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Friar John
Aug 3, 2007

Saint Francis be my speed! how oft to-night
Have my old feet stumbled at graves!

Kasuga Saemon (S)

Lecture on Miyamoto Musashi's Go Rin no Sho, given in the dojo of the Three Streams in Hakodate posted:

"To write this book I did not use the law of Buddha or the teachings of Confucius, neither old war chronicles nor books on martial tactics. I take up my brush to explain the true spirit of this Ichi school as it is mirrored in the Way of Heaven and Kannon." The Way is independent of the teachings of any one earthly master, including master Miyamoto. It proceeds, however, most truly from the Heavenly Master, who contains all things. Thus, we must not merely ape the actions of the master, but cultivate those virtues of character that allowed him to do what he did. If we reflect the Heavens, we most truly begin to follow the Way.

"Strategy is the craft of the warrior. Commanders must enact the craft, and troopers should know this Way. There is no warrior in the world today who really understands the Way of strategy." Thus the master wrote in his day, and it is true in ours as well. No warrior, not even the master or his disciples, truly comprehends the entire Way of strategy. Then why does the master speak of it, if it is always with us? Because we forget. We think, foolishly, that if we learn a secret technique, or train our hands for 1000 days, or follow without error the proscriptions of the past masters, then we will master the Way, as if it were as easy as a key fitting into a lock. It isn't! Many in the master's day thought that if they followed the styles of the famous swordsmen, they would be duelists without compare, but the master showed them the error of their thoughts, even before he had found the Way. The master brings this to our attention to remind us of this most basic point - the Way must be approached with open eyes and a clear heart. Only then can you begin to learn.

"The warrior is different in that studying the Way of strategy is based on overcoming men. By victory gained in crossing swords with individuals, or enjoining battle with large numbers, we can attain power and fame for ourselves or our lord. This is the virtue of strategy." The Way is the Way of victory! Not only in duels, but in battles, not just with swords, but with all the tools at the disposal of the strategist, from horses to spears, from hidden stratagems to the gathering of supplies. The Way is not about your own aggrandizement, but about the defeat of your opponent! Always keep that in mind.

"In olden times strategy was listed among the Ten Abilities and Seven Arts as a beneficial practice. It was certainly an art but as a beneficial practice it was not limited to sword-fencing. The true value of sword-fencing cannot be seen within the confines of sword-fencing technique." There are men who live in our day, who teach as if the sword were the measure of the Way. These sword-idolaters teach falsely! They do not teach the Way of Victory, but their false way is the way of defeat! The sword, noble and beautiful as it is, is not the measure of the Way, but the Way is the measure of the sword! If the sword cannot bring you victory, put it aside! The sword is a tool to help us follow the Way, it is not our master. If a peasant's hoe should fail to break a clod, does he continue to attack it ineffectually? No, he gets an ox to pull it out of his field. If one tool cannot help you reach your goal, find the tool that can! Our master did the same - without a sword, he carved his oar into his weapon. You must cultivate that spirit, and never let yourselves be drawn into defeat because you would not put aside a tool that did not work.

"It is difficult to realize the true Way just through sword-fencing. Know the smallest things and the biggest things, the shallowest things and the deepest things." The samurai must have a broad soul. He must be able to move from the heights of philosophy to the dirt of battle. In cultivating that character, he must be humble, for with vanity comes blindness, and with blindness comes defeat...

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ForeverBWFC
Oct 19, 2011

Oh, the lads! You should've seen 'em running!
Ask 'em why and they reply the Bolton Boys are coming! All the lads and lasses, smiles upon their faces,

WALKING DOWN THE MANNY ROAD, TO SEE THE BURNDEN ACES!


Hayashi Tadasu



A Summary of the 1877 St. Petersburg Conference

My fellow citizens of Ezo! I am pleased to bring you a news report of the results of the most recent talks between our nation and the Russian Empire! Though relations in recent years have been frosty, due to the unresolved issue of territorial conflicts in Sakhalin and the Kurils, this conference was a chance to re-establish warm relations with a potentially valuable partner.

The first, and most pressing, issue was that of the Japanese and Ainu peoples residing in the disputed lands. I am delighted to announce that both these groups have been guaranteed their liberty and rights by both nations, and they are free to choose where they wish to reside.

In terms of territorial concessions, the Russians proved to be quite intractable with regards to giving up territory, however they were prepared to offer us a healthy deal to purchase the rights to the land currently in our possession. For less than 14,000 square miles of territory we could not, in all conscience, hold in the face of Russian demands, we received an amount of Yen equal to two credits in the budget allocations.

Furthermore, I managed to negotiate trade rights for coal and iron, both of which our republic was in grave need of. In return, the Russians require only wood and food for their burgeoning city of Vladivostok to continue its growth as a trading port to the east. This trade, as well as the coal and iron it provides, will also enrich us by a further budget credit per quarter. This growth of Vladivostok will also benefit Ezo as Russian traders arrive in our ports bringing furs and other trade goods.

As the Ainu have been experiencing a dramatic rise in Ezo society as of late, and as the Russians are still viewed with distrust by their non-white minority subjects, we estimate the peaceful arrival of several thousand Ainu from Sakhalin and the Kurils, as well as several thousand workers who wish to seek gainful employment in the mines of Sado.

Finally, at the request of fellow members of the cabinet and congress, I have secured various items of paraphernalia such as Don Cossack uniforms, vodka, Russian winter hats etc. Also, for the amusement of the court, I was asked to present a dancing bear, which is certainly well-trained!

In all, a fair trade, and one I am happy to report on to our citizens in Ezo!

Fall Sick and Die
Nov 22, 2003




Internal Security: 5
Samurai Stipends: 6
Army Maintenance: 6 (6 required now due to mobilization)
Navy Maintenance: 3
Military Logistics: 3 (3 required now due to supply demands)
Interest Payments: 6 (minimum to avoid increase in principal)
Road Building: 2
Sado Island Gold Mine: 1

As the finance minister has been busy of late, I'm forced to present a budget without his input and direct congressional support for the following...

No one has commented on bill 2-2, the Sado Island Pacification and Improvement Bill, yet I will be instructing the Republican Party stalwarts to vote for it to ensure that Sado Island is improved and made suitable. The new foreign workers from the Russian Empire will do much to assist in this regard.

I hereby present bill 2-3, the Treaty of St. Petersburg, and wish to express my thanks to Hayashi Tadasu for his expert negotiation. The truth is that there is no way we can realistically stop the Russians from seizing Sakhalin or the Kuril islands, thus anything we gain from this deal is something for nothing.

Bill 2-3 posted:

*Ezo claims to Karafuto/Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands are given up
*Two credits are to be paid to the Ezo Republic
*Ezo ports will be open to Russian trade
*Our merchants will see to the supply of food and timber for Vladivostok, in exchange we will gain access to coal and iron from Russia. This trade will enrich us to the effect of 1 credit per turn.
*Japanese and Ainu peoples from these areas will be free to remain, or to make their way to Ezo.

I also present bill 2-4, the Road Improvement Bill. This bill's purpose is to seek to build or improve a system of roads which will reach to the primary village or city in each Daimyo, to facilitate travel, settlement and trade throughout the nation.

Bill 2-4 posted:

*2 credits will be put towards the building of roads, beginning in our capital of Hakodate and extending northwards from there, until such a time as roads connect each of the Han.
*These roads will be flat, and large enough such that two carriages may pass by one-another unimpeded.
*Improvement of existing roads and paths will take precedence, the building of new roads will take place where there are no existing paths to be improved upon.
*Information from both the Ainu and the survey teams will find the best paths through the mountains and valleys.

I also introduce bill 2-5, the Peasant Soldiers Bill, allowing peasants to enter into the army as soldiers should they volunteer. This will help to fill some of the places lost in our forces. They would remain barred from positions as officers, which would remain solely the provenance of samurai.

Bill 2-5 posted:

*Additional spaces within the armed forces would be made available for peasants, farmers, and other non-samurai as troops to bear the brunt and be moved as pawns upon the chessfield of battle in a purely volunteer capacity.
*All officer and leadership positions within the military would be reserved for samurai

I have also made a final decision regarding the matter of the Satsuma Rebellion. Matsumae Takahiro will lead a contingent of troops to assist the rebellion there. Though we can not spare all of our armed forces, we will send him as many troops as we can without compromising our own security and the pacification of Sado Island.

Fall Sick and Die fucked around with this message at Feb 16, 2014 around 12:19

Litos
Feb 2, 2013



Otori Keisuke, Army Minister

I urge my colleagues who hold firm to Republican principles to vote for Bill 2-2 as it will be a critical boon to the national budget and facilitate further military action. While I commend the foreign minister on his expert negotiations, I must say foreign policy is not my domain and will reserve judgment until other foreign delegates have offered their input.

Bill 2-4 is a well-intended development and has my full support.

Some may think Bill 2-5 is a divergence from the status quo or a slippery slope, but I and my experts conclude that this is entirely not the case. For thousands of years, Samurai have been using Ashigaru to supplement our forces and presently there are already programs to draft peasants into the army. Bill 2-5 is a recognition of reality and the only way in which dissent in the ranks could be created is that peasants rise to officer position, which is strictly prohibited.

We propose the following amendment to avoid remaining opposition in the ranks:

Bill 2-5 posted:

*Additional spaces within the armed forces would be made available for peasants, farmers, and other non-samurai as troops to bear the brunt and be moved as pawns upon the chessfield of battle in a purely volunteer capacity.
*All officer and leadership positions within the military would be reserved for samurai
*The military reserves the right to set quotas and maintain internal discipline on all kinds of recruits

While this may already be implied, it should be made clear given the rise of Western-style text-based law in our government system. Whether this reality is the right trend is irrelevant to the short-term needs of the military.

But I have argued only defensively against attacks; the benefits are clear. As our ancestors did, we need peasants to supplement our forces in a time of greatly imbalanced odds.

In regards to Satsuma, Matsumae Takahiro is hereby commissioned into armed service and made General of the South to bravely lead a quarter of the Republic's Samurai soldiers to assist our Samurai brethren in gaining independence from the Meiji. Two-quarters will remain to pacify Sado while one quarter will immediately return to Ezo. Afterwards, a smaller force will be left in Sado to defend the island, suppress revolt and man artillery to destroy naval landings from Honshu while the majority of our forces will return to Ezo to defend against Meiji's disorganized but large invasion force of 100,000.

For their courageous service in the battle of Sado, I propose Bill 2-6 to, in accordance with the uncontested measures passed last season, distribute the island among the brave samurai who helped to pacify it.

Bill 2-6 posted:

*Measures in this bill will commence immediately after the military judges Sado free of significant Meiji forces.
*For their service as commanders in the battle of Sado, Matsudaira Katamori, Otori Keisuke, Matsudaira Sadaaki, Tokugawa Kamenosuke, and Arai Ikunosuke will have the island divided five ways into their estates as daimyo.
*As on Edo, daimyo will be responsible for the day-to-day enforcement and enactment of legislation in their areas, their rites in determining the justice and ways of operation of their estates, and in managing those sworn to them.
*Samurai will be rewarded for their service by land grants out of the estates of daimyo willing to bear the costs.
*Grants and divisions will be determined by the military and internal discussion between the beneficiary daimyo, subordinate to later legal evaluation by the government.
*Gold revenues are not subject to collection by the daimyo and will, in accordance with the Sado Development Act, go directly to the national treasury.

It is the duty of the people and state to reward their courageous samurai, and the duty of officers of the Republic to facilitate these deserts. Thus, as Army Minister, I offer to bear the full financial burden of rewards and offer to divide my estates on Sado and Ezo among samurai receiving land grants for their services.

