In the distant future mankind embraced science and technology, abandoning all belief and consideration of the religious and supernatural. In Japan this shift became most profound, for as their advances in anti-gravity, lunar colonization, and computer technologies progressed, their spirituality regressed, until nearly no one, not even children, believed in fairy tales anymore.
As it turns out, this was the subtle shadowy plan of spirits that laid in hiding for centuries. Judging the time to be right, yokai, tengu, kitsune, oni and other monstrous creatures suddenly sprang into the streets, causing great bloody disruption during a solar eclipse over Kyoto and Nara. Their long term plan, for mankind to forget about them and drop their guard so they may conquer and overtly rule humans, nearly paid off.
Now spirits and monsters walk the streets of a changed Japan: humans live in fear, constantly in deference to their supernatural masters. Many humans live in slums, while illusionists and brute creatures squander their stolen technologies on hedonism and factional conflicts. But the yokai’s takeover was not complete.
The major benefit of the yokai’s long hiding was that the shadowy existence they gained made all modern weapons developed through science and technology unable to touch or harm them. But a tiny cult of conservative traditionalists, long considered backwards by most, kept traditional weapons forged in hand-skills and superstition, and their mastery of martial arts using these weapons does work against the yokai. These ghost killers are the best hope Japan has to liberate its people.
(I do not own the images in the above collage, and all copyrights belong to their respective owners.)
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