If my theory is right, and i can assign units to era's for MP readily,
then we will be seeing these included in the "late era" SP campaigns

Now below is much of the research I have done on Sohei without being able to go and buy some of the books i want.

We need to decide on a suitable unit mix for a Sohei Faction,
i want to give them Ashigaru Archers as a unit choice

but what other units do they need?

AND how to make them,
i should be able to adjust a bif from Warlords to suit for Ashi Archers,
but what of their other units?
(aside from naginata weilding fanatics, that can be imported from Warlords)

What should a Sohei/Hoganji faction unit mix contain?

and which existing bifs in medieval are suitable as they are
which need skin re-tininting
which need an additional weapon added to the bif
which need extra "touch ups"

(now read the research section below and tell us what you think)

////////// RESEARCH DATA //////////

Possible Search Terms
Ishiyama Honganji / Hongwanji / Hoganji / Kennyo / Sohei / Yamabushi

Quote Originally Posted by samurai archives
(Honganji Kennyo, Kennyo Sh˘nin)
Honganji leader

Kosa was the son of Shonyo Koky˘, the leader of the Shinshű Buddhist sect, who passed away in 1554. Leadership of the Ishiyama Honganji (Hongan Temple) and Kaga Province passed to Kosa despite his youth with Imperial sanction. In 1568 Oda Nobunaga entered Kyoto, and relations between the Oda and Honganji quickly soured. In 1570 Nobunaga attacked the Honganji, which had become a fortress well stocked with provisions and firearms. Nobunaga's early attempts at a direct assault were repulsed, and he afterwards turned to reducing the Honganji's satellite forts. Kosa in turn called upon the assistance of the M˘ri family, who began ferrying in supplies with their powerful Inland Sea navy. The M˘ri navy was defeated in 1578 and the Honganji finally isolated. The siege nonetheless continued into 1580. Finally, in the 7th month of that year, Kosa agreed to surrender after the court's efforts to facilitate a peace. Nobunaga, in a rare show of temperance, accepted the offer. The Ishiyama Honganji complex was to be abandoned but the defenders were given pardon and the Honganji's temples in Kaga, seized by the Oda in the conquest of that province, were to be returned. Hideyoshi was to make use of Kosa's influence, and dispatched him to Kyushu to rally his supporters there in expectation of Hideyoshi's invasion of that island in 1587. In 1591 Hideyoshi permitted Kosa to build a new Honganji facility in Kyoto, which was constructed on three blocks in the southern part of the city.
Son: Koju

the Family tree for Hoganji is quite extensive and they did operate as a faction - there were other buddhist sects who had their own troops as well

thus a Hognaji faction would be historically accurate as a starting point - they could have become zealots, had they desired to, and launched a "mission" to bring all japan closer to buddha through conquest,
as in history, they could have been conquered and submitted

AND you could have other provinces which have Temples in them and Monks could be "convinced" to fight for the local lord for cash - (the cash could be deemed as going to forwarding the cause of Buddha)

more of my notes
The Honganji are wildcards.

At first, the feuding temples used irregular groups of strongarm guards known as "Akuso", or "Bad Monks". Later on, the temples began to hire mercenaries and to keep standing armies.

The major militant temples of the time were the Enryakuji on Mount Hiei, and the Kofukuji in the holy city of Nara, near Kyoto

Warrior monks were referred to in the past as sohei ("monk warriors") or yamabushi ("mountain warriors"). Examples of warrior monks include the famous Benkei, the loyal vassal of Minamoto no Yoshitsune, who is immortalized in numerous paintings and stories including a noh play, Ataka. Also deserving mention is the monk Nen Ami Jion, who is credited as being the source of inspiration for several medieval warrior traditions

notes from a book (i dont have a copy)
(these are not "facts" but a mixture of fact and legend
these are someone elses notes using data from the book
- the book is far more detailed - perhaps a library will have a copy?)

