As a gesture of good faith and good will, the Round Eye Saloon will be offering drinks and pleasure at half-price for all officers and soldiers about to lay down their life for the glory of Ezo.
I will not be importing or selling opium.
mynamewas fucked around with this message at Feb 9, 2014 around 18:34
|# ? Feb 9, 2014 16:34|
|# ? Mar 22, 2019 21:04|
Matsudaira Sadaaki 松平 定敬 (S)
Daimyo-in-Exile of Kuwana
While we are discussing the matter of officers and soldiers, I would like to formally volunteer my services as a military commander for the invasion of Sado Island.
I beseech our military administrators to consider my qualifications and accept my services. As Daimyo of Kuwana, I loyally served the Shogunate and later the Republic during the Boshin War. Before that, I served as the Kyoto Shoshidai, the shogun's chief deputy in the area. I believe that I am more than qualified to serve our nation as a commander.
|# ? Feb 9, 2014 17:29|
Matsudaira Sadaaki 松平 定敬 (S)
Otori Keisuke, Army Minister
That's not the point of the proposal; we want displaced and exiled samurai to reclaim their rightful privileges through service to the state. Their lands have been taken from them and unfortunately Edo does not have enough land and peasants to give them redress. Conquest is the art of the Samurai families with "rich blood and hundreds of years of martial history" and this is not a break with tradition but a reinstitution of it. Titles through campaigns have been awarded for thousands of years of Japanese history. I fear that regardless of who commands the assault, it will be costly and draining without the best of the samurai to support it. Peasants and Samurai are equally deserving of rewards but are unequal in their ability to gain those deserts. Samurai have trained all their lives for combat and will be more meritorious and brave, you need not worry about class warfare.
The proposal will go through not as an ordinance but an option for soldiers. If you personally hold different values, you have the choice of not accepting lands for your services, honorably distinguishing yourself through old values alone. However, others may have different designs, and I really did not know that you would want to prohibit all samurai from getting rewards for their conquests. Would you really deny that right to them?
Litos fucked around with this message at Feb 9, 2014 around 19:13
|# ? Feb 9, 2014 19:06|
Matsudaira Sadaaki 松平 定敬 (S)
Daimyo-in-Exile of Kuwana
Two warriors are about to fight a duel.
One declares, "I am wise, for I know my opponent's every move. He is a man who knows nothing but vertical slices."
Then when it comes time to fight, the so-called wise man is caught by surprise with a swift horizontal cut.
"How deceptive! Using a cut like this!" the dying man says.
His opponent replies, "I never said I was going to cut one way or another. The only one who deceived you is yourself."
Army minister, be careful of what you assume others are saying. Sometimes it does not match the truth, and when it does, you only have yourself to blame.
I never said I want samurai to receive no rewards -- no fiefdoms. It would never be my intention to do so. Perhaps I was unclear, if an esteemed man like yourself misunderstood me. My apologies.
It is not just the case that Samurai are more capable warriors than peasants. They are also more deserving of rewards. In joining the Ezo Republic we exiled daimyos have given up much. We gave up our homes, our fiefdoms, and our titles to loyally serve the true leaders of Japan. As we serve Ezo and take back our nation from the corrupt Meiji dogs, it is only natural that sooner or later, what was taken from us will be given back.
On the other hand, peasants and commoners have given up very little, because they have very little. They have no lands that their families have rules for centuries, no proud traditions to uphold. All they have is their money, and the things they buy with it. But money and items are temporary, portable things. They are not much to worry about.
So what I am saying is yes, Samurai should be rightfully compensated for their military service. I am glad we agree. Now, as army minister, will you accept my offer of service?
|# ? Feb 9, 2014 19:30|
Otori Keisuke, Army Minister
If you would like to propose an alternate proposal that you believe would have the same level of support in the legislature declaring that the option to forgo salary in exchange for estates should be reserved only to proven samurai and daimyo, then you have my endorsement. The ideological considerations of this proposal are not the domain of the military, rather that should be left up to those who are most deeply affected by them like you and other deserving daimyo. I thank you for your offering of services and wholeheartedly endorse you as a commander of the assault of Sado. Your offering is a prime example of the spirit our martial men should take to revive the country. I hope to converse with you on productive terms later about strategy so we can achieve total and honorable victory.
|# ? Feb 9, 2014 20:03|
The Diaries of John Batchelor posted:
|# ? Feb 9, 2014 21:36|
Letter to Mr Kasuga posted:
|# ? Feb 9, 2014 22:33|
I shall be Igarashi Takehiko.
on second thought, I don't think I have enough enthusiasm or time to get into this that much so I'm backing out. sorry.
|# ? Feb 9, 2014 23:20|
After consulting with Keisuke-dono, I have received assurances that peasants shall not be made into samurai through the back door.
With that resolved, I unreservedly pledge my blade to the republic.
I also propose that in exchange for a pledge of fealty to the Ezo republic and service in this war, Matsumae samurai should receive a portion of the conquered land and limited restoration of their traditional rights, with further rights to be restored as time comes. Obviously this will require the approval of the president.
Namtab fucked around with this message at Feb 10, 2014 around 00:43
|# ? Feb 10, 2014 00:41|
Otori Keisuke, Army Minister
The general is correct; peasants will receive rewards, but more befitting of their status. There will be no backdoor into the nobility, and I did not wish to be unclear. We are only wanting to restore valliant warriors to their rightful and deserved lands. I thank him and all others who join for their bravery and valor.
|# ? Feb 10, 2014 00:45|
A Reminder: Orders are due in approximately 5 hours! (11:59PM CST, UCT-6)
Make sure to put your SA name and character name in the email.
The email is email@example.com
If you already sent orders and want to send them again with changes or whatever, just resend the whole orders with the changes bolded.
|# ? Feb 10, 2014 00:51|
Though I am but a boy, I have taken it upon myself to join my Samurai compatriots in the assault upon Sado. May all whom hesitate for fear, witness their families dishonor and ruin before their very eyes. To this end, I have mandated that Keisuke be made Daimyo and take martial control of the attack. Furthermore the Foreign minister, is to seek the merchant party leader Katsu Kaishu and proceed upon his merchant ship to the Sado port of ogi, to conduct diplomacy on behalf of Ezo. By shogunate Edict may it be done, or may they face loss and condemnation for their failure and cowardice.
|# ? Feb 10, 2014 01:33|
Otori Keisuke, Army Minister
I thanks the most noble and sovereign Shogun for his appointment, blessing, and courageous contribution to the campaign. I submit before his righteous authority and hope that all others involved will as well; we certainly hope that those thinking diplomacy may solve this issue will muster their courage and see if the Meiji can be reasoned with.
|# ? Feb 10, 2014 01:37|
I submit my blade and pledge my life to my new daimyo, the Ezo republic, and the shogun. While I personally intend to fight in this war it is my wish that the Meiji oppression of these islands ends as rapidly as possible. I am therefore pleased that the Shogun has sent our finest negotiator on one of our most magificent ships in order to end hostilities as rapidly as possible.
As I sit now, drinking sake with my sworn brother Sadaaki-dono I feel naught but regret and disgust that the meiji have forced us into this chain of events, and trust in my blade and my companions.
|# ? Feb 10, 2014 01:40|
As I gaze out upon the water, preparing myself for the ordeal to come, I wish only the fairest winds for the diplomatic envoy I have sent, it is right that only the grandest merchant and his fine ship ferry our humble diplomat to treat with the Meiji dogs.
For those whom pledge their swords should diplomacy fail, only the greatest hounour awaits us.
May our flag fly proudly.
|# ? Feb 10, 2014 03:09|
Nagai Naoyuki, Finance Magistrate, Samurai
I humbly give my full support to the changes made to my original budget by Enomoto-sama.
|# ? Feb 10, 2014 07:10|
Update 1: Quarter 1 (Jan - March) 1877
The South shall rise again
“The Emperor could not hear my words. So be it.” -Saigo Takamori, upon learning that Emperor Meiji did not accept his petition
Before any of the impending operations against Meiji by the Ezo Republic had even set off from Hakodate, Meiji found itself with an even more threatening situation on hand. In response to the rapid modernization and anti-feudal campaign pursued by the Meiji government, a number of disaffected samurai, especially those unable to reach Ezo or those who had supported the Imperial government, began plotting open rebellion against the government in Edo.
Chief among the disaffected samurai was Saigo Takamori, a nemesis of Ezo who had led Imperial forces to victory in Edo, accepting the surrender of the city from Katsu Kaishu. Saigo Takamori had also been a leader in the new Meiji government, and had been one of the voices of caution in pursuing the sorts of feudal reforms that stoked the Ezo war of independence. With samurai considerably weakened in Meiji Japan, however, the Emperor struck an independent cord and threw off Saigo, and other Kyushu samurai’s, advice.
In response, Saigo Takamori, alongside thousands of other disaffected samurai, set forth to Kyushu to train and prepare for the impending conflict. While initially trying to make the Emperor Meiji see reason, Takamori’s advocacy for the noble samurai fell on deaf ears. Saigo Takamori prepared for the worst.
