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Overview of Yu Dao
玉島
Yu Dao
Physical information
Location

Western Earth Kingdom, United Republic of Nations

Government
Position
  • Large town
  • Leader in metalworking
  • One of the wealthiest cities in the Fire Nation (c. 30 BG - 101 AG)
Religious authority

Fire Sages (formerly)

Currency

Yuan

Ruler
  • Coalition government[2] (as of 102 AG)
  • Mayor Morishita (formerly)
Administrator
  • Earth Kingdom (formerly)
  • Fire Nation (formerly)
  • United Republic of Nations
First appearance

The Promise Part 1

Yu Dao was a former Fire Nation colony located in the western Earth Kingdom. It was the scene of great tension during the decolonization efforts that followed the Hundred Year War due to the difficulty involved in handling the removal of Fire Nation colonials, many of whom had lived in the town for generations. The mayor of the town at the end of the war was Morishita.[1] Along with all the other Fire Nation colonies throughout the Earth Kingdom, Yu Dao became part of the United Republic of Nations after the end of the war.[3]

History

Yu Dao was the oldest of the Fire Nation colonies in the Earth Kingdom; the city was settled before the beginning Hundred Year War by ordinary families as part of the Fire Nation's initial campaign of expansion.

Yu Dao city streets

The streets of Yu Dao bustled with citizens of both the Fire Nation and Earth Kingdom.

Prior to Fire Nation colonization, Yu Dao was a poor backwater village. When the Fire Nation settlers came to the area, however, that all changed. Together with the Earth Kingdom civilians already living in the area, the Fire Nation created a thriving metalworking industry which evolved into one of the best in the world. The tiny village grew into a thriving, cosmopolitan city. Through the unique blending of Earth Kingdom and Fire Nation culture, Yu Dao became one of the wealthiest cities in the world. According to Fire Lord Zuko, the colony of Yu Dao made the finest metal of any nation.[1]

In 100 AG, at the end of the Hundred Year War, Earth King Kuei and Fire Lord Zuko agreed to start the Harmony Restoration Movement, aimed at the removal of all Fire Nation colonies from Earth Kingdom territory. However, Yu Dao posed a particular problem due to its age, as many families had lived in the city for over one hundred years and had put down deep roots in the area. Marriage between Earth Kingdom and Fire Nation citizens was common, causing Earth Kingdom and Fire Nation citizens to feel a kinship toward one another beyond their nationality. This led to conflict among Avatar Aang, Fire Lord Zuko, and Earth King Kuei.[1]

This conflict escalated in 101 AG. The Earth Kingdom Army and the Freedom Fighters attempted to forcefully remove the Fire Nation colonists from Yu Dao. A group of Yu Dao residents had formed the Yu Dao Resistance, however, and resisted this plan. Their situation was hopeless at first, but soon after Fire Lord Zuko arrived with his troops in order to protect the city. Mediating talks quickly broke down, whereupon the opposing forces began the battle for Yu Dao. Eventually, Avatar Aang entered the Avatar State to separate the colony from the surrounding lands and ended the battle. Afterward, the involved parties agreed to resume negotiations.[4] After intensive talks,[5] it was decided to let the people of Yu Dao elect a new coalition government in 102 AG, representing both Earth Kingdom and Fire Nation citizens.[2] Eventually, the United Republic of Nations was created, which Yu Dao became a part of.[3]

Layout and description

Yu Dao is located in a wide, flat valley which is bounded by rocky terrain on all sides. The city is enclosed by a sandstone wall with one opening which serves as the gateway to the city. Yu Dao's streets are lined by predominantly low rise buildings which are built in a unique style that combines Earth Kingdom and Fire Nation architecture. The city is very compacted as the surrounding terrain limits Yu Dao's building space.

A wide, central pathway runs from Yu Dao's gate to the back of the city. The avenue serves as the main thoroughfare of the metropolis, and many smaller streets branch off of it. There is also a canal that runs through the city.

Businesses include: the Green Flame Inn, the Green Blaze Inn, Old Chen's Blacksmith Shop, Yu Dao Grocery store, Tasty Hotpot Restaurant, and the Sweet Aroma Teahouse. Other buildings include the Morishita home.

Culture

Yu Dao smithy

Yu Dao's combination of native Earth Kingdom and Fire Nation residents allowed the city to excel in metalwork.

Unlike most Fire Nation colonies, Yu Dao advocated a form of public equality, allowing Earth Kingdom citizens to live among Fire Nation citizens freely without any form of oppression; this appeared to be effective at a very high level, as earthbenders were able to freely practice their bending alongside firebenders without any fear of persecution. This extended to family life as well, as marriage between Fire Nation immigrants and Earth Kingdom natives was not uncommon.

Yu Dao's unique blend of Fire Nation and Earth Kingdom architecture gave it a distinct feel, as the architecture of the city represented a merging of both nations' styles of building. The Earth Kingdom citizens generally occupied a second-class position in the city's society; however, this was not universally the case, as the Fire Nation mayor's wife, Mrs. Morishita, was an earthbender, as was her daughter. Fire Lord Zuko observed that even so, the people were better off than they had been before the colony's foundation.[1]

Trivia

  • Yu Dao was heavily based on Qingdao, a city in China that was a German colony from 1898 to 1918.[6]
  • The town's name was first conceived in Chinese and later translated into English. Yang chose the two characters that compose the name, 玉島, for two reasons: , meaning "jade", calls to mind the color green, which "explicitly [ties] the city to its Earth Kingdom roots." As mentioned above, the city of Qingdao (青島) was a large influence on Yu Dao, and it also played a hand in the city's name – like Yu Dao, Qingdao was occupied by foreign powers and reflects this occupation in its mixed culture. , the second character of Qingdao, was used for Yu Dao's name as well.[7]
  • Gurihiru took urban China and minor Japanese touches as reference for Yu Dao's architecture.[7]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene (w), Sasaki of Gurihiru (p, i), Kawano of Gurihiru (col), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (let). The Promise Part 1 (January 25, 2012), Dark Horse Comics.
  2. 2.0 2.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene (w), Sasaki of Gurihiru (p, i), Kawano of Gurihiru (col), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (let). The Rift Part 1 (March 5, 2014), Dark Horse Comics.
  3. 3.0 3.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim, Ryu, Ki Hyun (directors). (April 14, 2012). "Welcome to Republic City". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 1. Nickelodeon.
  4. DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene (w), Sasaki of Gurihiru (p, i), Kawano of Gurihiru (col), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (let). The Promise Part 3 (September 26, 2012), Dark Horse Comics.
  5. DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene (w), Sasaki of Gurihiru (p, i), Kawano of Gurihiru (col), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (let). The Search Part 1 (March 20, 2013), Dark Horse Comics.
  6. GeneYang.com "A:TLA Behind the Scenes"
  7. 7.0 7.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene (w), Sasaki of Gurihiru (p, i), Kawano of Gurihiru (col), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (let). The Promise Library Edition (February 20, 2013), Dark Horse Comics.

See also

Start a Discussion Discussions about Yu Dao

  • The Colony in "The Avatar and the Fire Lord"

    5 messages
    • It's possible. That would make Republic City over 200 years old. Here's the math... 25 years     (the years between time Roku sees ...
    • well it seemed that that there was only one colony at the time and Yu Dao was the first so it has to be.

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