The giant monsters of the island are the main factor in many decisions made on the island. Governing bodies always have to consider the impact any of their decisions make on the islands flora and fauna (since both have a nasty tendancy to bite back if they are overly distrupted). Because of this, the island is made up of lots of isolated towns in which people lead very simple lifestyles. Communities are typically based around skills such as fishing, farming, forestry and mining although some people do make a living from more complex professions such as ship building and engineering.
The garments worn by the islanders are all very similar to traditionally oriental clothing (real world) and share some elements with Azuma.
Although humans are the primary civilised species on the island they do not inhabit it alone. Akupara's rivers and lakes are inhabited by another intelligent race known as the Kappa. As an amphibious species, the Kappa are just as happy on land as they are in water but misunderstandings between the Kappa and the island humans has led to most human towns being very wary of the Kappa with some even refusing to allow them access to towns at all. As such, the Kappa are rarely seen far inland and usually keep to their underwater civilizations. Human towns, frightened by the Kappa, typically place warning signs in areas where Kappa could emerge from and island parents even go as far as warning their children to stay clear of town wells, fearing that they might be kidnapped.
Whether the Kappa genuinely do engage in such activities remains a mystery since the misunderstandings between humanity and the Kappa took place long ago and no one has since attempted to remake direct contact with them. Thus, the mystery and suspicion surrounding the Kappa remains...
The architecture on Akupara Island is very Oriental in appearance with multiple roofed buildings being a re-occuring theme. Most of the islands buildings are built from wood and canvas on the outside with paper used in the interior. Bamboo is frequently used for decoration and water features which are incredibly popular on the island. Some buildings make use of metal and masonry but these natural resources are scarce on the island and they are often situated close to the nesting grounds of the monsters, thus making mining a very hazardous task. Materials like stone and metal are typically imported. The buildings on Akupara Island are incredibly decorative and are painted in fairly lively colour schemes. Since both the architecture and clothing of Akupara Island are very similar to Azuma it could be possible that the two were once connected long before the turtle island split away from the mainland.
Despite the re-occuring threat of giant monsters being distrupted by noise the Akupara Islanders have come up with very innovative ways of providing machines with power whilst keeping noise down, very often to a simple ticking sound. Almost all of the machines on the island are powered by clockwork mechanisms and the islanders have become so profficient at making them that for nearly 5 decades the Akuparian people have been operating aircraft. Aircraft are a crucial part of Akuparian life due to the fact that certain parts of the island are airbourne and are inaccessible by any other means other than climbing the giant chains that tether them to the ground. Aircraft are also used to trade with the outside world. Due to the large amount of land that the monsters occupy, the construction of runways has been impossible. This has forced the Akuparians to primarily operate airships and autogyros although floatplanes are operated around the coastline. Although many attempts have been made at constructing helicopters; powered rotors remain too noisy, leading to the destruction of the inventor, his machine and his surrounding town and community by giant monster. Needless to say, such endevours have since been abandoned...
Many of the towns on Akupara Island are coastline towns where people make their living by fishing. As such, boats have long been a part of Akuparian life. Those who are willing to sail the seas around Akupara Island are considered quite herioc since the monsters that live in the sea surrounding the island are arguably some of the scariest, primarily because they are amongst the largest known to the islanders. Although clockwork motorboats are used by the islanders many people still prefer to use sailboats for fishing. The most popular sailboat design used by the Akuparians is the windmill sailboat which is a boat, typically of catamaran or trimaran design, which has a large mast with a windmill attached to it. The windmill is free to turn into the wind as it pleases and is connected to a paddle wheel at the back of the boat through drive shafts and belts.
Clockwork submarines have also been tried but remain the toys of enthusiastic inventors since a practical application for them has yet been found.
Ground vehicles are not as common as sea and air vehicles but they are occasionally used by some, more eccentric, islanders. Riding animals remains popular as a form of transportation. Carts drawn by horses or similar creatures are also common. The mechanical equivilents, like most other constructs on Akupara Island, are constructed from wood, bamboo and canvas and powered by clockwork. They are typically wheeled and usually consist of little more than a wooden box as the cab, a clockwork mechanism for propulsion and wheels. As said before though, these machines are very rare despite the availability of the resources used to make them.
The weapons used by the island people are incredibly mixed. Since many of the towns do not have direct contact with each other, the technology develops at different speeds from town to town with some towns favouring certain equipment over others. All towns however have the common cause of needing to occasionally ward of monsters. The majority of these are small enough to be dealt with using katanas, wakazashi and hand cannons. However, as the monsters get gradually bigger to the point of towering over the tallest buildings, more radical measures have to be taken to repel them. Clockwork tanks are a primary means of getting rid of the larger monsters and most towns own them in significant numbers. The projectiles that these vehicles fire vary just as much as the machines themselves although most of them propel solid slugs and cannon balls. Certain more specialised versions however fire projectiles which are modified versions of fireworks used by some towns situated further away from monster locations.
Battleships are also used by coastline towns to repel invaders of any kind.
The most peculiar weapons used to fight of giant monsters though are mechs, made from wood, metal and masonry and powered by clockwork. The mainstream mechs built under the town governers are usually just abit bigger than a house but certain enthusiasts, obsessed with the safety of their family or maybe their village/town as a whole manufacture mechs atleast as tall as the highest pagodas and certainly big enough to rival the tallest land based monsters in scale. The inventors of these machines are either regarded as heroes or lunatics (their status as hero or lunatics is typically based on their success rate...) as they battle the monsters head on.
Long ago, before Akupara was a seperate state, the turtle which the island is supported on was buried beneath the earth somewhere on one of the main islands. Natural disasters woke the turtle from its slumber and it departed, taking some of the mainland with it. The people stranded atop the turtle settled and started a new way of life.
Although primarily a sea creature, there is no reason why the Akupara could not potentially come onto land. Ancient cave paintings from long lost Akuparian civilisations even depict the Akupara turtle flying through the air and in space with its numerous smaller turtle based islands and atolls. Throughout Akupara Island's time of recorded history the turtle has never taken to the air or returned to land. It stays more or less in the same area in the ocean.
Where the giant monsters originated from is unknown however it is hypothesised that they are somehow linked to the turtle since Akupara Island is the only place where giant monsters are commonplace although one or two monsters of similar height may exist elsewhere. Many of the island monsters feed on growths on the turtle which suggest they may serve the purpose of parasites on the turtle and that they have a symbiotic relationship with each other.
Akupara Island boasts monsters that live on it and around it. Although the land monsters are amongst the most infamous, Akupara also has a huge ecosystem of marine monsters and airborne monsters. Akuparian astronomers have even found evidence of monsters in space. When viewed on a 3d map Akupara Island has a vertical column of giant monsters, stemming from deep beneath the sea that continues overland and into space, rendering the island virtually uninvadable by foreign nations. This is how the islanders have maintained such a simple way of life without fear of invasion and may explain why the monsters are worshipped.
The turtle itself is of prehistoric origin and is the only known one of its kind left in the world. It feeds on plankton and microbes in the water and is said to have a lifespan of millions of years.
The turtle island always had floating islands tethered to it, long before the Akuparian people lived there. How the floating islands remain aloft is unknown since there is nothing obvious holding them aloft and no one knows how or why the islands were put there in the first place. The giant chains tethering them though suggests they are of human origin. No one is willing to investigate the floating islands since they now have communities and any attempt to unearth the mechanics behind their flight may compromise the settlements on them. The floating islands are also home to most of Akupara Islands' dragon species.
For more information on the landscape, wildlife and geography of Akupara Island, see this article.