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Empire of Japan

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/1000px_flag_of_japan_18701999svg_4.png
Co-Prosperity Sphere 
Official Name: Empire of Japan
Ruling Party: Yokusankai - Conservative Mainstream
Ideology: Fascism
After the nuclear bomb fell on Pearl Harbor, and the final base of Chinese resistance was crushed at Chongqing, the Empire of Japan became an undisputed superpower, dominating over Asia and the Pacific. As times of peace came, new problems quickly emerged. The massive Co-Prosperity Sphere quickly became an unmanageable patchwork of puppets, protectorates, and governorates. In its shadows rose many powerful and competing political cliques, turning Japanese politics into a shadow battleground. As one of the three superpowers of the world, Japan must find its footing in the world of 1962, or else its intricate network of political intrigues will unravel and collapse at the slightest touch.


    General Tropes 
  • Allohistorical Allusion:
    • Elements of the Taisei Yokusankai mirror that of the Liberal Democratic Party in real life.
    • The student unrest and general youth rebellion that ensue should Takagi’s reforms fail mirror the social chaos that wracked OTL Japan in the 1950s and late 1960s.
  • Alternate Character Reading: Chinese cities annexed by Japan use the Japanese on'yomi readings of their Chinese names.
  • The Assimilator: The Japanization of the colonies and parts of the Co-Prosperity Sphere is shown to have continued over the past decades. Not only has this led to hybrid/mixed cultures, but in the case of long-standing territories like Taiwan and Korea, it's reached the point wherein any notions of independence have dissipated. How things proceed from there, however, depends on who assumes power after Ino.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: The Japanese establishment and the public at large sincerely believe that the Empire was a liberating force for the oppressed peoples of the former colonies of Asia and that their rule is truly beneficial for the peoples of the Sphere. As such, they are genuinely surprised when their subjects attempt to revolt and gain independence.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Some territories under direct or indirect Japanese control, such as Hong Kong and former Vladivostok, are mentioned as having developed mixed-Japanese cultures over the decades.
  • The Conspiracy: The Dai Li conspiracy is a conspiracy seemingly cooked up by the former KMT spymaster turned underground terrorist Dai Li that strikes Japan in the late 60s, apparently suggesting that the Japanese military is infiltrated by many Chinese spies. Japanese higher-ups quickly becomes paranoid at the conspiracy and orders an investigation. If the investigation succeeds, it is revealed that Dai Li actually died in 1957, and the Kempeitai have been spreading false rumors of the conspiracy for their own political goals; the Kempeitai gets purged and Japan returns to stability. If the investigation fails, then everything goes wrong; the lower elements of the military mass mutinies due to their fears of corruption in the upper ranks (following Gekokujo traditions). IJA and IJN rivalries spiral out of control and becomes a low-level civil war as entire units engage in firefights and inter-service assassinations of officers become increasingly common. Then popular celebrity and moderate IJA officer Baron Takeichi Nishi gets accused of treason, and his trial causes widespread public outrage. The results of Nishi's subsequent trial decides the fate of Japan. Fittingly, Dai Li's true plan was to destabilize Japan by sowing paranoia and taking advantage of already-present internal divisions within the Japanese war machine.
  • Cool Train: The Japan-Korea Tunnel includes 3 rail lines, one for freight transport, one for passenger traffic and one mixed line, with plans for extension into Manchuria at a later date, replacing some, if not all, shipping between it and Japan.
  • Different World, Different Movies: A key difference between Mobile Suit Gundam in TNO and its real life counterpart is that the former is told from the perspective of Zeon and Char Aznable rather than Amuro Ray.
  • The Empire: Being the dominant power in East Asia and the Pacific Ocean, the Japanese Empire reigns over the largest population in the world. This remains true to a degree even in Takagi's Authoritarian Democratic path, as despite the reforms, Japanization still occurs in the colonies, albeit with a much more concerted effort to make the locals genuine citizens.
  • The Federation: The Co-Prosperity Sphere could evolve into this under a liberalized Japan, which could even include Italy. Even in that scenario, however, it functions akin to a Hegemonic Empire, albeit one where its members genuinely benefit and are similarly loyal.
  • Historical In-Joke:
  • History Repeats: Order 44 bears more than a passing resemblance to the February 26 Incident, where radical members of the military attempts to coup the government and purge their rivals, and institute a totalitarian, militaristic, and aggressively expansionist rule. Even Hirohito comments on the resemblance between Order 44 and February 26.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • Despite the divergence, Japanese anime and manga are still recognizable. It's even possible for Mobile Suit Gundam to be produced by the 1970s and even gain similar popularity.
    • In OTL, Shidzue Katō was a staunch feminist and advocate for birth control in family planning. In TNO, she still enters politics, and as part of Takagi's cabinet, remains an avowed feminist and fights for women's rights. Though unlike real life, she opposes the family planning policies imposed by the Taisei Yokusankai (which include mandatory birth control) as being demeaning and inhumane.
  • Interservice Rivalry: The Navy and the Army are still rivals, but their rivalry is not as relevant as the 30s or 40s. They don't have a lot of influence on the Japanese mainland, but they have lots of influence in the overseas territories, so the civilian government must at least partially answer their demands.
  • Mega-Corp: There are several major Zaibatsu in Japan, which hold significant power and prop up a large portion of the economy of the Sphere. When the Yasuda Holdings Zaibatsu gets implicated in a corruption scheme and their stock prices subsequently go into freefall, it nearly destroys the economy of the entire Sphere, triggering the "Economic Wars" between the old Zaibatsu and the new Keiretsu.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: The first phase of the game as Japan starts with a massive investigation event chain, which begins as an ordinary detective story and ends with the exposure of corruption among the higher-ups in the Taisei Yokusankai, Army, Navy, and big business, leading to the collapse of Prime Minister Ino's government and irreversible changes for the politics and economics of the Empire of Japan.
  • Multinational Team: On paper, the Co-Prosperity Sphere is an anti-imperialist bloc representing various Asian nations (and potentially Italy). Whether this means much more, or remains little more than a smokescreen for Japanese imperialism is up to the player.
  • The Purge: If the investigation into the Dai Li conspiracy is successful, the Kempeitai is purged, its members condemned as traitors, for their role in deliberately spreading false rumours and misleading the government about the long-dead Dai.
  • La Résistance: A lingering resistance still operates in Korea, though by 1962 it has been under Japanese control for so long that Korean independence is nothing more than a pipe dream.
  • Right Hand vs. Left Hand: Japanese politics is incredibly factionalized. The many different factions of Japan all want to advance their own agenda and solidify their own power, and form networks of influence and make intricate political maneuvers to weaken the other factions. The (many factions of) Taisei Yokusankai, the (also factionalized) Army, the Navy, the Zaibatsu and the Keiretsu are all a part of this vast game for control of Japan. Playing as Japan requires the player to manage the support and influences from all these factions so that the player's chosen PM can stay in power.
  • Secret Police: The infamous Kempeitai is still active in Japan. It’s also the true perpetrator behind the Dai Li Conspiracy.
  • Succession Crisis: After Ino is ousted following the revelation of his corruption scandal, Japanese politics is thrown into chaos. However, the divided Diet fails to select a successor that everyone can accept, and the Emperor has to intervene and appoint the lowly bureaucrat Kiichi Aichi as the new PM. However, Aichi's administration is incredibly ineffectual, and merely buys some time for a better PM to be chosen. The three major candidates for a true successor to Ino are Ikeda Masanosuke, Takagi Sōkichi, and Kaya Okinori, but more options may appear depending on the player's choices.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: The Taisei Yokusankai, the one and only political party in Japan, doesn't, in fact, have an ideology or a group of interests that unites all of their members. Instead, the party is heavily fragmented between feuding cliques and factions that have little in common between each other and pursue completely opposite political goals. Balancing the interests of the different factions within the Yokusankai is essential for any Prime Minister if he wants to keep his seat in the office.
  • White Man's Burden: The Pan-Asianism ideology places Japan in a special position among the Asian brotherhood, emphasizing her role as a protector and benefactor of the liberated people of the East, in contrast to the harsh reality of Japan's ruthless exploitation and brutal warmongering that occur within the Co-Prosperity Sphere countries.

