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Let’s Travel Historical Japan with Toukiden Kiwami (Part 5) – The Meiji Restoration

The post Let’s Travel Historical Japan with Toukiden Kiwami (Part 5) – The Meiji Restoration appeared first on The Scribbling Geek.

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The Age of Grace

The Age of Honor

The Age of War

The Age of Peace

The Age of Chaos

All game screenshot are owned by Omega Force and Tecmo Koei Games.
Please support their great work by getting a copy of Toukiden Kiwami!

The Meiji Restoration

After over two centuries of peace, Japan descended into chaos again with the arrival of American Commodore Matthew Perry’s warships. Called the kurofune, or black warships, Perry’s success in forcing Japan to open up its ports for trade not only humiliated the Japanese, it made them painfully aware how behind the world they were. By this time, the Tokugawa Shogunate was also in decline, and all over the provinces were disgruntled samurais bitter about having to work side jobs for survival. In 1867, the last shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu resigned from his post in the face of growing unrest. On Jan 27 the next year, the Boshin War broke out, spearheaded by imperialists eager to abolish the shogunate and revert full power to the Japanese emperor. In retaliation, Yoshinobu attacked Kyoto and tried to seize the imperial court.

In all, the Boshin War lasted 17 months and could be viewed as having two segments. After Yoshinobu failed to capture the Kyoto and surrendered to the imperialists, his remaining forces retreated northwards to Hokkaido and established the Ezo Republic. Ezo itself lasted less than half a year before it was defeated at the Battle of Hakodate. Ironically, Ezo became the first government to institute democracy in Japan. This, when they were birthed from the remnants of a medieval totalitarian regime.

Toukiden Kiwami Travel Itinerary 5: The Age of Chaos

One of the most important areas in Toukiden Kiwami, story-wise, the Age of Chaos is both beautiful and desolate to behold. A frozen wasteland throughout, late Edo Period structures surround prowling onis while artefacts of war guard icy stalagmites. At the northernmost end, there is also an immense star-shaped fortress, hovering silently beyond the cliffs like an otherworldly maw. Those who have been to Hokkaido in person would instantly recognise this curious structure as Goryōkaku. The final battle of the Boshin War was fought here in 1869.


Goryōkaku in Hakodate, Hokkaido. This curious fortress was the last stronghold for the imperialists. | Source: Magnus Manske
Winter in Japan. Nowadays, the frozen scenery of the island nation is visited by tens of thousands of tourists yearly.
Tokugawa Yoshinobu organising defenses during the Kinmon incident of 1864. Discontent was already at a dangerous high during that year.

Toukidan Kiwami: The Age of Chaos

Ah yes, one of our preserved warships. Not one of those black ones that kick-started the Meiji Restoration. This one was used to trounce the Shogun’s men.

Ah yes. Our star attraction. Just as Perry’s black warships kick-started the Meiji Restoration, defeat at Goryōkaku in Hakodate formalised the return of power to the Japanese Emperor.

More References

Meiji-Mura, an architectural theme park in Inuyama, Japan. After the Meiji Restoration, Emperor Meiji set in motion many plans to encourage modernisation. Buildings constructed during his era were interesting mixes of east and west.
A Satsuma cannon. You’ve already seen this in one of the pictures above. | Source: World Imaging

We are reaching the end of our historical Japan tour! For our final rounds, we will travel back thousands of years to the mythical years of the Jōmon Period!

If you’ve enjoyed this tour of historical Japan,
consider getting a copy of Toukiden Kiwami!

The post Let’s Travel Historical Japan with Toukiden Kiwami (Part 5) – The Meiji Restoration appeared first on The Scribbling Geek.

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