Introduction
  • Alyska has a rich a detailed history which, sadly, is little known in the western world. This is due to the long period of tension which has existed between the kingdom and the United states. As a result much of what the typical individual knows about Alyska and its people comes from an outside perspective.

    What this work intends to do is remedy this situation. Presenting Alyskan history as the rich and varied tale that it is. In this work I feel uniquely qualified as a native Alyskan, being born in Novoyya Amsterdam and spending much of my life in the kingdom, witnessing much of the county’s recent history and civil war first hand.

    It should be noted that this work is not intended to be a concise history of the nation, but rather tell the story of its history and provide context for the numerous other articles also included in this work. These articles cover the various monarchs, politicians, cities, battles, and other events which have shaped the nations history, and will be layered throughout the book where sensible.



    Sincerely Charles Markov.
     
    Map of provinces and cities
  • 20200908_173358_compress99.jpg


    Key for provinces. (Black numbers)
    1 Stuttland
    2 Textant
    3 Fabrie
    4 Nervi
    5 Noord-Hetenvalle
    6 Zuid-Hetenvalle
    7 Neiw Freisland
    8 Neiw Holland
    9 Tõgan
    10 Reisu
    11 Enkei
    12 Kãge
    13 Shicenyó
    14 Axaa
    15 Chernyyles
    16 Posadka
    17 Zimnylager
    18 Beringa
    19 Vostnochnyy fort
    20 West Eden
    21 North Eden
    22 East Yukon
    23 South Yukon
    24 Klondike
    25 Arctic Territory

    Key for cities. (Red numbers)
    1 Marysport
    2 Noordburg
    3 Zuidfort
    4 Williamstadt
    5 Fredericksburg
    6 Naarden
    7 Legarkamp
    8 Novoya Amsterdam
    9 Naaró
    10 Singosha
    11 Roshii
    12 Aria
    13 Axaa
    14 Opolzen
    15 posadka
    16 Izgib
    17 Dunedin
    18 Konetszemli
    19 Zastryal
    20 Yukonfort
     
    Ch. 01.01 Before Alyska
  • Before the story of Alyska can be told it must first be established what the world that existed in the region before Kublai Khan founded his great city of Aguu Khan Khot (city of the great Khan) in the vicinity of what is now Fredericksburg. Or at the very least give a basic understanding of it as we have no written sources for the period, and only incomplete oral histories from the few tribes which avoided assimilation by later waves of colonists.

    In broad strokes however we have a fairly clear picture of the scene. At that time the Tlingit tribes were inhabiting the area roughly equating to the lower Dutch provinces, and were surrounded by numerous related peoples. Living simple lives and surviving off the abundance nature provided the native people of Alyska lived relatively peacefully with one another. Conflict between different tribes being rare as compared to other parts of the continent.

    This lack of what we would consider warfare is likely the cause of two primary reasons. The relative lack of population density, before the introduction of agriculture to the region by the Japanese the total population of the area was likely never in excess of seventy five thousand. And also the abundance of food in the area, the salmon migration which annually cluttered the regions rivers, and large amount of fish, game, and other food sources, meant that there was seldom cause for conflict over food resources by the native tribes.

    It is also likely that the various tribes of the region were all related to one another by marriage. Sharing common kin, culture, and language throughout broad parts of the country, distance between tribal territories also likely had a cause for lessening tensions between tribes. However these last two points are largely conjectural.

    To the north of the Tlingit peoples lay the various groups which today we collectively group under the broad term Eskimo, people which the Tlingit migration would displace and absorb, leaving little trace of them south of the Eden river. To the south were the various tribes of American Indians inhabiting the Oregon territory. However these tribes are better detailed under a history of the United States, and so will not be covered here.

    Man-made materials were foreign to the region, all tools, clothing and implements being derived from animals or plants in simplistic forms. Intricately woven baskets, beautifully crafted boats, tanned leather clothing, and carved wooden statues all being created by most tribes of the region.

    Many tribes, particularly in the north, also hunted the numerous species of whale found in the waters of the region. Whale meat, blubber, and bones, were all also used for various purposes by these tribes.

    The people of pre-Mongol Alyska lived lives dominated by the seasons. Spending the summer months gathering food, fuel, and preparing shelter. Much as the other peoples of much of the new world did. They lived far from the major cultural centers of the Maya peoples in the Yucatan, and lived much as they had for many thousands of years before that.
     
    Ch. 01.02
  • Paradigm Shift
    The Mongols in the new world. 1283-1300

    YuanEmperorAlbumKhubilaiPortrait.jpg

    Portrait of Kublai painted late in his life or possibly shortly after his death.

