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Greetings all, 

At the moment I live in Japan. It is just myself and one other who I know of who play L5r in the entire country. 

I am hoping to find out if there is anybody else on here who lives in Japan and would like to help and start a community for this game. 

Of course if one already exists that would be a lot easier for us. 

Thanks in advance! 

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On another note, I wondered once why the game hasn't caught on in Japan but I rationalize that it's really more of a western creation with eastern influences. There's no need for a fantasy setting of a setting that's already filled with folklore and legend in its original state. Maybe?

 

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FFG doesn’t have a large foothold in the board/miniature market in Japan?

If they do, show the game off and teach people!

If they don’t, then teach the game to as many people as you can! 

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Sorry yeah, I should have mentioned a more exact location I guess.

I am in Fukushima prefecture. 

I think the issue is there isn't any Japanese translation yet for the game. 

It is difficult enough to teach a native English speaker L5r, let alone somebody who speaks English as a second language. 

Otherwise I would be more than happy to help people learn it. 

My wife is Japanese and she says it doesn't look completely Japanese. She says it looks a lot like Chinese as well. ??

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1 hour ago, GaijininJapan said:

My wife is Japanese and she says it doesn't look completely Japanese. She says it looks a lot like Chinese as well. ??

She’s right. L5R has influences from all over Asia. For example, the Kaiu Wall is inspired in the Great Wall of China, and the Moto family from the Unicorn are basically Mongols, with their scimitars and all. 

BTW, some people started a Japanese translation thread a while back, you can find it here.  I recall some of them lived in Japan, not sure where. 

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Yes, L5R is more of an east Asian pastiche interpreted by a western audience. Chinese and Japanese are the big two influences, but Mongolian, Tibetan and Filipino influences are also there in good amounts. The creation myth in the old lore also took big influence from a Greek creation myth (Lord Moon eating his children, Lady Sun hiding Hantei and replacing him wiht a rock, and Hantei having to cut open Lord Moon's belly to free his siblings). I am not sure how much of that they kept in the new lore.

There are a number of linguistic oddities and other interpretations that would seem confusing or funny to those in Japan because the early game was largely made by people who were more enthusiasts rather than experts in Japanese language and culture. So don't be surprised if a few things seem funny to a native speaker. It is similar to how some Japanese fantasy based on their interpretation of the west can seem odd or humorous to us.

Keep asking around and you might find some more players. Try to show off the art whenever you do as that can be a big draw to newer players and might get them to stick through the high learning curve. Try looking for some of the local tabletop roleplayers as a possible source. Japan has its own unique set of tabletop rpgs, as well as a history of D&D (with d6s!).  That might net better results than trying to find people who are normally just CCG players. I don't even know what is big there right now. My experience is with Japanese expats in America when I took Japanese in high school, so my Japanese knowledge is largely second hand and from 20 years ago.

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When I was in the army I showed a Japanese friend of mine some of the cards (13 years ago now) and he said the names were silly, that they were "somewhat Japanese sounding" but he didn't seem that impressed. 

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We have to think from their perspective, what if you were shown a game that was a fictional take on the War of the Roses (that wasn't Game of Thrones) out of the blue with supposedly awesome characters like Edwardy Stuartfordwright? We can't think of Rokugan as "Japan", even if the language draws heavy influence, it's not wholly accurate. That seems fitting, almost, considering it's an amalgamation of ideas and intents.

 

The game is available in China so it is likely a matter of translation than anything else. And localization.

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3 hours ago, TheHobgoblyn said:

Oh, I like in Fukuoka-- that is pretty far from Fukushima or Matsuyama.

Like or live? Still, it is more near Fukuoka to Matsuyama than Fukushima XD. But I think it's my problem, I feel like everything is near in Japan, lol

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On ‎6‎/‎4‎/‎2018 at 4:03 PM, Hordeoverseer said:

We have to think from their perspective, what if you were shown a game that was a fictional take on the War of the Roses (that wasn't Game of Thrones) out of the blue with supposedly awesome characters like Edwardy Stuartfordwright? We can't think of Rokugan as "Japan", even if the language draws heavy influence, it's not wholly accurate. That seems fitting, almost, considering it's an amalgamation of ideas and intents.

 

The game is available in China so it is likely a matter of translation than anything else. And localization.

That said, Game of Thrones has picked up a big European audience, despite some serious issues when compared to anything resembling actual historical politics and warfare and medieval-ised names that are mostly manglings of actual names (Geoffry/Joffrey and Edward/Eddard, for example).

But at the same time, yes, it is a pastiche of history, and more significantly a pastiche of Japanese, Chinese, Mongolian and Korean history all thrown in a blender set on 'splorch'.

It's not automatically going to grab someone who is too aware of actual history and (conversely) probably wouldn't grab someone uninterested in actual history either.

