|Capital||Planet New Tokyo,|
New Tokyo System
|Official languages||Japanese, English|
Kusari or the Empire of Kusari (鎖帝国 Kusari Teikoku II) (also the second empire of Kusari or restored Empire of Kusari) is the current title of one of the four original houses in Sirius. The Kusari is a small yet expansive house, with significant forces holding the four core systems (New Tokyo, Kyushu, Shikoku, Honshu) and claims and patrols to many other lesser systems surrounding them. Kusari influence stretches from the distant Tau-31 system to Sigma-19, effectively occupying the entirety of the known lower northern Sirius sector. Kusari is allied with Gallia since the war with the Kingdom of Gallia has ended. With the end of this war the emperor was exiled and Kusari became a republic (鎖共和国 Kusari Kyōwakoku). After a Civil war Kusari now is an Empire again.
Main article: History of Kusari
Shogunate Kusari (4 AS - 321 AS)
The Kusari was originally the name of one of the five Alliance sleeper ships carrying colonists on their escape from the Solar System to the Sirius Sector. This particular ship carried refugees from the Japanese part of the Alliance. The ship arrived in the Sirius sector in 4 A.S., taking a standard year to survey space until finally discovering a system within the Crow Nebula containing a planet suitable for human life. The system, as well as the planet would be officially named as New Tokyo. Conditions for food production were more than adequate, and the newly established house Kusari would quickly enjoy a period of quick growth and technological advances.
The Hideyoshi shogunate
Little is known about the period of the Hideyoshi Shogunate, except for the events that led to it's end. The Shogunate held control of Kusari power at a early period in the House history, until 321 AS, when Samura backed forces staged a coup during the Sakura Festival. The Shogun was surrounded in the palace by Samura-backed elements of the military and asked to surrender, along with the Royal Guard. The Shogun, humiliated by the shame he had brought his family, committed suicide. The guards, headed by Kozue Okamura, did not acquiesce so easily. In a bloody battle, they fought their way out of the palace and retreated into the darkness of northern Kusari space. Here they regrouped and began a long guerrilla campaign aimed at overthrowing the Samura-controlled Kusari government, taking the name of the Blood Dragons.
Coups and power plays
First Empire (321 AS - 819 AS (as Exiles until 825))
Nomad War (800-801 A.S.)
During the Nomad War Kusari would temporarily fall under the influence of the infested Governor Tekagi, who would play a vital part in pitting the forces of Kusari and Rheinland against each other during the Battle for Honshu. Tekagi himself is known to have been assassinated by a joint action of the Blood Dragons and the Order during the height of the war, possibly averting the Nomad infestation of the then Shogun Edo.
During the climax of the war, the massive Rheinland northern fleet pushed through Sigma-13 straight through Honshu and into New Tokyo, where a large battle was fought in orbit of Planet New Tokyo, ending with the destruction of the Kusari fleet. With the end of the war, Rheinland forces retreated from Kusari, leaving the Empire to rebuild.
Bretonia War and the arrival of the Gallic Fleet
813 A.S. marked the start of the largest conflict in the 9th century so far: the War for the Tau systems, more widely known as the Bretonian-Kusari conflict. The Kusari Naval Forces would dominate over the Bretonian fleet in this war, eventually leading to an ongoing invasion of Leeds.
In the beginning of 818 A.S. Kusari was building up to launch a full-scale assault on the Bretonian Derby and Leeds Planetary Fleets in an attempt to prepare the way for a ground invasion. The Emperor and Shogun traveled to Stokes Station to begin finalizing the plan in early 818 A.S. However, Bretonian raids against their supply convoys had slowed their force buildup, and when the rapid advance of Gallic fleets delayed their plans still further, the Kusari command, with the two most powerful men in Kusari trapped in Bretonia, put its offensive on hold, redirecting most of its forces towards Tau-31 where Gallia was thought to be heading.
