Toukiden Kiwami Screenshot - The Age of Chaos

Let’s Travel Historical Japan with Toukiden Kiwami (Part 5) – The Age of Chaos & The Meiji Restoration

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The Age of Grace

The Age of Honor

The Age of War

The Age of Peace

The Age of Chaos

The Age of Yore

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The Meiji Restoration

After over two centuries of peace, Japan descended into chaos again with the arrival of American Commodore Matthew Perry’s warships. Called the kurofune (黒船), or black ships, Perry’s success in forcing Japan to open up its ports for trade not only humiliated the Japanese, it made them painfully aware how behind the world they were. By this time, the Tokugawa Shogunate was also in decline, and all over the provinces were disgruntled samurais bitter about having to work side jobs for survival. In 1867, the last shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu resigned from his post in the face of growing unrest. On Jan 27 the next year, the Boshin War (戊辰戦争) broke out, spearheaded by imperialists eager to abolish the shogunate and restore full power to the Japanese emperor. In retaliation, Yoshinobu attacked Kyoto and tried to seize the imperial court.

In all, the Boshin War lasted 17 months and could be viewed as having two segments. After Yoshinobu failed to capture the Kyoto and surrendered to the imperialists, his remaining forces retreated northwards to Hokkaido and established the Ezo Republic (蝦夷). Ezo itself lasted less than half a year before it was defeated at the Battle of Hakodate. Ironically, short-lived Ezo was the first government to institutionalise democracy in Japan. This, when they were birthed from the remnants of a medieval totalitarian regime.

Toukiden Kiwami Travel Itinerary 5: The Age of Chaos

One of the most important areas in Toukiden Kiwami, story-wise, the Age of Chaos is both beautiful and desolate to behold. A frozen wasteland throughout, late Edo Period structures surround prowling onis while artefacts of war guard icy stalagmites. At the northernmost end, there is also an immense star-shaped fortress, hovering silently beyond the cliffs like an otherworldly maw. Those who have been to Hokkaido in person would instantly recognise this curious structure as Goryōkaku (五稜郭). The final battle of the Boshin War was fought here in 1869.


Goryōkaku in Hakodate, Hokkaido. This curious fortress was the last stronghold for the shogunate supporters. | Source: Magnus Manske
Winter in Japan.
Winter in Japan. Nowadays, the frozen scenery of the island nation is visited by tens of thousands of tourists yearly.
Kinmon Incident.
Tokugawa Yoshinobu organising defenses during the Kinmon incident of 1864. Discontent was already at a dangerous high during that year.

Toukiden Kiwami: The Age of Chaos

Toukiden Kiwami - The Age of Chaos.
This might be the Age of Chaos. But a serenity suffuses the entire area.
Toukiden Kiwami - The Age of Chaos screenshot.
One of our preserved warships. Not one of those black ones that kick-started the Meiji Restoration. This one was used to trounce the Shogun’s men.
Toukiden Kiwami - The Age of Chaos screenshot.
Historical cannons. Be careful! Most are still functional.
Toukiden Kiwami - The Age of Chaos screenshot.
Do visit any of our lovely F&B establishments should the weather get too chilly for you.
Toukiden Kiwami - The Age of Chaos screenshot.
Our accommodation for this evening. The upper levels promises spectacular views of the endless ice fields.
Toukiden Kiwami - The Age of Chaos screenshot.
Drifting ice! One of our most popular photographic attractions.
Toukiden Kiwami - The Age of Chaos screenshot.
Ah yes. Our star attraction. Just as Perry’s black warships kick-started the Meiji Restoration, defeat at Goryōkaku in Hakodate formalised the return of power to the Japanese Emperor.
Toukiden Kiwami - The Age of Chaos screenshot.
Many of our natural ice formations were formed over thousands of years. Do be careful when enjoying them. (I.E. no touching, please)
Toukiden Kiwami - The Age of Chaos screenshot.
Our ever-popular ice battle challenge! Head and buttock shots score triple!

More References

Meiji-Mura, an architectural theme park in Inuyama, Japan. After the Meiji Restoration, Emperor Meiji set in motion many plans to encourage modernisation. Buildings constructed during his era were interesting mixes of the East and West.
Satsuma Cannon.
A Satsuma cannon. You’ve already seen this in one of the pictures above. | Source: World Imaging

We are reaching the end of our historical Japan tour! For our final round, we will travel back thousands of years to the mythical years of the Jōmon Period!

If you enjoyed this tour of historical Japan,
consider getting a copy of Toukiden Kiwami!



About Scribbling Geek

The geek divides his free time between video games, movies, anime, and attempting to write decent short stories. Oh, and trying not to sprain his fingers from playing demisemiquavers on his Electone.

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