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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Tatsunoshi,

You are right. 9th month in 1553 and 4th month in 1559. Japanese calendar. That is what I have in all my other resources I have. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Tatsunoshi wrote:
Obenjo Kusanosuke wrote:
I also found an error on page 206. That IS NOT Tokugawa Yoshinobu.


It's not? It looks just like the photo of Yoshinobu on the front of The Last Shogun, down to bone structure, eye and nose shape, and creases in the face. Granted, you've seen a lot more photos of Yoshinobu than I have, so maybe you know something I don't.


Here are six photos of Yoshinobu. None look like the person that appears in page 206.


That person seems to look a lot like Okuma Shigenobu (1838-1922), who was a Meiji and Taisho period politician who eventually became Prime Minister. Here's a picture of him as an old man.


Okuma led an interesting life. He started out as a sonno joi fanatic from Saga han and rose all the way to the highest level of government, and topped it off by establishing Waseda University somewhere along the way.

So what do you think? Is this an issue of mistaken identity? I really do think that the person in the photo in Conlan's book is Okuma Shigenobu. Can anyone verify this?
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Here's a side by side head shot comparison of the two pics I was speaking of-Conlan's is on the left, Last Shogun shot on the right. They look an awful lot alike.



You can see the full uncropped shots HERE and HERE.

The angle of Okuma's eyes and the width of his mouth don't really match up with the Conlan shot along with other details.

It's a shame we can't really make out the crests in Conlan's photo-that would help out a lot. Can't say they look too much like the Tokugawa crest, which would lend credence to it not being Yoshinobu.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Will the real Yoshinobu please stand up? Please stand up?

My wife, who knows Yoshinobu's mugshot fairly well, (she secretly reads books about him while feigning disinterest) said the photo in question, in her opinion, is neither Yoshinobu or Okuma Shigenobu...
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I have to agree that it doesn't look like Yoshinobu.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Good job, Obenjo!
I contacted Thomas Conlan about the Yoshinobu photo and this is what he had to say:

Thomas Conlan wrote:
I must confess I assumed the photo, which had been attributed to Yoshinobu, was accurate, but your astute readers have caught an error.
The photo reproduced is merely an anonymous photo of a man wearing formal dress (perhaps incorrectly), photographed by Von Stillfried. If you can find a book called Japan Caught in TIme (New York: Weatherhill, 1995), you will find this photo on p. 102.
Yoshinobu himself appears in the following website:

http://www.mingyuen.edu.hk/history/japan/05moendfamous/5mufu/1867tokugawa-yoshinobu.jpg

I have also attached this photo below. As you can tell, the man photographed on p. 206 of my book is most certainly not Yoshinobu. Thank you for your clarification. I asked the publisher to revise this photo in a future printing."


The SA's thanks go out to Professor Conlan for taking the time to look into the matter and letting us know the resolution. And kudos to Obenjo for spotting it in the first place (I'll give them to him while I'm having my eyes checked...)!
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Tatsunoshi,

Thanks for bringing this issue to Dr. Conlan's attention and I also want to thank him for clarifying the matter. As you know, I'm a fan of Dr. Conlan's works and the fact that he went out of his way to discuss this issue of mistaken identity shows he's a true gentleman as well as a scholar.

And by the way, the next time we meet up, drinks are on you--but don't pull a Brick McBurly and sneak out when the bill arrives, leaving me to pay for it all. Laughing
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Obenjo Kusanosuke wrote:
As you know, I'm a fan of Dr. Conlan's works and the fact that he went out of his way to discuss this issue of mistaken identity shows he's a true gentleman as well as a scholar.


I agree, very classy.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I just picked up Conlan's book today. Before going too much further, I should say that I am becoming a fan of his work. I had read his book on the Mongol invasions without making the connection, initially, as well as some of his smaller articles.

That said, I like a lot of what I'm seeing, but there's plenty of things that I'm scratching my head about. Perhaps this is nitpicking, and I think that much of it has to do with what has been mentioned about pandering to the public rather than a purely academic audience. Still, there are things that I wonder about or question.

