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The Japanese people represent a civilization in Civilization VI. They are led by Hojo Tokimune, under whom their default colors are white and dark red.

The Japanese civilization ability is Meiji Restoration, which allows District District to receive a standard adjacency bonus from being next to one another, instead of minor. Their unique unit is the Samurai, and their unique building is the Electronics Factory (which replaces the Factory).

Strategy[edit | edit source]

The Japanese are the undisputed experts at building compact clusters of cities to maximize the number of specialty District District adjacent to one another. The epitome of a versatile civilization, Japan can adapt quickly throughout the game, depending on their starting location and opponents, to select the smoothest path to Victory.

Meiji Restoration[edit | edit source]

This is the defining ability of Japan that bestows on them an unmatched level of flexibility. For new players, this does not sound like much, but this simple bonus is one of the strongest ones in the game.

There are six types of District District that can gain adjacency bonuses in the game: Campus, Theater Square, Commercial Hub, Harbor, Industrial Zone and Holy Site. These District Districts usually gain +1 bonus for every two adjacent districts, but now they will receive +1 bonus per adjacent district instead. With good city planning, this allows you to create massive District District clusters between nearby cities that feed each other adjacency bonuses. This bonus is actually better than just doubling the regular adjacency bonuses. For example, a Campus adjacent to 3 other District District with gain only 1 more Science Science, because every 0.5 adjacency bonus will get rounded down if the number is odd, a Japanese Campus in this situation will receive 3 Science Science. For this reason, while other civilizations can be a little haphazard in their placement of District Districts, effective play as Japan requires a very good knowledge of available districts and future planning. This makes Japan a better choice for players who are more accustomed to the rules of District District placement, as opposed to brand new players.

Holy Site[edit | edit source]

Combined with Hojo's leader ability, Japan has a solid edge in founding a Religion, and the fact that you can get more Faith Faith out of each Holy Site if you manage to build them close to one another means Japan is decent at a Religious Victory. The main challenge most religious civilizations meet when pursuing a Religious Victory is that you have to make Holy Sites your main District District, which will take up a District District slot in every city. Holy Sites are not necessarily the best District District to be built en masse, and Faith Faith is more meaningful if it can get translated to something else, other than just religious units. However, since Japan is so versatile, you can easily transition to other paths if a Religious Victory is out of reach. As mentioned above, Faith Faith is a much better yield if it is played as a supporting factor to other Victory paths, like to be used to buy units if you have the Grand Master's Chapel or to buy Rock Bands, Naturalists and Great Person Great People when pursuing a Cultural Victory. Purely religious Japan is decent, but if there are civilizations who can generate a massive amount of Faith Faith much more reliably in the game, like Russia or Ethiopia, it is wise to pick another path and build just enough Holy Sites to support that path.

Work Ethic works really well with Japan as the Follower Belief, since Japanese Holy Sites can earn high adjacency bonuses, the parent cities will gain a lot of Production Production very early into the game.

Campus[edit | edit source]

Science Science is always crucial, and Japan wants to generate Science Science early so they can unlock their unique unit, the Samurai. Samurai, with their high Strength Combat Strength and cheap price compared to Knights, can be the heart of your Medieval conquests. Campuses will be the main District District you build on every path, except for Religion. However, as mentioned above, there are a lot of factors that can interfere with a Religious Victory. If that is the case, you will need a few Campuses to fall back on to make a transition to something else.

Among the six District Districts that can gain adjacency bonuses, the one that is the easiest to earn high bonuses on is the Campus, since there are 4 terrain types and features (Rainforest, Mountains, Reefs and Geothermal Fissures) that give the Campus extra Science Science, so it is not totally necessary to situate Campuses in the middle of a District District cluster if you can find somewhere else better.