Litos fucked around with this message at Feb 16, 2014 around 14:21

Fall Sick and Die
Nov 22, 2003




I fully support the amendment to bill 2-5, now to be termed bill 2-5.1, and would ask that all who respect the military see to it. We already have a number of non-samurai within the army, let us not see our capabilities reduced due to a disbelief that non-samurai can partake in some military roles.

As for bill 2-6, I believe that the honorable Minister of the Army has failed to recognize that Sado Island has been termed the Han of the Shogun, and as such he shall act as Daimyo of the estates there. However, if he wishes to amend it such that as currently existing Daimyo they will divide their current lands and estates on Ezo as per the bill, I would fully support it, and also offer up some land in my own Han for the cause of our noble veterans.

Namtab
Feb 22, 2010



Karen's power intensifies



Ugh, yet again the president seeks to appease the foreigner at the expense of the Ezo republic. I almost regret going to fight in the war instead of announcing my own candidacy.

Sakoku-ha votes No to bill 2-2 and 2-3. Why should we sell our rightful claims to the Russians? Why should we rely on Russian labour when there are peasants eager to work for the republic?

Sakoku-ha however has no objection and therefore votes Yes to Bill 2-4 and 2-5.

Bill 2-6 would gain a yes from us were it not for the ending clause, which removes the rights to the gold from the daimyo and gives it directly to the government. I'm sure my fellow daimyo would be happy to give a set percentage of the revenues from the gold, but for the government to try and demand it all is tyranny. Sakoku-ha votes no to 2-6


E: On a lighter note, I am pleased to announce that my oldest son, Matsudaira Iichi, has recently turned 15 years of age and was so enraged at the injury I sustained fighting the Meiji and their foreign masters that he immediately volunteered for the army. I entrust his life to Sadaaki-kun and Keisuke-dono during my convalescence.

Namtab fucked around with this message at Feb 16, 2014 around 15:48

Litos
Feb 2, 2013


Bill 2-6 has been revised as follows:

quote:

*Measures in this bill will commence immediately after the military judges Sado free of significant Meiji forces.
*For their service as commanders in the battle of Sado, Matsudaira Katamori, Otori Keisuke, Matsudaira Sadaaki, Tokugawa Kamenosuke, and Arai Ikunosuke will have the island divided five ways into their estates as daimyo.
*As on Edo, daimyo will be responsible for the day-to-day enforcement and enactment of legislation in their areas, their rites in determining the justice and ways of operation of their estates, and in managing those sworn to them.
*Samurai will be rewarded for their service by land grants out of the estates of daimyo willing to bear the costs.
*Grants and divisions will be determined by the military and internal discussion between the beneficiary daimyo, subordinate to later legal evaluation by the government.

The final clause is taken out, though bill 2-2, should it pass, will allow for the full annexation of the gold by the national government.

Namtab
Feb 22, 2010



Karen's power intensifies



The amended bill 2-6 has sakoku-ha's support

BrainParasite
Jan 24, 2003





Tsukinoeaino.

Bill 2-3 fills me with a great sadness. I am dissapointed, but not surprised that the things the Ainu own and value are the first to be bargained away without the slightest consolation.

cxcxxxxx
Sep 7, 2013

It is not possible to eat me without insisting that I sing praises of my devourer?


Tokugawa Kamenosuke, shogun, hero of the battle of Sado, shinto devoutee.

Bill 2-3 Fills me with a sense of disgust. Given his recent proposals to Ezo, I am starting to wonder if the noble president is mentally stable, or worse, whether he truly has Ezo's interests at heart. I could never stomach the loss of Ezo's rightful lands to the Russian devils.

However I now have a tale to relate to my samurai.
Once there was a women, so foul and shrew like in temperament that none could bear her company. She stank of cow, and had the ravenous hunger of a an unleashed typhoon. Yet the gods were cruel, and blessed this creature with the visage of a goddess. Men from around the countryside all tried winning her hand, forgoing her absurdities. The first man to win her favour, was left destitute after beuying her the finest silks, though he was happy until she moved on to another. Shamed, he committed honorable suicide, departing this world for his mistakes. My point is men, many of you are young and not nearly so sardonic as I. be careful of the devil woman, for her beauty at night may distract you from her evils in day. I only say this, because I know. For you see that woman was.... My eldest sister.

In other news, I wish my eldest sister the best as she marries Mr. Blakiston. May this cement ties between myself and Britian.

Viscardus
Jun 1, 2011

Thus equipped by fortune, physique, and character, he was naturally indomitable, and subordinate to no one in the world.



Captain Thomas Blakiston

With the honoured shogun's approval confirmed, I pleased to once again announce my upcoming marriage to Tokugawa Masako. The details previously announced shall remain the same, and I look forward to seeing many of the lords of Ezo at the ceremony and celebration.

Once again, I thank my future brother-in-law for his wise decision.

QuoProQuid
Jan 12, 2012



Takenaka Shigekata
Chief Justice of the Ezo Supreme Court

Gentlemen,

I would like to, once again, remind the people of Ezo that any matters relating to Constitutional law or grievances against the government may be brought against the Supreme Court. Our docket is currently empty.

We also request the Congress to allocate funding toward construction of a Supreme Court Building, as I requested earlier. The Court is currently forced to rely on local courtrooms to conduct business and all legal files are stored on my estate.

JosefStalinator
Oct 9, 2007

Come Tbilisi if you want to live.


Grimey Drawer

Reminder that orders are due in approximately three hours

Also, if someone wants to gain the favor of the GM's, a post compiling the latest versions of the congressional bills would earn them some favor for the turn.

cxcxxxxx
Sep 7, 2013

It is not possible to eat me without insisting that I sing praises of my devourer?


tokugawa Kamenosuke, shogun, hero of the battle of Sado, shinto devoutee.

As the night of elections draws to a close, may I remind the Samurai, that although Enomoto has been acting oddly lately, he is still the best man for the job, that is if we elect the Right Republicans to congress to counteract any failings.

Stalin-Chan
Feb 11, 2009

Yeah, the guy wearing the $4,000 suit is holding the elevator for the guy who doesn't make that in four months. Come on.

OOC Sorry I didn't get a chance to propose a budget this week, I assumed I would have some time this weekend to do some stuff but I ended up being quite busy. Thank's for covering FSAD I'll be back on my game again this week.

IC I have no objections with the budget that was proposed in my absence and fully endorse the changes made. If anyone has any concerns please contact me.

Fall Sick and Die
Nov 22, 2003




If anyone would have taken the time to discuss the matters with me, they could have had an explanation more in line with the details of the matter, rather than simply devolving into hysterics and name-calling. I'm going to lay down a little 'reality' for those of you who make some pretense of being in congress.

First of all, these three months, not a single person outside of the Republican Party has proposed any form of legislation whatsoever. If the army minister and I had not proposed these reforms, we would currently have literally nothing to discuss, vote on, or otherwise. I have constantly and consistently requested feedback on proposals, to be met with silence. If you will not assist me in governing this island, if you will not respond when I specifically ask for your input, then what place have you to criticize this government after the fact?

Some of the samurai of Ezo seem to live in a fantasy world where we can throw out the foreigners while they build us our warships. Where we can defeat the Meiji at every turn with seven one-thousandths their population due to our _____??. Where our will can be imposed upon anything you desire purely because we are samurai. What lessons did you learn from our being driven to this island? What wisdom have you gained? This government is working furiously at every moment to increase our coffers, to improve our position vis-a-vis the Meiji, to not only preserve but to expand the institution of the samurai and their rights and obligations while attempting to follow this constitution.

Let me bring you some of the 'good news', as the Christians say. We currently have no representation among either Sakhalin or the Kuril islands. We're also completely unable to prevent the Russians from taking the islands. Thus, we had a choice. Fight them for something we currently don't own, can't protect, and in fact has no population which wishes our control. Or benefit from selling them a claim which we, in fact, don't even truly have. By giving up this claim, our Foreign Minister got us two credits, the cost of a new, modern warship, as well as a further 4 credits per year, which we can use to the great benefit of our nation. Now, consider this, if we are strong enough to take the islands in the future, will this deal tie our hands in any substantial way? There is always a path through the forest. There is always a casus belli which can be claimed. This is something we can see from the British, Americans, French. But to sit on your estates and complain that we've given away Sakhalin, which has almost no Japanese people and never had, apart from a few traders, is outrageous, it's not based on reason, it's based on a desire simply to harass the Republican Party and those members of the Cabinet who are attempting to do their best.

The Ainu who will make their way here would do so solely because we are treating the Ainu well, not because they were forced out of Sakhalin and the Kurils. The Russian government has already agreed that no one who doesn't want to leave there has to. Consider any Ainu who move to Ezo a testimony to the improvement of the position of the Ainu here.

As for the laborers who are being sent from Russia, it is a few thousand at most, and if they were not to come, let me ask you this: Who will labor in the gold mine? We do not have an influx of laborers from Meiji Japan, which WAS the source of laborers there. Did we lose our fine warriors so that this mine could sit idle, or so that it could contribute to the expansion of our navy, which would allow the future security of this nation? You criticize without thinking, you lash out without knowledge, you offer no alternative save oblivion itself. Were we speaking as men and not as politicians, I might have drawn sword and asked to have my honor sated, yet I remind myself that this is politics, and not the field of battle.

Fall Sick and Die fucked around with this message at Feb 17, 2014 around 12:48

Stalin-Chan
Feb 11, 2009

Yeah, the guy wearing the $4,000 suit is holding the elevator for the guy who doesn't make that in four months. Come on.


Nagai Naoyuki, Finance Magistrate, Daimyo, Samurai

No offense Enomoto-sama but blaming everyone else for your problems and attempting to divide Ezo along party lines is quite dishonorable. I'm not sure who you are addressing in this announcement as nobody has said anything to prompt it so it seems like you are just ranting and complaining for no reason.

In order to preserve your image as leader of this great nation I suggest that you not make unnecessary inflammatory remarks in public about political parties other than your own. In a time when our population is so few the last thing we need is partisan bickering between political parties.

I'll add that I agree I would like to see more activity from the other parties but to completely dismiss the contribution of every other party is quite offensive, both to those of us who have proposed legislation and have worked personally with you outside of your political party, and don't forget those who fought and served faithfully in Sado.

Next time please choose your words more carefully.

Stalin-Chan fucked around with this message at Feb 17, 2014 around 19:39

Namtab
Feb 22, 2010



Karen's power intensifies



Fall Sick and Die posted:


First of all, these three months, not a single person outside of the Republican Party has proposed any form of legislation whatsoever.

I did and I'm not in your lovely appeasement party. Sakoku-ha does not oppose most of your policies out of some personal grudge against you, we oppose your habit of genuflecting to the gaijin whilst simultaneously throwing the samurai a few shiny crumbs to attempt to distract us from your attempts to sell us to the foreign devils.

What part of Ezo will you sell next?

Namtab fucked around with this message at Feb 17, 2014 around 23:16

Namtab
Feb 22, 2010



Karen's power intensifies



JosefStalinator posted:

Also, if someone wants to gain the favor of the GM's, a post compiling the latest versions of the congressional bills would earn them some favor for the turn.

Samurai Registration Act posted:

Bill submitted to congress by katamari-chan: Samurai Registration Act

I propose that each state conduct a register, naming those who are samurai and those who are not samurai.
Anyone who is currently officially considered a samurai shall be automatically added to the list.
Those who do not become samurai through legitimate means (honourable purchase of training, marriage into a noble samurai family, or miraculous defeat of a samurai in fair single combat) will be prohibited from owning katanas.
If a non-samurai does become a samurai through legitimate means he should provide evidence of such to his daimyo, who will assess the evidence and add his name to the samurai register if it is legitimate.
All samurai must possess a certificate of status bearing his daimyo's seal, currently existing samurai shall be issued these upon passage of this law.

