The Samurai provides the backbone of a Japanese army and follows a strict code of honor, known as the Bushido. Most of Japan was divided into regions controlled by lords or Daimyos which led them to battle instead of the emperor.
The Japanese are an East Asian civilization situated on the island archipelago of Japan featured 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 hitpoints and work more efficiently when advancing through ages, and the Japanese team's Galley line have 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. This is reflected by Kataparuto ("catapult" written in katakana to represent the European origin) that allows Trebuchets to pack, unpack and fire faster.
The Japanese are an infantry civilization and so they have very strong infantry. The Japanese rely on their infantry and naval warfare, but not as much on their cavalry, which are somewhat weaker. To reflect their high rank and prestige of the Japanese warrior class, Japanese Barracks can create Champions, Halberdiers and all upgrades from Barracks and Blacksmith are available, plus their infantry's attack rate is increased. Their unique unit is the Samurai, a strong and fast-attacking infantry which is very effective against other enemy unique units in melee combat, with the exception of the War Elephant and the Teutonic Knight. Being an island civilization, the Japanese were renowned fishermen and had a powerful navy. This is reflected in the fact that they have a very strong naval presence in the game, with +50% Galley line of sight and double hit points for Fishing Ships, with their work rate improved every Age. The Japanese's navy is quite powerful with all the ships and upgrades available except Heavy Demolition Ship. The Siege Workshop units are somewhat weaker, but they have very good Trebuchets. The Japanese were known for woodworking and mining so they have a discount bonus in lumber camps and mining camps.
Unique Unit:Samurai (infantry unit good against unique units)
Ashikaga Takauji - a founder and first shogun of the Ashikaga shogunate. His rule began in 1338, beginning the Muromachi period of Japan, and ended with his death in 1358.
Date Masamune - a regional strongman of Japan's Azuchi–Momoyama period through early Edo period.
Gamou Ujisato - a Japanese daimyo of the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods.
Hojou Soun - the first head of the Late Hōjō clan, one of the major powers in Japan's Sengoku period.
Hosokawa Katsumoto - one of the Kanrei, the Deputies to the Shogun, during Japan's Muromachi period.
Kusonoki Masashige - a 14th-century samurai who fought for Emperor Go-Daigo in the Genkō War.
Minamoto Yorimoto - (May 9, 1147 – February 9, 1199) was the founder and the first shōgun of the Kamakura Shogunate of Japan. He ruled from 1192 until 1199. His Buddhist name was Ogosho Atsushi Dai Zenmon (武皇嘯厚大禅門).
Minamoto Yoshitsune - a nobleman and military commander of the Minamoto clan of Japan in the late Heian and early Kamakura periods.
Mouri Motonari - a prominent daimyō in the western Chūgoku region of Japan during the Sengoku period of the 16th century.
Nitta Yoshihada - a head of the Nitta clan in the early fourteenth century, and supported the Southern Court of Emperor Go-Daigo in the Nanboku-chō period.
Oda Nobunaga - (June 23, 1534 – June 21, 1582) was a powerful Daimyō of Japan in the late 16th century who attempted to unify Japan during the late Sengoku period. Nobunaga is regarded as one of three unifiers of Japan along with his retainers Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu. During his later life, Nobunaga was widely known for most brutal suppression of determined opponents, eliminating those who by principle refused to cooperate or yield to his demands. He was both a skilled ruler and keen businessman, economic reformer, strategizing at both the micro- and macroeconomic scales. He was killed when his retainer Akechi Mitsuhide rebelled against him at Honnō-ji.
Saito Dousan - also known as Saitō Toshimasa, was a Japanese samurai during the Sengoku period.
Sanada Yukimura - actual name: Sanada Nobushige, was a Japanese samurai warrior of the Sengoku period. He was especially known as the leading general on the defending side of the Siege of Osaka.
Tairano Kiyomori - a military leader of the late Heian period of Japan. He established the first samurai-dominated administrative government in the history of Japan.
Takeda Shingen - a pre-eminent daimyō in feudal Japan with exceptional military prestige in the late stage of the Sengoku period.
Tokugawa Ieyasu - a founder and first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan, which effectively ruled Japan from the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 until the Meiji Restoration in 1868.