“We did not want war, but it has found us nonetheless. Honour demands that this matter be settled…permanently” - General Oni, commander of Sword Army Third Division, to his subordinates prior to the razing of Singapore, 1868
The rise of the Empire of the Blazing Sun took the other major powers totally by surprise. In less than a century it has developed from an insular, almost medieval society into a major world power, with aspirations of imperial rule from the Yellow Sea to the Malay Peninsula, and further still, far across the Pacific Ocean. Starting from scratch in terms of an industrial and technological revolution has proven to be a boon to the Japanese, for they have been able to avoid many of the pitfalls and dead ends that other nations made before them, and have benefitted from observing and duplicating the best of foreign technologies.