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estcrh
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
ltdomer98 wrote:


Funny, I thought you said you had read Olof G. Lidin's book Tanegashima: The Arrival of Europe in Japan.

He talks extensively about how guns were an important trade item between the Portuguese and the Japanese throughout the latter half of the 16th century. Especially in the chapter on Pinto and his visits to Bungo.
Do you have any page#s, as for Pinto, didnt Lindin basically say to disregard Pinto as he was a know liar?
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
estcrh wrote:
Do you have any page#s, as for Pinto, didnt Lindin basically say to disregard Pinto as he was a know liar?


Yes, he embellished his presence as one of the first Portuguese, and his relationship with Otomo Yoshimoto, and his relationship with Francis Xavier. Those are all things one would tell whoppers about. Details like gun trade aren't things you make up to make you look good. You have to sort through things, you can't just say "oh, he said Pinto is a liar so we should ignore everything he wrote..." Taiga drama are dramatizations and shouldn't be used as a record of how events actually occurred either, but do accurately reflect details like how people dressed, ate, etc. No one makes up details like that, as there isn't much to be gained from it. Lidin is a bit glib in his description of Pinto "who after all told fibs". EDIT: Also, if he was saying to disregard Pinto completely, why would he devote an entire chapter to Pinto in the first place?

On page 93 and 94 he details the sale of guns by Portuguese to the Chinese, which while not Japanese shows the Portuguese were more than happy to sell guns to make money.

On page 162:

Quote:
"Francis Xavier landed at Kagoshima in 1549 and he was not the first Portuguese to arrive there. Before him, we can count on merchants having reached Kagoshima and they certainly did not come without muskets over their shoulders and in their merchandise. For example, Jorge Alvares, who wrote the report for Xavier, had visited southern Satsuma in 1546. It can be imagined that each shipr reaching Japan had muskets in its cargo.

It is also noteworthy that the Shimazu lords had had independent mercantile relations with China since at least the early sixteenth century, and it would be strange if their merchants had not encountered wakô corsairs equipped with teppô before the two Portuguese were stranded on Tanegashima. One thing is sure: the imported teppô played a role side by side with the teppô manufactured in japan. One reason why the daimyo turned to their smiths and began their own manufacture was probably that they found the imported firearms too expensive. Another reason could be that they needed teppô en masse and in such a situation could only rely on their native artisans."


Note: this is NOT from the chapter on Pinto.

I'm still unclear why in one post you said you'd never heard of any importation after 1543, and in another you talk about the importation of weapons in your argument against them being "easy" to make. It's pretty clear that they were imported AND produced through the remainder of the Sengoku period. Any reasonable person, when confronted with a statement like they either ONLY produced them domestically, or ONLY imported them when they had the ability to produce them, would have to ask "why"? Supply and demand dictates you get them where you can. For some, they'd be easier to import--for others, easier to manufacture on their own. For some, the only way to meet the demand would be to do both.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
AJBryant wrote:
You know, something occurred to me last night.

Since we can make guns here in the States (e.g., Ruger, Smith & Wesson, Colt...) there's no reason for me to buy guns from overseas manufacturers like Walther or Česká Zbrojovka -- yet I do.

Why would they buy from overseas guys instead of local? Dude. Seriously.

Why do people buy French wine when there's perfectly good wine made here? And why buy Mercedes or Jags or VWs when we have perfectly good cars made here? And what's so special about German or Belgian beer? And...

You get the point.

There is a certain cachet that overseas products bring to the game. Sometimes they're just damned good (I love my Walther PPQ), and sometimes it just comes down to the exotica bonus points. It's part of why many wealthy and powerful samurai developed a fondness for European armours (hey, Japan had it's OWN armour!) and clothing (ditto!).

Among real historians of Japan, Perrin is considered a laughing stock -- if he's considered at all.

You're really hitching your ideological wagon to a bad horse.


I was being a bit facetious....but since you mentioned it, I do not remember ever seeing a period print or drawing of a samurai wearing full European armor or using a European sword or other European weapons (other than in the 1800s), every European item of samurai armor I have seen was heavily modified (samuraified?) to meet Japanese standards, same thing with European clothing, I can not remember seeing any prints or drawings of samurai wearing European clothing pre 1800's, I am not saying it did not happen, I just have not seen it. I have watched sales of Japanese armor and weapons from auctions and dealers etc for years and have only seen a few unaltered European armor items come out of Japan, some of the armor appeared to be old but all of the European weapons and related items coming from Japan that I have seen were from the 1800's, I have never seen any signs of European matchlocks in Japan, it just does not appear to me that the Japanese were as enthralled with imported items in the same way our society is. Now if anyone here knows of any prints or drawing of samurai using unaltered European armor or pre 1800's European weapons, etc or if anyone has seen such items on display in a museum please say were, its an interesting subject.