Okay, so heading into the book, I have to agree that the opening of the introduction is an excellent contrast of early pragmatism v. later fatalism, and I thought his brief explanation of how this transformation, multiplied by the biased histories of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, affected Japan's military performance in WWII... but that's outside of the forum's overall scope.

Does anyone have Japanese for the phrase "way of bow and arrow" that Conlan keeps quoting? I've heard of "Kyuba no michi", but I don't think I've hear of "Kyuya no michi" or something like it--but I could just be missing something. I'm traveling, so I can't crosscheck with Friday that had something on this, but I can't remember what. Either way, I'm intrigued because horses always seemed to me at least as important in the equation as the bow, and his Introduction seems to almost ignore that aspect of the early warriors.

Conlan, on page 12, implies that the shinai was adopted primarily to allow people to show off agile and more fancy moves. I *really* would like to see some evidence for that. Despite the sportification of kendo (much of which seems post-Meiji, from what I can see), I just don't see evidence for this assertion. Rather, the more common assertion that seems to make sense to me is that the shinai (and the older fukuro-shinai is not the light shinai used by kendo) could be used in practice without the same risk of injury. Outside of kendo, the schools I know of that practice with shinai use it as one of many training tools, including live blades (or at least metal mogito). I do agree that the blades of the Edo period are often lighter and flimsier than their earlier counterparts, and that many styles of swordsmanship became much more "dance-like" as the centuries progressed. Still, I think this passage seems like an overly broad brush to paint with.

He then, on page 13, uses a diagram of a kendo strike (backwards, since the way the diagram is presented you have to go from the lower right to the upper left) to illustrate "kenjutsu", and his mention of kendo's goal being more about showing skill in moves seems contrary to some of the pre-WWII "choke him out in his men" style of kendo.

I don't understand the relevance of his diagram on where to strike in kendo, and then when he diagrams a sword (a gunto, which I believe is a poor example of a "typical" katana) he points out the blade, the tsuba, and the tsuka-ito. Why mention tsuka-ito? Furthermore, he describes it as a cloth: "the handle, which is made of wood, coated in sharkskin and wrapped in a cloth called a tsuka ito." Wouldn't pointing out the tsuka itself be more appropriate? I'd also describe it more as "made of wood, wrapped in sharkskin and then wrapped with a cord called...", rather than using "cloth", especially since a cloth bag was often fitted over the tsuka to protect it, so that could be confusing.

I love his discussion of Eto Shinpei and Saigō Takamori and how he dismisses some of the myths about the early Meiji rebellions.

Kukishin Ryu, just because of some of the questions surrounding it, would not be my first choice to use to demonstrate traditional ryuha, and then the two sword stuff is interesting, but there appear to be a few technical goofs (sword magically appearing on the other side of the opponent's blade, plus a really poorly executed cut), but I'm not sure where these illustrations are coming from, so I don't entirely blame Conlan.

The actual meat of the history, though, I can't find fault with and agree with his conclusions most of the time. Of course, that's only the introduction, and I don't expect to base everything off of that... I'll finish reading the meat of it, which really looks exciting, and try to come back with more.

Out of curiosity, would anyone want to do an informal (i.e. non-Kyoshitsu) discussion of it? Just go through chapter by chapter and look at what comes up? If so, I'd be willing to give my impressions in that kind of format, and we could discuss any specific points that make people go 'hmmm'.

-Josh
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I took a VERY quick look in Friday's Samurai, Warfare and the State in Early Midieval Japan and of course, he talks about the Way of the horse and bow, but I didn't see a Japanese term for it.

But isn't the art of archery called 'shajutsu' while the art of horsemanship called 'bajutsu'--at least in the Edo period? I don't really know if there was a formal term for the 'way of the bow and horse' as 'samurai', in it's old context, was synonymous with being 'an armored mounted archer'.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Obenjo Kusanosuke wrote:
and of course, he talks about the Way of the horse and bow, but I didn't see a Japanese term for it.
Kojien has kyûba no michi 弓馬の道.
1) The "way" of archery and riding horses, budô, bugei.
2) In the middle ages the virutes that a bushi should follow.
There was also a term Kyûba no ie, which meant buke.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
JLBadgley wrote:
Does anyone have Japanese for the phrase "way of bow and arrow" that Conlan keeps quoting? I've heard of "Kyuba no michi", but I don't think I've hear of "Kyuya no michi" or something like it--but I could just be missing something.


