The Rise of the Shogunate

Having barely recovered from a devastating civil war, the Empire of Japan is at a crossroads. Futile decades of warfare ultimately convinced the Emperor of his folly, and he reluctantly appointed Hatamoto Omokaze as shogun. This proved the fresh start that Japan needed, as Hatamoto quickly established his power by defeating his country's enemies and inspiring its people to unite under his leadership.

Hatamoto is only one leader among many, however. With Emperor Meiji’s health failing, Shogun Hatamoto and Acting-Emperor Hirohito work hard to prolong his life and enforce his divine right to rule. Hatamoto and his war council have been key in gathering allies, including physicist Hantaro Nagaoka, who is in charge of the mysterious Han’ei Project. Onmyodo paranormalist Yami Seimei has been appointed Minister of Spiritual Well-Being in Japan. Shin Agency, an ally of the Emperor through the long years of the war, continues to serve by providing diplomatic functionaries and secret agents to serve the shogun.

One of the most well-known agents of the Imperial Throne is Shogun Hatamoto’s right-hand man: Iroh “the Daimyo” Minamoto. Records show that Iroh is one of the first subjects to officially come from the mysterious Han’ei Project, though there is no record of him before 1946. His sound leadership suggests years of study, and he shows no fear of death, despite conflicting reports that he has fallen in several decisive battles. Iroh has been sighted in several major conflicts between the Shogunate and other nations on the mainland, the blades of his daisho bringing down fully armed soldiers with ease.

For the Honor of the Emperor

The years of civil war in Japan may have left the land scarred, but it has only strengthened its survivors. Young men, raised fatherless and filled with dreams of honorable war, flocked to the recruiting stations when Shogun Hatamoto announced that Japan would be taking to the mainland. While most soldiers continued to train at the Shikangakkou Academy in Japan, it was the Ko-heidan, or the 3rd “Lucky” Division, that was sent into the mainland under the command of “the Daimyo.” Having traveled by land across Asia, the “Lucky” Division provides support for their western allies in the Reich, and a much-needed Japanese influence in the European theaters of war.

Meanwhile, a shadowy organization of hired assassins has gained legitimacy, growing into one of the most powerful corporations in the country. When Japan’s civil war broke out in 1868, the Iga ninja clan immediately brokered a deal with the Emperor, acting as personal diplomats and agents for high-ranking officials. It was the Iga who helped finalize the peace in Japan when Emperor Meiji announced that Hatamoto Omokaze would take the role of Shogun, unifying Japan once more. Within months, the Iga ninja clan was no more.

Instead, a new corporation, known strictly as “Shin,” was established, armed with divisions of diplomats and battalions of ninjas. They were charged with the protection of Japan, both on foreign and domestic soil. While a rank-and-file soldier would never speak ill of his Emperor for fear of a Shin agent overhearing, he can always trust an agent to watch his back on the battlefield, ensuring that his sword is returned to his family should he fall.

A Necessary Neutrality

Seeing an opportunity to gain an edge in the constant conflict of the Great War, the Reich acted quickly to negotiate a neutrality pact with Shogun Hatamoto. Known as the Nippon Accords, this treaty ensures an uneasy alliance between Shogunate and Reich forces. In response to this development, the Union and Matriarchy hastily worked out their own alliance, a pact known as UMTOMA (Union and Matriarchy Treaty of Mutual Assistance).

As a result, you can construct your Tannhäuser forces from multiple factions, combining Shogunate with Reich or Union with Matriarchy. This new style of play, known as “allied forces,” means that your Shogunate forces can make up their own faction (as future figures become available), or you can use them to supplement your Reich team! This mysterious and ancient government has revealed only a fraction of its true power. Keep watching over the coming months for more heroes, scenarios, and equipment for your Shogunate forces!

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