Tokugawa Japanese and Ainu under their Russian patrons launched an offensive against Imperial Japan in the Spring of 1889 as part of the greater strife engulfing the world. Initially the Shogunate forces under their Russian advisors pushed deep into Imperial Japan, eventually taking Kyoto, but not before the Imperial Court was evacuated by Imperial Japanese forces and a unit of Ghurkas rotating through the British garrison. The Shogunate forces received heavy casualties, however, requiring a halt in the advance to redress their lines and await reinforcements. The Imperial Japanese forces and the British used the time to create a strong defense. The Russian Pacific Navy did not engage at this time, leaving the British Fleet in the region uncontested. However, night-time shipments of men and material from the Russian Far East and Russian influenced Manchuria often made landfall in the Islands evading interdiction.