Wars World Survey: Eiji "Sensei" Yamamoto - By Abalux

Sensei
Age: 105
Height: 5'5"/1.65 m
Weight: 115 lb/52 kg
Birthplace: Aktakana, Yellow Comet
Languages Known: Yellow Comet Japanese, Blue Moon Russian, Direnholmian German, Mandarin, Orange Star English, and Rostanian French. Sensei has traveled extensively over the past two and a half decades.
Relatives of Note: Sensei has outlived them all. As a result, his colleagues have become his family.

Background

The meaning of Sensei's surname ("old as the mountains") belies his great age: Eiji Yamamoto is older than the nation he calls home. His parents moved from Orange Star to the tiny colonial village Aktakana shortly before his birth. They were simple farmers. The child who would become Sensei, though, caught the attention of a former Japanese Self-Defense Force officer. Sensei has never revealed his first instructor's name. What is certain, though, is that this veteran was deserving of that title. He trained young Eiji in military science and logistics. The boy had a natural talent for the field. When he decided to join the budding Yellow Comet military, therefore, his instructor provided him with the gear he needed. His instructor also gave him something else. Instructing Eiji not to tell anyone, he touched the young man on his forehead. He felt an invigorating warmth rush through his body. Eiji's instructor told him that he had given him the very source of his military reputation: the power to inspire his soldiers. He claimed it was a gift dating to the days of the samurai. While under its effects, Eiji's soldiers would be nearly invincible. The young man bowed to his instructor in thanks and left for basic training.
Eiji Yamamoto's early military career was absolutely impeccable. Not only was he a model of military honor, his prior training made him one of the greatest military minds in Yellow Comet. He blazed through the ranks. After twenty-five years, Eiji was head of the nation's military council. Almost everyone in Yellow Comet, soldier or not, respected him. The emperor in particular was fond of him. Using imperial monies, he built a dojo on the grounds of the imperial palace. Eiji, now simply referred to as "Mr. Yamamoto," was to instruct the most talented future military officers in Yellow Comet. He jumped at the chance to honor his mentor's legacy.
It was this opportunity that bought Yamamoto his greatest fame and friendships. He was so dedicated to the dojo that it was effectively his wife, and the students were all his children. In particular, Yamamoto felt close ties with the financially savvy Hachi, the rash Kouzou (who he gave the nickname "Grimm") . . . and the crown prince Hideo, who would become the next Kanbei. They were his most dedicated students. Therefore, when the Cosmos War broke out, the four officers deployed together. It was Yamamoto's moment of glory. Alone, he was a master of warfare. With his favored pupils, he led an unstoppable force. Even the non-powered crown prince made his mentor proud.
After the Cosmos War ended, Yellow Comet withdrew to its personal defense. Yamamoto was not happy. As a student of ancient Japanese military history, he knew that isolation would only diminish his nation. He also knew that he would be expected to stay and concentrate on national defense. Yamamoto had to make the hardest decision of his life. Finally, he chose. He sent word to Hachi and Grimm to prepare for travel. He then gave his beloved monocle to a friend and shaved his moustache. Yamamoto's last act was to return to the dojo and summon the newly crowned Kanbei. He admired the emperor's discipline and dedication to country and bushido. In addition, he always considered it a shame that Kanbei had not developed CO Powers. Yamamoto made a great sacrifice. Once Kanbei was in the dojo, the old teacher passed his powers to his student. He used the distraction caused by the resulting phantasms to slip out of the imperial palace. Then Yamamoto met Hachi and Grimm and forlornly left his home.
Hachi settled down in Orange Star; he had a family, after all. Yamamoto and Grimm kept on traveling. Soldiers at heart, they particularly gravitated toward military bases and other installations. Yamamoto made a decent living on his reputation. Even in exile, he was a master instructor. He eventually began going by his current nickname of Sensei. Life was good, and he had many excellent students.
The students weren't the only ones learning, though. Sensei was developing an interest in paratroopers. Using transports, they could deploy at a rapid rate and surprise unsuspecting opponents. Most Wars World militaries did not exploit this tactic. Sensei thought this was disappointing. He began specializing in paratrooping, even learning to parachute himself (at 90, no less)! Many nations, particularly Direnholm of Green Earth, found this instruction intriguing. The only barrier was that no CO on Wars World had powers to exploit paratrooper combat.
Much to his surprise and pleasure, that CO would be Sensei. He and Grimm were in Direnholm at the time. One day, they were training the paratroopers at the Bleissen command center. Orange Star battle copters flew over-and began firing! Sensei quickly realized those were no Orange Star craft because of their flight patterns. He ordered his pilots to attack. It was a heated engagement, and the Direnholmian copters took a pounding. Then Sensei felt a power surge from his soul. Not only did the Direnholmian copters begin pounding the opposing force, the paratroopers in them deployed at an inhuman speed. Sensei was wise enough to know what had happened. Apparently the powers he had passed on to Kanbei had kept his own CO Powers from developing. He was a full-fledged CO again.
Sensei aided the Direnholmian forces during the hunt for Sturm and stuck around afterwards. He left only when Hawke attacked Green Earth. Knowing Yellow Comet and Kanbei would definitely need help, Sensei came home to much applause and some questions about his activities. He used his new talents to expel Adder from his homeland and defeat Sturm. Afterwards, with only a few months of rest, he and Grimm traveled to Omega Land to fight for its freedom. The fighting left Sensei exhausted. He still considered the stress worth it.
Sensei has now come full circle: he is teaching future military officers and Sonja in his old dojo. The elderly CO has no regrets about his life. In his off time, though, he watches the progress of the Direnholmian space program. He was a big booster of it when he was in Green Earth. Now, Sensei watches for a different reason: he wishes to board the first Wars World spaceship and truly see the planet he has fought so hard to protect.