Kusari underestimated the power of Gallic forces that would get to Tau-31. When Gallia demanded the full withdrawal of all Sirius military forces from Tau-31, Kusari decided to buy some time to bring in more reinforcements and possibly bargain a deal with Gallia to attack Bretonia in one joint strike. The diplomatic efforts of Kusari failed to achieve any success. Soon after, Kusari refused to submit to a second ultimatum from Gallia. The Kusari Shogun chose not to wait for Gallia to start a war, and, quite surprisingly, the first Sirius House to declare war on Gallia was Kusari. Some of the Naval Forces commanders considered this decision to be suicide, and they were proved to be right.
Kusari fought fearlessly, but they were outnumbered and outgunned by Gallic fleets that brought in newly equipped ships and well-trained crews. The delay caused by the Kusari attempt at negotiations was in fact very useful for the Royal Navy, since it allowed them to bring up additional forces from Gallia and establish reliable supply lines through Tau-23. Gallia suffered heavy casualties in some of the first battles that took place near the Tau-29 Jump Gate at the hands of the battle-hardened Kusari veterans, but casualties of Kusari were still higher than those of the enemy, and Kusari did not manage to win a single large-scale battle in this war. Throughout these months, four attempts were made to get the Emperor and Shogun back to Kusari, the last attempt using the Newcastle to Tau 31 jumphole, the Satsuma Imperial Yacht was forced to withdraw into the Newcastle Nebula, where it took position, hiding from the Gallic forces, awaiting the next chance to break out and make it back to Kusari.
During the promising war with Bretonia, the popularity of the Emperor and his militaristic government led by the Shogun had steadily increased among the Kusari general public. Now, however, as the tides of war turned against Kusari, the popularity of the House's leaders declined far below pre-war values. The Democratic Party of Kusari backed by Kishiro and led by Kato Takahashi and Shimura Yokitara used the situation and the abscence of the Emperor and Shogun out fighting in Bretonia to seize power from the Emperor at the end of 818 A.S.
One of the first consequences of the coup was an attempt to establish contact with the Bretonian government and discuss the terms for an armistace. Bretonia agreed, and Kusari could now use their ships stationed in Leeds to counter the Gallic onslaught. Unfortunately, it was too late at this point, and the ships that came to Tau-31 could only hope to escape Gallic warships and make it through to Tau-29. Soon the gateway from Leeds to Tau-31 was blocked by a Gallic fleet so large that none of the remaining Kusari ships had a chance of getting through alive. Enraged by the deaths of thousands of Kusarians in Tau-31, they swore an oath to fight Gallia to the last drop of their blood. From this point onwards they would unite with their former foes of the Bretonian Armed Forces in building up defences and asteroid field bases in Leeds and Newcastle.
Some of the Kusari Naval Forces who escaped to Tau-29 and Kyushu were anxious to take revenge on Gallia as well, and to rescue their brethren left behind in Bretonia. However, their new commanders had other plans. Since Gallia had announced Liberty and Bretonia to be its only rivals in Sirius, the new Kusari government chose to enter into secret negotiations with Gallia. The House would withdraw most of its ships back to Kyushu, and no major battles between Gallia and Kusari took place from this moment onwards. After some minor skirmishes in the Tau-29 system that hardly cost any lives from either side, Gallia gained control of a large part of Tau-29.
Kusari now reported that the overwhelming aggression of Gallia did not leave the House any other choice than to sue for peace. This was Kusari’s justification to Bretonia and the rest of Sirius for ending the war. (We cannot really blame Kusari since this justification would certainly prove a real one if Kusari were to bring its remaining exhausted forces to defend Tau-29). Kusari signed a peace treaty with Gallia in which Kusari would renounce any claims or plans of expansion in Tau sector, and acknowledge the Tau-29 system to be a buffer zone between the two Houses that would allow only minimal military and police presence to provide security for traders and civilians. Also, Kusari corporate traders were the first of all four "official" Houses who were allowed to purchase special passages and come to Gallic systems to trade with Gallic companies.
