Yamanashi is the second habitable world in the New Nippon System from its star. It is populated by mostly ethnic Japanese and remains the home of the Cherry Blossom Seat despite being a member of the Unified Republic of Stars. To people off world, the planet is probably best known as the construction site of the NOVA battleships and for its many baseball teams, yet Yamanashi has a diverse economy and unique culture shared only with that of its sister planet Kanagawa.
Discovery & Colonization
Yamanashi and its sister planet Kanagawa was discovered in 2106 by researches sent from the Earth nation of Japan. Each of the habitable worlds was named for a prefecture in Japan and the names have stayed with the worlds, even after the independence was declared in 2169. The first settlers did not arrive until 2111. These people were primarily of Japanese origin as part of the colonization plan by Japan.
Unlike the people of most nations, the Japanese had little interest in colonizing themselves. The Japanese government, on the other hand, had a large interest in settling the stars. Most of the other countries on Earth had already begun the colonization program or had people settling but Japan was basically unrepresented. They believed that without a presence within the new Colonial Star Cluster, they would be without a voice in the UN about space maters. So, starting in 2110, the government decided to appeal to Japanese nationalism and created two new royal seats within the New Nippon System. For the crown-prince of Japan, they created the Cherry Blossom Seat on Yamanashi and the Mountaintop Seat on Kanagawa for the third in line.
With these new royal seats, the Japanese government had essentially declared the worlds of New Nippon extensions of Japan itself. While this was basically illegal under UN colonization resolutions, it was not the only country to do so and the act was essentially overlooked as Japan wasn't trying to exert exclusive control the same way that North Korea was over Yong Nam. But the effect had its intended purpose. By 2120, almost thirty million people had settled the two worlds, with twelve million alone on Yamanashi.
Still, Yamanashi never experienced the high levels of violence common on many of the other Colonial worlds. As a whole, the people, especially the dwellers within the new cities, were unarmed and though Yamanashi was not one of the first places to create a police force, it is arguably the first to enforce a set of "Common Laws", leaving many of Japan's laws intact even out in the colonies.
The largest city on the planet, New Souma, was built around a grand square with the Cherry Blossom palace in the center. While a symbolic seat, the people viewed it with great respect and levied themselves to build it with private funds. But aside from the one public work, the rest of the city exploded around it, radiating out for a dozen kilometers and rising almost as high as Athena City to meet the growing population demands.
Yamanashi received a real shot in the arm when Sanctuary Space Vehicles decided to the make the colonial world its new home. After building the Yamanashi Skyplex in orbit above, it leveraged the incredible industriousness of the people of the world to maintain its position as the premiere manufacturer of space vehicles.
Both Yamanashi and Kanagawa were signatories to the Article of Independence in 2169, a fact helped by the royal family present on the worlds supporting such a measure. Though they had close ties to their family on Earth, they were not ignorant of the situation between the soon to be Republican Star Cluster and the UUHA. While many of the people were concerned what would happen to the royals with any declaration of independence, they needn't have worried after their support was given to the measure. The popularity of the royals reached an all time high and it was decided that they would remain when New Nippon went independent.
With the founding of the Unified Republic of Stars in 2173, the people once again expressed their concern for the royals in the face of a republican government. But those in charge of drafting Yamanashi and Kanagawa's constitutions easily sidestepped the issue by appointing the royals as the official heads of their planetary governments while investing all the executive powers in the posts of Prime Ministers. Because of the governments had the required separation of powers required by the Constitution Of The Republic, it passed muster regardless of who may have been a figurehead.
While technically still under the leadership of the Emperor of Japan, the Cherry Blossom Seat has become the high seat for the royal family with the second in line taking over the Mountaintop Seat on Kanagawa.
Timeline of Events on Yamanashi
With Space Vehicles of The Republic being located on the planet and the NOVA Program operating from the skyplexes above, Yamanashi is arguably one of the largest space vehicle manufacturing planets in the Republican Star Cluster. They have established sophisticated supply lines that employ millions of people and serve what other manufacturing also takes place, such as automobiles.
Automobile manufacturing it probably the second largest industry on Yamanashi though its cars are more often made for city driving and rarely sold off world. When the manufacturing began, it was started with the tooling from Japanese car manufacturers just as Kaesong Motors bought the tooling from BMW. However, over the years, these cars have also been modified and upgraded so that they look different than where their Earth cousins had gone though the lineage would remain obvious to a collector.
Yamanashi has a healthy agriculture industry the supplies most of what both worlds in the New Nippon System consume
Beyond manufacturing and agriculture, Yamanashi is also the cultural center of the New Nippon worlds with hefty Japanese publishing and movie making that rarely get play outside of New Nippon but provide the majority of the entertainment within. Additionally, the often translate and republish works from the other Republican worlds.
