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A Bit of a Synopsis - The Backstory

on Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:42 pm
The year is 1879, about ten years after the end of the most devastating revolution in Japanese history - the Meiji Revolution (Bakumatsu). The war was primarily fought between two sides: The Pro-Tokugawa Shogunate wished to continue their reign over Japan. One of the most feared forces at the disposal of the Shogun, Tokugawa Yoshinobu, was the Shinsengumi - a Special Police force based out of Kyoto. They saw action in major battles such as Toba-Fushimi and Ueno during the Revolution.

The opposing side was the Pro-Imperialists, who wished to see the Emperor of Japan take the mantel of ruler of the aching country. They shouted for many things, such as the expulsion of all foreigners and their influence, and the abolition of the Shogunate and nobility. Such a sentiment was conveyed through their motto: Sonno-joi - "Expel the barbarians, revere the Emperor". The primary forces of the Revolutionaries were named the Ishin-shishi - literally translating to "Men of High Purpose". Some of the greatest swordsmen and warriors in Japan, equal to those within the Shinsengumi, fought within the Ishin-shishi ranks; many times as highly skilled assassins.

Now, however, the land has mostly begun to enjoy some fragile peace. The war has long since concluded with the exile of the Tokugawa from the capital, and the mass executions of those who fought bravely for the Shogun. The new Meiji Government, though but a fledgling, has kept to their past sentiments by closing Japan's doors to outsiders - and of course the eradication of foreign religions; most notably Christianity. Though large scale conflict has come to a close, ten years of peace have greatly unsettled the Samurai who now wander to and fro as Ronin - masterless warriors.

The terror of the bloodbath that was the Bakumatsu has faded from most people's minds, however with time and effort on the part of those who wish not to forget - perhaps old memories will bubble back to the surface. With the new government, comes new corruption and back-alley deeds that should be identified. A new class of people must take the initiative and either defend the Meiji Government, or rise against it. Or perhaps one can find their own way through these rising tides.
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