And the worst came, when on January 30, 1877, Imperial forces landed in Kagoshima in order to secure the local arsenal. This resulted in the opening of hostilities between Saigo Takamori’s forces and those of Emperor Meiji, seeing the Satsuma clan in open rebellion against the Imperial government which it had brought to power. With thousands of samurai, and a retainer of thousands of additional disaffected peasants, Saigo Takamori took control of Kagoshima, and declared his intention to march north to Edo to have audience with the Emperor.
Before reaching Edo however, Saigo Takamori marched his armies North, and by mid-February, had arrived at the Kyushu city of Kumamoto. Kumamoto represents the largest and best fortified castle in all of Kyushu, and an important strategic position for control of the island. Saigo immediately began seiging the castle, which is currently defended by no more than 5,000 peasant conscripts with few cannon.
This is as far as Saigo was able to get, as initial attempts to attack the castle were largely unsuccessful, primarily due to its fortifications and ideal defensive position. The full force of the rebellious armies remain stationed at Kumamoto castle, controlling only the port of Kagoshima and the areas in between. Saigo’s armies swell as Satsuma samurai flock to his banner, yet, many samurai beyond the Satsuma domain have already fled to Ezo, or did so during the Ezo war of independence. While those samurai that remain are particularly upset with the Emperor and his reforms, and while many peasants sympathize with their cause, it is questionable whether Saigo and his 15,000 man strong samurai army can maintain the offensive against the might of the Meiji government.
(+Satsuma rebellion, -many samurai from Meiji’s ranks, +distraction for Meiji government)
We come from the lands of the ice and snow
“We must restore order and balance to the universe, lest the forces of darkness cover our archipelago, and deny our rightful place as masters of Japan” - President Enomoto to the troops before setting sail from Hakodate
Back in Hakodate, another headache was developing for the Meiji government. Spurred on by rumors of gold and riches on the island of Sado, and seeking to press their naval advantage while it still lasted, the forces of the Ezo Republic set out to reconquer at least a portion of their former homeland. The objective would, for the time being, be the island of Sado, off the Western shores of Honshu.
President Enomoto announced the operation in a great speech to the gathered mass of Ezo’s elite samurai armed forces, now well trained in modern warfare after years of modernization and training under French tutelage. In a rousing speech atop a white steed, President Enomoto regaled tales of the first Ezo War of Independence, shedding a manly tear has he remembered those lost honorably in battle, and gesturing proudly towards those who fought alongside him who now ranked among the officers of the samurai forces. Finishing with an inspiring metaphor, Enomoto called upon all his soldiers to restore order to the universe, bringing glory to their family, their Republic, and their God (whoever it may be) by destroying the Meiji menace. The samurai forces, eager for battle and recognizing the potential rewards associated with combat, responded with great cheer, and the Republic set about organizing and gathering all its able warriors.
(+Army and Navy morale)
In addition to the samurai, peasants, commoners, and exiles from Sado were gathered by the government for support. The President wisely sought out former residents of Sado to serve as scouts and planners of the operations, and included a number of them in the logistical and military phases of planning. These men would serve as advance scouts come the time of the invasion, ensuring that Ezo’s forces would operate with as complete information as was possible given the circumstances.
(+Chance of success in logistics and operations on Sado)
In a somewhat strange twist of events, the young Shogun, now 14 years of age, was declared an adult on the eve of battle, and ceremonially appointed the President’s choice for commander, Otori Keisuke, as official military commander of the Sado operation. Alongside this appointment, the Shogun re-opened the shogunal court that had remained dormant since the abdication of the previous Shogun. This court claims jurisdiction over military matters, and an appointed aristocracy of samurai was made to enforce these laws. As yet, it has done little outside of ceremony, but has commanded the respect of much of the traditionalist samurai and the military.
Otori Keisuke also set out to bolster Ezo’s military forces in order to ensure victory in the Sado operation. His promises of land and riches in Sado did not fall upon deaf ears, but many samurai, content with their stipend or otherwise pre-occupied with the other tasks necessary for governance, did not answer the call. In addition to the 5,000 samurai serving full time, well equipped, and well trained in modern warfare, only 5,000 additional samurai answered the call to arms. This was rather disappointing, but also reflected the rather limited resources available to the army, as well as the limited timeframe necessary to deploy the samurai overseas. The small number may have been a mixed blessing in the sense that there was adequate equipment to ensure each possess the latest in European weaponry, as little preparation had been made in that regard.
(+Shogunal Court +Mature Shogun +Military Legitimacy)
An additional 6,000 peasants and laborers were conscripted by the Republic to serve as support and retinues for the samurai warriors. While many samurai were uncomfortable seeing the lower ranking citizens serving alongside noble samurai, their role was limited and clearly tactical, so their fears were largely assuaged. These peasants did not all receive adequate weaponry, typically being restricted to outdated muskets and matchlocks that were of questionable quality in the initial war of Ezo independence, but promises of glory and the potential to prove martial abilities (with the rumors of samurai ascendency) made up for any pitfalls in this regard.
(+5,000 samurai warriors to army, +6,000 peasants to army)
A great party was held by Matsudaira Sadaaki in Hakodate just before the soldiers set out, bolstering morale among the men, and establishing a sense of camaraderie. It was during this party that Matsudaira Sadaaki and Matsudaira Katamori forged a blood oath, based on their shared kinship as blood brothers. Alongside their young lover, the Shogun Tokugawa Kamenosuke, the three men swore to defend each other’s honor to the death, and not to leave one another’s side during the upcoming battle. Their example, as veteran samurai and their young page, and as examples of both samurai honor and the precious tradition of shudo, greatly boosted the morale of the men.
(+Massive boost to army morale)
“Come men, dip your swords in this holy water. It will ensure the heathens are baptised as they fall by our blades” -Arai Ikunosuke, before the invasion of Sado
Arai Ikunoskue, Navy Magistrate and commander of the naval forces of Ezo, was appointed by the President (and the shogun) as the top ranking commander for the navy side of the Sado operation. Gathering the combined 16,000 ground forces in the troop transports, on February 2, the combined navy of the Ezo Republic set forth to conquer the island of Sado from the Meiji usurpers.
As the island lays across a narrow strait from the Meiji controlled island of Honshu, the navy’s primary concern was establishing a blockade of the island after delivering the army to its location. However, its orders were to focus on supporting the land operations first, and the ironclad and wooden frigate ships focused their guns on the coast of Sado near the coastal village of Ryotsu, as the ground forces disembarked.
Just before disembarking, as the navy made preparations for the commencement of ground operations, a diplomatic mission was sent to the island of Sado. Openly defying the orders of the government, Katsu Kaishu refused to take part in the diplomatic mission. Foreign Magistrate Hayashi Tadasu similarly did not attend, citing the more important conference in St. Petersberg, and instead a diplomatic representative was deployed to meet Meiji forces on the island. This raised questions of the loyalty of both these men, as some wonder whether their reluctance to take part in the Sado operation was an intentional dishonor to the Republic, or a tacit move of support for the Meiji regime. Regardless, somewhat surprised by the arrival of an Ezo representative (but not the arrival of Ezo at all, due to the Ogi incident below), the garrison on the island refused surrender, and upon hearing their decision, the navy of Ezo opened fire on Meiji forces for the first time in 8 years.
“DO NOT ACT WITH DISHONOR!” - Matsudaira Sadaaki, upon disembarking on the beaches of Sado
While the navy commenced its bombardment at Ryotsu, another intrigue was taking place further south. The port of Ogi on the southern end of Sado represents the more important link between the island and the mainland, and as such is the vital conduit for supplies and reinforcements from Honshu. The night before the arrival of the navy to the East, a ship flying the Meiji government’s flag arrived with a shipment of supplies into Ogi harbor, loaded with explosives and staffed by noble Ezo men. Unfortunately for the men, their plot was discovered before day, but not before the ship had fully anchored within Ogi harbor, and its load was detonated. The docks of Ogi were severely damaged, and sparked a small fire in the port, causing pandemonium among the residents and alerting the Meiji forces to the arrival of Ezo forces. Fortunately, this was mere hours before the arrival of the navy and ground forces, and no sense of the scale of what was to come was given.
(+severe damage to the port of Ogi, -supplies from Honshu)
Come morning, soldiers under the command of Otori Keisuke began landing on the coast of Sado under the umbrella of light cannon fire from Ezo’s navy. While providing a psychological boost, the limited effectiveness of the older Ezo ships did little to damage what few fortifications Meiji’s forces were able to construct. Instead, the landings went rather smoothly, with the mass of peasant conscripts being led by a handful of veteran samurai leading the charge. The village of Ryotsu fell with minimal fighting, and a clear beachhead was established.