End of Bill
You should prob vote yes to this, I know I am

2-1.1 SAMURAI REGULATION CODE OF 1877 posted:


A. The Shogunate Court, composed of the Shogun and the Daimyo, has the obligation to regulate and verify membership in the samurai caste. A register shall be made of all existing samurai and the Shogunate Court shall be tasked with the verification and adjudication of all disputes of samurai status.
1. All Daimyo shall be responsible for maintaining the rolls of the samurai of their clan.
2. Each Daimyo shall provide a 'Certificate of Samurai Status' to all samurai in their clan which verifies their status within the samurai caste.
3. Each ronin shall be able to present evidence of their samurai status to the Shogunate Court. If that evidence is accepted as sufficient, they shall be granted a 'Certificate of Samurai Status' by the Shogunate Court itself.

B. Membership in the samurai caste is established in one of the following ways for any male:
1. Through current status as a samurai
2. Through legitimate patrilineal descent
3. Through adoption by a Daimyo into his clan
4. Through special dispensation of the Shogunate Court

C. One's continued status as samurai is not merely contingent upon ones adoption or descent, but upon adherence to the traditional precepts of the samurai. The Shogunate Court shall have the power to judge and set the standards for those precepts.

D. If a samurai is found to have betrayed the ideals of the samurai, that samurai may be individually stripped of his status, contingent upon the decision of the Shogunate Court. A samurai may have his status challenged for any of the following non-inclusive reasons, recognizing circumstances may provide other reasons not listed:
1. Betrayal
2. Cowardice
3. Disobedience
4. Dishonesty
5. Lack of Filial Piety
6. Injustice
7. Scandal
8. Dishonor

E. Samurai Rights
1. The right of samurai to vote shall not be infringed.
2. The right of samurai to carry their swords shall not be limited.
3. The right of samurai to ride upon a horse shall not be infringed.
4. The right of samurai to defend their honor according to tradition shall not be limited.
5. The right of samurai to leave the service of a daimyo shall not be infringed. A daimyo will have the choice of allowing that samurai to leave, or to bring them before the Shogunate Court and call for their death or ejection from the samurai caste. If allowed to leave, these samurai shall become ronin, and be unable to enter into the service of another daimyo for a period of no less than five years.
6. The right of a samurai to follow the religion of his choice shall not be limited.
7. The right of a daimyo to promote or prevent religious activity in his lands shall not be limited.
8. The right of a daimyo to the life of a samurai retainer belongs to the Shogunate Court.
9. A samurai may not be placed in a subordinate position to a non-samurai.
10. A ronin's freedom of movement through the domains of the Republic of Ezo shall not be limited.
11. A non-samurai may not carry a sword in public, save for military duties imposed by the state.
Way to try and make the samurai slaves of the state, Mr President. Hopefully my friends will have more sense than this.

The Act to Strengthen the Nation, Solve Economic Woes, and Birth Many Sons through Migrant Labor and Concubinage (aka surprise sex the foreigners act) posted:

Recognizing that necessary labor to properly cultivate the land is not present, that prices for labor are increasing, and samurai and merchant alike suffer under the status quo;

THE CONGRESS of the EZO REPUBLIC does hereby RESOLVE:

To fund a mission to China with a mission of procuring some 50,000 migrant workers, all of whom are to be FEMALE;
To empower in this task the Hakodate Shipping Company;
And to allow every male citizen of the Ezo Republic to freely take these migrants as concubines, to bear to him many children, and work alongside him in the field.
Samurai and daimyo will be forbidden to marry these foreigners.
Fyi the president unironically supported this to begin with. Just throwing that out there.

War Time Contributions Act posted:

It would require a 10% tax on all trade income gained by Samurai, but would be limited in time until the next three months. If the war continues and a lengthening is needed, it can be reconsidered in three months. For Samurai who do not engage in trade, nothing would change, and they would pay no taxes.
I don't really care about this one way or the other.

2-2 Sado Island Pacification and Improvement Bill posted:


In order to reap the benefit of our conquest of Sado Island, the following shall be undertaken:

1. The final pacification of Sado Island, utilizing the military to clear the island. The Army Minister shall present a plan to drive the rebels out.
2. The improvement and modernization of the Sado Island gold mine along Dutch lines utilizing Dutch science. Thomas Blakiston shall present a plan to oversee the mine. He shall be paid for his efforts on Sado Island at a fair rate.
3. The profits of the gold mine shall be directly paid to the national treasury for the benefit of the nation and its defense and improvement.
In this act, the government tries to steal our gold.

Bill 2-3 posted:

*Ezo claims to Karafuto/Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands are given up
*Two credits are to be paid to the Ezo Republic
*Ezo ports will be open to Russian trade
*Our merchants will see to the supply of food and timber for Vladivostok, in exchange we will gain access to coal and iron from Russia. This trade will enrich us to the effect of 1 credit per turn.
*Japanese and Ainu peoples from these areas will be free to remain, or to make their way to Ezo.
In which the president proposes we sell Ezo territory to the gaijin in exchange for a pittance

Bill 2-4 posted:

*2 credits will be put towards the building of roads, beginning in our capital of Hakodate and extending northwards from there, until such a time as roads connect each of the Han.
*These roads will be flat, and large enough such that two carriages may pass by one-another unimpeded.
*Improvement of existing roads and paths will take precedence, the building of new roads will take place where there are no existing paths to be improved upon.
*Information from both the Ainu and the survey teams will find the best paths through the mountains and valleys.
Whoa the president actually came up with a good idea, unprecedented.

Bill 2-5 posted:

*Additional spaces within the armed forces would be made available for peasants, farmers, and other non-samurai as troops to bear the brunt and be moved as pawns upon the chessfield of battle in a purely volunteer capacity.
*All officer and leadership positions within the military would be reserved for samurai
*The military reserves the right to set quotas and maintain internal discipline on all kinds of recruits
Another half decent idea, I guess lightning really can strike twice.

Bill 2.6 posted:

*Measures in this bill will commence immediately after the military judges Sado free of significant Meiji forces.
*For their service as commanders in the battle of Sado, Matsudaira Katamori, Otori Keisuke, Matsudaira Sadaaki, Tokugawa Kamenosuke, and Arai Ikunosuke will have the island divided five ways into their estates as daimyo.
*As on Edo, daimyo will be responsible for the day-to-day enforcement and enactment of legislation in their areas, their rites in determining the justice and ways of operation of their estates, and in managing those sworn to them.
*Samurai will be rewarded for their service by land grants out of the estates of daimyo willing to bear the costs.
*Grants and divisions will be determined by the military and internal discussion between the beneficiary daimyo, subordinate to later legal evaluation by the government.
The honourable armies minister formally legalises what the shogun gave us.

I put it to you that the Republican party as it is is little more than a mouthpiece for the president to flood our hallowed chambers of parliament with asinine bills. Little wonder that no other parties than the Republicans and Sakoku-ha have submitted bills, they can't get a word in edgeways.

Ramba Ral
Feb 18, 2009

"The basis of the Juche Idea is that man is the master of all things and the decisive factor in everything."
- Kim Il-Sung


Hijikata Toshizō, The Demon of the Shinsengumi


I say we should hold back our vitriol not on our president but to the Meiji instead. Remember, our president was responsible for initiating the Sado invasion and coordinating it with our various ministers. I have faith in him, and what he is doing at this moment. Therefore, I will have to state my opinion on which bills I do and do not support:


2-1.1 SAMURAI REGULATION CODE OF 1877
Voted Yes
2-2 Sado Island Pacification and Improvement Bill
Voted Yes
Bill 2-3
Voted Yes
For this bill, we stand to gain much for losing little. Our coffers require the extra credits that will aid us in being able to continue war with the Meiji and regain our homeland. Indeed, the real threat isn't the Russians, but the Meiji instead.
surprise sex the foreigners act
Voted No
2-2, 2-3,2-4,2-5,2-6
Voted Yes

If the president does anger you, please turn that against our hated foes of the Meiji and slice them down.


I would also like to mention that the NINJA and Shinsengumi will be working together to ensure peace and stability for Ezo. There will be no rivalry between these two departments as they both will report to me. Due to the nature of NINJA using naval assets they will work closely with the navy, but will also report to me. I will also share any information I gather to them and they to my men.

Let it be known that our Ministry of Security will create new departments of handling information of intelligence as I see fit to better protect our young republic.

Ramba Ral fucked around with this message at Feb 18, 2014 around 03:43

Proposition Joe
Oct 8, 2010

He was a good man



Arai Ikunosuke, Naval Minister, Daimyo

While coming up with training and fitness programs for the navy, I have found that sports can be very useful for increasing morale, strengthening camaraderie, and promoting fitness. I think that our republic would benefit from embracing sports as a part of our daily lives.

For ordinary citizens, I recommend the formation of sporting clubs for the sports of cricket, baseball, and ice hockey. These team sports will surely promote unity in the republic. Cricket and baseball are already played here while ice hockey has recently been worked on in Canada and would fit our climate.

For samurai, I recommend that we play kendo, curling, and jai alai. These sports help us practice our reflexes, tactics, and fighting abilities and are thus perfect for our class.

In other news, the following are my votes on relevant legislation and I encourage my Christian Party comrades to vote similarly.

YEA: War Time Contributions Act, Sado Island Pacification and Improvement Bill, 2-3 (Russian Relations Bill), 2-4 (Roads Bill), 2-5 (Military Recruitment Bill)

NO: Samurai Registration Act, Samurai Regulation Code of 1877, The Human Trafficking Bill

Proposition Joe fucked around with this message at Feb 18, 2014 around 04:40

A RICH WHITE MAN
Jul 30, 2010

See them other chickenheads? They don't never leave the coop.


Katsu Kaishū (勝 海舟)


I must take this opportunity to speak out in favor of 2-3; we cannot turn back on agreements made in good faith between the President and the Tsar. To do so would turn friend into an enemy we can ill afford. With trade from Vladivostok, Ezo will prosper and we will gain a valuable ally in the fight against the corrupt court of the Emperor Meiji.

NO on: The Samurai Registration Act, SAMURAI REGULATION CODE OF 1877, 2-2, 2-6

YEA on: 2-3, 2-4, 2-5

A RICH WHITE MAN fucked around with this message at Feb 18, 2014 around 06:52

Takanago
Jun 2, 2007

You'll see...


Matsudaira Sadaaki 松平 定敬 (S)
Daimyo-in-Exile of Kuwana

YES on my dear brother's Samurai Registration Act.

ABSTAIN on 2-1.1 SAMURAI REGULATION CODE OF 1877.

NO on the The Act to Strengthen the Nation, Solve Economic Woes, and Birth Many Sons through Migrant Labor and Concubinage (Importation of Chinese Sex Slaves Act).

NO on the War Time Contributions Act.

YES on the 2-2 Sado Island Pacification and Improvement Bill.

NO on Bill 2-3.

YES on Bill 2-4.

YES on Bill 2-5.

YES on Bill 2.6. Currently the only proposal giving me the fiefdom I rightfully deserve.

Friar John
Aug 3, 2007

Saint Francis be my speed! how oft to-night
Have my old feet stumbled at graves!

Kasuga Saemon

Speech to Interested Citizens On the Election posted:

Brothers, I am honored to be asked to speak to you about our elections. However, I hope to move beyond mere issues of policy and electioneering, for taxation is beyond my competence, and speak about the fundamental issues that face us all as citizens.

Legislators, you are faced with great and burdensome duties. You must find, through all the fog of politics, those measures that will well and truly aid the common good - not your egos, or favoring a particular faction - but help the entirety of our country. We are faced by many troubles - few people, a rich interior, and hungry eyes that would pounce on us should we falter. You must put aside old and failed vanities and, like the true Strategist, see the world with a clear and unbiased eye, such as the Preacher [the writer of Ecclesiastes] had. Who are our friends? Our enemies? Which of those enemies might we make into friends with effort? A man cannot defeat the world alone, but if he has brothers, he might face a great number and still succeed.

