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In Japan from 1603 until 1868, the Emperor's position was weak - and in his place, a Shogun of the Tokugawa clan ruled with a stern hand to ensure peace among the Daimyos.

The in- significant fishing village of Edo became the new seat of government and soon emerged as the most important city in Japan - a city known today as Tokyo.

In order to protect themselves from intrigue during this time, the Tokugawa clan required each Daimyo to take up residence in Edo while also spending a considerable portion of their wealth to develop this region.

The samurai are disarmed, and the best of them now serve their lords as stewards. If one does not question the Shogun's claim to power during these troubled times, a Daimyo may gain wide influence on other families...

Object of the Game

Assuming the roles of Daimyos, the players build houses, trading posts, and castles to develop Edo and its surroundings.

They gain power points for building and trading during the game, and for money in hand and samurai on the game board at game's end.

The player with the most power points after the final scoring wins - provided he has built at least one house in Edo.

Game Play

The game lasts several rounds, with each round consisting of 4 phases:

  • Phase 1: Plan actions in secret
  • Phase 2: Perform actions
  • Phase 3: Collect wages and income
  • Phase 4: Prepare for the next game round or the end of the game

Phase 1: Plan Actions in Secret

Each player starts the game with 3 authorization cards. Each card allows 4 different actions, and each card has a different selection of actions.

A. Select 3 Actions

The 4 possible actions
on this authorization card

Simultaneously and secretly all players select 3 actions that they want to perform during this game round.

Players can select only 1 action on each of their cards. After having selected their actions, each player decides on the order in which they want to perform these actions.

They slide their cards into the slot of their planning board, from left to right and with the selected action pointing downwards.

On the planning board, the selected actions point downwards.
They will be performed in order from left to right

B. Assign Officials

In order to activate an action once, the player must place 1 official on his planning board facing that card. Depending on its type, each action can be activated up to 4 times by deploying the appropriate number of officials to it.

The blue player plans to perform the first
action twice and actions 2 and 3 once each

Note: If no official is assigned to a card, that action is skipped.

After all players have concluded their planning, advance to Phase 2.

Phase 2: Perform Actions

The starting player reveals his 1st authorization card (the leftmost one) and performs that action. If a player activates an action more than once, he performs all of these actions in a row, without interruption.

Then, the other players in clockwise direction take their first actions. The players repeat this procedure for their 2nd authorization card (center), then for their 3rd authorization card (right).

The blue player reveals his first authorization card
and performs the selected action twice

Note: A player may forfeit one or more activated actions.

The actions in detail:

With their actions, the players gain resources, erect buildings, trade, recruit new officials, and place their samurai on the game board.

Some actions require only the assigned official(s) on the planning board, whereas other actions also require the presence of one of the player's samurai on a certain space of the game board. Each action indicates how often it can be activated.

A. Actions requiring only Officials:

To activate the following actions, a player needs only the officials assigned to that card on the player's planning board. Unless noted otherwise, each official assigned to an action activates it once (1x).

  • Money

    For each official assigned to this action, the player takes 5 Ryo from the common supply.

    Note: Players may keep their money hidden by stacking it.

  • Rice

    For each official deployed to this action, the player takes 1 rice from the common supply.

  • Travel

    For each official assigned to this action, the player must decide which of two actions to take.

    • Either: Send that official to Edo to serve as a samurai, placing it on one of the border posts on the game board.

    • Or: Move up to 2 of his samurai already on the game board to new locations. Any number of samurai belonging to any number of players may share the same location.

  • Recruitment

    By spending 1 rice, the player recruits 1 new official of the shogun from the common supply.

    Starting in the next game round, he may assign this new official to his planning board. This official may not be placed on the game board as a samurai.

  • Development

    By paying 5 Ryo, the player claims 1 new special authorization card from the open display. Reveal a new special authorization card immediately.

    Each special authorization card offers 2 more effective actions and gives the player more options during each subsequent planning phase.

B. Actions requiring both officials and samurai:

In order to activate such an action, the player must assign 1 official to it on his planning board and must have 1 of his own samurai on a particular space of the game board.

To activate this action more than once, he must have a different samurai on the game board for each official assigned to this action. Depending on the location of his samurai, he can perform these actions in one or in several spaces.

Before revealing his authorization card, a player may move any number of his samurai on the game board. Samurai may move to spaces containing other samurai. The player must pay 1 Ryo to the common supply for each space that he moves a samurai.