The mass of samurai forces, by contrast, landed further to the southeast unopposed, and began hauling the heavy artillery equipment over the hills of sado to support the operations in the center of the island. While the determination and morale of the elite samurai warriors ensured a rapid ascent, the nature of the difficult terrain and the difficulty in hauling three large armstrong guns over the terrain made their travel quite slow. Instead, the peasant forces continued to encroach on the center of the island before the samurai in the mountains even saw combat. By the time the artillery were even in place to assist the peasants advancing on Sado city, the peasant forces were already skirmishing with the now re-organized Meiji forces.
Never quavering from combat, and wishing to demonstrate the superiority of samurai will and virtue over the peasants under their command, a contingent of samurai led by the Matsudaira brothers, Tokugawa Kamenosuke, and their elite retainers, launched a frontal assault against the Meiji forces in Sado city. Lacking any castle or fixed fortification, and fighting in the plains in the center of the island, the mounted samurai core of the otherwise peasant force found favorable terrain for their aggressive tactics. The Matsudaira forces, and the young Tokugawa, charged headlong into battle, singing the praises of the Republic and the Shogun. Many fell before their blades, but with the Meiji forces reorganized and dug in near the capital of the island, their charge was not sufficient to entirely break their lines. The Republican peasant forces, largely untrained and unprepared to serve as the spearhead of the Republic’s assault, did not manage to break Meiji’s lines, but did inflict heavy casualties.
Tokugawa Kamenosuke proved especially valiant in battle, especially given his young age, and his participation in the front lines impressed both the peasants and samurai retainers alike, as his horse was the first to cross the Meiji lines, and his katana ultimately liberated dozens of Meiji gunners’ heads from their bodies. Retreating almost entirely unscathed, the young Shogun cultivated a sense of invincibility among his men, who greatly respected his honorable conduct in the fight. Matsudaira Katamori would not be so lucky, for during a charge alongside his brother, he was struck by a bullet in his chest, and fell to the ground near a mass of Meiji soldiers. Fortunately for Katamori, his brother Sadaaki charged in to his defence, valiantly staving off Meiji forces long enough for the rest of their retinue to arrive. Carrying his injured brother on his back, Sadaaki successfully returned his brother to friendly lines, where his wounds were quickly tended to. Unfortunately, having received a number of serious bayonet wounds, and with the peasant army poorly equipped to deliver medical attention to the injured samurai, Katamori’s left leg was amputated. Maimed, but not dead, Katamori focused on recovery behind the lines. The story of his injury, and his valiant rescue at the hand of his brother, would be told among the men as an inspiration to samurai and an example of the bond between samurai inside and outside of combat.
(+Honor and respect for Tokugawa Kamenosuke, -leg for Matsudaira Katamori, +Matsudaira clan respect, -1000 peasant conscripts)
Following the failure of the peasant forces to break the mass of Meiji forces, the peasants under the assumed command of Tokugawa and his retinue held the line and waited for samurai reinforcements. The peasants engaged in skirmishes and defeated a minor Meiji counterattack with moderate casualties, until the following day, the mass of 11,000 samurai who had trekked over the hills of Sado finally arrived as reinforcements. The Meiji forces, only now receiving their orders from Honshu, began beating a hasty retreat to the Western port of Sawata, where Meiji reinforcements and supplies were gathering. However, with Ogi out of commission, and Sawata’s port infrastructure considerably lacking, and with the navy of Ezo chasing any ships attempting to bring reinforcements, Meiji found itself considerably undersupplied and undermanned compared to their Ezo opponents. Ezo quickly secure the capital of the island, Sado city, and pursued their Meiji opponents to the village of Sawata.
(-600 peasant conscripts)
The battle of Sawata proved to be the last futile defense of the island by Meiji forces, who crumbled under the combined might of Ezo’s samurai army and peasant retinues. While some reinforcements ensured that Ezo paid for their victory with the price of some samurai lives, with a particularly noble defense covering the retreat of many Meiji forces just north of Sawata, control of the southern plains by Ezo forces was fully assured. Otori Keisuke and his men celebrated their victory by shouting Kyouwakoku Banzai! (long live the Republic) as Meiji forces fled.
(-300 samurai, -100 peasant conscripts)
Currently, Ezo forces control the center of the island, and Ezo’s navy has established a blockade of the island from the mainland in Honshu. Meiji forces are largely broken, but have dispersed into the hills of Sado, occasionally launching raids against Ezo controlled areas in the center from the Northern hills. The Southern hills are considerably more secure, and some Ezo forces have begun marching south to secure the largely wrecked port of Ogi. The mass of Ezo’s forces remains at Suwata, poised to halt any counter-attacks by Meiji forces, and ready to march north to secure the Northern hills and its rich gold mines. Supplies continue to flow in through the port of Ryotsu, virtually the only functional port with the necessary infrastructure to ensure the maintenance of the large Ezo armies, though it is inferior to the now destroyed port of Ogi.
(+Most of Sado island)
Emperor Meiji, upon hearing of Ezo’s “treachery”, denounced the invasion and the breakaway state, demanding the immediate return of the island. Germany echoed Meiji’s outrage, demanding the rest of Europe stand behind Meiji and oppose the “aggressive tactics of the breakaway samurai”. Already, Meiji has begun mobilizing the bulk of its armed forces, already on alert but distracted by the Satsuma rebellion to its South. Those forces not already engaged in or disembarking towards Kyushu have begun marching North, with Meiji declaring its intention to launch a grand invasion across the Tsugaru Strait of more than 100,000 Imperial forces. Whether this is true remains to be seen, but as it stands, Meiji has two serious rebellions and incursions with which it must deal before it can secure control of its territory. Fortunately for Ezo, the Meiji navy was previously largely committed to reinforcing and delivering imperial forces to the island of Kyushu, but this may change, and a full naval engagement may soon be forthcoming.
An arms race, a proxy war, or both?
“May God Grace us with victory. And failing that, there’s always the French” - Arai Ikunosuke, Navy Magistrate
The Ezo Republic has maintained its independence largely by virtue of its superior navy (and French benefactors), and this relationship was further strengthened by the purchase of new naval vessels from France. Arai Ikunosuke, working through national hero and naval expert Jules Brunet, arranged for the purchase of three top of the line armored frigates from France. This purchase represented quite a burden on the quarterly budget of Ezo, costing well over a fifth of Ezo’s quarterly budget. But, with some crafty accounting and with France offering some temporary debt and interest relief, as well as a minor loan offering, France’s domestic and foreign lobbies were more than happy to see their shipyards hard at work. The full order will see 3 armored frigates, and accompany French training in operation, delivered to Ezo by the beginning of the next year (1888).
The timing of the delivery is no coincidence, as this coincides with the purchase of similar vessels by Meiji Japan, having made a purchase from Germany some five years earlier. Unfortunately for Meiji, while Germany’s industry is rapidly beginning to rival that of France, its shipyards lag behind considerably, are not as equipped for rapid deployment, and are busy churning out the newly unified Germany’s own naval forces. France, by contrast, enjoys the advantage of projection power and naval infrastructure reflecting its years of interest in East Asia and own Empire, even if it is a shadow of its former self.
The conflict between Meiji Japan and the Ezo Republic will likely continue to play out as a proxy in the simmering rivalry between Germany and France, with many observers concerned about the potential for full involvement or a resumption of hostilities between the two European powers.
(-6 credits from Ezo, +1 debt, +3 Armored Frigates in 4 turns)
Economy at a crossroads
“Look, I gave you the land, the materials, and the technology. You want me to bring laborers too?” -Horace Capron, in a discussion with President Enomoto
While most in Ezo were focused on news of war and resumed hostilities with Meiji, a number of prominent domestic leaders and industrialists were focused on squeezing out the full potential of the largely barren and undeveloped island Republic. President Enomoto, as well as special advisors Horace Capron and Jules Brunet, spent considerable portions of their wealth and time seeking to reform and exploit the agricultural and mineral wealth Ezo has to offer.
President Enomoto’s estates, many of which are vast agricultural fields in some of the most fertile areas of the island of Ezo, underwent significant economic reforms. Horace Capron, introducing some of the most recent American innovations, oversaw the complete overhaul of and reorganization of the estates. Production rose considerably, and the necessary labor dropped accordingly, with Enomoto rather pleased at his newfound wealth. The results of this experiment became widely known across Ezo, and to foreign investors, with interest by Westerners, reform-minded samurai, and merchants piqued by the potential for profit.
Yet, despite this newfound profit, one problem became apparent - the Ezo Republic suffers from a severe shortage of labor. While mechanization has certainly reduced the demand for labor on any individual farm, in the aggregate, the fertile lands of Ezo are not as yet sufficiently staffed by peasant workers to be properly exploited. This problem is not entirely constrained to the agricultural field either - Jules Brunet’s own mineral exploration committees, despite identifying many areas for exploitation, similarly found a lack of able workers.
The problem has been compounded by the war with Meiji, with peasants finding ample opportunity in assisting with the combat and logistics of the Sado operation, as well as the increasing difficulty in immigration from Meiji by those seeking opportunity in Ezo. The Navy has been rather effective at restricting access to Ezo, and the shinsengumi, with their focus on protecting the borders of Ezo from Meiji spies, have significantly cut their smuggling operations. Refugees and immigrants from Meiji have slowed down to a trickle, despite rising demand.