Citizens, you too must be conscious of the responsibilities given to you. You cannot shirk the duty of voting if you be samurai, and if you be ko, or peasant, or merchant, you must be brothers with your towns, your cities, your legislators. We are brothers to each other, and you have a responsibility to crucify your selfishness, your egotism, and envy, so that you too might advance the common good surely. You must vote in accord with virtue and with the faith of Christ burning in your heart, but St. Paul told us to honor and obey the authorities, and he spoke of the idolatrous Romans, who martyred him and so many of the glorious martyrs. Should we do any less?
ooc: Everything Arai said is good

cxcxxxxx
Sep 7, 2013

It is not possible to eat me without insisting that I sing praises of my devourer?


Tokugawa Kamenosuke, shogun, hero of the battle of Sado, shinto devoutee.


Its cute to see Bill 2.6 try to strip me of my powers of shogunate, but also highly insulting. YOU do not posses the power to give fiefdoms to daimyos, nor will you ever. Sado is not being split and those whom served already received their fiefdoms on the mainland. Aside from as obvious power grab, its disrespectful to the old ways for some cur to insinuate he can perform the duties of the shogun.

Litos
Feb 2, 2013



Otori Keisuke, Army Minister

The stonewall republicans vote in the following way:

2-1, Samurai Regulation Code: Yes, this is a way to make concrete the class divisions and pave the way for a stable Ezo in which the samurai are conscious of the need to fight radicalization.
2-2: Yes, the budgetary problems outweigh.
Wartime Contributions Act: Yes, I remind my colleagues this only taxes samurai who take part in merchantlike behavior. Samurai should adhere to their ancestral duties for a strong republic.
2-3: No, foreign delegates have informed us that this rapproachment with the Russians will not be popular with their governments and that we may be digging ourselves into greater foreign problems by "solving" this one. Ezo does not need to sell its dignity and lands in order to protect itself, we are a nation of warriors. Opposition to this measure from our honorable Shogun has cemented our conviction that it is unfortunately too controversial. The Foreign Minister has demonstrated in the past that he is capable of great diplomatic skill and I hope that in the future he may negotiate a fairer treaty with Russia that does not turn Ezo into a Faustian Republic. I have full confidence in his abilities to benefit the people in this way.
2-4: Yes, a commendable infrastructural project.
2-5: Yes, a recognition of a fait accompli and a military necessity in this time of national crisis.
2-6: Yes, it is not only well-deserved but the product of pre-arranged bills declared last turn.

Though I thank the Shogun wholeheartedly for his endorsement of our faction for the Congressional elections, I am saddened to see his opposition to Bill 2-6. I understand that denying to one Matsudaira brother what is given to another will balance the power of fiefs in Ezo, but Sado is significantly smaller than Ezo and these men fought bravely to deserve what they have. It is rooted in tradition for Shoguns to reward their best warriors, and is the loss of a leg insufficient to warrant reward? These brothers are meritorious, so I plead for you, Lord Shogun, to be generous and give them their deserts.

I thank Congress for voting in favor of Bill 2-6 and I can see a compromise between the positions. Bill 2-6 says the islands lands are to be divided into estates, but these could all be Estates under the Shogun, fiefs that the Shogun has control over. This may not fully reward brave men for their service but it will give some consolace, all while empowering the Shogun all the same because it revives the ancient tradition of the Shogun being more than a single lord, a single daimyo on the island but the lord of the lords who has other lords' estates a part of his. I humbly ask him to consider this position.

For non-daimyo samurai who deserve reward, should bill 2-6 fail, we are proceeding as a military matter with the process of giving you estates regardless. ((This has nothing to do with the above, it's talking about the smaller samurai who aren't daimyo but fought to deserve land grants)) I have volunteered my own estate and I am glad to see that our gracious and astute President Enomoto has done the same, and we will, by process of traditional ceremony to find the ideal post for you and your progeny, determine from which lord you will receive fiefs for your brave and honorable service, so that you may continue to serve him and the country as the decades pass. This measure does not require a law as two daimyo have volunteered their estates for this process. We thank you all again for your noble service.

cxcxxxxx
Sep 7, 2013

It is not possible to eat me without insisting that I sing praises of my devourer?


Tokugawa Kamenosuke, shogun, hero of the battle of Sado, shinto devoutee.

Litos posted:



Though I thank the Shogun wholeheartedly for his endorsement of our faction for the Congressional elections, I am saddened to see his opposition to Bill 2-6. I understand that denying to one Matsudaira brother what is given to another will balance the power of fiefs in Ezo, but Sado is significantly smaller than Ezo and these men fought bravely to deserve what they have. It is rooted in tradition for Shoguns to reward their best warriors, and is the loss of a leg insufficient to warrant reward? These brothers are meritorious, so I plead for you, Lord Shogun, to be generous and give them their deserts.

I don't oppose from a disregard of my men, I opposed from outrage that you would have the audacity to take it upon yourself to perform my duties. You now insinuate wrongly, that I did not reward my men. You ask is the loss of a leg enough to merit reward, and I tell you that for his valour, the brave man who lost his leg now holds daimyo over the richest coal lands in ezo. Your serpent like attempts to weave the minds of my daimyo into feeling that they have not been rewarded, when in fact they have, and in fact were rewarded with far more than 1/5th of a tiny island is deplorable, and is reason for me to regret giving you a position, oh minister of fallacy and half attempted slander. Perhaps I will be withdrawing my support of the Right party now that I see what kind of lies they spin and what presumptuous steps they take. Remember your place, minister

In fact the dishonor you do me with this statement is appalling.
"These brothers are meritorious, so I plead for you, Lord Shogun, to be generous and give them their deserts."
They have received their deserts as could best be facilitated, as they know. Why do you do this to me minister? Is it a power play? Spite? Some grand and nefarious machination yet unknown, rotting away in the dark womb of your snake mind?

cxcxxxxx fucked around with this message at Feb 18, 2014 around 18:06

Takanago
Jun 2, 2007

You'll see...


Matsudaira Sadaaki 松平 定敬 (S)
Daimyo-in-Exile of Kuwana

I will withdraw my support of Bill 2.6. Sado Island is too small to divide up five ways, anyway.

However, I must ask the good Shogun: When will I receive a fiefdom once again?

cxcxxxxx
Sep 7, 2013

It is not possible to eat me without insisting that I sing praises of my devourer?


Tokugawa Kamenosuke, shogun, hero of the battle of Sado, shinto devoutee.

Takanago posted:

Matsudaira Sadaaki 松平 定敬 (S)
Daimyo-in-Exile of Kuwana

I will withdraw my support of Bill 2.6. Sado Island is too small to divide up five ways, anyway.

However, I must ask the good Shogun: When will I receive a fiefdom once again?

Given how things are progressing with some of my current fief holders, it could be very soon...

Stalin-Chan
Feb 11, 2009

Yeah, the guy wearing the $4,000 suit is holding the elevator for the guy who doesn't make that in four months. Come on.


Nagai Naoyuki, Finance Magistrate, Daimyo, Samurai

After much thought I have decided I am STRONG AGAINST bill 2-3. At this time there is no open hostility between Russia and Japan that requires intervention and the ceding of land rights, Kuril is home to many many Japanese citizens and to tell them that their home is no longer Japan for the price of 2 credits would be a waste when we have barely started to exhaust our economic options domestically.

In my opinion Kuril is a problem that doesn't need to be solved, while Russian/Japanese relations on the island itself may be dicey there is no reason Japanese and Russians cannot continue to coexist at this time in Kuril peacefully and any suggestion to cede is hasty at best, misleading and dishonest at worst.

For the rest.

YES on SAMURAI REGISTRATION ACT.

NO on 2-1.1 SAMURAI REGULATION CODE OF 1877. This will need to be refined and debated on before it is fit as legislation.

NO on SEX SLAVE ACT.

YES on WAR TIME CONTRIBUTIONS ACT.

YES on BILL 2-4 AND 2-5.

STRONG NO on BILL 2-6. No offense to the Army Magistrate but this falls outside the domain of congress and its representatives and I cannot support it.

Stalin-Chan fucked around with this message at Feb 18, 2014 around 19:58

Litos
Feb 2, 2013



Otori Keisuke, Army Magistrate

Bill 2-6 stands amended.

quote:

*Samurai will be rewarded for their service by land grants out of the estates of daimyo willing to bear the costs.
*Grants and divisions will be determined by the daimyo granting estates and traditional feudal divination, subordinate to later legal evaluation by the government.

Litos fucked around with this message at Feb 18, 2014 around 19:35

Litos
Feb 2, 2013



Otori Keisuke, Army Magistrate

As per instructed by the Sado Development Bill, here is our official end-quarter report of military movements, posted after developments to ensure Meiji is not able to predict our movements:

An offensive commanded by Matsudaira Sadaaki and Otori Keisuke is set to take the remainder of Sado, after which point a quarter of our men are to remain to pacify the island and defend it from Meiji, overseeing gold extraction efforts while the rest are either dispatched to Satsuma or to the homeland to defend it from the impending Meiji assault.

Samurai who have honorably and admirably performed in the Sado offensive are to be rewarded with grants out of the estates of President Enomoto and Army Magistrate Keisuke who have volunteered their estates for this purpose, determined by ceremony and traditional posting.

General Matsuma is to command a force to go to Satsuma and assist the noble samurai there fighting valliantly against the corrupt Meiji regime. May their success be profound and devastating to our enemies.

In lieu of generals on the mainland, I ask that Kasuga Saemon, building on his contributions to military doctrine, take a commission as a general overseeing the defense of Ezo to protect us from a possible attack by the Meiji.

Thank you all, may this great country be victorious and prosperous.

Litos fucked around with this message at Feb 19, 2014 around 02:18

Friar John
Aug 3, 2007

Saint Francis be my speed! how oft to-night
Have my old feet stumbled at graves!

Kasuga Saemon (S)

Letter to Army Minister Otori Keisuke posted:

Honorable Minister, I am humbled by your letter. I am a small man, and the duty is great. Trusting not solely in myself, and with prayers to God on my lips, I accept the government's commission to help defend our Republic. With God's aid all things are possible, for His strength is limitless. May God protect Ezo!

Maximo Roboto
Feb 4, 2012

I want peace on earth and goodwill toward men.



Update 1: Quarter 2 (April - June) 1877

International News

Tadasu’s Folly

“If we are strong enough to take the islands in the future, will this deal tie our hands in any substantial way? There is always a path through the forest.” - President Enomoto

After marathon diplomacy in St. Petersburg, Foreign Minister Hayashi Tadasu arrived home to Ezo to present the fruits of his diplomacy. A treaty was reached with Russia in which Russia would pay the sum of $1 Million (2 credits) and provide Ezo with coal and other industrial supplies, in exchange for Ezo giving up its claims to Sakhalin and the Kuriles, and ceding the land it currently controls in those areas. Ezo will also provide Russia’s port of Vladivostok with food supplies in order to assist with its development.

Many in Ezo immediately decried this treaty, and equated it to the foreign concessions made by China to the European powers that have repeatedly carved it up and weakened the once powerful Chinese empire. Supporters of the Treaty pointed out the vulnerability that Ezo currently has, being engaged in an open war with the Meiji, and cited the treaty as an assurance of Russian cooperation in the short and long term. Britain openly decried the treaty, fearful of Russian expansion into East Asia and wary of Ezo cooperation with their long term Asian rival, but otherwise took little action to oppose its implementation.

