There are a number of factors that contributed to the Taiko Rebellion (1475-1477 P.I.; 7-5 bp). Most scholars agree that the five-year drought that occurred prior to the insurrection and the economic hardship it wrought gave Taiko Fujinbo (Guldove in the East) an audience desperate enough to crave a revolution that, though frequently overlooked, generated instability in the region and revealed a number of fundamental struggles within Daijoan society. Another important factor was the political strength of the Kazanbai & Taiko’s ability to wield it as a force for unification. Prior to the rebellion, the Kazanbai was generally viewed as a wild, leftist political group rumored to participate in cultish activity, and as such was generally disregarded by mainstream Daijoan society. The desperation of the lower-class in agrarian communities quickly turned to Taiko’s communal promises of shared resources and abolishment of the heavily-stratified class structure.
Taiko Rebellion - battle of Kaosajina, Kiita by Yoshitsune Abe, 1479
This group of radicals holds an openly anti-empire policy, and wishes to see the provinces govern themselves as autonomous states with their own standing armies, political structures, economies, etc. The party has rumored ties to a demon-worshipping cult that wrought havoc on Hine and played a crucial role in bringing about the Ikaji. Current officials within the Kazanbai deny this connection, but rumors abound. Prior to the Rebellion, the Kazanbai had no representation in the Council of the Five, and its members generally kept to the margins of society, but membership surged during the Rebellion.
Flag of the Kazanbai
Son of a prominent Tengu family of naturalists in Hoshizora, Taiko is the black sheep of his clan, and was frequently jealous of his older, successful brother Kadeki. Taiko craved power from a young age, and the political strife brought on by the drought created unease amongst the lower classes on which Taiko was able to feed. He united his followers under the banner of the Kazanbai to form an “anti-empire movement for the people”, and quickly became a hero of the people. As Taiko became more active politically, his family distanced themselves from him, not wanting to be associated with his radical ideas.
Taiko Fujinbo (Guldove)- carrying the symbol of his clan, artist unknown 1475
Taiko held political rallies on the mainland and on a few of the outlaying islands of Shimane (human province) initially, but eventually these rallies turned into riots and eventually full-blown insurrections. During the first year of the Rebellion, Taiko managed to conquer 8 villages throughout Kuromizu and Tetsugenya, and much of the island of Kiita. This string of victories led Taiko to lay siege to Kuromizu’s capital of Sawa. At this point, the Empire recognized the movement as a threat and blockaded Taiko’s troops and villages who claimed loyalty to his cause. After several months, Taiko could no longer afford to pay his army of mercenaries, and his peasant followers were going hungry. It was then that he began demanding tribute from his impoverished people. Without the finances to continue the siege, and no real naval presence in a predominantly island region, the Rebellion began to crumble. In the winter of the second year of the Rebellion, Taiko was forced to surrender.
The Council of the Five took the actions of Taiko and his followers very seriously as a movement of the people. Anticipating further troubles and the difficulty in making martyrs, the council offered Taiko and his high-ranking officers prison terms rather than the usual execution, as is customary for treason. Taiko was the only member of the movement that refused prison, however. In stead, he chose exile from Daijo.
The Council also commissioned a special committee to modernize agricultural and storage practices across much of the land to prevent the poverty experienced in agrarian regions of the Empire as a result of the drought. Much of the Imperial economy relies upon nautical trade, so larger, more-established port municipalities were not as affected by the drought.
Planning map - Imperial Agricultural Modernization Commission, 1478