In the meantime, Kusari started to re-establish its relations with Bretonia that were severely damaged by the war, and to develop closer ties to Rheinland and Liberty. Whilst relations with Gallia have now also improved, both parties remember the Tau-31 events, and there were no true guarantees that the war will not affect Kusari again. Also during this time, the former Emperor completed his consolidation of command of the KNF remnant forces stranded in Bretonia. These forces, who had begun to refer to themselves as the Ronin, were still loyal to the old Shogun and Emperor continue to fight alongside the Bretonians against the never ending Gallic advance.
The Imperial movement putting Planet Kyushu firmly under their control. The fleets of the Nagasaki and Nagumo faced off once more, clashed, and once again the latter was forced to pull back, this time off to the side of the system. Here they must reinforce their position, which may come more frequently from the capitol. Withal, both Tokugawa flagships suffered damage in the fighting, delaying further pursuit at this time.
The Civil War continued with more civilian bloodshed, seeds of doubt about the sickening costs of pride were gradually being sown in the hearts of people on all sides. The once-exiled Imperial Navy continued to secure their hold on Kyushu, while the repaired Yamaguchi was setting out for Shikoku.
After much bloodshed and years of civil unrest, the Imperial and Republican Kusari governments arranged talks for a joint concession. Both sides believe that any further continuation of the war was abhorrent and an unnecessary weakening of Kusari amidst the uneasy presence of expanding neighbors. Although it was a hard political change for many to swallow, the fleets and separated civilians were reunified under a single House. Constitutional conventions are still underway, paving a road for Kusari's monarchic emperor and the newer democratic parliament to coexist and share a balance of power.
The return of the Emperor to Kusari and the rise of the Reformed Empire following the Civil War brought hope for a new era of prosperity, but also lead to a deterioration in relations with Gallia. While trade continues to flow between the two colonies, the establishment of fortifications along the border and the arrival of the Battleship Venissieux in the Tau-53 system underline the mutual distrust the Emperor and the King have for one another. Kusari's claim to the entirety of Tau-53 as Rishiri, a claim which is only partially recognized by the Crown, has only served to further the souring of relations. Though the Battleship Matsumoto has been effective at deterring the Blood Dragon insurgency in Nagano, the fear of an attack from Gallia while the Naval Forces are engaged in the Sigmas could see the battleship recalled to Hokkaido in the near future, leaving the defense of the system in the hands of Samura's private security arm.
Kusari - Rheinland War (825 A.S.)
With the GMG having rejected Rheinland's ultimatum to leave Saigon orbit and dismantle Ibusuki Construction Site, the Battleship Bayern moved to destroy the installation in a thorough attack that obliterated the station - and anyone unfortunate enough to be in the combat zone. The collateral destruction of the Survey Vessel Unzen and the deaths of Kishiro employees - particularly that of Akemi Yamashita, a high profile Kishiro executive with connections to the Kusari government - at the hands of Rheinland was regarded by Kusari as a casus belli that demanded an immediate military response. Within days of the incident, Rheinland forces in Sigma-21 were attacked by strike wings from the KNF's Hyono battlegroup. Following the loss of Planet Nuremberg and the need for a new homeland to support millions of displaced refugees, Rheinland has no intention of leaving Sigma-21 and abandoning their claim to Saigon without a fight. The Rubicon has been crossed - Rheinland and Kusari are now in a state of war.
Second Empire (Since 825 AS)
See also: 
Controlled and contested space
Kusari lays claim to as many as twelve star systems (New Tokyo, Kyushu, Shikoku, Honshu, Hokkaido, Tohoku, Hiroshima, Nagano, Tottori and Tau-29). Out of these, six hold colonised planets: New Tokyo, Kyushu, Honshu, Shikoku, Nagano & Tottori (Planet Miyazaki is not dockable).