On ‎6‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 9:14 PM, HirumaShigure said:

When I was in the army I showed a Japanese friend of mine some of the cards (13 years ago now) and he said the names were silly, that they were "somewhat Japanese sounding" but he didn't seem that impressed. 

I can't speak for the names but certainly the original card artwork from that period is a lot more....erm...yeah. From about five different versions of Bayushi Kachiko's clothes falling off to Hida O-Uchi apparently not having bothered to put them on in the first place, they were a bit less subtle than the current iteration of the artwork.

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2 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

I can't speak for the names but certainly the original card artwork from that period is a lot more....erm...yeah. From about five different versions of Bayushi Kachiko's clothes falling off to Hida O-Uchi apparently not having bothered to put them on in the first place, they were a bit less subtle than the current iteration of the artwork.

 

You've... NEVER seen card games, let alone any sort of games, produced in Japan, have you? Like... ever.
Believe me, the LAST thing that would put off the Japanese audience is too much nude young women.

In fact, the issue is far more likely the exact opposite. There aren't anywhere near enough basically naked girls with impossible body proportions to be able to compete in the market at all.

Even the games for primarily targeted for kids produced in Japan are full of so much cartoon girl nudity that they end up getting censored overseas.

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3 hours ago, TheHobgoblyn said:

....

In fact, the issue is far more likely the exact opposite. There aren't anywhere near enough basically naked girls with impossible body proportions to be able to compete in the market at all.

Even the games for primarily targeted for kids produced in Japan are full of so much cartoon girl nudity that they end up getting censored overseas.

Hey, ummmmmm.... anyone know how I can align my satellite dish toward Japanese broadcasting stations so that I can, ummm, carry out a study of their entertainment medium??? You know, for academic study. :D 

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7 hours ago, LordBlunt said:

Hey, ummmmmm.... anyone know how I can align my satellite dish toward Japanese broadcasting stations so that I can, ummm, carry out a study of their entertainment medium??? You know, for academic study. :D 

You aren't going to find much of that on public television. I doubt you would find Japanese television very interesting. If you are looking for that kind of stuff, you are going to have to purchase DVDs. But it is very easy to find.

But in gaming content? Oh, it is absolutely full of it. Erotic imagery of either girls with breasts bigger than their heads or those who are clearly depicted as no older than maybe 14.

 

In terms of samurai though... well, a bit of an odd thing in regards to that is that nearly everything to do with samurai is absolutely depicted as being in Japan and always around the same 100 year time period. And they always purport to be depicting real life people who lived around that time period. And there are tons and tons of companies that make these games with the same historical characters depicted in all sorts of manners.

What I haven't seen in popular media is a completely fictional world with completely fictional characters that nonetheless still convey Japanese atheistic, culture, manners and traditions. You'll find such completely fictional worlds in Chinese and Korean popular media, but for whatever reason it seems like whenever Japanese make a completely fictional world, it is always based very  much on European feudal era and might include some Japanese culture only as a fringe element or unintentional influence or one small area or nation within the overall world.

But whenever you see straight up samurai being depicted, it is basically always the Sengoku era and always depicting the same historical figures. No matter how radically different the depictions and art style might be.

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On 11/22/2018 at 12:45 PM, Victarion13 said:

Hello there! 

Do you still in Japan? I live in Matsuyama, not so near to you, but not too far. Maybe we can see if we can meet for some good game. 

Take the ferry up to Hiroshima much?

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1 hour ago, TheHobgoblyn said:

In terms of samurai though... well, a bit of an odd thing in regards to that is that nearly everything to do with samurai is absolutely depicted as being in Japan and always around the same 100 year time period. And they always purport to be depicting real life people who lived around that time period. And there are tons and tons of companies that make these games with the same historical characters depicted in all sorts of manners.

What I haven't seen in popular media is a completely fictional world with completely fictional characters that nonetheless still convey Japanese atheistic, culture, manners and traditions. You'll find such completely fictional worlds in Chinese and Korean popular media, but for whatever reason it seems like whenever Japanese make a completely fictional world, it is always based very  much on European feudal era and might include some Japanese culture only as a fringe element or unintentional influence or one small area or nation within the overall world.

But whenever you see straight up samurai being depicted, it is basically always the Sengoku era and always depicting the same historical figures. No matter how radically different the depictions and art style might be.

That's an interesting point. I'm sure someone with more of a metalogical background might be able to explain why.

I'm sure there's some sort of underlying reason for the mass appeal of fantastical settings (Game of Thrones) versus period settings with non-real characters (Jane Austen) versus historical settings heavily populated with real characters (Rome/Last Kingdom/Vikings)

Are said real characters doing (roughly) what they did in real life - as a fictionalised version of history with maybe the odd character (admittedly often the 'lead role') dropped in to pad out the plot or get expositioned at (Last Kingdom/Rome fashion) - or are they real people but doing stuff that's not even vaguely what actually happened?

