|God-Heaven Supreme Order All-Under-Heaven Realm of Great Peace
Teijun Tenka Taihei Tengoku
|Anthem: Lotus Blossom of the Sublime Law Total Devotion Mantra|
Taihei Tengoku in dark red, claimed territories in light red.
Topographic map of Taihei Tengoku.
|Official languages||None de jure|
|Recognised national languages||Yamato|
|Recognised regional languages||Songian
|•||Nine Esteemed Kings (Ennarchy)||Directorate
|Legislature||Heaven and Earth Chamber|
|•||Upper house||Court of Grand Masters|
|•||Lower house||Council of Loyal Laymen|
|•||Total||5,067,250 km2 (4th)
1,956,480 sq mi
|•||2018 estimate||1,210,400,000 (1st)|
|•||2010 census||1,140,000,000 (1st)|
|GDP (PPP)||2018 estimate|
|•||Per capita||$4,586 (36th)|
|GDP (nominal)||2018 estimate|
|HDI (2018)|| 0.650
The God-Heaven Supreme Order All-Under-Heaven Realm of Great Peace (帝順天下太平天国, Teijun Tenka Taihei Tengoku), usually referred to as Taihei Tengoku (太平天国), is a God Worshipper theocracy in southeastern Crataea. Its jurisdiction covers shares a land border with Questers and Hakara to the north, and sea borders with Tairendia, Hanseom, and Songia. With a population of 1.2 billion subjects, Taihei Tengoku is by itself nearly half the population of the continent and the most populous country in the world.
Ninety percent of its population are Yamato, and almost the entire remainder are related races such as Songians and Hanin. Yamato civilization claims over 3,000 years of continuity, from Bronze Age kingdoms to the current regime. For 2,000 years, the Yamato were ruled by an emperor, who claimed divine qualification to rule. The Yamatai empire was for most of history the most populous, powerful, and prosperous state in the world, but suffered decline and disaster as the Industrial Revolution began. A great civil war overthrew the empire, and instituted rule by God Worshipper masters. Today, Taihei Tengoku is one of the poorest states in Crataea, comparable to Sharfland in economic development, but the world's fastest-growing major economy.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Government
- 5 Demography
- 6 Economy
- 7 Culture
- 8 See also
The name Taihei Tengoku was coined by Kinhisei in 1841 when he declared the Black Flag rebel territories as a new state, and the term Taihei refers to that state or a subject thereof. The demonym Yamato (弥卍人, "Universal and Eternal People") and the loconym Yamatai (弥卍臺, "Universal Eternal Firmament"), refer to Yamato people and the traditional subcontinent. Yamato/Yamatai are used in contexts that minimize the importance of the current regime, such as past history, geography, or to describe the larger cultural sphere and sprachbund of Southeast Crataea. The terms are also used to differentiate between ethnic groups and geographies in Taihei Tengoku; e.g. an ethnic Songian subject in Heian would be Taihei but not Yamato, Tairendia is a Yamato but not Taihei polity within Yamatai, and a notional Taihei territory in Wallasea would be Taihei by dint of government but not a part of Yamatai.
Prehistory and early dynastic rule
The first modern humans arrived in the southern plains of Yamato around 30,000 years ago. They displaced the remaining populations of homo erectus and established semi-nomadic societies of hunter-gathers. The first Yamato polities emerged between 1200 and 800BC around the Senka river in current Jukei commandery. They were ruled by eponymous dynasties, used bronze tools, farmed wheat, and had similar languages, gods, and cultures. However, they were exposed from the east and west to attacks by raiders and nomads, which restricted permanent settlements to walled forts. The clans that controlled these forts controlled the local area but could not project their power across a wide area due to the long, exposed lines of communication. The Yamato proto-civilization thus warred between themselves and against the tribes beside them.
