The Kuge represented the most elite of the samurai caste. They were the inherited nobility, those in powerful government positions and the Emperor himself.

Shogun Edit

The Shogun was also a part of the Kuge, and ranks above all others except the Emperor. Some would say that the Shogun had more power than the Emperor because he commanded the armies and maintained a far more visible profile, but the Shogun must swear fealty to the Emperor, who reigned supreme.

Ranking Edit

Others belonging to this group, ranked below the Emperor, include Imperial Families, the Daimyo of each Great Clan, [1] Voice of the Emperor, Emerald and Jade Champion, and the Imperial Advisor.

Clans Edit

Next came the Clan Champions and then the Minor clan daimyo only slightly below them. In practice however the greater available resources meant that the Great Clan Champions would have more sway over the courts. The fact that the minor clan daimyo were considered almost equal was merely a gesture of respect, nothing more. The daimyo of a great clan family would again outweigh a minor clan daimyo, despite status.

Family Edit

Lowest of the Kuge were the immediate family of the leaders of each family, like the spouse or child of the Clan Champion.

Below the Kuge Edit

Ranked below the Kuge were the Buke, the servants. All the minor clan samurai counted as buke, except the leaders.


  1. Player's Guide: 2nd Ed, p. 21
  • Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 27

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