The net result has been a dramatic rise in wages for laborers within the Republic, and a dramatic shortage of peasant labor in some of the frontier estates. Some peasants are even beginning to demand regular wages and raises for their efforts, threatening to defect to neighboring estates in order to secure these benefits. This has outraged the merchant class, and even concerned some of the more agricultural aristocratic samurai lords, who are demanding action on the part of the government in order to restrict these practices. The merchants would prefer either expansion of immigration from Meiji or some other form or labor importation, with their non-agricultural interests and profits threatened by high wages. Similarly, Samurai are seeking the restriction of movement by peasants and a reinforcement of serfdom by the government, with Samurai much less accepting of non-Japanese immigrants as a solution to their labor problems.
For the time being, should no solution be pursued, economic growth will be severely restricted by the lack of labor. Peasants and laborers are the big winners, and may find consequently find themselves newly empowered.
(+credits to quarterly budget +peasant/laborer mobility and wages +angry merchants/samurai)
Into the Wild
“Ezo's climate, though a frozen waste in winter, is a veritable Eden to hearty crops and wild weeds alike. The high nitrate content of the soil and the rising golden sun bring an abundant harvest wherever adjustments can be made for the unusual weather conditions." - Horace Capron, "A Comparative Biology of Ezochi"
Upon the urgings of the president himself, a grand expedition is arranged by the Ezo Republic’s very own Department of the Interior. In a pan-clan effort, the exiles daimyos dispatch samurai, their ashigaru footmen, and miscellaneous laborers alike into the wilderness of the Oshima Peninsula and northwards. Accompanied by both the Army’s nascent Shinrin Sentai and the professional gaijin surveyors of the Blakiston and Company, the oyatoi gaikokujin Horace Capron leads an intrepid quest through the misty depths of the island. Along the way, he takes meticulous notes, observing the fertility of the plains and finding hot springs in the hills. Blakiston’s men handily assist, even jotting down some zoological accounts to send back to their ornithologist bossman.
As they drive further inland, mapping out every rock, and tree, and creature, one fundamental fact is made clear: Ezochi has huge potential for agricultural output, with perhaps up to a quarter of the total arable land of all of Japan. Its forests are lush, its rivers are wide, and its plains fecund. If there is to be a future for the country, then this heartland should be settled and further developed.
(-fog of war, ++agricultural opportunities, +manifest destiny, grand survey completed)
As an aside, during the journey the expedition mapped out the Kamikawa Basin and the bright and sprightly Asahi River, not too far from the northern coast. Advisor Capron suggests that a settlement can be built there. And perhaps more…?
The Jurisdiction of the Devil
“Is it a violation of Christ’s will to dress like an itinerant monk?” - Anonymous Christian NINJA
The Naval Magistrate announced the formation of the Naval Intelligence and National Justice Agency, with the english acronym “NINJA”. While eliciting a chuckle from the American Horace Capron, those within Japan merely greeted the formation of a new intelligence agency with general apathy. Except, of course, the shinsengumi.
The shinsengumi, the Shogunate’s former secret police and pet organization of the Security Magistrate Hijikata Toshizo, immediately decried the formation of NINJA. The shinsengumi largely oversaw the security of the Republic, and has made a considerable profit from running goods and people from Meiji to Ezo despite Meiji’s trade and immigration restrictions. The organization now feels threatened by NINJA, as the Navy is in a much better position to monopolize the illegal Ezo-Meiji trade.
For now, the organization remains in its infancy, and its stated goals are strictly devoted to intelligence gathering and foreign espionage. As the navy largely favors christians, and the shinsengumi is an almost exclusively Buddhist organization, tensions between the two organizations threaten to spill over into the latent religious tensions within the Republic.
(+ominous tension, +NINJA)
A Russian Bride
“A pleasant enough chap - almost pleasant enough to seem civilized” -British diplomat Richard Mulberry upon meeting Foreign Magistrate Hayashi Tadasu
Foreign Magistrate Hayashi Tadasu made a visit to the Russian and British diplomatic representatives in Ezo in an effort to elicit their support for Ezo’s operations against Meiji, as well as in general to diffuse any latent tensions. This effort was particularly appreciated by Russia, who, upon hearing rumors of a move against its Far East possessions, had initially ordered an expedition of settlers and a small contingent of military forces to the island of Sakhalin (Karafuto). After considerable assurances by the Foreign Magistrate that such rumors came from “Meiji spies, German instigators, and extremist fools,” the expedition was cancelled.
Instead, an opportunity presented itself - Russia formally invited the foreign minister to participate in a conference in St. Petersburg to negotiate the future of the Far East, specifically a clear delineation of control over Sakhalin/Karafuto, as well as the Kuril islands (Chishima). Hayashi Tadasu set out right away to Russia, where his arrival is imminent, hoping to accomplish a lasting territorial peace in the Far East.
(-tension between Russia and Ezo, +opportunity for meaningful negotiations)
JosefStalinator fucked around with this message at Feb 12, 2014 around 08:12
|# ? Feb 12, 2014 07:29|
All aRound American
“Whores? Check. Booze? Check. Opium? Check. Dice? Check. The only thing you can’t find here is the door” - Common saying of patrons at the “Round Eye Saloon”
The latest craze in the capital Hakodate, at least among its seedier elements and visiting foreigners, is the Round Eye Saloon. Rumored to have been named after its owner, Thomas Crusoe, asked his Japanese companion what first came to mind when thinking of foreigners, the saloon offers some of the finest whores, booze, and dice in the otherwise quiet Republic. Thus far, the authorities have been unable, or unwilling, to put the kibosh on the saloon’s activities.
Styled on American Western saloons, the saloon has also attracted many poor or underground native elements, and has rapidly made Thomas Crusoe an important player in intelligence gathering in Ezo. This is especially true among the Western diplomats and merchants who frequent the port of Hakodate, and has generated a great deal of wealth for Thomas Crusoe, and embarrassment for those who cross him. Some fear this power, and accuse Thomas Crusoe of pursuing immoral pursuits and threatening or harming those who oppose him, but so far none have been brave enough to defy him.
Redeeming the Saloon somewhat, even in the eyes of more dignified Samurai, were the services the owner offered to those heading off to war. Recognizing the need for entertainment, and comfort, for soldiers about to set off to join the operations in Sado, a parade of deals and special offers were made for soldiers and their retinues as they set from port. While most high ranking Samurai refused to participate openly in the illicit activities, low ranking samurai and ronin made no such distinction, and took part. The net effect was a considerable increase in morale for the men setting off to war, having lightened their spirits, and their pocketbooks, in earthly distraction.
(+Round Eye Saloon, +Crime in Hakodate, +Foreign intelligence, +Military morale)
Care for some tea?
“Stonewall conservatism is preferable to compromising vacillation” -Army Magistrate Otori Keisuke
Cracks are beginning to show in the Republican faction, with Army Magistrate Otori Keisuke seeking to forge a sub-faction of “Right Republicans”. Arguing that the Republican faction has become a party of compromise and convenience, Otori Keisuke has been pressing its members to join him in opposition to radical reforms, flirting with members more closely aligned to the Homeland faction. This means moving the Republicans more decisively against social reforms, but accepting an aggressive stance against Meiji. The unique position of the Army Magistrate as the leader of the operations against the Meiji island of Sado has strengthened this authority and legitimized his appeal, but the Magistrate has insisted that this movement does not represent an assault on Enomoto’s leadership. Rather, Otori Keisuke and his supporters have branded Right Republicans as the “true” Republicans, and advocated the pushing out of those who oppose their views.
It remains to be seen how successful these attempts are, and whether the President will tolerate intra-party squabbles within his faction.
(+tension within Republican party)
The Law Won
“Status in the samurai caste was guaranteed by birth and could not be deprived via legislative action.” - Ruling of High Judge Takenaka Shigetaka
“Who the hell is John Marshall?” - President Enomoto
High Judge Takenaka Shigetaka of the Ezo Supreme Court made a landmark decision on March 6, 1877, when he ruled for the first time on constitutional issues facing the Republic. In the case of Matsumae vs. The Republic, the High Judge and his associates ruled by a vote of 4-1 in favor of the Matsumae clan.
The Matsumae sued the Republic for the removal of its samurai status and castles upon the establishment of the Republic, exacted upon the clan for its support for the Imperial Meiji forces during the Ezo War of Independence. The Matsumae, understandably perturbed by this turn of events, largely accepted their status as former samurai, and set about licking their wounds and keeping the Ezo government at arm’s length.
That was, until they realized that, as a constitutional republic, they might seek legal resort to their grievances. Filing a case with the High Court of Ezo, the Matsumae sought the return of their lands and titles, citing the various protections of samurai rights within the constitution. The High Court agreed, and in a landmark decision, restored official samurai status to the Matsumae. The Matsumae clan would have to accept the loss of its land, having committed treason against the Republic, but its samurai status was immutable from birth. Thus came the most important sentence of Judge Takenaka Shigetaka’s decision:
“Status in the samurai caste was guaranteed by birth and could not be deprived via legislative action.”
