Featured image art “Heir to the Fujiwara” by Arute (@ast05water)
PRESS EMBARGO TO BE LIFTED AT 08:00, MONDAY
OFFICIAL STATEMENT BY HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN
Her Majesty Queen Anna extends a warm welcome to the official representative of the Tokugawa Shogunate, Fujiwara Takako.
Queen Anna recognizes the exceptional personage of Lady Fujiwara, who represents not only the bakufu, the seat of government of the shogun, but centuries of prestige and responsibility as the unmarried woman of the Fujiwara household. While the Fujiwara clan no longer holds sway over the Japanese government as it did in ancient times due to the elevation of the shogun as the executive arm of the emperor, the weight of the Fujiwara clan remains lofty and revered. As a leader that seeks friendship and is absent of hostility, Queen Anna affirms that she holds Lady Fujiwara’s heritage with the same esteem as that of her beloved Japanese people.
Lady Fujiwara will be the beneficiary of Her Majesty’s hospitality for as long as the bakufu requires. She is expected to stay in Arendelle for the next few weeks, before taking the arduous journey back to her homeland.
The Arendelle Guardian: Notes for Reporters (from the Chief)
We haven’t had a big political scoop in a long time. Not since we had to funnel all our resources on reporting on the Russo-Arendellian War. But this time, our object of interest isn’t a Russian princess, but a shogun’s de facto ambassador. This woman is coming from one of the most isolated and closed off dominions on the planet. This is the story of a lifetime.
Time to get to work, reporters.
Her Majesty met with Lady Fujiwara in the throne room, with Sir Alan, trade minister Michael, and Elsa in attendance. I want at least three of you fellows chasing them down for quotes. Treat them to lunch if it gets you a sit-down with them.
One front page piece on the meeting itself, two columns on the possible implications for Japan-Arendelle relations. I don’t care if we haven’t actually established diplomatic relations with the bakufu yet – someone write a piece about how this meeting COULD mean that we end up finally doing so! Do I have to think of all the headlines and narratives for you?
This was the first state visit that the queen had hosted since her return from the Celestial Empire. It has to mean something. What’s the relationship like between the Japanese bakufu and the Qing government? What’s got the shogun sending his top lady over to Arendelle just after Anna’s been to China? Ask the questions, people!
According to courtiers speaking in confidentiality to the papers, the queen and Lady Fujiwara talked quietly but animatedly for several hours, each exchanging top-secret information about the situation in Northern Europe and the islands of Japan. We can also deduce that Lady Fujiwara’s trip was quite urgent. What does she want from Queen Anna? Advice? An alliance? Political support? Perhaps even military support? Who has a friendly source in the palace who can ask a few discreet questions?
Judging from the body language of the samurai warriors that accompanied her, all is not well within the Fujiwara camp. Maybe there are forces that don’t even want Lady Fujiwara to be out of Japan. Now, don’t risk your personal safety to interview those samurai bastards – they clearly haven’t met a journalist before or heard of a free press. But their captain, Shishizaru Takeuchi, looked friendly enough, and Lady Fujiwara seemed to be on good terms with him. Someone find out where he’s hanging around in Arendelle, and pin him down and get the scoop on what internal rivalries are tearing their camp apart.
Those are all the angles I can think of for now. By now every reporter in my newsroom has got a copy of my notes here. Now get to work and get me some stories.
And if I see any of my ideas in the pages of the Fjord Times before we go to press tomorrow, someone will be delivering me my coffee for the rest of the month!