On the subject at hand, I would not recommend Perrin's book to anyone looking for a book on Japanese history, there are as has been mentioned here plenty of books on the subject, but....I have and still would include it in the short list of books in English to anyone who would ask me what books were available on the subject of Japanese matchlocks.

I am sure that eventually someone will step up and write a much more complete accounting of the history of firearms in Japan, or if that book does exist and I do not know about it please tell me the title so I can buy it.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
estcrh wrote:
I was being a bit facetious....but since you mentioned it, I do not remember ever seeing a period print or drawing of a samurai wearing full European armor or using a European sword or other European weapons (other than in the 1800s), every European item of samurai armor I have seen was heavily modified (samuraified?) to meet Japanese standards, same thing with European clothing, I can not remember seeing any prints or drawings of samurai wearing European clothing pre 1800's, I am not saying it did not happen, I just have not seen it. I have watched sales of Japanese armor and weapons from auctions and dealers etc for years and have only seen a few unaltered European armor items come out of Japan, some of the armor appeared to be old but all of the European weapons and related items coming from Japan that I have seen were from the 1800's, I have never seen any signs of European matchlocks in Japan, it just does not appear to me that the Japanese were as enthralled with imported items in the same way our society is. Now if anyone here knows of any prints or drawing of samurai using unaltered European armor or pre 1800's European weapons, etc or if anyone has seen such items on display in a museum please say were, its an interesting subject.
Ieyasu owned at least four suits of Nanban armour Nanban gusoku (Tokugawa-ten catalog). One is specifically described as modified European-made. The modification would show he liked it enough to use it, but obviously not out of necessity as he also had Japanese armor. Another they were not sure if it was European-made or a copy. One apparently was taken on the Sekigahara campaign.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
the Japanese were as enthralled with imported items in the same way our society is.


Well, we have to remember, of course, that for most of the Edo period, imports were fairly tightly controlled. I'm not sure precisely what the regulations were, but I imagine that the shogunate wasn't interested in permitting foreign arms & armor into the country, especially not for acquisition by daimyo, random samurai, and whatever commoners could afford to pay. If foreign arms & armor were to be coming into the archipelago at all (and I'm not sure they were), it would have had to be more strictly for shogunate use.

But that doesn't necessarily mean that people weren't enthralled with imported items. Rangaku scholars (though this admittedly represents a pretty small proportion of society) were indeed infatuated with telescopes, miscroscopes, oil paintings, anatomy books, and all sorts of other foreign imports. And various kinds of stereoscope shows and peep-boxes using imported optics, to take just one example, were popular much more widely.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
In post-Shimabara Rebellion Edo Period Japan, you need to think about armor and its function. Towards the end of the end of the 1500s and into the early 1600s, yes, the "namban" armor was popular among elite samurai, who prized the hatomune style cuirasses for their ability to deflect or stop matchlock bullets. Actual armor pieces from Europe or forged from European iron were rare. Those pieces were usually reserved for daimyo or other higher ranking samurai. Many European-style pieces of armor were actually made in Japan, following European designs.

But as warfare became a mere memory after Shimabara, armor became largely ceremonial in nature, and retro-style late-Heian through early Muromachi designs became vogue. These designs were highly impractical for the times, but again, armor became a ceremonial fashion statement. This is why you don't see contemporary woodblock prints showing samurai in European style armor or showing up in photos. Also, the lighter the armor was the better. Nobody wanted to wear heavy armor if it wasn't needed for a procession or rare field maneuvers. It therefore became common to find armor made of light leather or even heavy paper in the Edo period.

Various European powers gave gifts of contemporary helmets and cavalry cuirasses to the Tokugawa and other daimyo during the Bakumatsu period, but they weren't really used. At the close of the Bakumatsu, when the fighting intensified and turned into the Boshin War, it was quickly realized that armor of any type provided little protection against modern bullets and most forms of iron armor were abandoned all together.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Obenjo Kusanosuke wrote:
But as warfare became a mere memory after Shimabara, armor became largely ceremonial in nature, and retro-style late-Heian through early Muromachi designs became vogue. These designs were highly impractical for the times, but again, armor became a ceremonial fashion statement. This is why you don't see contemporary woodblock prints showing samurai in European style armor or showing up in photos. Also, the lighter the armor was the better. Nobody wanted to wear heavy armor if it wasn't needed for a procession or rare field maneuvers. It therefore became common to find armor made of light leather or even heavy paper in the Edo period.


