First, each player chooses one of the available Clans to play, by placing one of the Clan Screens in front of them and placing a Political/War tile behind it (with the Political side facing up).
All materials and figures for Clans that were not chosen are returned to the game box.
It is important that players sit around the table in the right order, according to the Starting Honor Rank of the Clan they chose (as indicated on their Clan Screens). The Clan with the lowest Starting Honor Rank will be the first to play. The Clan with the next Rank above that must sit to their left, and so on. So, as play will go in clockwise order, it will start from the Clan with the lowest Starting Honor Rank, and proceed in ascending order around the table. Note that the sitting order (and thus play order) stays the same throughout the game.
EXAMPLE: In a 5-player game, the sitting order going clockwise must be KOI, LOTUS, TURTLE, DRAGONFLY, and BONSAI.
Place 1 of your Clan markers on the first slot ( ) of the Victory Point Track on the board.
Your other Clan marker is placed on the Honor Track. The slot on which it’s placed depends on your Clan’s Starting Honor Rank. The Clan with the lowest Rank goes on the top slot. Below it goes the Clan with the next Starting Honor Rank, and so on. There should be no empty slots between Clan markers, though there will be empty slots at the bottom, depending on the player count.
EXAMPLE: In a 5-player game, the starting order on the Honor Track going from top to bottom would be KOI, LOTUS, TURTLE, DRAGONFLY, and BONSAI.
Take your clan’s Daimyo figure, 3 Shinto figures, and 6 Bushi figures, and make sure a black plastic base is attached to the Daimyo and white bases to the Shinto to more easily identify them. Keep all of your figures next to your Clan Screen, in sight of the other players. This area is called your Reserve.
Take all the plastic bases in your Clan’s color and keep them next to you. They will be used if you acquire Monsters.
Take the 4 Stronghold tokens and the Alliance token belonging to your Clan and keep them next to you.
Home Province: Each player takes 1 Daimyo figure, 1 Bushi figure, and 1 Stronghold token and places them on the board, inside their Home Province (as indicated on their Clan Screen).