54. Goddess’ Story 3
Soon after going back to my room, I headed for the Goddess’ place.
A promise to the Goddess. As a result of worrying about what to do with offerings, I decided to bring the souvenir that Grandma brought, the Onsen Manju. The “hot spring mark” was branded on it, but I didn’t know where it was purchased. Perhaps she brought it on the way. [TN: Onsen Manju is a steamed bun stuffed with red bean paste]
“Huh? What is that?! Did you mean to press the doorbell? There is no doorbell in a big shrine of mine, you know?”
“Sure it’s a shrine, but I don’t think it’s that big…”
No matter where you look in Japan, there would be no place with a custom of summoning Gods with doorbells.
I put the steamed buns in front of the angry Goddess and a bottle of tea I had bought before coming here.
“Oh, today is Manju? And the drink is the perfect strong green tea? Aren’t you good at this?”
As I put my hands together to pray at the shrine, the Goddess’s mood immediately improved.
Never did I think world that the Goddess would be happy with the strong green tea.
The Goddess opened the individually-wrapped Manju and quickly bit into it.
Occasionally, She drank tea and said something like a middle-aged beer lover after having a cup of beer, saying, “I can’t get enough of this astringent.”
I brought two Onsen-Manjus. And now the Goddess was unwrapping the second one already.
“Hey, Goddess. I know that You’re still eating, but could you listen to my story?”
“What is it?… CHEW CHEW, please say anything… CHEW CHEW“
With a steamed bun in her right hand and a plastic bottle in her left hand, the Goddess said so.
“When You want to say something, please speak when there’s nothing in Your mouth.”
“Don’t worry… CHEW CHEW. I’m listening properly… CHEW CHEW“
“……Well, anyway, I want to ask, the nobility, I mean the Kazoku is acting like a king outside the special ward. That’s too different from the world I was in.”
In the original world, the nobility system no longer existed.
Except for the imperial family, all Japanese people were commoners.
“I see, so it’s about that. To explain that, I have to ex〜plain the history, or rather, the history that happened in this world so far.”
“Please make it simple.”
“Then….. that’s right. During the Warring States period, there were Kuge (court noble) and Daimyo (feudal lord), you know that too, right? In this world, the Yamashina Family (one of the court nobles) ruled over a war-torn world and unified Japan, but at that time, the rank held by the Kuges and Daimyos… I mean the court rank, and that’s continued until now.”
“In other words, there are people in the Kazoku who used to be Kuge or Daimyo.”
“Yes. Many families who came from a Kuge lineage still live around Kyoto. There is no doubt that the noble families in each prefecture think their ancestors were Daimyos. Yamashina Family moved the capital to Edo and the one who started the Edo Shogunate.”
“That part hasn’t changed that much.”
“Yes. In the Edo period, the “Province” was changed into “Domain”. Same as you know. And during this long period of peace, the Kuges devoted themselves to gaining influence and Daimyos devoted themselves to gaining power. Then, in the Meiji Era, when Western culture entered Japan, at that time, the names of Kuges and Daimyos were unified into Kazoku.”
“So, they tried to imitate the western aristocracy, I guess?”
“That’s right. At that time, “Domain” changed its name to “Prefecture”. Actually, in the era of “Domain”, each domain was treated like an independent country.”
“Ah, I heard that. Some were at war with another foreign country, right?”
If I remember correctly, the Satsuma Domain went to war with England.
The Choushuu Domain was even crazier, they started a war with England and France, and another two more.
“In this world, things weren’t that bad. Since there wasn’t that much big event, such as overthrowing the shogunate. The shogunate normally returned power to the imperial court through modernization.”
“Hmmm, it’s quite different from the history I know.”
I guess, because… lack of men?
“That’s the history, but about your question of why the Kazoku can act like a king outside. Well, in the first place, it’s quite a big deal that the old custom has remained in there. The Kazoku has a large land, and there are many who have subordinates that still continue since that time. Well, The Kazoku has an obligation to feed them.”
“Feeding subordinates… is that an old custom?”
“Yes. In the modern world, they’re helped to work on various things with great people who have the authority to authorize them. But, they are pawns of the Kazoku, so if someone tries to reduce their power badly, there is no doubt that a painful counterattack will follow.”
Moving around your relatives to work around.
Also, if you try to take away acquired right, a backlash is inevitable huh…
“But, isn’t wealth eroding over generations?”
“The Kazoku is protected by law, and there are many ways to get around it, such as establishing a new branch family.”
I know that there’s a law that prevents them from having too much power, but it seems, they can avoid that by distributing their power huh…
Even though ordinary people scream in front of taxes, they’re up there accumulating more wealth…
“But the Zaibatsu (Conglomerates) are similar. It is because they are protected by law that they are still powerful. Well, if that’s not the case, they would have been eaten by foreign countries by now.”
If countries focused on reducing their domestic power, they would lose their competitiveness against foreign competitors.
The Goddess said that foreigners put their own interests and their own country’s interests first, so Japan, which wasn’t accustomed to international affairs, would be like a sucker.
“In other words, it’s precisely because the Kazoku and Zaibatsu continued to hold power that Japan exists today.”
“I can’t completely deny that.”
“I see… I’d like to go outside and look around.”
If I just stay in the special ward, there are many things that I won’t understand.
“Hmm… About that. I think it’s better to stop.”
“There are troublesome people among the Kazoku, so it’s best not to get involved with them.”
Well, they can act like a king there. So, in short, they’re born and raised as a king. I guess, they may not be that social…
“…But there are many things you don’t know unless you go and see yourself, right?”
“…In that case, I would recommend going to nearby prefectures first. Especially around Tokyo, there shouldn’t be any problems there.”
“I see…… I’ve quite a few high school classmates who come from outside the special ward. And I plan to ask them to give me a tour outside.”
“Hmm, you can go outside for the volunteer that’ll come soon. It should be safer that way.”
“I see, the volunteer huh… That’s a good idea.”
My birthday is May 20th. So, it’s soon.
Right, it might be good to think about volunteering outside the special ward.
“If I’m not mistaken, there is a Volunteer Bureau outside, right?”
“Yes. If a problem arises during the service, the person there will take responsibility, so I think they will be prepared to take all possible measures.”
“I see. Thank you, I’ll look more into it.”
I thanked the Goddess and left the shrine.
TN: Join my discord channel if you want.