    Fifth great Khan of the Mongol Empire Kublai Khan had a dream of unifying the world under his and his successors control. To accomplish this Kublai sent armies to invade Song China, Tibet, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, and even the island of Java. Most of these invasions were successful and ended in Mongol rule over much of Asia and eastern Europe by the end of his reign, although due to infighting amongst the heirs of Genghis much of this empire was under the control of various other lesser Khans. Early in his reign the young Khan would finally subdue Song China, eventually making his capital in what would become the city of Beijing. Kublai was a patron of the arts, science and literature. Funding many schools and universities and encouraging a new golden age of Chinese opera, poetry and astronomy to flourish. He also encouraged the expansion of Chinese seafaring with the aim of creating a large fleet for the carrying of troops.

    Each of these widely disparate fields saw considerable government funding. But it was into the navy that a majority of Kublai`s money, and interest went. A major effort went into the building of invasion fleets intended for landings on the Japanese and Indian islands. However large amounts of funding also went into the creation of a large navy intended for the defense of the coasts and protection of the trade routes. A few of these ships were even sent out on missions of exploration to chart the islands of the Pacific and arctic oceans. It was one of these ships that stumbled upon what would become known as Alyska. A report was made of the ships exploration of what was thought to be a very large land mass with few natives, abundant natural resources and wildlife.

    The great Khan quickly decided that this land needed to be settled and added to the empire. Now advanced in age and feeling as if he needed to leave a legacy, and with his recent attempts at new conquest failed Kublai ordered a colony to be established immediately on the new land. Which was named Gazar Doorkh Gazar, land across the waters. Not wishing to face the wrath of the increasingly irritable Khan his ministers worked quickly to accomplish his dream and by 1283 an outpost had been founded in what would become known as Oranje bay. In fact the colony was located roughly where the modern day city of Fredericksburg would one day be founded.

    The new colony, named Aguu Khan Khot, or city of the great Khan, was soon flooded with transports which over the next ten years brought over ten thousand colonists from all parts of Kublai`s empire. Though a majority of the colonies population was formed of both Han Chinese and ethnic Mongols. Farms and pastures were quickly set up but the harsh Alyskan winter and wild soil made crop yields small and livestock of meager frame. Food suppliesw for the colony had to be continually imported from China, often falling victim to Japanese pirate attacks. Making the presence of warships in the convoys a must, adding further to the expense of the colony. Upon the death of Kublai in 1294 the empire suffered a severe economic collapse. Brought about by years of inflation, costly invasions, civil wars and massive building projects. The crisis forced Kublai`s successor Temür to cut back on many of his grandfathers more grandiose projects. Such as the proposed third invasion of Japan, second invasion of Java and rumored participation in the ongoing invasion of India by other Mongol Khanates.

    Unsurprisingly one of the first things to be cut by Temür would be Aguu Khan Khot. By order of the Khan himself no further ships would leave for Alyska after 1300. Until then any settler of the colony who wished was welcome to return with one of the ships and resume their life in the empire. Though their future prosperity was not in any way guaranteed.

    While most of the colonists would indeed travel back with the last few merchant ships a few, perhaps roughly one thousand settlers, chose to remain. Hoping that once things had stabilized back home the empire would return once more to the region. Where they would be firmly established an in a position to achieve significant power over the colony.

    This gamble, though risky, promised high rewards if successful. However the harvests of 1299, 1301, and 1302 seem to have been failures. With severe frosts and bad winters affecting the entire region. Although we have no written records it is likely that the remaining colonists would all die out by 1305, though a few colonists likely intermingled with the local tribes and lived on for some years.
     
    Ch.01.03
  • Tlingit Diaspora
    The arrival of the Mongolians to Alyska had lasting effects on the native peoples inhabiting the area of their settlement. Forcing them to leave their ancestral tribal lands in search of fresh sources of food. Perhaps the worst effected of the tribes displaced by the Mongolians would be the Tlingit people, a loose collection of tribes speaking related languages which had traditionally inhabited the area chosen by the empire for their settlement.

    The result of the displacement of the Tlingit people was what is known as the Tlingit diaspora. A period lasting roughly a century from between 1290 until 1390. During this period the Tlingit tribes roamed the region seeking a new home, splitting off into multiple directions in the pursuit of this goal.

    One of these parts of the Tlingit tribes, dubbed by historians as the northern Tlingit, would make their way northwards from their homeland. Eventually settling in the region west of the Aria river. This area was sparsely populated and it seems that any local people were swiftly integrated in with the Tlingit tribes.

    Although they could not know it at the time in just a few years the Japanese would begin settling the region east of the Aria river. And the Tlingit would come to have a close relationship with them, assimilating much of their culture and technology. The first major sign of the this would be the founding of the Tlingit royal capital of Axaa, which in time would become a major population center in the region, and the chief city of the Tlingit kingdom.

