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The Fukko War (復古の戦争/Fukko no senso), was a major civil war in Yamato history and the military phase of the Orio Fukkatsu (折尾復活/Orio Restoration) that saw the collapse of the Goku Bakufu (業苦幕府) and the restoration of power to the imperial court.
Rise of the Goku Bakufu
Three hundred years before the war, Orihime-tenno was enthroned following the Lin Invasion of Yamatai after her elder twin brothers gave up all claim to the throne, having no desire for it after fighting a pointless civil war of succession before the invasion.
Because Orihime-tenno never envisioned herself ruling Yamatai, she didn't know how. And so, she relied on the words of advisors, particularly the shogun, to get things done. Unfortunately her eagerness for advice inadvertently caused her let herself be manipulated by her advisors, namely the shogun. Her relatively ineffectual reign from hanging on to voices from behind the throne resulted in the curtailment of imperial authority.
By the time she died and her son took over the damage had been done, beginning a long period where the tenno, while still the de jure ruler of Yamatai, was largely marginalized and their power curtailed in favor of the Goku Bakufu, similarly to how it was before the Sengoku Jidai.
For three hundred years the power of the tenno was ceremonial at best and the shogun of the Goku clan were the de facto rulers of Yamatai.
In the early years of the bakufu, the shogun of the Goku clan increasingly made decisions without imperial input. The approval of the tenno was still required in certain aspects, but by the second century of the era the political power of the Goku Bakufu became so absolute that the tenno had little to no power to affect anything. By that time the most powerful divisions of the rebuilt Yamato Imperial Army were led by Goku clan loyalists appointed by the shogun as well, and thus the tenno were left with no choice but to give their approval.
As the power of the tenno waned to almost nothing, this led the Goku clan and their loyalists to being free to do almost whatever they pleased. Over time the Goku clan and their loyalists became drunk on power, leading to corruption and tyranny as most the most senior members of the Goku clan exploited their new power to enrich themselves in wealth and luxury, often at the expense of the common people. As time went on the Bakufu's relations with Yamatai's new Aquiline ally, the Kingdom Soleil, became increasingly strained as the Bakufu constantly modified the treaties in favor of Yamatai.
The Goku Bakufu's exploitation of their power was not easily refuted; beginning in 2293INO, eighty years after the defeat of the Lin Invasion – during the reign of Natsumori-tenno (夏森天皇) – the bakufu initiated the Yamato Invasions of Marlakcor (2293 – 2395INO/4431 – 4533TJH/4010 – 4112PCZ). Over the course of the following century the Goku-led armies of Yamatai conquered the last independent Sinjok nations of the mainland and large swathes of Tianchao territory in western Hirotai (広帶) (called Guangdai (廣帶) and Yesttang (옛땅) by the Wan and Sinjok respectively), and very nearly the whole of Amehara (雨原) (called Yuchang (雨場) and Đất Mưa (坦𩅹) by the Wan and Mưa Nhân respectively). These conquests brought glory to Yamatai and all but solidified Yamato dominance in the region for the next few centuries. As the Goku clan initiated and led the invasion armies personally, this also had the intended effect of solidifying the bakufu's dominance in Yamato politics for the foreseeable future.
The corrupt and tyrannical rule of the Goku Bakufu eventually began to effect the imperial family long before the Fukko War. Around 2450INO, Goku Shigekazu (業苦繁和), the then Shogun of Yamatai, forced the passage of the Teishitsu Kodzukai Fukoku (帝室小遣い布告/Imperial Family Allowance Proclamation), which not only limited the amount of funds that the imperial family was allowed to spend, but also came with a provision that gave the Bakufu the authority to regulate the funds as they saw fit several times a year. The official reason given for its passage was to preserve the treasury for the good of the state. Few knew it at the time, but this was a way not only for the Goku clan to keep more money for themselves but to prevent the imperial family from amassing the funds needed to rebel against the bakufu, as it allowed them cut off the funds if they suspected they were about to rebel; it proved unpopular as it had the effect of leaving the imperial family destitute as their spending money waxed and waned every year, but regardless kept the imperial family focused on trying to feed itself and reliant on the Goku clan for the more expensive things rather than mount any resistance against the bakufu. This also had the effect of limiting the power of the Imperial Family's direct vassals, as some of them had few or no economic holdings of their own and relied on allowances from the imperial family to get by.
Preparation for War
By the turn of the next century the imperial family, along with its oldest and most loyal vassals and several other loyal clans, had finally had enough. The final straw came in 2506INO, when a member of the imperial family, Sotchoku-no-miya Mitsutake Koshi (率直の宮光武皇子), the brother of Morikei-tenno (森景天皇), spoke out against the bakufu and was promptly assassinated. The Goku clan didn't even bother to cover up their involvement, intending to use it as a message to both the imperial family and the populace on the consequences of defying them. Rather than falling into grief, the imperial family became spurred by anger and began plotting rebellion, with Sotchoku-no-miya's daughter Shirayuki-no-miya Keiko Kojo (白雪の宮けいこ皇女), taking the helm of the conspiracy, while convincingly feigning obedience to the bakufu. Sickly, dying, and knowing he was going to pass away childless, Morikei-tenno changed his will to place his niece on the throne after his death, relying on the Goku clan's belief that a female ruler would be easy to keep in line. It worked; the Goku clan ratified the will, and Shirayuki-no-miya became tenno upon her uncle's death.