He later on uses 'Kyuba no michi', but is still ID'd as 'Way Of The Bow And Arrow'. This just looks like a lapse on his part, since that's clearly incorrect.
He does put a lot of emphasis on the role of horses in conjunction with the bow in the first chapter.

JL wrote:
He then, on page 13, uses a diagram of a kendo strike (backwards, since the way the diagram is presented you have to go from the lower right to the upper left) to illustrate "kenjutsu"...

Kukishin Ryu, just because of some of the questions surrounding it, would not be my first choice to use to demonstrate traditional ryuha, and then the two sword stuff is interesting, but there appear to be a few technical goofs (sword magically appearing on the other side of the opponent's blade, plus a really poorly executed cut), but I'm not sure where these illustrations are coming from, so I don't entirely blame Conlan.


These I would lay on the steps of the illustrator. The other swordplay points you make, I don't have a clue about since I really haven't studied that field much.

I really think what Conlan mentioned in his interview shows up-that he had to rush to meet a deadline and couldn't review stuff like he normally does. This accounts for stuff like Baba being killed on the Takeda left at Nagashino (instead of the right) and perhaps some of the words that are spelled wrong. Other things are just differing interpretations-for example, he thinks that the clouds in one of the Osaka campaign screens are puffs of smoke from cannon and muskets. They COULD be (or even smoke from the fires), but puffy clouds on painted screens are rather conventional-they appear in many done of Kyoto during the same period. And other things conflict-he mentions that despite having metal clad ships, the Toyotomi navy still continually met defeat at the hands of the Koreans during the Imjin war. Later, he states that the Toyotomi didn't use metal clad ships (like those Oda Nobungaga used against the Mouri years earlier) during the conflict (which is correct), which directly contradicts his earlier statement.

If nothing else, this should perhaps show that the type of errors that Turnbull usually gets exclusively roasted for are pretty common in all history books. Even Cambridge History Of Japan contains glaring errors.

Josh, I think Ashi might be planning on hosting a discussion of Conlan's book (as soon as he gets his copy). For all the little errors, I think it's well worth doing.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Yeah, I'll be hosting a discussion group for this book after Obenjo's Sonno Joi group is done, so let's not pick all the nits just yet. Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
That's too good to miss - I've just ordered it Very Happy
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
heron wrote:
That's too good to miss - I've just ordered it Very Happy


Thank you! This will be my first discussion group, so I'm hoping there'll be a good turnout. I don't want to throw a party and have no one show up. Wink

I'll post a formal announcement after Obenjo's group has wrapped up.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hey Ashi,

You can count me in for the discussion on Conlan's book! Very Happy I'm looking forward to it!

How about giving the sonnō jōi discussion a try? Wink I may convert you from a Bakumatsu-hatin' punk into a respectable Bakumatsu cravin' junkie.

I still hold out a shred of hope for you! Laughing
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Ashigaru wrote:
Yeah, I'll be hosting a discussion group for this book after Obenjo's Sonno Joi group is done, so let's not pick all the nits just yet. Wink


This ever happen? I'd hate to pick nits that have been already picked. Apologies for the "revival of the living thread", but figured it was best to input in here and not start another, so I could avoid commenting on the same things. If I have additional comment on something that's already been mentioned, I will add it, though.

I haven't read the whole thing yet, but I've read the chapters on horses, pikes, commanders, and guns. Great book--lots of good information. Conlan's major problem is editing; it appears that his editors speak Dutch as their primary language, as they certainly aren't correcting sentence fragments, run-on's, etc. in English. While none of this affects the INFORMATION in the book, it DOES bring the value down, even subconsciously. After all, if an author can't be trusted to construct a coherent sentence, how much of his information is incorrect? It's frustrating, especially because it *IS* good information. If it sucked, it wouldn't matter.

p32: Conlan states that the hyakusho "hundred names" was a term that mistakenly has been thought to denote peasants, but really described what can be termed "nobushi" or "jizamurai" from his description. WTF?? Anyone have anything else on this?

