What time period is Golden Kamuy set in?

Answered by Robert Flynn

Golden Kamuy is set in the early 20th century, specifically after the conclusion of the 1904–1905 Russo-Japanese War. This war was a significant conflict between the Russian Empire and the Empire of Japan, fought primarily over territorial disputes in East Asia. The war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Portsmouth in September 1905, which solidified Japan’s victory and established its dominance in the region.

The story takes place in Hokkaidō, the northernmost island of Japan. Hokkaidō is known for its vast wilderness, harsh climate, and rich indigenous Ainu culture. At the time, Hokkaidō was still relatively undeveloped compared to the rest of Japan, with its rugged terrain and sparse population. It was a land of great potential and untapped resources, attracting both Japanese settlers and outsiders seeking fortunes.

Hokkaidō, during this period, was transitioning from a frontier region to a more civilized society. The Russo-Japanese War had brought significant changes to the island, as it served as a strategic base for the Japanese military. The war effort had led to the influx of soldiers, merchants, and opportunists, transforming the landscape and people’s way of life.

In Golden Kamuy, the aftermath of the war is palpable. The story delves into the consequences of conflict, exploring themes of survival, identity, and the search for hidden treasures. It portrays the struggles of war veterans, indigenous Ainu people, and others who have been affected by the changing times.

As the protagonist, Saichi Sugimoto, embarks on his journey to find a hidden Ainu gold treasure, he encounters various characters with diverse backgrounds, each representing different facets of this era. The story provides a glimpse into the social, political, and cultural dynamics of Hokkaidō during this transformative time.

In my personal experience, I have always found historical fiction like Golden Kamuy to be a fascinating way to learn about a specific time period. Through engaging storytelling and well-researched details, the series transports readers to a different era, allowing them to immerse themselves in the historical context.

Golden Kamuy is set in the post-Russo-Japanese War period, primarily in Hokkaidō. It captures the essence of this time, painting a vivid picture of a region in transition and exploring the human experiences that shaped it.