The feudal period of history of Japan, dominated by the powerful regional families (daimyō) and the military rule of warlords (shōgun), stretched from 1185 to 1868. The emperor remained but was mostly kept to a de jure figurehead ruling position, and the power of merchants was weak.
The Japanese are an East Asian civilization that appears in Age of Empires II. Their unique unit is the Samurai, a strong and fast-attacking infantry which is very effective against other enemy unique units. They have a very strong naval presence in the game, with +50% Galley line of sight and double hitpoints for Fishing Ships, with their work rate improved every Age. They are an infantry based civilization, with their infantry possessing the fastest attack speed in the game. Their infantry's attack rate is sequentially raised every Age. However their cavalry is somewhat weaker. Like all East Asian civilizations they are unable to research the Paladin upgrade and they also can not research the Hussar upgrade.