- "The only reason a warrior is alive is to fight, and the only reason a warrior fights is to win."
With Hojo in charge, the "way of the warrior" for Japan is to build a nice, compact coastal empire and mix in religious and cultural development with military advancement.
The great wave of Buddhism follows you, Shikken of Japan, Hojo Tokimune. Your people truly understand what it is to practice balance, and even your finest samurai will be well-learned and spiritually apt. Be strong, embrace the divine wind, and you will reach enlightenment.
His leader ability is Divine Wind. Land units receive +5 Combat Strength in land tiles adjacent to Coast; naval units receive +5 Combat Strength in shallow water tiles. Builds Encampment, Holy Site, and Theater Square districts in half the time.
Detailed Approach Edit
Japan gets just as good an adjacency bonus from placing Holy Sites and Campuses next to each other as from putting them up against Mountains. So finding good terrain is not a worry for Japan, but instead they can rely on a dense urban layout. Hojo thrives along the coast where his land and naval forces are more effective - watch out for them on water maps! Although they might appear as just a military power, under Hojo's leadership Japan can compete in religion or culture effectively. By the 20th century, their Electronics Factories can kick in and make them a threat to win by culture.
Agenda-based Approval: You build your empire as the Rising Sun: powerful and brilliant. (汝は日出の如く強く輝く帝の国を築かんや。 / Nanji wa hinode no gotoku tsuyoku kagayaku mikado no kuni wo kizukannya.)
Agenda-based Disapproval: To follow Bushido is to train the mind, the body, and the soul...but where can your people do so? (体、心、魂を鍛えん者武士道なり。汝の民は、焉にてそれを為さんや。 / Karada, kokoro, tamashii wo kitaen mono bushido nari. Nanji no tami wa, izukunite sore wo nasannya.)
Attacked: The Divine Wind will protect us and you will fall, like the others. (神風我らを守り、己はかつての敵の如く滅亡せるらん。 / Kamikaze warera wo mamori, onore wa katsute no gotoku metsubou seruran.)
Declares War: I will not allow the Empire to suffer you any longer. The time has come to end this charade! (これまでたり。この愚かなる芝居を終わらせん！ / Kore made tari. Kono orokana shibai wo owarsen!)
Defeated: Please end this dishonor to my family...to my people. (北条家たり、我が民の絆をなかけ給いそ。 / Hojyo ke tari, waga tami no kizuna wo na kake tamai so.)
Greeting: Hello, I am Hojo Tokimune of Japan, a humble disciple of Bushido. (いかがある。我は日本国の武士道の信仰者、北条時宗。 / Ikaga aru. Ware wa Nihonkoku no bushido no shinnkousha, Hojo Tokimune.)
Denunciation: You are a foolish, simple leader. And your people should know the truth.
Historical Context Edit
Born the eldest son of Tokiyori, fifth shikken (regent) of the Kamakura shogunate and de facto ruler of Japan, Tokimune was from birth acknowledged to be the tokuso (head) of the clan Hojo and rigorously groomed to be his father’s successor. At the not-so-tender age of 18, in 1268 AD he became shikken himself. By the time of his death at the age of 34, Tokimune would have reshaped Japan to its core.
Immediately upon his ascension to shikken-hood, Tokimune was faced with a national crisis. The Mongol emperor of China, Kublai Khan, sent an envoy with the demand that Japan enter into a “tributary relationship” with the Mongols or face invasion and conquest. While many in the Japanese government, including members of the royal family, urged that a compromise be reached, the teen regent defiantly rejected the Mongol demand and sent the emissaries back (in what shape is not recorded).
Four more times the demand was made by Mongol emissaries over the next four years, each time with a similar response from Tokimune. Anticipating Mongol impatience, he dispatched a Japanese force to the southern island of Kyushu to be ready for an invasion. In 1274 it came, as some 25 thousand Mongol and Korean troops seized the small, outlying islands. A divine wind forced the Mongol fleet to return home, and the threat was over … for now.
Despite the invasion, Kublai was a reasonable man, and dispatched five more envoys to negotiate tribute yet again in 1275. They refused to depart without a reply, so Tokimune had them brought to the city of Kamakura and beheaded. In 1279, five more were sent, and they suffered a similar fate. The imperial court, seeing the kana on the wall, ordered all the temples and shrines to begin praying for a victory over the Mongols. Tokimune set about fortifying the shore at likely invasion sites.
In the summer of 1281, a far more serious force than before – reportedly some 140 thousand Mongols and allies in around 4000 ships – arrived offshore and squared off with the entire Japanese army and navy under Tokimune. Defeated in landings on Tsushima and Shikano islands, the Mongols finally gained a foothold on Iki, but later withdrew to the island of Hirato. Three days later, the Japanese attacked the invader’s fleet, causing considerable losses and consternation – enough so that most of the Mongol commanders sailed back to China, leaving about 100 thousand leaderless troops behind. In August came the famed kamikaze (typhoon) that pummeled the Mongol ships for two days, sinking most of them (including the flagship with the Korean admiral aboard). Shortly thereafter Tokimune’s samurai annihilated the 100 thousand.
Japan was saved, never to be threatened again by invasion until the end of the Second World War. Tokimune could turn his attention to other matters … like practicing Zen meditation and building Buddhist shrines and monasteries, such as the one at Engaku-ji as a memorial to those samurai who had died defeating the Mongols. As a teen and young man, he had been an advocate of the Ritsu sect of Buddhism, but converted to Zen at some point before the invasion. So committed to his faith was he that Tokimune on the day of his death “took the tonsure and became a Zen monk” (perhaps a little late to find true enlightenment).
Thanks in part to the victory over the Mongols under Tokimune’s guidance, Zen Buddhism began to spread among the samurai class with some rapidity. Some may have truly believed in the teachings; others likely took it up to curry favor with the shikken. This heretofore trivial faith spread first through Kamakura, the seat of Hojo power, and thence to the imperial capital of Kyoto. Tokimune also linked Zen with the “moral” code of bushido (a modern term for an old philosophy) that stressed frugality, martial arts, loyalty and “honor unto death.” Born from neo-Confucianism, bushido under Tokimune was mixed with elements of Shinto and Zen, adding a dose of wisdom and serenity to the otherwise violent code. Eventually, under the later Tokugawa shogunate, some of these teachings of bushido would be formalized in Japanese feudal law.
Besides dedicating shrines to the samurai who had fallen stemming the Mongol horde, Tokimune began several initiatives to help them in more pragmatic ways, although he died before most were implemented (his son, Sadatoki would finish these). Land grants (shōen) were given to the kyunin (officers) and myoshu (land holders) who had not yet been rewarded, and the land that they had sold or pawned to bring troops would be returned to them without penalty; a special commission tokusei no ontsukai (“agents of virtuous rule”) was to see to the details. Another edict insured that shrine lands that had been pawned would be returned to the Zen monasteries at no cost as an expression of gratitude for the prayers said at the time of the invasions.
But, in the midst of all this largess, Hojo Tokimune died suddenly of an unknown cause after falling ill in 1284 AD. Tokimune had rendered heroic service to Japan, and was idolized for it. But the massive expenditures in fighting off the invasion and spreading Zen weakened the Kanakura shogunate and the Hojo clan (he spent a lot of the family fortune on those shrines), to the point where they would decline and be replaced by the Kenmu Restoration fifty years later and the Ashikaga shogunate shortly after that.