Theater Square[edit | edit source]

Considering how tough it is to earn high starting bonuses for Theater Squares, a little bit extra Culture Culture for each Theater Square built is always welcome, especially as Hojo, since you can build them in half the time. Also, if you do not manage to earn any Great Works, the Culture Culture output of the buildings inside the Theater Square can be underwhelming, so this is your prime candidate to put in the middle of a District District cluster. This can be one of your core District Districts to build as well, depending on which Victory you have in mind. For a Cultural Victory, for instance, this will obviously be your number one District District. This can also be a high-priority District District if you go for a Religious Victory, side by side with your Holy Sites, since transitioning from a Religious Victory to a Cultural Victory is a lot smoother than to a Scientific Victory. Although new players often forgo this District District, Culture Culture generation is absolutely crucial for a Scientific Victory as well, so in that case, only the Campus has a higher priority, and Theater Squares should still be second most important type of District District.

Industrial Zone[edit | edit source]

The ability to have high adjacency bonuses on Industrial Zones is very strong, since Production Production is generally the most important yield in Civilization VI. In vanilla and Rise and Fall, it may be difficult on occasion to choose whether adjacency bonuses from District Districts or adjacency bonuses from Mines and Quarries are superior, if those improvements are away from your main District District setup. In Gathering Storm, however, the new major adjacency bonuses from Aqueducts, Canals and Dams stack with this ability, giving Industrial Zones next to even one of these District Districts an astounding +3 adjacency bonus! Since these District Districts can also fit the Industrial Zone into your main setup, it is ideal to place as many Industrial Zones adjacent to them as possible.

Commercial Hub / Harbor[edit | edit source]

Despite Hojo's bonuses towards the navy and naval combat, if maximizing adjacency bonuses is the number one goal, Commercial Hubs are clearly the better choice. Normally, for other civilizations, the Harbor is generally better, thanks to the superior effects of its buildings, and has a much easier time gaining high adjacency bonuses. However, since the Japanese ability encourages building cities and District District in compact clusters, Harbors do not provide a lot of adjacency bonuses to other in-land District District. On the other hand, you can dedicate one coastal city on the peripheral of your empire to be the main naval hub with a Harbor to train naval units with boosted experience gain.

Although not very useful in terms of training naval units, a Harbor built inside a one-tile Lake is a good substitute for a Commercial Hub. As mentioned above, the Harbor's buildings have far stronger effects than the Commercial Hub's buildings, but Japan might prefer Commercial Hubs more because Commercial Hubs can be placed more easily in the middle of a District District cluster while Harbors cannot. However, Harbors that are built inside a one-tile Lake eliminate this conundrum completely, allowing those Harbors to be in the heart of your empire instead of on the peripheral.

Other types of District District[edit | edit source]

Builder (Civ6).png Japanese (Civ6) is under construction!

Please do not edit unless it is a spelling or grammar issue.


Divine Wind[edit | edit source]

This provides two different bonuses. First, Encampments, Holy Sites and Theater Squares can be built in half the time (meaning Hojo has a 100% Production Production boost when erecting these districts). This has great synergy with Meiji Restoration, at least for the latter two. Encampments are better built at the edge of your empire to fully benefit from the bombardment they provide. Other districts are generally better to build in a cluster between cities of your empire.

The second part of Divine Wind is a significant combat bonus to all land units fighting on coastal tiles and all naval units fighting on coast tiles. This bonus is the same number that America receives, but much harder to properly utilize. In the early game, it greatly helps against barbarians as well as any naval combat Japan might find themselves in. Later, it's more of a situational buff.

Two different religious pantheons that mesh particularly well with Divine Wind are God of War and God of the Sea. Divine Spark is another useful one, especially for those players who wish to take the Japanese civilization in a less aggressive direction.

Electronics Factory[edit | edit source]

The Electronics Factory is not much of an improvement over the standard Factory. Unlike, for example, the Tlachtli (also a pretty underwhelming unique building), the Electronics Factory actually comes into play often - not because it is so powerful and unique, but because the standard Factory and the Industrial Zone are so important that they are impossible to ignore. What sets it apart from its standard counterpart, however, is negligible. In vanilla and Rise and Fall, it receives only 1 more Production Production. In Gathering Storm, its base effect is even worse, as it is exactly the same as the Factory, only it gains an extra 5 Production Production when Power Powered compared to the 3 Production Production of the Factory. This is the only case in the entire game where the bonuses of a piece of unique infrastructure are all conditional, meaning you do not receive any "uniqueness" right off the bat. (Incidentally, in Gathering Storm, England's standard Factory is superior to this unique building, as it provides 3 Production Production like normal and a whopping 7 additional Production Production when Power Powered.)