C. Resource Actions:

There are 3 types of resources - wood, stone, and rice; each resource type has a corresponding action to produce it, as well as corresponding resource spaces on the game board.

To activate this action, the player must have one of his samurai on a corresponding resource space for each official on his planning board assigned to this action.

The fewer samurai that are on a space, whether his own or those of other players, the more resources the player receives.

Resource spaces on the game board:

The players keep their resources in front of them, visible to all players.

A player may never have more than 10 resources of a certain type at any one time.

D. Building Actions:

To activate this action, the player must have one of his samurai in the city in which he wants to build for each official on his planning board assigned to this action.


This authorization card allows the player to perform the building action up to 4 times.

The blue player may build 1 house in this city.


This authorization card allows the player to perform the building action up to 2 times, but the player must assign two officials for each samurai overseeing the construction.

The blue player may build only 1 house in this city.

A player may build his houses, his trading post and the shared fortresses.

In order to erect a building, a player must spend resources and money (see the chart at left). When building, he gains power points immediately.

Return the paid resources and money to the common supply, and mark power points on the power points track.

Building Rules

Each city can accommodate 10 buildings. Each new building must be placed on the next free building space, in the direction of the arrow.

For every 2 houses in a city, one fortress may be built in that city. A player may build a fortress in a city only if he owns at least 1 house in that city.

Only 1 trading post may be built in each city.

Exception: No trading post can be built in Edo.

Obligatory building in Edo

At the end of the game, a player must have built at least 1 house in Edo in order to qualify for winning the game.

E. Trading actions:

Trading allows players to exchange resources and power points based on the current merchant card.

To activate this action, the player must have one of his samurai on the merchant figure's current location for each official on his planning board assigned to this action.

Note: The current merchant card lies in the box next to the merchant card deck.

Before revealing an authorization card, a player may move the merchant figure any number of spaces, paying 1 Ryo to the common supply for each space to which the merchant moves.

A player may move the merchant even if he does not want to trade with him.

Each merchant card offers 2 trade options:

  • Receive 1 or more resources or
  • Gain 1 power point.

If the merchant and the player's samurai are in a city containing that player's trading post, the player may receive resources and gain 1 power point with a single trade action.

The player returns any resources or money he expends for the trade to the common supply. He then receives resources from the common supply and marks gained power points on the power points track.

If a player wants to activate the trading action 2x, they must have 2 samurais on the merchant's space as well as 2 officials assigned to this action on their planning board.

Note: The merchant's presence on a resource space does not affect the production of that resource.

Phase 3: Collect Wages and Income


Beginning with the starting player, each player has to decide for each of his samurai on the game board whether he wants to leave the figure in place or return it to his planning board to be used as an official next round.

For each samurai left on the game board, the samurai's owner must pay 1 rice to the common supply.

After the starting player has decided for all of his samurai, the other players follow in clockwise direction.


Each city with buildings provides income. If only 1 player has built in a city, he earns the entire profit.

If 2 or more players have built in a city, the profit is split among them based on their influence in that city.

A player's trading post is worth 2 influence points (IP); each house is worth 1 IP. Fortresses do not provide influence points; they are neutral.

The player controlling the most influence points in a city receives the largest share of the profit. The other players receive money according to their rank, in descending order.

In case of a tie, the tied player who built prior to the other tied player(s) has the higher influence. After all cities have been scored, advance to Phase 4.

Phase 4: Next Round or the End of the Game

Conditions: Check whether at least one player has gained 12 power points or more or whether the merchant card deck is exhausted.

If neither of these conditions has been met:

Prepare for the next game round
  • Remove the current merchant card from the game, then move the face-up merchant card from the deck to the now empty space. Reveal the top card of the deck (if possible) and leave it on top of the deck.

  • The starting player passes the start player marker to his neighbor on the left.

  • All players take their authorization cards in hand and place their officials next to their planning board.

If 1 or 2 of the conditions have been met:

End of the Game

The players conclude the game with the final scoring:

If a player has no house built in Edo, he is eliminated from play and cannot win.

All players still eligible for winning gain 1 power point for each of their samurai on the game board, and 1 power point for each 50 Ryo they own.

The player with the most power points wins.

In case of a tie for the most power points, the tied player owning the most combined resources (rice, wood, and stone) wins.

If this does not resolve the tie, the tied player with the highest influence in Edo wins.

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