Invasion of Korea On April 13, 1592, the first Japanese troops arrive on the Korean Peninsula. The peninsula was quickly occupied and Manchuria entered. Despite guerrilla resistance to the Japanese in Korea, it proved a more than suitable invasion route to China. With little naval resistance (Yi Sun-sin had died several years earlier), Japan was able to maintain a steady supply line, beating back resistance. The Ming Dynasty fought hard against the Japanese, but the Japanese soon were able to invade Manchuria where it became a massive battle of attrition. After Toyotomi's Death and Consolidation the war with China was an expensive undertaking, and the Toyotomi’s family required support to maintain its position. As a result, the Council of Regents, established by Fideyoxi on his deathbed to rule in his son's name, sought a peace treaty with China before their armies were crushed under the ever larger Chinese armies. The Mings themselves in a middle of a massive revolt sought to end the war so a mutually acceptable treaty was signed by the Japanese and the Ming court and under this treaty Japanese forces withdrew from the parts of Manchuria then occupied in exchange for which China acknowledged Japanese dominion over Korea. Soon after the end of the war resistance to Toyotomi’s rule soon appeared, with Tokugawa Iyeyasu, based in the town of Yedo in the Quantô region, leading the opposition. Soon this opposition soon got the support of Katô Kiyomasa, a prominent general in the invasion of Korea and the first to cross over into Manchuria, who considered Toyotomi personally responsible for the lost opportunity to break the Ming armies and take the whole of China for the Emperor. This alliance between Tokugawa Iyeyasu faction and the armies loyal to Kato Kiyomasa soon attacked Kyoto and killed Toyotomi and all the members of his family. The rebels fearful of another civil war decided to rule Japan through a council of elders made up of men loyal to Tokugawa Iyeyasu and Kato Kiyomasa.
The councils reign and expansion
In 1612, Kato Kiyomasa died during a hunt and all power came in the hands of Tokugawa. who He learned from the Europeans of a vast land which they called America and which the Japanese came to refer to as Tôbankoku and established colonies in the land known as California.
Japan soon took Taiwan from the Chinese and then moved south sensing a weak prey. They soon reached the Philippines, which at the time was being fought over by over at least a dozen powers but by 1648 they had driven the last of their competitors - the Protestant Dutch forces - from there and with Japan the victorious many local lords and kings who had in the past fought against the Japanese swore elegance to their god emperor of the and sent yearly tribute to keep the wrath of the gods emperor's children at bay. With the riches of a vast empire and the yearly tribute arriving on the dot the ruling council of Japan went on a massive shopping sphere and soon Japan had the Largest navy in the world and with this navy Japan was able to increase its sphere of influence even more at the loss of other powers though the European powers did not like this but they were in no position to break the status quo and so they waited and watched waiting for a chance at revenge.
During the same time Japan also began to create large colonial empire which ran from Australia in the south to Siberia in the north and continued to California in the west and the Japanese living there lived there lived quite comfortably lives but the status of the natives varied from colony to colony for example the natives of Australia and many islands of the Pacific Were all were worked to death or simply hunted down for the crime of using the air meant for Japanese while in America due to the closeness of various European powers always ready to arm the natives against Japan, the Japanese authorities kept good relation with the natives there and even employed some of them in the army as scouts.
First Global War
During the 18th century the Japanese Empire grew by leaps and bounds. It even conquered the colonies of its ex-ally, the Dutch, when their homeland was conquered and they were running to their new homeland in Africa. With their own empire and that of the Dutch combined the shadow of Japanese empire spread all over the Pacific as well as the Indian Ocean. The result of the massive empire was not only favorable in terms of wealth but its effect were also negative for example it brought the empire in conflict with various European powers such as the French, the English and the reinvigorated Spanish empire. But the conflict was not only limited to European powers but various regional powers such as the Thai, the mughals and the Chinese, etc, but these powers either to politically divided or militarily weak were never able to become a threat to the Japanese Empire.
Nothing is as peachy as it always looks at first glance and the same was true with Japan. who with its militarily and economic growth at a neck breaking speed for more than two centuries had become the power of the east even greater than the Ming empire of China or the Moghul Empire of India but there was one thing which was similar between these three empires and that was no empire based on exploitation of the people can ever have a secure core and thus Japan who had to face various revolts all over the conquered territories such as Karnataka, Korea, Philippines, etc, except for these revolts there had been created an even greater threat to the authority of the Imperial Diet from within and the threat was an increasing hatred of the colonists toward the Imperial Diet which took massive revenues from them each year and used these revenues to field their massive armies and navies, but even so, the colonies themselves had little or no say how either these funds were spent or how the empire was run and this was a source of frustration in the colonies and a potential powder keg waiting go off which the Imperial Diet had chosen to overlook even after many imperial governors had testified to this very facts. These feelings were at their highest in the richest and most populated colony of the empire CALIFORNIA. Where the population had long been corrupted by the English concept of democracy. a degenerate system in which a mere peasant could dare to think himself equal to those who by birth and talent were his superior. It was the fear of this ideology taking root among the population and causing a revolt in the colony and also the fear of an English invasion from New Lancaster from the north that compelled the Imperial Diet to send its most decorated soldier Gen. Hidiyashu the butcher of Seoul to keep the status quo in place within the borders of the colony.
