The Greater Japanese Empire
Government: Absolute Monarchy with Constitution
Head of State: Emperor Meiji the Great
National Anthem: Imperial Reign
Before 1853, Japan was little more than a feudal state that lagged behind the West in terms of science and technology. By the closing years of the 19th Century, Japan had transformed itself into a great power, modernizing itself into a massive industrial state in less than half a century. Their military and technological power rival even those of the great houses of Europe.
Japan was an isolationist nation until 1853 when battleships from the old United States, led by Commodore Matthew Perry, entered Japanese coastal waters demanding that the nation open its borders to trade. Thus, the beginnings of modern Japan were laid, and a great power was born. In order to prevent further threats from the West, which was now obvious to all in the government, a series of massive reforms was passed. These reforms ranged from abolishing old feudal systems to a complete overhaul of the military. The age of the samurai was over, giving birth to the Japanese sorcerer. These reforms would ultimately be called the Meiji Restoration.
Japan adopted numerous characteristics of the Western powers, from government (they adopted a constitutional monarchy based off of the Prussian system), customs (Western clothing and uniforms were adopted), to science. The study of Pythian Physics was advocated, and many of the empire’s brightest were sent overseas to the Universities in Europe to study. They brought back with them a wealth of scientific information, and used such details to build a modern industrial nation.
Recently, Japan has sought to expand its reach. Although heavily industrialized, the nation lacks the raw materials needed to support its increasing wealth and population. Therefore it has branched out, taking numerous colonies in Southeast Asia. This has put it into conflict with many of its neighbors, such as China and Russia. Tensions with Tsarist Russia have been high lately, as the two powerful empires are vying for control of Manchuria and Korea.