Yamato is the name of a Japanese dynasty (approximately 250–710 AD), that was located in Ancient Japan with the capital city at Fujiwara. The Yamato are the ancestors of modern Japanese people and were the first people to unify and conquer all of Japan. In Age of Empires, they are one of the three playable East Asian civilizations and make an excellent offensive civilization on sea maps. They also have a self-sufficient economy giving them a slight edge in the beginning of the game. The equivalent civilization is known as Japanese in both Age of Empires II and Age of Empires III.
Names shown in italics are only used in the original game, names shown in bold are used in both the original game and its expansions.
Nintoku (仁徳天皇) – 16th Emperor of Japan; reigned 313–399
Sei – Possibly short for Seimu (成務天皇, 13th Emperor of Japan; reigned 131–191), Seinei (清寧天皇, 22nd Emperor of Japan; reigned 480–484) or Seiwa (清和天皇, 56th Emperor of Japan; reigned 858–876)
Sei II – Did not exist in Japan
Nintoku II – Did not exist in Japan
Sei III – Did not exist in Japan
Nintoku III – Did not exist in Japan
Sei IV – Did not exist in Japan
Jimmu Tenno (神武天皇) – First (legendary) Emperor of Japan, reigned 660–585 BC
Himiko (卑弥呼) – Queen of Yamataikoku, reigned 189–248
Shotoku Taishi (聖徳太子) – Prince and regent for Empress Suiko; lived 572–622
Kammu (桓武天皇) – 50th Emperor of Japan, reigned 781–806
Jingo (神功皇后/神功天皇) – A Japanese empress consort/regnant, technically the 15th sovereign of Japan; reigned 201–269
Keiko (景行天皇) – 12th Emperor of Japan; reigned 71–130
Temmu (天武天皇) – 40th Emperor of Japan; reigned 672–686
Historical or legendary figures (except Himiko), represented by Yamato AI players, supposedly belong to the Imperial House of Japan, who hailed from southeastern Kyushu, according to Kojiki & Nihon Shoki. Meanwhile, Queen Himiko likely belonged to another dynasty who ruled Yamatai (often identified with Yamato province, now in Nara, Honshu; though other historians proposed that Yamataikoku was located in northern Kyushu instead), which then did not exert its authority over all early Japanese polities: as Sanguozhi mentioned Himiko's conflict against king Himikoko of Kuna, also in southeastern Kyushu; and both the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki avoided mentioning Himiko at all.
A more encompassing civilizational name would have been Wa, the native Japanese first singular person pronoun "I, me", best represented by 我, which is read, meaning-based, as wa (わ/ワ).