Sunday, December 14, 2014

War Lords of Japan

We are in the midst of War Lords of Japan: A Simulation of Shogun History of Feudal Japan.  During this simulation, students join one of five Samurai clans.  The clans are competing with the ultimate goal of taking of Japan and becoming Shogun, the ultimate military ruler of Japan. 

In conjunction with our ELA Asia/Pacific Rim Literature Unit, students are studying the socio-political landscape of Feudal Japan.

Before we began the simulation, we talked about the structure of Japanese Feudalism.  As our classroom is usually collaborative and student centered, I wanted to make sure students were prepared for the shift in power structure.  During the simulation, I take on the role of Empress Lau, and students take on the role of Samuri.

Students are arranged into five clans, and it is their job to work together with their clan.  Each day, students are assigned one of the following roles:
  • Leader:  The leader organizes the groups and directs the Empress where to move the clan's troops
  • Accountant:  The accountant completes the ledger for the day.  The accountant keeps track of  the koku (rice currancy) which is earned and spent and the armies gained and lost.
  • Journalist 1: Informs the Empress of the clan's army movements and battle accounts.
  • Journalist 2: Informs the Empress of the knowledge earned and the day's fortune.
  • Artist: Completes an art project to decorate the classroom. 

Take a look into the classroom below:

Maps of Japan on the back wall.  Each clan is represented by a different color thumb tack.  Each thumb tack represents one army regiment.

Clan leaders gather around Empress Lau (me) to inform the Empress of armies to be bought and troops to be moved.
In province R, Oska and Edo prepare for battle.  Only one army my occupy a province at a time.  

Samurai in their castle groups plot their next moves.  You can see the Japanese artwork hanging from the ceiling.

Artists hard at work on their Japanese Kite Fish