This article belongs to the lore of Narisis.

Guakok

Noble Empire of Gua

吳御帝國
guå nguuTikok
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Seal
Anthem: "一國一人" yit kok yit ying
"One People in One Land"

Royal anthem"三百世" sån pak Shi
"Three Hundred Generations"
Capital
and largest city
Tainankiun
Official languagesGuavai
Recognised regional languages
Ethnic groups
(2019)[1]
79.4% Qi
17.2% recognised minorities
Religion
Yongheng
Demonym(s)Gua, Guakokese
GovernmentUnitary totalitarian constitutional monarchy[2]
• Emperor
Gua Thingshan
Ra Pakbuo
LegislatureImperial Parliament
House of Lords
House of Representatives
Establishment
• Split from Huajiang
18XX
• End of the Guakok Civil War
1888
• Ratification of constitution
1917
• Start of Thingshan Era
1994
Area
• Total
557,362.995 km2 (215,199.055 sq mi)[3]
• Water (%)
1.6
Population
• 2019 estimate
63,539,381[1]
• 2015 census
60,182,318[4]
• Density
114/km2 (295.3/sq mi)
GDP (PPP)2018 estimate
• Total
$1.113 trillion[5]
• Per capita
$17,512[5]
GDP (nominal)2018 estimate
• Total
$558.638 billion[5][6]
• Per capita
$8,792[5][6]
Gini (2018)42.7[7]
medium
HDI (2018)Increase 0.74[8][9]
high
CurrencyGua Yuang (G¥, ) (GYU)
Date formatyyyy-mm-dd
Era yy年m月d日 (CE−1994)
Driving sideright
Calling code+625
Internet TLD.gu

The Noble Empire of Gua (Guavai: 吳御帝國; tuktsa: guå nguuTikok, pronounced [gwɑː˧˥ ŋuː˥˧tiː˥kɔʔ˥]), commonly referred to as Guakok (吳國, guåkok) and rarely as Wuguo is a country in Eastern Serica which borders Huajiang to the northeast. It covers an area of approximately 557,363 square kilometres (215,199.06 sq mi)[3], incorporating most of the former Kingdom of Gua from which the ruling dynasty takes its name, and has a population of about 63,539,381, which is primarily composed of Qi people along with a number of minority groups.[1] Although de jure a democratic constitutional monarchy[10], in practice political power is overwhelmingly concentrated in the Emperor and House of Lords, which consists entirely of nobility.

Qi people have inhabited Guakok only since about the third century CE, or more precisely since the Guanghua Era (212-246 CE), when the Guanghua Emperor launched a campaign to conquer the Xiyi people, a probably Dai people or alliance of peoples inhabiting a region stretching from the west of modern Huajiang down to northeastern Guakok.[11] The Qi inhabiting this region would ultimately form several states, of which the Kingdom of Gua would assert itself as the most powerful, allying with or vassalising neighbours to the south and west and at its height rivalling even the strongest of states in the Qi heartlands.[12] However, initial settlement of the rest of Guakok by the Qi was sparse, with mass movement of the Qi south into littoral areas mainly inhabited by Dai peoples occurring from the late seventh century.[13] Settlers quickly reached the coast of the Sea but did not penetrate westwards towards the Chanmit Mountains until the second millennium, particularly following the Tusangga Fracture, when they began to conquer or absorb the local Dai, Dayhan and other peoples.[14] The modern period of Guakok's history began in 1888 with the succession of the Gua dynasty, which gave the territory its modern name and (largely) system of government.

Modern Gua society is heavily stratified and bound by ancient traditions, both ethnic and religious. The government has long advocated traditional Qi culture, and later specifically Gua culture, though in recent times has been accepting of foreign cultural traditions "as a means to foster the growth and spread of national ideology and practice".[15]

Etymology

Guakok is a transcription of the common native Guavai name 吳國 (guåkok) "Gua country". The reconstructed Middle Qi pronunciation of this is *ŋuo kwək̚. The word (guå) is the name of the ruling dynasty, which is named after the historical Kingdom of Gua which roughly corresponds to the modern Duchy of Thinglü in northeastern Guakok. The original meaning of the word is "shout", later coming to mean "large" and being applied to a particular part of the Qi territory. The people inhabiting the historical kingdom took the name to refer to themselves, and it thus has referred to the ethnically Qi Gua people even after the Kingdom of Gua ceased to exist.

