The Equatorial Republic of the Yeosan Islands
여산섬 적도공화국 (Yeosani)
Motto: "By land and sea"
Anthem: "Song of the Ancestors"
|File:Yeosan Islands Orthographic.png|
|Government||Unitary semi-presidential republic|
• Prime minister
|Independence from Akiteiwa|
• Saekung Decree
|15 April 1903|
• Transition into a republic
|13 January 1952|
|19,478 km2 (7,520 sq mi)|
• 2020 estimate
|134.3/km2 (347.8/sq mi)|
|GDP (PPP)||2020 estimate|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2020 estimate|
• Per capita
|Currency||Yeosani Kkot (₭, 꽃) (YIK)|
|Time zone||UTC+8 (West Tethys Standard Time)|
yyyy년 m월 d일 |
yyyy. m. d. (CE)
The Yeosan Islands, officially the Equatorial Republic of the Yeosan Islands is an island nation in Kesh, comprising an volcanic archipelago made up of eleven islands and many smaller islets. The country lies 3,080 kilometres (1,913 miles) off the eastern coast of continental Kesh, with its closest neighbour being the Iles Saint Croix, an overseas territory of Chezzetcook, 894 kilometres (555 miles) to the east. The Yeosan Islands has a total population of 2.6 million people and covers a total land area of 19,478 square kilometres (7,520 sq mi). Its capital and largest city is Saekung, one of the largest cities in the Tethys Ocean.
The archipelago that today encompasses the Yeosani territory was first discovered and settled during the Bronze Age in the 2nd millennium BCE by proto-Yeosanic riverine communities from east Kesh known as Mae-in, that inhabited what is present-day Kodeshia and Selengeria. Decades after the initial arrival to the islands, the Mae-in began to form into sailing communities and chiefdoms, exploring and discovering islands across the west Tethys. However, due to the increasing presence of larger sailing people groups in the region such as the Komishimans, the Akitei, and the Austronesians, the Mae-in and their presence across the many islands were pushed further back to the Yeosan Islands, where the different chiefdoms would eventually end up disputing ownership over the available land left.
It was during this time that the Chiefdoms of Bael and Honja would become the dominating communities in the archipelago, splitting the insular territory amongst themselves and operating under different leadership. Bael, the larger of the two, in both land and population, would go on to become a regional power in the west Tethys Ocean, forming trading ties with the islands of Komishima, Novo Santa Helena, and Akiteiwa. The Chiefdom of Honja on the other hand, despite having the smaller territory, had flatter land and less people to accommodate, and therefore more space to grow food, which was then traded with Bael in exchange for materials from East Kesh. The two chiefdoms coexisted in a balanced relationship of trade and negotiations until the 2nd century CE, when Bael declared war on Honja to take over its islands and plantations. This conflict became historically known as the Battle of Honbae, during which Bael came out victorious.
The islands were eventually colonized in the 8th century when they were invaded by the Empire of Akiteiwa, into which they were later on integrated as one of its overseas territories, effectually replacing the Yeosani chief with the Akitei emperor as head of state, and renaming the territory to Kazanjima (Akitei: 火山島). At the start of the 20th century, Kazanjima gained legislative independence, adopting its own prime minister for the first time. Fifty years later in 1952, the country broke its final ties with the Akitei government by declaring its transition into a semi-presidential republic and adopting the Constitution of the Yeosan Islands, gaining complete autonomy as an independent state, and reclaiming the name 'Yeosan' (Yeosani: 여산)
Today, the Yeosan Islands is a rapid developing country with a GDP (PPP) of $82,885 billion. The country has one of the largest tourism industries in Kesh and the Tethys region, and since its independence has been a leader in the cosmetic industry and glass production. The country has increasingly strong economic and political ties with most east Kesh nations, and has been a member of KTEC (Kesh-Tethys Economic Cooperation) since 1996.
