|This article is about the civilization in Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings. For the other appearances of the faction in the series, see Japanese.|
The Japanese are an East Asian civilization in Age of Empires II. They are an infantry-based civilization, with their infantry possessing the fastest attack speed in the game. They are the descendants of the Yamato civilization, which inhabited the same island. The Japanese civilization is based on Feudal Japan which was dominated by the powerful regional families (daimyō) and the military rule of warlords (shōgun) from 1185 to 1868. The Samurai were the elite warrior class in Japanese society and required dozens of years of training. The Samurai were armed with a Katana, an extra-sharp, thin bladed longsword, a Wakizashi, a shorter version of the Katana, and sometimes a Tantō. These soldiers served the lord and fought for them based on the strict Bushido honor code. To reflect their high rank and prestige of the Japanese warrior class and their association with the ninja, a covert agent, Japanese infantry attack faster.
Japan is an island nation sea-reliant for most of its history, and as a result, the Japanese have extensive knowledge in maritime economy and warfare. To represent this, their Fishing Ships have double hit points and work more efficiently when advancing through the Ages, and the Japanese team's Galley line have a longer Line of Sight. Japan also possesses a number of volcanoes which create fertile lands for cultivation and ores for mining. To reflect this, the Japanese build Mills, Lumber Camps, and Mining Camps at a cheaper cost.
Throughout its medieval history, Japan was in constant conflicts of clan lords who constructed a large number of fortifications; each had many arrowslits (or yasama) to repel attackers. This is represented by the technology, Yasama, which increases the number of arrows shot by towers. Also, during Sengoku Jidai (or the Warring States period), the Japanese came into contact with the Portuguese and the Dutch, with whom the Japanese traded goods for firearms and modern siege technology which brought an end to Sengoku Jidai with the Siege of Osaka. This is reflected by Kataparuto ("catapult" written in katakana to represent the European origin) that allows Trebuchets to pack, unpack, and fire faster.
Overview[edit | edit source]
The Japanese are an infantry civilization and command the strongest infantry of all civilizations with all technologies and upgrades available plus a speed boost for their attacks which results in a very high damage output. The Japanese also have superb archers (including Cavalry Archers) which they can also fully upgrade. Only their cavalry is weak and their siege weapons are underwhelming as well but their Trebuchets greatly benefit from Kataparuto meaning their sieging is still fairly effective. Their navy is excellent, only lacking the Heavy Demolition Ship, but with longer-sighted Galleons and all other improvements at their disposal. Their Monks are very good as well, only lacking Heresy. Their defensive structures and economy are below average, however.
Campaign appearances[edit | edit source]
The Japanese have scenarios devoted to their civilization: Kyoto from the Battles of the Conquerors campaign and Kurikara from Battles of the Forgotten. They also appear as the enemy in the Noryang Point scenario from Battles of the Conquerors.
Characteristics[edit | edit source]
Unique unit[edit | edit source]
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Civilization bonuses[edit | edit source]
Team bonus[edit | edit source]
Changelog[edit | edit source]
The Age of Kings[edit | edit source]
The Conquerors[edit | edit source]
The Forgotten[edit | edit source]
The African Kingdoms[edit | edit source]
In-game dialogue language[edit | edit source]
In-game, Japanese units speak modern Japanese.
Japanese Monks and King speak archaicized modern Japanese.
AI player names[edit | edit source]
History[edit | edit source]
Located 100 miles off the mainland of Asia, at its closest point, Japan was a land of mystery at the edge of civilization. Isolated at first by geography and later by choice, the Japanese developed a distinctive culture that drew very little from the outside world. At the beginning of what were the Middle Ages in Europe, the advanced culture of Japan was centered at the north end of the Inland Sea on the main island of Honshu. Across the Hakone Mountains to the east lay the Kanto, an alluvial plain that was the single largest rice-growing area on the islands. To the north and east of the Kanto was the frontier, beyond which lived aboriginal Japanese who had occupied the islands since Neolithic times.
Some believe that by the fifth century AD the Yamato court had become largely ceremonial. Independent clans, known as uji, held the real power behind the throne. Clan leaders formed a sort of aristocracy and vied with each other for effective control of land and the throne.
In 536 the Soga clan became predominant and produced the first great historical statesman, Prince Shotoku, who instituted reforms that laid the foundation of Japanese culture for generations to come. In 645, power shifted from the Soga clan to the Fujiwara clan. The Fujiwara presided over most of the Heian period (794 to 1185). The new leadership imposed the Taika Reform of 645, which attempted to redistribute the rice-growing land, establish a tax on agricultural production, and divide the country into provinces. Too much of the country remained outside imperial influence and control, however. Real power shifted to great families that rose to prominence in the rice-growing lands. Conflict among these families led to civil war and the rise of the warrior class.
Similar to the experience of medieval western Europe, the breakdown of central authority in Japan, the rise of powerful local nobles, and conflict with barbarians at the frontier combined to create a culture dominated by a warrior elite. These warriors became known as Samurai, (“those who serve”), who were roughly equivalent to the European knight. A military government replaced the nobility as the power behind the throne at the end of the twelfth century. The head of the military government was the Shogun.
Samurai lived by a code of the warrior, something like the European code of chivalry. The foundation of the warrior code was loyalty to the lord. The warrior expected leadership and protection. In return he obeyed his lord’s commands without question and stood ready to die on his lord’s behalf. A Samurai placed great emphasis on his ancestry and strove to carry on family traditions. He behaved so as to earn praise. He was to be firm and show no cowardice. Warriors went into battle expecting and looking to die. It was felt that a warrior hoping to live would fight poorly.
The Kamakura period (1185 to 1333) was named after a region of Japan dominated by a new ruling clan that took power after civil war. The Mongols attempted to invade Japan twice, in 1274 and 1281, but were repulsed both times. A fortuitous storm caused great loss to the second Mongol invasion fleet.
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