Various dynasties have ruled over some or all of modern Guakok since the time of the Kingdom of Gua. The name of Gua was revived as a dynastic name in the late 1800s after the fall of the Hun dynasty, suggestive of a historical continuation of the rule begun by the Kingdom of Gua, and the territory it governed became known as the Gua Realm after it. The adjectival usage of the word (guå) expanded to include all citizens of the country regardless of their ethnic background, with ambiguity resolved through use of the terms 族吳 (tsugguå) "ethnically Gua" and 邦吳 (poñguå) "nationally Gua".

The formal name of the country includes 御帝國 (nguuTikok) which is translated as "Noble Empire". The character (nguu) basically means "imperial", but within the context of Guakok it functions as an identifying morpheme prefixed to many words referring to imperial institutions. As a result the translation "noble" is common in various contexts, although "imperial" persists in for example 御京 (nguuküñ) "Imperial Capital". The latter word 帝國 (Tikok) is the usual word for "empire".

History

Prehistory

Qi migration

Collapse of the Kingdom of Gua

Meikuai War and aftermath

Westward expansion and Sonkao Kingdom

Unification and Gua Revolution

Geography

Politics

While according to its constitution Guakok is a democratic constitutional monarchy with a directly elected lower house (House of Representatives) and an appointed upper house (House of Lords),[10] together called the Parliament of Guakok, in practice the vast majority of legislative power rests in the Emperor and House of Lords, and therefore in the unelected nobility. There are multiple reasons for this concentration of power, notably:

  • Legislation requires the assent of both houses of parliament as well as the Emperor. A veto by the Emperor blocks a piece of legislation from being reintroduced for one year.
  • The Emperor possesses a power of decree which allows for the passage of primary legislation and requires only the assent of the cabinet.
  • Although the Prime Minister is always a member of the lower house, he is merely primus inter pares and in practice tends to be subordinate to cabinet members drawn from the nobility.
  • Severe restrictions on expression and political nomination and party formation prevent anti-establishment candidates from participating in the political discourse. Even were such candidates able to stand in election, the use of a majority bonus system limits their chances of election.[16]

The reigning Emperor and head of state is the Thingshan Emperor (courtesy name 仲葉 (chuuñyag)) of the Yon ( (yoñ)) family, the family which has ruled Guakok since the late nineteenth century. He became Emperor in 1994 following the death of his heirless elder brother, the Shinlin Emperor. The head of government since March 2018 is Prime Minister Ra Pakbuo of the Order and Justice Party.[17]

Emperor

The Emperor is the hereditary head of state, and the imperial family is the foremost noble clan in the country. He is usually referred to by his era name as the Thingshan Emperor (天響皇帝 (thiingshañ woñhTi)) or simply as Noble Emperor (御皇帝 (nguuwoñhTi)). The Constitution of Guakok lays out many of the elements of the nobility as they relate to the modern country, with the Emperor retaining the sole right of elevating commoners to the status of low-ranked nobility (新爵 (singchak), usually translated as "baron" though also literally as "new nobility"), though this has little practical effect as such nobility is currently ineligible to enter the House of Lords. The reigning imperial family is the Yon family, which has ruled as the Gua dynasty since 1888.

The Emperor holds numerous formal titles, of which the following are the most notable:

  • Noble Emperor (also translated "Imperial Majesty")
  • King of the Imperial Capital (御京王 (nguuküñyöñh)), mostly a legacy title as governing of Tainankiun is normally carried out by the Imperial Capital Metropolitan Authority
  • Lord Director of Rites (禮司君 (leeihsaküng)), referring to the Emperor's involvement in various ceremonies such as the annual Astral Parade, Tainankiun's most important celebration, as well as the Opening of Parliament and such
  • Lord General of the Armed Forces (將軍隊君 (chañküngtooiküng)), granting ultimate power in running the Royal Gua Armed Forces, though normally these duties are delegated to the Ministry of Defence

Although in theory Guakok is a constitutional monarchy, in practice there are few restrictions on the power of the Emperor. He is able to appoint all members of the House of Lords, which is in practice the stronger of the two Houses of Parliament. The Emperor is not able to introduce legislative proposals to Parliament, but it is not uncommon for members of the House of Lords to introduce draft legislation on his behalf. This leaves parliament as largely a rubber stamping body for policy crafted by the Emperor and higher nobility. The monarch is the highest commander of the military but does not have the power to declare war, which must receive a supermajority of support in both Houses of Parliament. Lèse-majesté is a severe crime, and can in extreme cases be punished with death.