- See also: Yeosani language
The name Yeosan is an endonym that derives from the Yeosani words 여 (yeo), meaning 'many', and 산 (san), meaning 'mountain'. The meaning of the name is attributed to the country's main geographical feature of its many mountainous islands. The earliest recorded usage of this name in reference to the archipelago was found in a letter, from the 3rd century BCE, addressed to the Chief of Bael, signed by the Chief of Honja, with its complete form at the time being "the archipelago of the many peaks", indicating that the name was used originally as a regional and geographical denomination. The name was eventually lost to time as the islands adopted the name of Bael, and later on that of TBD, bestowed on them by Akiteiwa. The name was recovered by Yeosani historians in 1915, and later readopted as the state's name in 1952 with the establishment of the Equatorial Republic of the Yeosan Islands (Yeosani: 여산섬 적도공화국)
Arrival from East Kesh
During the Bronze Age, in the second millennium BCE, the first Yeosani civilizations emerged as small riverine communities on the shores of the Shimao river, present-day Selengeria and Kodeshia. This people group spoke proto-Yeosanic, the oldest known relative to the modern Yeosani language, and settled throughout an area no larger than 10,000 km2 (6,213 sq mi.). As a stateless community, the ethnolinguistic group that the Yeosani people at the time comprised was known in Guoyu as Shimaoren (事鉚人, meaning ‘people of the Shimao river’), and as Maein (매인) in Yeosani, and whose language was heavily influenced for much of its early existence by Guoyu and the northern dialects of Kodeshia. Being situated on both sides of the border between Kodeshi and Narangol territory, the Shimaoren eventually became subjugated to the ruling Kodeshi dynasty at the time and, with the development of writing, were forced to write proto-Yeosanic with the Guoyu script. At the start of the first millennium BCE, a large portion of the Shimaoren population fled Kodeshia by attempting to sail east across the Tethys Ocean, in hopes to find new land to settle.
Eastbound for the Tethys, it is estimated for nearly 500 people of the Shimaoren community to have fled continental Kesh in large sailing boats, following the Tethys Equatorial Countercurrent. A portion of this population arrived in what is present day Komishima, at the time inhabited by the native Komishimans who did not take kindly of the Shimaoren arrival, as evidenced by travel journals found in some of the surviving boats. It’s believed about a third of the Shimaoren population died at sea or in the Komishiman islands before an estimated three hundred people arrived in what is present-day Yeosan Islands’ territory.
According to Yeosani mythology, the Maein people were able to navigate the West Tethys Ocean and reach the Yeosani archipelago with the aid of Bi (비), the Yeosani god of voyages, acting through Jayang, who was the one to lead the Maein across the Tethys. Jayang is believed to have founded the Chiefdom of Jeonghae, considered the first Yeosani chiefdom to have existed, in the year 1500 BCE, comprising the entire island of Ilsan. Native stories tell that the Chiefdom of Jeonghae was ruled under the Bi dynasty for nearly 800 years before splitting into five smaller kingdoms in the year 700 BCE, however, written records documenting the existence of the Chiefdom of Jeonghae only date back as far as 900 BCE. At its height around 800 BCE, the Chiefdom of Jeonghae reached the nearby islands of Novo Santa Helena and Iles Saint-Croix to the north and west respectively, with the purpose of inhabiting them and expanding Maein influence across the West Tethys Ocean. Although Jeonghae was able to occupy smaller island and islets across the Tethys, the Maein were quickly outnumbered and displaced back to their home territory in the Yeosan archipelago. During this time, the strength and power of the ruling Bi dynasty, historically associated with divinity, was brought into question, and as consequence the dynasty was overthrown and in its place were formed five separate kingdoms, each ruling over a specific island or group of islands: Mannan, Sinbaek, Sinhae, Hyeje, and Yeonan.
Independence from Akiteiwa
In January of 1903, the government of Akiteiwa had begun to lose influence and hold on its territories in the Tethys Ocean, which had until that time been fully integrated within the country's political system and cultural sphere. In the case of the Yeosan Islands, this period of loosening authority, combined with the newly acquired legislative autonomy, made way for the rise of separatist movements and a rapid spread of republicanism as a major ideology among the native population. Many anti-monarchist protests took place during the months of February and March across all islands, with the largest of them being the Sit-in of Saekung on 3 March 1903, during which nearly 10,000 people sat down in the main street of the colony's capital as a form of peaceful protest for an independent Legislature.
