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|In the mid 19th century, culture began to change in Japan. Houses of entertainment became popular. In such houses the role of the geisha changed, too. They entertained wealthy merchants and politicians with song and dance, their time measured with sticks of incense. Shumon House became one of the most popular of the entertainment houses in the entertainment capitals, the Gion and Pontocho districts in Kyoto. In addition to song and dance, gambling and opium were available to the highest paying and most discrete customers at Shumon House.
With the end of World War II, American occupation caused another major cultural shift. Japanese culture became largely Americanized and patronage of geisha diminished. At the same time, many women who were untrained in the arts of traditional geisha, took the name 'geisha' and serviced foreign men as prostitutes. Shumon House adapted to this new reality and made the easy transformation of houses of song, dance, drug, and gambling to houses of drug, gambling, and prostitution.
Through the years, Shumon quickly came to dominate the dark world of illicit entertainment. Shumon Houses opened in Paris and Las Vegas. From there other franchises opened in other cities where such entertainment was tolerated. And Shumon House became wealthy because, in addition to bringing top service in the business to their clients, they also attacked, indirectly, competitors.
An uberhuman bouncer, known as Number One, at the Shumon House of Kyoto rose to power during that time often enforcing Shumon's business with superhuman strength. A geisha whose ubergene activated also rose to dominate the dark business as Danryokusei while her son took a penchant to newer forms of entertainment that were legal, but also very profitable.
The three formed the Ichiban Corporation, funneling ill-gotten gains into two legal businesses, Ichiban Games and Ichiban Media. But, while these parts of the entertainment business were completely legal, they were no less cutthroat. To help Ichiban dominate all aspects of the various entertainment markets, Number One has brought into the fold two organizations, the Shinkou Ninja and the Brotherhood of the Finger Yakuza.
|Area of Operations|
|While most of its assets are in Japan, Ichiban has branched out over the globe in the past few decades. They have Shumon Houses in Japan (Kyoto), USA (Las Vegas, Nevada), France (Paris), Australia (Sydney), South Africa (Cape Town), Thailand (Phuket), and Brazil (Rio De Janeiro). The vast majority of its operations are in areas close to these bases, but all locales where the entertainment industry is prominent have seen Ichiban's activities.|
|Base of Operations:||Shumon House (Kyoto, Japan; Las Vegas, Nevada; Paris, France; Sydney, Australia; Cape Town, South Africa; Rio De Janeiro, Brazil)|
|The main goal of Ichiban is to make money. Because of the assets that Ichiban holds, both legal and illegal, they are set on achieving this goal through achieving dominance in all aspects of the entertainment business. Nothing is off limits to them: killing or blackmailing key corporate competitors or political enemies, intimidation, market manipulation, advertisement, and even instillation of addiction.|
|Ichiban follows the business philosophy of presenting a smiling, congenial face to the world above the table while stabbing competitors and enemies with poison knives beneath the table. Most of the world sees the Ichiban Corporation as just another multi-faceted entertainment company that is perhaps a step away from being an industry giant. But, those people in the entertainment business or those people interested in the regulation of any form of entertainment cringe at the name Ichiban.|
|Major Adversaries:||Fuchi-no-Kuroi (Dark Pool), Hero City, Heroes of Filmland, Law Enforcement, Shichinin-no-Yuushi, Senshudan One|