WI: The Japanese Southern Court won the Nanboku-chō wars?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Emperor Constantine, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. Emperor Constantine 21st century Monarchist

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    For those of you who don't know what this is, I'll explain. The Nanboku-chō period, spanning from 1334 to 1392, was a Period in Japanese history where two Emperors and Imperial Courts existed: these were the Northern and Southern Courts. The Northern Court was the puppet of the Ashikaga Shogunate. The Southern Court, which is nowadays considered the Legitimate rulers, wanted to restore Power to the Emperor. The Southern Court eventually surrendered to the North and Shogun, in exchange for an agreement that said the descendents of both courts would alternate on the throne. Ultimately the Northern Emperor reneged on this agreement and the Northern descendents have been reigning ever sense.

    So what if the Southern Court had won? Would we see a much eariler Meiji type restoration? Would the Emperor hold actual power? Or would we see something of a repeat of the Heian Period, where one family would dominate and use the Emperor as a puppet? How would a reigning and ruling Sovereign change Japanese history?
     
  2. FDW Banned

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    Well, you probably wouldn't see anywhere near the amount of political fracturing that Japan went through in the 15th and 16th centuries, so no Sengoku. That's going to mean interesting things in terms of international affairs.
     
  3. Emperor Constantine 21st century Monarchist

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    That's similar to what I was thinking as well. As long as the Imperial Court can actually project power beyond Kyoto then the country should avoid the, essentially massive Civil war that was the Sengoku Period. As for International affairs, do you think an Imperial Japan would be more open compared to the Shogunates? At the very least there would be more normalizaed relations with China and Korea, and possibly New Spain.
     
  4. FDW Banned

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    You're going to see to some instability on the international front no matter what, as the problems plaguing Japan have to deal with a pie that is getting smaller. The only way that Kyoto is going to stably project power in the long term is by offering something outside of Japan (be it conquest or war) to distract and placate the internal destabilizers.
     
  5. Emperor Constantine 21st century Monarchist

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    Like how Toyotomi Hideyoshi invaded Korea? It could work, though if the Japanese lose it would invite rebellion.... Unless the major Lord who would oppose the Emperor are sent to Korea to lead the armies and "tragically" die in battle. Then it would be a win-win. The nobles are exhausted and the Imperial Court has time to consolidate their power over the islands.
     
  6. FDW Banned

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    Potentially, but said "distraction" could just be an early invasion/colonization of Hokkaido, or maybe taking the Ryukyus if the timeframe is right.
     
  7. katchen Banned

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    Hokkaido is cold and getting colder. Korea is too strong, under the new Yi Dynasty. The Ryukyus are a start, but they are too small to be much of a distraction. Taiwan, a bit farther along, and then the Philippines and possibly Borneo might be just the ticket if Mahajapit isn't too much of a problem.
     
  8. Emperor Constantine 21st century Monarchist

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    The Yi or Joseon Dynasty didn't come to power until 1392, and reading on Wikipedia it sounds like the preceding Goryeo Dynasty was very weak throughout the 14th century. So it sounds like Korea was a possibility. That or Taiwan are the most likely targets.
     
  9. FDW Banned

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    Hokkaido isn't that cold. It may be a highly seasonal place, but it's no Siberia.

    Yeah, a lot of this depends upon when exactly in the 14th century the Southern Court wins out. If it's early on, then they can get a jump on whomever succeeds the Mongols in China and do what they want. Later on, and Japan risks running headlong into China if it doesn't play it's cards right.
     
  10. Emperor Constantine 21st century Monarchist

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    I was thinking in the early days or in the 1350s, when the supporters of the Shogun's brother defected to the Southern Court. Thinking about it, the 1350s is probably the best time.
     
  11. FDW Banned

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    Yeah, Japan could probably get away with snagging the Ryukyus and Jeju Island without China complaining much during that period. (And Hokkaido would also be available too)
     
  12. katchen Banned

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    If Hokkaido is available, don't forget Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands (at least the Southern Kurils). And mainland Nurgan (the Sikhote Alin Coast and the Ussuri Valley north of Korea and especially where the Ussuri Valley opens up by what is OTL Vladivostok. That territory is the land of the Jurched. If the Japanese take that ITTL before the Ming come to full power, they can possibly butterfly away the Manchus (though other tribes such as the Oirats might fill the Manchus niche in conquering China in the 17th Century(.
     
  13. FDW Banned

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    Given the History of the Touhoku region OTL, it's probably going to take 1-2 centuries to completely consolidate Hokkaido. Sakhalin and the Kurils aren't going to be an option until more than halfway through that. Anything on the Mainland itself would be downright retarded.
     
  14. democracy101 Better than communism

    Not really. If Japan invaded in the early 14th century, the Yuan would be more than willing to aid its vassal, while Goryeo had already mobilized a significant amount of troops by 1350 in response to wokou raids and instability within China. As a result, from 1360-75, Goryeo managed to recapture its northern territories and expand its borders to the Tumen (Duman) River and Liaodong, effectively doubling its territory, although it was eventually forced to retreat from the latter after overstretching its capabilities. Korea then attempted to recapture Liaodong as a counter-response to demands from the Ming by raising 50,000 troops, although Yi Seong-gye's coup led to Goryeo's sudden downfall. Although the Red Turban Rebellions briefly devastated Goryeo's capital and strained the state's resources, the rebels' disorganization meant that they were quickly repulsed and forced to retreat under the invaders' incursions further north, as stated earlier, so the army as a whole was more than prepared to resist foreign invasions by 1360 or so.

    The navy had also repulsed Mongol invasions near Gaegyeong for 30 years, while a small remnant held out for three years against a Mongol-Goryeo alliance. Later, the Yuan mobilized Chinese and Korean ships for two invasions against Japan, and although both ended in failures, the navy was still retained in order to resist wokou raids for decades. In other words, the Japanese would be forced to retreat after devastating losses if it had attempted to invade in the 14th century, especially under a divided archipelago.
     
  15. FDW Banned

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    But the thing here is that is that we're not talking about a divided Japan here, we're talking about a Unified Japan here
     
  16. democracy101 Better than communism

    Even in that case, my general points still stand, as Korea managed to win the Imjin War despite being caught with its hands down. By 1350, Goryeo had managed to mobilize a significant amount of troops and even managed to conduct extensive offensive operations for two decades afterward, relatively speaking. As a result, the Japanese wouldn't even be able to reach Gaegyeong, much less Jeolla, if it had attempted to invade afterwards, while the Yuan would aid Goryeo significantly beforehand, as stated earlier.
     
  17. FDW Banned

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    Keep in mind, I'm not arguing for a late 14th century Imjin War. I'm just arguing for Jeju-do. There's an opportunity here for Japan to intervene if Korea decides to bring the Island under central control like OTL.
     
  18. democracy101 Better than communism

    In this case, Goryeo wouldn't be sitting on its hands, and could very well be contemplating about invading Japan outright, as it would be apprehensive about a potential invasion into the peninsula otherwise. The war would be disastrous for both sides, so both sides would probably agree to formal diplomatic terms beforehand as an alternative.
     
  19. FDW Banned

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    Given how attempted diplomacy went OTL during the Imjin War, it would be bloody indeed, and probably end with status quo antebellum just like the Imjin War did (Though Jeju-do would keep it's autonomy).
     
  20. democracy101 Better than communism

    Korea would never settle for anything less than reclaiming Jeju Island, as the memories of the wokou raids would still be fresh. Having the island remain autonomous is just as likely as Kyushu or a portion of it becoming de facto independent as well, in which both probabilities would be extremely unlikely given the states' strong attachment to both.