On 15 April of 1903, the Royal and Imperial Diet of Akiteiwa passed the Saekung Decree, a legislative act that increased the sovereignty of the Territory of the Yeosan Islands, and in turn removed nearly all of the Akitei Legislature's authority over the Yeosani parliament, having the effect of making the Territory a sovereign nation in its own right. That very same year, the position of Prime Minister of the Yeosan Island was created, and only two months later, the Constitution of the Yeosan Islands was established as the supreme law. Akitei officials were repatriated and replaced with Yeosani ones, and all establishments that didn't carry Yeosani designations up until that point were renamed.
A few decades following its legislative independence, the Yeosan Islands became ground for a new wave of republican insurgent movements and growing anti-monarchist feelings among the general population, particularly outside of the main island of Ilsan where the presence of native Yeosani people was more prominent. This was especially solidified at the beginning of the 1950s with the start of Great Kesh War, in which Akiteiwa found itself heavily involved, as the population of the Yeosan Islands, and in particular its government, feared the possible retributions, consequence of the country's direct association with Akiteiwa. Toppled with this was the increasing military interest from the Akitei government in the Yeosan Islands as key territory during the war.
On 3 June 1951, a referendum was held by the Prime Minister at the time, Kim Baek-Son, backed by the Parliament in regards to the republican movement that had risen in the country. At 85% of the votes, the overwhelming majority of the population expressed to be in favor of a Yeosani head of state, with most of the opposition comprising virtually all citizens of Akitei origin. A week later, the Government of the Yeosan Islands announced, on 10 June 1951, to the government of Akiteiwa, that it intended to become a republic by 31 January 1952, resulting in the replacement of the hereditary title of Emperor of the Yeosan Islands, and the position of Prime Minister, with the elected positions of President of the Yeosan Islands and Vice President of the Yeosan Islands. This was not taken lightly by the Akitei government, who at the time was struggling to hold on to and maintain its influence in the region as the effects of the war drew in more international attention to the island territories.
In September of 1951, aware of the rising republicanism in the country, the government of Osorra, who was at the time, along with other socialist powers, in a direct opposition to the Akitei government, reached out to the Prime Minister of the Yeosan Islands offering military aid to the country in return for physical space to temporarily station naval forces as to extend Osorrai presence in the Tethys Ocean during the ongoing conflict. Fearing the possibility of annexation from Akiteiwa, the Yeosani government agreed to the presented terms and on 29 September 1951, the countries signed the Tethys Defense Agreement. On 1 November 1951, the first fleet of military Osorrai ships reached the island of Isan in the Hangu territory, and were stationed on the harbor of Gireun. Later that week, however, as more and larger ships arrived to the island nation, the Yeosani government handed over the entire island of Bujin, part of the Geunsan territory, to Osorra to use as temporary harbor for not only its ships but also as settlement for its men. The locals of Bujin showed little to no resistance, as the presence of Osorrai military had been promoted by the government as "the final step for liberation from Akiteiwa".
On 13 December 1951, six months after the announcement for the transition was made, the New Yeosani State Bill was presented in Parliament. Passed on 31 December, the Bill made amendments to the Constitution of the Yeosan Islands, introducing the office of the President of the Yeosan Islands to the replace the role of Emperor of the Yeosan Islands and Prime Minister. The following week, on 3 January 1952, the Prime Minister Kim Baek-Son nominated himself as temporary President of the Yeosan Islands until proper elections on 15 April of that same year, on the 26th anniversary of the country's independence, to which the Parliament agreed, and the general public showed no opposition given Baek-Son was already the holder of an elected position. He took office on 13 January 1952, and three months later on 15 April the country held its first presidential elections, electing former Member of Parliament Yoon Sun-Hyung as the first official President of the Yeosan Islands, and Hwang Tae-Byeok as Vice President.
The Yeosan Islands hosted the Osorrai navy, while simultaneously benefiting from its protection, until the end of the Great Kesh War in 1959.
The Yeosan Islands is a unitary semi-presidential republic, under a representative democratic form of government, divided into 6 territories. The Constitution of the Yeosan Islands or 패권말 (paekwonmal) is codified and establishes a republican form of government through its separation of powers into an Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branch.
The Executive branch of government of the Yeosan Islands comprises the President of the Yeosan Islands and Prime Minister of the Yeosan Islands, as head of state and head of government, respectively, the Ministerial Assembly, as well as all the ministers that form it.
