Yabushio: timeline

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Yabushio: timeline

Post by clawgrip » 07 Jan 2015 13:28

I've never made a con-country of Earth before, so I've decided to give it a go. The country I have begun to design is tentatively called Yabushio (藪鹽). It's a small island nation off the coast of Japan. I've got some good ideas on how it starts out, but there are some barriers in real world history that make it difficult to figure out how it could ever survive to become a modern nation, which is my goal. So, I thought I'd post what I have and see how plausible this seems.

The history of Yabushio starts with the downfall of the Satomi clan of Japan's late Sengoku period and early Edo period. In the early Edo period, there was a prosperous daimyo named Okubo Nagayasu, who was of the Takeda clan. but when he died in the year 1613, evidence surfaced of his involvement in illegal activities. His fief was confiscated, and his sons ordered to commit suicide. Satomi Tadayoshi, the head of the Satomi, had been a retainer of the Okubo clan, and was implicated in the illegal activities of Okubo Nagayasu. The Satomi were stripped of their lands, and their holdings reduced from 120,000 koku to a mere 30,000. Satomi Tadayoshi and his followers left Awa Province, near Edo to the far-away Hoki province.

Here, the Satomi settled on the island of Yabushio, the largest island of the Oki archipelago, but belonging to Hoki rather than Oki. Tadayoshi died in 1622, but his son, Yoshimune became head of the family. Though the truth may now never be known, Yoshimune ardently believed in his father's innocence, and deeply resented his family's censure at the hands of the shogunate. Though the Satomi had once been aligned with the Tokugawa, they were now opposed to them.

The charismatic Yoshimune was able to rise to a position of considerable influence on Yabushio, and the Satomi distrust of the Tokugawa slowly spread throughout the island.

This is where I'm at now. Everything in the first paragraph is true, but Yabushio and Yoshimune are both fictional.

I'm thinking the best thing is to have an uprising on the island that coincides withe the Shimabara rebellion in 1637-38, when the Tokugawa are already busy. This will also allow Yabushio to break off before sakoku, Japan's exclusionary period established in 1639. It's also maybe possible that Yabushio could become a tributary of Ming China, although this would require them to recover from their losses in only 25 years. Maybe they have some good silver deposits on Yabushio that give them trade items. Yabushio will still be in a position to trade with Europeans as well, who also will want silver for trade with China. This will allow Yabushio to get the upper hand on Edo Japan.

I want to have the Oki islands eventually become a part of Yabushio as well. I'm thinking that Yabushio will consider itself to be a separate kingdom, and will ignore the restrictions of sakoku, continuing trade with China and Europeans. The Tokugawa will still consider Yabushio to be a Japanese possession, so it won't be excluded by sakoku. Perhaps the advancements brought by Europeans will entice the Oki people to become a part of Yabushio.

By the time of the Meiji restoration, Europeans probably won't support Japan's belief that Yabushio is a Japanese possession, since it will have been a European trading partner for over 200 years. This could get them past the initial stage of the Meiji government, but not for long. The Meiji government were very big on expanding their empire. They annexed Okinawa in 1872 and Korea in 1905, so I think Yabushio is pretty much bound to be annexed. The question is, how will it gain its independence after World War II?

This situation will allow for some interesting things with language and writing as well. The language will be descended from middle Japanese, and I want to preserve a few features that have disappeared from modern Japanese, and experiment with some other sound changes. I don't know enough about the dialects of that region, so I am going on the flimsy premise that the Satomi, being from the Edo region, will somehow influence the language and make it more standard. Also, Hiragana was standardized in 1900 in Japan, so I can have completely different hiragana standardized in Yabushio (if I have the standardization to happen before the Meiji period), and the Japanese kanji simplifications were done in 1946, so I will retain traditional kanji forms as well.

So, does anyone have any comments or suggestions? Is there anything too flimsy here? Obviously, this is pretty shaky from the start, but I'm trying to find the most plausible way to reach my goal.

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Last edited by clawgrip on 10 Sep 2015 06:39, edited 7 times in total.