    Over the coming centuries the Tlingit would be an enduring and powerful force in the region, at various times allied to the city-states to the south, and at others their chief adversary. The two groups, Tlingit and Japanese, would form a close and inter-connected trade relationship with one another and would later be the primary opponents for the European settlements which would be founded at a much later date.

    But for roughly four centuries the Tlingit were the masters of the region west of the Aria river. Assimilating many of the local tribes into their number, founding numerous cities and settlements, and occasionally warring with the Japanese over resources or fishing rights, as well as defending themselves from the occasional Japanese invasion.

    Despite the long length of their kingdoms reign over the region their history, culture, language, and society has been chronically underrepresented by traditional histories of the region. However in this narrative I hope that this fascinating people which so shaped the modern Alyska we know today will be covered in all the rich detail they deserve.
     
    Ch.01.04
  • Legendary Riches

    While the settlement of Aguu Khan Khot was brief and did not seriously affect the course of the history of the Mongolian empire as we have seen the colonies existence would have lasting effects on the native people of the region. Forcing them to pack up and move to find new lands to settle, often times far away from their initial homelands.

    However, although the settlement existed only briefly and was soon abandoned by Kublai Khan’s successors, its existence was never entirely forgotten. With mention of the colony being recorded in Imperial records back in China, and several writers mentioning the colony in works centuries later.

    But to the peoples around the Mongolian empire, those with no direct knowledge of the settlement, who had witnessed the fleets of ships traveling back and forth across the ocean but did not know their purpose, the settlement quickly achieved legendary status as the location of the source of the Mongolian empire wealth. Across the Pacific lay entire cities of gold which the great Khan had plundered to pay for his many wars of conquest.

    It was these myths, most prevalent in Japan, that would eventually inspire bold treasure seekers to set out to rediscover the Mongolian settlements. Determined to make their fortunes and discover wealth beyond their wildest dreams. Initially self-financed these men would eventually receive funding from nobles and wealthy merchants to help them along their way.

    Needless to say all of these adventures, beginning in the 1320s, would fail to find a city of gold. Or even the remains of Aguu Khan Khot. However they did not give up, and efforts would continue to be mounted until the 1350s to find a lost city of gold. Along the way some adventurers would discover something almost as valuable. And this will be the topic of the next chapter.
     
    Ch.01.05
  • Adventures Across the Sea

    Theories explaining the Mongolian fleets which regularly traveled back and forth across the oceans began circulating in Japan even during the era where the colony was in existence. With many theories coming up to explain the size, number, and frequency of ships going back and forth.

    The one story which attracted the most attention was the tale told by a Japanese fisherman who found an Imperial sailor drifting in the ocean. Before the sailor died he told the fisherman that the Khan had discovered a great city of gold across the ocean, and that the fleets of ships which traveled back and forth across the ocean carried the gold from the city back to the empire where it was used to finance further wars of expansion. This city also supposedly bestowed long life and good health to all who entered through its gates, and the river which ran through it had the power to miraculously heal any wounds of a person who drank of its waters.

    Although most quickly dismissed this story as nonsense, the tale of a man on his death bed, or the work of an overactive imagination on the part of the fisherman, some did take the story seriously. Or at least serious enough that they would plan expeditions to find this rumored city of gold. Dreaming that they would become rich beyond their wildest dreams, and have every luxury known to man at their fingertips.

    It is not known when the first voyage to discover this rumored land of gold was launched, the earliest recorded voyage dates from 1314, and makes explicit mention of the missions captain having made voyages prior to this. After roughly 1320 however a number of well financed and planned voyages would be undertaken by men commissioned by a number of Diamyo, Japanese feudal lords. The first of these expeditions was undertaken in 1322 and found nothing, turning back after sailing many days in open ocean. It is likely that currents pushed them far out into the Pacific and away from north America.

    Many voyages suffered the same fate, failing to make landfall, getting blown south by winds, or being blocked by ice floes before catching sight of Alyska. However these repeated setbacks seemed only to convince people that they were on the right track, leading to still more voyages.

    Alyska would be discovered by the Japanese sometime in the 1330s when a Japanese vessel, sailing northwards rather than directly east, stumbled across the emperor islands, the vessel returned to Japanese waters and reported discovering over a dozen islands before a lack of fresh water forced them to turn back.

    Further voyages followed along, using the same path as this first vessel used. Each ship discovered new islands and pressed ever steadily eastwards. Naturally no lands of gold and magical medicinal rivers were discovered. Much to the disappointment of many. However the abundance of wildlife, especially salmon, was noted by many voyagers who wrote of their voyages after returning to Japan. And in discovering the rich waters of Alyska the early Japanese voyagers would uncover something worth their while.
     
