Featured image art “Lady of Fujiwara” by Arute (@ast05water)
By Fenris, Home Editor of The Arendelle Guardian
After a maritime misunderstanding nearly caused a naval skirmish with the Arendellian navy, new arrivals from the distant islands of Japan have settled in Arendelle Castle and are currently being received by the queen.
The three ships docked in our kingdom’s harbour hail from the reclusive government of the Shogunate, which, according to an Arendellian scholar of cultures and customs in the Far East, is nominally subordinate to the imperial household. However, in Japan, the emperor is a figurehead with no executive authority, unlike in Arendelle where Anna is vested with both symbolic and executive power. In Japan, it’s the shogun, or military dictator and army commander, who calls the shots on the emperor’s behalf.
The palace released a statement to all Arendellian newspapers this morning. It read: “Due to the sensitive nature of this meeting with the queen, Her Majesty’s government cannot reveal the purpose of the Japanese delegation’s visit to our fair northern land. However, we can disclose that Anna’s guest is a high-ranking member of the Fujiwara clan, which is by far the most illustrious family name in all Japan.”
Anna offered reporters a personal statement aside from the official press release, saying: “It’s my true honour to welcome Fujiwara Takako, who has made a perilous and tiring trip to Scandinavia, to discuss matters of great import to not only the future of Japan, but to the world. As my ministers have probably already said, I sadly can’t give the full details as to why she’s come to our kingdom. Not yet. But rest assured that I’ll keep everyone updated as much and as soon as I can.”
The Japanese delegation remains tight-lipped about their intentions. The retainers that accompanied Lady Fujiwara declined to give any statements to the press when they landed ashore. One of the burly, well-armed samurai even drew his sword on an insistent reporter, leading to yet another face-off between Arendellian soldiers and the Fujiwara retainers. General Mattias, fortunately, was present to calm the situation down.
In any context, two confrontations in the space of a day would already have strained budding relations between two countries. Queen Anna insisted that this wasn’t due to any ill will, but cultural differences: “This is the first time the Shogunate has permitted anyone from Japan to come here, no less a Fujiwara. We don’t permit or excuse any form of violence against our people and have not only taken measures to protect our journalists from physical altercations, but have also relayed our sincere wish to the Japanese samurai that in Arendelle, we have a different tradition of relations between those in leadership roles and the citizens they lead. Here, I’m used to being interrogated by my own ministers and journalists working for newspapers owned by private citizens. In Japan, the shogun rules all and manages his court differently to me, and there’s no one in society that isn’t touched by his decrees.”
While Anna’s statement seemed to be aimed at the autocratic nature of the samurai, who brook no dissent or questioning in their homeland, she conspicuously left out any criticism of Fujiwara herself, indicating that perhaps there is more to the delegation that meets the eye. For now, reporters can only speculate as to the internal politics that have driven Fujiwara Takako to see our queen, but in any case, Takako herself has made quite the impression on the kingdom’s power players. Her exquisite outfit and outrageously gorgeous and patterned garments, for example, make even our aristocrats look like paupers in comparison. Her quiet, elegant demeanour has also stirred gossip about her marital status. Other commentators have scoffed at this excitement, noting that the Fujiwara family has traditionally maintained power by marrying its female members to the princes and emperors of the Japanese imperial dynasty.
Currently, Takako is in the palace, and will be Anna’s personal guest for the next few weeks. But we come back to the original question: why has a member of a family of Japanese regents come to Arendelle? Stay tuned as our reporters, the kingdom’s most well-connected and familiar with the royal household, dig a little deeper to find out more.