Tenno Toruhito's War

This is a short story i’m writing for English class. Can you guys read it and tell me how you would describe Tenno Toruhito? Also I am aware that Toruhito is not in line with a real Japanese emperor’s position in the government. But for the sake of my plot I am giving him more direct power then a real Emperor. Enjoy.

The heavy cruiser rocked gently in the Yellow Sea. The cruiser’s 18 mm guns aimed towards Tianjin’s port. Behind it, concealed in the darkness of night, was the biggest fleet since World War II. The fleet was silent, like a panther about to strike its prey. Its chief admiral paced back and forth on the flagship. He awaited the two word signal that would plunge Asia into war and raise Japan into power. At 23:09 August 27th, his cell phone got a text message.

“Mado mieru,” it said.

The invasion had begun….

A few days earlier, in the Japanese Capital Building in Shinjuku, a meeting was held among the cabinet ministers and the Tēnno. At the head of the table the Tēnno stood. His white samurai robe draped down and lightly touched the wax floor. He held his head high. His black hair shone in the torch light of the meeting room. His powerful eyes looked down upon his ministers. After courtesies were exchanged, the ministers began to talk.

“Emperor, we must expand our borders. Our cities are becoming overpopulated. Resources are becoming scarce. Not to mention the shortage of metals which we must import,” Economic Minister Kuno said. 

“Yes, it is true, we are low on resources and land. It only makes my previous point stronger. Why shouldn’t the Emperor’s reign cover the face of the earth? It will solve our problem and the problems of all the other peoples,” War Minister Mochizuki said.

“Even now our people are starving. We can solve this. Why do we not do so? It is our duty to help the people, will we do nothing? No, we must conquer lands for the Emperor,” War Minister Fujioka declared. 

“But we have tried and failed before. Thousands of our people died, even before the bombs fell,” Peoples Minister Nitta countered. 

“We are stronger now than ever before, and everyone else is weak from years of peace. Even now warships are being built, weapons are being forged, and soldiers are being trained. Losing is not an option this time!” War Minister Mochizuki slammed his hand onto the table after he spoke.

“Mochizuki is right. It is time that Japan, my empire, my country, acts. I have completed the arrangements with Taiwan. We will make a joint invasion of Communist China. China will be our offensive springboard. Through the Chinese blood I will rise, and with me the Sun will rise. For Japan and the Japanese deserve more, and I will have them get more! Spill blood for me, and we will rise! I have spoken.” Tēnno Turohito said. 

The Tēnno swept out of the room majestically. His eyes blazed in anticipation of the coming bloodshed. His ministers talked long into the night, paving a path for the Asian War.  Only Minister Nitta had regrets. But due to respect for the Emperor, he kept quiet. 

Admiral Yasamata signaled to his staff. They filed out of his office to alert the rest of the fleet. A few minutes later, the fleet unleashed a storm of rockets. Rows and rows of ships fired their missiles and guns in succession. Tianjin’s port went up in flames. Fighter Jets and Bombers covered the sky. The Japanese landing craft hit the beaches twelve minutes after the initial shelling. Imperial soldiers swarmed the city. Any opposition was crushed in their path. The peace time Chinese police and military were no match for the trained attackers.

Tēnno Toruhito watched the action on a big screen TV in the Emperor’s palace. He sat with his friend and compatriot Prime Minister Masami Nakanishi. Toruhito’s smile grew as he watched Shanghai get flattened. His plan was working. He was a god.

“Japan is powerful again,” Nakanishi said, causing the Emperor to scowl as he lost his train of thought. After a moment he composed himself and responded.

“Yes, Masami, our plan is working well. Taiwan will be invading soon, let us hope they have even half our success,” Toruhito responded.

“The Chinese are not putting up much of a fight. I was expecting more entertainment. Oh, well that is the price of being divine,” Nakanishi said.

Toruhito remained quiet. In his mind he was assessing the damage he had done. Soon enough the reports would be flowing in. He knew that this initial shock was very important. The bigger and more catastrophic this attack was, the easier the rest of Communist China would fall. It was too bad that he had to kill thousands of Chinese civilians to achieve his goal. After all, those were the fortunes of war. He reminded himself to order the propaganda ministry to drop leaflets. The leaflets would have before and after pictures of Tianjin. That would hurt the moral of the Chinese, and shorten the war significantly.

“Well the crux of the battle is over, that was quick. Good seeing you, Tēnno. I am going to have endless addresses to make to our people. That cursed internet makes it impossible to hide anything,” Nakanishi said.

Toruhito escorted the Premier out of his suite. As he sat back down on his couch, the reports started to flood in. He checked Yasamata’s report first. (Toruhito insisted that he be in charge of the invasion.) Next he checked the Chinese casualty count. The large fatality number made him smile. He was sure it would shake the Chinese.

After some hesitation, he skimmed through his minister’s reports. As usual he found very contradictory reports. Mochizuki and Fujioka both reported that the Japanese casualties were no more than 300. In contrast they claimed the Chinese casualties were over 2,000,000. While Nitta’s report said that the Japanese casualties were catastrophic. China had only taken minimal losses, according to him. Toruhito cursed and banged his fist against the armrest. He wished that his ministers were at least semi-competent. He had had enough paperwork. He stood up and went over to the mirror and looked at himself.

