偉大な恐ろしい戦争: A more bloody and impactful Boshin War

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by IntellectuallyHonestRhino, Jan 13, 2018.

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Who is winning the war?

Poll closed Feb 28, 2018.
  1. Shogunate

    5 vote(s)
    18.5%
  2. Empire

    16 vote(s)
    59.3%
  3. Shogunate (barely)

    2 vote(s)
    7.4%
  4. Empire (barely)

    4 vote(s)
    14.8%
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  1. EnglishCanuck Blogger/Writer/Dangerous Moderate

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    Hard to say exactly, but I tend to enjoy reading about the Imjin War and the Tokugawa Shogunate overall. I've made some headway into Japan in the 20th century but up till now I've largely been reading on the rise and fall of the Tokugawa.
     
  2. IntellectuallyHonestRhino Well-Known Member

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    Any predictions?
     
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  3. TC9078 Empire

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    Shogunate gets even more modernized and even more support by the French, and it'll be a Taiping rebellion type slog.
     
  4. IntellectuallyHonestRhino Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. Lets see if things turn out that way. Or not so bad. Or much worse.
     
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  5. zeppelinair これ以上の詳細は略する

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    이렇게 된 이상 청와대로 간다
    as a Korean will be following this closely
     
  6. Threadmarks: The Dastartdly Agents of the Great Terrible War

    IntellectuallyHonestRhino Well-Known Member

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    The Shinsengumi and the Ishin-Shishi:


    The Shinsengumi was the backbone of the Shogunate’s ground game for intelligence and political control all over Japan. A variation of a secret police, the Shinsengumi represented the interests of the Shogunate in the Emperor’s own city; Kyoto. Their control of Kyoto’s info network was of great fear to the Imperial cause; if the emperor’s home turf and intelligentsia could be infiltrated, the Imperial cause would go into the archives of history as a short-term failed attempt. Leaders of the ruthless police force include Commander Kondo Isami and Vice Commander Hijikata Toshizo.


    The Shinsengumi had a specific enemy; the Ishin-Shishi. The Ishin-Shishi were a group of ex-samurai from imperial/sonno-joi supporting domains who were skilled at assassinating Shogunate officials and causing chaos to disrupt the affairs the Shogunate. Leaders of the militant wing include Kawakami Gensai and Kirino Toshiaki. The ishin-shishi also had an intellectual and propaganda wing which argued the points of the sonno-joi movement and rallied its policies (future leaders such as Yamagata Aritomo came from this movement, but his relevance lacks as of now). The problem with the ishin-shishi was that its core intellectual leadership was essentially dead, and so while there were tons of boots on the ground to rally and garner support for the Imperial cause, intellectual arguments were not adapting to shogunal responses, and so the Ishin-Shishi turned into a merger of militant ex-samurai who were essentially terrorists against the established government and zealous political activists who went from town to town rallying crowds and talking with the local populace to convince them to support the Imperial cause. This meant that the Ishin-Shishi could not truly make the emperor “the people’s choice” and why the nation turned more factional.


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    (Kondo Isami was the leader of the Shinsengumi. Fiercely intelligent and decisive, he almost single-handedly brought the emperor to his heels in Kyoto. His later ventures into education such as the “Kondo system” are notable achievements in modernizing Japan’s education system. He even wrote papers on how to run companies efficiently based on his experience as the Shisengumi commander. He is extremely controversial in political debates in Japan even to this day, as his supporters view him as an accomplished warrior and academian while his critics view him as a leader of a bloody and oppressive police force, and liken much of his teachings to the foundations of Japanese fascism and modern authoritarianism.)



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    (Known for his combined attitudes of being reserved and charming, Hijikata Toshizo was a man of many skills. Known for his ability to master any sword within his first fight with it, Toshizo is respected as one of Japan’s greatest warriors. However, his sheer brutality that he inflicted on his victims, especially civilians who opposed him and the Shogunate leads even strong isami supporters to label him as “complicated”.)


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    (A renown assassin and sonno-joi supporter, Genzai Kawakami was known for his incredibly quick speed on the field of battle and an incredible use of precision with his sword. He is criticized for his support of anarchism and for being anti-modernization by Japanese intellectuals, and is viewed by scholars as an ideological reverse of Kondo Isami. However, he is seen by much of the youth as a hero to freedom and nationalism, and his rebellious an attitude of his spirit.)

    "I hate to see my country turning into a western nation. Already we see trains ruining our nation's beautiful countryside, and the factories choking up our people's air. Only barbarians could view this as progress" -Genzai Kawakami, in his diary.

