Facts about the Province of Miyama.   Posted by Storyteller.Group: 0
 GM, 178 posts
Mon 22 Jul 2019
at 19:17
Facts about the Province of Miyama.

Miyama is the main focus of the first adventure and the place where the PC’s origin is rooted. The next information is provided for the players to flesh out their characters and create their origin stories.

As for the Geography and Resources.

* Miyama Province (29 on the map) is located in the very center of Kozakura. It is the strategic key to controlling Shinkoku and Kozakura. The province is divided into two main sections—the Northern plain and the Southern Plain. Running through the middle of the province are the wooded peaks and ridges of the Kurisammyaku (Chestnut Mountains). The Northern Plain is smaller and more isolated. Most of the fertile land is close to the coast, where the mountains descend suddenly into the sea.
* Consequently, one of the principal resources of every peasant or lord is the rice he can produce himself or collect from others. Peasants work hard to grow as much rice as possible. Some even have secret rice fields in the mountains, hidden away from the tax collectors. Nobles, officials, and temples gather rice by collecting rents and taxes from the peasants. They also fund massive projects to reclaim land, transforming the new territory into usable rice fields. Such efforts are not easy. Forests must be cleared, bogs filled in, irrigation ditches dug, mountainsides terraced, streams diverted, and fields built (all by hand). The rewards of more rice production and more rent money make such projects worthwhile.
*Rice is not the only resource of Miyama. Tea is rapidly becoming an important commodity. Recently introduced to Kozakura, tea has quickly become highly fashionable with the samurai and noble classes. It is grown on the warm slopes of the mountains. Currently the production is not large, but more and more of the suitable mountain land is being converted to this crop. The third natural resource of Miyama is lumber. Taken from the mountains and the wooded valleys, most of this wood is used within the province. Enough is harvested to send some by ship to other provinces, particularly the capital. Lumber is sometimes demanded as payment for taxes, especially after fire has struck the capital or a daimyo’s palace.
 GM, 179 posts
Mon 22 Jul 2019
at 20:33
Facts about the Province of Miyama.
As for the provincial government.

Like the imperial government, the government of Miyama is a confusing, factional affair. The power struggles at the top between the shikken, shogun, and imperial line are reflected in the official posts and appointments made in Miyama. Each faction has some representative within the province.
The top two positions in Miyama are the shugo-daimyo and the kokushu, or provincial governor. The shugo-daimyo is appointed to the province by the shogunal authorities. The kokushu is the imperial representative. Each of these has a number of minor officials under him. In addition, there are the samurai jito of the many estates (shoen) found throughout the province.

Current province authorities:

Shugo-daimyo: Niwa Hirotada, male, 38.
Kokushu (Provincial Governor): Tsu Gonsuke, male, 42.
Mokudai (Deputy Governor): Igi Tajima, male, 55.

The shugo-daimyo is the samurai military governor of a province. Most of the territory in the province is held by his family or related families (hence the title daimyo). As shugo, his family was appointed to its post by the shogun of Kozakura. Now the position passes from
father to son almost automatically. The shogun could step in and reassign the title of shugo, but seldom does. Such a punishment is reserved for families that threaten the shogun, either through treachery or ambition.

The civil governor (kokushu) has virtually no power in the province and thus spends all his time in the capital. Nearly all his duties have been assumed by the shugo-daimyo. However, as governor, he is entitled to a certain amount of the taxes from all public lands, provided that the shugo-daimyo can be convinced to give up this tax money.

The deputy governor (mokudai) actually lives in the province. There he exerts what little authority the civil governor has. While theoretically in control of all public lands,
these are more often managed by the jito of the shugo-daimyo. The mokudai is supposed
to protect the interests of the governor, emperor and the people. However, with no authority, he can do little more than file formal protests and rubber stamp documents. Indeed, his main purpose is to give official approval to the actions of the shugo-daimyo for the sake of appearances.
 GM, 181 posts
Tue 23 Jul 2019
at 01:14
Facts about the Province of Miyama.
As for the religion.