On the other hand, relations with the Russian Empire are now on cordial terms, as the resolution of this crucial flashpoint has increased trust on both sides of the La Pérouse Strait. The bear and Cossack uniforms gifted by the ambassadors are of some amusement to many denizens of Ezo, and are proudly paraded around Hakodate as curios.

Katsu Kaishu, upon hearing of the treaty, immediately set sail for Vladivostok, and has begun building the necessary merchant infrastructure to profit off the treaty-mandated trade.

President Enomoto argued for the treaty, and has sent it to Congress for their approval.

(+Treaty negotiations, +Outrage over lost territory)

Ainu You Were Loyal

While many were distracted by more interesting events in Sado or Satsuma, a small incident provoked considerable praise for the Ainu in Ezo. Emperor Meiji, having previously pledged to invade Ezo with some 100,000 Imperial forces, began probing Ezo’s defenses by sending scouts and small vessels across the Tsugaru strait. Arai Ikunosuke’s navy made short work of these vessels, and ensured that any sort of organized attempt by Meiji to pierce Ezo’s naval defenses would be deterred from attacking. The presence of the French Navy, while it did not take any official action, also served to make Meiji consider its position before attacking.

While organized invasions were not able to pierce these defenses, however, the Meiji attempted a number of probes along the Ezo coast well beyond the Tsugaru Strait. This included remote areas in the undeveloped and largely uninhabited parts of Northeastern Ezo - uninhabited, that is, except for the Ainu.

While the exact intentions of Meiji forces are yet unknown, what is known is that a small contingent of Meiji forces landed somewhere along the coast near Lake Akeshi, likely in order to infiltrate Ezo and cause havoc among its population. These forces were quickly discovered by the Ainu, who were approached by Meiji with an offer. The Meiji offered the Ainu full control over large swaths of Ezochi, and the necessary arms and wealth in order to realize this goal, in exchange for their support against the “Yamato Ezo Reactionaries”. The Ainu party quickly rejected this offer, recognizing that the Meiji government would be in an even better position to annihilate what is left of the Ainu people (and having been granted considerable concessions by Ezo, albeit largely symbolic), and attacked the Meiji party as they prepared to hear their response. Meiji forces appear to have expected the Ainu to accept their offer, for they were undermanned but arrived with a wealth of modern weapons ready for transfer. A war tribe led by Setsuhaya, warrior and son of the Bear Star Tribe chieftain Tsukinoeaino, approached the Imperial Army troops and slaughtered them to a man, seizing the weapons with which Meiji had hoped to buy their loyalty. The incident was immediately reported to Ezo government officials in the nearest outpost, and praise for the Ainu’s bravery and loyalty was lavished upon them. The Ainu kept their weapons, which had been brought by the crate load, as their reward for loyalty.

(-Meiji covert operatives, +Respect for Ainu within Ezo, +Modern weapons for Ainu)

Saigo no Chansu

“Assassination has never changed the history of the world” -Benjamin Disraeli

In response to the Satsuma rebellion, Ezo opened up dialogue with Saigo Takamori in Kyushu as his forces besieged the castle in Kumamoto. Saigo largely rebuffed Ezo’s offers to either assist his rebellion or evacuate his samurai, believing in his victory, and Ezo was left with no choice but to act without his approval.

Organizing a force of 5,000 men, President Enomoto ordered the samurai from Sado to Satsuma, to assist Saigo’s rebellion and evacuate them in the event of failure. Leading this force was Matsumae Takahiro, who, it would later be revealed, had a secondary goal. Taking initiative of his own, Army Magistrate Otori Keisuke openly defied his President’s orders and withdrew 4,000 of the men from the expeditionary force, and only allowed the dispatch of 1,000 men, certainly setting up a crisis of command between the commander in chief and his subordinate army magistrate. Some have questioned his loyalty, and call on the President to utilize his prerogative and remove him from his position.

The Ezo forces arrived near Kumamoto castle as per their instructions, and maintaining a healthy distance from Saigo’s forces, Matsumae Takahiro approached Saigo with offers of cooperation. Initially accepting their offer, at least tacitly, Saigo pledged to hear their offers as he conducted the siege of Kumamoto castle.

Yet, one night as Saigo slept, an assassin snuck into his tent, and attempted to drive a wakizashi through his heart. A well trained samurai, perhaps one of the best in all of Japan, Saigo fought off his attacked and pinned him to his floor, calling in guards to begin the process of interrogation. Unfortunately for the republic, the interrogation implicated Ezo as the source of the assassin, and Saigo took action to rectify this act of dishonor.

The next morning, Saigo’s forces stormed Ezo’s lines, and the Ezo, unprepared for an attack from Saigo’s forces, were rapidly routed. Matsumae Takahiro, leader of the forces, was captured in the ensuing chaos, and many of the samurai under his command were captured or killed in the process. The remainder of the Ezo forces fled, and were rapidly evacuated back home by Ezo’s navy. Fortunately for the President, the news of their defeat would not reach Ezo until shortly after the elections, and President Enomoto and Otori Keisuke both faced great criticism for the ultimate outcome, with both men blaming each other’s contradictory orders for the disaster.

Satsuma’s forces proceeded to continue with the siege of Kumamoto Castle, and by Mid-May, managed to successfully siege the castle, granting the rebels important strategic control of the largest arsenal and castle on all of Kyushu. With control of the castle, Saigo Takamori declared his intention to march further to Edo, but first, he needed to deal with the Imperial forces now gathering in Kagoshima.

Pulling his forces from Kumamoto, Saigo met Meiji forces just south of Kumamoto, and engaged with his 15,000+ samurai army against over 60,000 Imperial forces on May 27th, 1877. Unfortunately for Saigo, the sheer numbers of the Meiji forces were too great for his army, and he was forced to withdraw his forces after sustaining heavy casualties. His forces withdrew to newly captured Kumamoto castle, suffering considerable casualties and defections in the process. Imperial forces suffered many times the number of casualties, but with considerably more forces at their disposal, they trudged North, proceeding to lay siege to Kumamoto castle themselves. With approximately 20,000 men remaining, but many more en route, Meiji forces are attempting to wait out Saigo’s rebellion.



With approximately 5,000 of his most loyal samurai, Saigo sits in Kumamoto Castle, accompanied by his prisoner Matsumae Takahiro. It remains to be seen whether his forces can pull of a miracle or manage to survive much longer, but Saigo has made his purpose clear - he intends to either win, or die fighting.

(-300 Ezo samurai, -Matsumae Takahiro prisoner, -200 Ezo samurai captured in Kumamoto, -Most of Saigo Takamori’s forces)

A Medal-Winning Season

"Living proof that Samurai skill will always trump fancy weaponry. Or should I say, dead proof." - Charles Chanoine, French advisor to the Republic of Ezo

As the months roll by, the Republic of Ezo’s occupation of Sado Island solidifies. Militarily, the forces of the Republic cleans up any remaining Meiji partisans, chasing them deeper and deeper into the hills. In a Second Battle of Sado that is almost an afterthought, the Ezo samurai and peasant ashigaru are able to successfully eliminate the final pocket of the Meiji trapped between Ogi and western town, with furious artillery barrages and nocturnal attacks. Following the victory, the Army withdraws all save a 1,500 samurai along with 500 artillerymen pointing their modern French-provided cannons at Honshu.

(--Meiji guerrillas in Sado, +military success in Sado, +military defenses in Sado)

"We need a stone wall in politics and a stone wall in men!" - Army Magistrate Otori Keisuke

The success in Sado is greatly trumpeted by the army magistrate, in collaboration through Education Magistrate Itakura Katsukiyo, who has increasingly taken a role in providing unifying rhetoric to officials. Bolstered by the support, many of the citizenry in Ezochi proper have arisen to the task of defending their island, holding rallies day and night. Many have appeared in the Ōtori domains at an impromptu command school, training to fight against the impending invasion. The Denshūtai, an Independence War-era brigade, is revived as volunteers arrive, intent on
repelling the “corrupt Meiji sell-outs.” The European role in the protection of Ezo is not mentioned by the republic’s magistrates… for now.

(+national unity, -attitude towards evil Meiji Imperials, +hero unit Denshūtai revived with 800 volunteers!)

The Sado project is further enhanced by Blakiston and Company. Despite being a busy groom-to-be, the Briton gallantly spends some time in Sado, organizing the newly arriving colonists and workers, directing them towards the modernization of the gold mines. Thanks to his knowledge and direction, the work picks up apace, and in no time he has returned to mainland Ezochi for matrimonial preparations.

(+make sweet sweet love, +do a little dance, ++get down tonight)

Papal Approvals

“Some sandal-wearing itinerant monk from Cipangu is requesting a change to our Far East organization. Hm. Approved.” - excerpt from the Pius IX-files

Due to the passionate letters of Kasuga Saemon, the Holy Father of the Roman Catholic Church and until recently, the Sovereign Ruler of the Papal States, has accepted a proposal to accept Monsignor Osouf, Vicar Apostolic of Northern Japan, as the new Bishop of Ezo. The hierarch and Saemon are both ecstatic. While the political situation continues to divide the narrow straits between Ezo and Meiji, at least now the Church’s influence grows further, and is not quite so- straitlaced.

(+1 Bishop for Ezochi, +the Pope is vaguely aware of the existence of the Ezo Republic now)

Domestic News

Meet the New Boss

"There is a tidal wave of revolution is coming, and a stone wall is needed to prevent it." - Otori Keisuke

On May 15, 1877, samurai all across Ezo turned out to vote for the next President of Ezo and its Congress. The two candidates for President, Enomoto Takeaki and Katsu Kaishu, competed for the most powerful position in Ezo, as the various Congressmen campaigned to keep their seats. As always, only samurai were eligible to vote, and many Samurai (some 25+% of the electorate) were serving overseas in combat, though the vast majority were able to arrive home before the mid-May elections. Those that could not had their voting intentions conveyed back home to the capital.

The Presidential election, while infinitely more important than Congress, was one of the least contentious aspects of the election. Having removed term limits, the popular two-term President Enomoto Takeaki enjoyed the support of nearly all the powerful factions within Ezo, and did not even bother to campaign for his Presidency. With most samurai concerned primarily with the conflict against Meiji, and with the merchant faction having initially been largely opposed to further hostilities, virtually all military-minded samurai supported the current President. Few supported Katsu Kaishu’s calls for reform, especially due to many of his allied merchants’ calls for the reform or removal of stipends, even if Kaishu did not himself campaign on such a radical platform.

Only Hayashi Tadasu bothered to openly support Kaishu for President, and he largely did so while trying to raise his own profile within the merchant faction. His newspapers heavily covered the election and published the campaigns in Japanese, French, and English, serving to increase the consciousness and awareness of the merchant faction - even as most of its rank and file members were unable to vote, though their financial contributions did aid Kaishu’s campaign somewhat. The young shogun and the finance minister openly campaigned for Enomoto’s candidacy, as did Army Minister Otori Keisuke, who offered a token endorsement but largely focused on the Congressional elections (see below).

The final results on election day confirmed the expectations of most observers:

1877 Presidential Election Results posted:


Enomoto Takeaki (Republican): 16,242 76%
Katsu Kaishu (Merchant): 5,100 24%
Total: 21,342

The results reflected some disgust over both candidates after the failed initiative for the importation of Chinese laborers, with Katsu Kaishu especially railed for the potential bill in a series of satirical signs hung around the merchant quarter in Hakodate. Regardless, President Enomoto Takeaki will maintain his position as President of Ezo for at least four more years, or until May 1881.