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    (A favorite of many war historians, Toshiaki Kirino was renowned for his military genius. While an assassin and disruptor for the Imperial cause originally, Saigo Takamori realized his battle intuition and promoted him to primary retainer. Furthur studying of his personality shows him as someone who did not enjoy assassination, and only did it if the cause was necessary. He wanted to be remembered as a warrior first, not an assassin.)

    'I hope God will be on my side to win this battle, but I must have Toshiaki on my side to win" - General Codrington.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
  7. IntellectuallyHonestRhino Well-Known Member

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    Coming soon:

    Battle of Toba-Fushimi

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    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
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  8. Spiritual Sausage Well-Known Member

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    I recommend reading the manga "Jin" if you're into this period in history IntellectuallyHonestRhino, it's about a surgeon who gets sent back in time to 1860s Japan and meets with some of the figures in the Boshin War, pretty good stuff.
     
  9. Gasmask134 Online Annoyance and Immortal Mountain Wizard

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    Minnesota, United States of America
    I've been waiting for a TL like this!
     
  10. IntellectuallyHonestRhino Well-Known Member

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    Hmm ... I will check it out at some point.
     
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  11. IntellectuallyHonestRhino Well-Known Member

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    Well wait no longer my friend! :)
     
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  12. IntellectuallyHonestRhino Well-Known Member

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    Also Coming Soon:

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  13. Threadmarks: Meeting at the Imperial Palace

    IntellectuallyHonestRhino Well-Known Member

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    "The air in Kyoto was one of grave silence. Envoys from various daimyos, primarily from the Western provinces, were seen scuttling around to the Imperial palace. The Shogun sent me and my men to administer the information channels, maintain the peace, and understand if there was any plan for insurrection by the anti-shogunate forces." -Kondo Isami, 1868 in his journal.

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    (The Imperial Palace, Kyoto, 1868. Birthplace of the Imperial Ideology.)

    The Imperial palace bustled with intrigue along its numerous halls. Those closest to Emperor Meiji noticed that his smile grew just a tiny bit every day. Emperor Meiji summoned Ryoma and Genzai to his quarters.

    Meiji: Sakamoto Ryoma, I call you for one job. Go tell the rest of my personal cabinet that their jobs have begun. This applies to you to, Ryoma, as well as Genzai".

    Ryoma: Yes my Emperor.

    Meiji: Genzai, do as we discussed exactly last month ago.

    Genzai: Of course, my emperor.

    The quiet that dominated Kyoto was being perpetually interrupted by a young man cyring out, "raise the banners! The Emperor shall restore Japan!". Running from authorities, both local and national alike, Kawakami rushed throughout the city, urging the people to fight for their emperor.

    "The people of Kansai, and especially of Kyoto, have always rejected the notion of superiority that Edo had always maintained. Kansai pride in the form of the Emperor's resurrection explained the frenzy that occurred in Kyoto and neighboring villages that day" - "A Study of Japan" by Codrington, for the Oxford Society of the Orient .

    Soon, Imperial banners were everywhere. Citizens, angry at the sight of Kanto policemen sprawling throughout the streets, were only further emboldened by the sight of the renowned samurai and assassin Genzai Kawakami. The people of Japan's core began rioting, burning down police stations one after the other. Buddhist monks would cry out [that], "we must burn these collaborating establishments to the ground to purify the land in which they stand upon". The Shinsengumi forces were fierce, but 300 men cannot keep a city together, especially 300 men whose death would be too much of a loss for the Shogunate cause. Kondo Isami issued a tactical retreat, and the last words he sent to Edo before he left the city were, "Bring the troops in".
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
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  14. Threadmarks: Battle of Toba-Fushimi

    IntellectuallyHonestRhino Well-Known Member

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    "Glory to our ancestors, glory to our honor, and glory to our Emperor!" - battle cry of Saigo Takamori, Toba, 1868


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    (Picture of a Bridge at Battle of Toba-Fushimi few days before the battle, 1868)
    After the riots in Kyoto and across Kansai, the political situation for the Shogun was getting out of hand. Kansai region, the traditionally center of the nation before the rise of the Shoguns, far from being supportive of the Shogun (or even neutral), was staunchly pro-Emperor. Regions west of Fukui were becoming more pro-Emperor than ever, and this was of great worry for Shogun Yoshinobu. In order for order to return to Japan, the Kyoto insurrection had to be stopped. Trusting his loyal general Takenaka Shigekata, he sent a large force of traditional warriors to crush the rebellion. Word of this large army reached Kyoto relatively quickly due to three reasons:

    1. The sonno-joi network was extremely efficient at quickly transferring news.
    2. Shogun Yoshinobu wished for the army's plan to be known.


