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 Post subject: Colleges
PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:47 pm 
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In the heyday of the Gozoku, Otomo Reju, an influential and wealthy man, forged a tactical alliance with the Gozoku Triumvirate in order to advance his personal agenda of enlightenment and progress through education. With their assistance he established four colleges around the capital, one in each Hub Village. The colleges would immediately become very prestigious, with Gozoku favouring them. They soon would become administered by the Nasu, who also provided the secular component of teaching. For spiritual teachings, there were the Brotherhood monks, and the samurai of the Gozoku filled the blanks. They were not specialised at that time, all of them offering similar curricula aimed at educating next generations of technocrats to strengthen Gozoku rule, the licensed Imperial Scribes.

This fell apart when Reju withdrew his support for the Gozoku as they moved against the Brotherhood. The colleges were one of the top theatres of the struggle, from which the Gozoku emerged superficially victorious. The Nasu took over the colleges, and Reju's personal influence over his undertaking was marginalised.

As such, they were quickly purged by Yugozohime's orders soon after the downfall of Gozoku. Gaijushiko aided in their dismantling by withdrawing all the Nasu staff. While Otomo Reju was not fully pardoned, and banished to the Badger lands for past associations, his remaining family was restored to nominal control of the colleges as new vassals of the Otomo, the Reju. Underfunded and understaffed, they were not doing well, however. The prestige of the institutions rapidly fell, the numbers of students dwindled. The Gozoku stigma was too strong for some to dare send their youth to one of the colleges for schooling.

Their fortunes picked up after the White Stag, with the formation of the Tortoise, who were awarded holdings in each of the Hub Villages. Muhaki, well-aware of the situation of the colleges, decided to use them for Tortoise agenda. He provided funding, but also requested of the Reju to let him shape curricula and have a say who would be enrolled and who the colleges would be staffed with. He then used them to initiate specialised education in each of the colleges as well as to cultivate good relations with other Minor Clans, offering them places in the Reju schools. What was not good enough or suspect for Imperials and Great Clan samurai, proved just right for the members of the Minor Clans. For most of them it was a window to a wider world, a promise of a better career, and a way to stay close to the capital. The scheme was vehemently supported by the Miya, despite wariness of the Otomo and the jealousy of the Seppun, who saw it as an indirect challenge to the position of the Four Temples. By the time Muhaki died in 472, however, the Hub Villages had become outposts of Minor Clan presence and numbers of well-educated Minor Clanners were able to fill low- to mid-ranking posts in the Imperial Bureaucracy as well as to change the faces of their respective Clans by bringing back home less parochial, more cosmopolitan perspectives alongside sophisticated knowledge.

The Great Clans had certainly taken notice, and tried to take action right after Muhaki's passing to weaken Torotoise position in the colleges and stem the gains of the Minor Clans. The Reju themselves had grown uncomfortable with prior arrangements, and eagerly looked forward to a balancing act that would allow them to regain power over what was their mandate. This was expeditiously offered by Asako Ryohime, sister of the reigning Empress, and was initially done by a special agreement between the Reju and the Chukan. Asako masters of lore elevated the colleges from technical schools to institutions of higher learning they had been before the purge, while also opening the way for gradual return of the Nasu to prominent positions within colleges as apprehension about them and the former Gozoku Clans began to wane. With the Crane, the Scorpion and the Dragon increasing their focus on the colleges, the Torotise had no choice but to cut losses and scale back, though what they had achieved under Muhaki with the Minor Clans in the Hub Villages was not easily undone. Sectoral specialisations of each of the Reju schools remained.

Perhaps it was the following relative success of the Four Colleges that led in 490 to the edicts of newly ascended Hantei IX on reforms in education in the Empire. The Imperial Edict on Education changed much. Clan schooling was deemed insufficient for advancing in the Imperial institutions as too martial and too religiously laden, and so samurai considered for advancement beyond their Clan should dedicate themselves to studies in recognised Imperial colleges. Those colleges were supposed to be secular, closed for priests as either students or staff.

Few shugenja expected such s blow to their position, ethos and prestige coming from the new Emperor. The edict immediately became highly controversial and led to rifts appearing within Clans as well as to estrangement of the priestly samurai from the Throne, which in the case of the Isawa pushed matters closer to an actual secession as they were often blamed for the turn because of the antics of the late Master of Fire, Isawa Takao. Begrudgingly, all Clans eventually adjusted to the edict. The Reju colleges, however, expanded and thrived, becoming the centrepiece of reform, but they also became highly politicised, with almost all Clans vying for their shares of influence over them.