More interesting and less predictable than the Presidential election, the 1877 elections saw more turnover in Congress than most would have expected. Unlike in previous elections, few rigorously campaigned in favor of President Enomoto, and his own lack of campaigning in the election significantly hurt his Republican party’s congressional candidates who might have otherwise benefited from his popularity and general respect. Of the few who bothered to support the Republican faction, none were more active than Otori Keisuke, who rallied his “Stonewall” Republican faction members to defend their seats. A conference was held among these members, and many more vulnerable Republicans who previously opposed the conference attended, hoping to have Keisuke either bankroll their campaigns or provide assistance to their vulnerable seats. Keisuke’s command over the army during Sado operations also assisted his popularity and campaign, and helped counteract some of the homeland faction’s military-based support. The cumulative impact of these actions has been to strengthen Keisuke’s role in the Republican faction, as well as make many Congressmen owe their seats to his efforts.

The Homeland party campaigned vigorously for seats in Congress, with the young Shogun appointing many from within his court to campaign on his behalf. Images of the shogun, and tales of his bravery in Sado, were utilized to bolster his popularity and build support for the homeland cause. The recent victories in Sado, fresh on the mind of samurai, were also useful in making the case for reconquest of Meiji. The active participation of more than one fourth of the electorate, and an even higher proportion of actual voting samurai, many of whom fought alongside the shogun in Sado, further bolstered their prospects. Some confusion did arise from his support of Keisuke’s Right Republicans alongside his endorsement of Enomoto, but for the most part the Homeland faction did well.

The merchant faction also saw a boost in awareness under Katsu Kaishu, who successfully defended his seat despite many strong challengers. Unfortunately, the dearth of other mercantile-minded samurai continued to restrict his party to one seat, with his core constituency still unable to vote. However, due to his populist efforts and hefty coffers- the latter of which is said to have even greased a few palms, though all would swear having felt it - two samurai defect to his faction, one from the Republicans, and one from the Christians, swayed by his promises of an island of free trade and fair laws to all denominations.

The final results are as below:

1877 Congressional Elections posted:


House of Representatives (total 50): Speaker Enomoto Michiakira (Republican-faction)
Homeland-faction: 19 (38%) (+5)
Republican-faction: 21 (42%) (-3)
Sakoku-faction: 4 (8%) (-1)
Merchant-Faction: 3 (10%) (+2)
Christian-Faction: 3 (6%) (-3)

The final result saw the Republican faction narrowly maintain its position as the largest party in Congress, but with a surprise showing by the homeland party, who is but one seat away from being the largest party in Congress. Many credit Otori Keisuke with saving the Republican faction, and as many credit the Shogun and his military successes as raising homeland’s profile. Most of the smaller parties lost out due to inactivity on the part of its leaders. The Christian faction may, ironically, be losing support due to the increasing degree of acceptance of Christians within Ezo, as the integration of Christians within all the institutions of Ezo, as well as its prominent political parties, serves to undermine its position as a small faction. Furthermore, the primary concerns of this party are at a crossroads: just what exactly should the Christians of Ezo work towards, beyond self-preservation and the preaching of the Gospel? While notable Christian Kasuga Saemon may be in fact the most prominent intellectual of the republic, his rather apolitical example though certainly concerned about justice and the social good- does not seem to be translating directly into election results. Perhaps other visible members of the Christian faction should weigh in…

(+Same President, +Congressional Changes)

Maximo Roboto
Feb 4, 2012

I want peace on earth and goodwill toward men.



Update 1: Quarter 2 (April - June) 1877 - pt. 2

Same as the Old Boss

"You are free to pledge to the lord of your choice. But recognize that some choices are better than others." -Otori Keisuke

Further raising the young Shogun’s profile, the Shogun announced the division of Ezo into a new series of Han, and appointed Daimyo from the samurai elite of Ezo to serve as his administrative vassals. While all of this is purely symbolic, the passage of the Samurai Registration Act and Samurai Regulation Code enshrined legal powers into the Shogun, who from a legal perspective now has the power to determine samurai status among the population of Ezo. While the institution of the Daimyo is not formally established, it is at least implicitly realized in a number of provisions in the SRC, raising serious questions about the legality of the institution as well as its expected role. As it stands, Daimyo are not at all administrative divisions of Ezo and enjoy no recognition in the constitution of the Republic. This also holds true for the shogun, who theoretically could be legislated out of existence by a simple majority of Congress.

More chillingly, however, is the degree to which prominent samurai (now Daimyo) of the Republic have sought to utilize their symbolic position to further their own interests. Already, a number of Daimyo have begun to seek samurai to swear loyalty to their cause, raising fears of the same factionalization that characterized the Sengoku Jidai before the Edo period. The Matsumae clan has begun equipping its pledged samurai with western weaponry. Utilizing his position as head of the army, Otori Keisuke has also begun seeking pledges to his service, and has sought to utilize his disbursement of land in Sado (over which he is daimyo) to encourage samurai to pledge to him at Enomoto (and others’) expense. Tokugawa himself began training peasants and samurai to the same effect, as his own personal retinue and militia.

In all, the new Daimyo system has experienced massive pushback from samurai and non-samurai alike, as fears of factionalization or a return of inefficient aspects of the shogunate are expressed. Most samurai in the Republic are loyal to the President as commander in chief and hero of the original Boshin war, even as they respect the feudal system and Shogun, and do not wish to see their brothers fight one another as happened in the Sengoku Jidai. Further escalating tensions was the promotion of an Ainu to position of Daimyo, implying his superiority to the samurai in the Republic, and causing many to call on the Shogun to revoke his Daimyo status.

Ultimately, most samurai in the Republic are content to ignore the new pseudo-legal Daimyo divisions, and are loyal first and foremost to the Republic, but efforts by some Daimyo to recruit personal militias or retinues may eventually bear fruit and spell a dangerous future for the Republic.

(+Dangerous factionalism, +Confusing legal situation, +Outrage at Ainu Daimyo)


We’re not gonna take it

“We didn’t leave our homelands to exchange one imperial master for another.” - Horiuchi Denbe, Sapporo potter

The great election of 1877 did not receive unanimous consent of the governed. Barely over ten percent of the populace was eligible for the franchise, and so, the mercantile and non-samurai classes bristled at their exclusion from the voting booth. Gathering in on the docks, the bazaars, and other non-governmental places in Hakodate, Sapporo, and tens of other minor villages, townspeople of every stripe join in ballot boxes in an act of symbolic protest, organized by the Freedom Party and funded by Merchant interests. Even Nationalists and samurai of every stripe join in the fun, the newly-reinstated Matsumae men opting to vote in both the legitimate elections as well as this mock one, out of curiosity.

The subsequent mock results are devastating: the Freedom Party and the Merchantmen would win many crucial spots in a hypothetical “government of the unrepresented”, with Katsu Kaishu as the merchant kin- erm, president. Hayashi Tadasu, for his visibility, prestige, and different ideas from Katsu, wins the vice presidential position in the mock election despite criticisms for the Russian territorial pact. The other positions are mostly snapped up by members of the Freedom Party, or independent types.

The mock elections may not confer any sort of official legitimacy, but it is the most elaborate straw poll that the Republic of Ezo has seen, bringing political awareness to the lowliest of urban artisans and peasants, while garnering some interest from foreign observers. Future historical accounts will mark it as a key example of democratic expression in a not-fully-democratic society.

(+prestige to Freedomers and Merchantmen, +people power)


So you say you want a reformation?

”In this new country, everything grows swiftly. The goods, the guns, the gold- even the gods. ” - William S. Clark, American foreign advisor

The Commission of Evangelical Translators have been quite busy the past few months, working through the myriads of Shinto and Japanese Buddhist teachings, as well as Chinese philosophy, recorded Ainu oral traditions, and even peeping at theology adopted by the Kurisuchan and later Roman Catholic and other Christian converts. (It is rumored that some of the works of the prolific Kasuga Saemon are on the reading list within the CET). The entire endeavor is once again looked upon with much interest by foreign observers, the notion of a millennia-old Oriental civilization attempting to modernize through the correlation all of its cultural contents. A certain Professor Müller from Britain has even expressed interest…

Matsudaira Katamori, head of the Chained Countrymen, have leapt at the movement with great zeal, becoming the unofficial Secretary of Faith of the yet-unofficial Department of the Faith (not yet a cabinet position). Reading through the works of Shinto tradition and reciting Zen koans, he is widely seen as an upholder of traditional Japanese belief.

The Matsumae, as the ur-clan of Ezochi, former Meiji bannermen, and the vanguards of the Nationalist faction, have also taken a great interest in the Shinto-Buddhist Reformation. With great piousness and respect for Yamato-damashii, the clan head gathers a great conference at the Matsumaes’ former Fukuyama Castle. And thus, the Conference of Fukuyama is convened, whereupon the following proposal is concocted under Matsumae guidance:

quote:

The new religion considers most kamis (and Ainu kamuys) as dual beings of asura and deva domain. They are especially reactive to karma - they show up their blissful side when approached with respect, sincerity and pureness, but are wrathful and destructive when presented with evil speech, thoughts and deeds. Honoring them has a special place in the new theology - they are simultaneously mirrors which let humans see their karma and lenses that amplify karmic results. Someone who ignores them, rejects the consequences of his own actions and declares himself separate from the world.

The Emperor is still the son of Amaterasu. In fact, Amaterasu is present in the heart and mind of every Shinto-Buddhist. She represents the Sun, the will to live, growth and warmth. The Emperor is special in the sense that he represents the karma of the entire nation. If the nation is peaceful and serene, he puts a face of peace and serenity. Angry, warlike emperors are the sign of a spiritual disease that plagues the nation.

The church structure is much more centralized. Two priests from each region debate the religious matters during the Gathering - currently it will be one Shinto and one Buddhist priests, but this division is expected to gradually diminish. The final decision theoretically belongs to the Emperor, but in practice it is stressed that in the healthy nation he should act in concert with the priests. Any major disagreements would be a massive loss of face for everyone involved.

Decisions of the Gathering are binding for all Shinto and Buddhist temples. The ones that decide not to follow them are considered to separate themselves from the rest. It happens automatically, though the Gathering may decide to proclaim the separation officially to clear the situation. Separation is presented as treason towards all the Shinto-Buddhist believers, as it negatively influences karma of the entire nation.

With great aplomb, the CET and conference attendants quickly adopt the proposal and endorse it. However, it is up to the discretion of the other organizations of Ezo- the Department of Faith, the Republican government itself, and the unofficial Tokugawa shogunate and Emperor Enjuu- to endorse it. Will they?

(+Ezo receives national prestige for innovative cultural practices, +piety for Matsudaira Katamori and the Matsumae clan, ?Shinto-Buddhism now has a hierarchy- maybe?)

Sundry Laundries

“Those who are incapable of committing great crimes do not readily suspect them in others.” - Thomas Crusoe

Already known in Ezo as the man with connections both to the richest of Westerners and poorest of Japanese, Thomas Crusoe’s unexpected success in his ownership of the Round Eye Saloon has facilitated his expansion into other ventures. The primary focus of Crusoe’s expansion was the creation of what he has deemed “Laundries”, the collective chain of which has been called “Crusoe’s Respectable Whites”. These businesses focus on cleaning linens and other cloth-based clothing for citizens of Ezo, with a total of ten being financed by Crusoe himself. A massive hiring campaign was undertaken by Crusue, who promised extremely generous salaries, unprecedented “vacation time” in which workers get paid to do nothing, and other benefits in exchange for loyalty and dedication to the business. These incentives ensured a great number of applicants, and his business was rapidly staffed.

Unfortunately for Crusoe, demand for the laundries has been extremely low. The vast majority of Ezo citizens rely on their wives to perform the duties that the laundries provide, with most peasants too poor to ever be able to afford such things as laundry services. Wealthier Ezo citizens similarly can pay peasants to do their menial labor, with the wealthiest of samurai or merchants regularly employing full time servants just for this task. Some military samurai, bachelors, or visiting Westerners have visited the laundries for the purpose of cleaning their linens, but their visits are infrequent and unreliable.

