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The historical events that inspire the story of the game ‘The Rise of Ronin’

Discover the historical events behind ‘The Rise of Ronin’, a new exclusive PlayStation game set during the shogunate period of feudal Japan

“The Rise of Ronin” is PlayStation’s latest exclusive release for the latest generation of consoles. The new game has the ability to take players on a journey to a time when Japan’s history changed forever: the end of the Edo period.

This historical moment marked the trajectory of Japan, between 1603 and May 1868, as a nation governed by the shoguns of the family Tokugawa. It was a period of strong political-economic isolation in the country, with rigid internal control that regulated fiefdoms through a code of laws. It is precisely at the end of this period that “The Rise of Ronin” takes place: when Japan began to open up to Western culture and economy.

Understanding the historical context in which the game is set can help players choose which decisions to make during gameplay. Typically, samurai games are inspired by a more folkloric portrait of Japan, full of demonic enemies or noble warriors, as in titles like “Sekiro”, “Ghost of Tsushima” or “Nioh”. But while the new open world, developed by studio Team Ninja, doubles down on action and katanas, it also takes inspiration from historical events that left Japan facing a dilemma between tradition and modernization.

To give context, the world was rapidly modernizing and shaping itself into modern states in the 19th century. As a counterpoint, Japan was an isolated nation, still with a feudal regime where feudal lords owned the land and had samurai to protect them. Although there was an emperor, he was more of a ceremonial figure who directed religion in the country—similar to the papacy—than a figure with real political influence.

Winds of Change

After an insurrection in 1639 for which Christian missionaries were blamed, Japan initiated a protocol known as Sakoku, or “Closed Country”, in which it restricted commercial exchange along with the entry and exit of foreigners. This period lasted approximately 200 years.

All this changed in 1853, when Commodore Perry, from the United States, arrived on the coast of Edo — now Tokyo — to demand the country’s opening to international trade under threat of an attack by ships armed with cannons and modern weapons. Symbolically, this produced a rupture in the Japanese mentality, showing how weak and backward the country was compared to international powers, which thanks to the current technology of the Western world, with firearms and sophisticated equipment, could overcome entire detachments of the best samurai.

The beginning of “The Rise of Ronin” is precisely an attempt to assassinate the Commodore Perry and take revenge for causing this crucial moment in the country’s history. Two assassins, the Veiled Blades, are sent to eliminate the US military, but end up failing, with one of them losing his life. The survivor’s quest for revenge and attempt to find the mysterious shinobi who protected Perry it will be what drives most of the game’s action.

Promotional image for the game ‘The Rise of Ronin’ / Credit: Disclosure/Playstation

Civil wars in Japan

The cultural shock of the arrival of American ships caused conflict between traditional families who wanted to modernize while preserving the shogunate and those who sought to build a modern Japanese nation. The steel veil began to crack and the differences between the ishin shishi — restoration patriots who called for a republic and gave power to the court — and the bakufu supporters with their special force, the shinsengumi, a special troop that served the shogunate, clashed. in bitter civil wars over the fate of the country.

The period chronicled in “The Rise of the Ronin” parallels the Boshin Wars, also known as the War of the Year of the Dragon, a series of real-world conflicts won by the ishin shishi that gradually led from medieval Japan to the modern nation, then to empire and , then to present-day representative democracy.

Check out the official trailer for the game!

Source: Recreio

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