Despite the relative proximity to the Sigma systems, the Kusari Naval Forces do not often operate in the area, giving leeway to the fiercely independent Gas Miners Guild, on which the supplies of H-Fuel to Kusari rely.
The Tau-29 system is considered as under the protection of Kusari since 812 A.S.
Government and politics
With the new empire the political system has been changed in many ways combing the former political systems of shogunate, (first) empire and republic. The Emeror has not a direct conection to the law and is limited by the consitution but is still the state's head. Also he has no power for the 'normal' civil live. In addition he does not order the executive (except his Guards) anymore. Therefore there is the new Shogune (military governor)that is the head of Naval Forces and Kempeitai (Secred Service). Theoretically he also commands the State Police (KSP) and normally handles the Imperial Guard. So the Shogune can be seen as the executive's head. The government is now created by the Diet (parliament) and leaded by a prime minister that is voted by the full diet. The legislature is mainly build by the Diet's lower house that is elected by all Kusaris that are older than 18. The upper house is created from the noble and choosen by the emperor. This is the main reason why Kusari's political system is just 'semi-democratic'. The Upper House does not appear in the normal law drafting anyways, but serves also as something like a constitutional court. The Upper House needs to accept a law; without it is not effective. The emperor needs to sign it too.
To outsiders Kusari might look like a single, unified empire, standing together in all matters. But in the house itself the reality is quite different.
Much of the house is divided between the influence of the two great keiretsu (corporations): Samura Industries and Kishiro Technologies. These two companies compete with each other fiercely, often to the point of an indirect war. While Kishiro prefers economic competition, Samura (being the larger of the two) utilises it's influence among the local thugs to physically impede it's rivals' growth, frequently resorting to sending attack parties against it's shipping. Kishiro on the other hand struck a deal with the Gas Miners Guild (disgruntled over Samura's ever growing prices) for exclusive distribution of H-Fuel, as well as taking several contracts with the Kusari Naval Forces. Kusari is also in the grasp of the Hogosha, who control much of it's middle structure through bribery. The Empire is known to openly endorse political organisations that resort to terrorism against foreign shipping when the state police aren't paying attention. Fighting against the Emperor and his Shogunate are the Blood Dragons and Golden Chrysanthemums - dedicated to different views, yet united in their similar goal of overthrowing the state and removing Samura's influence from the government.
All this is often carefully hidden by the Kusari government itself, which regards all foreigners with extreme suspicion, especially those looking to meddle in the local affairs.
The Kusari economy can be described as a free market system sporting little regulations and government intervention into the area of private businesses. This allowed two prominent companies to grow outwardly into corporate giants, scooping most of the other businesses to either one corporation or the other. In the present times these two great keiretsu (Samura Industries and Kishiro Technologies) control many of the largest and most profitable markets in all of Sirius (specifically the exclusive distribution of H-Fuel), which in turn places Kusari in a key political position on the international arena. Beside this two both are also the half Kusarian and half Libertian Renzu Cooperation in Hiroshima, who owns 40% of the Kusari Civil Ship market and around 10% in all Sirius. The Renzu Coop is a daugther of the IC that hold also stations in Hokkaido and New Tokyo. OS&C have some Liners in Kusari and its borderlands.
The Gas Miners Guild started as an Kusari guild but has turned to a more or less independent state which holds the Sigmas and their gas fields.
Although very competitive with each other, both Samura and Kishiro managed to corner certain markets in Kusari into monopolies, taking their competition to a new level of profit and control. Samura being the larger of the two is especially oriented towards developing new Kusari acquisitions in Hokkaido and the Tau systems. It could be said that Kyushu, Rishiri, Tau-29 and Shikoku, Hokkaido are Samura's systems and Honshu is Kishiro's system while New Tokyo is shared and Hiroshima a Renzu (IC) system.
Both corporations also operate commercial shipyards within Kusari territories, lending their services to civilian contractors, as well as the Kusari Naval Forces.
