In brief Yamatestu was founded by Tadamako Shibanokuji as an attempt to counteract the Japanacorp influence in the rest of Asia. They were largely successful for a number of years. Along the way due to intercorporate fighting, boardroom backstabbing, corporate infighting, the Japanese minority shareholders led by Hideo Yoshida managed to buyout the stock owned by several prominent Fillipinos. The once anti-Japanese corporation became a pseudo-Japancorp until Shibanokuji was restored as Chairman with the assistance of the Free Spirit Buttercup. The corporation was returning to its roots when suddenly Tadamako Shibanokuji became bedridden after a massive stroke in January of '59. This allowed Yoshida to gain control of Shibanokuji's voting stoke during this "medical emergency".
That's where we will begin our history lesson.
The corporation was in turmoil when Tadamako Shinokuji was murdered in his sleep in the middle of February '59. Hideo Yoshida hatched a plan to discredit Buttercup and regain control of Shibanokuji voting stock. The plan was fairly simple. Yoshida's underlings relabeled a paralytic as an antibiotic. When Shibanokuji's nurse, Akemi, gave him the fatal shot, she was dosed with laes and had her memory of the event rewritten. Her rewritten memory was that the Free Spirit Buttercup appeared in Shibanokuji's room, possessed her body, and gave her patient the fatal shot.
Akemi fled to Seattle to escape from Buttercup and attempted to hide from retribution from Yamatestsu. She was eventually caught by Yamatetsu North America agents at the Northgate Mall. They took her to a Yamatetsu facility so that they could record her altered memory and use it against Buttercup. Thankfully a group of a runners managed to find out the uncover the plot, save Akemi, and prevent the falsified incident from harming Buttercup's reputation.
Yoshida's plan was doomed from the outset however. With Shibanokuji's death he had hoped to reacquire the President's voting stock, thus allowing him to name himself President once again. However, Shibanokuji's Will left the voting stock to his son, Yuri. This child was an unknown element. No one suspected that Tadamako had an heir to leave his stock. Yuri was found living in Vladivostock, Russia. That was the first shock. Yamatetsu's newest Chairman wasn't purely Japanese, he had a Russian mother. And then the real kicker came to light. It appeared that Yuri was an ork. This fact alone was enough to earn the resentment of the Japanese shareholders.
Yuri found himself the head of a corporation that abhorred metahumans. He was faced with a board of directors that was split between pro and anti Japanese sentiment, and resistance from then-CEO Saru Iwano, Hideo Yoshima, and their Japanese cronies on the Board of Directors. It was an almost impossible situation for the young man. But thankfully he gained some powerful allies in the process. Newton Chin was a long time veteran of the corporate war and one of Tadamako's closest friends. Together with Buttercup, Chin was able to help Yuri take over the chairmanship and initiate some major changes.
The first, and most notable, was moving the corporation's headquarters from Kyoto, Japan to Yuri's hometown of Vladivostok, Russia. The move was symbolic as well as practical. It put distance (literally) between the corporation and it's Japanese roots, and it helped Yuri (and the corporation) escape the racism that the Japanese are noted for.
Yuri was not a dumb man though. Even though he was trying to distance the company from their Japanese roots he did a few things to appease the Japanese shareholders in order to solidify his position as chairman. Firstly, he left Saru Iwano in place as CEO, and publicly supporting Emperor Yasuhito upon his ascension to the throne in 2061. He knew that his position was tenuous in the early days. Removing Iwano would have sparked an organized resistance against him, one that he might not have survived even with the help of Chin and Buttercup. His support of young Emperor Yasuhito helped solidify the fourteen year old monarch's claim to the throne in a time when he desperately needed allies.
So it was, by 2062, that Yuri Shibanokuji was firmly in charge of Yamatetsu. He wasn't front and center though. He preferred to leave that role to Iwano and Buttercup. He was definitely calling the shot from behind the scenes though. And he wanted more for his company. The move to Russia might have been a good start, but didn't directly change the internal landscape of the company. The "traditionalist" (read: racists) executives and board members were still there quietly causing problems for Yuri.
That's how it was in Yamatetsu for two years until 2064 when Yuri announced that he was taking a leave of absence to seek treatment for the genetic condition known as "Methuselah's Syndrome". This condition affects the vast majority of the ork population and causes the individual to age at an accelerated rate. Methuselah's Syndrome is the reason that most orks are fully matured by their early teens and tend to die of old age in the forties.