Despite this setback, the laundries have proven reliably profitable. Observers have noted that, despite the seeming inactivity of the laundry workers, visitors are frequent, especially in later hours. Jules Brunet is rumored to be one of his patrons, among other prominent businessmen and elites of Ezo. Employees brag about the prosperity of the laundries, and the benefits associated with their employment, and insist that Thomas Crusoe is simply a genius businessman. Others are more skeptical, but barring an official investigation, Crusoe’s Respectable Whites will continue to be inexplicably profitable.

(+Franchise of laundries, +profits for Thomas Crusoe)


A Clear Consensus

“Does he not still have honor in death worthy of compensation?” -Samurai convicted of committing stipend fraud

The 1877 census finally drew to a close in May, with some rather dull but important demographic information being revealed. While the results are posted in the OP, here is the summary information:

1877 Census posted:


Demographics:
Population: Approximately 310,000 (1877 Census)
Ethnic Groups: Japanese (Native “Ezo”: 11%, Rest of Japan“Exiles” 85%) 96%, Ainu 3%, Foreigners 1%
Religion: Christianity 34% (26% Catholic, 8% Protestant), Shinto/Buddhist 64%. Ainu animism 2%
Class: Peasants 44%, Laborers (non-agrarian workers) 30% Samurai 13%, Merchants 6%, Other (Artisans, Intellectuals, Students, etc) 7%


Some of the more interesting implications of this census was the surprise increase in Christians, especially catholics, who appear to have made significant inroads at both converting previously non-Christians within Ezo, as well as attracting Christian refugees from the mainland. The population was much higher than the estimate, spelling great news for those concerned about Ezo’s long term viability, though it is still dwarfed by that of its Meiji rival. The percentage of workers in the agrarian sector decreased, while more moved to the cities to become either non-agrarian labor, or serve as artisans or other non-traditional jobs.

The Ainu also appear to have been previously undercounted, and actually rose as a proportion of the population even as they saw their brothers in Sakhalin and the Kuriles leave Ezo’s control. Many attribute this to the newfound favor the Ainu have found with the government, as well as the degree of centralization of the Ainu under chief Tsukineoaino, all serving to raise the visibility of the Ainu to the Japanese-run state.

Of some concern, however, was the rapid increase in the number of official “samurai”, as well as certain irregularities detected during the census project. A number of samurai were found to be deceased, despite still collecting their stipends, with family members failing to report their death in order to ensure the delivery of stipends to their homes. Other samurai were found to not exist at all, with multiple names listed to the same location, implying that some samurai were simply collecting two stipends through falsified names, or due to irregularities produced by name changes. All of this has provoked a minor scandal, both due to the potential for spending bloat should the number of samurai increase relative to non-samurai, as well as due to the fraud committed by samurai seeking to collect more stipends. Calls for reform, even among the samurai, have grown more vocal as a result.

(+Accurate Census information, +Scandal in samurai stipends)

Ainu World

“We have one advantage relative to the Yamato invaders: we are united, while they quibble among themselves” -Tsukinoeaino, Daimyo of the Ainu

In an effort to boost his people’s prospects, and take advantage of his (disputed) elevation to Daimyo within Ezo, Tsukinoeaino of the Ainu summoned a great gathering of the Ainu to discuss their situation. While many Ainu were distressed by his increasingly close relations to the Japanese, most pragmatically recognized the dire position the Ainu find themselves placed in, and more than willingly accepted their new Daimyo’s (ceremonial) authority, on their own terms. One key project which Tsukinoeaino pursued was the creation of a communal fund, financed in part by contributions by Westerners seeking to cultivate good relations with the Ainu through the teaching of advanced logging and fishing techniques. This has been moderately successful, but the Ainu are still a rather disadvantaged group, and even their communal fund is not a wellspring of fortune. That said, the Ainu’s situation has improved dramatically relative to the Japanese, though many are still bitter over the loss of their Kuril and Sakhalin-based brethren.

(+Ainu solidarity, +Ainu communal resources)

A Mighty Pen

“Can one man lead an entire Renaissance?” - Samuel Betteridge, British journalist embedded in Hakodate

As spring comes, and the thoughts of the young men among the world turn to that of poesy, that primal need is quenched by five syllables: Ka Su Ga Sae Mon. Having built up a veritable army of connections to the world of letters, he unleashes his full letter-load to the world of publishing, overflowing both the local meager publishing presses in Hakodate (and a nascent school press in Sapporo), as well as places as far as London, Paris, and San Francisco. His knowledge of both East and West transcends culture, and the new works are well-received among the Orientalists and scholars of Europe. Some Meiji authors are steamed, as they had previously thought themselves the masters of modernization and mimicry. Indeed, the government to the south is not happy, and while his books are quickly prohibited, they mysteriously pop up in many a teahouse, dojo, and parish.

President Enomoto himself has even read the book-bard, but commented that “While this writer’s command of literary arts is quite excellent, it seems to be of little practical use for the average samurai.” However, eager readers, bedazzled by the author-samurai’s live readings, lectures, and signage, have been quick to jump at the word-offerings. With such a promising start, Kasuga Saemon’s future career looks bright- and so does Ezo’s.

(+Kasuga Saemon becomes the Ezo Republic’s first literary celebrity, congratulations Saemon)

[A full bibliography to be included later]

Maximo Roboto
Feb 4, 2012

I want peace on earth and goodwill toward men.



Update 1: Quarter 2 (April - June) 1877 - pt. 3

A Nice Day for A White Wedding

“The woman cries before the wedding; the man afterward.” - Anonymous

In one of the more surprising, but no less high profile, events in Ezo, Tokugawa Masako, older sister of the young Tokugawa Shogun, was promised to Thomas Blakiston of England. This caused no minor scandal - the acceptance of marriage by the Shogun was immediately decried by traditionalists and non-traditionalists alike, as it would tie the powerful British merchant to the Tokugawa family by marriage. While any sons would bear the Blakiston name and be removed from any potential succession, the political alliance and symbolic nature of the union irked many within Ezo, who saw it as an assault on Ezo’s traditional values, and as a disrespect to the office of Shogun.

Regardless of opposition, as head of the household, the Shogun had full authority to offer his sister’s hand, and Blakiston readily agreed to terms. A lavish wedding was planned, and Blakiston sought to integrate Christian and Shinto-Buddhist aspects into the ceremony.. Kasuga Saemon, prominent Christian leader, blessed the ceremony and announced his attendance, while most other prominent leaders snubbed the wedding or focused on their other duties. The Tokugawa shogun was one such member, as he was otherwise pre-occupied with his duties on Sado, though a great number of gifts and his blessing were sent by proxy.

As the wedding day approached in late May, resistance to the union only grew. Matsudaira Sadaaki came out strongly against the union, and despite his Shogun’s blessing, organized a group of similarly angry samurai to protest the wedding and otherwise attempt to disrupt its planning. For the most part the men were respectful to the Tokugawa family and did not directly impede any construction, but their continued presence nearby the facilities, and before the ceremonies, intimidated many potential guests (especially foreigners).

The day of the ceremony arrived without any other considerable opposition, though Thomas Blakiston was forced to establish a strong security presence of hired samurai and British mercenaries in order to ensure the non-intervention of Sadaaki’s angry crowd. These security forces stood outside the wedding and established a perimeter, closely monitoring those who entered, and intimidating the mob. The mob’s cries could be heard as guests began to sit for the ceremony, with Blakiston hiring an orchestra, and even importing a European organ, in order to drown out their protests.

Kasuga Saemon began the ceremony by reading a beautiful waka to commemorate their union, and sympathetic Anglican and Shinto priests performed their duties into what would ultimately be a beautiful union of Christian and Traditional beliefs. Masako appeared and after a short ceremony pledged herself to Blakiston, and together the two were wed.

Shortly after their official union, however, a man sitting on the bride’s side of the wedding stood up and screamed something that could not easily be heard above the sound of the mob outside and the organ music blaring. He immediately dove toward the groom’s side and, as the crowd stood up to control the unruly protester, a bomb detonated inside the wedding tent, and chaos ensued.

The bomb detonation, fortunately, was only large enough to kill those in its immediate proximity, primarily injuring or maiming guests on the groom’s side of the aisle. The hired mercenaries and security of Blakiston rushed into the tent to try to control the situation, but the chaos and fleeing guests emboldened the mob waiting outside, who began rushing the tent in order to take advantage of the chaos. A battle ensued between the guests, security, and the angry mob, with the mob seemingly targeting foreigners and avoiding harming members of the Tokugawa family.

When the dust finally cleared, nearly 7 guests had died, most of them British, alongside 4 security members and 10 members of the mob. Many more were injured, and after some time the mob was repulsed by security. Among the dead, to the great dismay of the groom and the Tokugawa family, was Masako Blakiston. It is unclear if she died at the hands of the mob or the explosion, but her body was found near the altar alongside her husband’s, having been lightly burned and trampled by the crowd. Thomas Blakiston himself had been knocked cold by the explosion and unable to protect his bride, and in the process suffered injuries to his face which have left a permanent scar and permanent blindness in his left eye. Kasuga Saemon was fortunate enough to be standing on the bride’s side, near the front of the tent, and escaped unscathed. Some Christians have chosen to interpret this as evidence of divine favor.

The fallout was predictable, and accusations flew over who was responsible for the attack. The Tokugawa family immediately called for the head of whoever was responsible, outraged over the death of the Shogun’s older sister, and the Blakiston family was similarly irate. The Tokugawa, among others, fear the involvement of Meiji in the attacks, citing Meiji’s previous partisan activity (repulsed by the Ainu) as evidence of their intentions. The death of prominent British citizens in the incident also brought about a condemnation from Britain, already wary over the Russia treaty, who called on the Ezo government to take greater action to protect foreigners or risk attracting Britain’s ire. As it stands, it is not clear who perpetrated the attacks, but the Matsudaira family’s involvement in leading a mob to protest the wedding makes the Matsudaira bothers the prime suspects. They have, of course, denied any involvement in the bombing, despite recognition that the protest mob was assembled at their behest.

This has also harmed inter-faith relations in Ezo, as the targeting of British citizens and Christians (those on the groom’s side) of the wedding have angered Christians in Ezo who fear further attack by more radical anti-Christian elements.

(-Masako Blakiston, -Left eye for Blakiston, +sectarian tensions, +outrage from Britain)


Just Peachy

“It’s a peach! A peach!” - Nagai Naoyuki

Nagai Naoyuki, in an effort to cultivate the arts, used a large sum of his personal fortune to purchase what he claimed were “magical lamps”. These devices, purchased and imported from France, can project images onto walls in order to entertain and tell stories. The Finance Magistrate proceeded to draw, by hand, his interpretation of the story “Momotarou” or “Peach Boy”, a tale of a small boy and his animal friends who combat oni (demons). Unfortunately for Nagai, his drawing skills were rather lacking, and instead of depicting a large peach as was his intention, many who viewed his work found another interpretation. Making matters worse, Nagai’s primary audience were small children delighted by the moving pictures, and discovery by the adults of the Finance Minister seemingly showing depictions of women’s buttocks to small children caused a minor scandal. Many are now calling for the outlaw of this practice, and the presentation of Momotarou has been suspended to avoid further scandal.

Also, one of his lanterns caught on fire, representing one of the first instances of spontaneous combustion in Ezo history.

(-anime in Japan)

Congressional Reports

There was no shortage of bills this session, and the following are the results of their votes. Note that the next Congress will not sit until Q3, and the votes reflect the pre-existing Congress’ composition.