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Re: help me with the history of Yabushio

Post by Lao Kou » 07 Jan 2015 14:44

clawgrip wrote:The country I have begun to design is tentatively called Yabushio (藪鹽)... the largest island of the Oki archipelago, but belonging to Hoki rather than Oki. It's a small island nation off the coast of Japan.

So, does anyone have any comments or suggestions?
Between Yabushio, the Sōkoa archipelago, and Géarthtörs, this part of the real world is becoming a primo piece of conreal estate. [;)] 藪 was a new one for me, yay! [:D]
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Re: help me with the history of Yabushio

Post by shimobaatar » 07 Jan 2015 22:24

clawgrip wrote: I've never made a con-country of Earth before, so I've decided to give it a go. The country I have begun to design is tentatively called Yabushio (藪鹽). It's a small island nation off the coast of Japan. I've got some good ideas on how it starts out, but there are some barriers in real world history that make it difficult to figure out how it could ever survive to become a modern nation, which is my goal. So, I thought I'd post what I have and see how plausible this seems.

The history of Yabushio starts with the downfall of the Satomi clan of Japan's late Sengoku period and early Edo period. In the early Edo period, there was a prosperous daimyo named Okubo Nagayasu, who was of the Takeda clan. but when he died in the year 1613, evidence surfaced of his involvement in illegal activities. His fief was confiscated, and his sons ordered to commit suicide. Satomi Tadayoshi, the head of the Satomi, had been a retainer of the Okubo clan, and was implicated in the illegal activities of Okubo Nagayasu. The Satomi were stripped of their lands, and their holdings reduced from 120,000 koku to a mere 30,000. Satomi Tadayoshi and his followers left Awa Province, near Edo to the far-away Hoki province.

Here, the Satomi settled on the island of Yabushio, the largest island of the Oki archipelago, but belonging to Hoki rather than Oki. Tadayoshi died in 1622, but his son, Yoshimune became head of the family. Though the truth may now never be known, Yoshimune ardently believed in his father's innocence, and deeply resented his family's censure at the hands of the shogunate. Though the Satomi had once been aligned with the Tokugawa, they were now opposed to them.

The charismatic Yoshimune was able to rise to a position of considerable influence on Yabushio, and the Satomi distrust of the Tokugawa slowly spread throughout the island.

This is where I'm at now. Everything in the first paragraph is true, but Yabushio and Yoshimune are both fictional.
Sounds like a really cool idea and an interesting place to start!
clawgrip wrote:I'm thinking the best thing is to have an uprising on the island that coincides withe the Shimabara rebellion in 1637-38, when the Tokugawa are already busy. This will also allow Yabushio to break off before sakoku, Japan's exclusionary period established in 1639. It's also maybe possible that Yabushio could become a tributary of Ming China, although this would require them to recover from their losses in only 25 years. Maybe they have some good silver deposits on Yabushio that give them trade items. Yabushio will still be in a position to trade with Europeans as well, who also will want silver for trade with China. This will allow Yabushio to get the upper hand on Edo Japan.

I want to have the Oki islands eventually become a part of Yabushio as well. I'm thinking that Yabushio will consider itself to be a separate kingdom, and will ignore the restrictions of sakoku, continuing trade with China and Europeans. The Tokugawa will still consider Yabushio to be a Japanese possession, so it won't be excluded by sakoku. Perhaps the advancements brought by Europeans will entice the Oki people to become a part of Yabushio.

By the time of the Meiji restoration, Europeans probably won't support Japan's belief that Yabushio is a Japanese possession, since it will have been a European trading partner for over 200 years. This could get them past the initial stage of the Meiji government, but not for long. The Meiji government were very big on expanding their empire. They annexed Okinawa in 1872 and Korea in 1905, so I think Yabushio is pretty much bound to be annexed. The question is, how will it gain its independence after World War II?
I'd definitely have them take advantages of "mainland" rebellions. I like the idea of the island having enough silver deposits to allow it to become economically involved with China, Europe, and Japan. The fact that Japan doesn't recognize its independence but also seems unable to control the island allows Yabushio to trade with foreign powers and isolationist Japan. I also like the idea of the other Oki Islands being so impressed with Yabushio that they willingly unite with it.