    Ch.02.01-part one
  • Gone Fishing

    Although no mythical city of gold was uncovered in the region of Alyska it was quickly noted by many voyagers that the waters off the country hosted abundant sea life. With cod, salmon, whales, and numerous other aquatic animals calling the waters of Alyska home.

    This marine bounty doubtlessly fed the Japanese voyagers as they explored the coast vainly searching for their city of gold. We know from numerous preserved journals that the first sailors to the region realized the numbers of fish living in the region at least.

    It is not a huge jump of the imagination to presume that after failing to find their city of gold that some ships began to load themselves up with fish they had caught in hopes to sell and at least partially make good their losses. And eventually these ships began to return, bringing with them professional fishing vessels to exploit the virgin fishing grounds for their own gain.

    Between 1330-1360 increasingly large fishing fleets made their way back and forth between the Japanese home islands and Alyska on a yearly cycle. Heading out in spring and returning before winter set in. Initially only coming ashore to repair and clean their ships, or salt their catch the early Japanese settlement in Alyska existed only in the form of simple shacks built on the beach to provide temporary shelter to those who set foot ashore.
     
    Ch.02.02
  • Settlement Begins

    1345-1400

    Initial Japanese focus in Alyska was purely on fishing the rich waters off the coast, not settling the area. While vessels did regularly make landfall it was initially only for the purposes of replenishing fresh water, cleaning or repairing their ships, and preparing their catch for the journey back to the Japanese home islands.

    In fact, no structures were built in Alyska by the Japanese until the 1340s. And these were only simple wood structures where Japanese sailors would sleep while their ships were being repaired before the return to Japan. The number of fishing vessels making the trip growing rapidly in the 1340s as the profitability of the region was fully realized.

    The first permanent settlement was not made in Alyska until 1345 when Korimizu was founded. 1345 being something of an estimate, with the first written records of the site dating from 1362, by which time Korimizu was described as a fully developed town with walls and a few stone buildings. Estimates for the towns founding vary from researcher to researcher, but generally 1345 falls squarely in the middle of most experts estimates.

    Korimizu began as a location where fresh supplies and repairs could be acquired by visiting fishing ships. However by 1360 the town had become a major trading hub. With fishing vessels never leaving Alyska, instead of making the return trip they had began to sell their catch to merchants in the town, who then loaded the fish onto cargo vessels which then returned to Japan. Bringing back more settlers and trade goods on the return trip to Alyska.

    Within a few decades of the sites founding farmers and tradesmen had begun to arrive in the city. Establishing businesses and farms in the area and selling their wares to the local merchants and sailors. Additional settlements also sprung up along the coast, fulfilling a similar role as Korimizu for the different fishing fleets which called the gulf of Alyska home. Japanese settlement would expand rapidly in the final half of the fourteenth century, the colony attracting large numbers of people looking to start over, or escape potential death at the hands of local authorities.

    In fact Alyska rapidly became a site of major appeal to Ronin, disgraced former members of the Samurai social class who had been either dismissed, or who’s lords had died and left them jobless. These Ronin would play a major role in the early history of Alyska. Transforming the disparate Japanese settlements in the region from a loose network of colonies to a well developed extension of Japanese civilization. And this age of Ronin, lasting some fifty years, will be the topic of the next section.
     
    Ch.02.03
  • The Age of Ronin
    1360-1420

    It is not known when the first Ronin arrived in Alyska, however in the 1360s the numbers of these disgraced former Samurai who made their way to Alyska began to grow rapidly. Alyska was a place where these men could start new lives, free of the shame of whatever had caused them to leave the service of their noble masters back on the Japanese mainland.

    Initially Ronin were mainly interested in starting over, but it did not take long at all for some to realize that the small cities, coastal fishing villages, and native settlements lacked any central leadership. Or even an ability to defend themselves.

    Starting in the 70s many settlements, both Japanese and native, would fall under the control of several Ronin. Who then began to transform the settlements under their control into in effect their own petty kingdoms. Attracting followers from back in Japan to grow their ranks soon some cities had their own small armed bands, and had begun to raid neighboring settlements. Charging taxes on anyone who traveled through the areas they commanded and demanding a part of the profits from the fishing fleet in exchange for protection from “pirates” who would otherwise attack their vessels.

    By the year 1376 Ronin had taken over much of the Japanese settlements in Alyska and solidified their power in the region. Split into roughly sixty small fiefdoms spread up and down the coast no individual warlord held major power, or controlled significant resources. However taken together these new rulers held the region in an iron grip. Fighting amongst these micro-states was common, and soon the region was covered in a lattice work of alliances, power blocs, neutral powers, and hapless citizens.

    Back in Japan the goings on in Alyska went largely unnoticed. With much of the nobility considering it a good thing that most Ronin had left for Alyska rather than remain and potentially cause trouble in Japan. With Ashikaga Shogun Yoshimitsu (1358-1408) going so far as to laugh at a delegation from Alyska which requested that he do something about the Ronin in 1394.

