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Thread: Taxation and Class System in Shogun 2

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    Senior Member Lieutenant Nuccio's Avatar
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    Default Taxation and Class System in Shogun 2

    One thing that I really liked in ETW and NTW was the taxation system and how it affected different Class's.

    Now I have read many thoughts from community members over the past month's regarding Shogun 2 and realize many here know far more about Japanese history than myself.
    So with that said I humbly put forth my idea of how to implement the New TW Taxation System in Feudal Japan. Feel free to correct me if I am ignorant of something vital!

    First we need probably more classes than "Upper Class" and "Lower Class"

    Perhaps we can have these 4 Classes which are all taxed separatly.Hence give different affects depending on how they are taxed.

    Samurai
    Merchants
    Artisans
    Agriculturalists

    Maybe combine both Merhants and Artisans into the Middle Class.
    Question: Was it prestigious in Japan to be a Merchant?

    Taxation of the Samurai should affect battle moral and unrest in provinces.
    Taxation of merchant and Artisans should effect the econmy
    Taxation of Agriculturalists should effect population growth rates.

    NOTE: Also some of you may feel that using a taxation system would be wrong for this era of Japan, but I urge you to consider that probably CA will use money to represent a nations wealth. With that said a taxation system that takes money from classes probably makes the most sense.

  2. #2
    Member Private Kalusha's Avatar
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    ist a good idea and could work but i dont like the samurai part
    maby just generals?

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    Senior Member Master and Commander Naisho's Avatar
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    Well there are problems with taxation in Japan.

    The basic currency of Japan was not gold but was rice (koku) and taxes from the farmer was based on how much rice they produced. Koku is the amount of rice it takes to feed a man for a certain period of time, I think one year but I could be wrong.

    Koku would then be traded for services such as warriors and weapons in a funny way they worked for food. The higher the rice production the larger the population and ultimately the more soldiers you could field. That was why the Japanese valued all their lands based upon their production of rice.

    Within this kind of system the only people you can directly tax are the farmers and since the Samurai/Artisans/Merchants cannot pay taxes because they do not produce rice.

    That does not mean you cannot tax them at all, but what you can do is gain "some" taxes by means of almost like a sales tax. For the ability to own a shop within the city you payed a tax and/or percentage of your gains. In a way the Samurai who wanted better armor or weapons would pay a "tax" by buying from a artisan or merchant.

    The Daimyo also would receive a portion of tribute from his lords, this tribute was absolutely crippling under the Tokugawa shogunate but it also prevented rebellion as there was not enough money for their lords to raise armies.

    From the interview with Craig they talked about how the Rice production was directly linked to the amount of warriors that can be produced.

    I think a tax system would to be

    Tributes (based on cities)
    Rice (how much rice is taken after the harvest)
    Mining (how much is taken as a "fee" for the ability to mine in that location)
    Merchants (A tax for doing business) if taxed to high they will leave the cities and become "wondering" merchants which was not uncommon

    (its a little counter productive to tax Samurai as they can only "work" for food, and the Merchants would include the Artisans).
    Last edited by Naisho; 11-01-2010 at 09:10 PM.

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    Senior Member Corporal Emishi's Avatar
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    Funny that you ask.I just had to read an essay about this subject.My conclusion: Reality is ******g complicated and diverse.

    Changing through the times taxes were either based on the amount of land you owned or charged per person.You could also do some corvee work at the court to lower taxation or do some military.Governors weren't directly taxed but had to care for the supplying of the court and their house (nice for concealment) .
    Tribute goods aside from rice were horses , silk and other luxury stuff.

    Corruption as seen in other TW games but playing a bigger role would be a cool feature.Getting punkd by your greedy governor?Time for seppukku my friend.
    Additionally you could swap rice against man power.Read get some temporary militia units consisting of young farmers.

    Your idea isn't bad but since the vast majority consisted of peasants and upper class wasn't really taxed from what I know I doesn't make too much sense.

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    Moderator Master and Commander dge1's Avatar
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    I like your concept Nuccio. According to the article on this link there were four primary classes in medieval Japan during the time of the game - Samurai, Farmer/Peasant, Artisan and Merchant. http://asianhistory.about.com/od/jap...JapanClass.htm

    To answer your question about Merchants, they were mostly considered parasites until the Samurai started loosing their influence.

    This article mentions the rice economy but also notes the use of copper cash imported from China at the end of the thirteenth century, so there must of have been something spent at the local tavern besides bags of Rice.

    http://aboutjapan.japansociety.org/c...omachi_periods

    So while Naisho and Emishi are right about rice, land and goods being the primary exchange medium, I don't think it would strain the history of the era too much to have a few coins floating around that could be used to pay a tax.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Field-Marshall andferpa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dge1 View Post
    I like your concept Nuccio. According to the article on this link there were four primary classes in medieval Japan during the time of the game - Samurai, Farmer/Peasant, Artisan and Merchant. http://asianhistory.about.com/od/jap...JapanClass.htm

    To answer your question about Merchants, they were mostly considered parasites until the Samurai started loosing their influence.

    This article mentions the rice economy but also notes the use of copper cash imported from China at the end of the thirteenth century, so there must of have been something spent at the local tavern besides bags of Rice.

    http://aboutjapan.japansociety.org/c...omachi_periods

    So while Naisho and Emishi are right about rice, land and goods being the primary exchange medium, I don't think it would strain the history of the era too much to have a few coins floating around that could be used to pay a tax.
    Or state that the taxes are managed in koku

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    Moderator Master and Commander daelin4's Avatar
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    Before I begin I'd like to state that when I use "tax" it is largely interchangeable with actula money, rice, or other contributions owed to the government.