As for Meiji imperialism and post-WWII Yabushio, I'd recommend having them willingly become part of the empire once Japan threatens invasion. Since they're your conpeople, it's up to you to decide how likely they would be to do this, but I think they wouldn't be as opposed to being annexed as before, since the Tokugawa period would be over by this time. If you decide to have the Oki Islands unite with them peacefully, this may also influence their decision to peacefully "surrender" and become part of Japan. The reason I'd recommend "surrender" is that it would allow them to largely avoid losing lots of money on a futile war effort, as well as having their people and territory damaged by Japanese forces. If they cooperate and make it to the late 40's almost unharmed, with their former prosperity almost entirely still intact, they would definitely have a better chance at independence. I'd also recommend having Japan annex them relatively late, after Korea, and having the Allies arrive in the Oki Islands before arriving elsewhere in the main islands of Japan, which would allow for Yabushio to surrender. Because of its early surrender, cooperation with the Allies, and history of trade with China and Europe, I could definitely see international support for Yabushio becoming an independent state and possibly an early member of the UN post-WWII. They might have to deal with American imperialism for a period of time, but I think it's definitely possible for them to emerge from WWII an independent and perhaps even prosperous nation, especially since Japan would really not be in much of a position to argue.

I hope my thoughts were coherent. [:)]
clawgrip wrote:This situation will allow for some interesting things with language and writing as well. The language will be descended from middle Japanese, and I want to preserve a few features that have disappeared from modern Japanese, and experiment with some other sound changes. I don't know enough about the dialects of that region, so I am going on the flimsy premise that the Satomi, being from the Edo region, will somehow influence the language and make it more standard. Also, Hiragana was standardized in 1900 in Japan, so I can have completely different hiragana standardized in Yabushio (if I have the standardization to happen before the Meiji period), and the Japanese kanji simplifications were done in 1946, so I will retain traditional kanji forms as well.
Good luck carrying out these complex and interesting linguistic ideas!

Again, this is really cool and I look forward to seeing what you do with this idea in the future. Everything seems pretty solid to me, except for the period around WWII, which I've made some suggestions about. I also really like the flag!

Lao Kou wrote:Between Yabushio, the Sōkoa archipelago, and Géarthtörs, this part of the real world is becoming a primo piece of conreal estate. [;)] 藪 was a new one for me, yay! [:D]
Oh, wow! I didn't know Géarthtörs and Sōkoa were on Earth, let alone in East Asia!

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Re: help me with the history of Yabushio

Post by clawgrip » 08 Jan 2015 01:07

shimobaatar wrote:Sounds like a really cool idea and an interesting place to start!
Thanks. There was also a pirate guy (Fujiwara no Sumitomo) who tried to set up his own pirate kingdom, which is awesome, but I decided not to use that guy because he tried to make his country in the Seto Inland Sea. It's too unrealistic to have an entirely separate country in there. Plus anything described as a "pirate kingdom" is destined for failure.
As for Meiji imperialism and post-WWII Yabushio, I'd recommend having them willingly become part of the empire once Japan threatens invasion. Since they're your conpeople, it's up to you to decide how likely they would be to do this, but I think they wouldn't be as opposed to being annexed as before, since the Tokugawa period would be over by this time. If you decide to have the Oki Islands unite with them peacefully, this may also influence their decision to peacefully "surrender" and become part of Japan. The reason I'd recommend "surrender" is that it would allow them to largely avoid losing lots of money on a futile war effort, as well as having their people and territory damaged by Japanese forces. If they cooperate and make it to the late 40's almost unharmed, with their former prosperity almost entirely still intact, they would definitely have a better chance at independence. I'd also recommend having Japan annex them relatively late, after Korea, and having the Allies arrive in the Oki Islands before arriving elsewhere in the main islands of Japan, which would allow for Yabushio to surrender. Because of its early surrender, cooperation with the Allies, and history of trade with China and Europe, I could definitely see international support for Yabushio becoming an independent state and possibly an early member of the UN post-WWII. They might have to deal with American imperialism for a period of time, but I think it's definitely possible for them to emerge from WWII an independent and perhaps even prosperous nation, especially since Japan would really not be in much of a position to argue.

