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The Empire of Nippon is an island far to the East of the Warhammer World, beyond even the lands of Cathay. It is a feudal empire under the divine rule of their Emperor and dominated by the Great Clans.

Nippon is a land of strict social stratification. Its innumerable peasants are utterly subservient to the Samurai caste, which is divided between the more numerous buke and the kuge, the landed nobility, whom the buke serve without question. Each Samurai is sworn to the service of their Daimyo, and this loyalty is a fundamental component of the Code of Bushido, by which all Samurai conduct their lives.

A Samurai is a servant, first and foremost, and according to tradition, their first and most sacred duty is to die in the name of their lord if necessary. It is a fate to which most Bushi aspire, and even though those who follow the path of a Shugenja are ostensibly people of peace, there are many among their number who would relish a similarly honourable death.

Fortunately – or unfortunately, depending upon whom you ask – Nippon's history has been full of war and conflict, giving the Samurai plenty of opportunity for self-sacrifice.

The Empire of Nippon demands much of its Samurai: service to one’s lord, service to one’s Clan, and service to one’s Emperor. Bushido’s staunch and unyielding code of conduct binds Samurai to duty, strengthening their character and defining their choices.

A Nipponese army on the march is a spectacular sight to behold. Thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of Samurai and Ashigaru march in formation, resplendent in their armour, the sun glittering off their weapons, their battle standards and back-banners fluttering, the dust of their passage lingering long after they have marched on.