    It was not until the Ronin warlord Aguro Mitsunoru of Nanko burned most of the fishing fleet in 1413, causing fish prices back in Japan to rise and many merchants to loose huge sums of money, that anyone in Japan took notice. And it was not until he did the same thing in 1420 that anyone decided to do anything about it.

    Aguro had been motivated in his actions out of a desire to hurt the town of Umiyoshima (formerly Korimizu) a key rival of his. The city, already a regional economic center, relied on the large fishing fleet based in the region for much of its relative wealth. Not considering the possible repercussions for his actions beyond its effect in his war with Uniyoshima Aguro achieved his short term goals and forced Umiyoshima to cede substantial amounts of farmland to his city of Nanko in 1417, and felt that he could achieve similar results in 1420.

    What Aguro did not know was that following his burning of the fleet in 1420 Umiyoshima sent a delegation to meet with the Ashikaga shogun Yoshimochi where they accused Aguro, and other former Ronin, as pirates and criminals. They requested that he send a force to Alyska to defeat him and return their lost territory to them.

    Yoshimochi was not initially interested in doing any such thing. Like his predecessor he viewed Alyska as unimportant and was more concerned with relieving the great famine which was plaguing the country at the time. He considered a few thousand fishermen and merchants living in a far off corner of the world and their petty disputes to be of no concern of his.

    It was only after Yoshimochi learned that Alyska possessed good farm land, and only a small population that he reconsidered his position regarding the Umiyoshima delegation. In August of 1420 he met for the second time with the delegation, saying he had come to a decision about what he was going to do about the situation in Alyska.
     
    Ch.02.04
  • The end

    Details regarding the first invasion from Japan are hazy, with our only sources being heavily biased and written in Alyska only in the seventeenth century to bring legitimacy to the Ori shogunate in its war against the Tokugawa.

    What is known for certain is that Yoshimochi met with a delegation from Alyska which asked him to intervene and defeat the Ronin warlords which they claimed were plaguing the area. Initially the shogun dismissed them out of hand, but later became dedicated to launching an invasion of Alysla, raising an army and arriving in Alyska in 1422 sometime in the summer.

    His reasons for suddenly changing his mind remain totally unknown, with some records suggesting that he wished to send many of the displaced peasants in Japan to Alyska to ease overpopulation, but even these sources admit that they do not just know for certain. But its causes are far from disputable.

    The shoguns forces took little immediate action in 1422, instead wintering in one of the southern settlements and sending out messengers to nearby settlements demanding they swear loyalty to the emperor and the shogun, marking any who refused to do so for attacks in the spring of 1423.

    When the winter ended the invasion force made rapid progress, and stormed through the region with relative ease. The records that we do have show that by the winter the entire country had yielded to the Japanese forces, with all the Ronin defeated, killed, and driven off. The region was then divided by the lords controlling the invasion and new rulers installed.

    Obviously this series of events is highly unlikely, and a more likely theory explaining what truly happened will follow, though this is a highly conjectural theory only.
     
    Ch.03.01 Rule of the Shogun
  • Rule of the Shogun
    1420-1486

    In its first years rule from Japan differed little from the previous governance of the settlements in Alyska. With no major population centers, or infrastructure, the ability of the Shogun to enforce their control in Alyska was limited.

    This began to change as more and more settlers from Japan began to arrive in the region. Part of a deliberate effort by the government in Kyoto to civilize the region and establish a proper society in the region. Previously most settlements revolved around the whaling and fishing fleets, but increasingly farmers began to settle in the region. Enticed their by promises of good farm land, no harsh taxes, and greater opportunities.

    Although no census was taken in Alyska until the seventeenth century it is estimated that the population of Japanese Alyska in 1425 stood at well under one hundred thousand, likely only sixty to seventy thousand. However by the end of the century this figure had exploded to perhaps as many as half a million, with evidence of widespread settlement and urban development taking place in many cities. A testament to the effectiveness of Ashikaga efforts to settle and civilize the area.

    With these new settlers came the end of the frontier atmosphere which had previously governed Alyska. The rule of law replaced the rule of the strong, taxes and levies were raised, and a local nobility was allowed to develop to govern the region, rather than whoever commanded the largest mob ruling as had been done previously.

    Ashikaga rule brought a new and more settled period to Alyska, replacing the violence and chaos which had characterized its early settlement. With farming and other pursuits replacing fishing and whaling as the primary means of the economy as the century drew onwards.
     
    Ch.03.02 Tlingit Kingdom
  • Following their exodus from their ancestral homelands due to Mongol settlement in the late thirteenth century it took the Tlingit tribes roughly a century to become firmly settled in their new homeland to the north of the Japanese settlements. During this time the various tribes and families within the larger Tlingit culture would split off and each laid claim to a region of territory to settle.

