Japan (Japanese: 日本 Nihon or Nippon), also known as the "land of the rising sun," is an island nation located within Asia, off the coast of China. It is a monarchy and the sole remaining country to retain the head of state title of "emperor." Mercenary and survival master Kazuhira Miller was born in Yokosuka of the Kanagawa Prefecture[1] in Japan, and was a former member of the Japan Self-Defense Forces. The lab assistant of Para-Medic, a.k.a. Dr. Clark, was Japanese, and served as egg donor for the Les Enfants Terribles project. Dr. Clark and Colonel Volgin were Japanophiles, and Hal Emmerich was a fan of the country's animes. The Japanese also had a strict honor system, including killing to save other lives as well as suicide and execution. One manner of suicide was known as seppuku, which was suicide via disembowelment. Another is Kaikashu, which is where one executes a dishonored soldier via decapitation. Whale was also a popular food in Japan since at least the post-World War II era, largely because it was cheap and the country could not afford more expensive foods, though by the 1980s they gave up on whale as a meal due to the International Whaling Commission banning the hunt on whales. The primary language was Japanese, which included various dialects that depended on the region/district the person was native to, including Nagoya, Niigata, Hiroshima, and Kansai (the last of which was prevalent in regions such as Osaka and Kyoto). They also held to some rituals, such as a ritual dance that they use on doors that are locked. Holidays for the region include the Gion Festival, a festival occurring within July that celebrates the end of Summer in Japan. Besides whale, the meals in Japan include Jingisukan, apples, soba (including Wanko Soba and Okinawa soba), beef tongue, Kiritampo, cherries, ramen and peaches, natto soybeans, strawberries, yaki-manju, senbei crackers, peanuts, sushi (including Trout sushi), rice, snow crabs, grapes and peaches, tea, Miso Katsu, Japanese spiny lobster, funazushi, takoyaki, akashiyaki, apricots and mikan oranges, pears, izumo soba, millet dumplings, okonomiyaki pancakes and oysters, puffer fish, sudachi, sanuki udon, minced jack mackerel, mentaiko with mustard, maruboro cookies, sara udon, horse meat sashimi, toriten, charcoal cooked jidori chicken, Berkshire steak with imojochu liquor, and Miso soup. It also has Buddha statues, and also has Chinatowns in Nagasaki, Japan. Japan was also well known for its horticulture and gardens, as well as geisha dancers.

Japan's first encounter of the outside world barring Asia was when some Dutch traders supplied weapons and items in exchange for learning their culture in trade. One of these items was the Tanegashima musket rifle, although it was also given to another region of Japan by mistake due to navigational errors, originally intending to be shipped to Okinawa. During the 1930s, Japan attempted to invade China, and later got involved in World War II after bombing Pearl Harbor, siding with the Axis powers of Nazi Germany and Italy. By the time the Allied forces got to Japan in the Pacific theater, they started firebombing Tokyo, leaving several buildings either destroyed or heavily damaged. Shortly thereafter, Nagasaki and Hiroshima were hit with nuclear bombs Littleboy and Fatman, respectively. Japan was then occupied by the allied forces, with some Japanese women also sometimes surviving by servicing the troops via prostitution. After the war, Okinawa served as a major U.S. port with cooperation with the Japanese government, although there are some protests by the Okinawans, often leading to some revisions. In addition, Japan created the three nuclear principles, and was under the nuclear umbrella during the Cold War, being of strategic importance to America and the West due to its close proximity to the Soviet Union.

Japan also had a family register being a requirement to being considered a Japanese citizen. This resulted in Kazuhira Miller's childhood being difficult due to his technically not having a registered father due to his father having already left Japan by the time he was born, although he implies that some work was being made to changing the system by 1974.

As a result of the war, Japan instituted Article 9 to its constitution, which mentioned that Japan can not maintain an army. However, the Japanese did create an armed forces group called the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF), which was created for matters of self-defense, although this move was considered controversial. In addition, as part of reforms during the post-war period, the Japanese Emperor also renounced his divine status. On November 25, 1970, the Japanese author Yukio Mishima travelled over to the Ichigaya Camp, the headquarters for the Eastern Command of the JSDF, and conducted a coup d'état with four members of the private militia Tatenokai in an attempt to restore the divinity of the Emperor, only for him to commit seppuku as a result of the failure of the coup d'état.

In addition, Che Guevara also visited Japan as part of an economic delegation after the Cuban Revolution was won, and briefly visited Hiroshima, and was devastated at what happened at the location. Japan underwent a student movement, known as the Anpo Opposition Movement, which occurred in 1960 and 1968-1970, where they opposed Anpo and often barricaded themselves in universities, getting the police involved. The Anpo movement eventually crashed and burned by the time of the Peace Walker Incident in 1974.

Behind the scenes

Japan is the country of origin of the Metal Gear series, produced by Konami and its subsidiary Kojima Productions.

In Snake's Revenge, one of Metal Gear 2's targets was to be Tokyo, Japan. Japan was also mentioned to be one of the countries whose food was imported by Gindra in Metal Gear: Ghost Babel.

In Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops' online mode, as well as Portable Ops Plus, passcode unlockable soldiers were unlockable representing each of the prefectures in Japan. Unlike the other passcode unlockable special soldiers, these soldiers were counted among the soldier list, and as such have a general bio for each of them that implied that they were joining FOXHOUND specifically to get experience for later mercenary work, as well as a specific bio for each of them. Owing to their country of origin, each of their bios references a particular cultural element and dish for Japan.

Owing to Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker's not only being made in Japan, but also being focused more on the Japanese audiences than usual, the Japanese version of the game had four extra AI voices, one specific to each AI weapon in the game (excluding Metal Gear ZEKE), that represented a specific dialect in Japan. Pupa, for example, possessed a Niigata accent, Chrysalis possessed a Kansai dialect, Cocoon possessed a Hiroshima accent, and Peace Walker (titled Basilisk in the DLC) had a Nagoya accent.

The character Monsoon was originally supposed to originate from Okinawa, Japan, due to his use of sais, although it was changed to Cambodia due to it fitting his name better.

Notes and references

  1. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker - Heiwa to Kazuhira no Blues ("Kaz Radio. Outer Ops "Boss Radio"), Konami Digital Entertainment (2010).
    Tomokazu Sugita: 「横須賀出身のカズにとっては故郷の歌でもあります」 ("There is also the hometown of the song for the Yokosuka-born Kaz").