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Archers at Sekigahara

 
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Algren-san
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 8:33 am    Post subject: Archers at Sekigahara Reply with quote
Not sure if this is the right place for this question or not, but how numerous were Archers at the Battle of Sekigahara? It says in Tony's book that their importance was greatly diminished by this time, but were they still mixed in with Teppo units or were they rather rare by 1600. I understand that this would most likely change from clan to clan so I am just asking for a general response. Also would it be correct to assume that the situation, whatever it might be, would be similar during the Imjin War as well?
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
The teppo unit of Kimata Morikatsu, the vanguard of the Red Devil consisted of three arquebusier supported by two archers. There were other Red Devil contingents whose teppo units would have been similar in composition.

Date Masamune supported Tokugawa Ieyasu during the Sekigahara campaign by containing Uesugi Kagekatsu. The Date were veterans of the Korean invasion. In 1592 they had 50 archers and 100 arquebusiers. During the Sekigahara campaign they had 200 archers but 1,200 arquebusiers. In the Osaka Winter Campaign the Date would field only 100 archers, but further increased the number of arquebusiers to 3,430!

The Matsuura were also veterans of the Korean Invasion, but were neutral during the Sekigahara campaign. The Matsuura scroll depict the army during the Edo period with 32 archers and 104 arquebusiers. Teppo squads are shown with 4 to 5 men each, one of these men in each of the unit being an archer.

The Shimazu were also veterans of the Korean invasion and Sekigahara. The hatamoto of Shimazu Iehisa at the Osaka campaign had 200 archers and 300 arquebusiers.
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kendoka girl
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
According to Osprey, the Shimazu fielded archers and old Shimazu Yoshihiro carried a bow, which was viewed as rather quaint.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
kendoka girl wrote:
According to Osprey, the Shimazu fielded archers and old Shimazu Yoshihiro carried a bow, which was viewed as rather quaint.


Bless you. Smile


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Algren-san
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
kendoka girl wrote:
According to Osprey, the Shimazu fielded archers and old Shimazu Yoshihiro carried a bow, which was viewed as rather quaint.


This is more or less the statement that made me ask this question. Were the Shimazu considered quaint because they fielded all archers (as opposed to teppo) or a very high percentage of archers? From what evalerio told me it would seem archers were still included within the armies, but in a increasingly low proportion. Also what would the primary function of Archers be at this time, for example would they have been used to present cover fire while the teppo reloaded or did they serve another purpose.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I cant remember where I read this, but, archers were indeed used to provide an offense/defense between firing. It wasn't until volley firing was adopted where this became un-necessary. John
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evalerio
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Algren-san wrote:
kendoka girl wrote:
According to Osprey, the Shimazu fielded archers and old Shimazu Yoshihiro carried a bow, which was viewed as rather quaint.


This is more or less the statement that made me ask this question. Were the Shimazu considered quaint because they fielded all archers (as opposed to teppo) or a very high percentage of archers? From what evalerio told me it would seem archers were still included within the armies, but in a increasingly low proportion. Also what would the primary function of Archers be at this time, for example would they have been used to present cover fire while the teppo reloaded or did they serve another purpose.


The Shimazu would not be fielding all-archer only units by Sekigahara. Two things to remember:

1.) The Shimazu were the first to use Portuguese arquebuses on the Japanese battlefield. They've been fighting against other Japanese armies well-armed with arquebus and artillery.

2.) The Shimazu were veterans of the Korean invasion and were one of those that asked that all reinforcements being sent to Korea be armed as arquebusiers. At Sach'on Shimazu troops are described as 'one body' fired their arquebuses to mow down large numbers of Ming soldiers.

NOTE: Shimazu archers are mentioned fighting side by side with arquebusiers at Sach'on.

Archers were used as part of teppo units, to provide covering fire while they reloaded. The archers were increasingly becoming less in numbers in some teppo units. Since they could shoot and reload more rapidly than arquebusiers their numbers could be kept small. Acting as sharpshooters with aimed arrows at specific targets on command while the gunners reloaded.

