This article is about the the Japanese in Age of Empires III. For appearences of the Japanese in other games of the series, see Japanese.
Civilization Tech tree Strategy

The Japanese are an East Asian civilization that controls the island of Japan and other parts of Asia in the far-east. They are the descendants of the Yamato civilization, who inhabited the same island. The Japanese civilization is now under the Tokugawa Shogunate, that unified the country.They are a major civilization featured in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties.

Overview Edit


Edo, the Japanese Home City

The Japanese are a strong civilization, but they cannot gather food via herding or hunting. They can however build Shrines to gain a small trickle of whatever resource you set them to, even experience; if you have a high-level Home City. Building these shrines around huntables or herdables will attract them to the shrine, each huntable or herdable increases the amount of resources the shrines can output. The Shrines available also act as houses; they support 10 population. The Japanese may also build Cherry Orchards, which are built from freely-obtained Rickshaws. As a special advantage, most cards in the Japanese Home City may be sent twice.

The Japanese have very expensive - but powerful - military units, such as the Samurai, Ashigaru Musketeers, Yumi Archers, Yabusame, and Naginata Riders, as well as artillery units such as Flaming Arrows and Morutaru. The Japanese Navy is average at best, but their fishing potential makes it easy to perform a water boom.

Each Asian civilization has special Monks instead of Explorers, Japanese monks are the only explorer type units in the game to also be considered Archer for purposes of Carib anti-villager bonuses (x1.3 damage vs. Settlers) and other archer specific upgrades. Japan starts with two monks, they do not have any sniper abilities, but can stun Treasure Guardians and have powerful martial arts attacks. The Japanese monks also build shrines and if the card Mountain Warrior is sent they will receive twice the normal resources or experience for treasures.

Civilization Bonus: Build Shrines, build Cherry Orchards, free Rickshaws, and


A Japanese Wonder; the Toshogu Shrine.

most Japanese Home City Shipments can be sent twice.

Unique Units: All except for Villagers and Monks.

Personality:Tokugawa Ieyasu

Allies Edit

  • Due to the inclusion of the card TEAM Chonindo with Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties (Japanese) and the Portuguese card TEAM Fish Market, the two civilizations are very difficult to defeat on maps featuring water if working together. The result of both cards being played is +18% to Fishing Boat gather rates, this almost compensates for the Port card being much weaker than the normal Fish Market card (+25%). It also stacks with the Japanese Fish Market card to give Japan a theoretical +43% greater gather rate in the Discovery Age (78% for whales) and +73% to the gather rates in the Colonial Age (+108% for whales), in the Fortress Age the gather rates for the Fune can be increased by another 125% for a total of +233% to the gather rates.
    • The base gather rate for a Fune is 0.67 for fish and 0.5 for whales, which is identical to a normal fishing boat. This means the Fune will gather resources much faster than a fishing boat with the above trick.


Like other Asian civilizations, the Japanese advances in age by buildings wonders. These are the wonder available to the Japanese:
Japan - great buddha

The Great Buddha

  • Toshogu Shrine- It gives Export once built. It has a passive ability which enhances the resource trickle rate of other Shrines.
  • Great Buddha- It sends Naginata Riders when built. It also unlocks the 'Informers' ability, which gives the player the vision of their enemy for a limited amount of time.
  • Golden Pavilion- It sends a shipment of Yumi Archers when built. It has an active ability which gives the player an option to increase the attack of ranged units or to increase the speed of military units or to increase melee damage infantry and cavalry or to increase the hitpoints of infantry or cavalry units. It also gives the ability to research special technologies.
  • Shogunate- It grants a Daimyo if used to age to Fortress Age or above (It gives the ability to train that daimyo in Fortress Age if used to age to Colonial Age). It also has the ability to train dead Daimyos. Finally it has a passive ability that makes military units train cheaper and train faster.
  • Torii Gates- It gives Samurais and barracks/stable Rickshaw once built. It also increase all the experience incomes (killing units, building unit, experience tickle rate etc.).