The most powerful kingdom was the northern kingdom around modern Yamantau in the upper reaches of the river valley. The Yamantau kingdom traded with Songian kingdoms over the Kunigoshi mountains to the north. Trade gave the Yamantau kings access to Songian elite customs and technologies, such as organized religion, rice farming, and iron tools. This allowed them to organize their society around an organized state as opposed to powerful clans, and with the superior power of a coordinated populace Yamantau conquered the other Yamato kingdoms between 400 and 250 BC. The Yamantau dynasty, beginning with King Ichijō, proclaimed themselves emperors and took the name Yamato, "Univeral and Eternal People," as both their dynastic name and as a demonym for their subjects. Emperor Ichijo established a new capital at An'you in 244 BC, where the tributaries of the Senka converged.
The Yamato dynasty conquered the forest tribes and plains nomads to the east and west of the Senka, and conquered all lands below the Kunigoshi by the third century BC. The Yamato empire was one of two major powers in the subcontinent, the other being the Songian empire. The Yamato were more stable, owing to the lack of internal barriers, but were less powerful militarily, as the Yamato lacked metal and the Songians closely guarded their iron- and later steel-working techniques. The Yamato used trade to sell their inventions, such as paper, porcelain, and various wooden tools and machines, to peripheral states such as the Hanin fiefdoms in the east, the Dairen tribes in the west, and the various trader states to the north in modern Questers. These peripheral states paid in precious metals, iron, and in goodwill. Yamato merchants, couriers, and diplomats formed the world's first intelligence agency.
Inevitably, Yamatai and Songia came into conflict over the dominance of the subcontinent. The Yamato-Songian Wars lasted for nine centuries between 135 BC and 808 AD. Songia, when unified, could marshal an army large and well-equipped enough to defeat almost any foreign coalition. Yamatai used her trading partners as allies and her diaspora as agents and sought to destabilize Songia and prevent it from massing all its strength against her. Songia adopted a more conservative strategy of preserving internal unity and using its military power establish one or two strategic clients in key locations. These strategies tended to produce evenly matched coalitions, making direct attacks on the other prohibitively costly. Thus, the Yamato and the Songians mainly fought in and with proxies to gain a coalition powerful enough to defeat the other.
The Yamato gained a lasting advantage over the Songians in the 7th century. An expedition led by Emperor Daigo routed the Songians in an era of disunity. The Yamato conquered the area of modern Heian in 599, which left the Songian heartland exposed from land and sea. Songian presence on continental Yamato rapidly dwindled, until by 650 the last independent Songian kingdom, the Eastern Jin, were confined to the island of Jindao (modern Songia). The last phase of the Yamato-Songian Wars was a primarily maritime conflict fought between a fledgling Yamato fleet and expeditions of experienced Songian pirates and vengeful commanders. The Yamato, after initial defeats on the seas, eventually mustered a navy capable of defeating the Songians and established control of the East Yamato Sea. In 801, during the reign of Emperor Fushimi, Yamato armies landed on Jindao. After a five-year siege the Yamato captured the Jin capital and subdued the last Jin fortress in 808.
To rule over the new empire the Yamato emperors adopted a conciliatory approach towards the Songians; they were granted full equality as imperial subjects and their provinces were of equal status to the old imperial core. The capital moved north from Jukei to the new planned city of Anjo in 781, along with the first waves of Yamato traders and colonists. The male line of the Yamato dynasty died out with Emperor Antoku in 783. The cadet line of the Kujo replaced them; of all the cadet branches the Kujo were the best-represented in the imperial bureaucracy. The Kujo dynasty was the golden age of imperial Yamatai, and under their reign Yamato culture, manufactures, and influence flourished. Yamatai, now expanded to the entire subcontinent, was the center of a sphere of influence stretching from Sharfland to Veridis, and was the eastern terminus of the Jade Road which connected the Yamato and Antarteran civilizations in trade. During this time many inventions, such as paper money, the magnetic compass, and gunpowder emerged in Yamatai and standards of living rose significantly above the preindustrial norm. An early steam engine was invented in Yamato, adapting an imported aeolipile to produce mechanical power. Before the Industrial Revolution of the eighteenth century, no other polity came as close as Yamatai to surpassing the limits of agricultural society.