Not only does this cast doubt upon the ability of the government to rescind former samurai titles, but it also brings into question whether acts such as the Samurai Registration Act would be constitutional. Most in Congress are pressing for legislation on the determination of samurai status regardless, and others for a constitutional amendment rectifying the ruling, but the reaction of the court remains in question.
Alongside dealing this ruling, the High Judge toured Ezo, visiting the various lesser courts and schooling the judges and aspiring lawyers of Ezo on constitutional law and general practice. Additionally, legal scholars and a vast library’s worth of legal books were imported from the United States, France, and Great Britain, as the High Judge has now amassed an enormous collection of books. There is a movement among the new class of legal scholars to construct a library in Hakodate to accommodate the influx of texts, legal and otherwise.
All of these actions have invigorated the judicial system of Ezo, already strong in civil and criminal cases, but now also constitutionally.
(+Matsumae samurai status, +Court Prestige, +Judicial efficiency across Ezo)
“Repression of those with the privilege of fortune is a form of persecution unique to our Republic” -Katsu Kaishu
While most samurai would choose to forget, the Freedom Party (Jiyudo) and Merchant Factions have continued their campaigns for greater suffrage, democracy, and representation for the monied classes (and to a lesser degree, the masses).
Katsu Kaishu, the appointed representative of the Merchant factions, and the only man in government with any sympathies to the Jiyudo, has further aligned himself with the freedom movement in his quest against samurai privilege. Taking advantage of merchant protests demanding action on high worker wages, Katsu Kaishu gathered a sizable demonstration outside the capital’s fortress residence of the presidency. Alongside Jiyudo protesters, many of whom scoffed at the merchant’s open demands for depressing worker wages, put their differences aside and joined in the demonstrations. While peaceful, the government took note of the potential disruption, but chose to ignore the protests with much more focus on the war efforts. That said, the lack of samurai in the mainland made a crackdown undesirable in any case, and some observers fear the continued war may embolden and strengthen the protests, especially if the merchants and workers both begin to suffer from any associated costs of war.
The true stunt, however, will take place in the coming months. In preparation for the elections this May, the Jiyudo, in concert with members of the merchant faction, will be organizing a mock election. This election will accept votes from all adult males in the district, in this case a district encompassing much of Sapporo’s nascent industrial area, currently represented by the Sakoku faction’s Koizaki Oiumi. While few will accept its legitimacy, and there are questions about how many will actually show up to vote, the choice of the industrial district was no coincidence. The district has a large non-agrarian worker base, and represents one of the few areas where non-samurai actually possess the numbers and political consciousness to at least desire greater political representation.
Alongside this political stunt, Katsu Kaishu has been registered as the only opposing candidate opposite President Enomoto in the upcoming Presidential election, choosing a fellow merchant Tatsuhiro Hadakata as his VP . While few doubt he will succeed, Katsu Kaishu at least hopes to use his run to gauge the support of the relatively quiet opposition within Ezo, and advocate for the status of the merchants and disenfranchised.
(+agitation for merchants, jiyudo +anticipation for mock election, +candidate Katsu Kaishu for President, +support for his Presidential campaign)
Making Disciples of All Nations
“May all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit infuse our works upon this land. Let all hear the Gospel and receive the charity that our Heavenly Daimyo bestows!” - Higurashi Koro, samurai convert
In the aftermath of the War of Independence, there has been no shortage of itinerant ronin exiles in Ezo, but Kasuga Saemon may be the most industrious of all of them. The pious and rather dreamy swordsmith-writer spends the early months of the year busily sending correspondence to clerics far and wide, including the very Roman Pontiff himself. He humbly requests that the Holy Father promote the Vicar-Apostolic of Northern Japan to be Bishop of Ezochi. While the proposal is of merit and the letter heartfelt, the Papacy does not yet heed its call.
His philanthropic efforts receive more success, however. With much effort and no small expense to his own inheritance, Saemon establishes the Shiro Home for the Lost with fellow Kurisuchan-ha members, where the sick are welcome regardless of faith and ethnic origin, and the poor are given free care. Though physicians are few at first, the Home is bolstered by the arrival of renowned physician Dr. Ryoun Takamatsu, former hospital director of Hakodate Hospital, famous for his conduct during the previous war, charitably healing both shogunate and Meiji wounded. His presence bolsters the fame of the Home, and the Christians’ star as well, and funding for this hospice slowly accumulates.
In his little free time, Saemon scribbles obsessively on classical lyrical works and Catholic doctrine. His scholarship has begun to attract attention, though mostly from the few Western scholars and dignitaries in the country. Thanks to Ezo’s strong ties with the French Republic, some Catholic publishing houses there have received drafts of his writings, requesting more manuscripts clarifying how the Church can exist in such a different culture and society. There has been talk of potential book deals in the future...
(+reputation of the Christian faction, +reputation of Saemon’s writings, +haiku)
Children of Sun
“This commission is granted full responsibility to lead the department’s efforts. Yamato-damashii must be fully preserved in your work. Do not disgrace your ancestors, your emperor, your gods, and your clan, in that order.”
The surge in Christian popularity has met an equal and opposite reaction from traditionalists among the Homelanders, the Chained, and the Nationalists alike. Raging against this foreign religion as one that is both alien and inimical to the Japanese nature of Ezo, former daimyo Matsudaira Katamori has begun an effort to codify the traditional Shinto faith of the Wajin, hoping to stem the growth of Christianity.
To this end, the Matsudaira clan gathers all available priests among the exiles, both Shintoist and Buddhist, to form one grand Commission of Evangelical Translators (CET) to produce a singular holy scripture and codify the traditional beliefs of the Japanese people. In an interesting turn of events, the Matsuame clan strongly supports the efforts of this commission, declaring itself the defender of the faith, which some see as an attempt to curry favor in the Republic.
Regardless, much activity and excitement is sparked by this, as the zealous bring forth proposals to the scholars of the CET. The controversy of this project has come to the attention of the Emperor Enjuu himself, who brings forth a proposal to both Congress and the President: the creation of a Department of Faith, a central ministry to oversee the rituals and rites of this proposed project. While establishes one religion over all others is certainly unconstitutional, some suggest that an institution that regulates religious traditions, rather than outright favoring them, may be of use.
As with any good religious council, myriads of dogmatic quibblings have begun to arise, as the decentralized nature of both Shintoism and Buddhism- and the differences between the two faiths- surface. Because of this, the efforts to produce a scripture are unfinished, even as the agitated faithful knock on the doors of Fukuyama Castle. While some of the weaker scholars are tempted to perform seppuku from the pressures of the mob, they forge onwards, promising to craft a perfect document encapsulating the way of the gods.
(+the Shintoist-Buddhist Reformation has begun! +proposal for the creation of the Department of Faith and cabinet-level position created, +fistfights involving kami dancing on the head of a pin increase)
The Sorrows of the Matsumae
"Aye, the Ezo [Ainu] kyuudojin are perhaps the only friends this family has. They are primitive, untamed, and ignorant, but they are willing in their commerce with us. Those whom he hire are faithful laborers, willing to work for a pittance. And most importantly, they have treated us fairly, unlike these damnable Honshujin exiles, who have brought the Matsumae nothing but grief. How pitiful that our fallen house and those wild savages are the only true Ezojin of this island!" - Matsumae Takeshi, clansman
As the dejected Matsumae continue to face ostracization from the pro-Tokugawa clans despite ongoing legal developments, their only solace is their lordship over the Ainu peoples of the island. The ambiguous relationship, developed centuries in the only half-symbiotic, half-parasitic way that a colonized people and their colonial oppressor can, remains strong and unbroken despite attempts by wildcat exile merchants attempting to get a slice of that sweet sweet native trade. The meager wealth that this brought sustains the Matsumae clan.
Though they are largely silent on the idea of the republican expedition through their former domains, members of the Matsumae clan eye the exiles suspiciously. In earlier generations, they had cultivated a very careful relationship with the Ainu, allowing on specialized tradesmen, the Chigyonushi, to deal with the Ainu at specific trade centers in their territory. In exchange of allowing the Ainu the right to hunt and fish in their territories without disruption from Japanese arrivals (a form of segregation, or perhaps, reservation), the Matsumae had also prohibited all unauthorized, non-approved Chigyonushi from interacting with the natives- thus securing the trade for their own clan and allies. In latter times, the Matsumae maintained their exclusive control with half-hearted efforts at assimilating the Ainu. Either way, the opening of the northern expanse of the island to exploitation by the republic seems to cut at this traditional relationship.
As part of the zeal to defend the Shinto-Buddhist faith in formation, some members of the Matsumae clan suggest incorporating Ainu kamuy as lesser kami, such as the fearsome Kim-un Kamuy, the god of bears and leader of the Ainu pantheon.
(Matsumae-Ainu ties remain strong, +possibility of freer trade, +republican encroachment?)