That said, loved his discussion of Japanese horses. I've seen similar things in Japanese articles, but basically he gives the case very well that "cavalry charges" simply COULDN'T have happened. Very well done.

p88, Picture caption:

"This nineteenth-century illustration reveals how men continued to train and fight with wooden staffs, ably revealing that the longer one's stick, the greater an advantage one had in a melee."

Freudian imagery aside, the idea here is preposterous. Nagaeyari and the like used by ashigaru pikemen were used in formation, not as individual melee weapons. It's fairly obvious from the fact that ranking samurai, those expected to operate as individuals, did NOT carry 18 foot pikes, but normal size spears. If it gets too big, you can't wield your spear effectively to defend, attack, etc. Simply a bad assumption.

Same page: Conlan discusses the statistics on wounds generated by swords vs pikes, etc. He misses the obvious conclusion, though--that pike wounds went up because the use of the bow went down. The sword was always a "sidearm", to be used when the main weapon wasn't available. The main weapon simply shifted from the bow to the spear. Also, same discussion: "for pikes caused 74 percent of all non-projectile wounds from 1467-77 (14 out of 19), and 98 percent of all such wounds (75 of 76) by 1600."

In what statistical analysis universe is 14 of 19 a relevant data sample for a 10 year period of continuous warfare? Even 75 of 76? Seriously?? I suppose it'd be okay if he gave some clarification of his methodology, like he looked at a certain list of wounds from one battle, and is extrapolating that it's the same. At least then he'd be making the allowance that that particular battle could be a statistical anomaly, or at least not making a sweeping generalization of an entire decade based off of 19 reported wounds. 19 wounds is a skirmish--not the sum of the entire Onin War. This is incredibly misleading how he frames it.
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
pp113-114: "Ironically, most of the famous generals of the sixteenth century were, with few notable exceptions, not particularly astute military commanders. Takeda Shingen and Uesugi Kenshin, two of the most noted rivals, lost a large number of battles."

That's like saying (in college football) that Florida and Alabama aren't very good, because they keep beating each other. Nevermind that they beat the crap out of each other and go undefeated against other teams, they must not be good because they lose games....to each other. To say that Shingen and Kenshin weren't "astute military commanders" is ridiculous.

p115: End of Sengoku period in 1588? 1590? Um...huh?

"Most (commanders) adopted the term kubo which means 'Mr. Public' and referred to their authority as the 'common good'....They did little actively to engage or command units"

What??? First off, I don't remember ever seeing anyone referring to THEMSELVES as kubo; secondly, where is he getting that Kenshin, Shingen, Nobunaga, heck, ANY commander of forces didn't "do" anything? Is he nuts?

p116: "Shugo, or daimyo as they came to be called, mostly resided in the capital, delegating daily responsibilities to their deputies."

True for Shugo daimyo--not for later daimyo. It's ambiguous and misleading.

More later, work calls.
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
p119-120: He's good in his description of the changes in armor, but he misses the biggest "so what"--part of the evolution to simpler armor wasn't just changing weapons and so needing better protection from pikes, it was the nature of warfare itself. He documents with the pike chapter how fielding a professional army that could stay in the field longer allowed them to practice using pikes in formation, etc. It also meant the campaign season could be longer, so battles and warfare would last longer; by extension, a samurai would need to spend more time in his armor, and have less time to be able to clean it. The older suits of armor, with the plethora of cords and lacing, attracted dirt and grime, lice, etc. A simpler style with less lacing, etc. would attract less nasty things after being out in the field.

If Joe (or in this case, Taro) can wear something that protects better AND gets dirty less quickly, you better believe he's wearing it.

p. 128: Conlan states that Ujitsuna changed his family name to the "Latter Hojo" after the capture of Edo-jo in 1524. If that's the case, since this is after Hojo Soun's death, was he renamed Hojo Soun posthumously? Did Ise Shinkuro Nagauji live his whole life with that name, and "Hojo Soun" was applied by his children AFTER his death?

