So, I decided to use the number of samurai listed (and using samurai in the meaning of caste, not profession. Warrior samurai are called bushi), but make some changes to the concept of schools. Basically, not every samurai attends a school. This shouldn't be surprising, as there are rules in the book for it. In this world, however, *most* samurai don't attend them. Why aren't any school-less samurai ever mentioned? Two reasons. One, most of those unschooled samurai prove too inconsequential to ever have their names recorded. Two, those that do are offered to train at a school, which is invariably accepted.
Second, of those who do go to a school, most don't go to the most prestigious ones. By rough mental tally, there are a little over 60 noteworthy "basic" schools in the books. Over 1/4th of them are shugenja schools, despite shugenja being quite rare (they are mentioned a lot because they are more likely to be significant individually, but in total numbers they aren't significant). I figure that there is no way such a small number of schools could train even CLOSE to the 1,436,000 samurai currently living in Rokugan. Again, almost all the samurai we HEAR about did, but that is because those samurai are well connected and/or very gifted.
I did a lot of math today. I also made a lot of assumptions and factored in a lot of personal bias. I am going to spill almost a lot of it. If there is something game-breakingly upsetting about them to you, please let me know. I will say that I feel very good about this. After all, this setting is largely about talking about the "glossed over" details of Rokugan, so why not talk about the insignificant samurai who, in both history and every other game, are nothing but a number? Your characters, for the first part of the game, will be among those samurai. Possibly talented, possibly even a little connected, but also, as far as Rokugan history is concerned, meaningless.
That will change. After your first adventure you will jump to Insight Rank 2 and be significantly stronger than at least 24.5095% of the samurai in Rokugan. Those of you with a little status or glory or allies might find yourselves promoted to ranks that mean nothing outside your Clan, and seemingly very little within it, but we won't stop there. Yes, you will all have the chance to be placed in charge of other samurai, and to advise those above you, and have your words have real impact, at least to those directly surrounding you. A word on Insight Rank. I have decided that Rank 8 is going to be the cap on this game. Not only will your characters never surpass that, but a higher Insight will not exist. If an Insight Rank 8 opponent is killed without the help of significant NPCs, expect an epilogue to be on the way.
So, without further delay, here is a breakdown of all 1,436,000 samurai in Rokugan by Insight Rank, whether or not they attended a samurai school, and whether or not that school was known Empire-wide.
Rank Total Unschooled Common Great Percent
1 351,956 316,760 28,157 7,039 24.5095
2 853,792 683,034 119,530 51,227 59.4563
3 204,448 143,114 36,800 24,534 14.2373
4 22,112 14,467 4,823 4,822 1.6791
5 1,348 674 270 404 0.0938
6 270 49 108 113 0.0188
7 62 8 19 35 0.0043
8 13 1 3 9 0.0009