Of course, when you unlock Electricity, each copy of this building provides +4 Culture Culture (another conditional bonus), but 4 Culture Culture per city is borderline meaningless at the end of the Modern Era. Considering that Japan has no bonuses towards generating Science Science but some bonuses towards Culture Culture (they can build Theater Squares in half the time), and this bonus is bound to a technology rather than a civic, you will not have an easier time unlocking this to gain an edge over other empires. Not to mention, the bonus is extra Culture Culture, something you most likely already have an abundance of or have no difficulty of generating in the first place, which makes this bonus sound so much worse than it already does. In summary, this bonus is hard to unlock (bound to a technology), gives you a yield you already have plenty of or have no trouble generating if you choose to (Culture Culture), at a point too late (late Modern Era) and in an amount too small (4 per city) to be impactful. And since this Culture Culture yield is bound to a unique building, it does not get translated into Tourism Tourism after you research Flight. Also, because the Electronics Factory's Production Production bonus doesn't stack with that of other Electronics Factories within 6 tiles, constructing this building in every city for its Culture Culture bonus alone is an inefficient use of time and resources. The only case in which this practice is justifiable is when a city has Magnus and his Vertical Integration title, or is within a 6-tile radius of such a city.

All in all, you shouldn't put too much emphasis on this building. You will still have to use it, since the Industrial Zone is an important district and the Factory is crucial when the Industrial Era comes, but you do not exactly have an edge over anybody else with their regular copies of the Factory.

Samurai[edit | edit source]

The most outstanding statistic of the Samurai is its base Strength Combat Strength of 48, rivalling that of a Knight (the only unit with significantly higher melee Strength Combat Strength in this era is the Polish Winged Hussar, at 55). With that being said, a Samurai requires less Iron Iron than a Knight, and at a much lower Production Production cost (20 Production Production lower in Vanilla and Rise and Fall, 60 Production Production lower in Gathering Storm). Basically, with the Samurai, you are making a trade of mobility for a better economic price, a trade that becomes a lot more reasonable in Gathering Storm. Also, considering Feudal Contract policy card is unlocked with Feudalism, an important civic, while Chivalry is unlocked with Divine Right, a civic of a dead-end branch, unless you are playing religious Japan, your unique unit is a much better investment than Knights. An additional point that goes in favor of the Samurai over the Knights is that being a melee unit, it has access to the Tortoise Promotion Promotion, while Knights do not have a similar Promotion Promotion, making Samurai the superior unit to stand in the frontline against Crossbowmen, the bane of all Medieval conquerors.

Beside the nerf to Knights, in Gathering Storm, the Samurai (and also the Khevsur and Berserker) receives an indirect buff. Military Tactics is no longer a leaf technology, meaning you actually need to research it in order to move on to other technologies. In Vanilla and Rise and Fall, this is not the case, as very often, civilizations can skip this technology completely, especially when they have no intention to go on a conquest, and can always unlock better units somewhere else for defensive purposes. As a result, the Khevsur, Berserker and Samurai often get left in the dust, since unless 4 extra Era Score can mean a difference in terms of Ages, Science Science is generally worth being invested elsewhere. This major change brought by Gathering Storm revitalizes these units, as now they become much more incorporated into the grand strategy of their respective civilization.

The bonus that allows the Samurai to suffer no penalty when damaged makes a comeback in Civilization VI. If the new Strength Combat Strength formula is taken into consideration, this is even less important than its counterpart in Civilization V. Back in Civilization V, Strength Combat Strength modifiers were calculated in percentage, so a unit with 1 HP will suffer from a 50% damage reduction, meaning each 2 HP lost will cause roughly 1% damage reduction. In Civilization VI, modifiers are calculated with flat Strength Combat Strength - 10 HP lost only causes 1 Strength Combat Strength reduction; therefore a unit with minimum health only suffers 10 Strength Combat Strength penalty, roughly 20% of the Samurai's base Strength Combat Strength. Not to mention, this bonus, in both games, shines brighter the lower the HP of the unit is. When only 10 or 20 HP is lost, the extra Strength Combat Strength it "gains" is barely noticeable, but at low health threshold, the amount of extra damage dealt can be somewhat meaningful. But here is the deal: you do not want to smash your low health units into the enemies just to prove a point that your Strength Combat Strength is reserved, you try to run them away and heal them back up, so when the ability can shine the brightest is also the moment you want to use it the least. On defense, it makes the Samurai a bit sturdier, but on offense, the bonus is barely useful, as you only use a dying unit to attack when it is surrounded and a death next turn is guaranteed. A little bit more damage dealt with the unit's last gasp should not be the bonus to rely on.