I hope my thoughts were coherent. [:)]
I made a mistake, Okinawa was annexed in 1879, not 1872. It was already a vassal state of the Satsuma Domain, so this likely accelerated its annexation, but it was also a tributary of China, which is one of the things I have used as a defense against annexation by Japan for Yabushio. I still find it difficult to justify why Japan would go for Korea before Yabushio, unless they considered Yabushio to be too insignificant, and maybe too much trouble if it had European ties. Still, with its silver resources and likely limited military strength, it would seem to be a tempting target, since Meiji Japan was pretty gung ho on the whole imperialism thing. Anyway, quick surrender may be the best option either way, to avoid wars and assassinations and things.

I'm also trying to think of what to call the leader of the country. I have considered making it a monarchy or constitutional monarchy, with the leaders descending from the Satomi line as the head, but I'm not sure. Also, I don't know what they would call themselves. While I can imagine the head of the Satomi continued to call themselves daimyo, it seems unlikely they would keep this title after separating from Japan, particularly into the modern era, when all the daimyo of Japan were eliminated in the Meiji restoration. But if not daimyo, then what? Suddenly calling themselves kings would be a bit ostentatious and foreign-sounding, since Japan never had a king. Shogun is as archaic as daimyo. Maybe I should ditch the hereditary leadership thing?
Again, this is really cool and I look forward to seeing what you do with this idea in the future. Everything seems pretty solid to me, except for the period around WWII, which I've made some suggestions about. I also really like the flag!
Thanks. The flag is based on the crest of the Satomi clan.

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Re: help me with the history of Yabushio

Post by shimobaatar » 08 Jan 2015 01:53

clawgrip wrote:Thanks. There was also a pirate guy (Fujiwara no Sumitomo) who tried to set up his own pirate kingdom, which is awesome, but I decided not to use that guy because he tried to make his country in the Seto Inland Sea. It's too unrealistic to have an entirely separate country in there. Plus anything described as a "pirate kingdom" is destined for failure.
Yeah, exploring what might have happened if he succeeded would be interesting, but it could never be the basis of a modern-day concountry.
clawgrip wrote:I still find it difficult to justify why Japan would go for Korea before Yabushio, unless they considered Yabushio to be too insignificant, and maybe too much trouble if it had European ties. Still, with its silver resources and likely limited military strength, it would seem to be a tempting target, since Meiji Japan was pretty gung ho on the whole imperialism thing. Anyway, quick surrender may be the best option either way, to avoid wars and assassinations and things.
"Too insignificant" and "too tied to Europe" were indeed what I had in mind for why Korea would have been annexed before Yabushio. However, I can definitely see your point about the small military, silver resources, and Meiji enthusiasm.

I don't think it matters to much when it was annexed, actually. As long as it didn't suffer too much during the process.
clawgrip wrote:I'm also trying to think of what to call the leader of the country. I have considered making it a monarchy or constitutional monarchy, with the leaders descending from the Satomi line as the head, but I'm not sure. Also, I don't know what they would call themselves. While I can imagine the head of the Satomi continued to call themselves daimyo, it seems unlikely they would keep this title after separating from Japan, particularly into the modern era, when all the daimyo of Japan were eliminated in the Meiji restoration. But if not daimyo, then what? Suddenly calling themselves kings would be a bit ostentatious and foreign-sounding, since Japan never had a king. Shogun is as archaic as daimyo. Maybe I should ditch the hereditary leadership thing?
I would personally stick with the idea of hereditary leadership, and call the leader either shōgun or daimyō, even though the role might not be the same. Due to the relatively recent feudal/clan origins of Yabushio, I think it would make sense for them to retain one of these titles, especially to keep a distinct identity during Meiji occupation perhaps. Maybe they would use daimyō, since that was the title of the head of the clan when the nation was founded, or maybe they would use shōgun to show their ancestral disrespect for the Tokugawa shogunate, claiming that the true shōgun belonged to the Satomi clan.

Just some ideas. What they call their leader has a lot to do with the ideology of the people and the ideological basis for the nation's founding.

