|Welcome to Harper Region
With the cooling season of Autumn, Ice-types are starting to re-emerge from their hibernation as Ghost-, Normal-, and Flying-types swarm in the largest numbers they will all year. In comparison, wild Fire- and Bug-type populations are falling in number. The migration of Flying-types to the south in search of warmer weather has also started, as Istin City starts to re-freeze and Autumn marks the beginning of Cypwater Point's rainy season. Handlers and Rogues alike should be wary: Ghost-type powers are boosted during this season, at the cost of being more prone to their triggers.
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Myeongcheon [Controlled by Nihon], by Flight
It's a box of spiders.
Total Posts: 2321
Member No. 1
Joined on 19-March 10.
Branson Faust, Rohesia Clements
| Note that this is an Asiatic nation and, as such, is incredibly difficult to reach. Harper has little to no contact with this nation, but it exists and rare cases of immigration are possible.明天 / 명천
Points of Note:
- Myeongcheon is based on Korea -- the actual history of Korea, which goes beyond the North and South today. It has the same cuisine and basic culture as historical Korea, though I've attempted to differentiate it to accommodate Harper.
- During the time that it was the Joseon Empire (조선, lit. "[land of the] Morning Calm"), it had been an absolute monarchy and power that favored the first-born. Currently, it is a state under Nihon (Japanese) rule, with all implications herein.
- Traditionally a strongly patriarchal society, though social stigma has lessened somewhat with the
Occupation Nihon Imperial Period. Currently, it focuses more on "dutiful child," but some satellite / traditionalist families do insist on a "dutiful/elegant daughter/wife" image.
- Had been primarily a scholar country with interest in military power; it still is a hub for history, geography, medicine, and the arts.
- Centralized religion used to be the Temple of Rayquaza, though some people have turned to beliefs in Suicune, Entei, and Raikou, and especially the Ground-Shaker and Sea-Quaker (Groudon and Kyogre, in other words) if they live near earthquake areas / the sea.
- However, by this time the Joseon Empire has been stricken out of history by Nihon and instead has been known as Myeongcheon for the last two decades. The annexation included complete religious, governmental, political, and military domination.
- For all intents and purposes in Harper Region's universe, the North / South division never occurred. It's just Myeongcheon right now.
- Mountains cover about 70 percent of the land.
- The general area was small region of several warring kingdoms, during which many only lasted a century or two; this was at least a thousand years before Harper Region's establishment.
- Five hundred years before HR's establishment, the first dynasty came into power; this was known as the Bak Dynasty period.
- Over time, until a hundred years ago, several dynasties came and went with the rise and fall of families; these were the Manguk period, the Baekjae Kingdom, and the Goryeo Dynasty. Then came the Joseon Dynasty; the last.
- Major military generals during the recent time periods before the annexation include General Bak Myung-ok, General In Kyu-won, and General Lee Mi-sook.
- Major government officials were divided into 18 levels (1st being the highest, 18th being the lowest). The 1st junior rank, and 2nd senior rank were addressed with honorific Dae-gam, while those of 2nd junior rank and 3rd senior rank were addressed with honorific Yeong-gam.
- The most famous during this period were Dae-gam Kum Ho-jin and Yeong-gam Sa Eun-ju.
- The last rightful king was King Go-jong, of the Joseon Empire Dynasty.
- No one knows how the annexation occurred, only that in King Go-jong's 26th year of reigning a treaty was signed that officially put Joseon under Imperial Rule of Nihon.
- After they were annexed, the majority of the military and government was overhauled, and all high-ranking officers were forcibly retired.
- Laws conforming to the empire's new status as an annexed country were established by the new ruling power. This included loyalty to the new mother country, as well as religious conversion. However, the Temple of Rayquaza still stands as now merely that--a temple, and not the country's centralized religion.
- Many believe that the annexation arose from blackmail, but no one has been able to confirm. Any historians, government officials, or military officers that attempted to investigate or open an inquiry have disappeared.
Relevant for RPing
- Bowing is a very important part of Myeongcheon's culture, as it denotes respect for those either older than you or of a higher station. Though customs differ slightly depending on social status, usually from one person to another of the same rank is a 45-degree bow, to a higher person a 50-degree bow, and often times deeper for anyone above that.
- Eating is usually done at a low table without chairs; they are just high enough for convenient reach when kneeling or sitting cross-legged. As the floors of the houses are often hardwood, kneeling mats are provided to sit on.
- Honorifics are usually used unless you are a higher person talking down to a lower person, or are same-rank people and both have exchanged permissions to use first names.
- Names are never, ever done in red, because red is for the names of the dead. When talking or when writing, the clan name comes first, then the individual's name, which is typically two-syllables; one-syllable names are rare.