Victory Types[edit | edit source]

The bonuses Japan receives are all versatile enough that you can go for any victory type. Bonus adjacency to Faith Faith as well as cheaper Holy Sites support a Religious Victory. The very same bonuses for Culture Culture and Theater Squares aid a Cultural Victory. The additional Production Production and combat bonuses enable a Domination Victory. Finally, Production Production and additional adjacency Science Science bonuses aid a Science Victory.

Civilopedia entry[edit | edit source]

After centuries of forced isolation, in the past hundred and fifty years Japan has become one of the most industrious and influential civilizations in terms of economics and culture. Whereas samurai in Edo were concerned with kabuki, the woodcuts of the "floating world", and their own internal politics, one hundred years later Japanese artists, architects, fashion designers and businesspeople were at the world's center stage. The age-old traditions of Wa (usually translated as “harmony”) have been replaced, for better or worse, by those of progress and profit.

According to the Kojiki, the first book written in Japan (c.712 AD), the brother and sister deities Izanagi and Izanami, born after the first five primordial gods, created the 434 islands of Japan – churning the seas with a great spear, and drops from that spear formed land where the two settled and begat a host of other kami (gods or “spiritual essences”). The truth is likely far more prosaic; humans crossed land-bridges around 40 thousand years before the islands became detached from Asia some 29 thousand years later. By 660 BC there was a civilization with an emperor supposedly descended from the sun goddess Amaterasu.

Japanese “recorded history” begins about the third century, although there are innocuous references earlier such as that in the Chinese Book of the Later Han dated to 57 AD. This Kofun-jidai (“Kofun period”) saw the rise of several military clans, most notably the Yamato who became dominant – no doubt with much bloodshed – in the south-central part of the main island Honshu. Eventually, having beaten everyone else into submission, the Yamato declared themselves emperors of the united islands of Japan. But as their power waned over the next couple of centuries, the authority of the imperial court was steadily eroded by ambitious daimyo (loosely: “lords”).

During the first centuries under the Yamato emperors, Japanese farmers began using iron tools for agriculture, and the land saw more advanced cultivation and flooding of the fields used to grow rice, a tasty and highly-nutritious grain that would quickly become the cornerstone of Japanese cuisine. This agrarian largess meant that fewer farmers could grow greater amounts of food, allowing the daimyo to dedicate that surplus manpower to military affairs. A new class arose to wedge themselves into Japanese society: the samurai or “those who serve in close attendance.” Soon, all sorts of lords had their own private armies. It was at this time the Japanese imported a number of technological advances from their neighbors, the most important of which may be writing from China; along with Chinese script came religion, in the form of Confucianism. In the sixth century, Buddhism appeared as well.

The first shoguns were appointed by the Emperor as Sei-i Taishogun (“Commander-in-Chief of the Expeditionary Force against the Barbarians”) to remove the Emishi, Ainu, and others on the islands that would not accept imperial rule. In time the title became hereditary, and the shogun became the acknowledged military leader of the land and true ruler behind the imperial throne. Needless-to-say, this meant a lot of in-fighting for the post. In 1185 AD, the Minamoto would kill off most of the current shogun Taira clan in the Genpei War. The Minamoto promptly established a feudal system by law, with the cloistered emperor pretty-much limited to being a revered figurehead.

When Minamoto Yoritomo died, his wife’s family – the Hojo clan – took control of the shogunate. Among other things, the Hojo in the guise of Tokimune defeated two Mongol invasions, spread Zen Buddhism and helped formulate the final form of the code of bushido. The Mongol invasions were pivotal for two things in Japanese history. The Japanese were horrified when their swords tended to break on the thick, boiled leather armor of the Mongols, leading to the development of the famed Katana by master swordsmiths. And the fierce samurai had faced a non-Japanese foe for the first of only three times (the invasions of Korea in 1592 and Ryukyu in 1609 being the others); mostly they just chopped each other to bits.