The president of the Yeosan Islands is a 4-year term position of government, directly elected by all citizens aged 19 and above. As head of state, the president is the de jure commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, chairman of the Ministerial Assembly, is in charge of appointing all judges at the Supreme Court of Justice, at the discretion of the legislature, and a chairman at the lower house of Congress. Presidents can be elected for no more than two consecutive terms, for an undefined number of total times.
The prime minister of the Yeosan Islands is a 6-year semi-elected position, part of both the executive and legislative branches of government. They are the head of the political party or coalition to obtain the majority vote at the lower house of the Popular Congress. As head of government, the prime minister is tasked with the formation of the Ministerial Assembly (with the exception of one of its members), is the de facto commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, is in charge of passing or vetoing any and all laws approved by the legislature, as well as appointing a chairman at the upper house of Congress. Unlike the president, prime ministers can run for an unlimited amount of consecutive terms, however, they can be removed by vote of no confidence from either the president and/or two-thirds of both legislative chambers.
The Ministerial Assembly of the Yeosan Islands is an administrative body of government, comprising the aforementioned prime minister, as well as 12 ministers, which in turn are the heads of the national governmental departments known as ministries. Per constitutional law, the president of the Yeosan Islands is an honorary member of the Assembly, and must be informed of all ministerial decisions. The prime minister acts as the chairman of the Ministerial Assembly, jointly with the Minister of Domestic Affairs as deputy chairman. According to the Constitution, at least one-third of the Assembly’s composition must be filled by members of the opposition to the incumbent prime minister’s political party, and all of its members must be former congresspeople, with the exception of the Minister of Treasury, who, as the person responsible for the national budget and expenses, must hold no political affiliation to any party in Congress. Every prime minister, upon election, reserves the power to preserve or replace, whether partially or in its entirety, the Ministerial Assembly, as ministers hold no limit to their position in government.
The upper house, commonly referred to as the Senate, is formed by twelve members, or senators. The Senate is equally divided among the national territories, granting each of them two seats at the upper house. The senators have a six-year term position, and their chamber is renewed in thirds every two years. Senators hold the power to remove the head of government through impeachment after a successful vote of no confidence, are in charge of ratifying all international treaties signed by the Yeosan Islands, as well as decide whether or not they are binding, and appoint a War Administrator to head the National Security Council.
The lower house, or Representative Assembly, is formed by 56 members, also known as representatives. The Representative Assembly is proportionally divided among the six national territories based on each of their respective populations. Representatives have a four-year term, and their chamber is renewed in halves every 2 years. Members of the lower house hold the power to amend the Constitution, determine the juridical hierarchy of all international treaties ratified by the Senate, remove any government official through political trial, with the exception of the head of government, appoint the Attorney General, and declare war on foreign states.
During legislative sessions, held in two periods with two breaks in between (from March 31st to August 1st, and from August 31st to March 1st, respectively), both chambers are collectively responsible for the approving, dismissing and proposing of new laws, in other words, to legislate. The law-making process is fairly complex but can be narrowed down to a collaborative legal procedure during which any given bill can be presented at either chamber, once a bill is presented, it must be approved by the minimum required majority (in the Yeosan Islands this means, half of the all members of the chamber, plus one) before moving over to the opposite chamber. If the bill meets the minimum required majority in both chambers, it is then passed to the prime minister, who can choose to either pass or veto said bill, if the bill is passed it becomes integrated into the legal system as a law, the first day of the following month during which said bill was passed. Bills can be presented and proposed by members of congress, the head of state or government, or the citizens of the Yeosan Islands.
The judicial branch of government of the Yeosan Islands is comprised by a hierarchical system, at the head of which is the Supreme Court of Justice, followed by the Appellate Courts, and finally by the Lower Tribunals, or courts of first instance. All functionaries part of the Judiciary are responsible for upholding the Constitution to its status as supreme law and administer justice. To ensure this, the Judiciary remains almost entirely independent from the remaining branches of government, with a few exceptions.
The Lower Tribunals of the Yeosan Islands are the courts of first instance, and their chambers are composed of one judge and, under certain circumstances, a nine-people jury, made up of randomly selected citizens over the age of 19. Warranting some exceptions, the Lower Tribunals are the only courts where trials can be started and, in most instances, finished. If any given party after a trial does not agree with the conclusion reached by the judge and/or jury of the Lower Tribunal, this can be contested and presented at an Appellate Court.
