January 29, 2018 by bck1402
A few years back, I was asked to do some research on a particular period in the history of Penang. I did the work, wrote up some reports on the subject, and that was that. A few weeks back, a little discussion about that same period came up and I got to thinking about all that research again. The angles at which I approached the subject at the time was fairly specific and I’ve been looking into the period again.
Somewhere in all that, some little germ of a story idea came up. A story where I could utilise all that research as background material for one little whacked out adventure. Penang in the 1920s seems like a fairly quiet period. It was something of a transitory period. following the post war boom in economy heading to the Depression of the 1930s, partly as the economic nature of Penang was shifting from Eastern to Western practices, mainly because the Colonial Government started to reap profits for themselves by restricitng the locals from conducting business as usual…
… in a very broad sense.
I’m leaving out a ton of details because I’m not writing up some historical report here. What I can make work in the story is this…
Say the Colonial Government was enacting Ordnances, Regulations and Laws that was causing problems for certain merchants in the way they were conducting businesses. This was so Western companies could compete against the locals, most who had grown very rich in the past half century or so. Now we have one ambitious Japanese businessman seeing his company failing because of these new ordnances and regulations, likely the work of one bureaucrat who’s making some side income from helping the newer European companies to profit in the same business this Japanese businessman has major stake in.
So said businessman calls in an old family friend who just happens to have descended from the Samurai, now living in an age when the Samurai are no more, whose father had been among the last of the Samurais. Now we have this guy whose been raised on the legends of his father and grandfather as Samurai, living by a code that’s been banished (at the time). He decides to help his friend as a Samurai serving a lord, in a foreign land… only to find conflict between honour and loyalty as he learns about… well, I suppose nothing will be what it seems as he learns that Penang and Japan are two very different worlds.
Like I said, it’s just a germ of an idea right now.
Still have other work to tend to.