    As contact with the Japanese settlements grew, trade between the two groups began seeing an exchange of ideas and culture which favored the Japanese. Many Ronin would come to enter the service of the Tlingit, imparting their knowledge of writing, agriculture, and building. All these traits would be slowly assimilated by the Tlingit. And soon myriad small settlements began to sprout up. With the population booming as a result of the introduction of regular cultivation of crops, namely buckwheat and rye.

    Squabbles over land soon began, with the late fourteenth and early fifteenth century seeing various small Tlingit petty kingdoms emerge as small clans vied with one another for additional territory and farmland. A Japanese account written in 1428 makes mention of twenty seven separate kings ruling over the region, though it is careful to state that none of these “kingdoms” ruled over a major city or held a considerable army under their command.

    Initially the Japanese states which had developed to the south did not view the Tlingit as a major issue, instead seeing them as similar to the other peoples around them. Generally insignificant and often assimilated into the Japanese sphere of influence thanks to ever expanding Japanese settlement which often led to the absorption of native settlements.

    This began to change during the 1440s as the state of Arai began to expand through a series of wars of conquest. Annexing and absorbing numerous nearby settlements through war and diplomacy. Though records are scarce, and myth surrounds this period it is generally assumed this expansion was led by king Ainxou I, the first great king of the Tlingit.

    Ainxou I was likely born in the late fourteenth century and it is claimed, though not known for certain, that he was educated in Japan proper. When he returned to his native village of Axaa he immediately set about reforming his society into a Japanese model state. Hiring many Japanese advisors and soldiers to help him in his efforts.

    Regardless by 1460 Ainxou held a large and substantial state which had begun exacting tribute from the many smaller Tlingit and other native villages which surrounded him. This had drawn the attention of the Japanese, whose northern lords had grown alarmed at the growth of his power. They formed a league in 1464 and marched towards Axaa. Planning on deposing Ainxou and splitting up his kingdom.

    This was a big mistake. Ainxou quickly rallied the still independent tribes around him and mobilized his forces. Using the threat of invasion to further cement his position of power in the region and meet the Japanese forces and defeat them in a battle in the outskirts of the city of Axaa. By 1466 he had even begun raiding Japanese settlements along the border in retaliation. A peace was reached in 1467 and Ainxou was recognized as the ruler over the entire region.

    This was the start of the new Tlingit kingdom. Ainxou crowned himself as the high king of the Tlingit in 1469 and made Axaa his capital, with Arai also playing a key role in the history of the kingdom as a southern trade hub with the Japanese lords.

    Over the next centuries the Tlingit state would wax and wane in its territorial extent, with the high kings of Ainxou’s line wielding various lines of power over the lesser kings. Under some high kings the position would wield nearly absolute power, while under others the position would be largely ceremonial. Little higher in authority than the lesser clan chiefs and petty kings.

    Ainxou I would die in 1475 and his son Ainxou II would take his place. Further solidifying the kingdoms authority in the region, putting down a number of rebellions. And later in his reign doing his best to normalize the relationship with the Japanese lords to the south, resuming trade and lessening tensions between the two groups.
     
    Crap!
  • So last week I was very busy, and didnt have time to do a post. And today I just remembered I needed to get an update out, but am again very busy. So no update. Tomorrow though I dont have anything major going on (currently anyway but you never know) and so I should be able to write a long and detailed update which will detail native cultures on the north American continent and how Japanese settlement in Alyska effected the region.

    Thats the theory anyway, but things have a way of changing at a moments notice so we will see.
     
    Ch.03.03 The new world and Japan
  • The effects of Japanese settlement in the new world, 1400-1500.

    Prior to Japanese settlement in the new world during the late fourteenth century and early fifteenth the societies and cultures of the new world seem backwards to our modern eyes. With many peoples, general culture and language groups calling the new world home. The majority of these people lived in loose family groups, existing by a hunter-gatherer lifestyle as had been done for thousands of years. Agriculture, domesticated animals, organized societal divisions, and written language were largely unknown outside of central America and the cultures there.

    Mongolian settlement did not achieve any lasting effects upon the native people of the region. Aside from the displacement of the local native peoples into new areas. The empire’s presence had been to brief, and the number of survivors who merged with native populations to small, to achieve anything permanent in the region.

    Early Japanese settlement likewise did not have a serious impact upon the cultures and people living near and alongside them. Far less any impact upon the distant cultures in the remainder of the continent. Japanese settlers lacked much in the way of technology such as farming implements and metallurgy, and lacked the ability to manufacture their own.