The position of Emperor is a hereditary position, following the principle of male primogeniture: The sitting Emperor's eldest male child is the heir apparent, while the eldest female child is heir presumptive in the absence of any sons. When the monarch has no children, as was the case with the previous Shinlin Emperor, his eldest brother is the heir presumptive, or eldest sister in the absence of male siblings. Other than Shinlin, who was childless and succeeded by his brother, all rulers of the Gua dynasty have been males succeeded by a son. As the regnant Thingshan Emperor has three sons, he too is likely to be succeeded by a son; the Crown Prince of Guakok is Paklon, Duke of Ritwing.

The private residence of the Emperor and Imperial Family is the Imperial Palace in the Shupon district of Tainankiun, construction of which was begun in 1890 and completed in 1897 to be a more humble home than other residences, but the official residence and place where most of the Emperor's duties are performed is the Castle of the Golden Mount in the Zisang district, built in 1324 and originally used for military purposes.

House of Lords

The House of Lords (貴族院 (Kui-tsugyuaang)) is the upper house of parliament. Its membership consists of 300 qualified members of the nobility, not including barons who are ineligible, with one hundred appointed from each of Guakok's three duchies by the Emperor every five years. It is a nonpartisan body in accordance with the constitution. Membership of the House of Lords is seen as the highest honour for members of the nobility. Eligibility is conditional on a number of factors, including passage of the highest level of the imperial examination (進士 (Tsingtsaah)) which is carried out only once a decade.

The House of Lords is regarded as the more powerful House of Parliament. All legislation first passed in the House of Representatives requires the assent of Lords; if this is not met in the first instance it is passed through Representatives again, but a second failure to pass through the upper house results in its being blocked from review for six months. Some powers are delegated exclusively to the House of Lords, such as amendment of the constitution and the issuing of Proclamations of Counsel (勸宣 (Huangshuang)), formal recommendations of policy to the Emperor. The House of Lords is also the sole house responsible for assenting to other royal appointments, such as of judges of the Constitutional Court of Guakok.

House of Representatives

The House of Representatives (代理院 (taairaahyuaang)) is the lower house of parliament and the only body to be elected. The electoral system used is the majority bonus system, in which elections in multi-member cantons decide seventy percent of seats in the House using closed party lists while the remaining thirty percent are given to the best performing single party. There are a total of 217 seats of which 152 are directly elected every three years from thirty cantons and 65 are reserved for the best-performing single party. Suffrage is universal for all citizens over twenty years of age, or for citizens over eighteen years of age in full-time employment. The head of government, the Prime Minister, is always a member of the largest party in this house.

The House of Representatives is widely regarded as less powerful than the House of Lords, despite the two being stated as equal in Guakok's constitution. Partly this is due to overt political reasons such as the powers allocated to each house, while partly it is due to social reasons given the higher status of the nobility over the commoners.

Cabinet

Administrative divisions

Guakok is a unitary state with only a few powers devolved to subnational authorities. The largest subnational unit is the duchy (公爵 (kuñchak)), of which there are three: Thinglü (鈿流 (thihnglü)) in the northeast, Chonshu (鐘水 (choñshu)) in the northwest and Thitngang (鐵岸 (thitngåang)) in the south. The capital, Tainankiun, as the administrative division of Imperial Capital (御京 (nguuküñ)), is not part of any duchy but is referred to by the historical name of "kingdom", with the king being the Emperor.

Duchies are officially governed by a duke, a high-ranking noble outside of the royal family proper (ie. not a member of the Gua dynasty). Dukes are responsible for the maintenance of a Ducal Gendarmerie, responsible for militarised policing, each of which are distinct branches of the Royal Gua Police Force operating largely independently. The Imperial Capital Constabulary performs a similar role within Tainankiun, alongside more general policing. Duchies are also responsible for expenditure in some areas, such as education, as well as for duties such as oversight of local government and police, direct management of emergency services other than the police and ceremonial activities. However, as a unitary state, most powers are reserved by the central government. Moreover, constitutional amendment permitting, the central government maintains the right to expand or narrow the powers of all administrative divisions including the duchies.