Even before she took her place on the throne, Orio-tenno continued to secretly conspire with the imperial family's most loyal vassals and retainers, and the Kingdom of Soleil, in overthrowing the Goku Bakufu and restoring power to the imperial family. They all knew that for the restoration to succeed, they needed to strike an early decisive blow against the bakufu. They also knew they had to act fast, as resentment toward the bakufu among the populace had reached boiling point a long time ago, and the conspirators remained constantly worried that the populace may revolt before they were ready to strike. Carefully placed public relations officials kept the more radical of the populace from acting rashly, but the fear of unplanned rebellion remained a constant worry for the conspiracy. The same year Orio-tenno was enthroned upon the death of Morikei-tenno, they discovered that the Goku clan had been storing a large surplus of supplies and wealth solely for their use in Furugyo (古京), the ancient capital of the Nadeshiko dynasty, for decades. The decision was made that their first order of business was the secure those stores. In the third year of her reign they were ready to strike.
In late-Kodzuki 2513INO, Orio-tenno set out for Furugyo, supposedly in preparation for Akegata-himekami no Tanjobi. As she left the modern capital, the Goku Bakufu remained unaware that she and her followers had massed and hidden an army in and around the old capital, disguised as ordinary people flowing into the capital for the holiday, standing by for the order to seize the city. Orio-tenno and her followers had chosen to begin the revolt at this time of year, the birthday of the mythological progenitor of the imperial family, for symbolic reasons.
On the morning of the holiday, Orio-tenno stood before a massive crowd of people and made a short but impassioned speech to them, urging them to rise up against the Goku Bakufu and help her restore the empire:
|“||Watashi no kokumin! Kyō wa nadeshiko ōchō no densetsu-tekina sosen ga umaretahidesu. Watashitachi no kagayakashī rekishi no makimono ga kaka re hajime, watashitachi o kyō no basho ni michibiita hi. Sore wa aratana hajimari no hideshita. Tōji, soshite ima mo sōdesu. Gōku bakufu wa amarini mo nagaiai watashitachi no teikoku o yokuatsu shite imasu. Toki ga kita. Watashitachi no kuni o aisuru chūjitsuna hitobito wa, ken o torimasu! Issho ni Yamatai o arata ni saiken shimashou!||„|
|“||My people! Today is the day the legendary progenitor of the Nadeshiko dynasty was born. A day when the scrolls of our glorious history started to be written and led us to where we are today. It was a day of new beginnings. It was then, and it is again now. The Goku Shogunate has oppressed our empire for too long. The time has come. Loyal people who love our country, take up the sword! Let us rebuild Yamatai anew, together!||„|
On her order, the amassed army made their presence known and, aided by the inspired populace, wasted no time in seizing the city. Within hours, the city was secured and the secret stores of the Goku Bakufu were theirs and they began organizing their assault on the capital. Their uprising was not alone: on the same day all across the empire, clans loyal to the imperial family revolted against the bakufu.
Within a day the Goku government learned of the uprising in Furugyo and learned of the others across the empire within the next week. The Goku Bakufu still had several clans who were loyal to them, but they knew there was no suppressing the empire-wide revolt without war. The Furugyo Hanran (古京反乱/Furugyo Rebellion) was the decisive opening conflict of the war and morale was high from the onset.
Despite a showy opening, the war did not begin smoothly for the Imperial Court. They had underestimated the preparedness of the Bakufu and were forced on the defensive before they could mount an assault on the capital and were forced to winter far from their objective. This was in part because, despite the symbolism of the time of the revolt, the Imperial Court had started their campaign just as winter was starting to rear its head. They had also been counting on Soleillien intervention to keep the tide in their favor and had been working in tandem with Soleillians who lived locally to prepare for their arrival, but a series of non-seasonal typhoons delayed the arrival of the Soleillien Army & Navy for weeks, forcing them to land and winter on Irukato (海豚島). While they miraculously didn't loose any ships or men to the storms, it wasn't until late-spring of the following year that the Soleilliens arrived in the main battlefields of the war.
On the other side of the empire in Suisho, the imperial-court-loyalist Hanasaku clan had more fortune overthrowing Goku rule. By autumn's end the entirety of Hokuzu Ryoiki and Nanzu Ryoiki were in the hands of the imperial court.
In the spring of 2514INO the Soleilliens joined up with the loyalists of the imperial court.
Notes & Trivia
- The Fukko War is mostly inspired by the real-life Boshin War, which saw the collapse of the Tokugawa Shogunate and the restoration of imperial power under the government of Emperor Meiji.
- The Fukko War was the last major civil war in Yamato history until the Aomizu Rebellion, which coincided with the outbreak of the North Aquiline War and was so destructive it prevented Yamatai from interfering for six years.