“I am great. I will be known as the Blood Tēnno, for I have spilled more Chinese blood than any other. I have reformed the government of my nation before and I will reform the governments of all nations now! I will rule the whole world. For it is my destiny,” he said to his reflection.

Three weeks after the start of the Asian war, Japan began the siege of Beijing. Taiwan’s spearhead was as far as Guiyang and advancing. The Russians sent supplies and weapons to the Communist Chinese. They also gave them the island of Sakhalin, and the airbases on it. At Russia’s request the western nations agreed not to get involved. 

Tēnno Toruhito was having a meeting with Nakanishi and Mochizuki. They were discussing the turn of the War. The outcome was far less certain now. 

“If Beijing falls soon we will win. But our limited resources at home our dwindling. It is taking longer to confiscate the supplies from the Communist Chinese then any of us thought. And these Chinese MiG strikes are slowing the war effort. Is it possible to invade Sakhalin and end these pesky bombings?” Toruhito asked his two friends. 

“We can do it, but I am afraid we will be spreading ourselves too thin. I think it is better to shrug off the losses, and do what we can with anti-air,” Mochizuki answered. 

“I am most afraid of our own people’s reaction. They are pro war, however the cost of the war is starting to pay its toll. Many are questioning our choice. I am constantly making speeches to explain our point of view. In an hour I am flying to Sapporo to speak there. Soon the people will tire of my assurances. What then?” Nakanishi asked. 

“All these problems will be temporary. My empire will be complete soon. Beijing will fall, and with it Communist China. We must rise above these petty problems. Our own people must see that too, I am counting on you Nakanishi. Farewell and good luck in Sapporo,” Toruhito said. 

Toruhito and Mochizuki continued to talk. They talked about the War, about the resource shortage, about the confiscation problems, and about the Japanese people’s views. The minutes ticked by. About three hours after Nakanishi had left, the phone rang. Toruhito answered it. 


“My lord, the worst has happened. A Chinese MiG’s firebomb hit the airport of Sapporo. Prime Minister Nakanishi had just entered the gate. He was at the wrong place at the wrong time. The doctors did everything they could, but the fire was too intense. He is dead sir, I’m sorry.”

“Thank you for informing me. Nakanishi was a good man. The Chinese will pay,” the Tēnno said, his emotions controlled so the person on the other side would not detect a weakness in the Emperor.

As soon as he hung up the phone, he slammed his hand down and burst into tears. Mochizuki looked at him, a questioning look on his face. 

“What is the matter, lord?” he asked.

“They got Nakanishi, the cursed MiGs got Nakanishi.” the Tēnno managed to say. 

“Barbarians, we must avenge him!” Mochizuki said as he jumped up from the couch. 

The Tēnno didn’t respond. Waves of emotions flowed through him. He had never experienced sadness before. Even when his father Naruhito died he had not felt sad. Rather he had felt excited about the coming challenges of being emperor. But now his oldest and only friend had been killed. What made it worse was that it was indirectly because of him. No, it was directly because of him. The thought cut like a whip. His war, his master piece, and his dream, had killed his only friend. Nakanishi was more than a friend though. Nakanishi was his partner in public, and his advisor in private. How could he go on with the war without him? Or worse, how could he stop it? 

“Lord, what should we do?” Mochizuki asked. His voice was filled with rage. 
It took Toruhito a few seconds to compose himself. 

“Inform the other ministers of Nakanishi’s death. Then await my orders. Oh, and Mochizuki, have Yasamata report to me via a secure line. Dismissed,” Toruhito answered. 

Mochizuki left. Toruhito was alone. He screamed in anger. It was like part of him was cut off. In its place a new voice began to speak. For the first time he realized the damage he had done. He had to stop it, before more people experienced the pain. But he knew reality was still there. It was too late, too late to stop the war, too late to stop the MiGs, too late to stop death, too late to stop Mochizuki and Fujioka, too late to do anything. 

His dice were cast, he would have to follow them until the end. Unless… He could end it now… All he had ever done… All it did was kill…Yes, it was time to end it…

 He stood up and crossed the room. Everything was in a daze. On a loose sheet of paper he wrote his jisei. He took his katana off the wall. He stood poised with it, ready to strike himself down. Fate would finish what he started. Fate would bring balance. With that thought he thrust the katana into his abdomen. The pain seared through his body. Blood gushed out of the wound. His white samurai robe turned red. 
He was the Blood Tēnno until the end.

I entered through blood
I stole honor
I plotted deceit
I spilt blood
I killed my people
I slayed foreign peoples
I left through blood
I learnt what is right
I am returning to the beginning

paging @Avairian ! :smile:

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Unpacks nitpicking kit…

Make this a single sentence using a comma.

[quote=“TurtleSquish, post:1, topic:8501, full:true”]At 23:09:36 August 27th his cell phone got a text message.
“Mado mieru,” it said.
The invasion was on…[/quote]
Don’t think they’d use an ordinary mobile phone for something of such importance, given how unsecure they are IRL.