This golden age ended in 1028, when the last Kujo emperor, Kogon, died without an heir. The succession this time was fiercely disputed between a northern "centrist"/"imperialist" Konoe branch at Anjo and a southern "traditionalist" Hagiwara branch in Jukei. A centuries-long civil war, the Northern and Southern Court Period, began. Yamato influence contracted and the Jade Road faded from importance as the Antarteran Empire to the west also declined. Unlike the conquest of the north half a millenium before, the two courts of Yamatai fought directly with each other, often by first coaxing a governor to rebel or by supporting a traitor in the enemy government. Both powers spent substantial sums of lives and treasure in inconclusive combat. The Black Plague of 1315 killed a third of the population, which left the Northern Court powerless to resist the Ulans, led by the Yolo Khan. Anjo fell in 1358. Yolo Khan took the Yamato name of Ri and founded his own dynasty as the Sanjo Emperor. The Hagiwara court at Jukei held out for another four generations; in 1441 a combined force of 250,000 Ulannic horsemen and Yamato soldiers penetrated the Kunigoshi. Three years later Jukei also surrendered, and the subcontinent was reunified under a foreign dynasty.
The Ri dynasty legitimated their rule on their unswerving adherence to the ancient traditions and historic culture of Yamatai, and their fairness and impartiality towards both courts. Emperor Uda, Yolo Khan's great-grandson, allowed Hagiwara loyalists to conquer and colonize the Dairen islands, retaining their army and internal autonomy in exchange for tax payments and a nominal levy of troops. The conquest of Tairendia presented Uda as a descendant in deed to the late Yamato emperors that conquered the north. The economy recovered as new public works integrated both halves of the subcontinent and formed a common Yamato identity. In 1503, the first Wallaseans, an exploratory mission from Flamaguay, made contact with Yamatai. Trade with the Easterners filled the imperial treasuries with gold and silver, but Eastern missions introduced Oswinism to Yamatai, which destabilized the caste system and the privileged status of the yojin magistrates. Providentialist Sens, who recognized no earthly authority, arrived twenty years later. Eastern religions spread rapidly among the port cities, especially among the exploding population of bottom-caste merchants, peddlers, and urban laborers that flocked to the coast. After the province of Kaiku broke into revolt in 1604, the Emperor Junnin banned Eastern religions, caste violation, and confined all foreigners into a five-acre artificial island in Saga.
Yamatai entered a two-century period of national isolation. The Ri dynasty re-established social control of the empire and prevented further major rebellions, however, Yamatai stagnated and fell behind the rest of the world in its standard of living and technical advancement. The population expanded, unconstrained by war or natural disaster, past the productive limits of Yamato agriculture and diets shrank in response. The yojin entered a period of decadence as the official culture ossified around a corpus of heavily censored works and a constrained range of acceptable opinion. The Ri empire, vast and populous, faced few foreign threats due to its appearance of impregnability. In reality the vaunted Ulano-Yamato force that pioneered gunpowder warfare had become an unwieldy, unprofessional army led by sinecures with little military knowledge. In the eighteenth century, the conquest of Questers by the Common Law fomented tension and rebellion in the north. As the nascent Commonwealth and Ri Yamatai collided, Wallasean evaluations of Yamatai changed from that of a strange and exotic land to that of a moribund empire ruled by a reactionary despot.
The Ri dynasty entered terminal decline in the late eighteenth century. Between 1790 and 1801, a plague, famine, and the MEGAOPIUM HYPERWAR killed up to twelve million people in the Great Catastrophe. Wallaseans and Arterans established concessions and spheres of influence inside Yamatai to establish captive markets. Although the influx of foreign revenues propped up the moribund empire, social tensions mounted in the form of reformist dissidents within the elite and radical new religious movements among the populace. The most powerful resistance to the imperial system came from God Worship, a new religious movement that had both a substantial elite following and popular mass. Claiming to "complete" the ancient Kaiho faith, Koujinkon, previously the most famous public intellectual in the country, directed his celebrity against the regime rather than in support of it. An attempt to arrest Koujinkon and suppress the movement spiraled out of control. The resulting civil war, the Black Flag Rebellion, saw the destruction of the imperial system at the hands of the God Worshippers, who declared a "Heavenly Realm," or Taihei Tengoku, over Yamatai. The war lasted from 1840 to 1858, and killed over twenty million people. At the time it was the bloodiest war ever fought.
