Name: Asano Hisanori
Born in 1841 near Kyoto, young Asano belongs to the junior branch of the princely Asano family that, before the Boshin wars, ruled in Hiroshima. His father, Asano Hisamitsu, was, however, only a wealthy samurai and an official of the Imperial Court, who has reached the illustrious rank of the Provisional Assistant Keeper of Royal Gardens. From his parent, who, despite his daymio connections, did not like the Bakufu system much, the boy has inherited the reverence to the Emperor and the belief that he should run things, not the Shogun or his councilors. However it did not stop the youth from adhering to the traditional ways, such as Bushido - and in fact becoming a great expert on its rules and a master of the sword as he grew up. When he was nineteen, Hisanori was already running his fencing school, which, in many ways, functioned as a social and political club, which helped him to build many of his future connections. Due to insistence of his influential relatives, Hisanori however replaced the blade with a quill and joined the swarm of Edo bureaucrats, becoming Junior Deputy Subinspector of Public Works.
However, when the Boshin War started, he eagerly picked up the deadly weapons again. First as a field officer within the regiments of Chugoku and then as an aide attached to the personal staff of Lord Date, Asano served against the forces of Shogunate - and was twice wounded in the battle of Yokohama, getting a quite commendable reputation. After the war he worked as a secretary to the new Chancellor, Date Munenari - and later executed the office of a prefect in Chubu. His career was started in quite a promising way - but a certain fact hindered it.
Asano Hisanori was neither an opportunist nor a hater of traditions. He was one the people that fought for the Emperor, not total Westernization. He saw Shogunate as weak and corrupt and serving the Nanban powers, he believed that modernization is needed in many spheres, but... that Nippon should remain Nippon, based on honor and old ideals. While seeing Lord Dato as a great hero, he could not agree with the total dismantlement of the Han system (preferring at the point to see it reformed and centralised) and was sad about the quarrels with the Samurai class. In 1864 he attended the funeral of his elderly Uncle, Asano Naritaka, who was under Satake a Bakufu Military Advisor and Daymio of Hiroshima. The man died childeless -and the headship of the family has passed to Hisanori. In addition to the legacy, he inherited lucrative manors in Chugoku which made him a rich man - and let retire from governmental service and start the enjoyable life of a landowner.
He once again put on military uniform briefly to fight the mercenaries of Mutso Ishiro - and in 1870 became a deputy of the Diet. "Emperor, Kami, order, honor, military might!" - was often a main topic of his speeches. He opposed the radical reforms that would dismantle the Japanese way of life - but at the same time saw pacifism, ignorance and isolationism as degenerative tendencies. During the Bussan incident, Asano Hisanori was among the most aggressive supporters of the war with Korea. "Bring the wrath of the Emperor upon their heads - or we would be a laughing stock for the whole world! Avenge the insult to our national banners! Make them understand that Nippon is not a whipping boy of the Shogunate times!" - he roared before the national assembly. When the invasion stated, he rejoined the army and fought under his old patron Date, reaching the rank of Rikugun Taisa. There are some rumors about atrocities - but mainly people speak about his prowess and bravery in battles, as well as the fact that his regiment managed to get out of the campaign with the minimal losses
Now Asano Hisanori believes that the time has come to make another step up - but only the Ancestors know what awaits him.
Some facts about Hisanori:
- Dislikes Nanban, but likes their technologies, especially ones that kill people. Reads much about political processes and scientific development in the Western world
- Wears Japanese traditional dress, when not in uniform, believes that the love for suits, ties and other Western outfits is not only degrading, but comical
- Believes in the expansionist mission of Japan and would like to see it as an empire lording over all nearby regions
- Is a devoted Shinto follower and does not think much of Buddhists
- Is a realpolitiker from his toes to his head