Samurai Registration Act

Final Vote: PASSED 49 - 1

A rather inoffensive bill, the SRA simply called for a register of exiting samurai, and the creation and disbursement of certificate to those who are officially registered. The most controversial part of the bill, that banning non-samurai from owning katanas, was otherwise uncontroversial to the samurai congress. Its recommendations were incorporated into the census results, and samurai will begin receiving their certificates shortly.

Rumors gather, however, of a mysterious ronin clad in silver armor, bearing nothing but a red sun on his chestplate, who has rejected the federal government’s registration order and fled into the hinterlands of the north with a few followers, defiant against registration.

Samurai Regulation Code

Final Vote: PASSED 29 - 18

This bill served as something of a more comprehensive SRA, and enjoyed the support of the Republican and Homeland factions, though some prominent members of both abstained or opposed the bill. Despite guarantees of religious freedom, the Christian faction opposed the bill, as did the Sakoku-faction. Katsu Kaishu also dissented.

The result is the legal creation of the Shogunate court - the first such official recognition of an otherwise defunct and symbolic institution. The Shogunate now has power to determine samurai status, and strip it from those who do not meet samurai ideals.

In light of its controversial nature, and close vote, many legal challenges are likely to come forth from its passage. One of the many problems arising from the bill is its legal recognition of Daimyo, despite no law establishing these divisions or institutions. Related to this, the Ainu Daimyo now has a non-samurai Daimyo in a theoretical position of power over samurai, in direct violation of the law.

Wartime Contributions Act
Final Vote: PASSED 35 - 15

The opposition from this bill largely arose from samurai concerned about the precedent for placing taxes upon samurai, though most recognized that the dishonor associated with engaging in mercantile acts outweighs any such concerns. The merchant faction, despite Katsu Kaishu’s emphatic no vote, largely supported the provision, as they hope it will level the playing field between tax-exempt samurai and heavily taxed merchants.

Treaty of St. Petersburg

Final Vote: PASSED 28 - 22

This bill faced fierce opposition in the Congress, but the support of (most of) the Republican faction and Christian faction ensured its narrow passage. Sakhalin and the Kuriles are now transferred to Russia, with Russia holding its part of the bargain and transferring the associated price to the treasury. Many in Congress deferred to Presidential authority to negotiate over the bill, and none campaigned against its passage.

(+2 Credits, -Sakhalin, -Kuriles, +trade)

Sado Island Pacification and Improvement Bill

Final Vote: PASSED 49-1

Thanks to the victories on the island, this bill was passed as a matter of course, with the Republicans and Merchants alike clamoring for the settlement of Sado, and the Homeland/Chained Country warlords reveling in their martial achievement. The decision to bring treasure from the gold was also a much-appreciated boost. The lone dissenter was a much-confused congressman who, having spent much time studying French from foreign advisors, had accidentally misread Sado as “de Sade” and had vehemently rejected the presidential proposal by accident.

Road Infrastructure Bill

Final Vote: PASSED 50 - 0

This bill faced no opposition, and provided for the construction of roads in Ezo.

Peasant Soldiers Bill

Final Vote: PASSED 37-13

While this bill focused on gathering footsoldier recruits from among the commoner classes, it did not require conscription in any way, merely reorganizing the military slightly to accommodate more ashigaru units. The bill preserved the traditional hegemony the samurai had enjoyed in the chain of command, but the focus on ashigaru did cause a few more reactionary of Homeland, Chained Country, and Nationalist to protest a possible shift in military doctrine to favor cheaper units. However, as they were assured of strong military control over the new recruits, such fears were quickly allayed.

Sado Redivisional Bill

Final Vote: FAILED 23-27

The bill was highly controversial, as public statements by the shogun himself seemed to disapprove of it as an overreach. Opposition from the leader of the Chained Countrymen also brought down support. While the future of Sado Island’s administration is clearly in the minds of the citizenry, the bill’s apparent broaching of traditional shogunate responsibilities was seen as disruptive. However, many men would still like to become daimyos, with fiefs of their own.

The passed bills now await President Takeaki’s signature in order to take effect.

Maximo Roboto fucked around with this message at Feb 20, 2014 around 09:26

Maximo Roboto
Feb 4, 2012

I want peace on earth and goodwill toward men.



Update 1: Quarter 2 (April - June) 1877 - pt. 4

Random Events

Sakoku-ha warlord and War for Sado veteran Matsudaira Katamori is brought to the Shiro Home of the Lost where, over the protests of Chief of Medicine Dr. Takamatsu himself, a mechanical apparatus is fused with Katamori’s flesh, creating an aggregate appendage neither fully man nor machine. Crafted from the finest furnaces of the Brunet Company’s metallurgy division, forged from the greatest of Hanzo steel, the artificial limb has Katamori literally jumping with joy, as there are springs inside.





(+leg for Matsudaira Katamori, +greater leaping distance, +has science gone too far?)

The High Judge of the Supreme Court Takenaka Shigetaka continued with his tour of Ezo in an effort to strengthen the power of the judiciary, and bring legalistic principles from the United States and the West to Ezo’s society. His efforts appear to be working, and many samurai in Ezo now understand the role of the court according to the constitution, as well as how it might benefit the samurai class to have an efficient judiciary to deal with issues of law and politics.

(+prestige for courts, +court efficiency, +honor for Takenaka Shigetaka)

Jules Brunet, and his band of Frenchmen living in Hakodate’s French quarter, found new company as a recruitment effort by Brunet succeeded in luring a number of former French officers and mercenaries to Ezo. Along with these mercenaries, Jules Brunet has placed pressure on the French government to provide him with a frigate of his own, though he currently lacks the necessary capital to fund its construction.

(+French mercenaries for Brunet, +capital for an armored frigate of his own)

Thomas Blakiston’s commercial interests in East Asia continue to grow, as Ezo is further integrated into Britain’s Sino-Japanese trade networks.

(+Trade from Britain, +Trade empire for Blakiston)

Due to the lack of interest from Congress, and hoping to curry some favor in the Judiciary, President Enomoto has personally funded the construction of a large Supreme Court building near the center of Hakodate. While the building is yet incomplete pending more funding from Enomoto or any other benefactors, the plans call for a Shinto-styled temple building, with the necessary space and conditions for its intended legal role.



(+construction of a Supreme Court building)

President Enomoto devoted much greater resources to the construction of a new University in Hakodate, styling the institution on the great universities of the West. The University is to be called “Tokugawa Ieyasu University”, and to also include a samurai school styled on the samurai school founded by Saigo Takamori in Kagoshima. Already, many of the elite of Ezo are eager to send their students to the prestigious institution, which Enomoto’s prestige and fortune has promised to be the premier school of the elite. For the more tradition minded or military-bound samurai, the samurai school annex appears more promising, and will be the first of its kind in Ezo. Already, some are calling for all Samurai to train in both institutions, and many hope their proximity to one another will serve to reinforce the dual intellectual and martial duties of the samurai.

(+Respect for Enomoto, +construction of University/Samurai School complex)

In Sapporo, Horace Capron has embarked on a new venture to construct Ezo’s first Western-style Brewery. Largely financed by merchants as well as Capron’s own capital, the brewery has begun construction, and Capron and his compatriots hope to produce a beer to satisfy the tastes of Ezo’s thirsty inhabitants.

(+Construction of new Brewery)

The Shinsengumi, hoping to avoid rapid factionalization and rivalry with the NINJA intelligence group, have begun rapidly recruiting Christians into the organization. Toward this effort they have received the blessing of Kasuga Saemon, whose endorsement of the organization did wonders to heal some of its simmering anti-Christian tensions. This comes alongside the reorganization of the shinsengumi so as to promote service to the state above sectarian loyalties, and enhanced training tactics. Some in the shinsengumi still fear the role that NINJA might play in stealing some of the lucrative smuggling profits from the intelligence organization, as well as their preeminent role in disrupting the Meiji usurpers, but for now immediate problems appear to have been averted.

(+Quality of Shinsengumi, -tensions with Christians and NINJA)

Erwin Balz, the representative of Germany in Ezo, has opened the first modern European-style hospital in the capital Hakodate. Many injured samurai, or those simply ill within the city, have appreciated the generosity of the German representative. The irony of German-produced bullets being removed by German-trained doctors was not lost on the military veterans, but the effort was still appreciated. Pressure has also been applied for Ezo to produce some of its own hospitals and modernize its medicine, so as not to rely on foreign assistance to tend to the wounded. Between this new Iron Chancellor Hall of Scienceworks and Medics Obscura, and the Shiro Home for the Lost, healthcare in Ezo is quite well-furnished, and does not appear to require additional funding in the budget.

(+German-Ezo relations, +recovery rate for samurai veterans)

Attempts to fool the Meiji into believing disloyalty by the Matsumae clan in Ezo failed, as the Matsumae representative arrived in Satsuma to lead Ezo forces in assisting Saigo Takamori’s rebellion, and as Matsumae samurai had their samurai status restored, removing one of their primary grievances.

(-Honeypot plot)

A new venture has been undertaken by Japanese investors - the construction of a resort at the hot springs discovered last quarter during the expedition, constructed and built by Ainu labor. The Ainu benefitted greatly from this venture with an influx of American capital and logging techniques in exchange for their support. The hot springs complex was largely built and planned by local Japanese, and as a result greatly reflects Japanese aesthetics and preferences when it comes to Hot Spring construction. It has rapidly become one of the key retreats for the elite, though no prominent government officials have yet visited, and explicitly forbids the entrance of foreigners, any signs of technology, or any signs of the rapid change under way in Ezo. This has made the springs particularly popular among the more traditional of Ezo, or those who miss the hot springs of their homes on the mainland. The only thing the place lacks, at this moment, is a name.

(+Hot Springs in the mountains, +Relaxation for Ezo’s elite)

Maximo Roboto
Feb 4, 2012

I want peace on earth and goodwill toward men.



Update 1: Quarter 2 (April - June) 1877 - StatBlock

Budget

Bakuhan Taisei tax structure:
0% tax on bushi (0) (samurai)
10% tax on samurai merchant activity (2)
20% tax on nōmin (14) (peasants, farmers, and food producers)
33% tax on ko (11) (non-land based workers)
40% tax on chōnin (9) (merchants)

Total Income: 37/quarter
+2 From Russia (one turn only)


Debt
Debt: 61 at (10% interest quarterly)
--- 50 owed to French creditors
--- 10 owed to British creditors
--- 1 owed to French creditors (interest free)


Government Expenditures (required in parentheses to maintain status quo):

Internal Security: 5 (5)
Samurai Stipends: 6 (6)
Army Maintenance: 6 (5)
Navy Maintenance: 3 (3)
Military Logistics: 3 (2)
Interest Payments: 6 (6)
Free Credits: 8

This is not an exclusive list of spending areas: anything can be created. This includes, but is not limited to, industrial subsidies, agricultural subsidies, education, payments to other segments of society, government projects, etc. At this time, the role of government is fairly minimal, but need not be so.

QuoProQuid
Jan 12, 2012



Takenaka Shigekata
Chief Justice of the Ezo Supreme Court

The Associate Justices and myself thank the President for his gracious gift of a Supreme Court building. Although incomplete, we have already begun to transfer essential files to the structure. Your devotion to law and order is appreciated.

Once again, anyone wishing to file suit with the Court should indicate the government agency they are suing and the Constitutional issue being violated. If the case is accepted, we will immediately hear oral arguments and provide an appropriate ruling.

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Litos
Feb 2, 2013



Otori Keisuke, Army Magistrate

The attacks on the wedding of the Shogun's sister are an outrage. I have ordered the home army to cooperate with the security ministry and all other organs of the military and government to launch a full scale investigation as to who is responsible; we hope that all rural paramilitaries and daimyo will cooperate and the honorable Security Magistrate will take control of this operation and be able to direct us accordingly to bring justice to the perpetrators.

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