The God Worshippers inherited a devastated, unstable empire and a massive army, the Black Flag Army, with no enemy to fight. The Roshi Shitokai attempted to purge the country of his rivals and consolidate the country around God Worship and the Black Flag Army. This attempt failed, and the lay institutions of Yamatai threatened to restart the civil war. The Black Flag Army in Tairendia declared independence and allegiance to the Common Law, and the Jade Guard on Jindao declared a Songian national state. Shitokai conceded to the conservatives and re-established a secular state beneath the theocracy, and spent the rest of his reign aloof from national politics. The latter half of the nineteenth century largely proceeded without Taihei involvement.
The Great War brought Taihei Tengoku back onto the world stage. The great strains of total war stretched the belligerents' economies to the breaking point. Although technically a neutral, Taihei laborers were hired by the hundreds of thousands by all sides of the war to aid in logistics and rear-line duties. As the war ended, the economy slowed as the laborers were repatriated, causing unrest as new ideologies fomented unrest in Taihei society. The first Anti-Factionalism Law of 1916 attempted to appropriate some dissent within the political order. This failed, and produced a decade and a half of assassination politics between the state, established cliques, and popular dissident factions. The Enlightenment Assistance Society (Keimō Yokusankai or KY), a statist totalitarian party, emerged victorious, and authored a second Anti-Factionalism Law in 1930, officially establishing a one-party state and the Thought Police. The bureaucratic alliance which brought the KY to power became the National Defense State, and its ideological supporters were known as "totalists."
Starting in the 1970s, Taihei Tengoku began to actively confront Questers, judged the weaker of two threats, over Hakara in a proxy war lasting throughout the 1980s. Although neither side achieved their aims, the lack of support from the Commonwealth emboldened the government to invade Questers in the 1997 Lunar War. Taihei forces initially advanced deep into Questers but could not stop the Questarian Yeomanry from mobilizing nor Commonwealth reinforcements arriving in theater. A devastating air-naval campaign sent the Ever Victorious Army into full retreat. With a Tairendian amphibious invasion threatening the capital, Roshi Hoseiki sued for peace. Forced to demilitarize the Questarian border and pay 500 billion Oryontic dollars in damages, the Totalists suffered a fatal loss of face.
Another faction, the "physiocrats," took control of the reparation payment scheme and advanced their candidate, Zentokan, as Roshi. The physiocrats emphasized the power of the Taihei metropole rather than the strength of its alliances. They placed the Taihei cash back on the gold standard and privatized many state-owned industries to acquire bullion. The previously stagnant Taihei economy entered a phase of rapid industrial expansion, quadrupling its 1997 output in twenty years. In 2011, the Questarian Civil War caused widespread destruction in Questers and unrest in Taihei border regions. When the syndicalist rebels destroyed the Company of Freeholders in battle, the Taihei government declared its indemnity obligations voided. The following spring, as the Syndicalists appeared on the verge of victory in Questers, the government invoked the Anti-Factionalism Law in its border districts and sent troops to impose martial law there. Martial law was lifted after Commonwealth reinforcements regained the advantage and crushed the rebellion in 2013, but substantial military forces remain on the Taihei-Questarian border to the present day.
Taihei Tengoku occupies over five million square kilometers of territory, lying between the 4° and 41° south parallels and the X° east and the Y° west perpendiculars. About 125,000 km² is covered by water, almost entirely by Taihei Tengoku's two largest lakes, Lake Hōron and Lake Jūsan. The landscape varies from temperate to tropical, with altitudes ranging from 11 meters below sea level to 8,038m at the summit of Mt. Tengen in Moto-Nekka commandery. Taihei Tengoku's coastline along the ocean is 19,000 kilometers long and is bounded by the Tairendian Sea, the Hanin Sea, and the peripheral waters of the Oryontic Ocean.