The most imporant exports of Kusari is fuel and gas. Kusari has also larger food resources based on grwoning (rice) and fish. The industry is not bad but smaller compared with the other houses beside of the fuel industry. The civilian ship manufacturing is an exception here. Kusari has very low metal resources and needs to import almost every metal. The IMG in the Taus and Rheinland are very important to keep the heavy industry of Kusari running. This lake of metal was a main reason for the Kusari government to help the IMG in the first Tau War by declairing war on Bretonia. Since Gallia has opend its borders with Kusari, there are even more traders running through Kusari; especially IC but also Zoners, Freelancers and gallics like EFL or IDF.
A list of most important export products and trading objects of Kusari:
Food and other agracultural or watercultural products of Kusari:
- Furs, Nagano
- Junyo Fire Pearls, Shikoku
- Kyushu Rice, Kyushu
- Pearls, Shikoku
- Rum, Tottori
- Sake, New Tokyo
- Alien Organisms, Sigma-17, Tohoku & Hokkaido
- Raw Hydrocarbons, Tau-53
- Platinum-198 Ore, Nagano
- Engine Components, Honshu
- H-Fuel, Hokkaido
- Hull Panels, Kyushu
- HydroGro, Tau-29
- Industrial Materials, Honshu
- Neodymium, Nagano
- Optical Chips, New Tokyo
- Optronics, Honshu
- Quantum Multiplexors, Tau-53
- Polymers, Kyushu
Human Resources & Tourism
- Arbiters, Honshu
- Crew, Honshu
- Envoys, New Tokyo
- Excursionists, Honshu
- Marines, New Tokyo
- Passengers (Kusari), New Tokyo
- Pioneers, Sigma-17
- Prisoners (Generic), Tohoku
- Scientists, Honshu
Crime and dissent
Kusari has a fair number of criminal and reactionary organisations, all formed into two camps: pro-government and anti-government.
These groups are characterized by their non-hostile status with the local police forces, as well as their relationship with Samura Industries, essentially working as the corporation's handymen. This camp also has relations with the Corsairs, and is frequently engaged in widespread artifact smuggling. Two factions are recognized as part of this:
- Hogosha is a large criminal organization engaged in a number of criminal activities (these including anything from protection rackets to artifact smuggling), with its influence spread all across Kusari. Similar to old Earth Yakuza, the Hogosha have have gained an understanding with the local police force primarily using bribery and extortion. Several notable political figures are known to cooperate with the Hogosha, thus making the organisation an entrenched part of the house, as long as the current government remains in power.
The anti-government camp is composed of two groups openly hostile to both the state police and naval forces, as well as to the two keiretsu and their supporters. Despite this dislike, the involved factions are more likely to spare Kishiro shipping than they are to not attack Samura. They also have a secret understanding with the Gas Miners Guild. This camp links two factions:
- The Blood Dragons are a radical terrorist organization dedicated to overthrowing the Emperor and his co-conspirators in order to install a direct descendant of the Shogun Hideyoshi, and resume the Hideyoshi Shogunate formerly overthrown in the Sakura coup of 321 A.S. As a result, they are locked in a guerrilla conflict against the Kusari Navy (who are dedicated to the protection of the Emperor) as well as Samura and their Hogosha and Alliance cronies.
- The Farmers Alliance is a political group with the goal of removing foreign food shipping from Kusari. The Alliance is working closely with the Hogosha and it is also suspected to be very closely tied to the corporate giant Samura.
- The Golden Chrysanthemums are a primarily female movement for the institution of a matriarchy, and a subsequent liberalisation of Kusari. The group is characterised by its heavy usage of Cardamine, as well as its sympathy to the Bretonian war effort in the Tau border worlds and the Bretonian government as a whole.
Fighters & Bombers
|Gas Miners Guild||
|Independent Miners Guild||
|Kingdom of Gallia||
|Kingdom of Bretonia||
|Republic of Liberty||
|Federal Republic of Rheinland||