stories

When The Shogun Awoke - Chapter 3 - page 2

One day you finally declared yourself Great Minister of the Center, Shogun Ashihara, and anounced edicts to the world: "To the Finance Minister: by my order you shall donate ten billion yen to the military for the purpose of unifying the world." "To the Emperor of Russia: by my order you shall dispatch Army Minister to the residence of Shogun Ashihara in Tokyo." "To the Soviet Revolutionary Government:Ten thousand female civil servants are to be employed at an annual salary of thirty thousand yen. Signed, Shogun Ashihara." etc. etc. In the twenty seventh year of Meiji the Sino-Japanese War broke out. You became so excited that you cried, "The destiny of our empire hinges on this war!" You annouced that you would take the heads of the major states as hostages and allocated one district of Tokyo for each one of them on a map. You boasted you could make one hundred billion yen instantly for the military by building a gigantic paper-money printing machine which would print all the currencies in the world. You announced your intention of moving the Finance Ministry and the Mint Bureau to Taotsuoshan. You said you would hand over your mansion to the British Empire for one hundred million yen. You said you would exterminate peasants in a sea battle. You boasted if you travelled to Korea you would make Japan the Land of Fertility and Korea the land of ten rice harvests per year. You declared you would turn Manchuria into an international park since it occupied such a vast territory. Etc. Etc. With these ludicrous remarks you enticed the people into a militaristic mood arousing sensational guafaws all over Japan. The entire nation was intoxicated in a victorious mood; geisha called nasty clients Li Hung-chang, their gobetweens the Red Cross. Toy decorations were on sale everywhere on the streets. As for you, you made a military uniform out of an old frock coat, decorated it with medals made of gold and silver colored paper, posed imperiously in an ceremonial hat made of paper, and played out of tune the lute which you claimed confered by the Crown Princess. Your pictures appeared in papers all over Japan and made people laugh uproariously. During the Russo-Japanese War you expressed your discontent with the cabinet and went on to form an Ashihara Cabinet, declaring it to be the last cabinet in Japanese history. The members were as follows: Prime Minister, Senior First Rank Shogun Ashihara; Foreign Minister, Yamaoka Tesshu; Education Minister, Chiba Shusaku" As soon as he finished the last word, he let out a suppressed laugh. "Oh, I'm sorry."
All Kinjiro could do was gaze resentfully at the First Lieutenant.
"The victory in the Russo-Japanese War further intensified the people's worship of militarymen. The streets were filled with tunes praising them. The lantern procession@celebrating the victory was so riotous that twenty people were killed. Politicians with military backgrounds such as Yamagata Aritomo, Katsura Taro, Yomamoto Gon'nohyoe, and so on assumed Premiership one after another: the military finally gained political power. This heyday of the military continued. The military tried various ways to make you a news story. One of which was a tete-a-tete with General Nogi. They thought it would make an interesting story if you met General Nogi, the leading player in the war. The senano they wrote went like this: on July ninth in the forty-third year of Meiji, General Nogi, Lieutenant General Saito, and Colonel Tsubaki would visit Sugamo Hospital to study its management for the creation of a new hospital for disabled soldiers. There they would meet with Shogun Ashihara. You said to the general, "You underwent great hardship in Lu Shun.