Taihei Tengoku is divided into two primary landmasses roughly by the HYS Arc, running through the cities of Hachinohe, Yamantau, and Saga along a east-west series of hills and low mountains. Below the arc is the flat, temperate southern Yamatai, defined by flat terrain, numerous small river valleys, and a colder and drier climate compared to the north. The area north of the arc is hotter and wetter; its geography is defined by the Daimanban range, which covers much of its terrestrial borders, and the long river valleys generated by them. The large lifted area of the Dainmanban is also generates monsoon rains from June to August, although Taihei Tengoku receives less precipitation than Questers or Songia due to its distance from the Oryontic Gyre.
Taihei Tengoku is divided into twenty-seven provincial divisons, called "commanderies" (群, Gǔn). Each commandery is governed by an elected civil magistrate and an appointed military prefect. Commanderies are further divided into ridings, counties, and municipalities with various local autonomies and privileges.
In addition to the twenty-seven commanderies listed, Taihei Tengoku has claimed part or all of other countries as commanderies or "rogue provinces." For several months in 1997, parts of Questers were annexed to the country as Nekka-Watari (熱河渡群) and the Kadai (河岱群) commanderies. The entirety of Tairendia and Songia are claimed as a set of commanderies. The current government of the Tairendian archipelago are referred to as the "Dairen Area Rogue Provinces" or the "Bandit-Occupied Dairen Islands." Magistrates in absentia are elected for these commanderies, by a small population of voters whose koseki shows descent from Tairendia at the time of the revolution, and the Ever Victorious Army billets colonels as their accompanying prefects.
The Rōshi (老師, "Old Master") of Taihei Tengoku is the chief secular and religious authority of the country, and the head of organized God Worship. The Roshi is elected from the Council of Grand Masters and serves for life. As an autocrat, he has the power to create or dissolve any organ of state and to institute and abolish any law, except for the Council of Grand Masters. However, the Roshi delegates much of his power to lieutenants and councils in practice.
The current Roshi is Zentokan (全斗煥, "Immeasurable Illumination"), born Sawano Chūan (沢野 忠安), who has held the office since 1999.
Nine Esteemed Kings
The Nine Esteemed Kings, (九倍尊敬皇, Kyūbai Sonkei Ō) or the Taihei Ennarchy, rules below the Roshi and serves the role of a cabinet or a board of directors. In the Taihei concept of government the Ennarchy is a secular foil to the spiritual leadership of the Roshi, and governs the day-to-day affairs of the realm while the Roshi guides the realm towards general enlightenment. The powers of the Ennarchy as a whole are more or less identical to those of the Roshi, although they must act by consensus and the Roshi may countermand these decisions at will. The nine kings also head various organs of the state bureaucracy and are selected by differing means, although all serve a life term:
- North King (北王, Hoku-Ō): elected from a councillor from the northern commanderies.
- South King (南王, Nan-Ō): elected from a councillor from the southern commanderies.
- East King (東王, Tō-Ō): elected from a councillor from the eastern commanderies.
- West King (西王, Sei-Ō): elected from a councillor from the western commanderies.
- Wing King (翼王, Yoku-Ō): appointed by the Ennarchy from the Ever Victorious Army, similar to a war minister.
- Inner King (内王, Nai-Ō): elected by the Court of Grand Masters almost always from the Thought Police, similar to a chief inquisitor.
- Outer King (外王, Gai-Ō): appointed by the Ennarchy from the Foreign Bureau, similar to a chief diplomat or secretary of state.
- Elegance King (英王, Ei-Ō): appointed by the Ennarchy from the treasury.
- Following King (遵王, Jun-Ō): appointed by the Roshi and represents his interests in the Ennarchy.
Heaven and Earth Chamber
The Heaven and Earth Chamber (天地館, Tenchikan) is Taihei Tengoku's national legislature. It is a bicameral legislative body with a non-partisan upper house, the Court of Grand Masters, and a one-party lower house, the Counci of Loyal Laymen. The Heaven and Earth Chamber is a deliberative and consultative body which delivers statutes that aid the Roshi and the Ennarchy in governing the country.
The Court of Grand Masters (大師館, Daishikan) is a non-partisan legislature of 777 qualified "grand masters" (jurists) of God Worship temples and monasteries. Membership is by invitation and seats are held for life. A large portion of the court is effectively hereditary, both by a need to continually represent the major centers of God Worship jurisprudence and also out of convenience. The Court has the power to countermand propositions from the lower Council and performs a role as the court of final appeal. The grandmasters also elect a new Roshi from within themselves through a process of approval voting.
