While I'd dislike using Hoss with the Shogunate because he just screams out "Reich" to me, I think you are right about adding Wolf and probably Asteros to the characters available for the Shogunate, especially Wolf as he adds some ranged power to the Shogunate. I really like the idea about repainting Asteros into a red oni. In fact, some time ago I thought about getting a second Itami and repainting him. Maybe a mix of Asteros and Itami would make a great red oni - Itami's miniature plus a mixture of stats and tokens from Asteros and Itami. But will I ever find some time to spare for this project? Probably not.
My approach (due to my dislike of epics) was to use "Asteros Hero Version" Meaning, Pick Asteros, Drop his top Row and Substract 1 to all stats. Drop all the special rules like epic penalties, unlimited bull rushing and so on and you are basically good to go. Also making his weapon count as Bonus Token (as his equipment is really good already)
This way you might keep the tokens and equipment cards and sont have to change the rules or prit your tokens, you just need to print the new character sheet and find a good mini.
I played 2 games with this setup these were my thoughts after the games:
1- He fits perfectly as shogunate hero, as he is h2h oriented.
2- Unfortunately he is still a tad overwpowered and Itami becomes a "Tala" like character, only good as cheerleader, you would never pick Itami over the Red oni. On the second game the setup was 2 Shin agents, Iroh, Wolf (aptly renamed as "Gaijin Agent"), and Red Oni.
On Hoss "screaming Reich" to you, I find this interesting as it is all the opposite to me:
My interpretation of his fluff is that he just uses the Reich to his own agenda and keeps no loyalty but to his own. He also naturally antagonizes Heizinger as they fight for the same resources (obscure objects) and has mixed artifacs from any kind of origin and pantheon to his use, to me he is the only Reich character that is not either brainwashed by the Reich polity or Hermann. He has been around for over a thousand years, the Reich is just a fade that will go away to him… He would just as well approach the Shogun for puntual collaboration without breaking treaty with the reich as the UMTOMA accords give him a pretext and he is too useful/dangerous to the reich to risk casting him out.
Gameplay wise he is THE balancing factor that gives the Shogunate a viable strategy other than the blind charge and hope for the best (very WW I thematic otherwise)
- Vs Union grants out of path attacks, with Command denies Edison extra CP and Reichdoktoring Iroh (having Iroh equipped with combat + elizabeth bathory to heal up) is the way to kill Union tough guys.
-Vs Reich, he is the one to break into "Hermann Turtle" with his out of path attack and mental 7
-Vs Matriarchy He is the one inmune to h2h and thus Zorka and the voivodes (due to prescience) and if facing oksana can swich places with her and kill her with the others
If you are playing something like a campaign or series of games the shogunate player needs him to be on equal terms with the others.