empire. So - the Emperor was declared as being temporarily ten years old - for about 12 months, in fact. Next a Shogun had to be chosen by lot. This was a little difficult to arrange - that it should be me, I mean - obviously really choosing a Shogun by lot would have been simple, and more particularly, less of a drain on my purse. Still it is the kind of thing that one who is destined to be a Shogun, etc, etc...



Shogun Ashikaga Yoshinori looking pleased with himself

August 1431
I cannot believe my luck! Our five year truce with the worthless Korean monkeys is nearing it’s end. Obviously I will be forced to declare war on them just to maintain my honour as a brutal despot. It was annoying not to have any particular reason for declaring war once again, but the apes have just sent a letter to us describing the Emperor as a snotty-nosed, acne-faced teenager with the brains of a woodlouse. Of course, it is a fairly accurate description, but, more to the point, it counts as a Diplomatic Insult! Two months till the truce ends - I can hardly wait...


(OOC: this was a nice perk of replaying these years - the first time round I had to take the -3 stab hit and associated BB points...)

November 1431
Those Manchus must be even stupider than they look. The war is going well, our mighty Imperial Army are now firmly entrenched around the Korean dungheap of Seoul, and we have just offered the Manchus 150 gold pieces to desert their allies. They refused! Clearly a nation ruled by such incompetents is a worthy candidate for our next act of unprovoked aggression...


May 1432
It is all over. Seoul has fallen and been thoroughly sacked, the worthless monkeys have accepted total annexation and their capital is now being transformed into a city worthy of inclusion in the glorious Nippon Empire. The fly in the ointment is that the Manchus still fight on. They are currently trying to besiege Pusan.



The people of Seoul turn out to celebrate their annexation by Nippon

July 1432
It is really all over now. The filthy Manchus invaded Yalu province and defeated our mighty Imperial Army, however they then accepted the paltry sum of 25 gold pieces in exchange for peace. Truly the world will be well rid of these imbeciles.



Apart from anything else, we have a much more interesting colour than anyone else - let’s spread it!
 
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unmerged(21482)

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Farquharson said:
Well, ladyfabia, if I'm going to expand at this point there's only Manchu and China to conquer! I do have a dream, however, of sailing across the Pacific and colonizing America - a sort of Columbus in reverse, trying to discover a trade route to Europe...:)
Oh yeah...
When Columbus reach America...
Columbus : By God's grace we found India! I claim this island belong to King of Spain.
All the crew : Hurray! Long live the King! Glory glory Haleluya!
(all men sing a song "Glory Glory Haleluya")
Columbus : Look, those men are Indian natives!
Japanese people : No, we aren't Indian. We are Japanese and this land mustn't belong to your king. This land is given to us by Goddess Amaterasu No Mi Kami through our emperor. Long live the Emperor!

:rofl:
 

Farquharson

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Thanks calcsam2, I am looking forward to it, though I have been glancing through the event file for Nippon and I see that all is not peace and tranquillity for the glorious Nippon Empire... :(

Yes, ladyfabia, but meanwhile the Japanese are completely confused, because they thought they were already IN Spain, and had been calling the Aztecs "the Spanish" for years... :D

By the way, for anyone confused by my experimental styles in the first three episodes, I have got fed up with the first-person narrative, which didn't seem to be flowing well. From now on I will revert to something much more reminiscent of "Carthage Reborn". Here's the next part...

Part 4: Troubles Within

The years immediately following the annexation of Korea were peaceful. This may have been because the superstitious Ashikaga Yoshinori took it upon himself, in 1433, to compile a vast collection of wakas, the 31 syllable poems commonly used as good-luck charms by the people of Nippon. Or it may just have been because the scripted catastrophic events hadn’t come around yet...