Thus Iwano was in control of the company later in that year when the infamous Crash of '64 changed the world. Yamatetsu was one of the first networks hit. The Vladivostok headquarters was almost immediately cut off from the rest of the corporation. And to make matters worse Yuri lost one of his staunchest supporters when Newton Chin passed away. Between the loss of communications and Chin the old guard picked up right where they left off.
In some places it was a return to the old ways. In others it came back worse than before and becoming out and out insubordinate. A faction in Eastern Europe basically looted post-civil war Poland with the help of the nation's Rybocrat party. The Central Asian branch allied itself with a portion of Saeder-Krupp and some smaller corporation in the area and actually declared war on Turkestan. And some of the North American holdings initiated hostile takeovers of CATCo. assets that had been abandoned in their corporate parent's demise. They even went after Ares Macrotech assets, and in at least one case succeeded in their take over.
Yuri resurfaced during this crisis to take back control of the corporation. Newton Chin had left Yuri his voting stock upon his death. Combined with Buttercup's support the two now owned exactly 51% of the company. They now had a stranglehold on the board of directors and acted swiftly and decisively.
Their first act was to blame Iwano and his cronies for the chaos that the corporation had found itself in. It was plain to see that the traditionalists didn't have a leg to stand on. The managers and directors who were responsible for the most heinous and outrageous acts of defiance were long time allies of Iwano. There was no way that the CEO could get out from under the allegations. Rather than man up and face the allegations levied against him, Iwano instead chose to commit ritual seppuku so that he wouldn't lose face to a kawaruhito (a Japanese derogatory term for metahumans).
Yuri immediately named himself the "interim CEO" and began solidifying his control of the corporation one asset at a time. He divested the corporation of any asset that wasn't deemed viable in the current economic climate. He consolidated several of the company's more profitable assets together in order to keep them strong during the economic turmoil. He prioritized the companies that had made Yamatetsu into a AAA megacorp and ensured their continued survival. He also worked diligently to ensure that Yamatetsu was a large part of the Wireless Matrix initiative. They became so entrenched in that project that even to this day most of wireless infrastructure of China, Korea, and Russia are handled by Evo.
For a year and half starting in January of '65 Yamatetsu was losing executives and board members left and right. Some died, some retired, some were transferred to unimportant subsidiaries out in the back of beyond, some resigned with dignity, while others were forced to do so after some scandal came to light. The only common thread among all of the losses though, was that their replacements were, to a one, supporters of Yuri Shibanokuji. The old guard was being replaced with new blood loyal to the new Chairman.
It was during this period that Yuri stepped down as interim CEO and named Anatoly Kirilenko as his successor. Kirilenko was a Vladivostok native, a colonel in the Russian air force, and head of a very successful manned mission to Mars. A mission which Yamatetsu was intimately involved producing new technology to make the manned mission possible.
Kirilenko's rise to CEO wasn't without problems though. Most notably Kirilenko had no management experience in the corporate world. Second there were unfounded rumors that Kirilenko had ties to the Vory v Zakone. And finally, being Russian, there was still some bias against the company's first non-Japanese CEO.
In late 2066 came Yamatetsu's biggest announcement to date. The company was re-branding itself to leave its past behind and step boldly into the future. In one of the first AR advertisement blitzes the company announced to the world that they should "Evolve with Evo!". These advertisements were everywhere thanks to Evo's inclusion into the Wireless Matrix Initiative. Yuri saw that the world was evolving and believed that there was no place in it for the old Yamatetsu. So he shed the past and gave the corporation a new name and mission statement.
One of Yuri's first steps in bringing the company into the present was to revise the company's charter. The revisions centered around a set of rules, regulations, and policies aimed at ending the long held racial bias against metahumans. It also set down the new guidelines and principles of the corporation dubbed EvoCulture. The amendments could be summed up as all Evo citizens are created equal, regardless of race, gender, culture, creed, or metatype. These changes collectively became known as the Terms of Unity.
EvoCulture is not just another set of corporate guidelines though. It is the codified rules of behavior for all Evo employees from CEO on down the line.
It is designed to promote harmony among all employees. Under the Treaty of Unity employees are judged by their character, contributions to society, and contributions to the corporation. Any sign of prejudice or intolerance is punished swiftly and harshly. Yuri had instituted this policy as a means to cut out the heart of the intolerant factions that had once ruled the corporation.
Potential employees are handled solely by the Human Resources Department. The rest of the corporation is ordered to have no contact with the individual until he, she, or it is hired. This is to ensure that Evo hires the most qualified individual possible and ensures that nepotism, racism, etc. et. al. isn't a factor in an individual's hiring.