In the beginning Hidiyashu’s reign over California remained peaceful and the soldiers under him spent most of their time in the barracks except for the occasional raid against the Indian tribes which raided Japanese farms on the border region but all this changed on 05-June-1750 when it was declared by an imperial decree that the tax on tea being imported to California would be increased by 50% as to pay for the modernization of the imperial capital Kyoto. Upon hearing this news the heads of all the trading clans in California were quite displeased for tea was the main import of the colony after gunpowder but unlike gunpowder tea brought the clans vast riches because both the English and the Indians loved tea and paid handsomely for it. Any normal person here would only see only hopelessness for the loss of such fortunes but these men were different they sow an opportunity to increase their own power and took hold of it with both hands.
These men knowing their own strength was too insignificant to actually force the General Hidiyashu to even consider their demand choose to ally themselves with 2 most powerful factions in New Kyoto the capital of California. The first of these factions was the Democrat society a secret organization having a strong militant arm and the second faction was a Kengi a Buddhist monk who had a powerful following in new Kyoto.
On acquiring the support of these two factions a massive rally numbering some 10,000 people was taken out on 09-June-1750 in the dead of night before castle Kyoto the residence of Gen. Hidiyashu. The general, fearing the rally to be an attempt by the population to storm the castle ordered the soldiers on duty to open fire upon the rally. The firing lasted only ten minutes but resulted in the death of nearly 300 people including the monk Kengi. Upon seeing Kengi killed the people took the castle by sheer numbers and killed anyone they could find inside but they were unable to locate General Hidiyashu for he had escaped the castle using a secret tunnel built into the castle but he didn’t escape without any loss for his family members his wife and their two year old son were caught and killed by the crazed mob.
The next day the people of new Kyoto awoke to the sounds of cannon balls and rockets exploding amongst their houses and temples. The source of all this destruction was the 15th imperial naval squadron under the command of the general Hidiyashu which was punishing the citizens of this vile city for the crime of rebellion against the emperor.
Even though the buildings of new Kyoto were made of bricks and motor rather than wood and paper as the case was on the home islands they gave little protection against the relentless bombardment which continued to be visited upon them by general Hidiyashu. After three hours of bombardment most of the lay destroyed either by the bombardment or by the fire it caused. One may never know how many died in that dark day except that they numbered in the thousands and not a single tear has ever been shed in their name. Upon seeing the destruction the general had visited upon them in those hellish 3 hours the elders of the city got together to discuss the demand made by general Hidiyashu. Most wanted to surrender and give up the traitors that the general wanted but some of the elders still wanted to fight but before old men could make up their minds the members of the democrat society lead by a man named Kengi took action into their own hands and in doing started the bloodiest war in human history.
Kengi and his men using fishing boats in the middle night were able to reach and take over the naval squadron without much loss of life. After taking the ships kenji and his men tied a cannon ball to general Hidiyashu’s leg and threw him overboard. The ext day the republic of California was declared amidst the ruins of new Kyoto.
Though the people of California had defeated the tyrant sent to rule over them from far away Japan but still they faced many difficulties in keeping their new found freedom. the first among these problems was Prime minister Fukuzawa Yukichi the absolute ruler of Japan who refused to accept the loss of California and still continued to claim dominion over it and thus he sent two mighty fleets over the next three years to crush this fledgling nation before it had any real chance to mature but it seemed that the gods of luck favored this young republic and as a result California was speared the ravages of both the murderous fleets sent against her for one fleet was destroyed by a mighty storm as soon as it left its home port of Hawaii and the other one had to be rerouted to Taiwan even before it left its port so as to keep the Chinese navy away from that imperial possession.
Like all people living in Empire of Japan Prime Minister Fukuzawa Yukichi feared inability of the empire to bring California back into the hold of the empire would be seen as a sign of weakness by the savages who lived on its boundaries and lusted after
its wealth and he was right to assume so for many men lusted after the wealth of empire and wanted to make it their own. One such man was Hugo Cortez 3rd the governor general of Mexico and the humble servant of his most glorious Emperor James 3rd, emperor of Spain.