The other primary national subdivision is the canton (角區 (kok-hüu)), of which there are thirty. Although not bearing the name "canton", the Imperial Capital has the same legal status as one with regard to elections. They are electoral regions, with 152 seats in total across all cantons which elect members of the House of Representatives every three years. Cantons also have local governments responsible for forming popular committees for areas such as education and public safety. Cantons have little budgeting power, with local spending mostly being a power of the duchy, although some funding is allocated to these committees. Unlike ducal and central government, cantonal government is largely a popular system, with no requirement for attaining a certain level of the imperial examination.

There are a number of local government units with varying limited levels of autonomy. These are national city (population of over 1,000,000), major city (population of over 500,000), minor city (population of over 200,000), township (population of over 50,000), new township (population of over 10,000) and village (population of under 10,000). These are in turn grouped into metropolitan districts (市區 (chaah-hüu)) which are centered around a large city or rural conglomerates (舍併 (Shëpiiñ)) which lack such a center. The distinction has no legal significance.

Military

A soldier of the Royal Gua Land Forces on a training exercise in Shau Ra Training Village, 2014.

The military of Guakok, the Royal Gua Armed Forces (御吳軍隊 (nguu guå küngtooi)), is the principal military force of the country. It exists alongside three independent Ducal Gendarmeries (公爵憲兵 (kuñchak Shangföñ)) which are responsible for militarised policing. The RGAF consists of four branches: the Royal Gua Land Troop, the Royal Gua Sea Troop, the Royal Gua Air Troop, and the Royal Gua Support Troop. Units are grouped into one of seven banners ( (khah)), which largely correspond to different regions of the country; the Blue Dragon Banner for example is responsible for defence of Tainankiun and the Imperial Family. Each banner incorporates soldiers from multiple branches of the military. The supreme commander of the armed forces is the Emperor, though in practice oversight is delegated to the Ministry of Defence and the Emperor is not a soldier.

The armed forces consists primarily of volunteers, but also includes national service personnel. The Constitution of Guakok states that conscription is a legal option "where necessary to protect the nation and its interests", but other than the temporary national service which typically lasts for one year, conscription is not currently enforced in Guakok. Conscription was used until 1976 due to insufficient volunteering, but a surge in volunteering at the height of the Red-White Banner Rebellion made this no longer necessary and it has not been reimplemented since.[18]

Law and order

Economy

Infrastructure

Demographics

The 2015 census recorded a population of 61,727,913 within Guakok;[4] an official estimate in January 2019 placed the population at above 63.5 million (precisely, at 63,539,381 from estimated percentage calculation).[1] Guakok has low immigration owing to a difficult immigration system and a lack of opportunities for foreigners. Emigration is similarly restricted, and the government of Guakok does not recognise renunciation of its citizenship. The national population density is 114 square kilometres (44 sq mi), a significant proportion of which is rural, especially in the west of the country. The majority of the population is located in a band stretching east from the capital, Tainankiun, and down to the major port of Pekkown. The regions around these two cities are particularly populous urban zones. These areas, and the east of the country generally, are predominatly Qi-inhabited, while the west of the country is home to Dai-speaking peoples. Scattered about the north-northwest of Guakok is a Dayhan population.

The average life expectancy in Guakok is 70.2 years for both sexes, higher for females (71.4 years) than males (69.0 years). A combination of social factors, inadequate healthcare and war are the usual reasons cited for this relatively low figure.[19] Estimates since 2015 place the average population growth rate at 1.3475%, which breaks down as follows:

Year Calculation Population Change (%)
2019 Estimate[1] 63,539,381 +1.3
2018 Estimate[20] 62,713,369 +1.14
2017 Estimate[21] 61,998,437 +1.15
2016 Estimate[22] 61,285,456 +1.8
2015 National census[4] 60,182,318 +1.65

Ethnicity

Ethnicity (2015)

  Qi (79.4%)
  Thai (8.3%)
  Thun (5.7%)
  Dayhan (2.1%)
  Other indigenous (1.1%)
  Other minority (3.4%)

The majority of the population of Guakok, around 79.4% or 50,450,269 people, consists of Qi people. The Qi population of Guakok consists primarily of the ethnically Gua people, with a significant number of Hakka people in the far east of the country. There is a negligible number of Qi people from other groups such as the Huajiangite people or Yuat people. Official statistics do not distinguish these people as anything other than "Qi", and native language statistics would be inaccurate due to language replacement. However, these groups remain largely socially distinct due to different cultural practices. To an extent these differences are tolerated by the Gua majority as to avoid dividing the Qi people.

