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The Mile Higher Club: Japan

Discover Gackt!

While not yet visited by anyone in the story, the Land of the Rising Sun has clearly influenced at least one character. Its history--celestial as well as mortal--will reach across the ocean in more than one way.

Nagasaki, island of Kyushu

Nagasaki is best known for the site of the second atomic bombing, and that is a story of its own. What most people tend to forget is that it was one of the few, if not the only, trade port open to the outside world in the Edo period, when shogun Iemistsu forbade contact with the outside world. From 1633 to the arrival of Commodore Perry in 1854 Japan severely limited any contact with any other country, with this one port remaining.

Yasukuni Shrine, Tokyo

Yasukuni Shrine I described what this story needed to darquay and her husband, they answered without hesitation. Yasukuni is a shrine to the war dead of Japan that includes convicted and executed war criminals, women and children soldiers and those who (some would argue) were used as human shields. In addition to these are some less ambiguous heroes--the kamikaze pilots, the ordinary soldiers, and the women of Maoka. Further adding to the controversy is a peculiar facet of Japanese religion i.e. Shinto, that holds apotheosis as reality, that some revered as heroes might actually be worshiped as gods.

Updates for The Pacific War

Nagasaki is not a tether to any power, infernal or celestial, though Kobal did make an effort at it.  The bomb was supposed to be dropped on Kokura, a nearby industrial town.  Instead cloud cover "an act of God" got it diverted to Nagasaki, a stone's throw from the city's beautiful cathedral, on a Sunday morning.  The one city open to foreigners for most of Japan's history, obliterated by foreigners.  Alas, absolutely nobody found that funny.  Unbowed, it remains one of Japan's most multicultural cities.

Japan itself returned to solidly ethereal hands.  Plenty of Archangels have made inroads, but with the Nybban contract only recently completed they haven't had time to build much force.  Jean has had to compete with native animism whenever dealing the robotics, but the kami have had to endure their famous son, Miyamoto Musashi, remaining firmly in Laurence's care.

Musashi's last home, Kumamoto Castle, is an old ethereal tether to his old hosts the Hosokawa family.  Physically, like most castles in this part of the world, it has been rebuilt many times, though in 1960 it was rebuilt with a concrete foundation and inner frame.  Its latest restoration ended in December 2007.  In a few months (in The Pacific War game it is January/February 2008) the Hosokawas will be hosting guests, waiting hungrily for their love and Essence.

The kami and Nybbas

From forum and mailing list thread

"Big in Japan"

In Nomine canon has the gods of Japan, the kami, cutting a deal with Nybbas. This made sense from a writer's point of view back in the late 90's when it was penned, because manga and anime were on the rise then, having enjoyed years of copyright-free distribution. However my current love of Japan and a firsthand understanding of pagan religions...I just couldn't let that sit. I've done some reading, spoken to some people, and have learned something wonderful about this culture; a profound sense of balance. So I let my imagination wander, and here's what I got.

The screen flickered to life with the sound of an electronic riff, the kind so familiar to viewers as 'breaking news'. It rarely was any news of any real importance, like the "Storm Watch" so familiar to people in comfortable climates as being the report of a couple inches of (gasp!) rain.
"Um, breaking news from Tokyo. Breaking news. Terrifically bad news, that's good for ratings right?" The demon 'newscaster' wasn't doing too well. Bad news did indeed get good ratings from the audience, but it tended to get bad ratings from Nybbas. He could get "cancelled", even if he was the demon who engineered a pact with an entire nation of ethereal gods. Nybbas watched impassively, doling out figurative rope for the Impudite to figuratively hang himself with...or not so figuratively. "Nothing new to report sir."
"That's bad," said Nybbas without irony. "Last I heard things weren't going so well with the kami."
"They're going quite well actually. Manga is all over the world. Books may not be our favorite medium, but they lead to movies, anime, magazines, even J-pop on YouTube. People are buying multi-region video players just to watch this stuff. Reading subtitles just to hear about those gods. Sure there's been a slump, you know that, our way of letting the kami know we can take away as well as give. But the books are still even m'lord. To the very last shred of Essence, in the black."
"They haven't tried to rip us off, and we haven't managed to rip them off."
"And they're still getting Essence from all over the world, even with uneven images. Even with some," the newscaster hesitated, tried rephrasing, "winged-supernatural-people images."
"Angels. The Japanese are sending Essence to angels, on my dime. See if you can bag a Tradesman for some information--I smell Marc in this."
"I have, my lord. They know nothing."
"End our contract. Refresh the stereotype in the rest of the world about how only people of a certain religion have any morals, vary that religion by region. Throw some kind of distraction out there until I can figure out how to spin this so they look like the bad guys. How I can paint a scrupulously fair deal that happened to work out well for them, as somehow an outrage...I'll get some guys on it."