Welcome once again to Pulp Adventures. In this little series, we take a look at people, places, business and things that could be melded into a pulp fiction-style story or role-playing game.
JAPAN’S SECRET FLEET — NIPPON YUZEN KAZE
THE REAL STORY: Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha is one of the world’s largest ship-building companies. It’s been in existence since 1870, and still a major player today as part of the Mitsubishi company. During World War II, many of its ships were retrofitted to carry Japanese troops and equipment.
GOING PULP: In a pulp-fiction type universe, the Nippon Yuzen Kaze company offers passenger ships that travel the world delivering goods, tourists and travelers. But this is only a cover for Japan’s greater plan.
As well as its mundane role, every ship is a mobile battle station, equipped with spies, torture chambers, Kamikaze troops, bombs, hi-tech listening posts and other sinister equipment. Heck, you might as well through in some ninjas too.
The key thing here is that NYK ships can slide into port, secretly unleash mayhem and then slip away before anyone connects the dots.
WIKIPEDIA (Nippon Yusen): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nippon_Yusen
WIKIPEDIA (Awa Maru): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Awa_Maru_(1943)
MORE SITES: Offical Nippon Yusen company Web site
BOOKS: Hundred years’ history of the ships of Nippon Yusen Kaisha
SCENE AND STORY IDEAS
- While abroad, the adventurers hastily board a ship with the name NYK logo on the side. They think it’s headed for New York City, but soon discover its headed for Japan, with a load of stolen U.S. military supplies on board.
- The scientific discovery of the century, the fossils of Peking Man, are aboard the Kaze version of the Awa Maru (linked above), and the adventurers must sneak aboard and steal them back before they get lost in wartime chaos.
- Every seven days for months now, there’s been a bombing in the city. Then after a massive sea storm, the bombing is delayed by a day. This gives the adventurers enough clues to check the shipping schedules. Lo and behold, an NYK ship leaves port about two hours before each bombing. So the adventurers start a stake out and eventually uncover Japan’s plot.
- Aboard one of the premiere ocean liners of the NYK line, the adventurers start to unravel a plot: The whole boat is set to blow up when it arrives in the states. The explosion will cripple the port and kill thousands — including the adventurers. They set out to stop the Kamikaze boat.
MORE PULP ADVENTURES