Twice, in 1435 and 1437, the Manchus invited Yoshinori to form an alliance. However, Yoshinori was much more interested in the possibility of fighting the Manchus alongside China, rather than fighting the Chinese alongside Manchu, and so he refused. Instead he sent a gift of a centuries-old bonsai tree to the Emperor of China, who soon invited Yoshinori into his alliance with Tibet.


The actual bonsai sent, still preserved in the Beijing Museum of Bizarre Japanese Customs

In 1446 this alliance expired and Yoshinori quickly recreated it, with China alone since he couldn’t actually find Tibet on the map. Soon after this some catastrophic events started happening, and although Yoshinori went around with his waka collection strapped to his body at all times, the next few years were a troubled time for the Nippon Empire.

The Eikyo War (1438-40)

In December 1438 Ashikaga Mochiuji, the military leader in Edo, decided that he wanted to become Shogun in place of Yoshinori. Yoshinori of course wanted to stay Shogun himself, so it looked like someone was going to end up unhappy. Uesugi Norizane, a noble samurai offered his services to Yoshinori to help crush the rebellion, but for a price of course. The price was more power to the already very powerful nobility, however Yoshinori accepted the deal and after a lot of rebellion, pillaging and looting in and around Edo, the uprising was crushed. It was not long however before...

The Kakitsu Rebellion (1441-48)

This was a little more complicated... The story begins in the days of the previous Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimochi, who lived happily in Kyoto with his lover Akamatsu Mochisada of the Yamana Clan. One day they were together in each others arms.

Yoshimochi: I must be the happiest man in the world - to have such a beautiful lover, AND to be Shogun!

Mochisada: And I must be the second happiest man in the world (Oh, did I not mention that Mochisada was a man?) - I have such a beautiful lover too, but unfortunately I have no such position of power as you, so I’m just a teensy bit unhappy.

Yoshimochi: Do not worry, my dear - I will soon give you power. You shall be head of the Yamana Clan, how’s that?

Mochisada: Oh, you are too kind! But what will you do about the present head of our clan, Akamatsu Mitsusuke? He might object to this wonderful plan.

Yoshimochi: Object? Don’t be ridiculous - in Nippon, no-one objects to the Shogun!

And so Mitsusuke, ex-head of the Yamana Clan was forced to flee Kyoto for the safety of his lands. Then one day Yoshimochi came home to find Mochisada in the arms of a woman.

Yoshimochi (in a rage): What is this? How dare you have an affair with a woman, you despicable bi-sexual!

Mochisada: The trouble with you, Yoshimochi, is that you’re too old-fashioned.

Yoshimochi: You have cut me to the heart! I am being eaten by jealousy - look, already my left arm is gone and there is only a stump left!

Mochisada: So what are you going to do about it?

Yoshimochi: I am going to beat you to a pulp using my incredible skills at karate, of course!

Mochisada: With only one arm?

Yoshimochi (bringing his left arm from behind his back): Hah! That was just a figure of speech - and now...

He rushes at Mochisada, who leaps away.

Mochisada: Fight, fight, as much as you can! You can’t beat me I’m a number ten dan!

There follows about five minutes of running about the floor, walls and ceiling, with lots of yells of “Hah!” and “Aaiiiii!” and “Yah!”, and occasionally “Ouch!”. Finally Mochisada is beaten to a pulp. He is rushed to a nearby hospital but dies soon afterwards.

Yoshimochi: And good riddance to that worthless snake. He was never a tenth dan, that’s for sure. And just so that he will turn in his grave I will issue an official pardon to Akamatsu Mitsusuke, though I will not of course reinstate him as head of the clan, or then I would surely lose face.

Mitsusuke realized that he would never again be head of the clan until Yoshimochi was dead, which, seeing as he was in the best of health, might not be for some time. Meanwhile he became a monk so that Yoshimochi would not suspect him of plotting against him. However, as luck would have it, Yoshimochi died not long afterwards in 1428. Mitsusuke immediately set himself up as clan head once again. However, one day the new Shogun Ashikaga Yoshinori was together with his lover Akamatsu Sadamura.

