The History of Realmgard in 30 Days: November 21

“Notably, claiming to be a visiting dignitary from the Yamatai Imperial Court became, and still remains, a popular confidence scheme.”

Realmgardo-Yamatai Relations

"Arrival of the Southern Barbarians Screen:" Kanō Naizen. Image via Wikimedia commons. Public Domain.
A real-life historical depiction of Portuguese traders arriving in Japan, functioning as a suitable approximation of Realmgardian merchants in Yamatai.

Arrival of the Southern Barbarians Screen: Kanō Naizen. Image via Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain.

First brought to the attention of Realmgard’s inhabitants (though not visited in person) in the travelogue of Natalian explorer and merchant Luca Pertico, the island nation of Yamatai remains both poorly-understood and highly-romanticised in the Realmgardian imagination.

Pertico’s account of Yamatai is minimal, mentioning only the failed invasion of Yamatai by the forces of Khatu Khan, who ruled over much of the eastern continent and little of substance about Yamatai itself.

An image of Realmgardian explorer Luca Pertico.

For the next several centuries, Yamatai would continue to be given fleeting mentions in Realmgardian histories and travelogues, including several unsubstantiated, largely mythologised accounts of Realmgardian sailors landing in Yamatai.

Notably, claiming to be a visiting dignitary from the Yamatai Imperial Court became, and still remains, a popular confidence scheme.

The establishment of intercontinental trade routes, particularly those of the Kingdom of Torres, the first Realmgardian nation to establish trade with Yamatai, has allowed for a slow but steady influx of knowledge about Yamatai’s history and culture to Realmgard — as well as the reverse, leading to a growing adoption of Realmgardian artistic and technological innovation in Yamatai. Despite its insular society, Yamatai has demonstrated a historical eagerness to adopt and adapt foreign techniques in art and science.

However, access to the country by foreigners remains tightly-controlled, though not forbidden outright. Few Realmgardian visitors ever set foot beyond the ports of Yamatai cities, so rumour and exaggeration remain widespread in Realmgardian discussions about Yamatai.

However, certain foreigners who have been able to win the trust and patronage of local rulers in Yamatai have been granted permission to travel through the heartland of Yamatai and more accurate eyewitness accounts of life in Yamatai are beginning to be published in Realmgard.

Yamatai art and artifacts — particularly weapons and armour, particularly the swords of Yamatai samurai — have proven popular among Realmgardian, setting off a frenzy for Yamatai-style art and the adoption of Yamatai techniques by Realmgardian artists.

Among the most famous Yamatai artifacts in Realmgard is the Houou Mochizuki, a sword forged by the famous female smith Mochizuki Hikari. How exactly the sword first arrived in Realmgard is unclear, but it is currently in possession of the Princes of Porthaven.

The Houou Mochizuki, a samurai sword with a phoenix engraved on the balde.
A depiction of the Houou Mochizuki. “Houou” is the Yamatai word for phoenix, referring to the engraving on the blade.

The largest community of Yamatai expatriates exists in the Kingdom of Torres — as stated, the first Realmgardian nation to establish ties with Yamatai — and Torres has been at the forefront of the movement to incorporate Yamatai artistic techniques. Similarly, the Torrean style remains the most widely-adopted foreign influence in Yamatai.

Torrean cooking has proven especially popular among the people of Yamatai.

Though direct contact with Yamatai and the Kingdom of Aurora is minimal, the Aurorean folktales centring on the adventurous orphan Anya of Greenspire have also proven immensely popular in Yamatai with a rapidity that has left many casual Realmgardian observers thoroughly bemused.

There is also a not insignificant population of Yamatai immigrants and expatriates in Porthaven’s Outlands Quarter.

The establishment of Yamatai communities in Realmgard continues to facilitate cultural exchange. Realmgardian scholars have begun commissioning histories of Yamatai written by Yamatai individuals and numerous collaborations have been undertaken between Yamatai and Realmgardian artists.

As previously-established, Yamatai is Fantasy-Japan, and the history broadly follows the course of real history. The first European to mention Japan is Marco Polo, Portugal (of which Torres is the equivalent) was the first European empire to contact Japan.

Also, I’ve mentionedthat Aurora is Realmgard’s Canada. Anya of Greenspire is meant to be the equivalent of Anne of Green Gables, which is, for reasons I don’t think anyone outside of Japan quite understands, has become huge in Japan.

To the point that the Anne of Green Gables historical site is actually a wedding destination for Japanese tourists.

And with that, we’ve wrapped up Week 3 of 30 Days of History, so I’ll be posting the recap, uh, post later tonight.

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