View Full Version : Japanese Population Demographics

08-27-2009, 11:33 PM
So, in working on my Tsuchirou to Tatsu (http://tsuchiroutotatsu.pbworks.com/) project, I've run into a bit of a snag. Unfortunately, town generators like "Medieval Demographics Made Easy (http://www.rpglibrary.org/utils/meddemog/)" are of absolutely no assistance because of the difference in cultures. Some things could be easily switched out (swap a chandler for an oil-dealer, thus replacing candles with lamps). Likewise, beer and wine sellers can be switched out for shochu and sake dealers. Others don't work so great...

For example, the MDME generator puts a high emphasis on professions like "furriers" and "tanners", jobs which would be very rare in a Japanese-inspired society that considers dead animals to be unclean, and treats leatherworkers as 'untouchable' segregated people. In other cases, numbers seem very skewed for a Japanese environment... Jewelers are more plentiful than hay dealers? There are more pastry cooks than woodsellers and carpenters combined?

In smaller population sizes, the generator seems skewed in terms of what's necessary for life and what isn't. When I ask for a population of 500, they certainly have a barber but only an 18% chance of having an apothecary.

Does anyone else have any useful town generating tools that I could use? I know asking for something Japan-based (and certainly not for the timeframe) would be out of the question, but I'm curious if there are any town generators with a different take on how many businesses are available... Especially when it comes to prioritizing "needs" over "wants".

08-28-2009, 01:39 AM
While I find the concept of RPG generators as handy, I never use them. Basically I'd come up with a list of likely crafters and merchants at the most basic level, what one must find in the smallest of communities, then progressively add occupations based on larger populations and rarity in the lowest populations that increases in commonality in larger groups. Then I'd look at geography or nearness to specific resources, by the ocean means more sea industry, being near the forests or mountains means more woodcutters, hunters and the like, or more rural, thus more agricultural related occupations. Look at what you'd consider as most basic altered for each geographic type.

Once you have a set of lists, use them as tables to roll up your communities by occupation.

I know that sounds like lots of work, but you have an interesting dilema and that's just a part of world building. It would be a useful exercise just trying to create a realistic occupations "generator" to do by hand.


08-28-2009, 09:07 AM
This link (http://www.east-asian-history.net/textbooks/480/ch14.htm)may give you some ideas.

08-29-2009, 04:42 PM
That's a nice link, Ravi! Thanks for that.

08-30-2009, 07:08 PM
Yeah, the link is nice! I'm putting it to use as we speak. ^^ Sadly, there's a wealth of knowledge about the lifestyles of nobility and samurai, but little detailing the way peasants lived.