The archers other earlier function as skirmishers and snipers in time would have been done by arquebusiers too. At Sekigahara, Lord of the Red Devils Ii Naomasa was hit by an arquebus-armed Shimazu sniper.


Last edited by evalerio on Sun Jul 13, 2008 6:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Bethetsu
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Algren-san wrote:
quote:According to Osprey, the Shimazu fielded archers and old Shimazu Yoshihiro carried a bow, which was viewed as rather quaint.

This is more or less the statement that made me ask this question. Were the Shimazu considered quaint because they fielded all archers (as opposed to teppo) or a very high percentage of archers?

When I read this statement I assumed "which" referred to old Shimazu Yoshihiro's personal actions, so he was considered quaint for carrying a bow, not that the han was considered quaint for fielding archers.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
That's how I've always taken it.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Bethetsu wrote:

When I read this statement I assumed "which" referred to old Shimazu Yoshihiro's personal actions, so he was considered quaint for carrying a bow, not that the han was considered quaint for fielding archers.


That makes sense. Thanks. Also Thanks to evalerio for the information above. One more question that really has nothing to do with the archer one.

What is the most common weapon on the battlefield at this time? I would assume it would be the Yari. Would the average percentage of Yari to Teppo be something around 60/40 or would the Yari be much more numerous with small numbers of Yumi supporting the Teppo. Again I know this probably varies between armies so a general answer would be great.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Algren-san wrote:
Bethetsu wrote:

When I read this statement I assumed "which" referred to old Shimazu Yoshihiro's personal actions, so he was considered quaint for carrying a bow, not that the han was considered quaint for fielding archers.


That makes sense. Thanks. Also Thanks to evalerio for the information above. One more question that really has nothing to do with the archer one.

What is the most common weapon on the battlefield at this time? I would assume it would be the Yari. Would the average percentage of Yari to Teppo be something around 60/40 or would the Yari be much more numerous with small numbers of Yumi supporting the Teppo. Again I know this probably varies between armies so a general answer would be great.


I am assuming you mean yari footsoldiers. Those I could find:

Matsuura:
Korea
370 matchlockmen
110 archers
150 spearmen
Matsuura scroll (Edo period)
104 matchlockmen
32 archers
42 spearmen

Date:
Hatamoto (1592)
100 matchlockmen
50 archers
100 spearmen
Sekigahara Campaign (1600)
1,200 matchlockmen
200 archers
850 spearmen
Osaka Campaign (1614)
3,430 matchlockmen
100 archers
1,210 spearmen

Shimazu (Korea)
1,500 matchlockmen
1,500 archers
300 spearmen
Shimazu Iehisa (Osaka)
300 matchlockmen
200 archers
200 spearmen

Three examples of Korean veterans where the gun would outnumber the spear after Korea. Korean veterans were fighting for both sides at Sekigahara.
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Algren-san
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thank you very much Evalerio. So I guess Yari were less common than I thought. What would you recommend as the best source for the compositions of various armies from this period (Korea-Osaka)?
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Maybe a little late to answer, but I found the following at various sources:

1. You train someone to use arquebuses, and train one to use a bow. To bring the arquebuses "user" to an equal level to the bow "user", you will need only a quarter of the time.
2. Many samurai still think the bow, like the katana a weapon only for samurai. With the comming of the arquebuses they take the bows from the ashigaru.

So I think its only natural, that the bow was slowly vanish.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Macharius wrote:


2. Many samurai still think the bow, like the katana a weapon only for samurai. With the comming of the arquebuses they take the bows from the ashigaru.



No. Larger numbers of archers since earlier times were predominantly infantry, the Ashigaru. The bow was not an exclusive weapon only for high-ranking samurai.

With the coming of the arquebus, samurai themselves would eventually pick the arquebus as their primary weapon. Even daimyo, like Oda Nobunaga, Tokugawa Ieyasu and Date Masamune just to name a few, used the arquebus.

In the final battles of samurai armies, from Sekigahara to the Osaka campaign the smaller numbers of archers still on the battlefield at this later stage were mostly ashigaru, with more and more samurai armed as arquebusiers.
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