Yoshinori: I must be the happiest man in the world! I have such a beautiful lover, AND I own vast lands and properties all over the Empire!

Sadamura: And surely I am the second happiest man in the world. (He was, of course, a man) I have a beautiful lover, but unfortunately I have no lands whatsoever. But who am I to complain?

Yoshinori: Say no more, my love! I will immediately confiscate some lands from some hapless minion and give them to you.

Sadamura: Oh, my dear Yoshinori! I knew you would understand! But what about the hapless minion from whom you take the lands? Might he not object?

Yoshinori: In Nippon, no-one objects to the Shogun! Listen - here is my plan. I know that that toad Akamatsu Mitsusuke is getting uppity again, as he has reinstated himself as head of the Yamana Clan. I will show him who is boss and take some of his heritage from him and give it to you.

Sadamura: Ooooh! You are too kind Yoshinori!

And so Akamatsu Mitsusuke was dealt this terrible insult. He was furious.

Mitsusuke: I am furious! That worm has gone too far this time - he is going to pay for his arrogance!

So Mitsusuke invited the Shogun Yoshinori to a great feast at his house. Yoshinori arrived with fifty armed samurai warriors, just in case.


Akamatsu Mitsusuke’s house, where the feast took place.

Mitsusuke: Ah, Your Highness Yoshinori! Welcome to my humble abode. I see you have brought some friends along with you - how nice!

Yoshinori: Well, the invitation did say B.Y.O.B., which I thought meant Bring Your Own Bodyguard...

Mitsusuke: But why on earth would you need a bodyguard? Surely you don’t suspect me of foul play?

Yoshinori: Of course not. But your house is not exactly a fortress. Some enemies might come and attack me while we are here.

Mitsusuke: Ah, yes of course - well, do come in.

Later in the evening, when the dancing was in full swing, Mitsusuke sent a servant out with orders to open all the stable doors and chase the horses round the outside of the house. A few moments later the dancers suddenly heard the sound of hooves galloping outside.

Mitsusuke: Hark! There is the sound of galloping hooves! Yoshinori, I fear that you were correct. An enemy has come to attack you while you are here in my defenceless house.

Yoshinori (astonished): But I didn’t really expect...

Samurai leader: Have no fear Your Excellency, we will go out and deal with these traitors, whoever they are!

The fifty samurai warriors rush from the room. Yoshinori is left alone with the other guests, Mitsusuke, and his musicians, who all suddenly pull their robes aside and draw swords, hitherto concealed.

Yoshinori: Curses! I knew I should have gone back for my waka collection that I absentmindedly left at home this evening...


The defenceless Yoshinori, who had just been to the face-painting corner

The unprotected Yoshinori soon falls under their blows. Then one by one, the samurai warriors begin to trickle back in.

First warrior, coming in: That’s funny, we only found a lot of riderless horses - gasp! - what has happ- gnnnnh! (Falls to the ground with his head sliced off)

Moments later:

Second warrior, coming in: Weird! Who’d have thought a bunch of horses would be plotting to kill Yoshinori... Ahhh! (Falls to the ground with a sword through his middle)

Moments later:

Third warrior, coming in: I’m totally confused. I didn’t think... Urghhhh! (Falls to the ground with his skull smashed open)

And so on, until all fifty of the samurai warriors lie dead.

Mitsusuke: Well, sorry folks, that seems to have spoiled the evening a little bit, but perhaps if we could drag these bloody corpses outside and have some more music we can get into a party mood once again. And by the way I am recruiting a private army in order to set myself up as Shogun, so if anyone is interested there’s a list at the back, beside the drinks - just add your name on the way out.