Or, as I suspect, is Conlan once again wildly mistaken? He also states that 1524 is the date which the Hojo applied the Gyorin mon (3 triangles representing a fish scale), which also seems questionable. Additionally, he flips back and forth between "Ujitsuna" and "Uchitsuna"...which is quite maddening.

p138: Talking about Kawanakajima: "One would think that five battles fought at the same spot represents an exercise in futility and bad generalship...."

Seriously, does he have a thing for Takeda Shingen and Uesugi Kenshin, or what? To return to my football analogy, it's like saying a 14-10 game between two powerhouses wasn't a "good game" because one of them didn't win 47-0. If Takeda Shingen had major problems against Joe Tanaka, then maybe we'd wonder about his success. Conlan seems to have missed that whole "beat the living daylights out of Ieyasu and Oda reinforcements at Mikata-ga-hara" or "Kenshin smacking Oda forces around at Tedorigawa"....

I do love that his illustration of Date Masamune makes Masamune look like a total goober...
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
ltdomer98 wrote:
Same page: Conlan discusses the statistics on wounds generated by swords vs pikes, etc. He misses the obvious conclusion, though--that pike wounds went up because the use of the bow went down. The sword was always a "sidearm", to be used when the main weapon wasn't available. The main weapon simply shifted from the bow to the spear. Also, same discussion: "for pikes caused 74 percent of all non-projectile wounds from 1467-77 (14 out of 19), and 98 percent of all such wounds (75 of 76) by 1600."

In what statistical analysis universe is 14 of 19 a relevant data sample for a 10 year period of continuous warfare? Even 75 of 76? Seriously?? I suppose it'd be okay if he gave some clarification of his methodology, like he looked at a certain list of wounds from one battle, and is extrapolating that it's the same. At least then he'd be making the allowance that that particular battle could be a statistical anomaly, or at least not making a sweeping generalization of an entire decade based off of 19 reported wounds. 19 wounds is a skirmish--not the sum of the entire Onin War. This is incredibly misleading how he frames it.


Granted that in any statistics class this would be dismissed as a minuscule sample size. However, given the fact that Conlan discloses the numbers involved and that it's basically the ONLY data that can be found for the era to draw any sort of real conclusions from, it's helpful in creating a sense of the fighting style of the era.
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
ltdomer98 wrote:
pp113-114: "Ironically, most of the famous generals of the sixteenth century were, with few notable exceptions, not particularly astute military commanders. Takeda Shingen and Uesugi Kenshin, two of the most noted rivals, lost a large number of battles."


This sounds a lot like what Tony wrote in Samurai 1550-1600:

"The great generals of Japanese history were by and large not born tactical geniuses...the majority of engagements still seem to have been frontal charges, however, with tactical sophistication such as flanking maneuvers coming in a distant second."

I haven't seen too many cases of tactical brilliance in studying Sengoku battles; outside of a few isolated cases and the Shimazu (who were operating with small armies largely comprised of family members) it's pretty much straightforward warfare. I attribute this more to the lack of effective communications, command control once a battle has been joined, and the idea of 'clan' based armies within an army than to shortcomings of the commanders. After all, being an astute military commander has more to do with what's done BEFORE the battle than what's done during it. I think Conlan is alluding to all this but again, phrased it poorly.


ltdomer98 wrote:
secondly, where is he getting that Kenshin, Shingen, Nobunaga, heck, ANY commander of forces didn't "do" anything? Is he nuts?


I came away with the impression he meant that as the Sengoku went on commanders led more from the rear (their maku) than from the front or taking an active part in combat, which was the case. It is phrased rather poorly.
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
ltdomer98 wrote:
p. 128: Conlan states that Ujitsuna changed his family name to the "Latter Hojo" after the capture of Edo-jo in 1524. If that's the case, since this is after Hojo Soun's death, was he renamed Hojo Soun posthumously? Did Ise Shinkuro Nagauji live his whole life with that name, and "Hojo Soun" was applied by his children AFTER his death?