Two points here:

1. Edo-period woodblock prints depicting "contemporary" warfare (as in, Edo-period warfare) don't exist because there was no "contemporary" warfare. Woodblock printing in the style and level of production we are familiar with didn't begin until the end about 1690 or so, and so they wouldn't be depicting "contemporary" events. Warfare you see in woodblock prints is by definition depicting historical events, and is in the fullest form an "artist's rendition" only, not an accurate documentation of what anyone wore at any time. An artist would likely choose to depict combatants in domestic style armor, if for no other reason than it was more aesthetically pleasing and showed off his skill as an artist (there being more colors to print in a laced do as opposed to a hatomune plate, for example).

2. Military types, speaking as one of them, are usually fairly practical. The "lighter is better" comment reminded me of something I've seen both Japanese and American counterparts do when forced to stand out in various ceremonies or formations in their full gear. Plastic shelled helmets, much like you would buy as a toy for a child that wanted to play soldier, can be bought that exactly mimic the shape of a regulation helmet, but at a fraction of the weight. If you're going to stand outside in a helmet for hours, it's much more comfortable to use one of these, and no one can tell the difference unless they pick it up. Certainly not from a distance. No one would wear one in combat, but for ceremonial functions, I've seen this done (never done it myself). Since after Shimabara, nothing about armor was functional and it was all ceremonial (or for show, like Yoshimune's "training maneuvers"), I could see the same logic being applied.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
estcrh wrote:
Now if anyone here knows of any prints or drawing of samurai using unaltered European armor or pre 1800's European weapons, etc or if anyone has seen such items on display in a museum please say were, its an interesting subject.


I don't understand what being "unaltered" has to do with anything? Of course they "altered" the armor pieces to fit in with their indigenous styles. How does that negate the statement that they were used? You're unnecessarily including a condition that has nothing to do with the argument.

Were any Japanese running around in full European plate? Of course not--why would they? Were they using European-style breast plates meshed in with their armor, because of its better ballistic resistance? Absolutely.

Quote:
On the subject at hand, I would not recommend Perrin's book to anyone looking for a book on Japanese history, there are as has been mentioned here plenty of books on the subject, but....I have and still would include it in the short list of books in English to anyone who would ask me what books were available on the subject of Japanese matchlocks.


This is a complete change in your position. I would also list it in what books were available on the subject--because it is. I would simply add the caveat that his overall conclusions and many of the details are erroneous. Do you support his argument, or are you simply trying to say he's one of the few books out there? We can all acknowledge he's one of the few books out there. What I thought the disagreement was about was whether we would recommend him as a good source. I would not.

Let me put it this way: when drafting my MA thesis, my advisor asked me why Turnbull's book on Nagashino wasn't in my proposed bibliography. After all, it is the most widely available account of the battle in English. My response was that I thought it was garbage, and didn't want to be associated with it. He said that was the wrong idea--I needed to confront it, not ignore it, if I felt it was poorly done, and address WHY. For someone researching Teppo, I'd tell them the same thing--read Perrin's book, if only to see what "wrong" looks like. But you can't ignore it. If someone is just looking for info, I might tell them to skip it, but if they are looking to attack the topic, I'd say they need to read it, absolutely, because it has erroneously affected the discourse about the subject.


Quote:
I am sure that eventually someone will step up and write a much more complete accounting of the history of firearms in Japan...


Someone someday might do that. They have to retire from the Army and go back to get their PhD first.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
ltdomer98 wrote:


Two points here:

1. Edo-period woodblock prints depicting "contemporary" warfare (as in, Edo-period warfare) don't exist because there was no "contemporary" warfare. Woodblock printing in the style and level of production we are familiar with didn't begin until the end about 1690 or so, and so they wouldn't be depicting "contemporary" events. Warfare you see in woodblock prints is by definition depicting historical events, and is in the fullest form an "artist's rendition" only, not an accurate documentation of what anyone wore at any time. An artist would likely choose to depict combatants in domestic style armor, if for no other reason than it was more aesthetically pleasing and showed off his skill as an artist (there being more colors to print in a laced do as opposed to a hatomune plate, for example).

If you were referring to my comment I specifically said "a period print or drawing", I did not say Edo period, during the time when there were not prints there were drawings. As for there being no warfare during the Edo period here is a list of Edo period battles, maybe not the kind you were thinking of but still they are battles.

