Civilization VI: Hojo Tokimune Leads Japan

Hojo Tokimune, born in 1251, was the eighth Shikken (de facto ruler, or Shogun-regent) of Japan. He is chiefly remembered for leading Japanese forces to victory against the invading Mongol Empire, as well as spreading Zen Buddhism throughout Japan and championing the Bushido way of life.

Tokimune was known to rule with an iron fist. After the Mongol Empire first attempted invasion in 1274 and was summarily defeated, it sent five emissaries to meet with Tokimune. These emissaries refused to leave without an audience with the Shikken, to which Tokimune responded by having them beheaded. Again, five more emissaries were sent, and again Tokimune had them all beheaded. This resulted in another invasion in 1281, which also failed – this time in part due to an unforeseen typhoon. As the threat of the Mongol Empire loomed over Japan for years, the samurai warrior class established itself as a formidable force and led all of Japan’s defensive efforts, securing a legacy as one of the toughest warrior classes the world has ever known.

Tokimune was more than just a great military leader, however, and was also a strong patron of Zen Buddhism, bringing notable Zen monks from China to Japan and endowing temples. In part, because of his deep investment in Zen, the sect became widespread among the samurai class during his lifetime and long after. Tokimune was only 33 when he died, but feudal Japan bore the stamp of his leadership for centuries after.

Unique Unit: Samurai

Samurai, or known as Bushi class, existed for nearly a thousand years in Japan. Bushido (“the way of the warrior”) was a codified set of rules and way of life adopted by a large number of noble clans throughout Japan. The samurai class wasn’t officially abolished in Japan until 1868 and, to this day, remains one of the most identifiable Japanese cultural touchstones.

Unique Building: Electronics Factory

With the invention of consumer electronics in the late 20th Century, Japan quickly became home to the largest electronics industry in the entire world. The first modern electronics factory was built by Sony in 1946, and Japanese innovations since have kept the country most profitable in what is easily the most competitive consumer landscape mankind has ever seen.

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