Ye dare not stoop to less
“If there is any hope for our people to survive the coming typhoons, we must find a safe guide who sees the right paths like Chikap Kamuy, and can lead our people to similar happiness.” - Chieftain Tsukinoeaino of the Ainu
Despite the vote of confidence from the former samurai clan, the Ainu themselves are looking beyond the devil they know to foreign ones, as Chieftain Tsukinoeaino, the leader of the prominent Bear Star Tribe, publicly welcomes the grand survey led by non-Japanese advisors. The Ainu subsequently aid the expedition, helping them map out water sources and giving advice about the terrain. The foreign members of the party are somewhat more grateful and receptive to the aid, while the Wajin begrudgingly accept the aid. In the boomtown of Sapporo, the chieftain discusses extensively with the outsiders about Western forestry and food preparation, eager to absorb the ancient knowledge of the Occident.
(+Ainu-American relations, +Ainu agricultural knowledge)
The first quarter of the year 1877 was a rather busy year for Congress, who set about voting on a multitude of bills. The following is a breakdown of the votes and any associated effects or controversy:
Samurai Registration Act:
Final Vote: FAILED 6 - 44
What should have been a rather uncontroversial bill, the lack of wording explicitly grandfathering in existing samurai condemned the bill to failure. Many expressed their support of the idea that samurai would need proof of samurai status, and must demonstrate their associated skills, but fears over disqualification of existing samurai were too great. A number of congressmen hope that the bill will be re-introduced to Congress with an explicit grandfather clause included, as such a bill would likely experience greater success.
Defense of Nation Act:
Final Vote: FAILED 0 - 50
Largely the product of the sponsor not withdrawing the bill after later changes, the bill altered the budget in such a way that conflicted with the President and his cabinet’s ultimate desires. The elements expanding the army, and general strategy, were pursued independently by the Army Magistrate. Ultimately, little impact.
Final Vote: PASSED 48 - 2
“This bill will ban the sale, possession, import, and use of opium and restore opium prohibition laws to their Pre-Meiji standard.”
This bill passed with the overwhelming support of congress, with only token opposition from a few members with interests tied to Western trade. The opposition by the owner of the saloon “The Round Eye,” who openly flaunted his participation in the opium trade, and openly attempted to bribe congressmen to his position, dramatically hurt his reputation. While his core clientele, criminal native Japanese elements and rough Westerners, are largely unconcerned, a number of death threats have been lobbied against the saloon and its owner. Some Western powers did protest, with Britain particularly annoyed, but little fuss was raised over an area that had previously experienced minimal trade in opium in the first place.
(-Opium trade, +death threats against Thomas Crusoe)
Presidential Term Limits Act
Final Vote: PASSED 44 - 6
“Congress shall amend the Constitution of the Ezo Republic so that Term Limits for the office of President shall be abolished.”
The only bill which saw rigorous debate in Congress, the Congress of the Republic successfully amended the constitution to remove term limits for the Presidency. The merchant faction was livid, as was the Jiyudo (Freedom Faction), who immediately staged a loud demonstration outside the Presidential fortress at Goryokaku. The Homeland faction, initially somewhat opposed to empowering the Republican faction President, voted unanimously in favor after support was whipped up by their faction leader. More importantly however, the President’s decision to support the invasion of Sado ensured that virtually all Homeland party members had restored confidence in his commitment to opposing Meiji, ensuring their full loyalty. The only opposition came from the Sakoku faction, who feel the President has betrayed the country to Westerners and Christians, but they were far too few in number to prevent its passage.
President Enomoto Takeaki is now qualified to stand for the Presidency for as many terms as he sees fit.
The Opium Act now awaits President Takeaki’s signature in order to take effect.
Rumors abound of a legendary Ramen chef making the rounds of villages and areas of travel across Ezo. While many claim to have tasted his delicious ramen, none can remember his name, and his location appears to change with his migrations. The only hint given is that his accent was that of the old world, specifically Kyushu, and he is otherwise indistinguishable. (+Delicious Ramen)
A strange string of sightings has occurred near the Round Eye saloon. American sailors and diplomats have repeatedly claimed to have seen the disgraced celebrity and Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth frequenting the saloon. While presumed dead, the sightings have sparked the rumor that Mr. Booth yet lives in secret in Ezo, and the rumor has attracted Southerners in the U.S. Navy seeking to greet him. (+Mystery of John Wilkes Booth)
Thomas Blakiston has increased his shipping empire’s reach within the Far East, and is rapidly becoming one of the leading merchants throughout China and Ezo. Only Meiji largely escapes his grasp, as Taiwan’s trade posts are added to his list of ports of call. (+Taiwanese trade)
Thomas Blakiston has also begun introducing the sport of Cricket to Ezo, organizing the Hakodate Splash as the first organized cricket team. The team plans to go on a tour of the Republic to promote the sport. (+Cricket popularity)
Despite the initial popularity of baseball, with only miscellaneous American sailors and visitors playing the sport, and the rise in cricket, the interest in this particular form of stickball seems to be on the wane in recent months. (-Baseball popularity)
Among the pack is a certain Lt. Jack J. Dunner, formerly of the United States Cavalry, a man with a mysterious and checkered past. Known to have extensive dealings with aboriginal peoples in his own native land, Dunner strikes an accord with the Ainu, who admire him for his tracking abilities and horseriding skills. While the Shinrin Sentai warily eye the dangerous man, the Ainu are much taken by him. On one moonlit night he almost singlehandedly fights off a brown bear attack, driving off the ursine with a peculiar feathered hatchet.
Stories of the valiant battle led by peasant forces against Meiji in Sado have emboldened peasants in Ezo, who alongside their economic empowerment, area increasingly confident in their position relative to the samurai. Their valiance has also spurred others to volunteer for the army, should they be accepted (+Peasant boldness, +Peasant eagerness for combat/recruitment)
The Census of Ezo, the first of its kind, is underway. The results are expected to be published in May 1877, as the most remote corners of the Republic, and its rapidly developing dense urban centers, remain to be surveyed. (+Census results next turn)
A craze among the women of Hakodate has been started by the beautiful daughter in law of President Enomoto. A Christian, and leader in high fashion in Ezo, Enomoto’s daughter in law’s French influenced style is regularly emulated by the ladies of consequence within the Republic. (+Hot daughter in law for Enomoto)
JosefStalinator fucked around with this message at Feb 12, 2014 around 08:15
|# ? Feb 12, 2014 07:29|
JosefStalinator fucked around with this message at Feb 12, 2014 around 08:11
|# ? Feb 12, 2014 07:36|
President Enomoto Takeaki
As we reflect upon the happenings of the previous few months, I have a few things to say, as well as setting an agenda for the rest of my term before the upcoming election.
First, our congratulations to the army and navy in the capture of Sado Island. Though there remain a few rebels in the mountains, I have no doubts that the island will be pacified shortly and the last of the traitors removed from their holdouts.
When it comes to the setting of an agenda for the next few months, I would like to introduce the following matters for discussion. I invite members of Congress to introduce bills on these matters, or to discuss with the Minister of Finance their ideas relating to how much we would need to pay for these matters.
1. The Satsuma Rebellion - Though the Satsuma were our rivals, we have here a tremendous opportunity and a great risk. If we were able to send our troops and ships to cut off Kyushu from Honshu, we could work together with the Satsuma to control the island, and integrate them into the Republic. Alternatively, if we do nothing, they may win, and establish another rival for the nation we would have to contend with. And of course, they may lose, which would further crush rebellious thought and action among the samurai remaining in Japan. I plan to seek a delegation from the Satsuma to discuss the matter with them. Anyone interested in taking part in these talks, please say so.
2. Sado Island - With the lowlands and the majority of the population captured, we now have to consider the ruling of the island, and the productivity of its gold mine, as well as its defense. How many troops should remain? How should we ensure the defense of the island? How can we clear out the rebels? How can we make the gold mine more productive? I have already spoken to Thomas Blakiston regarding the matter, I'd like him to present his plan for the improvement of the mines. I'd also invite Mr. Jules Brunet to develop a plan for the defense of the island, along with our Navy and Army Ministers.
3. The Regulation of the Samurai - Now that our survey and census are near completion, and the Supreme Court has ruled on the matter, I would like to hear opinions as to the regulation of the samurai class. However, this would tie into a proposal I shall make, which I will introduce as a bill thusly, a Samurai Regulation Code, which I propose merely as a starting point, and would like to see commentary upon, and am completely open to changes in wording or substance:
(OOC: I'm going to start proposing bills according to this manner, 2-1, representing turn 2's first bill)
2-1 SAMURAI REGULATION CODE OF 1877
I would also like to look towards the true re-establishment of the traditional order here in Ezochi and all of our domains. As such our government would establish the following offices officially, in addition to the currently-existing Republican government, including the President and Congress.
1. At least ten Daimyo, to be granted great lands and estates. Each daimyo shall be responsible for the samurai in his employ. Each daimyo shall have a place in Congress reserved. Any samurai not in service to a daimyo shall be considered a ronin.