In Miyama, as in all of Kozakura, there are two principal religions: the Way of Enlightenment, and the Eight Million Gods. The Way of Enlightenment is divided into several schools while the Eight Million Gods is split into many separate shrines. While different schools or shrines may hold essentially similar beliefs, the exact methods of worship, deities, and outward manifestations may be radically different.
Within each school or shrine, there are two groups of worshipers. The first group
is more or less devoted to that particular school or shrine. This includes sohei, kensai, shukenja and devout worshipers of the group. These people do not entertain or practice the beliefs of other schools or shrines. In other lands, such devoted worshipers are very common; in Kozakura, they are somewhat rare.
The second group of worshipers, those who practice the rituals of more than one school or shrine, are far more common. This group includes the majority of the common people. They make offerings to one or more of the Eight Million Gods at planting time, pray for their departed according to the rituals of the Way of Enlightenment, and make donations and
offerings to temples of both religions. Of the two religions, the Eight Million Gods is by far the older. Indeed, it is not really a religion as such, but rather a collection
of rituals and beliefs that relate to various gods and goddesses of nature.
Normal worship at these shrines is fairly simple—ritual purification, offerings of food, donations of money, and prayers. At least once during each year major shrines have more elaborate festivals, involving sacred dances, bonfires, and processions through the streets. These festivals, intended to entertain the deity, can become quite rowdy.
Within Miyama there are several different shrines devoted to the Eight Million Gods. Unlike the temples of the Way of Enlightenment, each shrine of the Eight Million Gods is independent, unrelated to the others. Although the practices are generally similar, each shrine has its own unique features and beliefs.
The other major religion is the Way of Enlightenment. This religion was introduced
from the mainland of Kara-Tur centuries in the past. After initial resistance, the Way of Enlightenment has become the religion of the ruling class and has been accepted by the majority of the Kozakuran population.
Unlike the Eight Million Gods, the Way of Enlightenment is a well-organized religion.
Drawing lessons from the life and speeches of its great teacher, the Way of Enlightenment
guides men to spiritual perfection.
There are many shrines and temples throughout Miyama. The shrines are usually associated with the Eight Million Gods and are divided into First Shrines and normal shrines.
First Shrines have been officially recognized and supported by the Emperor and other nobles for centuries. They are often located in the old district and provincial capitals. The First Shrines are larger and more powerful than other shrines. Outside of Miyama Province, many First Shrines establish branches throughout other provinces to promote their particular beliefs (and get more money). This has never happened in Miyama.
Normal shrines are often built and supported by the local peasantry. These shrines may commemorate past events, ensure good harvests, ward off evil influences, or even appease powerful evil beings. Local nobility also support shrines, particularly in towns or villages
near their home. Most often the site of both First Shrines and normal shrines have some special meaning—the place where one of the Eight Million Gods washed his hands, the slopes of the mountain spirit’s home, etc.
The power of the temples has not been overlooked by the powerful families of Kozakura. Many noble families have generously endowed the temples with money, land, and special privileges. With these gifts, they hope to sway the temples to their side. But it takes more than just gifts and money; the nobles must also have a commitment to the school and its beliefs.
All this does not guarantee the support of the temple; several noble families have collapsed into ruin through the stubbornness or treachery of a temple ally. To prevent this, powerful nobles and samurai (particularly of the imperial line) sometimes retire to temples and monasteries and rise within their ranks. This allows the family to control the temple from the inside. Many temples have thus become associated with particular families.
This domination by family factions and, to a lesser extent, the natural differences in religious beliefs have led to longstanding feuds between different temples.
Normally these feuds take the form of political maneuvering. When such political
dealing fails, however, direct action in the form of raids and temple-burning is the
frequent result. The sohei of each temple are necessary to actively protect the temple
from attackers.
Also associated with each school are monasteries. Generally built on secluded mountain slopes or other places well away from cities, monasteries are centers of training and religious instruction for those within their walls. Because of these quiet and peaceful surroundings, emperors, nobles, and samurai find it fashionable to retire to monasteries when they grow tired of the physical world. This retirement is often permanent, but many a retired warrior or statesman has returned to the world when needed by his family, emperor, or cause.
In addition to the shrines, temples, and monasteries, there are also a number of hermits or religious recluses in the forests and mountains of Miyama. These men have cut themselves off from the rest of the world and do their utmost to avoid discovery.
In their lonely mountain huts and caves, they put themselves through grueling trials to purify their minds and bodies.
 GM, 184 posts
Wed 24 Jul 2019
at 01:01
Facts about the Province of Miyama.
Social Order of Miyama.