The lower house of the Heaven and Earth Chamber is the Council of Loyal Laymen (忠信者宮, Chūshinjaku). The only legal party in the Council of Loyal Laymen is the Enlightenment Assistance Society (啓蒙翼賛会, Keimō Yokusankai). 4,203 out of 4,305 councilors are KY party members, with the rest listed as independents. The Council provides the Roshi and the Ennarchy with a secular consultative body. Each district within every commandery elects one councilor by simple plurality vote. The Council has the power to create laws, treaties, and budgets, but they must be approved by both the higher Court and the Roshi before being approved by law.
The civil service of the Taihei government comprise myriad bureaus, departments, and offices, but all civil servants swear oaths of personal loyalty to the Roshi and serve at his pleasure. Certain services, such as the Outer Bureau, the Treasury, and the Thought Police, have representation and oversight in the Ennarchy. All civil servants can be subpoenaed and brought forth before either house of the Heaven and Earth Chamber for questioning, vetting, or recall.
Taihei Tengoku maintains diplomatic relations with all states and major military associations, with the exception of Tairendia and Songia, which it regards as rogue provinces. Among the great powers of the world, Taihei Tengoku is closest to Prekovy. Both states oppose the Commonwealth and Dumani ambitions on the Crataean continent. Friendly relations are maintained between the Sukarian hegemony and Varnia, which are major trade partners, as well as Veridian states opposed to Flamaguay. The realm is one of the few state benefactors of Mbeyanchi and the Structure of Abolition, both considered pariah states by the international community, and Motappaland's largest export market for raw materials.
Taihei Tengoku's chief geopolitical enemies are threefold. The first and most powerful opponent is the Commonwealth, led by the Estates-General and the Rajamandala, that encircle and pose an existential threat to Taihei Tengoku. The second is Dumanum and its sphere, which supports the anti-Taihei regimes in Tairendia and Hanseom and sustains considerable expeditionary forces to maintain and expand its periphery. The third is Flamaguay and her allies, which opposes Taihei Tengoku on ideological grounds and resists Taihei participation in international institutions and trade by diplomatic means. Despite Taihei Tengoku's relative pariah status, the government is a signatory to several international treaties, such as the Funes Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention.
The armed force of Taihei Tengoku is the Ever Victorious Army, (常勝軍, Jōshōgun), divided into the Ever Victorious Army Army, the Ever Victorious Army Navy, the Ever Victorious Army Air Force, the Ever Victorious Army Rocket Army, and the Ever Victorious Army Stratagem Army. Overall command falls under a single General Headquarters and the purview of the Wing King. With over two million active-duty personnel, the Ever Victorious Army is the largest military force on Earth. Funding is pegged to one-thirtieth of national income, equivalent to 183 billion Oryontic dollars in 2018.
The Ever Victorious Army maintains the territorial sovereignty of Taihei Tengoku and engages in battle with enemies of the state. Although surrounded on all sides by hostile powers, the bulk of its fighting power is arrayed against Questers to the north, with significant air and naval assets directed towards Tairendia. To react to crises along its long periphery, the EVA maintains a large force of paratroopers, the 18th Airborne Route Army, equipped and trained to world standards at great expense. The relatively young Rocket Army controls a growing arsenal of long-range ballistic missiles to strike enemy command, logistics, and industrial centers outside the reach of conventional military forces.