    The general isolation of the region where Japanese settlements were initially established also must be born in mind. Few lived in the area where the Japanese chose to dwell, and many of those that did live in the area quickly chose to assimilate into the Japanese towns. Where there were better sources of food and shelter.

    The age of Ronin, lasting from 1360 until 1420, saw the end of this era of relative isolation. Many Ronin would leave the larger settlements, even before the invasion of 1422, in an effort to establish their own mini-fiefdoms with whatever Japanese followers they could attract and whatever locals they could convince to join them.

    This explosion of small villages in the Alyskan interior went largely unnoticed by the newly conquered heartland. Many Ronin became chieftans of local tribes, or else hired themselves out to the tribes. Selling their services and knowledge in exchange for their safety.

    Slowly at first, but accelerating as the century wore on, the tribes around the Japanese settlements began to exhibit more and more Japanese characteristics. Adopting Japanese language as a trade language, and seeking out educated people to introduce Japanese agriculture and building practices to their peoples.

    Permanent settlements began to pop up all around the region of Alyska during the period, notably in the Tlingit kingdom. But the Tlingit model for assimilating Japanese culture is followed by many tribes and clans on a larger or smaller scale. By 1500 many of these tribes would have largely lost their own native culture in favour of increasing Japanese elements.

    Outside of the area immediately surrounding Japanese settlement this process dropped off sharply. With the manufacturing of various implements of agriculture, war and domestic use, being largely confined to Alyska itself. However trade of these items, as well as knowledge of agriculture, would penetrate deep into the north American continent. With archaeology in the United States showing trade items of Alyskan manufacture in sites as far east as present day Pennsylvania. With sites in Missouri holding significant hoardes of Alyskan goods. Suggesting major trade took place in the years before European contact with the continent.

    The scale of this trade, as well as its extent and the involvement of Japanese merchants in it, is hotly debated. However the presence Alyskan goods, notably iron tools and pottery, in places as far flung as Mexico and Peru speaks to the serious scale of the trade.

    That more native cultures did not adopt Japanese technology, culture, and language may seem strange to a casual observer. As does the lack of domesticated animals among native tribes. However this is likely the result of a lack of overall Japanese interest in assimilating larger territory outside Alyska. As well as a unified Japanese policy on the continent to guide operations in the region. Native cultures will be dealt with in future when the Spanish conquest is detailed.
     
    Sneak Peak - 1
  • So I will post an update Friday as I will be out of town tomorrow. So I figured I would just make a quick post announcing that fact, and also give a little sneak peak at the subject of the next few updates. So here that post is!

    1) Ashikaga decline

    2) The Sensor war and the second age of Ronin, likely a two part

    3) European exploration and expansion. 1490-1500
     
    Ch.03.04 Ashikaga Decline
  • Ashikaga Decline
    Ruling Japan for the better part of three centuries the Ashikaga Shogunate was responsible for the increased development in Alyska during the period. Encouraging the development of various feudal lords into the region settled by earlier Japanese settlers and bringing an end to the first age of Ronin.

    However the shogunate was far from perfect. While the proceeding Kamakura Shogunate had possessed a centralized master-vassal system which they used to control the country, the Ashikaga did not possess sufficient personal property to adopt a similar system. Instead relying on the loyalty of increasingly powerful feudal lords, the Diamyo, in order to enforce their rule. Eventually these Diamyo would not only control land and military forces, but also law enforcement, taxation, and commerce in the territories they controlled.

    This system led to increasingly difficulty in the latter years of the Shogunate, and even by the time of the Ashikaga invasion of Alyska the weaknesses of the Ashikaga system were becoming ever more pronounced. With the invasion and promise of new lands being a key policy for the shogunate during the period, allowing them to secure the loyalty of the nobles for a little longer.

    As the fifteenth century continued on its course Japan became increasingly destabilized. With frequent succession crisis gripping the Ashikaga and disgruntled nobles causing ever more trouble. The short reigns of many Shoguns in the period did not help matters either.

    The end of the Ashikaga would come in the Onin war, a civil war lasting from 1467-1477, which resulted from a succession crisis revolving around who would succeed Shogun Yoshimasa, with supporters coalescing around his brother Yoshimi, and infant son Yoshihisa. The war would expose the vulnerabilities of the Shogunate and plunge Japan into the Sengoku period, from which would eventually emerge the Tokugawa Shogunate.

    In Alyska, as in the rest of Japan, Ashikaga decline would lead to increasing independence for local Diamyo and the region would be split into dozens, if not hundreds of small petty kingdoms and warlord fiefdoms.
     
    Ch.03.05 the Senso war part one
  • The Senso war
    Part One


    During Ashikaga decline the various Diamyo established in Alyska flourished. With the central coastal cities like Umiyoshima expanding their control inland at the expense of the myriad of small feudal lords established after the invasion. By 1475 it is estimated only fifty or so feudal states held control over the region, in contrast to the almost three hundred holdings awarded in 1422.