    Hirohito 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tno_hirohito.png
Emperor Hirohito is the son of the Taishō Emperor and the sovereign of Japan. The Shōwa era under his reign saw Japan rapidly expand from a Pacific power to a global superpower. The aging Emperor lives in reclusion from the public, but the world is changing, and the Empire rattles around him. The people look up to their divine Emperor, but what will the Emperor do in return?


  • Gilded Cage: It's implied that the Emperor, for all his divinity and seemingly untouchable nature, ironically doesn't have much freedom, and is kept on a relatively tight leash by the Yokusankai.
  • God-Emperor: To the people of Japan, the Emperor is more than just a monarch; he is the holy sovereign of Japan and descendant of the sun goddess Amaterasu. After Japan's victory in World War II, the acquisition of large swathes of territory furthered cemented the Emperor's divinity.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: The secrecy surrounding his life and actions mean that even the benevolent deeds and sympathetic moments that he has would be kept hidden away from the outside world.
  • Pet the Dog: Hirohito visited Puyi's funeral and might have corresponded with him in life.
  • Puppet King: While the Emperor has never held much executive power at the first place, if Order 44 happens, he loses what little powers he had and knows that he cannot do anything to stop Nobusuke Kishi from bringing ruin to Japan and the rest of the Co-Prosperity Sphere.
  • Shadow Dictator: The Emperor is near entirely absent from public life, only communicating to his subjects through edicts over wire.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Upon the death of Emperor Puyi of Manchukuo, he's revealed to be among the handful of dignitaries who attend his funeral, and implied to have been in close correspondence with him in life. While the Qing monarch's passing ultimately is ignored by the world at large, Hirohito may be among the handful of people who genuinely knew the last Emperor of China.

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Prime Ministers (1962-1972)

    Ino Hiroya 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/portrait_japan_ino_hiroya.png
Party: Yokusankai - Conservative Mainstream
Ideology: Fascism
The current Prime Minister of Japan, Ino took the position by making strategic backroom deals with the Army to defeat the former Prime Ministers, Hideki Tōjō and Kōichi Kido. Japan under Ino took a turn for the worse however, as corruption infiltrated all corners of Japanese politics, worsening political factionalism, weakening the Taisei Yokusankai, and killing Ino's popularity. Ino's downfall is all but inevitable, but who will replace him?


  • 0% Approval Rating: By the time his government collapses, just about everyone in Japanese politics hates Ino. Even Ikeda, his biggest ally and supporter, distances himself from the former Prime Minister.
  • Allohistorical Allusion: In real life, Ino Hiroya headed a small conservative anti-Tōjō political organization known as the Gokoku Dōshikai near the end of WWII, and refused to join Tōjō's political faction known as the Dainihon Seijikai (after Tōjō was removed as PM) that aimed for a one-party state (both organizations failed to achieve anything because the war ended soon after). In TNO, Ino is also an opponent of Tōjō, but what's different is that after WWII, Ino managed to usurp Tōjō (and Kido) and become the PM himself with some strategic political maneuvers.
  • Corrupt Politician: As Prime Minister, Ino is not above taking concessions from the Army in exchange for power, even at the expense of the party's interests, and his own feeble rule leads to widespread corruption among public officials, creating a system where nothing can be done without bribery. The public reveal of the Ino clique's shady dealings is just one of the reasons for the eventual collapse of Ino's entire government and the ensuing political and economic strife in the Empire.
  • Deal with the Devil: To keep the dissatisfied military in check following Kido's demise, Ino gave them broad control of the colonies, in return for the military supporting his bid for Prime Minister. This comes back to bite Ino in the ass.
  • Tempting Fate: Ino's focus tree (Japan's initial focus tree) regularly boasts that nothing can destroy the Japanese economy that is the best in the world, and it will continue its high growths forever, before his political-economic system collapses.