Yamabushi, 'one who lies in the mountains', are the descendants of an even more esoteric group of monks, the Hijiki. The Hijiki were reclusive hermit monks who lived deep in the mountains and ascribed to intense and rigid rituals to attain enlightenment and Mystical powers.

In the Heian Period (794-1185) the Hijiki organized into the Shugendo order with it's most ardent followers called Yamabushi. They claim their origin as a group from the semi-legendary sorcerer, EN NO GYOJA. Until recently Shugendo was considered esoteric branches of the Tendai and Shingnon Sects.

The term Shugensa was applied to any monk in training who traveled and endured hardship to gain enlightenment, or 'training Monks'. By practicing ascetic rituals they empowered themselves with Holy and mystical powers to use for the benefit of the community. The maintain these holy powers, Yamabushi often had to perform these rituals with frequent regularity often doing things like chanting the Lotus sutra (A holy text) hundreds of times in a day.

As they're name indicates they made regular pilgrimages to holy mountains once a season- often in difficult to reach places. This acetic sojourn was seen by the Shugendo as yet another transformation from the profane to the sacred. With this enduring of the impossible came the impossible, any Yamabushi worth his salt was blessed with the powers of exorcism and healing and the common people knew this. A Yamabushi might be strange and mysterious to a village but he was the first they called upon for aid in the supernatural.

Stories often circulated of Yamabushi performing extraordinary feats such as walking across burning fires and climbing up ladders of swords as well cutting stones in half by prayer alone or jumping great distances. Whether or not this had a foundation in truth will never be known but the common folk believed. At times, common folk mistook an errant Yamabushi for a Tengu, but that is a different bag of rice altogether.

Japanese Warrior Monks AD 949-1603
Author: Turnbull, Stephen
ISBN: 1841765732
Publisher: Osprey / Osprey - UK
Publication date: 2003-05-30
This title provides an examination of warrior monks' historical significance in strife-torn Japan, both before and during the Sengoku-Jidai period. It explains how the monks frequently held the balance of power and played a key role in the Japanese civil wars.

Troop Types
the militant monestaries had proper monks, and what were called bad monks, which were little more than thugs, (called Akuso)
they were employed to defend the monestaries and to "enforce" edicts issued by the monestaries

Monks did fight on horseback using Naginata
(a woman is famous for leading her Monk army (Cavalry and Foot) of some 6000 against a Hojo? army of 20K in a frontal assault - she lost (overwhelmed) but did heavy damage - cannot find my notes on that episode at this time - there is a source on the internet... somewhere)

Sohei armies had peasant archers and guns,
(Sohei peasant foot used whatever was avaialble, Axes, Kama whatever they had)

Akuso (bad monks) used a mixture of weapons - yari, katana, naginata etc
(i would imagine those that had horses would have used them)

The century following Rennyo's death was one of turbulence and momentous change for both the country and the Hongwanji.
The period from 1482 to 1558 is known as the age of "the country at war" and was characterized by incessant warfare and
shifting alliances among the feudal lords throughout Japan.

At the beginning of this period, Shin followers in Echizen and neighboring Kaga arose to virtually dominate those provinces,
and for a century the Hongwanji remained an obstacle to the ambitions of warlords bent on dominating the entire country.

In 1532, the Yamashina Hongwanji was attacked and burned to the ground by the Omi daimyo, Rokkaku.
It was relocated at Ishiyama which, located on a slight prominence and surrounded by waterways, occupied a strategic position of great strength. It is the site of present Osaka Castle.
Hongwanji influence in the area grew.

From the mid-sixteenth century, the warlord Oda Nobunaga emerged as one of the most powerful military leaders, and his drive to control the country brought him into conflict with the Hongwanji.
In 1580, after eleven years of military action against the Ishiyama Hongwanji and failure to achieve its downfall, Nobunaga requested the intercession of Emperor Ogimachi, who mediated the evacuation of Ishiyama.
The eleventh monshu, Kennyo, moved the Hongwanji to Saginomori in Wakayama prefecture, and then to Kaizuka and Temma in present-day Osaka

I have a list of leaders and a handfull of retainers too