Huzo Cortez 3rd was a man who lusted after the wealth of Japan so he had supported many endeavors over the years to take that wealth away from the Japanese and even though he had lost greatly in these endeavors and gained very little he did not lose heart and continued to look out for any opportunity fate would send his way and so when he heard about the declaration of independence by the Japanese colonist in California he decided to invade the colony and take it for himself but his friend and close confidant Henry the 2nd duke of Oaxaca convinced him that he should get the support of the emperor before venturing on this campaign. Huzo’s faith in his friend was so strong at this time that he put the entire campaign on a standstill until his friend got the approval of the emperor and as many men and ships the emperor would give.
During the journey of his friend to Spain and the time spent there Huzo sent many ships filled with weapons and mercenaries to California to strengthen the rebellion. The Californians though doubtful over the viceroy’s motives welcomed the men and weapons to keep their republic alive.
When Henry the 2nd duke of Oaxaca brought before the imperial court the plan of the viceroy to take California and Hawaii away from the Japanese and bring them under the grave of his majesty. he found support in the form of the dashing young admiral of Spain duke von Jager who fresh from his conquest of Morocco saw the viceroy’s plan as a means to future his wealth and position in court not only supported the plan but requested the honor of taking the war to the very heart of the this pagan empire and gutting the dragon in the name of king and country.
The emperor already pleased with the admirals performance in Morocco and in the need to show those scheming Austrians in Vienna the might of Spain approved the admiral's i dea and placed him in charge of this war.
A week after the decision had been taken to go to war with Japan Admiral von Jager got the news from a secret source in the court that the emperor had under the advice of Pope Urban 16th had decided to form an alliance between the greatest Catholic powers of Europe: Spain, France and Venice to defeat the Japanese.
Though the admiral and most of the court believed that the reason for the alliance with France and Venice was done due to the influence the church had over the king but the truth that few people were privy too was that though Spain had regained a great deal of her lost strength since emperor had come to power some 40 years before but the empire was still not strong enough to defeat Japan on its own and so when the church had proposed the idea of alliance to the emperor the emperor had grabbed it with both hands and messages were sent out by both the church and the emperor to their ambassadors in Paris and Venice to make this alliance into a reality as soon as possible.
Venice the city of lakes, Venice the city of gold, Venice the city of the future was the greatest city state in all of Italy and its power was unmatched and it would have long ago conquered all of Italy if it had not been for Spain and its league of the seven states with whom it had just signed a peace treaty ending the long and expensive ten year war and and through the peace treaty it got for itself all of northern Italy while Spain and its allies got southern Italy and the Papal States became a thin buffer zone between these two. The treaty had increased the power of Venice greatly now 5 years down the line Pope Urban II was putting pressure on the Doge Paul tenth to agree to the alliance offered to him by Spain as a means to settle the favor he owned to the church for getting him such a nice deal in the peace treaty.
In a secret room in the doge’s palace
“My brother of the black hand” said the short bold man with a patch over his right eye “we meet here tonight to decide whether Venice shall join Spain in its war in the east against the Empire of Nippon.”
"You know full well, Michael, our brotherhood is against joining any sort of alliance with Spain or have you forgotten already the ocean of gold and blood we had to spend to keep Venice out of Spanish control?" said the old man with black beard.
‘‘I have forgotten nothing, General Nathan, but you must not let your personal feelings cloud your mind. Our brotherhood stands at a crossroad in its history, we rule Venice. The Doge is our puppet and our armies and navies have made us the second most powerful nation in all of the Mediterranean. We must not lose the initiative we have worked so hard to acquire. We most forge ahead or we risk being swept aside by the tides of history” said Michael looking directly at General Nathan almost begging him to attack.
And the general, always ready to go on the offence, took the bait and asked “Don’t you think this might be a trap to lower our defenses so their armies can move in for the kill while we are at war with Japan?”
“No, Nathan it’s no trick. My men in the Spanish court have been able to confirm that Emperor James' intention is made up he is going to go to war with Japan whether we join in or not.” said John, the secretive lord of Venice’s and the brotherhood's spy network.
“So let them batter each other down and when no one is watching we move in for the kill” said General Nathan trying to everyone see his view point was right and failing utterly.
“That will not work, Nathan. The second we refuse to enter an alliance with them. The Spaniards will know we are up to something and will alter all of their forces in Italy and if then we still go to war with them we will be forced to fight another war of attrition which none of us want and not let’s forget Pope Urban II who will probably ex-communicate the Doge the second we move south and all the brotherhood has worked for the last 200 years here in Italy will be for nothing and we will have to start anew from scratch” said John.
General Nathan seeing his defeat, decided to attack one last time “So, let’s unite the fool Urban with his god as soon as possible.”
