Skyrim Japanese & Asian-Inspired Mods: The Ultimate ListThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
I’ve been obsessed with Japan ever since young me ate sushi for the first time.
I know people don’t actually eat that much sushi in Japan (and that they’d never add cream cheese to it) – but it still made me curious about this far-off land.
Nowadays it’s easy to access all sorts of Japanese media like video games, anime, and manga – but true Japanophiles are never satisfied.
For now I can’t travel to Japan to sate my thirst, so I decided to do the next best thing and mod Skyrim to be more like Japan.
Let’s look at some of the better mods for an oriental adventure.
1. Japanese Voices
It doesn’t matter how much Japanese fashion and architecture you get into Skyrim.
As long as they’re speaking English, it will never be authentically Japanese.
You could, of course, play the game entirely in Japanese… but most of us can’t understand spoken Japanese – let alone read it.
Creator Seikai15 found an easy solution: changing the voices to Japanese but leaving the subtitles and all written material in plain English.
2. Chi – Asian Nord Preset
If you’ve ever tried to make an Asian-looking character in Skyrim, you know just how hard it can be.
Instead of wasting your time trying to make an apple look like a pear, you can download HoshiNoComet’s Chi – an adorable female Asian preset for the Nord race.
Chi is the Yamato Nadeshiko of Skyrim – a personification of the ideal Japanese woman, with lush jet black hair, dark eyes, and fair skin like porcelain.
Playing as Chi makes you look like an Akaviri wanderer. It makes for some great roleplaying.
3. The Akaviri Collection
The mysterious Akaviri are based on Eastern peoples like the Chinese and Japanese, and their weapons reflect this.
The Akaviri Collection by Silverburst101 introduces a nice variety of Akaviri weapons, including some stylish Sai, a long-ranged Naginata, and a classic Katana.
It also includes a Draconian Madstone. This links it back to Countess Narina Carvain of Bruma, who gives you a quest to retrieve such an item in Oblivion.
4. Hattori Hanzo Katanas
If you really want to Japan-ify your weaponry, the Hattori Hanzo Katanas mod by Alrock10 is necessary.
This excellent add-on introduces a set of perfect traditional Katanas with high-quality textures and bright handle colors that’ll make a great combo with any outfit.
I love these Katanas because their sheaths are gorgeously ornamented with the same vivid colors as the handles. They make you look like you’re in official samurai business.
If you just want Katanas and don’t care much about them looking traditional, make sure to check out the Katana Crafting mod, which adds a new Katana for every crafting material.
5. Akaviri Martial Arts
As any Japanophile already knows, Katanas are frail weapons that can get snapped to pieces with relative ease.
They’ll cleave through your enemies like butter, but only if you have the proper technique.
Skyrim’s basic attack animations are simplistic and brutish. The average Nord would destroy their Katana on the first swing – so get your Dragonborn some Akaviri training.
The Akaviri Martial Arts mod by Mahiwastaken adds a bunch of over-the-top & stylish combat animations, ideal for Katanas and other Asian blades.
These moves are fast and delicate, relying on the dexterous movement of your limbs rather than your muscles.
It makes them ideal for non-muscular characters.
6. Curse of Akavir
Despite housing one of the most exciting and powerful peoples of Nirn, the lands of Akavir have been left largely unexplored by Bethesda.
Based on what little we know of the Akavir, fans theorize their architecture and cities to resemble ancient Chinese or Japanese styles.
Curse of Akavir explores this idea by summoning the Dragonborn to Phoe, an Akaviri island featuring new quests, monsters, and a large area to explore.
There are towns, castles, and temples with distinct Eastern influences.
Something I enjoyed a ton about Curse of Akavir was the large-scale battles with over 10 NPCs. You only see that kind of stuff in vanilla when raiding forts or during the Civil War questline, making such encounters few and far between.
7. Rifles of Skyrim
Guns won’t make you think of Asia in this day and age.
Still, gunpowder was invented in China during the 9th Century, with hand cannons and other firearms cropping up shortly after.
Any addition of gunpowder and guns to a medieval fantasy setting technically counts as a Chinese influence, so I get an excuse to show you this fantastic rifle mod by ENR.
This new shipping of advanced weaponry to the Empire’s northern province (Imperial partisan here) includes 13 lore-friendly “rifles” based on materials found in vanilla Skyrim.
What I love the most about these weapons is that, despite being called rifles, they look more like the ancient hand cannons and other proto-guns you’d see in a society that’s barely getting into gunpowder.
8. Reiko Samurai Armor
Nowadays, Japan is synonym with technology, video games, adorable mascots, and anime – but back in the day, Samurai were their cultural ambassadors.
One of the best ways to make your Dragonborn’s adventure a tad more Japanese is through this historically accurate Samurai armor by APK222.
Grab a longbow or a Katana, and you’ll start getting flashbacks to all of those Samurai films you’ve seen over the years.
9. Akaviri Ruins of Savirien-Chorak
Just as they were fond of war, medieval Japanese people were highly religious – something they had in common with most of their Asian neighbors.
Savirien-Chorak is an Akaviri ruin hidden deep within the forests of Falkreath.
The dense foliage surrounding the ancient wood and stone structures gives it the air of an ancient Japanese temple somewhere in the tree-covered mountains of Japan.
This potentially sacred place is guarded by a host of undead Akaviri warriors and Tsaesci spirits ready to suck the life right out of your mortal vessel.
Better bring a good Katana.
10. Blades Samurai Armor & Kimonos
We all know there’s nothing like the pleasure of finding a mod that gives you everything you were looking for in a single download.
Blades Samurai Armor & Kimonos won’t make Skyrim into Japan in one click.
But it’ll give you the wardrobe you need to pretend it is.
At the very least, you’ll be the biggest Akaviri culture enthusiast on this side of Tamriel.
It specifically includes several types of armor for Eastern warriors, including Samurai, along with many Kimonos to wear at home – or while you’re going about your business in town.
It also includes a Katana, a shorter Tanto, and a Japanese-style bow, along with banners to show your allegiance.
There’s a lot to discover in this mod, and you’ll have a blast as you do.
If you like these armors and would like to see them on city guards then maybe consider the Samurai Holds mod as well.