 

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12 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Are said real characters doing (roughly) what they did in real life - as a fictionalised version of history with maybe the odd character (admittedly often the 'lead role') dropped in to pad out the plot or get expositioned at (Last Kingdom/Rome fashion) - or are they real people but doing stuff that's not even vaguely what actually happened?

 

 

Hard to say, there are literally hundreds of games depicting roughly the same characters.

To the extent that they are leading armies of samurai, I suppose that one could say that they are doing what they did in real life.

But, the main conceit of such games is that, generally speaking, any of the dozens of playable characters can in effect "win" even if in real life they died in battle. So the ultimate outcome of the war can differ greatly.

And often you can even have people who were part of entirely different clans fighting as part of your army-- whether you are taking the role of a particular historically-inspired character or you are some omnipresent force outside of the narrative and just assembling an army for various missions.

 

The games put out by Koei Tecmo tends to be at least semi-historic in its scenarios, so one can learn a bit about samurai history from it. But as time has gone on and they have infused more and more modern style and anime aspects into the games. The Total War Shogun series also tends to be semi-historical, but once again-- like any other Total War game-- you can champion a faction that lost in real life. Others can be a lot less historically accurate, like the Sengoku Basara series is definitely style over substance. There are even complete sterotypical anime and even pornographic games based on the era still depicting the exact same characters, but the various historical characters can be depicted in wildly strange ways such as demons or such.

 

But, as wild outrageous as the depictions of the historical figures can get, even being gender-swapped or turned into cats or what have you, it always seems to come back to always being about the Sengoku era and never a completely fictional world with completely fictional characters. And some spark of the pop culture image of the historical character, no matter how faint, tends to make its way through.

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So no matter how outré the plot, there's still a detectable preference for using a 'real name' even if the character doesn't look or act much like the real person, rather than make someone up. ( I get the comment about things like total war, but then that's true for any interactive game; all you can do is set the 'start point' as close to realism as practical, wind up and let go, otherwise the player is being railroaded and doesn't get to actually play the game; alternate history is still historical as long as the 'kicking off point' is sensible and the divergence is something that can logically have happened*)

Like you say, it's...I'm not going to say odd, because if that's the normal approach in a culture it can't be 'odd' and 'normal' at the same time.

But it seems surprising from my perspective. Like I say, I'm sure someone with a better grip on comparative cultural psychology could probably explain.

 

 

 

* Harry Turtledoves' World War In The Balance series not withstanding, which starts in WWII during the Battle of Britain and then suddenly.....Alien Invasion.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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2 hours ago, Suzume Tomonori said:

Take the ferry up to Hiroshima much?

Like, never lol

If I go to Hiroshima, probably I will take a boat XD: less expensive and less time consuming. But I think it is about one year that I am not going there. Have you ever been in Matsuyama?

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Anyway, if it weren't for some of the odd choices in world building not really translating very well, and the fact that a lot of the names were created without much care whether they could be expressed in kanji and thus translated to Japanese at all, I think the Japanese market would generally be receptive to it.

People were wringing their hands about casting a Chinese woman in the role of a geisha in a story written by a white person about how he misunderstood geisha to work... and it went over well in Japan.

People were worried that Last Samurai movie would be offensive, but... not really, Japanese people were happy to see a Hollywood movie about Japan.

And generally they have been positive about all the bombed movies that Hollywood has made based on anime-- yes, there was even some interest and support for that Dragonball Evolution movie, the fan backlash is mostly from foreigners, and not much care that the main character of Ghost in a Shell had a white actress instead of a Japanese one.

 

In general, Japanese people seem quite thrilled whenever someone from abroad does anything with an idea they can say originated in their country.

 

But translating the thing... that would be a major hurdle. And things like the minor clans having animals as family names or some of the families having clearly personal names as family names would be... odd. It would make the setting seem more comical than intended, in the very least. Now, no matter how much drama one tries to inject into it, you may as well consider the setting to have all the gravitas it would have if you were doing it in the Zootopia setting with furries.

It's why I argued that those things shouldn't carry over to the new setting-- but, obviously no one making the decisions cares even a little bit how ridiculous aspects of the setting sound to someone used to speaking Japanese. Just carbon copy exactly what was there before, every last nonsensical bad idea just in case there is 1 person who liked it.

At this point, just about the only way to translate the names in the setting, both clan and personal, would be to do it via katakana.

 

Even so, I imagine that fans of Japanese stuff likely to end up in Japan one way or another eventually.

Edited by TheHobgoblyn

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