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When Samurai start out, they get a stipend that is denominated by their school. Generally it is between 3 to 10 Koku, about enough to supply a single Samurai with enough food and shelter even far away from home for a full year.

Of course, a good lord generally provides his Samurai with all the things they need and even might want, but a stingy lord might just be willing (or able) to supply the absolute minimum to keep the face - and have any expense for luxuries beyond that go from the stipend that is given to them.

The core book mentions Stipends five times: Page 26 mentions that Ronin get no stipend or Household. Page 38 uses Stipend once as "Pocket Money" allocated to the part of a marriage that does not manage the household from the one that does do the managing - who in turn gets to handle all the other income - including the two-samurai stipend from the Lord. The page also uses the word stipend once for the salary of retainers. Page 46 notes that stipends pass from the Lords downwards. 198 finally explicitly notes that the stipend is above the necessities the Samurai needs, like shelter food, and tools:

Samurai are also given a stipend by their lord, however, and as such they have the money necessary to purchase additional items if they so desire.

I guess that the amount of the stipend of a general low-ranking samurai might equal their starting gear wealth, but when do Samurai get their stipends, and is there an indication in the books for when or how much it might be raised?

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It turns out, the answer is hidden in the Imperial Archives page 31. It explicitly notes:

At character creation, this stipend is represented by the starting koku included in the School’s Outfit.

Indeed, that much is clear, but even 10 koku don't reach eternal if the campaign spans more than a few months or even years. At some point, even a crane would run out. So, the book proposes a formula:

At periodic intervals – [once to 4/year, depending on area] – the lord’s treasurer issues the next installment of his followers’ stipends. This money should reflect both the status of the follower in question and the differences in wealth between various families and clans. One possible formula is the School’s starting koku multiplied by the character’s Status, and then doubled.

$$\text{Starting Cash} \times \text{Status} \times 2$$

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