2. The office of Shogun, protector of the Emperor. The Shogun shall have a guaranteed seat in Congress and may veto Ministry appointments. The Shogun shall act as the Head of State. The office of Shogun is hereditary to members of the Tokugawa family.
3. The office of Emperor, a unique and hereditary position, the Emperor is the divine embodiment of the nation.
Obviously these changes would need some serious consideration and Congressional approval, so please feel free to discuss them, comment, and critique, though please keep the matter civil and do not think to disparage the honor of any who take part in the debate.
|# ? Feb 12, 2014 11:40|
JUST FYI: Stats, and those who get bonus AP from forum posts, will be up later today.
|# ? Feb 12, 2014 15:17|
Regarding the control of sado, it is my decision that we split the island under sever daimyo, notably the honorable Matsudaira brothers whom fought so valiantly to secure it. Such worthy courage, and the bonds they portrayed under battle surely cements them as worthy to rule part of the island. I shall draw up divisions once I consult with them. Of course sado will answer fully to the congress and president of the glorious Ezo republic, this is just a local control matter of which I wish to solve. Having lost his leg, it is only right that Katamori be allowed to continue to serve with distinction and honor, with local lordship over at least part of Sado.
|# ? Feb 12, 2014 15:19|
Hijikata Toshizō, The Demon of the Shinsengumi
I would like to volunteer for the Satsuma assignment. I'll be happy to serve in any capacity deemed fit for me such as depends be as security for the delegation or part of the negotiations themselves.
Personal letter to President Enomoto Takeaki
Continued correspondence with Kasuga Saemon
Ramba Ral fucked around with this message at Feb 12, 2014 around 18:26
|# ? Feb 12, 2014 15:29|
Chief Justice of the Ezo Supreme Court
Having received the honor of appointment, it is my duty to request of the many gentlemen, whose character I sincerely respect, full attention. It is perhaps improper that I address the Congress directly, as doing so might raise concerns over my impartiality, but I see no other recourse for my grievance.
My sole objective is to ensure the Judiciary be, as our Constitution declares, an independent and co-equal branch of government. However, my ability to rule fairly and impartially is impaired. While our Constitution establishes a Supreme Court, the government has yet to furnish it with a building. There has not even been a courtroom reserved for the institution, forcing it to impose upon local courts for trials and proceedings. For case files and legal books, I have been forced to store them at my estate.
These housing arrangements put into jeopardy the decisions of the Court. How can the Court be expected to rule impartially when the Court uses the very same courtroom that an appealed case was heard in, under the watchful eye of the previous judge? Should a case be brought against my clan, how can the Justices be expected to rule fairly when they must ask permission from my clan to retrieve their research? These concerns must be addressed before it compromises our Republic's legitimacy.
Therefore, I do request Congress either allocate funds to construct a building for the Supreme Court or donate a building for the sole use of the body.
|# ? Feb 12, 2014 15:51|
Kasuga Saemon (S)
To Hijikata Toshizō posted:
Hijikata, I thank you for your kind words! Life has become quite noisy here, a great change from the sepulchral and melancholic silence I was wrapped in only a few months ago, but one I think that is for the better. The people of Hakodate have shown great love for their brothers and sisters, and it has pierced my heart like a lance. I can only hope that I will be as faithful as some of the nurses who work here!
|# ? Feb 12, 2014 15:58|
First of all, I wish to congratulate the Ezo Republic with its rich and fertile lands. These lands have the possibility to be among the richest in Asia. Handled well, they can become an economic powerhouse that the lands south will simply be unable to compete with, and will show this Republic to be the future of Japan. I will work in close concert with the government and all parties involved to make sure this land is brought to its fullest potential.
Now, I understand that war brings with it costs, and that it may be tempting to draw more wealth. And yet here I am asking you to considering lowering taxes on the peasant and merchant class. Not out of some ideology, but simple pragmatics. There are many opportunities for trade and farming both, but these will not be ceased if the ones that would take it do not have the money. Even if you have to take loans on those tax cuts, they might very well pay themselves back multiple times in the long run. If you borrow $ 100, and pay back $ 110, but the investments get you 120 $ in taxes later, you have gained money. And with the resources available, I firmly believe that tax cuts will bring this land greater prosperity, and in the long term, greater income for the government.
|# ? Feb 12, 2014 16:23|
It has been brought to my attention that Katsu Kaishu wishes to challenge our honorable president in this coming election. I ask all voters of Ezo, why should we elect this man, this cowering geisha snake, into office? Already he violates government orders, already he spits on diplomacy, sullies our constitution, and makes a mockery of our elections! Is this the man we want to let lead our great, and growing republic?
In regard to President Enomoto Takeaki's proposed samurai registration act, full support is given by the Tokugawa shogunate.
|# ? Feb 12, 2014 17:12|
Nagai Naoyuki, Finance Magistrate, Samurai
Enomoto-sama I don't think I can ever support a bill that takes the rights away from our noble Samurai.
|# ? Feb 12, 2014 18:16|
Jules Brunet, Frenchman
I will certainly examine possible ideas for further land expansionism, but I must advocate a focus on the sea. The Meiji are reliant on sea-borne commerce, not only from foreign ports, but domestically to supply the various islands of Meiji Japan. Let us take advantage of our supremacy on the water to feed from this cornucopia of potential profits. Let us put bounties on merchant shipping into Meiji Japan, and let our navy strike fear into the hearts of Meiji. Let us interdict and isolate the outlying islands, showing them that the government is incapable of protecting them. Let us feed on the plenty of Meiji Japan before the Emperor uses that bounty to build a bridge to Hokkaido.
Also we should develop boarding drills, so that we may snatch the Meiji's new ships out from under their nose.
sniper4625 fucked around with this message at Feb 12, 2014 around 19:10
|# ? Feb 12, 2014 18:57|
Captain Thomas Blakiston
With all due respect to the esteemed Mr. Brunet, the government would be well-advised to take into account the reaction of European powers to such privateering, which was banned by the Paris Declaration of 1856. I can guarantee that the British government would be extremely poorly-disposed to any attacks on British merchants who simply happen to be trading in Nagasaki or Yokohama.
Viscardus fucked around with this message at Feb 12, 2014 around 20:34
|# ? Feb 12, 2014 19:49|
I am unfortunately forced to vote No to the Samurai Regulation Code for three reasons.
1.) Permitting congress to override the role of a clan's head in appointing new samurai is foolhardy. The role of creating new clans rests with the shogunate, and the role of adopting new samurai rests with the clan.
2.) Allowing samurai freedom to follow the western "god" is a breach of the samurai's pledge to serve and honour their ancestors and their shogun, as the westerner's faith threatens to erode and dishonour ancient Ezo traditions.
3.) The bill attempts to both register samurai and regulate their rights. I feel that these two things should be the subject of seperate bills, as people such as myself feel that although the need to register samurai is a given, the specifics of what a samurai's rights are require more careful debate.
I didn't lose my leg for this great nation just to watch the president dishonour centuries of tradition
I will resubmit the Samurai Registration Act, taking into account the obvious oversight I made when drawing it up to begin with.
Bill submitted to congress by katamari-chan: Samurai Registration Act
If anyone has further suggestions for amendments to this preliminary bill, please let me know.
Namtab fucked around with this message at Feb 12, 2014 around 22:14
|# ? Feb 12, 2014 22:04|
We, samurai of the Matsumae clan, are very pleased with the verdict of the Supreme Court. While it doesn't completely wipe out the consequences of the unjust punishment, at very least our status can no longer be negated. With our position recognized, we hope to prove our goodwill towards the government and the Republic.
For that reason, Matsumae clan fully supports the efforts to make the Ainu people full-fledged citizens. After long deliberation with members of my clan working with CET, I applaud their efforts to incorporate kamuy into Shinto-Buddist beliefs. Some of the more conservative members of the clergy may view this as a breach of tradition. For them, I have the following response: it is no longer only about tradition. We are trying to forge something that withstands the assault of Christianity on our lands. If the survival of our way of life demands recognizing several lesser kami, this is certainly a fair price to pay.
It also comes to my understanding that Ainu people are not alien to warfare. They are hunters, hardened by their difficult lives in the wilderness more than some men who call themselves samurai. While they are not excelling in the way of sword, this is a skill that can be learned. I dare to say that Ainu samurai clans could, and should exist in the future. Again, this is simple pragmatism - the question how to integrate the Ainu within our society will come, sooner or later. We have enough enemies outside the Republic and for this very reason, we should approach the native people as friends and mentors, not as invaders.
|# ? Feb 12, 2014 22:08|
Otori Keisuke, Army Minister
First, I would like to recognize the feats and accomplishments of the men who assailed Sado and scored this unprecedented strategic and tactical victory, especially Matsudaira brothers, who have endured great toil and displayed a dragon's courage to make the plans of the military commission a reality! We hope that the Shogun and legislature will smile upon the division of the island among critical daimyo and samurai who have enabled this miracle on the field. Presently, we control a large portion of the island fighting against formerly insurmountable odds. The campaign will see total victory in short time as the progress shows no signs of abating.
