Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is one of the major powers in Human Space. A mighty superpower that rivals both the United States and the United Kingdom, Japan maintains a culture that is rigidly maintained through a societal discipline that can be traced back to the Tokugawa Shoganate more than 1000 years ago. Highly technological, the Japanese interstellar culture is seen as very pro-transhumanist in scope, seeking to utilize technology to make the better person rather than having a person be better morally and spiritually. This isn’t to say that the Japanese aren’t spiritual, but on the cultural level they seem more friendly to things such as cybernetics, having androids, altering the human genome for certain applications, etc.
In the last 400 years, there has been a reversion to a quasi-feudalistic motif that hearkens back to the days of the Samurai. Due to massive internal conflict, the Japanese went from being a first world power in the 21st Century to being no better than a third world nation in the 22nd, and for centuries went from economic collapse to dealing with famines in their own borders. While the Americans and the Europeans and even the Africans were leaping out into space, the Japanese were dealing with economic crises after economic crises at home. Then, came the Ishikawa Shoganate, which overthrew the Diet and instituted radical reforms that reorganized society into a militarized hierarchy.
They leaped into the stars with a ferocity of a charging samurai, and have never looked back. All the conflicts this had brought to Japan only increased their resolve, to where they are now a nation that is one of the major players of the Interstellar Alliance.
Imperial Japan, as it is also known as, is a state that enjoys its way of life and guards it fiercely. While the Emperor is the spiritual head of state, it is the Shogun who truly rules, and he appoints Governors to rule vast areas of interstellar territory. Samurai Houses exist in prevalence, and each have their own territories, and they vie for positions of power and frequently fight over seemingly petty disputes. During the Sarkeen War, the House of Saito postponed an operation against the Sarkeen forces at Yenbo in order to deal with a dispute against the House of Takagi.
Imperial Japan is highly regimented, with a rigid class structure reminiscent of the hierarchy of samurai and peasants during the Tokugawa period. But this mainly breaks down into areas of responsibility. A commoner can lodge formal legal complaints against those in the upper classes and have a very reasonable accounting of it. Japan is very wary of foreigners, and their immigration policies remain as intractible to “gaijin” as they did centuries ago.