Looks that way. From the SA Wiki:

"Although Ise is remembered as Hôjô Soun, it is almost certain that he never used the name 'Hôjô' in his life, that creative tag being adopted by Ujitsuna in 1523 or 1524. "

There's a Rekishi Gunzou volume dealing with Shingen that echoes that (It also agrees on the 'fish scales'). Think Sanada Yukimura-he was never called that in life, but for whatever reason his posthumous name is what everyone refers to him as now.


ltdomer98 wrote:
p138: Talking about Kawanakajima: "One would think that five battles fought at the same spot represents an exercise in futility and bad generalship...."
Seriously, does he have a thing for Takeda Shingen and Uesugi Kenshin, or what?


Especially the Takeda. He praises Kenshin as embracing firearms tech, but continues to rag on the Takeda in that chapter.


ltdomer98 wrote:
I do love that his illustration of Date Masamune makes Masamune look like a total goober...


Agreed. I've never really understood the appeal of Masamune-must be the kewl helmet and eye patch.
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Tatsunoshi wrote:
Granted that in any statistics class this would be dismissed as a minuscule sample size. However, given the fact that Conlan discloses the numbers involved and that it's basically the ONLY data that can be found for the era to draw any sort of real conclusions from, it's helpful in creating a sense of the fighting style of the era.


He really needs to qualify that--which he doesn't. If you give me a "this is the only data we have, from the injury report from this 1 battle in 1471. However, based on other battle reports, we will assume that the percentages here were more or less the same, with some variation, over battles over this time period. In the absence of more detailed statistical data, this is what we shall work with", then I'd agree. There isn't anything like that at all.
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
ltdomer98 wrote:
He really needs to qualify that--which he doesn't. If you give me a "this is the only data we have, from the injury report from this 1 battle in 1471. However, based on other battle reports, we will assume that the percentages here were more or less the same, with some variation, over battles over this time period. In the absence of more detailed statistical data, this is what we shall work with", then I'd agree. There isn't anything like that at all.


Agreed. I think most of the problems with Conlan's book (as you've mentioned too) have to do with the editing and the fact that he was on a tight deadline (which he mentioned in the interview he did for the SA). I suppose mistakes happen when one doesn't get the five or six years it usually takes to put together an 'academic' book.
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Tatsunoshi wrote:
This sounds a lot like what Tony wrote in Samurai 1550-1600:

"The great generals of Japanese history were by and large not born tactical geniuses...the majority of engagements still seem to have been frontal charges, however, with tactical sophistication such as flanking maneuvers coming in a distant second."


Bryant's a hack.

Quote:
I haven't seen too many cases of tactical brilliance in studying Sengoku battles; outside of a few isolated cases and the Shimazu (who were operating with small armies largely comprised of family members) it's pretty much straightforward warfare. I attribute this more to the lack of effective communications, command control once a battle has been joined, and the idea of 'clan' based armies within an army than to shortcomings of the commanders. After all, being an astute military commander has more to do with what's done BEFORE the battle than what's done during it. I think Conlan is alluding to all this but again, phrased it poorly.


Seems to be a theme.

I think there has to be an allowance for the technology/organization of the time. The way in which armies were formed (You, Dokihote-Dono of Shibuya no Kuni, you will supply 30 spearmen, 10 gunners, 5 archers, a partridge with pear tree, an AV actress, and 14 copies of SMAPXSMAP) preclude the organization into coherent units that allowed for tactical innovations. That's part of what makes the popular image of Nagashino so....popular.

Tactical innovation is born of necessity. I'd submit that 4th Kawanakajima is rather technically precise on BOTH sides. Okehazama is an example of tactical skill overcoming the lumbering forward with bigger numbers. Mori Motonari wasn't lacking in tactical skill when he defeated Sue Harukata. To categorically state that it was simply a belly up to the table contest, and the bigger battalions won, is overgeneralizing at best.

Quote:
I came away with the impression he meant that as the Sengoku went on commanders led more from the rear (their maku) than from the front or taking an active part in combat, which was the case. It is phrased rather poorly.


So, Napoleon didn't do anything, either, then.
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