Ikoma Aimi 2

Playing Shogi

Shogi was a popular tactical game favored by the more scholarly citizens of Rokugan.

Board Edit

The boards consisted of 81 squares arranged on a 9x9 grid. [1]

Playing Pieces Edit

Each player controlled 20 pieces that consist of 10 different ranks. Those pieces were usually double sided, with one side representing their "regular" value and the opposite representing their "promoted" value. The pieces were most commonly made of simple wood with their values carved into them, and colored to differentiate the two sides. The object of the game was to capture your opponent's king piece. [1] Any of your opponents pieces captured could later be returned to the game under your control, as your move for that turn. [2]

The pieces were named, and moved as listed below. The starting number of each piece a player would have is noted in parenthesis: [1]

  • Osho [3] or King (1) - Could move one square in any direction
  • Rook (1) - Could move forward or sideways as far as the player wished.
  • Bishop (1) - Could move diagonally as far as the player wished.
  • Gold General (2) - Could move one square in any direction except diagonally backwards.
  • Silver General (2) - Could move one square forward or diagonally.
  • Knight (2) - Could move two spaces forward or backward then one space to the side. It was the only piece that could move over other pieces.
  • Kyosha [3] or Lancer (2) - Could move forward any number of squares.
  • Pawn (9) - Could move forward a single square.


All pieces apart from the King and Gold Generals could be "promoted" to a more advanced unit. [4]

  • Promoted Rook - could move one space in any direction as well as retaining original movement.
  • Promoted Bishop - could move one space in any direction as well as retaining original movement.
  • Gold General the Pawns, Lancers, Knights and Silver Generals could all be promoted to Gold Generals.

Objective Edit

Akodo Bakin

Playing Shoji

The objective of the games was to capture the other player's King piece. [1]

History Edit

The original game was brought to the Empire by the Unicorn Clan upon their return from their Exodus. Sometime in the 10th century Akodo Soko drew up the official rules to standardize the game throughout Rokugan. [1] She also developed the ranking system for tournament play before her death. [5] Casual games with variant rules existed, mainly among the Shinjo and Moto families. [6] Unicorn and Lion valued the game to practice strategy, while the Miya tended to pick up the basics for the sake of politeness. [7]

Grand Master Edit

Soko was given the title of meijin by an official panel of shogi judges, and there after all shogi masters became known as soko-meijin to honor the first great champion. [5] Every new soko-meijin was granted honorary fealty with the Lion Clan in honor of Akodo Soko's work. A new soko-meijin was determined once the current master turned fourty years old, by hosting a grand tournament. [1]

Notable Grand Masters Edit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 32
  2. Emerald Empire; Legend of the Five Rings Companion, p. 58
  3. 3.0 3.1 Age of Ivory, Part 4, by Brian Yoon
  4. Emerald Empire; Legend of the Five Rings Companion, pp. 57-58
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Game Master's Guide; 2nd Ed, p. 74
  6. Emerald Empire; Legend of the Five Rings Companion, p. 57
  7. Sword and Fan, p. 173

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