Personality

On the surface, Sensei is a stereotypical old coot: somewhat absent-minded, prone to reminiscing, and irritable at the younger generation. Most of this is quite true. As a man who has lived for over a century, even Sensei himself isn't surprised at his behavior. What it hides, however, is far more important.
Sensei has never lost any of his mental faculties. His absent-mindedness stems from having so many experiences; anyone would be hard-pressed to keep a long lifetime of information straight. In Sensei's case, these experiences include the founding of Yellow Comet, the rise of Steinhalt, the Cosmos War, and the more recent conflicts. He remembers nearly everything perfectly. As a result, scholars, including Sonja, clamor to interview him. Sensei doesn't make it easy. He greatly values his privacy. Indeed, Sonja is the only person he speaks to about his life.
Another important characteristic of Sensei is his dedication to his students, current and former. Sensei pushed them to the limit and never lost faith in them. In return, they paid him with their loyalty. Kanbei and Sonja honor their nation, and Grimm honors his soldiers. Sensei, however, has the utmost respect for all his students. This respect manifests in his rationing of advice. He would never show uncertainty in their abilities by advising them. Only when the situation is critical will he aid. He believes this fosters self-reliance and confidence.

Combat Abilities

In his youth, Sensei was remarkably like Kanbei: skilled in marksmanship, swordplay, and the martial arts. That isn't quite so true now. Sensei realizes that he is frail and delicate. In fact, he can barely fire a gun in his old age. He is wise enough to stay away from the front. Instead, he remains at bases, always surrounded by guards on loan from Kanbei.
Sensei's CO Powers are his true strength now. The soldiers they summon are divided into two groups. The first group consists of his crack paratroopers, who deploy from transport copters and specially made bombers. The second group is more interesting. Because of his great reputation, people come out of the cities when his paratroopers drop. They come out armed. In an effort to say that they served under "Yamamoto-san," they are willing to fight under his command. Sensei is always careful with this second group. After all, it wouldn't be good for his image if he sent them out as kamikaze troopers. (That would be more like Grimm.)
His CO Powers also work wonders on battle copter pilots. The same spirt that calls civilians to fight under Sensei's banner boosts the pilots' capabilities. In a manner very similar to Eagle's Lightning Strike, Sensei's powers allow them to make maneuvers that would normally be deadly for helicopters. They allow the copters to strike from unusual positions. Not only is this devastating to enemy forces, it provides cover for the ground units.

Relationships

Sensei maintains strong ties to all his high-performing students. This category includes Kanbei, Hachi, and Grimm. Kanbei was one of his two favored students. Even though he was the crown prince, he did not skate by on his noble title. Sensei found his diligence impressive. He found, and finds, Kanbei's devotion to bushido even more impressive. It's hard to maintain the old ways in the modern world. Yet Kanbei succeeds, and Sensei secretly congratulates him on it. He has never regretted his decision to infuse Kanbei with the Samurai Spirit.
Hachi is second only to Kanbei and Grimm in Sensei's view. Hachi is an expert logician and tactician whose MAPS consoles have revolutionized military education. He has also remembered the lessons of his youth. Sensei always looks forward to conversations with him. He also looks forward to conversations with Grimm. Brash, loud, and stubbornly determined, the assault commander always keeps Sensei on his toes. Sometimes he gives Grimm a hard time to see how he overreacts, but he believes the younger CO's kamikaze approach is necessary against Black Hole. That is why he is equal to Kanbei in his mentor's eyes.
Sensei considers one other person a true friend: Sonja. He knew of her mother's military genius and was surprised to see the princess surpass it. They now speak often. While he appreciates her respectful attitude and interest, Sensei worries that Sonja is becoming too attached to him. Sensei figures that he has five-at most, ten-years to live. He doesn't quite know how to express his mortality. For now, the old CO listens to Sonja's questions, answers them, and passes on his experiences to the next generation.

Next Survey: Grimm

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