The Hojo clan remained in power until 1333 AD, when Emperor Go-Daigo launched a coup to return actual rule to the imperial family. He was assisted in the struggle by a group of aristocrats, plus several samurai clans and some militant Buddhist monks. But a number of important allies of Go-Daigo were unhappy with their cut of the spoils, and in 1336 they then revolted, driving the emperor north into the Yoshino Mountains. For the next 60 years there were two imperial courts, the Northern and Southern, with control of Japan split between them. The southern emperor remained a figurehead, with real power in the hands of the Ashikaga shogunate. In 1391 the imperial courts were reunited, with power held by the shogun Ashikaga Takauji.

This set off the period in Japanese development known as the “Warring States” (or Sengoku if wanting to be formal about terminology) period, 150 years marked by social upheaval, political intrigue (mixed with some assassination) and near-constant military conflict between those private armies of samurai. It did have its high points. Engineering of magnificent castles – some still standing – became an art form; Japanese warriors became adept with many weapons, including the musket after European traders introduced firearms; and the ninja first appeared. Eventually, the country was nearly unified under the brilliant Oda Nobunaga, who had the misfortune of being betrayed and killed in 1582 AD by one of his most trusted officers. In the bloody aftermath, Nobunaga’s neighboring daimyo and ally, Tokugawa Ieyasu – one of the most famous samurai of all – assumed the title of shogun in 1603.

In the midst of all this, the Europeans arrived. In 1543 a Portuguese ship on its way to China ended up making landfall on Tanegashima Island. In the following few years, traders from Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands and England all decided to stop by, and Jesuit, Dominican, and Franciscan missionaries chose to stay and spread their gospel. The new shogun had his suspicions that the trading enclaves and churches that were being established were merely the forerunners of a European invasion. Moreover, Christianity was spreading rapidly, especially among the sullen peasants. In 1637 the Shimabara Rebellion – composed of some 30 thousand Christians (mostly peasants) and rōnin (lordless samurai) – was put down only by a massive army led by the shogun.

The shoguns had had enough. The Shimabara uprising was followed by the first of the so-called Sakoku (seclusion laws) under Tokagawa Iemitsu, and added to by his successors for the next quarter-millennia. Missionaries, traders and foreigners of all sorts – save for some Dutch and Chinese confined to the island of Dejima at Nagasaki – were expelled. Trade with Korea was limited to Tsushima. No foreigner could enter nor Japanese leave on penalty of immediate death. The Catholics were expelled, their schools and churches torn down, and the daimyo were forbidden to become Christians on penalty of - not surprisingly - death (the standard Japanese punishment for almost any transgression).

Whether the Sakoku policy was responsible or not, during these 250-plus years of the Tokagawa shogunate Japan experienced a social and cultural flowering, as well as relative stability and peace (enforced on the points of katana). Ukiyo-e wood-block printing produced masterful works of art, as did kabuki and bunraku theater; some of the most famous compositions for koto and shakuhachi date from this period. The geisha evolved from simple entertainers - of all sorts - into the pinnacle of refined femininity. Patronage of the arts by the samurai spread elegant landscaping and architecture across the islands. The social structure became rigid, a system in which each know their place and responsibilities, from the lowest peasants (some 85% of the population) to the 250 daimyos. The punishment for stepping out of one’s station tended to be severe … and immediate. Everything became rigidly ritualized, from having tea to killing oneself.

Japan was doing pretty well until American admiral Matthew Perry came calling in 1853 AD. Sailing around the Bay of Edo with the guns of his four modern warships at the ready, he demanded that Japan open trade with the West without restrictions. The next year, Perry appeared again, this time with seven ships and forced the shogun to sign the “Treaty of Peace and Amity” under the threat of the Americans’ big guns. Within five years, Japan “enjoyed” similar treaties with most of the Western powers. The shame of being outgunned by a foreign military force right on its inviolate doorstep toppled the shogunate, with de facto power shifting back to the emperor.

