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Empire rankJapan
Primary culture
Togoku (Japanese)

Capital province
Kyoto (1020)

Shogunate Government monarchy.png

State religion

Technology group
ChineseChinese technology group
Japanese ideas
Traditions.png Traditions:
−10% Stability cost modifier
+5% Discipline

National unrest.png Unification under the Emperor

−2 National unrest

National manpower modifier.png Reformed Land Holding

+20% National manpower modifier

Technology cost.png Modernization

−5% Technology cost
+10% Institution spread

Ship durability.png Maritime Legacy

+10% Ship durability

Prestige.png Land of the Rising Sun

+1 Yearly prestige

Global settler increase.png Kaitakudan

+20 Global settler increase

Aggressive expansion impact.png Great Power Diplomacy

−15% Aggressive expansion impact

Idea bonus.png Ambition:

+15% Infantry combat ability
For the region, see Japan (region).

For the first half of the EU4 time period, Japan experienced the Sengoku Jidai, or the Japanese Warring States Period. The weak Flag of Ashikaga Ashikaga Shogunate proved unable to prevent incessant war between de facto independent regional lords, or daimyo. The game represents this strife by dividing up Japan into a small central state and a large number of separate realms, and with Japan's nemesis Korea just across the sea, the rebellious vassals need to be dealt with before Japan finally seeks to fully dominate the Nippon trade node.

Daimyo & Shogunate

Daimyo ideas

For Government monarchy.png Daimyo, Government monarchy.png Independent Daimyo and the Government monarchy.png Shogunate.

Traditions.png Traditions:

+25% Land force limit modifier
+20% Spy network construction

Discipline.png Bushido

+5% Discipline

Idea cost.png The Bun and the Bu

−10% Idea cost

Legitimacy.png Honor the Ancestors

+1 Yearly legitimacy

Morale of armies.png The Five Rings

+10% Morale of armies

Mercenary maintenance.png Wandering Ronin

−15% Mercenary maintenance

National manpower modifier.png Armies of the Daimyo

+25% National manpower modifier

Prestige.png Honor Unto Death

+1 Yearly prestige

Idea bonus.png Ambition:

+0.5 Yearly army tradition

The empire of Japan is not represented as a single country at the start of the game. Instead, it is divided into the emperor (the Tenno, or more commonly the Mikado), the ruling shogunate - Flag of Ashikaga Ashikaga in 1444 - and many daimyos. The emperor resides in Kyoto and does not actively engage in any sort of affair of the country. But all official appointments and representations are performed by the emperor. That is why we never directly see the emperor in the game. The shogun is also appointed by the emperor. It represents the will of the emperor and rules Japan in his own methods, as the "emperor's tent government" - the "bakufu". That is why only the shogunate is allowed to declare wars and perform diplomacy with outside powers.

Daimyos are special vassals that do not occupy a relation's slot. They may ally, rival, and fight other daimyos, but not external countries. Daimyos may also declare a "War for the Emperor" against the shogun. A daimyo who controls Kyoto, the capital where the emperor resides, becomes the new shogun, and all other former vassals (daimyos or outside vassals, but not "grand daimyos") of the old shogun become his. The shogun, meanwhile, may diplomatically annex daimyos like any other vassal, and also gets the casus belli of "Annex Daimyo" against any daimyo owning 10 or more provinces.

The shogun gets +0.1 Legitimacy.png per year and -2% Stability cost modifier.png stability cost for each daimyo at peace, as well as +0.1 Prestige.png prestige for each daimyo that has the same level of Shinto isolationism. These all cap at 10 times the given bonus, for 10 daimyo at peace.

All daimyos existing in 1444 have unique national ideas. Some daimyos that only exist in later starts use the generic Daimyo group set, listed at right.

Daimyos that become independent, even temporarily, get the Independent Daimyo government. This has weaker bonuses than the regular Daimyo government, but allows raising government rank past duke-tier. If the shogun vassalizes a country outside Japan, it functions as an additional daimyo, but does not get the special Daimyo government. If Kyoto is captured by an outside power, the shogunate disbands and all remaining daimyo become permanently independent.

A country that has become independent from the shogun due to various reasons will have the government "Grand daimyo". It is just a regular monarchy that can form outside diplomacy and does not interact with internal affairs between the daimyos. Daimyos cannot perform diplomacy with a grand daimyo, as it is an "outside" power. We may also say this is a reversed case from the above paragraph.

Shogun abilities

The shogun has several special abilities useful for managing unruly daimyo. There are three actions available through the government tab that give a bonus to the shogun and a penalty to all daimyo. Each costs Legitimacy.png 20 legitimacy and provides a modifier lasting 10 years. Multiple actions may be used at once.

  • Sword Hunt
    • +250 Manpower.png manpower and +0.5 Land forcelimit.png land force limit, per daimyo, for the shogun.
    • –1000 Manpower.png maximum manpower and –2 Land forcelimit.png force limit for daimyo.
  • Sankin Kotai
  • Forcibly Expel Ronin

In addition, the shogun has several subject interactions usable on daimyo. All of these interactions require the daimyo's liberty desire to be below 50%.