Yamanashi had a large services sector, both to support the major industries but also to support the almost sixty million people who share the two worlds. This has created an ample middle class that is the majority of the planet and Yamanashi is regularly short of workers needed to fill the various positions.
Yamanashi is a baseball crazy planet. Not long after the first baseball teams were established on Galileo and Athena, Yamanashi and it's sister planet Kanagawa set up their own baseball league. To compete against the Galilean and Athenian teams, the new Japanese League was incorporated into Republican Baseball in 2130.
- Yamanashi Division
- New Onojo Sea Lions (2130)
- New Onojo Samurai (2130)
- New Souma Warriors (2130)
- New Souma Flyers (2130)
- Intra-Nippon Division
On the whole, Yamanashi is a very temperate clime on both the north and southern hemisphere where the majority of human settlers have made their homes. The winter and spring seasons tend to be very wet and rainy while the summer suffers from short but intense thunderstorms. The driest period is the fall season when the planet receives very little rain at all.
The equatorial region tends toward the sub-tropical but is generally uninhabited because of several long chains of active volcanos and shifting plates that create frequent quakes. Whole islands have disappeared since the original settlement and over one hundred "minor" eruptions of volcanos have taken place since the original settlers arrived. Because of this constant turmoil, very little native life exists in this region as it has never been allowed time to gain much of a foothold.
Native & Transplanted Life
The first thing most people remark on when visiting Yamanashi is the beautiful cherry trees that seem to line every major city street and form massive orchards in the areas beyond as well as the lovely rolling green fields. What few realize is that none of this is native to the planet and was the product of years of intense cultivation at the beginning of human settlement on the world.
To the human eye, very little of the native plant life has aesthetic appeal, with the largest trees being thin and knotted and the dominate form of plant being twisted vines that seemed to cover almost everything. For one season a year, all the plants would bloom for approximately two weeks with admittedly pretty small red flowers but filling the air with a stink not unlike old liver and onions. Living within these vines and on the trees were a variety of small animals, generally resembling lizards but with puffs of hair along the ridge of their skulls and along the sides of their bodies. The largest of these creatures was a type of predator, a little less than half a meter tall, and capable of standing on its hind legs to peer out from the undergrowth.
The humans that first settled, initially beat back fields of these vines and their accompanying creatures to claim what they discovered was extremely rich and compatible soil beneath. But after the first blooming, they engaged in a wholesale burning of the native life so as not to be forced to endure a second. This was greatly aided by the tendency of the vines to explode when set fire to, thought by scientists as the way the plants renewed themselves given the frequent lightning strikes. This burning campaign was extremely successful and most of the native plants and animals were pushed back to the mountains and hills across the entire world. Their stink has not yet been eliminated from the planet and the annual bloom can still be smelled almost everywhere though it is a faint remnant of what it once was.
As such, all of the dominant species on Yamanashi are now of the Earth variety and they have prospered exceedingly well. However, where the native life still exists, both its plants and animals remain safe from Earth predation as even the escaped wild animals from Earth have little interest in the mass of vines and strange creatures that continue to inhabit it.
Like its sister planet Kanagawa, Yamanashi is the seat of a member of the royal house of Japan. Before independence, the holder of the Cherry Blossom Seat was the second in line for the emperor of Japan. As such, the government of Yamanashi sits with the blessing and approval of the Crown Prince or Crown Princess and acknowledges the holder of the seat as Head of State.
Beyond the ceremonial duties as Head of State, those holding the Cherry Blossom Seat are also one of the "permanent" Senators to the Federal government. As senators are appointed, rather than elected, is it a tradition among the New Nipponese worlds for the governor of each planet to appoint the royal family member holding the seat to the senate. However, unlike other senators, the holder of a royal seat may, and usually does, appoint a "delegate" to sit and vote in their place. These "delegates" are also appointed by the governor of the world and approved by the planetary legislature.
The appointment of a delegate, while technically against Federal rules has been accepted since the first Senate of the Republic. However, if a tie vote requires the vote of a New Nipponese senator, tradition also holds that the holder of a royal seat will make their vote according to how their "delegate" might have voted.
Of course, the royal family member is not strictly bound by their "delegates" opinion but it is the usual method by which they go by to maintain their own legitimacy.
When the Senate sits and members are called on, the royal member from Yamanashi is referred to either as "Their Royal Highness Yamanashi" or "Their Royal Highness' delegate from Yamanashi" though no formal rule exists that they must be addressed as either. Rather, it is a said as an honor for two worlds who were not entirely certain independence was the solution and as a recognition of their deciding to join the movement.
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- ↑ The royal family of New Nippon refuses to acknowledge the UUHAs supremacy over the Emperor. Even once the UUHA did away with the Emperor, the royal family continued to pay homage to the position as if it still existed.