Imperial Japanese Anomalous Matters Examination Agency Ijame

The Imperial Japanese Anomalous Matters Examination Agency (IJAMEA) can be regarded as a product of Meiji Japan's modernization program, particularly with regards to the paranormal. Although multiple individuals and organisations (e.g. Shūshū-In, Bureau of Onmyō) had played significant roles in responding to the paranormal in pre-Meiji Japan, many in the Meiji oligarchy derided them as primitive due to the use of so-called "magic" and other traditional methods. Instead, they called for a new organization which valued the scientific model and represented the new modernized Japan. This was the primary impetus to create IJAMEA; to rebrand Japan's interactions with the paranormal.

Thus, representatives from the Imperial German Anomalous Matters Examination Agency (IGAMEA) was invited by the government to advise on paranormal matters under the frame of Western parascientific methodology. Chosen due to the compatibility with fukoku kyōhei and the Meiji oligarchy's favorable opinion of German military and legal systems, it effectively ascribed a military element in Japan's interactions with the paranormal during the 20th century.

Following IJAMEA's formation, IGAMEA advisors were sent to Japan to train the fledgling organization on multiple paranormal subjects. Japanese subjects already involved with the paranormal formed the first batch of IJAMEA's soldiers, including the younger members of the Bureau of Onmyō and Shūshū-In. This was especially detrimental to the Bureau's operations, contributing to its dissolution in 1901.A major activity of IJAMEA is Operation Hakutaku, a holistic collation of all existing documentation regarding anomalous entities and phenomena throughout Japan. Temples, shrines, libraries, and private collections inter alia throughout Japan were raided for any noteworthy knowledge pertaining to the paranormal. This policy extended to territories colonized by the Japanese, which were termed Operation Go-Hakutaku **(Taiwan) and **Operation Hakutaku III (Korean Peninsula). While initially praised by many organizations, later iterations of Operation Hakutaku were criticized for attempting to frame various anomalies under a Japanese interpretation, thus asserting Japanese dominance in the paranormal sphere.

During the Russo-Japanese War, IJAMEA was not mobilized in favor of the publicly-known Imperial Navy (IJN). The Veil Protocol meant that IJAMEA was perceived to be ill-suited for mobilization. This attitude led to an initial sense of animosity towards the Imperial Army (IJA) and IJN among IJAMEA.

Taisho (1912–1926): Consolidation

The early years of the Taisho period coincided with World War I, which allowed IJAMEA an opportunity to display its military prowess. Specifically, it assisted in the occupation of Kiautschou and suppressed attacks led by Chinese occultists. Although IJAMEA insisted that said occultists were backed by the Republic of China, substantial evidence has suggested that they were independent entities. Nevertheless, IJAMEA used those incidents to justify the necessity of the organization in Japan's military apparatus.

Despite the Veil Protocol, the secrecy shrouding the paranormal eventually became an opportunity. Throughout the 1920s, IJAMEA propagated the idea that only it could represent Japan's interests regarding paranormal affairs. This granted them a niche over both IJA and IJN, who contended to influence the civil government. Styling itself as Japan's representative regarding paranormal matters, IJAMEA collaborated with both the Foundation and Allied Occult Coalition (AOC). Nonetheless, IJAMEA has maintained its independence and its priority was always the Empire of Japan.

Initially limited in governmental influence, IJAMEA sought to exploit the surge in ultranationalist organizations (e.g. Black Ocean Society, Black Dragon Society) for its benefit. These groups were infiltrated and gradually became public facades for IJAMEA to hold influence in Japanese society. Despite IJA's initial apprehension, it and IJAMEA eventually found common ground, unified in nationalist rhetoric.

Prewar Showa (1926–1945): Total War

The ascension of Emperor Showa is said to mark the peak of Japanese militarism, and this extended to IJAMEA as well. The organization began to strengthen its hold over the paranormal community in the Japanese Empire, eventually ousting the Foundation and halting their involvement with the AOC. Shūshū-In saw the writing on the wall, and pre-emptively withdrew from public life – allowing it to be relatively free from Imperial control. By 1932, IJAMEA became the primary authority over all paranormal matters within the borders of the Japanese Empire.

Additionally, IJAMEA's growing ties with the IJA allowed them access to the puppet state of Manchukuo. IJAMEA platoons were mobilized to Manchukuo to conduct archaeological digs in the region, and initiated Operation Hakutaku IV.

During the Second Sino-Japanese War and the subsequent Pacific War, IJAMEA was as involved as the rest of the Japanese war machine. Throughout the war, they attempted to identify the applicability of various anomalous entities and items in combat – as implied by the high number of IJAMEA Operations formulated during the period. They had even requested artifacts from the emperor's Seimei Gallery, which were mostly granted without issue.

Among the initiatives spearheaded by IJAMEA, its most ambitious operation was its collaboration with IJA, the Special Autonomous Battalion or more commonly known as the Youkai Battalion. Manned purely by anomalous entities, the Youkai Battalion numbered over 500 strong at its height. Notably, officers tended to be humans (albeit, reality benders or thaumaturgists) whereas some enlistees were reported to be non-sapient. This project was relatively unsuccessful, due to any number of difficulties involved with wrangling and controlling anomalous entities, and was disbanded shortly before the end of the war.

Despite increasing collaboration between IJAMEA and the IJA, evidence suggests of independent paranormal initiatives controlled fully by the IJA. One such example is the rumored "Unit Negative Numbers", sometimes termed "IJA Special Medical Force".

In practice, many of IJAMEA's projects faced complications. Some (e.g. Youkai Battalion) were ineffective due to sheer unpredictability, while others (e.g. Operation Dakki) were irrelevant as either the IJA or IJN had fulfilled the same purpose. It can be said that IJAMEA's desire to prove itself over the other branches ultimately contributed to many poor decisions made by the leadership.

Following Japan's surrender in 1945, IJAMEA was dissolved, along with all other branches of the military. Due to strong insistence from world leaders involved with the paranormal sphere, the majority of IJAMEA documentation and assets were transferred to Foundation control.

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