    Ikeda Masanosuke 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/portrait_japan_ikeda_masanosuke.png
Party: Yokusankai - Conservative Mainstream
Ideology: Fascism
Masanosuke Ikeda represents the Conservatives of the Taisei Yokusankai, and is one of the three prime candidates to replace Ino. Ikeda wants to preserve the status quo of Japan and the Sphere, and fix the things that went wrong without falling into blind radicalism. However, as a staunch follower of Ino, Ikeda will have to directly face Ino's rotten legacy, and how he deals with it may make or break his tenure.


  • Allohistorical Allusion: Ikeda Masanosuke in OTL was a member of Ino's Gokoku Dōshikai. In TNO, Ikeda is in Ino's YSK clique instead.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: During Order 44, when Kishi's men seize the Diet building, the normally spineless Ikeda actually starts to resist and rallies the politicians still in the building to group up and hold back the attackers. Unfortunately, he gets shot in the head right after.
  • Hero-Worshipper: To uphold the national pride of Japan, Ikeda can choose a historical Japanese emperor to demonstrate to the Sphere as the paragon of the Japanese virtues, an example for which the whole nation should strive for. Among his choices are Emperor Meiji, Emperor Go-Komatsu and Emperor Go-Daigo.
  • Internal Reformist: Not to the same degree as Takagi, but Ikeda seeks to keep Japan's status quo going for as long as possible through piecemeal reforms.
  • Karma Houdini: Ikeda is a member of Ino's circle and was involved in corruption fraud like all others around the disgraced Prime Minister, but he manages to escape the allegations in the aftermath of Ino's resignation and pursue his bid for power in Japan.
  • Meet the New Boss: Ikeda is one of the most powerful members of the Ino clique and vows to continue his policies, sans the corruption.
  • Patriotic Fervor: It goes without saying that Ikeda loves Japan. An important plank of Ikeda's platform is restoring Japanese national pride, and the unity of the Japanese people.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: He's inclined to give the colonies more leeway, though this has more to do with a desire to maximize the resources being extracted without antagonizing the locals enough to the point of rebellion.
  • The Scapegoat: Ikeda's option to deal with Ino's corruption legacy is to blame it onto someone else, make some vague promises, and try to let it blow over. When the public is still dissatisfied and riots, Ikeda deals with the situation more seriously. He will strategically blame certain corporations he thinks can be punished, make publicized crackdowns on them and possibly even forcing the guilty to commit Seppuku, so the public can believe that he's doing something about the corruption.
  • Status Quo Is God: Ikeda genuinely believes this, and will try to keep Japan's predicament going for as long as possible. That said, however, he gradually implements piecemeal reforms and anti-corruption measures in order to ensure this holds amidst growing unrest.

    Takagi Sōkichi 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/portrait_japan_takagi_soukichi_new.png

Party: Yokusankai - Anti-Mainstream Conservative
Ideology: Authoritarian Democracy
Sōkichi Takagi leads the Liberal faction in the Taisei Yokusankai, and is another of the three major candidates for Prime Minister following Ino's ouster. A former admiral with a distinguished service during the Pacific War, Takagi has the support of his IJN contacts, and also the liberal-minded sections of the government and the public. Should Takagi succeed, he aims to implement major reforms to end corruption, unite the Yokusankai, halt Japan's militarization, and revitalize the economy.