Oh, and I assume you're asking about what the leader would be called throughout the nation's entire history, from the beginning to the modern era?

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Re: help me with the history of Yabushio

Post by clawgrip » 08 Jan 2015 02:20

Yes, like what the official title of the leader would be in 2015. Daimyo seems best since it is a more neutral word (literally "big name") where shogun is inherently militaristic, since it means "commander of the army".

Here is a map of the country, with the fictional Yabushiojima and the real-life Oki islands, but with a population increase to match its status as an independent nation:

Image

I imagine all the names will have to be altered slightly once I come up with the dialect/language, but this is what they are in modern Japanese.

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Re: help me with the history of Yabushio

Post by shimobaatar » 08 Jan 2015 02:30

Cool! What's the capital?

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Re: help me with the history of Yabushio

Post by clawgrip » 08 Jan 2015 02:34

The capital is Tazuru, in the north of Yabushiojima.

I feel it's kind of strange to have the island and the country both be named Yabushio, but oh well. Historically it started out as a single island, so it made sense to call it that. I don't think they would rename their nation when the Oki islands joined.

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Re: help me with the history of Yabushio

Post by Lao Kou » 08 Jan 2015 02:36

Can one "drop" the つ of 别 like that? I suppose there's Nihon/Nippon, but that's a ち. I ask only because I first did a double take seeing 别府 as Befu, when the real life one is read Beppu. I don't think I ever internalized the "rules" of that completely.
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Re: help me with the history of Yabushio

Post by clawgrip » 08 Jan 2015 02:42

Actually, you're right, it looks like that place really is called Beppu. I guess I misread it when I was looking up the names. Good catch.

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Re: help me with the history of Yabushio

Post by Lao Kou » 08 Jan 2015 02:51

clawgrip wrote:Actually, you're right, it looks like that place really is called Beppu. I guess I misread it when I was looking up the names. Good catch.
While it's delightful being right [;)] , the only reason I "caught" it was because I sojourned in the real one many moons ago. That still leaves what happened to the ち of Nihon. Just worn down over time? Dropped to due a lack of interest? Analogy with 二本?
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Re: help me with the history of Yabushio

Post by clawgrip » 08 Jan 2015 03:20

Who knows, nanori readings are weird, especially something like that. 一 also can drop its ち.

So my next step is to work on the language. I don't want really radical sound changes, but I will do a few. I also want to adjust which "auxiliaries" are dropped and kept, giving it, for example, a past tense not evolved from -tari, as modern Japanese, and politeness not based on -masu.

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Re: help me with the history of Yabushio

Post by clawgrip » 08 Jan 2015 05:37

Some plans for the language:
-verbs with distinct conclusive and attributive forms will not merge them as in modern Japanese; however, the attributive suffix will regularize to -ru, which through onbin will become -t (syllable final /t/ evidently existed in middle Japanese in Chinese loans). This will have some weird mergers with the following word/particle. However, verbs lacking a separate attributive will not gain this -t attributive.

-this failure to merge may cause historical bigrade and monograde verbs to remain distinct, instead of merge, as they have in modern Japanese. Will have to investigate.

-past tense will form from -keri instead of -tari. -tari may disappear, or merge with -tsu to preserve the old perfect. This will probably prevent the formation of modern -te iru. I think -keri and -tsu were already obsolete in colloquial Japanese in the 1600s, but if I'm creating an entire fictional country, I think I'm not out of line in slightly extending the longevity of a couple verb endings. There will be some onbin effects here as in modern Japanese, to obscure their origins.

-negative -zu will be preserved, instead of modern -nai. I'm on the fence as to whether conclusive -zu or attributive -nu should take over as its main form (because attributive is regularized to -t, so only one main form is needed).

-ku and shiku adjectival verbs will probably half merge, but remain distinct in one or two forms.

-Don't know if I will preserve the two copulas (nari, tari), merge them like modern Japanese, or specialize them in some novel way. As I understand it, tari was on the way out in middle Japanese.

-The phonology will take some work. Middle Japanese had things like kwa and wo and ye, and a sixth vowel that was long only. I'll have to familiarize myself a little more with middle Japanese phonology first.

