Of Rice and Men
Rokogan is a decentralised feudal state. (Stolen from Andrew)
The Emperor and the Great Clans
Under the law all land is owned by the emperor himself. He grants the land to each individual clan to act as stewards over it. The clans are expected to maintain the land and return all fruits of the land to the Imperial Family, who then distributes the goods.
To simplify this process the Empire has instituted a currency called the Koku which represents the amount of rice necessary to feed a man over the course of year.
While the rice standard is the base for the Koku, it is subsidized and controlled by the Imperial Treasure, to ensure that there not a sudden deflation.
The Great Clans and their Families
The clans themselves divide the land amongst their ruling families. Usually on the province level. Each family is headed up by their own “Family Daimyo.”
The family Daimyo’s of a clan choose one amongst their number as the Clan Champion. The Clan Champion leads the clan and acts as the official point of contact between the other great clans and usually organizes the clan’s military and political strategy.
Family Daimyo’s and Minor Daimyo’s
The land is further divided up and given to “Minor Daimyo’s” to administer in the name of their clan.
These minor Daimyo’s occasionally have vassals of their own to call upon.
Daimyo’s and Samurai
All Daimyo’s have at least several dozen samurai to support them. This number can change massively based on the power and importance of a particular Daimyo.
These Samurai are technically relatives of Daimyo and all share his surname. When a Samurai swears fealty to a different Daimyo or marries into a different family he/she takes on the name of their new family and is considered to be a member of that family.