  • Allohistorical Allusion: Many of the potential reforms Takagi could enact or endorse echo real life Postwar Japan, as well as its social and technological evolution into the present day. His efforts to reform the military, meanwhile echo the views of Yamamoto Isoroku.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: Even among his fellow compatriots in the Taisei Yokusankai, he genuinely seems to believe both in retaining the colonies and that Japanese colonial rule has been beneficial. While he doesn't give up on colonialism and Japanization, he nonetheless gradually comes to realize the need for genuine reform.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Compared to some of his peers in the government, Takagi clearly feels the burden of trying to steer Japan to a better future. Even if he succeeds, he laments that for all the sweeping changes, Japan has only received a taste of genuine democracy, and how he could have done more.
  • Deal with the Devil: Downplayed, but his liberalizing efforts inevitably lead to begrudging compromises with Kishi to ensure his reforms pass in the Diet, and that Kishi's followers don't derail them.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Should Takagi triumph above all odds, Japan not only starts down the path towards democracy but also has a chance, through liberalizations, to genuinely live up to its own rhetoric.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Even with his support for Japanization and continued colonialism, he has no love for abusive administrators or warmongers. This also motivates his decision to not only recall Baba Masao back to Japan for an inevitable trial, but also dissolve the North Borneo Administration.
  • Face Death with Dignity: During the execution of Order 44, Takagi is stormed by a squad of soldiers looking to kill him, and he reacts with a calmness and a request for a tanto to enact seppuku; the soldiers are actually scared at how stoic Takagi is, and an officer decides to shoot him in the head and immediately leave the room in shame.
  • Good Counterpart: To Albert Speer in Germany. While both are internal reformists backed by liberals and students, Speer is revealed to be a committed Fascist wanting to continue Nazism in more subtle means, and seeks to do away with the genuine reformists pushing for full democratization along with the students, and most of his desires for reform are rooted more on pragmatic grounds. By contrast, Takagi can realize the need for genuine reform and support them, albeit with some compromises.
  • Heel Realization: It's implied that the government's findings on the North Borneo Administration's poor track record, and the increasingly costly measures to maintain order in far-flung territories, gradually lead Takagi to take colonial reforms more seriously. That said, he still pushes through with the Japanization of said colonies, albeit with much more input from his liberal advisors.
  • Internal Reformist: Takagi is the preferred candidate of the studentry and liberals of the Imperial Diet. If he becomes Prime Minister, he'll attempt to liberalise the economy and government. In-game, Takagi and his followers are represented as authoritarian democrats.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Takagi is much more open to liberalization than his cohorts, but he's still a top-ranking figure in a fascist government.
  • Officer and a Gentleman: His general demeanor, whether in public or private. Shidzue Katō herself invokes this in her letter to him should her gamble to introduce social and gender reforms pay off.
  • Patriotic Fervor: Takagi makes a point to present his reforms and those of his liberal cabinet as manifestations of Japanese pride. He also uses this to mend fractures between the IJA and IJN.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: He's a more reasonable guy than most members of the Diet but he's still an imperialist who supports Japan's subjugation of smaller Asian countries like Vietnam and the Philippines. He's eventually convinced by his liberal cabinet to change his colonial policies, though not without some compromises.
  • Privately Owned Society: Should Takagi sign on to more radical free market reforms rather than more measured changes, Japan increasingly becomes this, albeit through the Keiretsu. This could backfire, however, by giving Kishi even more reasons to "justify" his calls for Japan's rebirth.
  • The Purge: Downplayed, but Takagi eventually begins ridding the military of corrupt officers and warmongers. This is further accelerated, however, by what he learns from the North Borneo investigation.
  • Reality Ensues: Trying to push for liberal reforms requires Takagi to make measured compromises for them to actually stick. More radical changes, whether it's free market individualism or women's rights, require significantly more effort, while also framing such policies as being consistent with Japanese pride. Otherwise, not only does Takagi lose legitimacy, but the ensuring social upheavals could give Kishi even more cause to instigate Order 44.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Out of all of Hiroya Ino's potential successors, Takagi is probably the most even-handed and least bloodthirsty, which is more or less consistent with what Takagi was like in real life. While Speer's supposed remorse was a complete farce he used to evade the death sentence, Takagi was a vocal opponent of Hideki Tōjō's decision to go to war with the United States. He continuously urged Tōjō to broker a truce on the well-founded concern that the Japanese Empire couldn't afford to start a huge international conflict with another global superpower.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Takagi's working relationship with Shidzue Katō is this, at least initially. While both share the same desire for liberalizing Japan, her vocal calls for radical change and feminist rhetoric stand in stark contrast to his plans to institute more measured reforms. Through making the right compromises and a bit of luck, however, a successful collaboration between the two not only sees both becoming more amicable, but also sees their policies gain traction within Japanese society.
  • We Used to Be Friends: He and Kishi are mentioned as having been good acquaintances, though by the time Takagi assumes power, any lingering friendship has long faded away.