Appellate Courts, or courts of second instance, are those where any given sentence by the judges of the Lower Tribunals can be contested and re-tried. Their chambers comprise three judges each, with very rare instances of a jury in which cases it would be formed by five randomly selected citizens over the age of 25. During appellate trials, the three judges of the chamber are tasked with listening and considering all facts presented to it, by both parties at trial, as well as the first instance judge. Decisions at appellate chambers are reached through a voting process, during which no judge can abstain, and all of them must be present. Appellate Courts tend to be the final instance for most civil trials, and only exceptional cases make it further up the judicial system.
As a court of last resort, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Yeosan Islands will hear all disputed resolutions made by the Appellate Courts, and reach the undisputed final conclusion of any given trial within Yeosani jurisdiction. Per constitutional law, the Supreme Court has jurisdiction at trials in their first instance pertaining to matters of foreign dignitaries, mass crimes against humanity, and all lawsuits made against a national government official. The Supreme Court’s composition is of seven judges, appointed by the president of the Yeosan Islands and approved by two-thirds of the Popular Congress, with no possibility of a jury. Supreme Court judges, also known as Supreme Justices, are tasked with not only their traditional responsibilities as a court, but are also regarded as the supreme interpreters of the constitution, and therefore have the power to perform constitutional review, during which they can deem certain laws passed by Congress as unconstitutional.
Supreme Court Justices hold life-tenure, and can’t be fired until they reach the age of 85, after which they are asked to step down from their position. The Supreme Court of Justice can’t be dissolved, and their members removed unless caught in flagrante delicto.
The Yeosan Islands Defense Forces are the armed forces of the Yeosan Islands. They have a total active military personnel of 350,000 people, duty and reserve, making up almost 13% of the total population, with an annual budget of ₭2.5 billion, or 2% of the total national GDP (PPP). The armed forces are divided into three branches: the Insular Army, the Navy, and the Air Corps. The supreme commander of the Defense Forces is the prime minister, who is advised by the Ministry of Defense. The prime minister is the de jure head of the Yeosani Military Assembly, a position unofficially delegated to the Military Chief.
The origins of the Yeosani armed forces are traced back to the Great Kesh War, during which ethnically Yeosani citizens of the imperial Akitei colony of Kazanjima organized into rebellious paramilitary forces of ethnic nationalist and separatist ideologies, with the main objective of removing all Akitei people from the islands, followed by the transition of Kazanjima from a colony into an independent sovereign state. These paramilitary organizations were known collectively as the Shibaranai (Akitei: 縛らない; Yeosani: 묶지않는; myukjianeun), from the Akitei word meaning "untethered", whose main source of financial support was the Osorrai government, as part of the Tethys Defense Agreement. With the end of the war, and the Yeosan Islands' successful transition into a republic, the Shibaranai were installed as the official armed forces of the country. Since 1963, the Yeosani government has upheld a system of mandatory conscription for all male citizens aged 20 to 30.
The Yeosan Islands is an archipelago comprising eleven volcanic islands located on the West Tethy Ocean, by which is surrounded on all sides, and lying entirely on the line of the Equator. Nearby are Tiperyn's and Akiteiwa's Komishima Islands to the west, and Chezzetcook's Iles Saint Croix to the east. The islands have a total surface area of 19,478 km2 (7,520 sq mi), making it the 124th largest country by total land area, and the 4th smallest country in the Kesh continent after Ellora, Kitoko, and Shimakawa. The islands, stretching from west to east, are categorized into two groups: the Major Islands to the west, and the Minor Islands to the east, separated by the Strait of Yong-gil.
Because of its location south of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), the islands are receptors to wind coming from their southeastern side, making this side of all the islands more humid and prone to precipitation, while casting a minor rain shadow effect on the northwestern side of the archipelago, making it drier in comparison. Because of this, the biggest concentration of flora on the island nation is situated along its southern side, which is also where most of the population is settled. Due to the islands' location, seasonal change is virtually non-existent, as the temperature remains stable all year round. Instead the country experiences changes in humidity.
