History of Japan
The Meidji Restoration and Early History
Japan, until the 1850's, had much the same history *there* as *here*. One major difference was that Tocugawa Ieyasu was converted to Christianity. His descendants were not, but were less restrictive on Christianity than the Shogunate *here*. A small Christian community grew up in Tocugawa Japan. Over the next few centuries, their religion merged with Xintò and Buddhism, creating a new religon called ゼスク道, 셋구道 (Zesucutò/Seiskudo) (< Zesucu < Pt. Jesucristo + tò "way, teachings"), which is arguably a sect of xintò rather than a unique religion.
The nation that opened up Japan *there* was Montrei, and they did it more peacefully than America did *here*. Instead of sending warship to Edo, they offered metals that Japan was short on, and mining deals in recently-discovered mines near their eastern border.
On Meidji 1 Djùitxigaçu 22 (December 25, 1868), Tocugawa loyalists fled to Ezo (later known as Hoccaidò before reverting to Ezo) to set up the short-lived 蝦夷共和国, Ezo Quiòwacocu (Republic of Ezo). They were soon defeated. *Here*, they surrendered on May 18, Meidji 2 (1869) and accepted the authority of Emperor Meidji. *There*, however, they fled across the Pacific to Oregon at about that same time, which was largely a No Man's Land at the time.
As *here*, Japan and China fought the Sino-Chinese War in 1894-1895. *There*, Japan's winnings included Lùquiù (up to that point a Chinese vassal) and Taiwan. Between 1895 and 1920, Lùquiù was governed similarly to Corea, i.e., a nominally independant nation, but heavily dominated by Japan.
In Meidji 36-38 (1903-1905), Japan and Russia fought the First Russo-Japanese War, in the aftermanth of which the Russian Far East, Alyaska, the Russian port of Fort Ross (Roxía, part of Meidji-dò), and former Russian Polynesia (now Nittatò) were annexed. The Russian Far East was divided into two territories, Gaimanxù-dò (modern-day Outer Manchuria) and Quiocuhocu-dò (極北道, modern-day Chukotka and parts of Primorye and Yakutia). The following year, Emperor Meidji died, putting his son, Prince Yoxihito, to the throne as the new Emperor Taixò (大正天皇). The sickly and unintelligent emperor was unprepared for the duties of imperial government, and ceded much power to the Parliament. The parliament withdrew Japanese forces from much of Quiocuhocu-dò, except around crucial oil wells. A few years later, Nikolai II of Russia, blaming the assassination of Russian Prime Minister Stolypin on the Japanese, attacked the Empire in the Second Russo-Japanese War (1910-1911), regaining most of the lost territory, with the exception of Gaimanxù, Alyaska, and the southernmost tip of the Kamchutka Penninsula, as well as the Pacific territories. In 1912, Japan and the Kingdoms of Lùquiù and Corea formed the East Asian Federation.
The Growth of China and Loss of Territories
As China began to grow in power on the mainland, the Japanese watched the development with a mixture of awe and concern. Some reacted by demanding that Japan likewise further militarize, and prepare for war against China, seeking allies if necessary. Others insisted that Japan must form an alliance with China. Initially the pro-Chinese forces came out on top, and warm relations were enjoyed. Chinese experts came over to Japan to advise the Emperor (who, as a puppet of China, began to hold more power, through a Chinese-appointed regent) and the Parliament, and Chinese scholars conducted much of the education of the Emperor's sons, particularly that of his eldest son and heir, Prince Hirohito. Gradually, however, the Parliament began to turn against them, slowly building up the military, and going around looking for alliances with other nations. The Chinese feared danger from Japan if she managed to militarize and form alliances with other powerful states. In Taixò 15 (1920), the Chinese invaded their traditional vassal of Corea, and their former territory of Taiwan, annexing them. The Japanese reacted by increasing their hostility, and expelling all the Chinese scholars and advisors from the Court and the Coccai. Within a few weeks, the Emperor had been persuaded to remove Hirohito from the position of Crown Prince in favor of his younger brother, Prince Yasuhito, who was shortly thereafter made regent for his ailing father. The regent immediately set into motion a series of actions to strengthen the military. An increasinly vocal - and quickly growing - minority began to insist on Prince Yasuhito being removed from the position of regent and crown prince in favor of his elder brother, and to seek an alliance with China, perhaps even vassalage if need be (at least for the time being). The anti-Chinese faction, however, envisioned a brave resistance to Chinese forces, driving them out of Japan in a glorious war, and forcing them to return their territories and acknowledge Japanese greatness. They advocated an even stronger anti-China line. Unrest broke out all over the nation, as fights over the China Question escalated to mass riots. Late in Taixò 17 (1922), the Emperor died (it was later determined that he'd been poisoned). Prince Yasuhito became Emperor Go-Meidji (後明治天皇). He instituted a harsh conscription law and began a crash program in militarization. China could not permit this to go on, and so, in Go-Meidji 8 (1929), the Chinese, negotiations and threats having failed, invaded while Japan was still relatively weak, breaking out from the treaty-port of Yocohama. The government fled inland to Gunma Province and fought the Chinese from there. On Go-Meidji 12, Nigaçu 1 (March 7, 1933) the Chinese troops reached the provisional capital and forced Go-Meidji to abdicate, with his elder brother, Prince Hirohito, taking the throne in his place, becoming Emperor Xòwa (昭和天皇).