Also, not sure “the invasion was on” quite works for me. “It had begun” or something similar may work better perhaps.

Don’t need to capitalise “Cabinet Ministers”.

I’d combine some of these into more sentences, eg: “His head was held high, black hair shining in the torchlight of the meeting room. Powerful eyes looked down on his ministers.”

Okay that was two sentences, but I wanted to get another point across - don’t keep using “his” when it’s obvious who is being described.

Not sure I’d begin with “also”… doesn’t feel right (too informal or unprepared perhaps?) for the situation.

War is probably not a good idea then :stuck_out_tongue: .

Use a colon or hyphen instead of a comma here.

Forgot an apostrophe in “People’s” here :wink: .

On a side note, Mochizuki is a lunatic :smiley: .

Makes the Tenno sound just a little mad himself I think. Maybe that’s what you’re going for with him though :wink: .

Again, I’d combine these two sentences: “… majestically, eyes blazing in anticipation…”

This is too short a time span to be a “few weeks” earlier. This meeting sounds to me more like the final round of talks where everyone commits to the idea, but have been preparing for it for years beforehand (hence the build-up of weaponry etc mentioned in the story). So talking long into the night to make sure they’re all on the same page perhaps, but not “how will we actually fight this war?” because the generals & admirals would have decided that months before (albeit with tweaking still going on). Presumably the news that Taiwan is co-operating is also not news to the ministers here either.

Okay, as for the Tenno… frankly there’s not much to go on. He seems to look (or act) the part from the brief description, but says or thinks almost nothing in the brief bit written. What he does say clearly shows him to be the one in charge here, but as my comment above indicates, possibly mad if he is actually saying “I have spoken”, and eyes afire with the thought of bloodshed. Makes you wonder if why he’s so respected, if he’s basically a nutcase :slight_smile: . Now feared I could understand of course.

A couple of other IRL points to consider:

-Article 9 of the IRL Japanese constitution forbids the use of war beyond national self-defence.
-China is a nuclear power. “We’re losing the war!” Pushes button “Never mind :smiley: !”
-How will Russia (often buddy of China) react? How about the USA?
-The USA is concerned with China being able to spam anti-ship missiles at its carrier groups etc in the event of a war.
-Japan has a serious issue with its ageing population and low (low) birth rate.

As you’re using what looks like a fairly modern Japan, Taiwan & China in this story, you should try to consider how each of these points will affect the story, and how they will be dealt with by the Japanese in order to make the war happen. Obviously, you can go with an alternate universe setting, eg in which Japan has a decent birth rate still, or where China lacks nukes - but at least it means you’ve considered these points and dealt with them.


I chose a basic cell phone line because right before pearl harbor the Japanese sent a message to their fleet on an un-secure radio line.

I may change “The invasion was on…” to something else.

Thanks i’ll change that.

Again this is a reference to World War II, the Japanese attacked and tried to gain land to supply their people. However I just realized that starving is not a problem Japan has had because of their major fishing industry.

Good catches, thanks.

Yeah pretty much what I was going for.

I totally agree, I am going to change it to “a few days earlier” Thanks for pointing that out, changes the story significantly.

Of the few people which have read this part of the short story that is a pretty common opinion. So I intend to put a bit more of Toruhito in this first part. I am designing this short story in three parts. Part one gets the reader to understand “current events” part two will be mostly Toruhito’s inner thoughts as his war unfolds. And part 3 will be his thoughts as he begins to lose.

This whole thing has to be at minimum 2 generations in the future, so I gave myself some creative liberties. For example
-Toruhito reformed the government a lot. (which has to have been done anyway for him to give commands in a cabinet meeting)
-an SDI was invented which effectively can intercept 95% of nukes.
-The Nationalist Chinese Underground has a lot of power in the government.
-Russia will be giving the communist chinese a lot of weapons and even airbases, but will not join the war.
-USA is not going to get involved in “off-shore politics”
-Didn’t know about the birth rate problem. I will just have to stay that two (or three) generations solved the problem.



May i sugest you use rockets or missiles insread of shells? Shells sound a bit to last century and by my understanding this is supose to be a few generarions in the future.

Good idea, I didn’t think about that. Thanks for the feedback.

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Only for flavpr and not that tge ending is inadequet but could you add a old death poem to be his last words? I always find them rather amazing. :wink:

As a sumuary of my opinion i have ti say that i rather like it. Well done!

uhh I can try, but I am miserably bad at writing poems…If you know any good ones/can make one, I would definitely add it in and give proper credit.
Also how would you describe Toruhito? Its important because this report is for characterization.

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So Tenno seems like an arrogant bastard up tell the end once he did the right thing and Honorable thing. Lovely short story all in all :smile:

Big shout out thanks to @SteveAdamo for cleaning the post up a lot. The entire story is now on the starting post.

I am still accepting death poems until this coming Monday the 17th. If its good I will use it instead of my rather crude one.

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Take a look at the book “Shogun”, or indeed just spend some time googling such death poems. Stuff like this for example:


Yeah I heard about Shogun, maybe i’ll read it.

I actually looked through that website. I didn’t think any of the ones at that website fit the character of Toruhito.