EvoCulture goes beyond simple job performance reviews though. The corporation facilitates or sponsors a variety of community social events. It incentivizes participation in recreational sports and other team focused type activities as a means of bonding among employees. These incentives are no small matter either. For some of the lower earning employees they can almost double their salaries.
Once this groundwork was laid out Evo focused on their post Crash 2.0 gains and expanded them. Despite protests from Ares Macrotech and Aztechnology, Evo was able to retain Yamatetsu's position in the Corporate Court and named their new Justice in '66, a full year earlier than required.
Evo quickly won support from Russia due to the economic influx the corporation drew in. With their pro-meta policies they were able to make inroads into several Awakened nations, most notably Amazonia and Manchuria. They used these inroads to expand their Southern Asian holdings dramatically.
Despite the changes Yuri enacted Evo still retains elements of its original Japanese business practices. They focus on the success of their clientele more than they focus on their individual success. And lately Russian culture has seeped into the corporate culture as well. This has earned the company an excellent reputation in the Sixth World as a diligent, somewhat fatalistic, corporation.
Also, due to the Treaty of Unity, Evo has one the most diverse workforces in the Sixth World. They also have the greatest number of augmentations of any megacorporation. Almost 90% percent of Evo employees boast some form of enhancement. These are offered at a discount to citizens and loaned out to employees. They also tend to be less specialized and work related than other AAAs. Instead of focusing on implants and enhancements to boost performance in an employee's particular area, Evo allows the individual to decide what goes in them when they go under the knife. Because of this Evo has gained a transhumanist movement within its ranks.
Kirilenko once (in)famously said that that Crash 2.0 would have never happened if artificial intelligences had been granted the same respect, rights, and dignity accorded to metahumanity. That just goes to show how much the company embraces their corporate ideals. And as such is the case, Evo has opened up their company to AIs as well as free spirits.
Most notable among their non-metahuman citizens are the Free Spirit Buttercup (which we've discussed), the Free Spirit Strato Cumulus (joined in 2060), an AI named Taylor Dacopral (Data Correlation and Processing Algorithm), and a naga named Ysil. They're important members of Evo as we will discuss below.
Evo is also unique among megacorporations for another reason. They are a truly interplanetary corporation.
Their most ambitious project is Gagarin Base on Mars. Evo has managed to create a habitat on the Red Planet capable of supporting hundreds of Evo citizens as they go about their job researching the mysteries that Mars has to offer.
Evo also has two major space stations. One, the Shibanokuji Free Fall Space Station is basically a pleasure resort for those who have the money to take vacation off planet. The other is the real money maker though. Industry II is a space station where they precision craft the cyberware that has made Evo a leader in the industry.
The last few years have not been terribly kind to Evo. Their penchant for transhumanism has made them suspect for the tech and nanite problems that came along with cognitive fragmentation disorder. No one has come out and publicly accused Evo of malfeasance, neglect, or dereliction of duty, but they have suffered a blow in the court of public opinion. The public remains suspicious despite Evo's sturdy reputation.
As noted above, Evo is currently looking for a new CEO. They have been for months now due to the death of Anatoly Kirilenko. Just as Kirilenko was key to Evo's acceptance in Russia, the board is taking its time trying to find the perfect CEO to gain acceptance throughout the world. They want to choose just the right individual to push their agenda into the world's spotlight. And currently their are a number of interesting contenders each with their own agendas and internal support structures.
Strato Cumulus is a free spirit of storm that joined (then) Yamatetsu in the early '60s in large part thanks to Buttercup's seat on the board of directors. Originally he went by the name Strato, but added the Cumulus so that he might better fit in with the two named metahumans on the board of directors. He also follows the Japanese naming structure, but to be honest both of those decisions are mere amusements on his part.
He usually presents himself as a two meter tall Japanese human with black hair (sometimes streaked with white), icy blue eyes, and traditional Japanese garb. This is only his most usual appearance, he is by no means limited to it. He can, and often does, take on a less conspicuous appearance when spying on his staff.
His nomination to CEO is being backed by Buttercup. No real surprise there. The surprise in her support is the reasoning though. Believe it or not, she's not backing him because he is a free spirit, but because he is actually good at his job. He came up through the ranks of Yamatetsu's agribusiness division. He managed to streamline every aspect of each division he was asked to head up. He even managed to do so with very little disturbance to the employees and was able to maximize each divisions diversification along the way. Each site was adapted to the individual employees who lived and worked there. Each and every site is unique, yet still manages to function like a well oiled machine. So it was his skills and hard work to promote individualization that earned him support from Buttercup.