Xòwa Era and Great Oriental War
Chinese troops remained to ensure that the Parliament would also be replaced by pro-China factions. For a while, an uneasy peace descended on the nation. The Chinese withdrew their forces, but the government had already been made a puppet. In Xòwa 7 (1939), the Great Oriental War began. The Japanese assisted their allies initially, joining China in an attack on the city of Naha, which had been a European free port, and was currently occupied by troops from Australasia. During the fierce battle, the city was completely leveled, and the Australasians were forced back to the Filipinas. However, as the war dragged on, becoming less popular, and as rumors came out of a conspiracy between the then-Crown Prince and Emperor Xuantong of China, the people turned on their government. In Xòwa 10 (1942), the Japanese Civil War began. At the same time, rebels in Hoccaidò declared independance as the reborn Republic of Ezo, claiming the Kurile Islands, Sakhalin/Carafuto, and Outer Manchuria as part of their territory. They signed treaties with the rebel Pretender and Russia recognizing the Republic, and pledging non-agression (Russia propped up the republic's unpopular government, getting Outer Manchuria as a condominium in exchange).
At the end of the war, the Xòwa Emperor abdicated in favor of his son, who became Emperor Saisei, beginning the Saisei Era
On Saisei 3 Sañgaçu 19 (April 24, 1954), a new constitution, based on the Meidji Constitution, was adopted. This weakened the Emperor's power somewhat, but not much. Kanawiki, and Nittatò were made sovereign nations with the Emperor of Japan as symbolic head of state (High King in the case of Kanawiki, Lord Protector for Nittatò), while Alyaska became a soviet republic, without even a symbolic connection with the Emperor, and Meidji-dò was made a condominium between the Emperor of Japan and Alta California. However, the Imperial government did not recognize the legitimacy of the Republic of Ezo. Ezo came to be increasingly dominated by the pro-SNORist Republican Party, and soon its high democratic ideals were mere symbols.
In Saisei 5 (1956), Japan sent troops to Corea, their former ally, recently liberated from China, in order to restore order. The provisional government of Corea had fallen apart. The Japanese soon instituted their own provisional government. Several years later, on Saisei 9, Nigaçu 8 (March 11, 1960), a new Constitution of Corea was finally adopted, which re-established the Kingdom of Corea, but with the Emperor of Japan on its throne, establishing a personal union between the two nations.
This new personal union fit rather awkwardly with the established government of Japan, and this fact, combined with certain weakensses of the Second Contitution, led to calls for a new constitutional convention, which was called in Gogaçu (June) of Saisei 12 (1963). The new constitution went into effect Saisei 13 Gogaçu 4 (June 7, 1964).
Japan Under the New Constitution
The new constitution curtailed the Emperor's authority. He still holds considerable power, as well as prestige, but also has a number of limitations. The Emperor was stripped of all military power, even symbolic. The Parliament was kept in a similar shape as the Meidji Constitution, but with the House of Peers weakened. The internal structure of Japan was altered. Japan was divided into 8 dò, translated as Regions. The Regions were Hoccaidò (i.e., Ezo), Tòhocu, Cantò, Txùbu, Quiñqui, Txùgocu, Xicocu, Quiùxù (7 of these - Hoccaidò excluded - have since been united to form the Kingdom of Yamato). In addition, the existence of the personal union with Corea was integrated, and the possibility of future personal unions permitted. Each Regions has an elected Dòtxidji (Dò governor) and Dòcai (Regional legislature) which deals with internal matters. Corea enjoys a considerable degree of internal autonomy. Japanese and Corean are co-official in the Empire.
