Glossary of Terms

Amaterasu

The sun goddess.

Arquebus

An early form of long arm that uses a matchlock firing mechanism to propel the charge; a precursor to the musket.

Ashigaru

Conscripted peasant soldiers that were the mainstay of many clan armies; far beneath samurai in rank, they eventually became a feudal class of their own: professional soldiers.

Bajutsu

The art of horse skills and fighting on horseback.

Bakuto

An inveterate gambler or someone immersed in the mizu shobai.

Biwa

A Japanese instrument similar to a lute.

Bokken

A wooden sword using for training, so a mistake wouldn't result in being cleaved in two.

Buddhism

The official religion of Japan that follows the teachings of Buddha.

Bune

A ship.

Bunraku

Japanese puppet theatre.

Burakumin

Those who practiced impure occupations, such as tanners, undertakers and executioners.

Bushido

Literally "the way of the warrior"; the samurai code of honour, similar to the western concept of chivalry.

Chinka-sai

A festival celebrating the fire kami.

Chonin

A “townsman”, a city-dwelling peasant, often a craftsman or salesman.

Clan

A faction consisting of a noble family and its retainers, the powerbase of feudal Japan; equivalent to a faction in previous Total War titles.

Commissioners

The daimyo's chief advisors; equivalent to ministers in previous Total War titles.

Daimyo

The leader of the clan; the faction leader in previous Total War titles.

Daisho

The two swords of the samurai, katana and wakizashi, when worn together.

Dojo

Literally the "place of the way", a building where military skills are taught.

Fugu

A pufferfish that can kill its eater if not prepared correctly.

Fujin

The wind god.

Fujin-sai

A festival of appeasement to the wind god.

Gaijin

A foreigner; anyone who isn't Japanese.

Geisha

A discreet, trusted hostess; a highly-skilled assassin in Total War: Shogun 2.

Go

A Japanese strategy game.

Hachiman

The god of warriors.

Haiku

A form of poetry that must contain three phrases totalling no more than 17 moras (the stresses of a syllable).

Hanafuda

Japanese playing cards used for games such as Karuta.

Horo

A cloak worn on the battlefield.

Horoku

A primitive fire bomb often swung on a chain or rope.

Iaijutsu

The art of drawing the sword, literally "mental presence and immediate reaction".

Jizamurai

The owner of a small rural domain.

Joro

A seductive woman.

Jujutsu

The art of fighting an armed opponent whilst unarmed.

Kabuki

A drama in the form of dance.

Kabukimono

A ronin or vagrant who claims to be a working samurai.

Kagutsuchi

The fire god.

Kami

A spirit.

Katana

The sword of the samurai.

Kenjutsu

The art of fighting with a sword.

Kisho

Fighting or battle.

Kitsune

A fox, often portrayed as a magical spirit.

Kobudo

A martial art from the islands of Ryukyu involving such weapons as nunchaku, staffs and knuckledusters often used by ninja.

Kodachi

A short sword worn by a samurai.

Kodama

A spirit of the trees.

Koku

A unit of currency: the amount of rice required to feed one person for one year.

Kote

The sleeves in a suit of Japanese battle armour.

Kumicho

The leader of a Yakuza family; a crime boss.

Kyoto

The capital city of Japan, home to both the shogun and the emperor.

Kyujutsu

The art of bowmanship and archery, also known as kyudo.

Maiko

Literally “dancing girl”, an apprentice geisha.

Mangonel

A type of catapult.

Matchlock

Another name for the arquebus.

Meijin

Literally “brilliant man”, the meijin is a Go champion.

Menpo

The face mask in a suit of Japanese battle armour.

Metsuke

A secret policeman, skilled in bribery and interrogation techniques; the guardian of loyalty and "correct" behaviour.

Mizu Shobai

Literally the "water trade", referring to drinking and night-life generally.

Mon

A clan's symbol that appears on all their flags and banners.

Monshu

Literally "gate keeper", the head monk at a Buddhist monastery.

Moon People

Those who dwell upon the glowing orb. Approach with caution.

Naginata

A pole-arm: a blade mounted on a pole.

Naginatajutsu

The art of fighting with a naginata.

Nanban

Southern barbarian, the Japanese name for European visitors.

Netsuke

A small, sculpted box hung from robes instead of a pocket, used to store money, tobacco and other personal items.

Nihon Maru

The shogun's flagship.

Ninja

An expert in ninjutsu, used to carry out covert subterfuge missions; also known as shinobi in feudal Japan.

Ninjato

The short, straight sword of a ninja.

Ninjutsu

The art of unconventional warfare, subterfuge and espionage, as practiced by ninja and developed in the province of Iga.

Niten Ichi-ryu

The art of fighting with two swords at the same time.

No-dachi

A two-handed sword.

Onna Bugeisha

A female samurai, exclusively a noble woman.

Onsen

Literally “hot springs”, often meaning bathhouses nearby.

O-shuko

A waitress at an inn.

Owatatsumi

The great water god.

Oyabun

See Kumicho.

Oyamatsumi

The goddess of the sea, mountains, and war.

O-yoroi

Elaborate Japanese battle armour.

Province

An area of clan territory equivalent to a region in previous Total War titles.

Rikishi

A professional sumo wrestler.

Ronin

Masterless samurai - the remnants of clans that have been defeated and destroyed.

Sakoku

Literally "locked country"; the policy of not allowing foreigners into Japan or any citizens to leave that was enacted during the Edo period, following the Sengoku Jidai.

Samurai

Samurai – literally “he who serves”; noble warriors, essentially the equivalent of European knights.

Sekitori

A high-ranking sumo wrestler.

Sengoku Jidai

Literally "the age of the country at war"; essentially the second half of the 16th century, the time period in which Total War: Shogun 2 is set.

Seppuku

Ritual suicide by disembowelment, literally "cutting the belly"; either voluntarily due to defeat or a slight or shame to an individual or his master's honour, or by order as a form of punishment for samurai who had committed a serious infraction that had caused shame and compromised their honour; also known as hara-kiri.

Shinobigatana

Another name for the ninjato sword used by ninja.

Shinto

The indigenous spiritualism of Japan, literally meaning "way of the gods". Pre-dating Buddhism, it is the worship of natural forces: the Kami, or spirits.

Shiomatsuri

A festival celebrating the tides.

Shogi

A Japanese board game very similar to Chess.

Shogun

The military dictator of Japan, a man effectively more powerful than the emperor.

Shogunate

The military government, consisting mainly of members of the shogun's clan.

Shuriken

Literally the “hidden sword", otherwise known as a throwing star; used in ninjutsu.

Sohei

A Buddhist warrior monk.

Sojutsu

The art of fighting with a spear.

Suburi

The cutting exercises used in sword training, usually with a bokken.

Sumo

The art of wrestling, a popular Japanese sport.

Suneate

The greaves or shin-guards in a suit of Japanese battle armour.

Sushi

Raw fish served with rice, rolled together.

Taiko

A drum.

Taisho

Another name for general, generic modern Japanese term for any kind of leader.

Tanto

A short dagger, often used to commit seppuku.

Tenshu

The keep of a castle. The object of a siege battle is to capture the tenshu.

Teppo

A gun, specifically the matchlocks and arquebuses used during the Sengoku Jidai.

Torii

The gate at the entrance to a Shinto shrine.

Wakizashi

A short sword worn by samurai, part of the set known as daisho.

Wako

A seaborne pirate.

Yabusame

The art of mounted archery.

Yari

A spear.

Yatagarasu

The "eight-span crow", a great bird whose presence is viewed as indicative of the will of the gods.

Yokozuna

The highest possible rank in sumo wrestling.