    Kaya Okinori 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/portrait_japan_kaya_okinori.png

Party: Yokusankai - Reform Bureaucrats
Ideology: National Socialism
Okinori Kaya, former Japanese Minister of Finance, is the leader of the Reform Bureaucrats in the Taisei Yokusankai, a faction of bureaucrats that advocate for a corporatist state-planned economy. Succeeding Kōichi Kido as the Reform Bureaucrats' leader after Kido's fall, Kaya has avoided Kido's fate by carefully earning the Army's support, convincing them that he would defend their interests. As one of the three major candidates for prime minister after Ino's ouster, Kaya desires to reform the government, the economy, and the military, and turn all them into efficient apparatuses of the state.


  • Deal with the Devil: At the beginning of his term, Kaya bargains in the Diet for funding for state projects from Kishi Nobusuke (a man who is compared to the Devil not just once or twice during the game), who, in his turn, expects full obedience from Kaya.
    Lastly, remember that there is no return. It is either we comply and receive Lucifer's grace, or succumb to the fiery hell we find ourselves in.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Shockingly, Kaya's A Nazi by Any Other Name clique of Reform Bureaucrats is actually the moderate faction, in contrast to the other, even more totalitarian clique which is led by Kishi Nobusuke.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The Reform Bureaucrats advocate for a corporatist, near-total state-controlled economy and centralisation tinged with nationalist rhetoric, the extended use of the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy to secure Japanese interests, and a huge drive towards state-driven industrial expansion modelled after Manchukuo. The government, military, and industry should be combined into one cohesive unit after settling their individual disputes, all to redirect their efforts to serve Japan, first and foremost. In the game, Kaya is classified as a National Socialist.
  • The Purge: Kaya deals with the legacy of Ino's corruption by sacking notorious or underperforming cabinet members to intimidate the rest to reveal themselves, lest they want to suffer even worse consequences.
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Important politicians

    Kido Kōichi 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/portrait_japan_kido_kouichi.png

Party: Yokusankai - Kidoite Faction
Ideology: Despotism


  • Egocentric Team Naming: Unlike the other factions (the liberals, conservatives and Reform Bureaucrats), Kido's clique within the Taisei Yokusankai is simply called Kidoites.
  • Old Retainer: He seems to see himself as this, owing to his position in the Privy Council and close ties as an advisor to the Emperor himself.
  • Status Quo Is God: As Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal, Kido holds an immense amount of power that allows him to shape Japan's political future at the whisper of an ear, and wishes for Japan to maintain its current system, since it benefits him the most.

    Konoe Fumimaro 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/fumimaro_konoe.jpg


  • Driven to Suicide: Fumimaro Konoe hangs himself before he could be assassinated during the events of Order 44.
  • Heel Realization: During the execution of Order 44, an assassin sent to kill Konoe breaks into his house only to find that he had committed suicide by hanging himself. In Konoe's suicide note, he expresses his regret over creating the Yokusankai and pushing Japan into a cycle of violence and domination that culminated in Order 44. He apologizes to all the people whose lives his actions have ruined, but does not seek forgiveness and wants to be remembered as a failure who did nothing as Japan spiraled into darkness.

    Tanaka Kakuei 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/portrait_japan_kakuei_tanaka_4.png


  • Corrupt Politician: During his whole career, Tanaka has been in the center of massive corruption scandals, but he always managed to come out dry of the water and maintain his influence in the Diet.
  • Red Baron: Like in real life, Tanaka is known as the "Shadow Shogun" for his political perfidy and his mastery of the backroom intrigues.