    I wouldn't want economics to be a large aspect of the game becuase it would begin to detract from the military aspect of the game, especially if it becomes more complicated. In the end, this game feature should serve to allow players to raise armies to fight battles.

    Shogun 1 never had a system of adjustable tax rates- rice farms and mines and ports were built, and income was adjusted by natural events (Taifun and earthquakes), and rice harvest yield (randomly between poor, good and great).

    My amendment to Nuccio's proposal would be:
    Merchants/Artisans' tax rate: affects public order and economy
    Farmers: affects public order and population growth

    I omitted Samurai from taxation becuase their service involved fighting, and themselves paid with taxes. The problem is that there were some samurai that owned land, from daimyo to peasant-samurai, and those that didn't, retainers paid via stipend. What we could substitute though is the honour system used in STW1- battle quality is influenced by how good your generals are, how often you win, etc., and we could even bring back the chivalry/dread system that was in MTW2- high chivalry would yield loyalty and honour points but far less military benefits, whilst dread does the opposite- win battles easily but is seen as brutal and even affect loyalty and honour.

    We should leave out the complications of koku vs. cash and just stick with a basic monetary unit. Koku would be fine, since its also a measurement of wealth.

    Sources of revenue would then be:
    -taxes from commerce (adjustable by the player)
    -harvest yield (random to a point the player may have the ability to influence quality such as structures and governance)
    -political/diplomatic tribute/etc. such as booty, if such a feature exists
    -incidentals such as mission rewards and such, however the game is done

    Expenditures would be:
    -Wages (samurai stipends, unit costs)
    -spent costs for construction and units
    -the all-too-annoying-corruption (which btw really needs to be revamped to allow influence through player input)
    -diplomatic/political etc. such as tribute to other factions.
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    Senior Member Lieutenant Nuccio's Avatar
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    @everyone, I read all your replies and understand that taxation was paid in many different forms by different classes. But like daelin4 said lets assume there will be only one monetary unit that alll services will be quantified as, since CA will probably represent the economics this way.

    Monetary units I have read in these posts
    copper coins
    Rice
    koku(what is this?)
    Cash(gold coins or some value)

    What do you guys think would be the best representation for the monetary unit?

    @daelin4, I agree that probably Merchant and Artison should be the same class.(though not convinced since it seems merchants in Japan were really just the lowest class) but don't you think Samurai should pay a tax to simply balance out their upkeep cost? You know what I mean? if you just remove them, it wont seem like they are contributing a service to you. Maybe your idea of removing them from taxation would be correct though.

    Also please expand on your Honor system with Dread and Chivalry, it sounds intersting but I haven't quite grasped the concept completely.

    @Naisho, do you think that the Daimyo should be represented in taxes?

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    Senior Member General Dark Side's Avatar
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    I know the following idea is as attractive as getting a rash, but hear me out. I don't have much input on the taxation system as I barely know anything about Japan. But I would like to get more variables in the game from one season to the next. For example bigger differences in agricultural yields from one year to the next, lower ores because most of the miners have been conscripted (or when region has low population), devastation due to typhoons and other elements, etc.


    The reason why this would be good is that it introduces variation from one turn to the next. I am playing Rome now, and I am finding my income to fluctuate due to farming (either extremely good or extremely bad), rebellions, pirates, etc... Comparing that game to ETW and NTW I've noticed that we've lost these "surprises" and that makes ETW and NTW feel linear. You didn't adapt to changes due to disasters.


    I donno, maybe other people didn't like these features but for me they added an extra level of complexity and randomness that made the campaigns challenging.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Corporal OrionsGambit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nuccio View Post
    @everyone, I read all your replies and understand that taxation was paid in many different forms by different classes. But like daelin4 said lets assume there will be only one monetary unit that alll services will be quantified as, since CA will probably represent the economics this way.

    Monetary units I have read in these posts
    copper coins
    Rice
    koku(what is this?)
    Cash(gold coins or some value)

    What do you guys think would be the best representation for the monetary unit?

    @daelin4, I agree that probably Merchant and Artison should be the same class.(though not convinced since it seems merchants in Japan were really just the lowest class) but don't you think Samurai should pay a tax to simply balance out their upkeep cost? You know what I mean? if you just remove them, it wont seem like they are contributing a service to you. Maybe your idea of removing them from taxation would be correct though.

    Also please expand on your Honor system with Dread and Chivalry, it sounds intersting but I haven't quite grasped the concept completely.

    @Naisho, do you think that the Daimyo should be represented in taxes?
    If memory serves me right, Koku is indeed a the amount of rice it takes to feed a man/person for an entire year, however I believe it equaled 4 bussels of rice. And as was mentioned I'm pretty sure coins were used as they were easier to transport and use to purchase goods/items then carrying around rice would be.

    However rice (Koku) was still the primary source of income and exchange, and as such it should remain the same as it was in the first STW. Additionally the idea that merchants were not respected is a modern connotation. They were in fact as respected as per their social standing and some even amassed wealth able to rival that of land-owning daimyos. Ir wasn't until their contact with European foreigners, the isolation of Japan, and the idealistic focus of wealth=land ownership that merchants were "bad". Yet with the unification of Japan under the Tokugawa, merchants increasing became more wealthy and powerful, while the dominating warrior class faded into poverty and ineffectiveness.

    You're better off maintaining the current Koku standard while introducing a similar trading system as seen in ETW/NTW, as trading will still generate tax (Koku) in the form of tariffs, exchanges, and such.

    EDIT:
    @Darkside
    Actually that existed in the first STW, so I would be very surprised and displeased if yields didn't change season to season (year to year) based on weather and various other events.
    Last edited by OrionsGambit; 11-02-2010 at 06:06 AM.

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