Units Use
Ikko-Ikki Japanese Monk
Samurai Powerful Heavy Infantry
Ashigaru Musketeer Powerful Japanese Musketeer
Yumi Archer Very long-ranged Archer
Naginata Rider Heavy Cavalry
Yabusame Long- ranged Ranged Cavalry
Flaming Arrow Powerful Light Artillery
Morutaru Powerful long-ranged Japanese Mortar
Daimyo Very Powerful and very versatile Cavalry unit but very limited in number.
Yamabushi Japanese Pikeman (costs exports, built from Consulate)
Shinobi Stealthy Raiding Archer (costs exports, built from Consulate)
Fishing Boat Boat to gather fish
Fune Fast scouting boat
Atakabune Heavy Warship
Tekkousen Heavy Warship

Long-ranged Warship


Buildings Use
Town Center Center of the Colony, trains Villagers and researches many important improvements
Shrine Cheapest house, provides population and a trickle of a selected resource
Market Economical Buildings, researches improvements and trades resources
Monastery Trains Mercenaries and researches improvements
Barracks Trains Infantry and researches their improvements
Stable Trains Cavalry and researches their improvements
Castle Defensive structure, trains Siege Units and researches improvements
Rice Paddy Food or Coin generating structure and researches their improvements
Dojo Spawns free Units
Consulate Enables to ally with a European power, trains their Units, researches their improvements and gives their shipments
Dock Trains Naval Units and researches their improvements

History Edit

"The Sengoku, or Warring States period, lasted roughly from 1478 to 1605 and was a time of tremendous social upheaval and political strife in Japan, defined by an almost endless state of war.

The centralized government of the reigning Ashikaga shogunate had begun to lose the loyalty of many daimyo, or feudal lords, across Japan. Individual provinces were beginning to turn inwards and busy themselves with local matters. This was especially true of those domains far from Kyoto, the center of power.

Many factors contributed to the gradual fragmentation of the shogunate. Trade with China was growing rapidly, developing the Japanese economy and boosting the importance of money to local economies. Commercial cities began to appear across the countryside, and a great desire for local autonomy developed, touching all classes of the social hierarchy. Soon, frustrated over rising taxes and the damage done by famines and earthquakes, peasants began to revolt.

As chaos began to take hold of the rural villages, unrest broke out in Kyoto, where a dispute over shogunal succession triggered the Onin War (1467–1477). The Hosokawa family and its allies clashed with the Yamana family over the right to wield Japan’s cetral authority. This conflict raged for 11 years, further weakening the role of the shogunate, and it eventually spread out to the waiting powder keg that had become the surrounding provinces.

Regional daimyo suddenly rose up to take control where the central authority had none. During this time, notable clans such as the Takeda and the Imagawa were able to greatly expand their spheres of influence. This was not true of all local lords, however, as many were overtaken by their own subordinates and replaced. This was known as gekokujo, literally translated to mean “the underling conquers the overlord.”

A century passed and the feudal warring continued, even as a possibility for peace grew on the horizon. Oda Nobunaga, who had emerged from obscurity to seize power over much of central Japan, seemed poised to unite the scrabbling clans into an alliance; but before he could, Nobunaga fell victim to the treachery of one of his own generals in 1582. This left the path to power open for whoever had the ambitions to take it.

One of Nobunaga’s most trusted underlings, a general and former foot soldier named Toyotomi Hideyoshi, stepped in where his predecessor had left off and continued the work to unify the feuding families. Hideyoshi could never become a true shogun as he was of common birth, but he did consolidate enough power to be named an Imperial Regent by the Emperor of Japan.

After several ill-fated invasions of Korea, Hideyoshi died in 1598 without leaving a capable successor to his dynasty. Again, the nation teetered precariously on the edge of chaos.

It was then that the powerful daimyo of Mikawa province, Tokugawa Ieyasu, chose to make his move, one he had been planning for years.