  • Change isolationism:
    • The daimyo's isolationism becomes one step closer to that of the shogun's. +25% Liberty desire.png liberty desire.
  • Conscript General:
    • Transfer the daimyo's best general (other than a ruler or heir) to the shogun. +30% Liberty desire.png liberty desire.
  • Force Seppuku:
    • Order the daimyo's leader to commit suicide. Only available on daimyo that have started a war. The daimyo's successor will be less likely to be a warmonger. The shogun gets 5 monarch point per skill of the daimyo's new ruler. +15% Liberty desire.png liberty desire.
  • Contribute to Capital:
    • The daimyo loses 2 Development.png development in its most developed province, and the shogunate gains 1 development in its capital. +25% Liberty desire.png liberty desire.


Main article: Japanese missions

Japan's missions include uniting the archipelago, colonizing Taiwan and expanding into Korea and the Chinese mainland.


Main article: Japanese events

Japan and its Daimyo have many historical events. These include events like Nanban Boeki (meeting and trading with the Western Nations, mainly the Portuguese and Spanish), the establishment of the Terakoya schools and the funding of wako (wokou) raiders. These can be funded for a monetary bonus and a relationship penalty with Korea and Ming, or suppressed, for a relationship bonus with Korea and Ming.


There are three decisions that switch the player's country to a united Flag of Japan Japan. The first is available for a shogun that has at least 25 provinces, representing more than half of the Japanese region or else substantial conquests outside it. The decision releases all remaining daimyo, turning both them and the shogunate into feudal monarchies. The remaining former daimyo may then be attacked directly, without having to wait for relations to improve enough to diplomatically annex them. The second decision is only available to a shogun that has united Japan without taking the first decision, and gives substantial monarch points as a reward for taking the longer and more peaceful path. The last decision is for a daimyo that is the only Japanese country remaining after the shogunate has been abolished. It may also be taken by any country with Japanese culture even if not a daimyo, such as Flag of Ryukyu Ryukyu or a player country that has shifted culture.

Execute decision.pngUnite Japan!

The time has come to unite Japan by force! The time for diplomacy is over and all these warring daimyo lords must be conquered.

Potential requirements

The country:


Flag of Japan Japan does not exist.
The country:


Flag of Japan Japan loses its core on every province of every subject daimyo of this country.
Every subject daimyo of this country:

The country:

  • becomes Flag of Japan Japan.
  • changes its government to feudal monarchy.
  • becomes an Empire rank empire.

If Flag of Japan Japan:

The AI will not take this decision with less than 30 cities.

Execute decision.pngJapan is united

The warring factions of Japan have finally been united under a strong emperor.

Potential requirements

The country:

Flag of Japan Japan does not exist.


Flag of Japan Japan does not exist.
The country:

No daimyo or independent daimyo exist.


The country:

  • becomes Flag of Japan Japan.
  • changes its government to feudal monarchy.
  • becomes an Empire rank empire.
  • gains Icon legitimacy monarchy.png100 legitimacy.
  • gains Administrative power.png100 administrative power.
  • gains Diplomatic power.png100 diplomatic power.
  • gains Military power.png100 military power.

If Flag of Japan Japan:

Execute decision.pngJapan is united

The warring factions of Japan have finally been united under a strong emperor.

Potential requirements

The country:


Flag of Japan Japan does not exist.
The country:

There is no other country that is a daimyo, an independent daimyo or the shogunate.


The country:

  • becomes Flag of Japan Japan.
  • changes its government to feudal monarchy.
  • becomes an Empire rank empire.
  • gains Icon legitimacy monarchy.png100 legitimacy.
  • gains Administrative power.png100 administrative power.
  • gains Diplomatic power.png100 diplomatic power.
  • gains Military power.png100 military power.

If Flag of Japan Japan:

List of daimyo

This is a list of daimyo that appear in the game. Not all daimyo appear in the start year 1444; the starting years are based on the year they are in control of the capital province, and their cores are usually added earlier and can be released at an earlier date.


Daimyo missions

Main article: Daimyo missions


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Alternative starting dates

Japan offers unique features for some alternative starting dates, which each offers a different experience.

  • 27th May, 1467 - Historic start of the Onin War and Sengoku Jidai. Ouchi, Yamana and Shiba have just begun the war against Hosokawa, Hatakeyama and Takeda in the "Onin War" (the actual in-game name of the war).
  • 3rd July, 1573 - Oda controls Kyoto and becomes Shogun. (there was no war in the game going on before this date)
  • 21st June, 1582 - Oda Nobunaga has just died and Hideyoshi Toyotomi becomes the Shogun. Historically, it was the "Honnō-ji incident".
  • 10th August, 1590 - Tokugawa moved to Musashi, which is now Tokyo.
  • 25th May, 1592 - The beginning of "Imjin War". Oda Shogunate is at war with Korea and has some provinces occupied.
  • 21st October, 1600 - Tokugawa controls Kyoto. Historically the end of the Battle of Sekigahara. But the in-game configuration is bugged. Tokugawa is still a Daimyo under Oda despite controlling Kyoto. The in-game text says "norulertitle" for both of them. Historically, Tokugawa should have obtained control over all Japan, just that the government had not been fully established.
  • 24th March, 1603 - Tokugawa has established into the Shogunate. The historical start of the "Edo Period".


Cherrypicking icon
Conscript a 3 star general from a Daimyo Subject.
Kirishitan Japan icon
Start as a Japanese Daimyo, convert yourself and all of Japan to Christianity.
Made in Japan icon
Embrace "manufacturies" institution as Japan by 1655.
Sakoku Law icon
Go full isolationist in 6 Incidents.
The Chrysanthemum Throne icon
Unite Japan as a Daimyo.
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