And so in 1441 Ashikaga Yoshinori was struck down by the traitor Mitsusuke, and Ashikaga Yoshikatsu became Shogun in Kyoto. As he had promised, Mitsusuke gathered a large army and marched on Kyoto, however his attempts to capture the city were futile, so he and his followers began roaming the length and breadth of the Empire, capturing cities and lands wherever they could. This was known as the Kakitsu Rebellion. Although the rebels never managed to take Kyoto they did succeed in capturing the cities of Edo, Matsuyama on the island of Shikoku, Hakodate on the northern island of Ezochi, Sendai, and even Seoul, where the Koreans enthusiastically joined anyone who was fighting against Yoshikatsu their oppressor.

Yoshikatsu proved too strong for them all, however. His mighty Imperial Army, reinforced by means of a large bank loan in 1442, succeeded in defeating the rebels time after time until, by 1448, all trace of rebellion had been wiped from the Empire and the land had peace once more.
 
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Machiavellian

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Nice set of updates. This looks like it will be another enjoyable AAR. I have to say that I kind of like the various different styles from Shogun to shogun, but do what you feel comfortable with.

I do have a question though, when the rebellion movement begins, if the rebels do succeed do they create a new nation? Is there a rival Shogun nation or something of the like?
 

Farquharson

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Thanks for your comments, Machiavellian and Lofman. To answer your question, Machiavellian, I'm not too sure. If I remember I'll let a city go rebel as an experiment some time, see what it turns into, then reload. Possibly it reverts to being a Neutral Province. I say this as I was sure Taiwan was part of China at the start of the game, but I've since noticed that it now appears to be a Neutral Province.

Here's an account of some more rebellions... :wacko:

Part 5: The Art of Flower Arranging (1449-64)

Yoshikatsu’s success as Shogun was particularly notable because, for the first year of his reign (1442-43), he was only eight years old, and thereafter (1443-49) he was in fact dead, having succumbed to a childhood illness. No new Shogun was named until 1449, when Yoshikatsu’s younger brother, Yoshimasa, became Shogun at the advanced age of thirteen. He then ruled for the next twenty-four years. This was a period of great cultural achievements. Noh drama, Indian ink painting, Ikebana or flower arranging, and of course Sado, the elaborate Japanese tea ceremony, all flourished.

Of course the peasants in the fields were a little disgruntled to see their taxes being squandered on ceremonial tea-sets and arty-farty flower arrangements, and it was not long before the next wave of revolts got under way from 1451-53, centred in in Seoul, Edo and Tohoku. Yoshimasa had the brilliant idea of developing Ikebana into a martial art, and soon armies of fearsome highly-trained flower arrangers were crushing the rebels underfoot.


An Ikebana Warrior preparing for battle

The Hatakeyama Feud (1454)

Hatakeyama Yoshikuni was head of the noble and somewhat excitable family of Hatakeyama. Having no son he had adopted his nephew Masanaga to be his heir. However in 1454 he eventually managed to have a son, Yoshinari, and changed his mind. This caused a family division, with half the family supporting Masanaga and the other half supporting Yoshinari. Two other excitable noble families became involved, the Yamana and the Hosokawa, on opposite sides.

Breakfast time in the Hosokawa household:



Mr Hosokawa, opening the newspaper: Hmmph! I see those despicable Yamanas have stuck their snouts into the Hatakeyama family’s affairs again.

Mrs Hosokawa: Ooh, I don’t have any time for those Yamanas. Last time we had them round for a meal half our spoons disappeared.

Mr Hosokawa: I’ve a good mind to get involved myself, just for the chance to beat up some despicable Yamanas.

Mrs Hosokawa: Maybe we could even get our spoons back?

Mr Hosokawa: And there’s that lawnmower they borrowed over a year ago, and never returned. We can get that back while we’re at it...

And so a small civil war broke out in the Empire. Needless to say the wise Shogun Yoshimasa knew better than to take sides. He called on both families to see reason and resort to peaceful diplomacy in order to recover their spoons and lawnmowers, but to no avail.