In-game dialogue Edit

These Japanese words or sentences spoken in this game are grammatically correct and generally standard with no particular regional dialect, but some of them are old-fashioned or pronounced with a foreign accent. The accents and styles of the language spoken by Japanese units are as follows:

  • The female villager speaks modern standardized Japanese with some non-standard (apparently foreign) accent.
  • The male villager speaks modern standardized Japanese with a standard Tokyo accent.
  • The monk speaks a kind of typically theatrical and conventional Japanese which is characterized by its old-fashioned word usage and its stylized pronunciation of words. The style of the language spoken by the monk is like that of Jidaigeki, a genre of film and television drama that depicts the life of Japan in pre-modern times. The monk sometimes speaks with the copula ja (じゃ), which, if used by a fictional character (and not as a regional dialect), usually signifies that the speaker is an old or archaic person, especially male one.
  • Military units, including Daimyo and Shogun, speak a kind of theatrical Japanese characterized by its old-fashioned word usage. Some of them speak with a standard accent, while others speak with some non-standard accent.

General dialogue:

  • Ha. は ('Yes.' A variant of hai (はい 'Yes') pronounced with a short, strong breath; old-fashioned, typically said by fictional archaic characters, especially of the feudal ages, in response to the instructions or remarks of their superior person, with an attitude of respect toward that person.)
  • Gomeirei o. ご命令を ('Your instructions?')
  • Gyoi (ni). 御意(に) ('At your will.')
  • Iza. いざ ('Now.')
  • Tadachi ni. 直ちに ('Immediately.')
  • Ōse no tōri (ni). 仰せの通り(に) (Literally: 'As you say.' It means 'In accordance with your will.')
  • Iza yukan! いざゆかん! ('Let's go now!')
  • Ikusa ja! 戦じゃ! ('Fight!')
  • Ya! や! (an interjection)
  • Tadaima. ただいま ('At once'. Said by fishing boat)
  • Sō desu. そうです (Literally: 'It is so.' This is odd, because it is like saying 'Yes, it is' in reply to a given order. Said by fishing boat.)
  • Nan da? なんだ? ('What?' Male villager only)
  • Nani? 何? ('What?' Female villager only)
  • Yonda? 呼んだ? ('Did you call?'. Female villager only)
  • Yonda kai? 呼んだかい? ('Did you call?' Male villager only)
  • Yōken wa? 用件は? ('What's the matter?')
  • Ī yo. いいよ ('All right.')
  • Yoshi. よし ('Ok.' Male villager only)
  • Wakarimashita. わかりました ('All right!')
  • Wakatta yo. わかったよ ('All right!' Female villager only)
  • Ikimasu. 行きます ('I go.')
  • Hai! はい! ('Yes!')
  • Shokuryō da ne. 食料だね ('Forager', literally, '(To gather) food')
  • Otakara da ne. お宝だね ('Miner', literally, '(To gather) treasure')
  • Mokuzai da ne. 木材だね ('Woodcutter', literally, '(To gather) wood')
  • Inasaku da ne. 稲作だね ('Rice cultivator', literally, 'Rice cultivation')
  • Tateru n da ne. 建てるんだね ('Builder', literally, 'To build')
  • Kari da ne. 狩りだね ('Hunter', literally, 'To hunt')
  • Naoshimashō. 直しましょう ('Repair')


  • Yō ka na? 用かな? ('Do you have a business with me?')
  • Nan ja na? なんじゃな? (Literally: 'What is it?' responding in a mild tone (na) to some action or situation. 'What's the matter?')
  • Nan nari to. なんなりと (Literally: 'In whatever way.' Here it means like 'Order me whatever you'd like.')
  • Hm…
  • Shōchi shita. 承知した ('I understand')
  • Sochira e ikō. そちらへ行こう ('I'll go there.')
  • Kōgeki ja! 攻撃じゃ! ('Attack!')
  • Omukae ga kita yō ja. お迎えが来たようじゃ (Literally: 'The welcoming seems to have come.' Reflecting a belief widely shared among Japanese Buddhists, especially Jodo-related ones, this conventional phrase traditionally refers to the coming of Amida Buddha in front of a dying person to welcome that person into the land where Buddha lives, that is, Jōdo or 'Pure Land'. Said when the monk is killed.)
  • Hotoke-sama no go kago no okage ja. 仏様のご加護のお陰じゃ ('It's thanks to Buddha's protection.' Said when the monk revives.)