The Reju found it hard at times to ride the wave. They could not count on full support of their Otomo suzerains who didn't trust them. The Otomo daimyo cultivated firm anti-Gozoku stance and what happened in the colleges ironically started to resemble what they had once pledged to Yugozohime to never allow again. The Seppun shunned the Four Colleges for more than one reason now. The support of the Miya, conditional on sustaining access of Minor Clans to the schools, was not enough to balance the increasing pressures of the Crane and the Scorpion and the general and mounting displeasure of the traditionalist Lion. That pushed the Reju deeper into reliance on the secular branch of the Phoenix.

And that branch had the face of Asako Itsuo, the Governor of Nikesake and its Blue Tiled College. Their cooperation became organic, with the Nasu and the Chukan as the conduits in their respective domains of administration and higher learning. Ironically, Itsuo's mother Ryohime had positioned the former as the guardians of the organisational independence of the institutions who ensured that no gain in outside influence in them was politically cheap. But it also pushed curricula of the colleges into greater heterodoxy... and toward any less obvious influences Itsuo and his Nikesake college represented. Accusations of the colleges cultivating gaigaku, or foreign learning, were ascendant.

This was not to everyone's liking, of course, though with Hantei IX firmly behind his Edict no open move against the state of affairs had been done until recently, when Otomo Jama, with the double blessing of his daimyo and his father, temporarily took up the function of superintendent on education and in early 499 began a tour of the Four Colleges in what looked like as a politically-laden audit. He has not revealed his conclusions yet, but much is being made of the fact that it were Crane aides who accompanied him, one of which was undoubtedly a shugenja. For now, one of those who accompanied him, Doji Tsugiko, has been mandated with organising a summer retreat to those who have caught the eye of the Hantei prince.



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 Post subject: Re: Colleges
PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:48 pm 
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The Fifth College

The summer retreat for students of the Four Colleges culminated in a major shakeup to the educational landscape. Based on a new Imperial Edict, another central College was established in summer 499, this time outside the Hubs, in the Dragon's Guard City, and directly linked to the Imperial Navy and the Imperial Explorers. By late summer Moshi Noriko assumed the responsibilities of its headmistress, and drew many progressive minds from across the Empire to visit as sensei, Asako Hisau among them. Its premises soon mushroomed across the city, not only in the designated area of the College Compound, formerly know as the Feitoria, but also along the northern suburbs.

The access to education in the college is restricted to those who are slated to become members of the corps of the Imperial Explorers, and are specifically groomed to take part in the First Voyage, scheduled for early autumn 500. The scope of skills taught at it partially overlaps with Reju institutions, but there are some on the curriculum that are distinctly progressive our outright foreign. Languages of gaijin nations are taught freely, and training in using various gaijin technologies, from navigation to firearms to manufacturing, available with social stigma lifted for the duration of education.



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 Post subject: Re: Colleges
PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:52 pm 
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The House of Aurora, in North Hub Village
* Major influence: Phoenix
* Minor influence: Tortoise, Crab, Crane, Mantis
* Specialised in teaching bureaucracy, administration, political and social thought, infrastructure and engineering, shipbuilding and commerce

The House of Dawning Light, in East Hub Village
* Major influence: Tortoise
* Minor influence: Phoenix, Crab, Mantis
* Specialised in teaching marine technologies, gaijin lore and other foreign skills, shipbuilding

The House of Shining Light, in South Hub Village
* Major influence: Sparrow (Edakumi), Scorpion
* Minor influence: Crane, Phoenix, Tortoise
* Specialised in modern arts and social skills and trends

The House of Waning Light, in West Hub Village
* Major influence: Boar (Tsi), Badger (Fureheshu)
* Minor influence: Crab, Lion, Dragon, Tortoise
* Specialised in modern technologies in chemistry and metallurgy, other crafts and sports (wrestling and others), and technical partnership with local manufacturers

The Imperial Naval College, in Dragon's Guard City
* Major influence: Imperial, Centipede
* Minor influence: Mantis, Crane, Crab, Lion, Boar
* Specialised in exploration and sea travel, naval and gaijin warfare, foreign languages and customs as well as modern sciences and crafts
* Characters who started the game with another College may transfer to the Imperial Naval College without additional cost or reimbursement
* After roughly a year spent in the Imperial Naval College a character is awarded the Language Advantage for one of the following: Thranish, Merenaese, Yobanjin, Mekhem, Ivindi



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