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Tuesday, 17 May 2011

The History of the Hosoi Empire

The Hosoi Ichiba sim group is the home of a history-based role play region. The role play areas includes the town Hosoi Mura which is separated from the Matsumoto Castle by the great Hosoi Ichiba Marketplace. The region is known as The Hosoi Empire and it's history is a blend of Japanese history, Hosoi's role play culture and a large dose of fiction and fantasy. Here is the history that is known, but perhaps in the future new facts will be uncovered that will shed light on unanswered questions.

The History of the Hosoi Empire

Present day Hosoi revolves around life during the first decade of Japan's Edo period (~1610), somewhere in that twilight between turmoil and stability.

The Shogun & His Castle
The entire region has been controlled for a long period by the Keibatsu samurai clan and it's powerful shogun, all of whom reside in the magnificent Matsumoto Castle on the Chubu plain. The shogun has repelled many attempts to bring his empire down, but has remained in control. Recently, he has consolidated his power with his formidable army and many spies.

The Hosoi Empire is a land of great wealth, but there are many unresolved feuds and conflicts inside and outside the stated. Keibatsu warriors train and hold tournaments to demonstrate their power. It is the power of the samurai that keep the Empire safe, trade flowing and commerce robust. However, even this great force is limited by distances and time. And dealing with the many incidents and threats, especially the small ones where the rogues specialize, remains a challenge.

The Town & It's Culture
It can be said that the town at Kansai, Hosoi Mura predates the Matsumoto Castle. However, the castle has brought needed security to the town, and helped it grow. Today, Hosoi Mura is a mid-size town but large enough to have its own port, geisha okiya, kabuki theater, shops, eateries, sake houses and more. The number of residents in town is growing but there is still housing available.

The town is famous for it's geisha and their Nakanoshima Okiya. The okiya's ochaya is a source of daily joy, and the okiya's stage performances enrich holidays and other occassions. The kabuki theater is relatively new, but troupes of performers are active.

While history is sketchy, it is believed the region evolved from the fishing village which still prospers. The good harbor and portage facilities has enabled the town to prospered from trade. There are many rice farms as well, but the town's mystique includes it's clan of extraordinary Ama divers. These women dive the deep seas and recover a great of pearls each year.

Ronin Samurai & Yakuza
The prosperity of this region has attracted ronin samurai, thieves and raiders seeking to profit from Hosoi's riches and bring chaos. Most of these invaders have come to gruesome endings at the hands of samurai who patrol, however in recent times, ronin samurai have found safety inside the town's infrastructure.

Among the ronin, a cunning group formed a yakuza clan, and they have been successful in casting a web of fear over merchants. The yakuza have been dispersed by samurai several times, but they return from hiding places and return to their treachery. Some yakuza are easy to recognize, others blend into the population, given away only by their behaviors.

Myths, Intrigues & Conflicts
There has been a myth in the empire, started by a govenment official, that there is a great empress reigning over the land. However, it was finally revealed that the woman he identified as the empress turned out to be a beautiful Ama diving girl. She made it clear, she was not the empress and yet for many the myth persists.

Government officials have fallen from power as the town's merchants and citizens forced officials out of office as fears of greater criminal activity spread. Many merchants have chosen to just pay for protection, others attempt to stand against them. It is the need for security that brought the shogun to take power from the town's headman. But even with samurai protection, many merchants have succumbed to the pressure from yakuza thugs, and yakuka strength and power has increased.

Only the marketplace on Kanto with it's towering walls and samurai protection, has proven to be unassailable to the evil forces.

Welcome to Strangers
The Hosoi Empire is vast and there are dangers, but strangers have always welcome. It is a tradition of these people to take care of guests. There is even a welcoming area at the marketplace.

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