Naturally the opposition is suspicious of Cumulus's reason for working with Evo. Free Spirits as a general rule are alien and "other" by nature. Their agendas are not the same as a normal metahumans. They are beings of the Astral Plane, and that experience gives them an insight, priorities, and a way of thinking that metahumans cannot grasp. His most notable opposition comes in the person of Yuri himself. Yuri believes that Cumulus's inability to leave the manasphere would prevent him from facilitating Evo's space program. Others who oppose Cumulus feel that appointing an entity that does not age is just a bit too permanent for their liking.
Cynthia Bills is another candidate that has been floated around. Bills, is the new name for Angela Kline, former NeoNET researcher working out of the Great Dragon Celedyr's Albuquerque facility, and one of the first monads (CFD sufferer, or more colloquially headcases). She came to Evo from NeoNET with valuable intelligence about the CFD phenomenon and ended up in a padded room for her troubles.
That did not deter her though. From her little cell she worked her way into a lab team studying CFD in the early days of its discovery. As she earned the teams trust, her imprisonment was lessened. Finally she managed to meet ol' Yuri in the lab one day, and to his surprise he found her as stable as any normal individual, let alone a headcase. Thanks to her work the team was leading the pack in research and development for treatments of CFD. Yuri was convinced that their success was due to Bills's personal perspective and insight. Thus he promoted her to head the team. He wasn't a fool though and instituted more security precautions. But he did place his trust in her. And over the next few years Bills proved her worth time and time again. So now she is Yuri's choice to take on the job of CEO.
Despite the fact that she was born in the '20s Bills appears to be roughly twenty years of age. She is in top physical condition thanks to her monad abilities. And she wears glasses, despite no need for them, as an affectation from her days when she did need them. Perhaps as a way to remind herself of what she once was.
It's no surprise that there is lot of opposition to her appointment. First and foremost is her former ties to NeoNET. Everyone remembers what Richard Villiers and Miles Lanier were able to pull when Lanier left Fuchi for Renraku. And no one wants that same sort of thing to happen to Evo. Another factor, spoken in secret so as to not violate the Treaty of Unity, is that headcases are notoriously unstable. While Evo may publicly accept monads, the board of directors is highly suspicious of Bills' continuing mental stability.
The only other metahuman being considered for the CEO position is Abhi Kala. Kala isn't just a run of the mill metahuman though, he is one of the few known human metaypes, the nartaki. He has been with the company since he applied for citizenship in '63 and is currently the Vice President of Asset Analysis for Evo India. His support comes from the combined might of the minority shareholders in Evo.
He is thirty-six years old, but looks younger. This sense of youth, his choice of obvious cyberware, and changeling nature appeals to various factions within the company. One of his arms was replaced when he was attacked after he SURGE'd. It now boosts a dermal sheath and proudly declares that he is a survivor. This attitude resonates with the disenfranchised and outcast metasapients in the company. His history strikes a chord with all of those who have ever been persecuted or attacked for being different, and not being lucky enough to be born, sheltered, raised and protected in the safe environs of an arcology. He is the Evo everyman candidate.
His opposition points to his youth as a drawback, as well as his penchant for violence. He is an active participant in the EvoCombat League. This is an internal sports fighting competition where fighters are paired up against each other based on one requirement and that is their win/loss record. The League does not care about weight classes, fighting styles, or any other distinction. The only thing that matters is the record. Fights are never to the death as the pit fights in Tenochtitlan are known for, but are instead meant to be a fun way to show the diversity and durability of the citizenship of Evo.
This is where he drew the attention of the minority shareholders. He held the top spot for two fights before a Free Spirit of Earth managed to take him down. This spirit still remains undefeated to this day.
Ysil is another candidate being pushed forward for the CEO spot. She is a naga who came to work when Evo expanded into Angkor Wat to study ways that they might build and design products with nagas in mind. Ysil was naturally suspicious of the corporation at first, but Evo's dedication to equality and corporate culture quickly changed her opinion. She later saw other megacorporations at work as she began to climb Evo's corporate ladder and it only increased her enthusiasm for her employer. It caused her to double down in her efforts to make Evo succeed in the world market.
She began her career in MetaErgonomics as a device tester for their line of naga related devices. She quickly proved herself to have a quick mind and the ability to solve problems in a timely fashion. Due to her good performance reviews she was quickly promoted, and her area of influence expanded with each step. She was a key figure in MetaErgonomics's and MetaMatrix's rise to prominence in their respective fields.
What is surprising about Ysil's nomination is the power behind it. Ren Iwano, then CEO, was a major part of the initial expansion into Angkor Wat. He kept track of her throughout her meteoric rise to power and made sure that she was included in several large projects to help her career. He even fed her data about the corporation's moves on the global scene so that she would already be informed once she gained a new position.