The vigorous young Emperor Meiji, taking the throne in 1867, initiated a period of radical reform from top to bottom in his country, seeking to make Japan militarily and economically equal to the West whose warships were sailing about its islands. By 1912 the government had abolished feudalism, placed the lands of most of the daimyos under “imperial control,” returned much of that to the peasant farmers, established freedom of worship, promoted trade, and virtually annihilated the samurai class. On a more pragmatic note, the throne encouraged industrialization, and established a constitutional monarch based upon the European model. And in 1873, Japan initiated nationwide conscription, creating an Imperial Japanese Army and Navy.

So efficient it was, Japan quickly emerged as the major power in the region, and soon emulated another Western proclivity – building a colonial empire. In 1894 AD Japan became embroiled with moribund China over who would dominate Korea; Japan won handily, gaining “independence” for Korea and Formosa, the Pescadores and the Liaotung Peninsula for itself. But the Western powers made Japan return the latter to China, who promptly leased it to Russia. Japan was infuriated, and the resultant 1904 Russo-Japanese War gave Japan the opportunity to show it could stomp a “Western” power. World War I presented Japan the chance to grab defeated Germany’s possessions in the Pacific and Asia. Japan next began nibbling at China, and moved into Manchuria – alarming just about everyone. Spurred by the depression and Western tariffs, totalitarian militarists took control of the government. By the late 1930s, the Western democracies and Imperial Japan were on a collision course.

With public outcry in the United States mounting with reports of Japanese atrocities in China, the occupation of Indo China upon France’s utter defeat by Nazi Germany, and clashes with Russia in Manchuria, it was not long before Japan joined the fray that was World War 2 with an attack on the United States and the British Empire in 1941 AD. In the debacle that followed, after initial stunning success, Japan found itself on the losing end of the Pacific War, concluded in August 1945 after atomic devastation. From those ashes though, under an American occupation, the nation rose again like a hou-ou (Japanese phoenix), becoming one of the world’s leading economic, technological and cultural leaders.

Cities[edit | edit source]

Main article: Japanese cities (Civ6)

Citizens[edit | edit source]

Males Females Modern males Modern females
Akeno Akiko Akira Aoi
Benjiro Chiyo Haruta Hina
Hiroshi Emiko Hiroto Midori
Jomei Hoshiko Masa Miu
Kaage Kameko Ren Miyu
Kaemon Kashiya Sho Nanami
Mashiro Kimiko Sora Rin
Renjiro Natsuko Tatsuo Sakura
Sachiro Sakura Yamato Umi
Teijo Yumiko Yuki Yumi

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Videos[edit | edit source]

Related achievements[edit | edit source]

Meiji Restoration
Meiji Restoration
Playing as Japan, have a district with 6 adjacent unpillaged districts.
The Meiji Restoration was when Japan embarked on industrialization after being visited by Europeans with superior technology.
Katsu!
Katsu!
Win a regular game as Hojo Tokimune
Legend has it that Hojo Tokimune, after meditating to deal with cowardice prior to a Mongol invasion, exclaimed this to his master as a show of courage.
Civilization VI Civilizations [edit]

AmericanArabianAustralian1AztecBabylonian1BrazilianByzantine1Canadian GS-Only.pngChineseCree R&F-Only.pngDutch R&F-Only.pngEgyptianEnglishEthiopian1FrenchGallic1Georgian R&F-Only.pngGermanGran Colombian1GreekHungarian GS-Only.pngIncan GS-Only.pngIndianIndonesian1JapaneseKhmer1KongoleseKorean R&F-Only.pngMacedonian1Malian GS-Only.pngMāori GS-Only.pngMapuche R&F-Only.pngMayan1Mongolian R&F-Only.pngNorwegianNubian1Ottoman GS-Only.pngPersian1Phoenician GS-Only.pngPolish1RomanRussianScottish R&F-Only.pngScythianSpanishSumerianSwedish GS-Only.pngVietnamese1Zulu R&F-Only.png

1 Requires a DLC

R&F-Only.png Added in the Rise and Fall expansion pack.
GS-Only.png Added in the Gathering Storm expansion pack.

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