Japan, also known as Cipango, is a civilization and island country situated in East Asia with the world's oldest monarchy.
A relatively younger nation in comparison to its neighbours, China and Korea, Japan experienced an initial period of imperial centralization and tremendous cultural flowering through its import of Chinese societal and political customs. Over time, the aristocratic preoccupation with their insular artistic lifestyle gave rise to feudal states ruled by an elite military class known as the samurai. The emperor henceforth became a figurehead for the head of the samurai, the shōgun.
As centuries passed, this decentralization culminated in the Sengoku period in the 16th century, wherein hundreds of states vied for dominion over all of Japan and hoped to establish a new shōgunate. It was in this pivotal era that the contest between the Assassins and the Templars in Japan reached new heights, for they integrated themselves heavily in the turmoil through their training as ninja, allying themselves with daimyō, or—in the case of those such as Oda Nobunaga and Uesugi Kenshin—serving as warlords themselves. In this chaotic contest, the Assassins emerged as the victor in 1603 through their chosen ally, Tokugawa Ieyasu, inaugurating almost two centuries of peace and stability coupled with social stagnation and isolationism.
Japan was eventually pressured to rapidly modernize by the threat of Western imperialism, and this culminated in the Boshin War between the Tokugawa shogunate, supported by the Assassins, and the Imperial Court, supported by the Templars. The latter's victory led to the dissolution of the shōgunate in 1868, returning full prestige, if not power, to the emperor. With the establishment of the Empire of Japan, the increasingly nationalistic state unleashed brutal invasions on its Asian neighbours over the first half of the 20th century. Its onslaught and militaristic regime only ended when it was defeated in World War II by the United States.
In the present day, the State of Japan is a sovereign state with its capital at Tokyo. An Assassin presence in Osaka, one of its largest cities, survived both the Great Purge of 2000 and a Templar assault in 2012. It became integrated with the Onmoraki-Gumi, a yakuza crime syndicate, in late 2013.
In 717, the Japanese scholar and waka poet Abe no Nakamaro traveled to the Tang Empire as part of a mission, the other members of this mission returned to Japan but Nakamaro elected to stay. After passing the civil-service examination, Nakamaro held many administrative positions in the country. In 753, he attempted to sail back to Japan but was shipwrecked off at Ryukyu, and went ashore at the coast of Vietnam.
By 1257, knowledge of the country had reached the Western world. Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad suggested spreading rumours that his Apple of Eden had been transported to Japan or Cyprus to draw away the Templars from looking for it beneath Masyaf.
After several defeats by the Assassins in Europe during the early 16th century, the Templars led by Francis Xavier sought to spread their influence in Japan. Despite the difficulties posed by the the island's warring states, they recruited a few Japanese sympathizers like Mochizuki Chiyome. The Assassins responded by recruiting rival ninjas like Hattori Hanzō.
By 1868, the Tokugawa shogunate was on it's last legs. With the rapid modernization of Japan through Western influence since the arrival of Matthew Perry and the Black Fleet in the mid-1850s, the Templars were able to infiltrate the Imperial Court in Kyoto and convince Emperor Meiji to take action against the shogunate in Edo led by Tokugawa Yoshinobu, a powerful ally of the Assassins.
In 2013, the Assassin headquarters in Osaka was attacked by the yakuza faction known as Onmoraki-Gumi, resulting in the death of Mentor Kenichi Mochizuki. As retaliation, his wife Saeko Mochizuki led an attack on the yakuza faction, taking over the organization and using it as a front for the Assassin activities and leading as the Japanese Brotherhood's new Mentor.
- In his cryptic messages, Clay Kaczmarek made references to the Yonaguni Monument, and drew imagery of Mount Fuji, Nara-style pagodas, and a torii.
- Assassin's Creed II (Gylphs only)
- Assassin's Creed: Revelations (mentioned only)
- Assassin's Creed: Initiates
- Assassin's Creed: Memories
- Assassin's Creed: Dynasty (mentioned only)
- Assassin's Creed: Blade of Shao Jun
- Assassin's Creed: Fragments – Aizu's Blade
- Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood of Venice – Tokyo XXI