    Kishi Nobusuke (UNMARKED SPOILERS) 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/portrait_japan_kishi_nobusuke.png

Party: Yokusankai - National Purist
Ideology: Ultranationalism

In the industrialized landscape of Manchukuo, million of nameless men give their lives to endlessly produce for their Japanese overlords. The director of this factory of blood and tears is Nobusuke Kishi. A capable and ruthless bureaucrat, Kishi's engineering of Manchukuo and network of connections made him the most powerful bureaucrat in the Empire, but he has ambitions far beyond Manchukuo. He envisions the National Defense State, a totalitarian entity built upon exporting his industrial model across the Empire, whose powers will utterly dominate the Pacific.

Times of chaos bring opportunities to ruthless careerists, so the Devil of Shōwa plots and waits for his opportunity. When he feels that chaos has gripped Japan, the Devil of Shōwa will awaken and rise from hell, and an entire generation will be scorched under the infernal flames of the Rising Sun.


  • Chekhov's Gunman: Kishi initially doesn't take an active part in the Japan narrative, only appearing in several events and acting as Kaya's Man Behind the Man. It is not until the Dai Li Conspiracy that he takes the initiative in response to the government's failure to resolve the crisis.
  • The Coup: Kishi comes to power by executing Order 44, couping the current Japanese government with the help of Prince Tsuneyoshi Takeda and General Akira Mutō, and turns the Empire 180 degrees in the other direction in order to begin Japan's "rebirth".
  • The Dreaded: The reaction text to the event he takes over Japan is "The Devil of Shōwa rises from hell." note 
  • Downer Ending: His path is Japan's failstate, and having him pull off Order 44 is a sign that something went horribly wrong in Japan.
  • Evil Colonialist: Kishi built the oppressive colonial industrial system in Manchukuo. Rumors say he wants to implement this model across the Empire.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Most elements of the Taisei Yokusankai, even the more "mainstream" Fascists, view Kishi and his faction as being beyond the pale. Which is not unlike how he was perceived by his peers in real life.
  • Foil: To fellow supervillain on the other side of the world, Himmler. Both men embody the worst their respective ideologies have to offer, both want to make the worst parts of their already depraved wartime governments the norm across the entire nation (with Himmler running Burgundy like a massive concentration camp and Kishi wanting to run all of Japan like Manchukuo), and both represent nightmare scenarios for their spheres of influence. They are also both racists who consider slavery the natural state of all other peoples, with Himmler working the French and Belgian populations to death to feed his obsession with Aryan purity, and Kishi openly describing the continental East Asians as "slave robots." But where Himmler is a miserable joyless wretch, Kishi enjoys the fruits of his post, reveling in luxury and using women as toys for his twisted amusement. And while Himmler is stuck with Burgundy as a consolation prize after a failed attempt at seizing power outright, Kishi bides his time before striking and seizing power for himself, and so is able to satisfy his dark ambitions more directly.
  • Four Is Death: Kishi's brutal purge and coup operation is named Order 44.
  • Historical In-Joke: A particularly grim one. In OTL, Kishi's stint as Prime Minister met such opposition from students and several factions within the LDP (his own erstwhile political party) that he was forced to resign. Through the execution of Order 44, however, he ensures that a similar outcome never happens in TNO.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Kishi was already one of Japan's worst war criminals in OTL, so it's telling that he's somehow even more evil and monstrous here. Bear in mind that Manchukuo has been under Japanese occupation for thirty years by the time the game starts, so Kishi has been brutally exploiting its inhabitants for almost thrice as long as he did in real life (in addition to whatever atrocities he intends to commit should he stage a coup). What's especially chilling is that from what we see of him in-game, he mostly has the same beliefs he had in real life. The difference is that he wasn't able to act on them to the fullest possible extent in the post-war era because he was restrained by the American occupation and Japan's new democratic government.
  • The Man Behind the Man: In Kaya's playthrough, Kishi is established as the main power behind the Reform Bureaucrats and Kaya's endeavours.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast:
    • It doesn't get much more blatant than your nickname including the phrase "the devil."
    • The name of his faction is the "National Purists", which, judging from the name and the fact that they are classified in-game as Ultranationalists, cannot spell anything good for what they want to implement in Japan once they take power.
  • "Psycho" Strings: Deeply disturbing music suddenly plays when his superevent fires to the sound of knocking on doors, gunshots, and agonized screaming.
  • The Purge: A particularly horrific example. Kishi's 44-step plan to take over Japan and begin its rebirth ends with Order 44: a massive coup and purge operation to kill all of his political enemies, seize the Diet building and the Imperial Palace, end the nation-wide protests by force, and force the Privy Council to officially declare himself the PM. The purge sees Kishi assassinate Takagi, Kido, Konoe (and many more prominent politicians, even if Konoe kills himself before he could be assassinated), cause a bloodbath in the Diet building (killing Yasuhiro Nakasone and Ikeda), and ordering the IJA to publicly massacre every dissident civilian on the street.
  • Red Baron: "The Devil of Shōwa" (Shōwa no Yōkai), and in early teasers, "the Maestro."
  • Shout-Out: Order 44 is a clear reference to Order 66.
  • Spanner in the Works: Regardless of which path Japan goes down, Kishi can seize power if the country's myriad issues aren't addressed properly or should the domestic socio-political situation become too tumultuous.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Kishi comes to power through Order 44, an extremely violent purge even more brutal than Nazi Germany's Night of the Long Knives. His Ultranationalist rule (alongside hardline Reform Bureaucrats and ultranationalist IJA generals) intends to create the "National Defense State", the vision of a "purified" Japan that the National Purists have, by implementing the Manchukuo industrial model across the Empire, creating a corporatist, brutal, and totalitarian entity that will dominate Asia and the Pacific where every element within it is directed to totally serve the State.
  • The Unfettered: Unlike real life, in which Kishi was hampered by both the United States and post-war Japan's democratic system (including his own party), in TNO he's very much embraced being the Devil of Shōwa and has far less scruples with exercising his power. It's heavily implied that Order 44 is only the tip of the iceberg.