    The idea of declaring the intent of this armed force was largely a public support tactic. The Shogun did not wish to wage war against his people, especially with a modern, "barbarous" fighting force (they were behind the Emperor's plans of modernization, but already along the coast of Niigata as well as the city of Sendai did preparations for modern weaponry begin), but to merely "sideline rebellious elements of society" and "restore the natural order of Japan". In fact, Shogun Yoshinobu planned that after the rebellion was crushed, his forces should invite Emperor Meiji to condemn the rebellion and declare unity with the Shogun (of course under the table, intimidation was the reason). Thus the Imperial forces had plenty of time to plan for an invasion.

    Kyoto Imperial Palace, 1868:

    Ryoma: My emperor, my daimyo shall come to Kyoto shortly. The Tosa clan's soldiers shall arrive sooner, and we are planning their locations.

    Meiji: What about Hisamitsu?

    Ryoma: Daimyo Hisamitsu says he unfortunately cannot come in time, for he is working with the British for a long term relationship. He is not fully sure of his domain's loyalty to the Imperial cause, and insists he must stay for such strategic purposes. But General Takamori has ordered some of his finest officers from Satsuma to come to Kyoto. Masujiro has also sent a list of his me

    Meiji: And Takachika?

    Shinsaku: My emperor, Daimyo Takachika will come here shortly. He personally looks forward to fighting with Takamori. The Daimyo is bringing some of his best men. Masujiro has also requested some of the best men from Chugoku as well.

    "Unlike most domains west of Kyoto, Satsuma domain was not heavily punished for resistance to the Tokugawa. Many people in Satsuma province felt happy under the Tokugawa, and blamed Emperor Komei's rash decision making for their worse lives. This was not so in Chugoku. So unlike Hisamitsu, Takachika had nothing to worry about leaving home. The contrary is true; his absence from battle would have weakened his leadership in Chugoku." - "A study of Nippon", by Condrington, for the Oxford Orient Society.


    "Unlike the Shogunal troops, adorned with traditional weaponry, the Imperial troops had modern weapons, and were trained with them well by Codrington in a relatively short time." - Omura Masujiro, 1868




    The carnage that occurred from Kyoto to Osaka was one of intense levels. The Shogunal troops went through the bridges, only to be open fired by Modern rifles and Gatling guns. Quickly this calm, semi-ceremonial army turned into a crazed frenzy full of fear and rage. The ambush was well planned by Masujiro, who worked with Codrington to fit the positions with western styles of conducting battle. The first phase of the battle, occurring in Toyogobashi Bridge, went "swimmingly" (as Codrington phrased it) for the Imperial side. Masujiro's tactics proved a masterstroke, drastically reducing the size of the Shogunal morale (and even army size) realtively quickly. Codrington's training of the soldiers gave the Imperial men great ability with their newfound weapons.

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    (Toyogobashi Bridge, 1868)

    However, the battle was far from over. Unknown to the Imperial side, Kondo Isami was planning for a defeat to occur, positing more soldiers in the outskirts of the greater area. With the help of scouts from Kuwana domain (the most loyal region by far in Kansai), he was able to position his men well (Mainly from Aizu, a region known for some of the best warriors of Japan). Isami's army slowly crept through various villages, hoping to strike at the strategic location in Toba. His plan would have succeeded if not for the bold descision making of Saigo Takamori, whose gut told him to scout out for more Shogunal troops. A few scouts had alerted Takamori of Isami's secret counterattack, leading him to send his men towards Toba. The second major showdown of the battle had begun. What occurred next would remain in the annals of history in perpetuity.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2018
  15. IntellectuallyHonestRhino Well-Known Member

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    Any predictions about the result of the battle? Scale of victory?
     
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  16. TC9078 Empire

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    I think it'll be a Pyrrhic victory for the Shogunate troops, giving the Imperials enough time to fall back and regroup.
     
  17. IntellectuallyHonestRhino Well-Known Member

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    We shall see, won't we? :)
     
  18. IntellectuallyHonestRhino Well-Known Member

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    Next update in less than 24 hours.
     
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  19. Dr Rostov Well-Known Member

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    Good to know, I hope the Shogunate wins this battle.
     
  20. Historyman 14 Well-Known Member

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    LONG LIVE THE EMEPEOR.
     
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