Located between the convergent boundaries of the Akitei Plate and South Tethys Plate to the northwest, and the Boreal Plate and South Tethys Plate to the northeast, the Yeosan Islands is subject to a consistent frequency of earthquakes, raging anywhere from 0 to 7-8 in the Richter Scale, with the largest numbers being far less common. The islands are also, though in much less frequency, exposed to the possibility of tsunamis. The largest earthquake to have reached the islands took place a few miles north off the easternmost island of Cheunam in the territory of Geunsam in the year 1996, reaching 8.2 on the Richter Scale, after which the country entered a state of tsunami alert. The Yeosan Islands also lies directly over a volcanic hotspot, signifying a constant overflow of magma and lava that is dumped into the ocean from the country's volcanoes.
- Main article: Economy of the Yeosan Islands
The Yeosan Islands is a mixed economy, with a total GDP at Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) of $82.885 billion, and a GDP (PPP) per capita of $62,911. As of 2020, the service sector makes up the largest contributor to the total GDP at nearly $58.831 billion (70.98%), followed by agriculture at $15.333 billion (18.5%), and industry at 9.531 billion (11.5%).
The history of the Yeosan Islands' economy can be traced through a succession of dominant industries: sandalwood, whaling, sugarcane, pineapple, tourism and education. Since its transition into a republic in 1952, tourism has been the largest industry, contributing up to 34.6% of the GDP in 1992, despite efforts to diversify. The country's gross output for 2023 was $68 billion; per capita income for Yeosan Islands residents in 2020 was $62,911. Yeosani exports include food and clothing, however these industries play a small role in the Yeosani economy, due to the shipping distance to viable markets, such as the eastern states of Kesh and Artemia. The country's food exports include coffee, macadamia nuts, pineapple, livestock, sugarcane and honey.
By weight, honey bees are about the country's most valuable export. According to the Yeosan Islands' Ministry of Agriculture, agricultural sales were $280.9 million from diversified agriculture, $150.8 million from pineapple, and $84.1 million from sugarcane. The Yeosan Islands' relatively consistent climate has attracted the seed industry, which is able to test three generations of crops per year on the islands, compared with one or two on the mainland. Seeds yielded $315 million in 2017, supporting 5,200 workers.
As of December 2015, the national unemployment rate was 3.6%. Due to the geographical isolation, the Yeosan Islands has been considered one of the most expensive places to live, taking into account factors such as increased travel costs for flights, additional shipping fees, and the loss of promotional participation opportunities for customers outside mainland Kesh. Certain online stores in the continent won't ship to the Yeosan Islands, and oftentimes, citizens must get their packages delivered to Akiteiwa, to then later be brought back to the islands by mailing companies who will charge an extra shipping fee. Despite having one of the largest GDPs per capita in the world, the Yeosan Islands has fallen victim over the years of an increasing wage gap in its population.
- Main article: Tourism in the Yeosan Islands
For much of its modern history, the Yeosan Islands has always relied on tourism as its main source of income. As of 2018, the tourism industry represented nearly 70% of the service sector at nearly $45.255 billion, or nearly half of the country's total GDP. Tourism became increasingly common in the country during the 1970s, as the Yeosan Islands not only began to gain international recognition, but also to be included in political and economic discussions as the Tethys Ocean became an important factor in international politics.
At the start of the 1980s, the Ministry of Tourism of the Yeosan Islands began to mass produce commercial and printed touristic ads to be broadcasted and distributed in the mainland as to draw in tourists from East Kesh nations, such as Kodeshia, Beifang, and Akiteiwa. However, the "touristic boom" didn't occur until the 90s decade, when the country saw increasingly large waves of citizens from parts of the world that the government hadn't tried to cater to. Due to its location on the Equator, and lack of a seasonal change, the Yeosan Islands receives tourists all year round from both hemispheres.
As the tourism industry grew in size and income, the government of the Yeosan Islands started what were known as Host Projects, that consisted of expanding the capacity of the large cities to harbor not only its residence but also tourists. Today, all major cities have the physical space to accommodate up to 10,000 extra people, with the biggest example of this being the city of Hwayang, which, during low touristic season, loses up to 15% of its population.
As of 2020, the Yeosan Islands had a total population of 1,317,494 people, 90% of whom lived in the territories of Ilsan and Hangu. The country's official language is Yeosani, spoken by everyone in the country with very few little exceptions. Despite being one of the smallest nations in population and surface area, the Yeosan Islands is the only sovereign island nation in the Tethys Ocean.