“Enough” spoke the high lord of Black Hand. “Nathan, you shall act like a person worthy of the seat you sit upon or you shall be removed from it”.
The face of General Nathan frozen in fear.
“I have heard your views and I agree we must go to war with Spain" said the high lord and then continued after taking a large intake of air "only so they will not suspect the dagger until it has already has pierced their heart but I agree with you on this, John. Urban must die and the church must be shown its place if we are to take all of Italy. This is your duty, James. Make sure it happens soon ” said the high lord and got up from his chair and left the room and then everyone following his lead, left the room.
The Cardinal Richelia's private residence:
"Cardinal Richelia, so good of you to see me at this time of night" said the man known simply as Gaston.
"No, the pleasure is all mine Mr. Gaston. It is not every night that I have the honor of meeting the right hand of the church” said Cardinal Richelia, offering a glass of wine to his guest.
“Thank you, Cardinal, for the flattery but rank is of little importance in the service of God” said Gaston taking the glass of wine but refusing to consume the wine. "the only thing that matters is how we use the time given to us."
“Spoken like a true believer, Gaston. I only wish every one was like you” said Cardinal Richelia.
“So do I, Cardinal. This world is a house of sin and only through penance and self-sacrifice will mankind be forgiven and be welcomed back into the bosom of God” said Gaston with the conviction of a zealot.
“Certainly true, Gaston, but if you don’t mind, would you tell me the reason why you choose to meet me at this Godless hour?” Said the cardinal thinking why did the church of all places attract the crazies
“The reason I came here is that His Holiness Pope Urban wishes a favour from you” said Gaston.
“A favour from me?” asked Cardinal Richelia with a crooked smile on his face “so the rumors regarding his holiness's health are true?”
“Sadly yes” said Gaston and finally took a sip of the wine he had been holding “His Holiness’s health has been getting worse daily for the last four months and the doctors say that he is not for long in this world”
Thank you, God, may that stupid Austrian die a long and painful death thought Cardinal Richelia. The hatred between Richelia and Urban was nearly legendary ever since Urban had taken the post of Pope away from Richelia nearly 20 years before.
“What is the favour that His Holiness asks of me?” asked Cardinal Richelia.
"He wants you to convince Louis to accept Spain’s offer of alliance against Japan” said Gaston.
“Has Urban lost it? It cannot be done. Has Urban any idea how anti the entire court is against any form of alliance with Spain?” screamed Richelia.
“His Holiness knows exactly the situation in the French court, Cardinal Richelia, and thus he has sent me here to meet you. He knows you have great influence over the Louis and His Holiness offers great rewards if you help seal the deal” said Gaston.
Angered at the mere idea that Urban thought he could buy the cardinal off made Richelia lose all self control and he threw the half empty wine glass he was holding at Gaston’s face and screamed “Does that son of a whore Urban know who he tries to bribe. I am the Prime Minister of France. I am the prince of the House of Rohan. My family has fought and bled for France for over a thousand years and if that pig thinks he can bribe me he can go f---”. Before Richelia could complete the sentence he was lying on the floor, the air knocked out of him, and Gaston standing over his head.
“Richelia, speak another word against the Vicar of Christ and so help me God, orders or no orders, you will die here. His Holiness ordered me to deliver a message and here it is get the treaty approved and the papacy shall be yours or fail and get ready to spend all of eternity in hell.” said Gaston and left the room with a blooded Richelia lying on the floor.
Two weeks later the treaty was approved by King Louis.
Once Spain, France and Venice had signed the treaty of Madrid binding them together against the empire of Nippon. knowing the massive armada under the command of the Japanese empire. They set out to enlarge their navies and this simply did not include building new warships and rearming old one but also finding men to man these warships as well. The last part turned out to be the most difficult as not many men were ready to work under the whip of a captain for months at a time for bad food, no women, and as a result, these nations were forced to conscript any man they could get their hands on and by the end of the year nearly 500 warships were ready to be launched against the empire of Japan under the command of Grand Admiral Duke von Jager.
The enlargement of the allied navies was not missed by the various nations of Europe but they were only able to see beyond the façade created by allies and the European powers continued to think the buildup was just another arms race. During the course of the buildup the Empire of Nippon also came to hear about the arms race but Prime Minister Fukuzawa Yukichi refused to pay it any attention for all his attention was on the Japanese invasion of California where the imperial army had finally taken the rebel capital - New Kyoto - after six months of siege but even so the rebels refused to die and had retreated to the interior of the country and those bastard Ming,, believing the empire of Nippon to be weakened under his rule, had begun to bring their armies to the Korean border and their ships were beginning to be routinely seen off the shore of Taiwan.