1) The Niwa Family. The Niwa hold most of the land and the position of shugo-daimyo. The Niwa family is the most powerful in Miyama. Its efforts are aimed at retaining that power and perhaps some day conquering their neighbors.
2) The Hori Family. The Hori are a branch of the Niwa family, founded 32 years ago. They control Hori Castle on the Northern Plain. They have less property than the Niwa. Today, all members of the Hori family are distantly related to the Niwa. Thus the Hori are part of the Niwa family council, advising on major family decisions. The fate of the Hori is closely connected to that of the Niwa. The Hori hope to someday acquire control of the
Niwa family, either through marriage or might of arms.
3) The Igi Family. As mokudai, the Igi have managed to gain control over several public (imperial) lands. The Igi have been especially lax in making the payments to the
emperor and the distant nobles who hold manager and protector rights. Although these nobles have filed many complaints with the shogun, little action has been taken. The Igi make certain the shogun and the shugo-dai both receive their proper payments, perhaps ensuring their neutrality in the matter of property rights. The Igi are working hard to convert public land into private ones.
4) The Tsu Family. Once a powerful court family, the Tsu now retain only a limited presence in Miyama. Although they hold the title of kokushu, the Tsu have left most affairs in the hands of the Igi. Once they were greater and more powerful than the Igi; now the situation is reversed. The Tsu are now considered an ally family of the Igi.
They have only a few possessions in Miyama and these are carefully controlled by the Igi.
5) The Samurai Families. In addition to the four principal families listed above, there are a number of smaller samurai households. Most of these are retainers of one of the four listed above. They are either unrelated to the main family or only very distantly related.
6) The Clergy Ranking below the ruling samurai are the various clergy of the shrines and temples. At some of the shrines, the position of priest or caretaker has been in the same family for centuries. It is the occupation of that family. Such families include the
Wajo, Mizuno, and Takeuchi. Some of the temples are dominated by the Niwa and Tsu families who control the political power of that temple. In most temples, however, people from all ranks of life are found. Monks and shukenja also Kensai and Shukenja belong to this social group.
7)The Peasants (Hyakusho). The hyakusho are the peasants of Kozakura. They form the bulk of the population. They are divided into several groups, listed below:
Farmers: The farmers of Miyama are the backbone of the province. Miyama is an agricultural province and the farmers are responsible for its production. As farmers,
they are more important than craftsmen or merchants, both of which are relatively
small groups. Farmers, like all other groups in Miyama, are organized into families. Most
families are quite large and include very distant relations. The head of the family
group is the myoshu. He is responsible for the collection of rent and taxes and is considered the cultivator of the land.
Craftsmen: The social status of craftsmen depend on their craft and skill. Workers in
common crafts (carpentry, silk production, etc.) seldom rise to great heights or achieve great notice. Those involved in more artistic crafts can sometimes achieve great fame if they possess notable skill. Still, while such fame increases their wealth and acceptability, it does not alter their social level.
Merchants: Since Miyama is mainly an agricultural province, it has little need for
merchants. Indeed, this class is treated with a touch of contempt by all. These are
the people who make a profit from the effort of others.
This social group also includes the moneylenders and financiers. These in particular are in an awkward situation. Even the powerful samurai houses find it necessary to borrow money from these merchants. However, due to the difference in social class, the merchant often finds it impossible to recover his investment, let alone collect any interest, unless he has
extraordinary resources.
Entertainers: Of all the common people, entertainers are by far the lowest in social
status. These include actors, singers, musicians, and other groups. They are simultaneously favored for their skills and despised for their tawdry occupation. The higher classes find the entertainers seductively attractive. The town of Tamanokuni is the only major center of artistic life in Miyama.
Outcasts: Below all other social groups are the outcasts. They are the lowest of the low. Indeed, in most instances, they are literally nonpeople. All other classes despise them. Marriages are not permitted with outcasts and even contact with outcasts is undesirable. The outcasts exist primarily to fill occupations unthinkable to the other classes, occupations that are ritually unclean or forbidden by the various religions. These include executioners, butchers, tanners, and morticians.

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:02, Wed 24 July 2019.