The Conspiracy

    Dai Li (UNMARKED SPOILERS) 

  • The Alcoholic: At the end of every day, Dai Li would seclude himself in his farmhouse, drink until he could no longer stand and then fall into a stupor.
  • Arc Villain: Near the end of Japan's first decade, Dai Li is revealed to be the mastermind of a conspiracy, suggesting that the Japanese military is infiltrated by many Chinese spies, creating an atmosphere of paranoia and mistrust in Japan. The investigation of the Dai Li conspiracy is a major part of Japan's gameplay during these years, but in the end, this trope is ultimately subverted, as it turns out Dai has been dead for more than a decade, and the whole conspiracy was cooked up and spread by the Kempeitai for their own political goals.
  • Dead All Along: The reports of Dai Li's survival were greatly exaggerated.
  • Decapitated Army: After Dai Li's death, most of his men simply chose to go back home and stopped their operations.
  • The Ghost: Dai Li looms large over Japanese politics despite his whereabouts being unknown. It turns out to be a literal case in the end when we discover that he died years prior to the start of the game.
  • Mean Boss: Disturbing Dai Li's sleep was deeply unwise and it usually ended in someone being beaten to the ground.
  • Posthumous Character: Dai Li died of cirrhosis in 1957, five years before the start of the game proper and over a decade before the Dai Li Conspiracy event arc.
  • The Remnant: Even after Chiang Kai-shek's regime was defeated by Japan in 1947, Dai Li's leadership and fanaticism inspired his men to continue ferociously resisting the Japanese. His intelligence service was able to successfully infiltrate and deal serious damage to the Nanjing government until Dai's own death.
  • The Spymaster: Dai Li was the leader of the juntong, the secret police under Chiang Kai-shek.

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