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Japanese Imperial State
Government Type: Constitutional Monarchy
Capital: Tokyo
Leaders: Emperor Yasuhito

Prime Minister Hisei Kazama

Population 141,000,000
Human 84%
Elf 3%
Dwarf 4%
Ork 6%
Troll 2%
Other 1%
Per Capita Income: 28,700¥
Estimated SINless: 4%
Below Poverty Level: 18%
Corporate Affiliation: 78%
Less Than Twelve Years 2%
High School Equivalency 55%
College Degrees 29%
Advanced Degrees 14%
Major Ethnic Groups:
Japanese: 95%
Korean: 5%
Chinese: 3%
Other: 3%
Major Languages Spoken:
Japanese: 95%
English: 40%
Korean: 15%
Major Religions:
Shinto/Buddhist: 85%
Ainu: 2%
Unaffiliated/Others: 2%
None: 11%
Currency: Nuyen (¥)
CrashCart Coverage: 50%
Guaranteed Response Time: 7 minutes

Monobe Medical Coverage: 70%

Guaranteed Response Time: 8 minutes

Japanese Imperial State or JIS (日本帝国, nihon teikoku)  is the current government of Japanese archipelago and neighboring protectorates. The current Emperor of Japan is Emperor Yasuhito, who replaced Emperor Kenichi following the Unzen Volcano eruption that devastated the Shimabara Peninsula in the south of Kyushu in 2061, and the current Prime Minister is Shobo Kazama.


See Timeline of the JIS.

The Birth of Imperial Japan[]

The rebirth of the Japanese Empire, began in 2005. When the Japanese government backed the South Koreans who started a war of unification with North Korea, which was successful and resulted in a pro-Japanese client state.

Nationalists in 2006 rejected pacifism and established the Japanese Imperial State. In 2012, the Yamato Act was passed which removed pacifism from the constitution, made the emperor the head of state, gave the megacorporations the ability to do almost anything they wanted, and establised anti-metahuman laws

While the appearance of the first dragon (Ryumyo) in 2011 followed by spirits, and the return of magic was accepted in Japan and was looked upon favorably, resulting in a resurgence in Shintoism and the strengthening of the emperor's position, not so metahumans. Newborn dwarves and elves were seen as strangers, mutants, or Oni (demons). They and their parents were cast out of companies. It was worse for those who goblinized into orks and trolls, as they were deported to the volcanic island that came to be known as Yomi.

The Rise of the Empire of Japan[]

Taking advantage of the collapse and fragmentation of China to the west and the fragmentation of the United States to the east, the young Japanese empire began its expansion. In 2021, the Japanese Marines landed in the Philippines, using the pretex of a humanitarian intervention because of the goblinization crisis. Years later in 2027, the archipelago was made into a prefecture of Japan.

Japanese Marines also established protectorates over Hawai'i and Peru, and established defacto rule over the city of Cairns in northeastern Australia. These areas all experienced a degree of independence that was lacking in the Philippines. In 2037, Japanese Marines ended up in CalFree, occupying the Bay Area.

In the meantime, Japan became the world's sole economic superpower and the home of five AAA-rated megacorporations. Its currency; the nuyen; became the world's currency in 2036 though Japan gave control of the nuyen to the Zurich-Orbital Gemeinschaft Bank. Later in 2039, Japan was able to assert its power to make the standards of Fuchi Industrial Electronics those of the Matrix, giving the Japanacorps an advantage for decades.

The Fall of the Empire of Japan[]

Japan seemed unstoppable, but the empire was slowly rotting from the inside. Military spending continued to rapidly rise due to the expenses brought about by the occupations which resulted in decreased spending in Japan itself leading to a declining infrastructure. Deregulation policies favoring the megacorporations led to a growing underclass and increasing pressure on the middle class.

In 2061, the Year of the Comet, the Ring of Fire exploded. Volanic eruptions, tsunamis, and earthquakes rocked many nations, worst of all Japan. Emperor Kenichi and most of the imperial family died. Over 240,000 Japanese citizens died (not including the SINless), and whole cities were reduced to ruin or rubble. The parliament called back the Japanese military forces as they were needed to provide humanitarian assistance, restore order, and help rebuild the country. They withdrew from the Philippines, Hawaii, Australia, and Peru but the ones in the California under General Saito defied orders and established a military dictatorship in the Bay Area. The militaristic, fascist, and racist California Protectorate would end several years after Crash 2.0 in the late 2060s with the intervention of the forces of Ares Macrotechnology.