A further 17.2% of the population (10,928,773 people) belong to one of various recognised (non-Qi) indigenous minority groups. Most of these groups are found in the west of Guakok, though internal migration has spread them to other, particularly urban, areas throughout the country. The largest recognised groups are the Thai people at 8.3% of the total population (5,273,769 people) followed by the Thun people at 5.7% of the total population (3,621,744 people), both of whom speak Dai languages. A non-Dai-speaking people, the Dayhan, account for an additional 2.1% of the population (1,334,327 people). These groups have their native languages recognised as regional languages, though there are a range of other peoples, predominantly Dai people, lacking this recognition. Such people account for the remaining 1.1% (698,933 people) of recognised minorities.

3.4% of the population (2,160,339 people) belongs to groups which are not recognised minorities. This includes native groups lacking formal recognition, such as those groups which have adopted Gua culture and language but remain distinct ethnically, as well as immigrants.

Culture

Literature

Visual arts

Music

Cuisine

Sports

Public holidays and festivals

There are numerous public holidays in Guakok, some based on traditional practices amongst both Qi and non-Qi peoples of Guakok and others being religious festivals which are practiced amongst other followers of Yongheng.

A Yongheng-related festival which is not generally observed outside of Guakok (except by some Gua people in western Huajiang) is the Astral Parade (星道 (siñtooh)). This festival involves reverence of rivers, and is particularly major in Tainankiun, where celebrations are led by the Emperor and require traffic along the Chikon River to be closed for two days due to the practice of casting flowers, especially lotuses and water lilies, upon its surface, the sheer volume of which makes navigation hazardous. In Pekkown, the mouth of the Bangyak River is closed for a few hours around midnight for an offshore fireworks show. The date of this festival is based on traditional Qi calendrical reckoning and thus does not have a fixed date on the common calendar, but it usually takes place in February.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Ministry of Public Health and Demography, 吳御帝國個人口佮民族每年報告、二千十九年, 2019
  2. Wang Gaoyang, Government and People in Serica, 2007 (3e 2018)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Ministry of Geography, Surveying and Infrastructure, 吳御帝國個土地面積、地形、自然資源、人口密度, 2010
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Ministry of Public Health and Demography, 吳御帝國個十年期人口普查、二千十五年。翻譯的省略, 2015
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 World Finance Board, Guakok, retrieved on 6 April 2019
  6. 6.0 6.1 Ministry of Finance, 吳御帝國個約計全國收支、二千十八年中、二千十九年刊, 2019
  7. World Finance Board, Global wealth distribution, retrieved on 6 April 2019
  8. Royal National People's University of Tainankiun, 吳御帝國個人類發展指數計算、二千十八年, 2018
  9. Society for International Development, Human Development Indices for 2018: Overview and data, 2018
  10. 10.0 10.1 Constitution of the Noble Empire of Gua, Ch. II Art. 1, 1917
  11. Shu Yang, Distribution of the Qi according to early textual evidence, p. 6, 1981, Qicheng University, retrieved on 10 June, 2011
  12. Geoffrey Wormwood, Spread of the Qi: a history of conquest in Serica, pp. 105-120, 2008, Polar Bear Books
  13. Wormwood 2008, pp. 124-128
  14. Wormwood 2008, pp. 216-221
  15. Samoe Ying, Tradition and Modernity in Guakok: how the modern world is shaping the culture of expression in the Noble Empire, 2012, Pekkown University Press
  16. Zhou Xiamen, Censorship and Discourse in Guakok, 2006, Gao'an University
  17. Ministry of Personnel and Rites, 吳御帝國個全國選院、二千八年。結果, 2018
  18. Moe Yatka, A Military History of Modern Guakok, pp. 156-157, 1997, Oriole Book Company
  19. Ministry of Public Health and Demography, 吳御帝國個平均壽命:公共衛生佮西旗暴動、二千十年, 2010
  20. Ministry of Public Health and Demography, 吳御帝國個人口佮民族每年報告、二千十八年, 2018
  21. Ministry of Public Health and Demography, 吳御帝國個人口佮民族每年報告、二千十七年, 2017
  22. Ministry of Public Health and Demography, 吳御帝國個人口佮民族每年報告、二千十六年, 2016