The Yamatai Star Empire's people have a diverse culture loosely based on Japanese and Norse cultures.
Yamataian communities prominently feature pursuits such as arts, philosophy, research and tinkering. There is only a minimized amount of manual labor to be done since most farmlands and other vocations are highly automated, leaving people with large amounts of free time. Most of them enjoy a simplistic lifestyle and a love of learning, creativity and harmony. Their cultural centers promote a sense of communal family that makes them all very close-knit.
Most Yamataians Japanese sounding names, with the surname typically being stated before the first name and honorifics are sometimes laced in their speech, even when using English. Addressing Others With Honorifics
Yamataians* who come from a human background tend to have a family arrangement where they have two parents (mom and dad or two moms, or occasionally two dads) and children.
Single people in Yamatai tend to life in rather small apartments (see: Micro-apartment).
It is customary to remove your shoes in the entryway of a home when entering it. The only exceptions are for police manners. Most homes have extra slippers available for guests.
Nekos and ex-neko tend to live in non-traditional groups that resemble a dorm or barracks and they, being of the warrior mindset, tend to build their houses as fortified castles similar to Hakka walled villages.
Almost everybody's grandparents are dead from the Great Plague, but if they have some, the grandparents usually live on their own because in a society where young bodies are readily available to transfer into, almost nobody chooses to get old.
Yamataian colonies tend to be in the form of a high tech town with huge swathes of untouched wilderness around them. Colony towns are not as advanced as the core Yamatai worlds, particularly on the frontier, as a lot of tech tends to be hand-me-downs and non-Yamataian-built.
* As in the people of Yamatai and not necessarily the empire as a whole. Yamatai include many cultures including Phods, Kodians, and other species who have their own distinct cultures.
Yamatai tends to favor Western-style seat toilets with bidets and almost all restrooms are unisex.
Yamatai does not have a codified class system, but you could break down the people into (in no particular order):
Polite Yamataians adhere to a set of particular manners such as eating as quietly as possible, never putting anything in their mouth just to chew on, treating guests honorably, accepting gifts and tolerating hardship instead of complaining.
There are signs everywhere that will alert you to hazards or expectations and they almost always contain a cartoon.
Honorifics and forms of address are important, and can lead to some serious social faux pas if not careful. Unless you enjoy a close personal relationship with somebody, it is impolite to refer to them using their first name (to do so without an honorific even more so). Furthermore, the Star Army of Yamatai likes to keep a professional code of conduct at all times, so informal address while on duty is heavily discouraged.
For those familiar with the Japanese system of honorifics and address, the system is quite similar. Introductions are made with the family ('last') name first, followed by the first time. When addressing somebody else, unless you enjoy a close personal relationship with the other person, refer to them with their last name with an honorific. Typically in the Star Army, this will be either the suffix “san” or an abbreviated form of their rank. For example, when addressing the crew member Eli Destin, he would introduce himself as “Destin, Eli”, and you would refer to him as “Destin-Hei” while on duty, or “Eli-Hei” if you were particularly close (but it would still be a little less professional). While off duty, you might drop the honorific if you held a particularly close relationship.
Be wary as it can be a 50/50 chance whether a player lists their character on the wiki with family name first. When in doubt, ask the player. Addressing People - For a more detailed description on Star Army honorifics, including general SAoY regulations regarding them.
Yamataians are quite fond of rice and meat and those usually serve as their staple food. A very wide selection of ancient and modern ethic foods are available and appreciated.
Yamataian table place settings include a knife on the left and a fork and chopsticks on the right. Forks remain in the right hand even when the food is being cut. Cutting is typically done entirely with the left hand while food is held still with the fork in the right.
Don't cross chopsticks, rub them together (this says they're cheap), pass food from your chopstick's to a friends, use them like spears, suck on them, point at people with them, or stick them straight up in a bowl of rice (shrine style). Don't use mismatched chopsticks.
Yamataians are known to drink tea out of mugs in addition to tea cups.
Vending machines are everywhere in Yamatai's cities and you can get almost anything from them: fruit juice, beer, wine, hot coffee, soda, snacks, fresh foods, live crabs and fish, clothing, and occasionally small cars. Some are mobile and will even come to your door if you know the phone number of one nearby.
In Yamatai, nudity is not restricted. On beaches, swimwear is popular but optional.
Due to the availability of mind backups, some extreme sports have been able to flourish, such as rock-sledding. Rather than sledding on snow, rock-sledders slide down on bare rock faces, using a Zesuaium sled coated in a layer of lube. A government safety warning about sledding on the mountains warns: “Mental backups are recommended prior to attempting.” Sponsored by the makers of Heatlube Personal.
See also: Holidays
In Yamatai, baseline humans are pretty rare and are stereotyped as being low-income immigrants from neighboring Nepleslia or country hicks isolated from society. The Empire is primarily run by and populated by Nekovalkyrja and their cousin race, the Yamataians; so instead of being anthropocentric, one could say Yamatai is gynoid-centric (?).
Minkan comprise the majority of the civilian population in the Yamatai Star Empire. All Minkan were at least one other species in their past. The decision to make the transfer to this new body, is usually a personal one.
The majority of Minkan are content to live their lives in a civilian environment. Most of them tend to have Yamataian (Japanese) features, though there are plenty of ones with Nordic or Nepleslian features. Life in Yamatai is nearly perfect, and living in a pseudo utopia has its advantages. Minkan life is mostly free of sickness, and disease. Birth defects and even crippling injuries are unheard of. This lifestyle means that the citizens of the Empire are free to explore other activities, such as education, art, artisan skills, etc. This leads some to travel to other worlds, or join organizations that offer the chance of travel.
Family is an important component in civilian life.
A small percentage of the population, share a common trait. They choose to leave their idyllic life styles, and enlist in the military. Some may come from Nepleslian stock, but others just have a sense of duty that calls them to a higher purpose.
When serving in the Star Army, Nekovalkyrja are exposed to the military machine of the Yamataian Star Empire, being one of the many Nekovalkyrja crew members in the fleets – Nekos, to this day, are still the backbone of the Star Army’s personnel. There is a ranking hierarchy and protocol to live up to and any individual performing well can expect to rise in the ranks and hopefully reaching positions of importance. It is customary for created Nekovalkyrja to serve the Star Army for at least 6 years to ‘repay’ the Empire for their lives.
While they are a telepathic race, Nekovalkyrja tend to speak as much as humans do. By custom, speech is used for day-to-day functions and telepathy during dire situations, data transfer, or intimate sharing.
Nekovalkyrja are not created solely as soldiers and so do not quite share the aggressive, up-front personality their more able sister-models have. However, this hardly makes them meek – they can be every bit as fierce and cunning, only they lean more toward prudence and foresight. The NH-29 are much less prone to see themselves as tools and weapons, unlike other Nekovalkyrja, and so do have a better self-esteem.
Nekovalkyrja are encouraged to engage in such pursuits as arts, philosophy, research and tinkering.
Most Nekovalkyrja have an innate desire to promote happiness and sense of purpose and this also extends to the sharing of affection – making romance and physical pleasure a rather open thing to them. Since nekos are not prone to disease or unintentional pregnancy, they have few inhibitions to becoming physically intimate with others and little reason to promote monogamy.
Sushi art colored by Wes using a purchased base by Waitress.