Why can't I place pieces on the b-file?

You already had a pawn on b4.

"Two Pawns (Japanese: 二歩 nifu): A pawn may not be dropped onto a file (column) containing another unpromoted pawn of the same player (promoted pawns do not count)."

From en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shogi

If the rule didn't exist you would have to think about many more moves at all times, and things would be extremely chaotic.
As a beginner, I'm very happy it does exist.


"Shogi is weird... I don't understand it..."

Shogi pawns don't defend each other. I guess it's a rule made to make you think harder about protecting your pawns. The board is bigger and the pieces less powerful, you're supposed to coordinate your pieces quickly to defend them (I know because I have problems when my opponent pushes their rook pawn. I hate that opening).

I think the restriction for the pawn drop was made so the pawn drop is not so incredibly powerful.
Such pawns in a row would be insane. Castles would quickly become pawn houses and unbeatable. Games would end up in a draw way more often since noone can attack without losing huge amounts of material. You can see that in jishogi where people protect their king with many promoted pawns. It is just too hard to break those structures most of the time.
The rule is pretty much essential for the game as it is imho.

"shogi pawns don't defend each other"
pawns together strong :(

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