    In essence by the end of the period Alyska had been divided amongst a series of what were in essence city states and petty kingdoms whose rulers owed only nominal allegiance to the Shogun back in Japan. These small statelets seldom fought one another directly, expanding through marriage alliances and bluffing. However by the final quarter of the century this was rapidly coming to an end, with the larger states now encountering much stiffer resistance to their attempts at further expansion.

    The Onin war back in Japan spelled an end to even the minimal control over Alyska that the Ashikaga had enjoyed. With various claimants to the title of Shogun each commanding their own supporters in Alyska. Alliances were formed and soon the regions powers were fighting one another in mimicry of the warfare back in Japan. As in Japan the fighting quickly degenerated into a series of bloody local conflicts, with the ideas of fighting for some greater purpose quickly descending into horrid local conflicts.
     
    Ch.03.06 the Senso war part two
  • The Senso war. Part Two

    As The Onin war came to an end back in Japan, and the period known as the Sengoku Jidai period began in earnest, the fighting in Alyska was only just beginning. With the Ashikaga managing to keep peace and order in the region even as their power quickly faded in Japan itself. However during the 1470s it had rapidly become apparent to the Diamyo in Alyska that this peace was coming to an end. And so forces were gathered, secret meetings held, and alliances forged, all in preparation for the warfare that all could see was coming.

    Fighting was brutal in the early years of what became known as the Senso war. Most records from the period being lost, but several surviving accounts mentioning battles pitting over a dozen small states against one another, with some battles said to have involved over fifty thousand troops and lasted for several days. These battles, as well as several large scale sieges are well documented from the archeological record. With Umiyoshima even being attacked in 1484 by the neighboring city of Nexo.

    Two major factions emerged in the early days of the fighting, those who supported the Ashikaga and those who did not. From 1486 until 1490 the Senso war was fought, pitting these two factions against one another.

    Again accounts vary wildly about the precise events of the war. But generally it is known that the pro-Ashikaga faction was led by Nexo (a corruption of a native word for stream) with the independence faction led by Umiyoshima. The two sides fought one another for a long period, with neither able to achieve any major advantage until parts of the Nexo army defected, leading to the destruction of the city under after a lengthy siege. This being done in 1487.

    During the winter of that year both sides mustered their remaining forces for a final battle. With both factions nearly exhausted, Nexo’s destruction having cost both sides dearly, though the loyalist faction likely took the worst of it. When spring came both sides met outside the city of Ixlaca for what proved to be the pivotal battle of the war.

    Records agree that the fighting was unparalleled in its brutality. With both sides committing entirely to the fight. After three days of bitter fighting, during which elaborate networks of trenches and defensive redoubts were built by both sides, Umiyoshima forces were victorious. Routing loyalist troops via an encirclement.

    Although the fighting would continue until 1490 the Senso war had essentially ended with the utter destruction of loyalist forces in Alyska. Quickly the victorious faction led by Umiyoshima splintered. Breaking up into a dozen or so new factions. The second age of Ronin had begun.
     
    Ch.04.01 Early European Exploration - 1450-1500
  • Starting in the early part of the fifteenth century a number of voyagers began to set out from European ports, mostly Portuguese. Initially intending to discover a route to the orient and east Asia these voyagers would initiate the age of discovery. With the discovery of the Madeira and Azores archipelagos in 1419 and 1427 allowing Portuguese voyagers a useful jumping off point to allow new and improved Portuguese vessels to range ever farther into the oceans. Sailors from Portugal (many of whom where Italian, but working under the employ of the Portuguese government) next discovering the coast of west Africa in 1434.

    By the end of the century the Portuguese would have established an oceanic route to India, cutting out the Ottoman and Venetian merchants which had previously dominated the trade with the subcontinent and wider Asian world.

    Well aware of the Portuguese efforts to find a navigable route around Africa the newly unified dual crowns of Aragon and Castile would sponsor several of their own voyagers to attempt to jump Portuguese efforts.

    One of these sailors was the Genoese Christopher Columbus (Christoforo Colombo in Italian) who during 1492-1493 set out on what became his first voyage with three ships. Aiming to discover a new and faster route to the Indies by sailing west rather than around the African continent. Needless to say he failed, instead of landing in India he instead made landfall on a small island on the 12th of October 1492 after many weeks at sea. Visiting several Caribbean islands and making contact with native peoples before he set sail for home, bringing several natives with him and also leaving a small contingent behind.

    Columbus would not learn until later that he had failed in his mission to discover a new route to the indies. But his expedition, and subsequent voyages, would be the first of many such European missions to what was soon realized to be anew world. Or at least a world new to the Europeans.
     
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