I've seen people win In The Year Of The Dragon by ignoring the disasters, taking the losses, and simply taking as many scholars as possible to build victory points almost exclusively via the scholar action. How successful is this strategy? Does the layout of disasters matter for this? Are there any other related strategies, such as almost-all-scholars-plus-something-else?
You can't stand all disaster you need to at least protect your scholars.So you always need other people that you sacrifice for the disaster effect.
But if a lot of disaster are in the beginning of the year this can be possible. Also you need to play against beginner player as experienced players will block you or do more point than you , by having more room than you.
Getting the geisha soon is also a plus for this strategy.
I've already see someone win by this strategy but more often they will fail. In my opinion you need to mix other source point to achieve victory.