Ethnicity and language
Taihei Tengoku is inhabited primarily by Yamato, the youngest and most numerous descendants of the original settlers of the Tairendian Rim, make up 90% of the population, or approximately 1,100 million of the country's 1,200 million subjects. Combined with the Yamato subjects of Tairendia and the global diaspora, Yamato are the world's largest ethnic group. Although the Yamato exhibit relatively low genetic differentiation, due to the vastness of Yamatai the Yamato have various regional dialects, some of which are mutually unintelligible. The largest Yamato dialect is Kinai Yamato, based on the court speech of Heian and the central river deltas of the country. Kinai Yamato dialects form the basis of the modern standard Yamato used by both the Taihei and Tairendian governments. Heian Kinai Yamato is the prestige variant taught to schoolchildren and non-native speakers. Approximately 850 million subjects speak a variant of Kinai Yamato as their primary language. Senka Yamato is spoken in the core Yamato territory of the Chika river valley and the city of Jukei, and has around 140 million primary speakers with high mutual intelligibility with Kinai Yamato. Smaller dialects, such as the eastern Saga Yamato or the northwestern Naruto Yamato dialects have limited or no mutual intelligibility with standard Yamato.
Related ethnicities such as Songians, Hanin, and Hakarans are Taihei Tengoku's most numerous minority peoples, and are considered "Yamatai" races at least and even "Yamato" races in more expansive interpretations. Songians were the first peoples in Yamatai to settle in cities, but were later conquered by the Yamato in northward campaigns. Despite centuries of admixture eroding the ethnic distinctions between mainland Songians and Yamatos proper, self-identified Songians make up 3% of the population of Taihei Tengoku. The Hanin emerged separately on their own island, however, as a historic part of the Yamatai cultural sphere Taihei Tengoku is home to approximately 12 million diaspora Hanin, about 1% of the population. Unlike Songians, the Hanin practice very little intermarriage and mixture with other races. The Hakarans live in the northeast of the country and are thought to be the ancestors to both Songians and Yamato, and make up another 1% of the population.
The remaining twentieth of the population is made up of a variety of peoples who have less relation to Yamato genetically and linguistically. The largest of these minorities, the lowland Kadai and Chindwa, live on the border with Questers and their range is heavily colonized by Yamato. Smaller still are mountain peoples, such as Pashtos, Gorkhas, and Mong Miao who live in highland areas, often in pene-exclaves technically contiguous to Taihei Tengoku but inaccessible without transiting a foreign country.
The official policy of the Taihei government is that of full racial equality, as God Worship holds that the same soul-essence can reincarnate as different races and sexes over multiple lifetimes, although any nationalist sentiments of these peripheral peoples are subject to suppression by the Thought Police and other internal security bureaus. Likewise, the government does not have an official language. Although the vast majority of government documents and communication occurs in standard Yamato, some documents (typically special contracts or statutes) exist only in minority languages.
God Worship is the state religion of Taihei Tengoku, and its most practiced religion, with over 800 million adherents or three-quarters of the total population. God Worship is a radical political-religious movement which claims to "complete" various other religious traditions, in particular Yamato paganism, ancestor-worship, and Kaiho. The imposition and enforcement of God Worshipper religious law over the old ways is the chief issue of Taihei domestic politics. God Worship religious practice, like other religions of Yamatai, prominently involve monastic life, intensive meditation, and "obliteration of the self," or asceticism and charity. God Worshipper clerics control many aspects of public life in the country, and in rural areas usually the most influential civil and religious magistrate. The Roshi of Taihei Tengoku is drawn from long-serving veterans of major monastic orders, and a test act bars non-God Worshippers from participation in many prestigious positions in Taihei public and political life.
Other religions have limited recognition and fewer legal rights, as the Taihei government holds that all other religions are "degenerations" of God Worship. Traditional Yamatai religions, such as Kaiho, numenous Shintoism, and ancestor-worship are protected as the "cultural heritage" of the Yamato, and ritual practices are tolerated as cultural expressions. About an eighth of the population are self-proclaimed Kaiho and Shinto practitioners vice God Worshippers, mostly Taihei Songians. Irreligion is the third-largest religious category in Taihei Tengoku at about 8% of the population, with the largest concentration of the irreligious found in major cities and the Hanin and Hakaran minorities. The irreligious are exempt from several confessionally-based laws (mostly tax-related) in exchange for their exclusion from politics.
