by Max Barry

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The United Socialist Federation of
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8

Chairwoman Oomiya Sakura's Residence

Overview
The Residence of the Chairperson, also known as Chairperson's Palace (主席御所, Shyuseki Gosho) is the official living space of the Chairperson of the United Socialist Federation of Sanghyeok. Built in 2015 on orders of the then Chairman Chitose Kentarou, it was widely refurbished in the years 2016 to 2017 by current Chairwoman Oomiya Sakura. The Residence of the Chairperson is located in the direct centre of Golden District, which itself is in the middle Chu'o Tokai, the central capital. The Residence of the Chairperson, if one is to include the land within the boundaries of the walls, is about 157.5 hectares in size, making it one of the largest residential areas in the entire United Socialist Federation. The area within the boundaries above, and in particular the gardens, is known as the Capital Gardens (都会御苑, Tokai Gyoen).

Layout
The construction and design of the Residence of the Chairperson was heavily based on the second Imperial Palaces from Kyoto (京都御所, Kyoto Gosho), which itself was influenced by designs from the Tang Dynasty capital of Chang'an (長安). The Residence of the Chairperson, including the whole complex, is enclosed by walls with a north-south length of 1750 metres and an east-west width of 900 metres. The entire areas is further enclosed by a moat of width 30 metres, and depth 10 metres. Due to the relatively flat terrain of the surroundings compared to the height of the complex, the landscape from within the complex's buildings looking out towards the city is spectacular, and has been the inspiration for many poems and works of art.

The complex itself includes very few buildings for its size, with only one for residence, 2 for administration, 3 for shrines, 2 for personal, and 3 for other uses. However, there is an emphasis on nature instead; it includes 3 artificial gardens, 2 artificial streams, 5 large ponds, and over 1,000 trees of various ages. The entire complex is surrounded by a moat and an outer wall. Within the outer wall are the middle areas, including large areas for nature and the large ponds. There is then a transition from the middle area to the inner area, through another wall, before arriving at the inner area. The area enclosed by the inner wall is much smaller than that by the outer wall, the north-south length is about 500 metres and the east-west width is 300 metres. The inner area holds the the only residence building, 2 personal building, the central shrine, and 2 administration buildings.

A layout of the area in general (not including inner area) can be seen below.


List of Gates, Ponds, and Buildings

There are a total of 8 gates in the inner and outer walls combined, which are listed below.

Name

Meaning

Location

Notes

長春門 Choshunmon

Gate of Eternal Spring

West, Outer

長華門 Chokamon

Gate of Eternal Beauty

West, Inner

晨明門 Shinmeimon

Gate of Daybreak

East, Outer

Named because it is the first gate to see the rising sun.
In fact due to its position, it is one of the first areas in the whole of Chu'o Tokai to see daybreak.

仁政門 Jinseimon

Gate of Benevolent Ruling

East, Inner

While not planned originally, it was later constructed on orders of Chairwoman Oomiya

建文門 Kenbunmon

Gate of Creating Civility

North Outer

Originally '惠政門' or Gate of Virtuous Ruling.
It was changed by Chairwoman Oomiya due to similarity with newly constructed '仁政門' or Gate of Benevolent Ruling.

知徳門 Chitokumon

Gate of Knowledge and Virtue

North, Inner

永安門 Eianmon

Gate of Perpetual Peace

South, Outer

It is the 'main entrance' to the Chairwoman's Residence, and didn't have a name until Chairwoman Oomiya chose one in 2017.
The name was chosen to reflect the importance of peace to Chairwoman Oomiya.

同慶門 Doukeimon

Gate of Universal Celebration

South, Inner


The Bridge of Thousand Leaves (千葉橋, Chibabashi) crossing the river that surrounds the Chairwoman's Residence, leading to the Gate of Daybreak (晨明門, Shinmeimon).


The inner pair of main gates are named 同慶門 (Doukeimon), meaning "Gate of Universal Celebration". 千秋殿 (Senshuden, "Hall of a Thousand Autumns") can be seen in the distance.

There are a total of 5 ponds in the middle and inner areas combined, which can be seen below.

Name

Meaning

Location

Notes

映月池 Eigetsuchi

Pond of Moon Reflection

Inner, East

Chairwoman Oomiya's favourite pond.
She often writes poetry here in the evenings.

日光池 Nikkochi

Pond of Sunlight

Outer, West

Directly mirroring the position of the Pond of Moon Reflection on the East.
It is popular to watch the sunset here on New Year's Eve.

心音池 Shin'onchi

Pond of Heartbeat-Sound

Inner, North

So named because it is one of the quietest places in the residence.

百花池 Hyakachi

Pond of Many Flowers

Outer, East

小瀬の池 Kose no Ike

Pond with Small Current

Outer, West

Named because of the current from the stream that goes into it.


One of the quietest places in the entirety of Chu'o Tokai is 心音池 (Shin'on-chi, meaning "Pond of Heartbeat Sound")


Autumn red leaves in one of the many gardens. The presence of seasons can be felt strongly in the Chairwoman's Residence, with each season distinct due to natural changes being apparent.

Staff

Working at the Chairperson's Residence is seen as a great honour by many citizens of the United Socialist Federation of Sanghyeok. Although there are no special benefits or additional pay (housing, healthcare, and income are guaranteed for all citizens anyways), many people still apply to join the staff at the Chairperson's Residence. While Chairman Chitose had over 750 personal staff and 300 security, there has been a great decrease in the staff numbers under the orders of Chairwoman Oomiya. She also instated the new practical and written exam for becoming an assistant, which all assistants and staff must take to receive permission to work in the Chairperson's Residence.