We thank the home government for their staunch support of our glorious campaign of expansion and pre-emtpion of he aggression of our foes. This war is ordained by the Republic's ideals and state and ought to be pursued to that end. We hope that unity and stabilize at home can match with advances and triumphs at the front. To that end, I have, as part of a military need, established a loyal conference of civilian officials within the Republican Party to support Enomoto's government and rally a strong and reliable base in this time of war. Misrepresentation in the media is natural: my colleagues do not intend to challenge the internal unity of any party, and instead wish to provide our leader with the unwavering support he needs in time of crisis, to build a "stone wall" of strength and opposition to national vacillation and incorrect thought. Thus, naturally, we, provided the support of the Shogun, endorse Enomoto's proposals for the structure of government and the utilization of the resources of Sado.
I would like to direct the government's attention next to the war and impending threat against the homeland. Further increases to the capacity of the navy and fortifications are advised in the face of the childlike rage of our enemies.
|# ? Feb 12, 2014 23:06|
Nagai Naoyuki, Finance Magistrate, Samurai
With the current effort to reinforce ourselves in Ezo and our mission to capture Sado our country is under great pressure. At this time my advisers and I agree that the best course of action will be to review and revise the tax code to better suit these pressing times. We will need this extra money in the coming months while our frigates are still under construction to pay off our debts to foreign creditors and for the expansion of our nations internal defenses.
I will continue to look into this issue and I welcome any suggestions or comments.
|# ? Feb 13, 2014 02:18|
Arai Ikunosuke, Naval Minister
To Hijikata Toshiz, the new Naval Intelligence agency should not be in competition with your own secret police and I would not wish for any ill will between two organizations that no doubt want the best for our republic. The reality of our situation however is that we are bitterly at odds with Meiji and we need to establish any advantage over them so that we may reclaim our homeland. It is necessary that we have a competent intelligence agency focused on foreign affairs to protect our country and improve our chances in warfare. I look forward to working together with you on intelligence matters if you would allow it.
To Matsumae Takahiro, I congratulate you on your recent legal victory. However, I must warn you that your statements about Christianity is ill advised and ultimately can only negatively effect current religious relations in Ezo. I find myself reminding you once again that Christians make up a large portion of the population on Ezo and play a large role in its formation, its economy, and its defense. As the leader of the Christian Faction I am comfortable in saying that Ezo's Christians wish to live and practice in peace; Christians will not be instigating any conflicts in Ezo and if religious tensions swell then everyone will know who to blame.
|# ? Feb 13, 2014 02:42|
Kasuga Saemon (S)
Letter to Friar Takahiro, O.E.S.A., "Kasuga Saemon's Collected Letters pt. 2", Barker & Sons, San Francisco 1917 posted:
Ah friend, it was a true pleasure to see you and your confreres for Candlemas - the singing I heard from you and yours must surely have rivaled that of the angels themselves! I write this in my small bungalow (the Home has taken up the main building, a state my housekeeper finds utterly unconscionable, and she claims the room I'm in now will do nothing but let the wind give me chills), and I want to relate a small episode that occurred recently. Apparently, my recent return to the stage of the public eye has given the parents of marriageable young women ideas in their heads, and so hardly a week goes by without receiving a card from a marriage-maker, asking if I could "oh so graciously" or "oh so honorably" meet with a certain woman and her parents. As my father and mother have long since passed from this vale of tears, it falls to me to say yes or no to these meetings. Usually I say no, but not this time - perhaps it was just a strange intuition or the prompting of an angel (and who can tell the difference between those?). On the day of the meeting, I met the parents, and (somewhat self-consciously putting on a display) showed them my home - a small room, barely big enough to fit me laying down, filled mostly with washi and half-opened books, lit by one lamp that sputtered due to the constant draught. A state of affairs which I am perfectly content with, but I would not wish to thrust upon someone else.
Letter to Miko Hakurei X, ibid. posted:
Sister! Your letter from the 4th has been a wonderful and heartening read! I am always brightened upon hearing the news of another baptism for Our Lord. Further, I am most humbled by your writing to me for advice. You say that your father, the shrine's priest, has not seen the light of Our Lord, and you are unsure how you can continue your duties now that you know the shrine is not to gods, but to false idols. I shall start with the latter.
|# ? Feb 13, 2014 03:11|
President Enomoto Takeaki
The Shogun will make an announcement soon regarding the establishment of a more traditional order. In advance of this, and after long discussions with him and Nagai Naoyuki, also taking into consideration the separate bill of Matsudaira Katamori:
2-1.1 SAMURAI REGULATION CODE OF 1877
This adjustment takes the power to regulate the Samurai caste and confers it upon the Shogun and the Daimyo. In effect, the Shogunate Court's regulation of the samurai caste becomes a separate branch of government. The laws of the Republic remain their own, however they simply state that the franchise belongs to the samurai, without regulating the samurai. Regarding Katamari-san's Samurai Registration Act, I have adjusted my bill in the following ways:
*Added a register which the Daimyo shall be responsible for maintaining
*Clarified that all those currently possessing samurai status shall be samurai
*Added clause that non-samurai are forbidden to carry swords
*Added a clause stating non-samurai can not carry swords unless directed to by the state for military purposes.
I have left out the objectionable portions of the bill. 'Honorable Purchase of Training', marriage into a samurai family, defeat of a samurai in single combat, these do and should not not necessarily allow samurai status. My bill vests that power in the Shogunate Court itself, as the Shogun was the traditional determiner of who could or could not be a samurai.
I also feel this bill assumed that all samurai will serve a daimyo, and did not make any place for ronin. I feel that the merger of these two bills should satisfy all those who worried that the samurai would become subordinate to congress. This preserves our tradition, allows us to keep the high standards of the samurai, and even to improve upon them, as well as to ensure the continued dominance of the samurai.
Fall Sick and Die fucked around with this message at Feb 13, 2014 around 03:53
|# ? Feb 13, 2014 03:34|
Stats have been updated.
The following changes have been made to the budget system:
These estimates are based upon projections from those within the finance ministry in order to ensure the continued maintenance of the war effort. War is expensive. You are free to cut these numbers as you please, but be prepared to face the expected consequences.
Lastly, if you wish to pass a bill which may conflict with the constitution, or establish new offices, it may be wise to indicate the bill is a constitutional amendment. Failure to do so risks aggrieved parties suing and the High Court overturning the results. Constitutional amendments are definitive however, and may invalidate other laws or hem the government into particular positions. Think strategically when passing legislation.
EDIT: Maxrob will be posting the list of bonus AP shortly.
|# ? Feb 13, 2014 04:39|
Arai Ikunosuke, Naval Minister
Looking at the republic's budget, I think it would be wise to end the invasion of Sado as soon as possible. Considering that most of the island has been conquered it should be simple to capture the last two ports and the gold mine. Once we have total control of the island we can move a vast majority of the men on the island back home to cut back on supply costs.
As for mobilization, we might be able to demobilize from our current levels in order to prioritize funds to more useful areas. After Sado is taken we don't really have any targets that need immediate targeting and we can rely on our naval superiority to defend our territory from Meiji. I will also be sure to use our new Naval Intelligence agency to gain information on where Meiji is mobilizing and moving so that we have a better idea of where they might strike back at us.
I would also ask that one of those free credits goes towards Naval Maintenance. It is well known that the navy is what keeps our nation safe and independent and if a Meiji attack is on the horizon then our defenses must be in peak condition.
|# ? Feb 13, 2014 04:51|
|# ? Mar 22, 2019 21:04|
OOC: I wasn't able to speak to everyone on this before granting them daimyo,If you wish not to have a daimyoship and lands, post it as fluff itt, or talk to me on synirc#bop
With Sado, momentarily pacified my thoughts turn now to an issue both historic and administrative. The allotment of land to honorable men, who will serve the shogunate with the rank of daimyo. After tedious deliberation with Tokugawa advisers we have found the men whom will serve as daimyo, and the land they must improve and serve honorably from.
Sado, in purple shall remain Mine personally.
The sea green region shall come under Governor daimyo
Governor daimyo Nagai Naoyuki is given the yellow region.
The light orange region, after much deliberation will be given to the Matsudaira, namely Matsudaira Katamori.
the green region is given to Matsumae Takahiro as an act of reconciliation between the two clans.
Light blue is given to Kasuga Saemon
Brown allotted to Tsukinoeaino of the Ainu
Our current president, now daimyo Enomoto Takeaki is given the lands in blue
Pink is for our loyal army minister Otori Keisuke
Red for our Security Magistrate: Hijikata Toshiz
The region in orange for Arai Ikunosuke
Finally Light purple for high judge Takenaka Shigekata
management of these lands is left to their governor daimyo. So long as the lands are managed fairly no problem shall arise.
Honor to the new daimyo. Honor to Ezo, and Sado.
cxcxxxxx fucked around with this message at Feb 13, 2014 around 05:54
|# ? Feb 13, 2014 05:08|