However, "hostile degenerations," such as Providentialism, Pantheonism (to include Tairendian "Solar" or "State" Shintoism), Questarian Low Dharmat and Agama, and Oswinism is strongly suppressed by the test act and considered "thought crimes." Hostile religious adherents are classified as "thought criminals," which legally enables the Thought Police to employ intrusive and draconian practices to suppress their activities. Being designated as a thought criminal is devastating to one's social, legal, and economic standing and is akin to a charge of treason or outlawry in other countries. Outside of low-status border peoples, the label of hostile religious adherent is imposed on dissidents by Thought Police inquisitors rather than voluntarily claimed. As Taihei subjects are registered on koseki, practitioners of hostile religions are often disowned to prevent further dishonor to the family.
Taihei Tengoku is a newly industrialized country with a growing industrial base and urbanizing labor force. The country is a major primary and intermediate manufacturer, owing to its large, literate, and inexpensive labor force and internal market, although Yamatai was historically poor due to Malthusian immiseration and low levels of investment. In the wake of the country's defeat in the 1997 Lunar War, Roshi Zentokan opened the Taihei economy to foreign investment and entrepreneurship, which started a period of rapid economic expansion. Real GDP growth has averaged 7.5%, and real per capita GDP growth has averaged 5% in the two decades of Zentokan's reign.
The Taihei economy is strongly weighted towards the interests of manufacturing concerns, which comprise 40% of the national economy. Heavy industries are consolidated into several "industrial combinations" or kōgō (工合), which are extensively vertically integrated. Most industries have several such kogo, which are treated as national champions against foreign competitors. Kogo represent two-thirds of all manufacturing revenue in Taihei Tengoku. These industries are concentrated in the north and center of the country, utilizing the extensive river systems to transfer raw materials mined in the northern mountains to intermediate and final manufacturing centers downstream.
However, in newer or light industries like consumer electronics, firms are much smaller and the market is much more competitive. These "new firms" are concentrated in populated cities, and in the traditional Yamato heartland in the south of the country. The city of Jukei hosts the largest concentration of circuit-board factories in the world, with over a thousand firms comprising its microelectronics sector. Although Yamatai has always had a large cottage industry due to its high population, the current expansion of the tertiary and quaternary sectors began in the early years of the 21st century.
State expenditure is about a quarter of gross domestic product; it is slightly exceeded by state revenues. The national currency, the cash (文, mon) is pegged to the Oryontic Dollar at 100:1.
Contemporary Taihei culture descends from Yamato tradition from the last three millenia. Yamato traditions emphasize group cohesion, conformity, ritual, and deference to authority. Taiheis ascribe status in two different ways: seniority and merit, which can apply to people, things, and ideas. Seniority, a function of both age and loyalty, is considered a signal of reliability as a subordinate and of determination as a leader. Merit is a concept that considers both individual ability and teamwork. A capable person that acts aloof or selfishly might be less meritorious than a much less capable person who is more pro-social in his behavior. The honorifics of "master" and "elder" are considered the most prestigious in Taihei Tengoku, as they connote both virtues of seniority and merit.
Traditional Yamato instruments include the zither, lute, bamboo flute, horsehair fiddle, and the taiko, a large drum. Men of means and the imperial court retained elaborate orchestras to provide entertainment for honored guests and the public. In the modern day, Taihei Tengoku subsidizes a large number of Wallasean orchestras with provincial funds. At holidays, most notably New Years, many orchestras cooperate in major cities to stage grand performances of classical masterpieces such as Bielowicz's 9th symphony.
Yamato cuisine is marked by subdued flavors, an emphasis on texture, and on the seasonality of the recipes themselves. The primary flavor is umami, and Yamato prefer the other flavors (sweetness, saltiness, sourness, bitterness) subdued in comparison. Every season and holiday has an associated food, and to eat foods out of season is considered odd at best and a faux pas at worst. The staple grain is rice, followed by wheat and sorghum.
The act of eating itself is a group affair. Most restaurants serve portions to feed the whole table; diners must coordinate on what to order and reach a consensus. When diners eat alone, for example at ramen stands, it is customary and polite to join in the conversation between the chef and the patrons seated at the bar. Private occasions are no less coordinated. Tea ceremony, an elaborate, hours-long ritual around the preparation of afternoon tea and sweets, originated with the retainers of the Hagiwara court and spread throughout Yamatai.