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Re: help me with the history of Yabushio

Post by Lao Kou » 08 Jan 2015 05:53

clawgrip wrote:Who knows, nanori readings are weird, especially something like that.
Is that what's going on? Well, if an old Japan hand such as yourself can throw up his hands at nanori now and again, I feel much consoled. [:)]
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Re: help me with the history of Yabushio

Post by clawgrip » 08 Jan 2015 11:09

Sometimes, it's some archaic thing that's only been preserved in one or two words. Sometimes it's a morpheme otherwise represented by a completely separate but thematically similar character (like 一 ichi "one" being read hajime "beginning", which is usually written 初め or 始め), sometimes it's a piece of a root that has been split apart as a consequence of the script (so for example 生 can be read i because verb root ik- i.e. ikiru "live" is written 生きる i-ki-ru. Sometimes it's just something someone decided would be nice. Some just don't make a whole lot of sense (for example, look at 海士 Ama!) 泉 is pronounced izumi, but there is a surname 和泉, which is pronounced...Izumi. Why? Anyway, for Nihon, I suspect it's just some archaic thing that probably made sense previously but doesn't now. It's weird though.

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Re: help me with the history of Yabushio

Post by clawgrip » 08 Jan 2015 14:11

So, I am thinking a little about the government. I am indeed going to go with Daimyo as the official title of the head of state, because it's just so weird, but it makes sense. The government will be basically a constitutional monarchy, but I don't like that term. The Satomi family is nobility, not royalty, but the term "monarchy" seems to imply royalty. Is there any term for this? Constitutional autocracy? I just can't think of any term that sounds right.

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Re: help me with the history of Yabushio

Post by shimobaatar » 08 Jan 2015 20:52

clawgrip wrote:So, I am thinking a little about the government. I am indeed going to go with Daimyo as the official title of the head of state, because it's just so weird, but it makes sense. The government will be basically a constitutional monarchy, but I don't like that term. The Satomi family is nobility, not royalty, but the term "monarchy" seems to imply royalty. Is there any term for this? Constitutional autocracy? I just can't think of any term that sounds right.
Much like the Allies made Japan become a constitutional monarchy post-WWII, I could see them making Yabushio become something similar. The international community might call it a constitutional monarchy, but I agree that the people and government of Yabushio itself would probably use a different term.

"Monarchy" refers to an area of land ruled over by a monarch/king, so what term refers to an area of land ruled over by a daimyō? Whatever that term is, I'd recommend replacing the "monarchy" in "constitutional monarchy" with it. I'm afraid I don't know enough about Japanese history to know what that term would be.

Constitutional Fiefdom? That sounds really European, though, if it's even truly accurate in the first place…

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Re: help me with the history of Yabushio

Post by sangi39 » 09 Jan 2015 18:58

shimobaatar wrote:...

"Monarchy" refers to an area of land ruled over by a monarch/king, so what term refers to an area of land ruled over by a daimyō?

"Han" or "Domain" maybe? I'm not sure either, but this seems like a start.
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Re: help me with the history of Yabushio

Post by shimobaatar » 09 Jan 2015 20:02

sangi39 wrote:
shimobaatar wrote:...

"Monarchy" refers to an area of land ruled over by a monarch/king, so what term refers to an area of land ruled over by a daimyō?

"Han" or "Domain" maybe? I'm not sure either, but this seems like a start.
I personally like the sound of "Constitutional Domain".

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Re: help me with the history of Yabushio

Post by clawgrip » 10 Jan 2015 02:13

I suppose I could use 藩 han/domain. I guess that would make it a 藩国, so the official name may be 藪鹽藩國.

As for the language, I want to give it a sixth vowel. According to sources I've read, there already was a sixth vowel in middle Japanese, because the long vowel resulting from <au> was apparently distinct from the long vowel of <ou, oo>, i.e. /ɔː/ vs. /oː/. I can change /kwa wa wo/ into /kɔ ɔ ɔ/. Maybe I can get some loanwords from other languages to strengthen /ɔ/ and spread it to locations other than k_ and Ø_.

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