In Saisei 16 (1967), Lùquiù signed a treaty with Japan providing for closer economic ties between the two nations. Lùquiù became a part of the Empire a few years later, in Saisei 18 (1970). Lùquiù has Lùquiùan as a co-official language, along with Japanese and Corean
Ezo remained de facto outside the Empire, as a SNORist satellite. The Rational-Progressive Party was overthrown in Saisei 40 (1991) and replaced by a new Provisional Revolutionary Council of Ezo. The Emperor and the Prime Minister of the Japanese Empire assured Ezo that they would not use force to reunite Ezo with the Empire. The Japanese Empire pledged to assist Ezo in its transition to a stable democratic government, and to peaceful reintegration, under conditions to be determined by negotiation. (Incidentally, the announcement of the non-use of force and assistance was the first time that the Imperial government had officially used the term Ezo] since before the creation of the province system in Meidji 4 (1871)). A defense agreement was drawn up, whereby the Empire of Japan would be responsible for the defense of Ezo during the transitional period. On Saisei 41 Gogaçu 8 (June 12, 1992), a referendum, having been approved by the Ezo Parliament, was held to determine Ezo's future status. A sizeable majority chose integration as a republic within the Empire. An amendment was passed to the Japanese Constitution redefining "Hoccaidò" as "Ezo Quiòwacocu" (Republic of Ezo), and definining its relationship. A new constitution for Ezo was also put into effect.
Corea has a special role in the Japanese Empire. Corean has been given co-official status in the Imperial government, and Japanese schoolchildren are expected to learn Corean by the time they enter high school, beginning in fourth grade. Conversely, Corean schoolchildren are likewise expected to learn Japanese, beginning at the same age. Corea, Ezo, and Lùquiù are permitted to coin money, to the same standard as Japan (with the establishment of the Kingdom of Yamato, the Imperial Government has effectively stopped producing money of its own).
Japan was never as Westernized *there* as *here*. For example, the Gregorian calendar was never adopted, there are fewer loan words, Xintò and Buddhism remain strong, Western-style clothing and food are less popular, and the culture itself is more traditional in many ways.
On Saisei 53 Gogaçu 2 (June 6, 2004), Emperor Saisei abdicated, beginning the Gacudai reign. This created a succession crisis in Kanawiki, up to that point a High Kingdom in personal union with Japan, as Kanawiki law did not provide for abdication or female succession. The position of High King was merged with that of Viceroy at the beginning of 2005.
On Gacudai Gannen, Jùitxigaçu 4 (December 7, 2004), Amendment IV to the Constitution was ratified, renouncing Japan's claims to Kanawiki and reorganizing Japan, reorganizing the 7 Regions into a new kingdom of Yamato (大和), formerly a semi-official name but not a legal constituent.
Summary of modern Emperors *here* and *there*
- 122. 明治 Meiji 1866-1912 (Meiji era 1868-1912)
- 123. 大正 Taishô 1912-1926
- 124. 昭和 Shôwa 1926-1989
- 125. 今上陛下 Kinjô Heika (The Reigning Emperor) 1989- (Era name is 平成 Heisei)
- 122. 明治 Meidji/Mieñji 1866-1906 (Meidji era 1868-1906)
- 123. 大正 Taixò/Thaijeñ 1906-1922
- 124. 後明治 Go-Meidji/Humieñji 1922-1925 (abdicated) - known as 秩父宮 (Prince Txitxibu) or 後明治院 (Retired Emperor Go-Meidji) until his death in Saisei 43 (1994)
- 125. 昭和 Xòwa/Sohua 1925-1952 (abdicated)
- 126. 再生 Saisei/Chaisaiñ 1952-2004 (resigned the throne voluntarily) (different mother *there*)
- 127. 学代 Gacudai/Haktai 2004-2006 (No equivalent *here*)
- 128. 今上陛下 Quindjò Heica/Kymsañ Pieiha The Reigning Emperor 2006- (No equivalent *here*)
- The Pretender
- (would-be 126.) 真和 Xiñwa/Chinhua 1942-1951