Literally "big name". A feudal lord (large land-holder or ruler of a province). The term was first used in this sense in the 11th century. During the Japanese civil wars (1467-late 1500s) it referred to military leaders. During the Tokugawa era it referred specifically to lords who held sway over domains producing 10,000 koku of rice per annum (about 1,800 cubic meters).


The daimyo were the feudal lords of Japan and were samurai too, though with a much higher status than an ordinary retainer. They were independent land-owners, whose territories had to have a total value of at least 10,000 koku. They are not to be mistaken for the kuge, or court nobles. Daimyo often commanded armies much larger than any of their European counterparts. A single daimyo could command several thousand men, a large one heading an alliance of tens or even hundreds of thousands. At the Battle of Sekigahara, there were almost 160,000 men under the command of Tokugawa Ieyasu and his opponent Ishida Mitsunari.

A brief history

From the 8th century onwards, large estates were built up from land granted to trusted military governors and members of the Imperial family who could not be supported at court. The rulers of these estates, who were the first daimyo, did not have to pay tax to central government and were thus able to amass considerable power. By the 12th century, some daimyo had become more powerful than the emperor himself. Indeed as time passed, the Imperial Court became more and more irrelevant, as a new class of nobility separate from the Court arose. Minamoto Yoritomo is accredited with being the first Shogun, who set up the Kamakura Shogunate, effectively making the Imperial government impotent.

Civil war sporadically broke out in the following centuries. The Onin War (1467-1477) was one of Japan's greatest conflicts and destabilised the Ashikaga Shogunate. Though it survived until 1573, its authority was heavily undermined by the previous conflict. Daimyo fought each other to increase their territories, the most violent conflict occurring in the Sengoku Era. Alliances of different lords formed for mutual protection, as well as for conquest. Lords like Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi temporarily united Japan in the late 16th century. But their deaths provoked renewed infighting. Finally, after the Battle of Sekigahara, one daimyo was able to completely united Japan - Tokugawa Ieyasu.

During the Edo period, under Tokugawa rule, daimyo were prohibited from fighting each other and had much reduced individual power under the Bakufu. When Tokugawa Ieyasu had united Japan, he had forced all the daimyo and samurai to swear allegiance to him. The position of Shogun gave him the authority he needed to control them. Though they technically still controlled their lands, or hans as they were then called, the Bakufu could still strip of them of their lands if they misbehaved.

During the late 19th century, the daimyo and samurai class were officially disestablished as a part of the Meiji government's decision to westernise society. It was also necessary to remove possible challenges to their authority. Though in the end the legislation was successful, some daimyo and samurai resisted. The short-lived Satsuma Rebellion, led by Saigo Takamori, attempted to overthrow the government. However the old ways of fighting a war had been overshadowed by modern rifles and cavalry techniques. Takamori's army was routed and so the daimyo passed into history.

Famous daimyo

Akechi Mitsuhide
Date Masamune
Hojo Soun
Imagawa Yoshimoto
Ishida Mitsunari
Kato Kiyomasa
Oda Nobunaga
Takeda Shingen
Tokugawa Ieyasu
Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Uesugi Kenshin
Compiled overview of the 40 ton Daimyo 'Mech, from various BattleTech novels and game sourcebooks:

A heavy priority for the survival of the Draconis Combine during the Clan invasion was the repair of the badly damaged Luthien Armor Works facility. While the buildings where under reconstruction, 'Mech designs were developed using new technologies and the experience gained from the horrific fighting the Kurita forces had just endured. The Daimyo has the distinction of being the first new 'Mech design to be produced at the rebuilt Luthien Armor Works.

The first Daimyo stepped of the production line in February 3053. A public display was made of the new BattleMech on the planet Luthien to show the people the determination of the Dragon. After reviewing the initial test results, Theodore Kurita ordered that the first run of the new Daimyos be sent to units in areas near the Outworlds Alliance for further field testing. This design has yet to see actual combat but is expected to do well.

The DMO-1K Daimyo is built around the reliable and spacious Alshain Type 59-40M chassis. All electronics are tied together seamlessly with the use of Luthien Armor Works' beloved Eagle Eye SY10-10 Tracking System and a Sipher CommSys 4 Communications System.

The Daimyo weaponry is a good mix that encompasses all firing ranges. She mounts a Lord's Light-2 Extended-Range Particle Beam Weapon in the left arm and a pair of Victory 23R Medium Lasers in the right. A Shannon SH-60 SRM-6 rack is imbedded within the right torso with 2 tons of ammunition in the bay beside it, allowing for thirty flights. Luthien Armor Works has installed double heat sinks instead of standard ones, but Mechwarriors who pilot the Daimyo must still be wary of heat buildup in the cockpit because firing all the 'Mech's weapons at once could be very dangerous.

The first draft of the Daimyo's design mounted four jump jets, but at the expense of using the heavier and balls-ier Nissan 200 fusion plant that currently powers it. With a cruising speed of 54 kph and a maximum flanking speed of 81 kph, the Daimyo's speed is equal to or better than most other traditional 40-ton BattleMechs in the Inner Sphere.

Over seven tons of Starshield ferro-fibrous armor allows the Daimyo to absorb tremendous amounts of damage for its size.

Note: Information used here was the domain of FASA before they split the rights between Wizkids LLC and Microsoft (table-top gaming and video games respectively). Copyright of the fluff text is in limbo, but names of persons, places, & things are without any doubt the property of Wizkids LLC. Use of any terms here related to the BattleTech trademark are not meant as a challenge to Wizkids LLC's rights.

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