- by John H Bogan
According to legend, the sun goddess Amaterasu is the divine ancestor of the Imperial family and, by extension, the whole of the Japanese people. A century and a quarter after its founding, her namesake, Japan's first extrasolar colony, has not only produced a prosperous new "land of the rising sun", but one of rising contradictions as well. A modern power that pays fealty to an ancient monarchy; where state-of-the-art technologies are launched with timeless Shinto rites. A land of great concern for the environment...and the most smog-choked city on Tirane. A Place of civilized people living in harmonious law and order...and capital of illegal cybernetics throughout human space. A land of bumpkins, lumberjacks, and living mascots...who are well on their way to becoming the new center of the Japanese Federation.