What's odd about Iwano's support is that he is one of the traditionalist old guard. It seems that his bigotry does not extend to nagas. But being that nagas have a role in Japanese tradition it might be that she is the perfect candidate for Iwano. Her ascension could be a return to the old ways, all the while playing by the rules that the Treaty of Unity laid out.
The Treaty of Unity notwithstanding the opposition is not happy about the idea of Ysil being named CEO. They have been secretly inciting violence against nagas around the world in a bid to goad the naga population to retaliate. They hope that this retaliation can be pointed to and used against Ysil to prove that the nagas are far too bestial to head a AAA megacorporation. To date though the naga population has endured this violence against them peacefully. Physical violence is generally met with non-violence. Only in one case has a naga struck against their abusers when his person was attacked by a mob of metahumans. He was shot and killed for his defiance. But this is the only known case of a naga reacting to violence with violence.
The opposition has also been focusing on Ysil's assistance in several weapons projects. Along the way she has help develop various metasapient specific toxins, treatments to induce Sudden Unexplained Genetic Expression (SURGE), treatments to push the SURGE process to the extreme limits, and to create Evo security teams that consist soley of metasapient with abilities that complement one another. All of these projects can be spun in a way that could easily turn metahuman support against her.
Oddly enough is the top contender for the CEO spot. Its name is Taylor Dacopral. It is currently an AI program called the Data Correlation and Processing Algorithm (where it got its name is an abbreviation of this) that just happens to like the name Taylor. It does not like male or female pronouns used for it, because it is an AI without any sort of sexuality or gender. It prefers for it to be known for it's achievements than it's possible gender, a view which furthers Evo's Treaty of Unity and EvoCulture.
Dacopral has been working with Yamatetsu Naval as a project manager and anthroform drone design specialist. It has never focused on purely humanoid drones though and incorporated various animal forms into its designs as well. Several of its designs even possess the ability to change between forms. Real-life Transformers, definitely more than meets the eye. The complexity of these drones makes them difficult for metahuman riggers to use however, but ideal for AIs to pilot.
Dacopral's support is coming from Hideo Yoshida. Yoshida is making the push for the AI to be named CEO as an opening move to restore Yamatetsu to its former glory. He sees promoting a candidate from one of the few companies to still bare the old name as a means to begin re-establishing Yamatetsu as a whole. He, and his supporters, don't believe that Evo will revert back to the old name. But they do believe that some positive PR for the brand could help counterbalance the PR damage headed Evo's way.
The opposition's case against Dacopral rests on the AI-centricity that it has shown in its design work. Many of those designs were testing grounds to allow protosapient and feral AIs a body in the physical world. The potential danger from this research using non-sapient AIs makes those with physical forms rather nervous. AIs are just as unknown a quality as are free spirits. At least with Free Spirits there has been decades of academic study into the matter. AIs are still relative unknown factors.
To ease these concerns Dacopral usually appears in public in an anthroform drone. But it hasn't stopped the whispers of the opposition from growing louder.
Corporate Hierarchy of YamatetsuEdit
- Yamatetsu North America
- Home office: Seattle
- Division Head: Mary Luce
- Major Subsidiaries:
- Yamatetsu South America
- Home Office: Vladivostok
- Division Head: Hideo Yoshida
- Yamatetsu Australasia
- Home Office: Hong Kong
- Division Head: Ramon Dizon
- Yamatetsu Asia
- Headquarters: Vladivostok
- Division Head: Mochikune Mibu
- Major Subsidiaries:
- Saotome Aquadomes
- Director Nadine Cross-Walters
- Saotome Aquadomes
- Yamatetsu India
- Home office: Vladivostok
- Division Head: Rajiv Desai
- Yamatetsu Middle East
- Home Office: Vladivostok
- Division Head: Sean Rooker
- Yamatetsu Europe
- Home Office: Vladiviostok
- Division Head: Michelle Forlani
- Yamatetsu California
- Headquarters: San Francisco and Oakland
- President: George Sakai
- MetaErgonomics (Metahuman products)
- PensoDyne Biotechnical (Genetics research and engineering)
- Tsuruga International
- Xiao Technologies (lost to Renraku in later 2060th)
- Yamatetsu Naval Technologies
- Yamatetsu Productions
- Corporate Download, 110-118
- Corporate Guide, 78-90
- Market Panic
- Runner Havens
- Shadowrun Fourth Edition, 31, 42
- Shadows of Asia
- Sixth World Almanac 94
- Shibata Construction and Engineering (Terrestrial and orbital habitat construction and maintenance)