- Mourning is done in white, not black.
- The language is usually called Myeongese, as well as being used to refer to people from Myeongcheon.
- During the Joseon Empire period, people referred to themselves simply as Josu (pronounced Joh-suu). Even now, some sailors and travelers from Myeongcheon keep the term alive as a passive resistance to Nihon, though not all people do this.
- They don't have any.
- You read that right -- they don't have any. The shamans work in temples and shrines, communicating with pokemon and the gods and providing healing, but they do not work to create wares. As
Joseon Myeongcheon is a scholar country, they never really found the need to have a way to keep their pokemon and friends captive.
- Instead, what they have is a mark, of sorts -- they take one of their coins and string a cord or string through them, commonly dyed crimson or scarlet for trust, and put that around the pokemon's neck, leg, paw, etc. wherever's most easily seen when they stand. A common name for this practice and object is Chueok -- loosely translated to "fond memory."
- Of course, lower and upper nobility have much fancier ways of doing this -- though they keep the coin, though minted early and therefore clean and gleaming, and use silk or other metals for the cord itself. The royal family was known to have their cords in silver and the coin in gold.
- What's most interesting is the practice that comes after gifting a pokemon their chueok is the beads that are threaded on, one for each year that they've had them. Commoners and traditionalists use carved wooden beads, while those who can afford it or choose to use metals. It's not uncommon to see a Clan Head or Elder's pokemon with their chueok lined with dozens of beads.
- As a coastal country, the most common pokemon in Myeongcheon are Normal, Flying, and Water types. Grass types are also common, though not as much as the three first mentioned.
- Psychic and Fighting types have come rare, as most of the local populations have been conscripted for the mother country or have fled because of it. Dark and Ice types have fled to the mountains.
- Dragon types are considered sacred and treated with utmost respect. The people are wary of Dark and Fairy types, but partnerships between humans and those pokemons can occasionally be seen.
- Rayquaza: The greatest deity to be worshiped of all. He is responsible for the clear sailing weather and lack of devastating storms in Myeongcheon. Although shrines and small temples are erected to him throughout the country, the greatest of them all -- the Temple of Rayquaza -- lies to the north of the capitol. It is the central religion, kept alive by the country though Nihon attempts to convert them to their ways. Often times depictions of him can be found as the revolution's mark -- whenever they can be found.
- Suicune: The primary rivers and waters deity. He governs the streams that flow throughout the region, as well as the lakes and ponds that are scattered in the country. Shrines are erected to him at the beginnings and endings of rivers and streams, and often times a small one will be somewhere near a major lake. He is celebrated at the beginning of seasons, though the North Wind Festival in winter is the most popular.
- Raikou: The primary rains deity. Though farming is not a large part of Myeongcheon's economy, their own produce feeds a lot of their people, so Raikou tends to have a lot of shrines and sacrifices to his name. He is most often depicted in conjunction with Suicune, as the both of them have been known to work together in the myths.
- Entei: The primary fires and protections deity. He is responsible for protection of people, whether they be commoner or noble. His fires burn bright in defiance of those who dare to wage war against the nation, and sometimes in more militaristic myths he is even shown as the god of war.
- Kyogre: The Maker of Oceans and Bringer of Tides. She is the Sea-Quaker, and her blessing is vital to the coastal cities, which are many. She is believed to be the older of the two Guardians of the Sea, of whom the other is Lugia. Though recent times have turned in favor of Lugia as guardian of the benevolent sea, traditionalists will often stick with depictions of Kyogre, who is said to have created the land of Myeongcheon alongside Groudon.
- Groudon: The Guardian of the Land and Creator of Earth. He is the Ground-Shaker, whose footsteps bring chaos and whose breath brings land for the people. He is often depicted alongside Kyogre in the Myth of Beginnings, and is said to have gone to a deep sleep underneath the lands afterwards, whilst his counterpart descended into the sea as her domain.
- Lugia: The guardian of the benevolent sea. One of the two Guardians of the Sea. Though she is not said to have been part of the creation of the land, she is revered as a must in the eyes of the sailors, and shrines to her can be found near Kyogre's, or near Suicune's near rivers and streams.
- Ho-Oh: The goddess of the sun. Since Nihon's annexation of Myeongcheon, the oppressing country has tried to establish her as the leading goddess to be revered, but Myeongcheon are having none of that. Annexed they might be, but they have their own gods, and though in the capitol Ho-Oh are everywhere, inscribed in walls, on fence-points, Rayquaza is still in the hearts and minds of the people.
Lesser (though not minor) Deities
- Uxie: Keeper of Knowledge
- Mespirit: Keeper of Emotion
- Azelf: Keeper of Willpower
- Celebi: Guardian of the forests
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