Reforms in Japan[]

Only one direct descendant of the imperial line remained, the emperor's 14 year old grandson, Yasuhito who was declared emperor. It turned out he is a progressive ruler, one who cares about all of his people, including metahumans. He reversed his grandfather's Yomi decree, outlawed any further discrimination against metahumans, and hired several Oni as his bodyguards. The Yamato Act was reformed, opening up Japan to foreign investment and competition.

The emperor and Shinto priesthood decided that the devastation was the inevitable consequences of the actions of the Japanacorps, therefore the rebuilding of Tokyo and most of the other cities was to be done by the smaller ziabatsus not the megacorps and it would be supervised by the spirits. The megacorps were given the job of providing logistical support and rebuilding the cities where the spirits could not go to because of their polluted astral space (e.g. Nagasaki).

In 2064, the 16 year old Emperor Yasuhito married the 19 year old Hitomi Shiawase who supports his policies and helps technomancers. Undermining his rule and policies whenever they can are the Japanacorps which has limited the success of his policies. Despite this change is happening in Japan. Foreign megacorporations now have a presence in Japan, metahumans walk the streets, and more importantly his policies are popular with the general population.



Japanese view themselves as having a culture that is superior to that of the rest of the world. Though they may admire the superficial qualities that are present in other cultures and many of their youth will make themselves appear Western, remove the facade and they are still Japanese, culturally and even morally superior. It's a mindset that is present unconsciously when dealing with outsiders.[1]


In Japan there are businesses who won't sell to you because you are a foreigner, even if you look Japanese. If you don't look Japanese, don't have a Japanese name, or speak or move differently than them then you are a gaijin (foreigner). Certain individuals likewise won't work with you because you are a foreigner. Even when they reject you they still be polite.[2]


Among the Japanese, the Kawaruhito (metahumans) are constantly being oppressed in one way or another. Despite the reforms by Emperor Yasuhito, many are still hesitant to accept metahumans as citizens. Metahumans still have to deal with many places that forbid their presence and stores that refuse to sell to them as they are viewed as a curse.[3]



The JIS is a constitutional monarchy, with a bicameral legislature known as the Diet (国会š,kokkai), a Judiciary, and an executive branch known as the Cabinet, which is run by the Prime Minister. The Emperor of Japan (天皇š‡, tenno, but is sometimes referred to as 天皇陛下‹, tenno heika, “His Majesty the Emperor, mikado) is a head of state and the symbol of the state, but holds no actual political power within the JIS. However, the JIS reestablished sovereignty of Japan with the Emperor, which had prior to the Big Switch been the domain of the people.

Administrative Districts[]

The 47 main prefectures of the JIS homeland, ordered from north to south.

  • Hokkaido
  • Aomori
  • Iwate
  • Miyagi
  • Akita
  • Yamagata
  • Fukushima
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
  • Saitama
  • Chiba
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Yamanashi
  • Nagano
  • Gifu
  • Shizuoka
  • Aichi
  • Mie
  • Shiga
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Kumamoto
  • Oita
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
  • Okinawa

This list does not include outside prefectures such as the Prefecture of the Philippines Islands (日本�?�?“, hitou-do) or San Francisco (日本�?�?日本�?�?日本�?�?, sanfuranshisuko-to).

The Nation of Japan[]


Japan archipelago, the JIS homeland, comprises a chain of islands, the largest of which are, from north to south, Hokkaido (北海道“), Honshu (本州ž, the largest island), Shikoku (四国), and Kyushu ( 九州ž).

Metropolitian Areas[]

The JIS has had major urban sprawling occur within the homeland over the past 80 years, with the sprawls known as the Greater Tokyo Area (日本�?�?�?, tokyo-ken) also known as the Tokyo-Yokohama area, (although the sprawl encompasses the prefectures of Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa, and Saitma) and Keihanshin (日本�?�?ž), or the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area.

Corporate Presence[]

The Japanese Imperial State is home to three AAA Megacorporations, Shiawase, Mitsuhama, and Renraku, and continues to host a major presence from another AAA, Yamatetsu, whose administrative headquarters relocated to Vladivstok, Russia in 2059.

Criminal Underworld[]

In Japan, the underworld is ruled by it's homegrown mafia, the Yakuza. Which is an economic, political, and cultural power in the nation. Foreign syndicates have been able to establish strongholds in Japan though. In the Neo-Tokyo sprawl, the foreign mobs are expanding in the face of Yakuza opposition; the Russian Vory, the Korean gangs, and the Chinese Triads.[4][5][6] The most powerful of the Triads, the Red Dragons have expanded throughout Japan and become firmly entrenched.[7][8][9]

Racism in Japan[]

Culturally and socially, the Japanese of the Sixth World are xenophobic and bigoted. Foreigners are distrusted, not wanted, or seen as inferior. Treatment of metahumans is among the worst in the world, only in the Middle East are metahumans treated worse. Elves and dwarves are treated as outcasts, while trolls and orks are deported.