The Kyotoku War (1454-58)

Later in 1454 there was more trouble in Edo. For some reason the military commander there, Ashikaga Shigeuji, had had a top bureaucrat, named Uesugi Noritada, murdered. This was of course a commonplace happening in Nippon, and no reasonable person would have thought twice about it. Reasonable people were however in short supply in Edo, and the Uesugi Clan immediately called for Ashikaga Shigeuji to commit seppuku.

Ashikaga Shigeuji had no intention of doing any such thing, and instead appealed to the Shogun Yoshimasa for help against the Uesugi Clan. With a sigh of resignation Yoshimasa ordered a division of Ikebana Warriors to the city to deal with the problem. Nevertheless the Uesugis still managed to assassinate Ashikaga Shigeuji the following January, which made the situation even worse.

The revolt quickly spread and noble families up and down the Empire were soon declaring war on other families, reclaiming spoons and lawnmowers and carrying out summary executions of those who had taken them in the first place. These were dark days in Nippon, though lots of people welcomed the chance to settle personal scores under the guise of a “legitimate cause”.

Most troubled of all was the northern island of Ezochi where a revolt went unopposed for some time, and three times over the rebels managed to stop an army of Ikebana Warriors as they struggled up the beaches to try to relieve the besieged city of Hakodate. Eventually the city fell in 1456 and the rebels took control of the island. Finally in 1457 the Imperial Army succeeded in landing on the island and defeating the rebels, whereupon they set about recapturing the city of Hakodate.

The Koshamain Rebellion (1458-59)

The fact was that the Ainu people, who lived in Ezochi, saw the wajin (Japanese) as invaders, which is in fact what they were. This made the Ainu particularly excitable and in 1458 an argument broke out at one of the checkouts in the wajin-owned Weapons’R’Us, the main armoury superstore in Hakodate.

Wajin checkout girl: This sword doesn’t have a price label on it, sir, you’ll have to take it back to the shelf and get another one.

Ainu customer: If you think I’m going to do that for you, you can think again you snivelling wajin halfwit.

Checkout girl: Now, sir there’s no need to be like that. We have a policy in the store...

Customer: Well let me tell you what you can do with your policy missy, why don’t you just take and stuff it up...

Store manager, appearing on the scene: Yes, sir, does there seem to be a problem?

Customer: This pimply-faced moron is trying to tell me to go and change this sword for another one.

Store manager: Well sir, I think we can find a simple solution... He picks up the sword and deftly slices off the customer’s head, then looks round menacingly at the other customers. So - anyone else got any complaints?


The actual sword in question - still preserved in the Tokyo Museum of Historic Rebellions Sparked off by Trivial Incidents

Of course, this incident would have caused a major revolt in Hakodate were it not for the fact that, happily for Yoshimasa, the city was already in rebel hands and about to fall to his besieging army. As it was, the wajin inhabitants of the city soon found themselves becoming the victims of vicious racist attacks. The city was finally recaptured in 1459 and some Ainu “ringleaders” rounded up at random for torture and execution. The torture consisted of being forced to attend intensive courses in Ikebana, and then being flayed to death with their own creations.

The years following this rebellion were relatively peaceful. The Empire was struck by severe famine and floods in 1459 and 1460, but the wise Yoshimasa had stored up plenty of food for just such an eventuality and even the most excitable citizens of Nippon could hardly find anything to complain about.

Meanwhile Yoshimasa’s foreign policy was running into difficulties. He had been counting on his alliance with China to give him an opportunity sooner or later of going to war against the Manchus, but this had so far signally failed to happen. Not only that but his relations with the Chinese Emperor Tianshun suffered a double blow with two separate court scandals in 1459 and 1463. Then in 1464, just as he was considering whether it was time to send Tianshun another bonsai, he was distracted by events at home. His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of Nippon, Go-Hanazomo, had died and Yoshimasa had to attend the official enthronement of his successor, Go-Tsuchimikado.
 
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Rirre

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Sounds like you have so minorproblems with revolts..... but it's a good AAR and I will be folowing it.