Even before taking the exam, there are a number of qualifications that must be met. In 2019, over 30,000 people, including 20,000 from Chu'o Tokai were given permission to take the exam. Of the 30,000 who applied, 10,000 moved to the first-interview stage, 500 to the second-interview stage, and 100 passed the second practical and written exam. Of the final 100 persons, only 14 were accepted: 5 chefs, 1 doctor, 4 personal assistants, 2 environment and building maintenance workers and 2 secretaries. This makes becoming an assistant for Chairwoman Oomiya about 20 times more difficult than entering a League of Eight university. Even of those accepted, only 5 or 6 every year gain the personal approval of Chairwoman Oomiya to work in the inner area, and perhaps only 1 of them will ever receive permission to enter the residences.

The total staff in the Chairperson's Residence is about 170. There are 5 doctors, 20 chefs, 30 personal assistants and 10 secretaries/administrative assistants. There are also 50 assistants maintaining greenery, environment and buildings, 30 security, and 20 miscellaneous staff. Of those 20 are given permission to enter the inner area: 5 chefs, 2 doctors, 3 secretaries, 3 for maintaining the buildings and greenery, and 7 personal assistants. Even fewer are allowed into Chairwoman Oomiya's residence areas.

Public Access

Although the Chairpersons' Residence is usually closed off during most of the year, there are certain days when the public is allowed free entry into the grounds. On those days, any citizen is permitted to enter through either the East or West gates, and spend some time in the middle area. These include New Year's Eve on 31 December (fireworks), New Year's Day on 1 January, Cherry Blossom Viewing Day on 1 April (there are many cherry blossoms in the gardens), Peace Day on 1 July, and Chairwoman Oomiya's birthday on 8 October. Chairwoman Oomiya's birthday is particularly popular, as each year many thousands of well-wishers line up outside the gates and place cups of pudding or parfait on the ground. Although most of the parfait is eventually given to children at the end of the day, Chairwoman Oomiya usually samples a few parfait and pudding, and gives her opinion on which one is the best. It is said that the person who made the best parfait will be blessed with good health in the next year, and the person who made the best pudding will achieve their true dreams. For this reason year after year the crowds only get larger in celebration of Chairwoman Oomiya's birthday on 8th of October.


Cherry blossoms just outside the Gate of Benevolent Ruling. People from all over enter line up to view their blooming on 1st of April each year, in one of the few times the Chairwoman's Residence is open to visitors.

Access to Inner Area
However, even on those days the public is not allowed to enter through the main gates to the south (Gate of Perpetual Peace and Gate of Universal Celebration). Entering through the main gates is reserved strictly for Chairwoman Oomiya herself and any of her private guests. Furthermore, entry into the inner area remains forbidden for the public at all times. In fact, the only people allowed into the inner area are less than 20 of Oomiya's most trusted assistants and staff. It is an unspoken rule that even the Premier, Supreme Committee members and those of the People's Congress are not allowed to enter the inner area without Chairwoman Oomiya's permission. Even fewer people are allowed into the buildings themselves: it is believed that only 1 chef, 2 personal assistants, 1 doctor and 2 secretaries have been given permission by the Chairwoman to enter her residences.

There have only been two foreigners allowed in through the inner gates: Julienne and Sylvia, the rose-twins from Azur Deutschland during their visit to meet Chairwoman Oomiya. They are also one of the handful of people who were given permission by Chairwoman Oomiya to walk through the main entrance, under the Gate of Perpetual Peace and Gate of Universal Celebration.

Traditions
As mentioned prior, it is very rare for anyone to be granted permission to enter through the main gates, the Gate of Perpetual Peace and Gate of Universal Celebration. However, there are rules that even Chairwoman Oomiya herself follows when inside the residence. The most important one is that it is considered unlucky to walk in the middle of the main path, since that is believed to be reserved for the Gods themselves.

The Inner Area
As mentioned prior, there are six buildings in total in the inner area of the Chairperson's Residence. There is a single residence building, 2 personal buildings, the central shrine, and 2 administration building. The names of those buildings can be seen below.

Name

Meaning

Purpose

Notes

詩文殿 Shibunden

Hall of Poetry and Prose

Personal

Named because it stores Chairwoman Oomiya's poems and poem-writing equipment.
She also has a small study filled with books there.

瑞祥神社 Zuisho Jinja

Shrine of Good Fortune

Shrine

瑠璃殿 Ruriden

Hall of Blue-Colour

Personal

This building has vibrant blue paint on the roof, and hence has the name 'Hall of Blue-Colour'.

千秋殿 Senshuden

Hall of a Thousand Autumns

Administration and Ritual

和気殿 Wakiden

Hall of Harmonious Atmosphere

Residential

安政殿 Anseiden

Hall of Peaceful Rule

Administration

The main building of administration, where Chairwoman Oomiya makes official announcements to the nation twice per year.


Chairwoman Oomiya's poetry storage and library, 詩文殿 (Shibunden, meaning "Hall of Poetry and Prose")

Source
Link京都御所中立売休憩所
LinkWikipedia: 京都御所
Link@wasabitool
Link@haletoke

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