In Japan, metahumans lived in ghettos or underground. Those that were deported were sent to an island where over a million lived in a small island with high walls, in a virtual prison where the deportees lived in squalor and were extorted, brutalized, raped, or murdered by other deportees. Wherever Japanese military forces established an occupation, life for metahumans worsened due to increased discrimination and persecution.

While things are changing because of Emperor Yasuhito and Empress Hitomi, it's going slowly. Many of the Japanacorps are dragging their feet when it comes to hiring metahumans and those they hire are often given low-paying and low-quality jobs that are of low-status, dangerous, humiliating, or degrading. A significant chunk of the population, especially the older and more traditional elements likewise are resistant to change.


  1. o70096438Shadows of Asia p.87
  2. o70096438Shadows of Asia p.86
  3. o70096438Shadows of Asia p.87
  4. o07914318Corporate Enclaves p.103
  5. o61900501Ghost Cartels p.107
  6. o61900501Ghost Cartels p.110
  7. o70096438Shadows of Asia p.82
  8. o61900501Ghost Cartels p.107
  9. o61900501Ghost Cartels p.110

This page forked from Wordman’s The Sixth World: A geographical index to the world of Shadowrun. It also contains information from the JIS Project, with the website owner, Fatcat’s, permission.

Primary source: Year of the Comet, pp. 97–105, 153-154. From this, it is known that Japan had or has troops in (at least):

California Free State, Peru, the Philippines, and Australia.
Shadows of Asia pg.73-92
Other information comes from a description of Wuxing: Portfolio of a Dragon, pp 74–78.
Underwater arcologies: Target: Smuggler’s Havens, pp 56–59.
Yamatetsu runs an underwater domed city called Saotome Aquadome in the Sea of Japan. This city won the Draco Foundation’s award for being the first self-sustaining underwater habitat (cd.116).

Relations with Tir Tairngire: Tir Tairngire, pg 46.
Relations with Seattle: New Seattle, pg 81 (also sea.147).
Dealings with Korea: Underworld Sourcebook, pp 61–63.
Yakuza: Underworld Sourcebook, pp 38–50.

Geomancy in: Portfolio of a Dragon, pg 83.
Military contracts with Mitsuhama for drones (cd.60).
Most heavy industry controlled by Mitsuhama (cd.63).
Occupation of San Francisco (ngna.15).
Tight trade with Salish-Shidhe (nan1.90).
Relations with Sioux (nan1.102).
Relations with Pueblo Corporate Council (nan1.114).
Relations with Ute Nation (nan1.129).
Crude oil from Athabaskan Council (nan2.74).
No official relations with Tsimshian, but rumors of unofficial deals (nan2.104).
The five kilometers surrounding the atomic blast sites in Hiroshima and Nagasaki have a background count of 5 (mits.84).
Shadowland nodes in (at least) Okinawa and Honshu (tm.27).
Beppu Data Haven followed Yamatetsu to Vladivostok (tm.51).
The Tanegashima launch facility is operated by Hisato-Turner. The Kagoshima launch pad is still operated by the Japanese government (yotc.19).
Tokyo confirmed to be the capital of the JIS (soa.91)

2006: Becomes empire (sr3.24)
2021: Metahumans first sent to Yomi (sr3.28)
2036: Troops sent to San Francisco (sr3.30)

Also, of note: The Japanese language only Tokyo Sourcebook (TOKYOソ ースブック, ISBN4-8291-7337-8) and the novel collection Tokyo-Eye-Shot (ISBN4-8291-4307-X C0176), written by Akira Egawa and Group SNE, and published by Fujimi-Shobo, the Japanese license-holders of Shadowrun. In addition, a Shadowrun manga has also been published.

Tokyo War, between Fuchi and Asakura Electronics in 2035 (tsb.21)
Imperial capital moved to Kyoto 2036, following aftermath of Tokyo War (tsb.21)
Battle of Chiba (tsb.62)
Other Cities (tsb.63-64)


See also[]

External links[]

  • JIS Project, an effort by Japanese Shadowrun gamers to develop a localized setting in synch with FASA/WizKids/FanPro material.