Preliminary Scenario


The Okinawan Empire was located along the Ryukyu Islands, which stretch in an arc between Japan's Kyushu Island and Taiwan. From 1372 until the nineteenth century, it has been a constant tributary of China. Okinawan trade with Southeast Asia flourished during the fifteenth century, when China's overseas trade was officially curtailed. Their vessels were sighted as far south as Java. Stocked with goods, Okinawa flourished as an entrepot in three-way trade between China, Japan and Melaka. The Empire's fortune turned with the 1511 victory of Portuguese in Melaka, which brought trade in Southeast Asia under European control. In the early seventeeth century, the Tokugawa shogunate invaded Okinawa and banned the practice of karate, which had flourished under a ban on firearms. In 1636, Japan closed its doors on the world, with the exception of Dutch industry in Nagasaki. At the turn of the twentieth century, resistance to Japanese rule prompted an exodus of Okinawans to various parts of the world, including Hawaii and South America. After World War II, the American forces occupied Okinawa until 1972.


In response to Portuguese dominance in the Malay Archipelago, the Ryukyu seek less dangerous waters. In 1513 they arrive on the northern tip of New Holland, where they establish trade with local inhabitants. This trade includes dugong, sea slug and pearls. Anxious to counter European hegemony, Japan follows their routes and establishes military outposts along the northern coast. These outposts are supported by slave labour, drawn initially from local Aboriginal populations and later from their own indigenous Ainu who have been expelled from Hokkaido. Supported by the Dutch, the Japanese forces successfully repel an English fleet, hoping to colonise this land with their convict population. As more political refugees from Japan seek refuge in Australia, fighting breaks out between the Japanese forces and local populations. No longer assisted by the Dutch, and abandoned by their home country, the remaining Japanese move south to Van Dieman's land, leaving the continent to Aborigines, Okinawans, Ainu, Chinese and scattered Dutch communities.

Reference materials are available.

See what the workshop make of this scenario in Shao-lin, where the foot is mightier than the sword.