The last census in the country took place in October 2020, ten years after its previous census in 2010, and it was conducted by the Department of Population, part of the Ministry of Homeland. Censal results tend to take between one and two weeks to be publicly announced due to the often delayed communication in between the islands, and the insistence from the government to keep the process manual as opposed to electronic. Almost 1,082,000 people live in the islands of Ilsan and Hangu alone, making up for nearly 90% of the total population, with the remaining 10% living in the rest of the islands, most of whom are concentrated on the territories of Jeongseom and Jeonyeok.
Largest Cities and towns in Yeosan Islands
Department of Population
The Yeosan Islands has two official religions: Heuksaeng and Michigami. Heuksaeng is the native religion of the Yeosan Islands, with around 89% of the population adhering and practicing it on a daily basis. Michigami is the major religion of Akiteiwa, and it was introduced to the Yeosan Islands during colonial times. About 8% of the population follows this religion, particularly those of Akitei origin. The remaining 3% are comprised of irreligious persons, or those adhering to other East Keshian religions, such as Daoism or Confucianism.
Heuksaeng, from the Yeosani word 흙생 (meaning 'life of the earth') is the main and native and religion of the Yeosan Islands. It's a polytheistic religion based around the idea of sentient nature and Luck. Followers of Heuksaeng pray and pay their respects to the Order of the Eight Gods, each of which represents a different aspect of nature, society, and life (Life, Death, Health, Wealth, Crops, Voyages, Peace, and Conflict). In its beginnings, people would worship the Gods in temples the second Tuesday of each month, to ask for the blessings of the following month, and although this remains a common practice among the most orthodox followers of the religion, most people have adopted a more “casual” approach, praying and asking for a specific God in a given situation (e.g.: praying to the God of Voyages before a trip).
The head of Heuksaeng is the Gathering of Bukko, an eight-people group consisting of the descendants of the Witnesses of Bukko. The Witnesses are the first group of people to have seen the Eight Gods' doing, a trait that is believed to be passed down in hereditary fashion. The Witnesses formed the Gathering of Bukko sometime around the year 800 BCE, named after the location of the sighting, and wrote the book of Malsaeng, the text that acts as the main source for religious texts in Heuksaeng. Since the death of the first Witness, their direct descendants have been taking over their position in the Gathering for centuries. The deities of the Heuksaeng pantheon are the following:
|Saeng (생)||Life, Spring, Fauna, Childbirth, Pregnancy, Marriage, Beginnings, Sun||Tree||Temples, Hospitals, Nurseries|
|Ae (애)||Death, Night, Autumn, Funerals, Afterlife, Time, Endings, Moon||Leafless tree||Graveyards, Museums|
|Cheong (청)||Health, Home, Youth, Air, Medicine, Family, Science||Eye||Homes, Hospitals, Laboratories|
|Don (돈)||Wealth, Hunting, Luck, Fortune, Work, Commerce||Key||Banks, Offices|
|Gyun (균)||Harvest, Soil, Summer, Flora, Abundance, Earth, Art||Sickle||Restaurants, Supermarkets, Galleries, Parks|
|Bi (비)||Voyages, Storms, Trade, Weather, Water, Communication, Language||Wooden wheel||Vehicles, Embassies|
|Hwa (화)||Conflict, Torture, Duty, War, Winter, Military, Fire, Victory, Blacksmiths, Wine||Spear||Weapons|
|Eui (의)||Peace, Governance, Relationships, Justice, Education, Wisdom||Scales||Government buildings, Schools|
At its core, Heuksaeng seeks to pay tribute to the Gods it believes in through prayer, offerings, sacrifice, festivities and religious acts. Haeng people (followers of Heuksaeng), believe that nature is to be protected and sacred as to not anger the Order of the Eight, and that this will grant Luck to the faithful in turn. Unlike in most western civilizations, the concept behind Luck in Heuksaeng isn't perceived in correlation with random chance, but instead as an accumulative quality that any person can have and that it increases with the years, as long as one remains faithful, and that will draw experiences to the individuals, be it positive or negative, based on the Divine Plan the Gods have for each person. This, in turns, creates the societal and cultural idea that free will is essentially non-existent, and that all people have a predetermined path to follow, one that's been decided by their Gods.