Invasion of Ryukyu (1609)
Siege of Osaka (1614-1615)
Shimabara Rebellion (1637-1638)
Shakushain's Revolt (1669-1672)
Jōkyō Uprising (1686)
Ueda Rebellion (1761) ja:上田騒動
Nijinomatsubara Rebellion (1771) ja:虹の松原一揆
Menashi-Kunashir Rebellion (1789)
Ōshio Heihachirō's Rebellion (1837)
Tsushima Incident (1861)
Battle of Shimonoseki Straits (1863)
Battles for Shimonoseki (1863)
Bombardment of Kagoshima (1863)
Mito Rebellion (1864)
Kinmon Incident (1864)
First Chōshū expedition (1864)
Battles for Shimonoseki (1864)
Second Chōshū expedition (1866)
Boshin War (1868-1869)
Siege of Goryokaku (1869)


Quote:
2....... Since after Shimabara, nothing about armor was functional


There was a lot of functional armor made and used during the Edo period, during the Edo period samurai took on the roll of police/internal security, many types of fully functional armors were made and worn for this type of work, in addition armored clothing of all types was made and worn for individual use. These armors worked as defense against the most common weapons worn and used during the Edo Period which were swords. It was just the heavy traditional armor that was put away.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
ltdomer98 wrote:


I would also list it in what books were available on the subject--because it is. I would simply add the caveat that his overall conclusions and many of the details are erroneous. Do you support his argument, or are you simply trying to say he's one of the few books out there? We can all acknowledge he's one of the few books out there. What I thought the disagreement was about was whether we would recommend him as a good source. I would not.
What I disagree with is people here (some of whom have not even bothered to read the book) telling other people that the book is complete garbage and to not bother to read it, rather than to let people read it and make up their own minds.

Quote:
Let me put it this way: when drafting my MA thesis, my advisor asked me why Turnbull's book on Nagashino wasn't in my proposed bibliography. After all, it is the most widely available account of the battle in English. My response was that I thought it was garbage, and didn't want to be associated with it. He said that was the wrong idea--I needed to confront it, not ignore it, if I felt it was poorly done, and address WHY.
Well is that not exactly what I have been saying, I have asked any one here who thinks there are false and misleading facts in the book to simply quote them for a "rational" discussion, can you show me in my own word were I said I agreed with the entire book?
Quote:
For someone researching Teppo, I'd tell them the same thing--read Perrin's book, if only to see what "wrong" looks like
This is a complete change in your position it seems to me, thats not the advice given to the original poster of this topic.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
estcrh wrote:
[ I specifically said "a period print or drawing", I did not say Edo period, during the time when there were not prints there were drawings.


Surely you can't be serious. You aren't suggesting that there were no woodblock prints during the Edo period. You couldn't possibly be suggesting that, could you? I mean, seriously?

Quote:
As for there being no warfare during the Edo period here is a list of Edo period battles, maybe not the kind you were thinking of but still they are battles.


And beyond Shimabara, none of them consisted of extended combat that would be documented in prints, until you get the Boshin/Bakumatsu.

Quote:
It was just the heavy traditional armor that was put away.


You're making my point for me--you don't see European-based armor in prints because it was the "heavy" armor that wasn't necessary during the time period.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
estcrh wrote:

What I disagree with is people here (some of whom have not even bothered to read the book) telling other people that the book is complete garbage and to not bother to read it, rather than to let people read it and make up their own minds.


You didn't answer the question. Do you support his argument, that guns were "given up" during the Edo period? If so, why? If not, at least what you posted explains why you're defending it, but it seems a pretty pointless exercise to defend a book that you don't agree with.

Quote:
Well is that not exactly what I have been saying, I have asked any one here who thinks there are false and misleading facts in the book to simply quote them for a "rational" discussion, can you show me in my own word were I said I agreed with the entire book?


It's a reasonable request, but it's unreasonable to say that someone can't say the book isn't good simply because they can't quote it chapter and verse. Do you remember the page number of everything you have read over past 10 years? If so, you're an exceptional person.

The misleading "fact" is mainly the overall thesis of the book, as we've stated numerous times. You have yet to make any defense of that. You have yet to make any defense of the book at all. You simply have tried to discredit any criticism because no one has given you a sentence-by-sentence breakdown. Considering you haven't even addressed the reviews from major journals and their criticisms on the subject, why should any of us do what you are asking? It's already been done. I'm still going to do it, since you sent me the book, but you're jousting at windmills.

Quote:
This is a complete change in your position it seems to me, thats not the advice given to the original poster of this topic.


The original poster didn't give me the impression that he's conducting academic research on the use of the teppo. If someone asks for a good book, I'm not going to suggest a bad one. If someone is making an academic argument, I'd give them the same advice I got from my professor.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Domer: Surely you can be serious. A ukiyo-e? What is it?

Estrch: Yes, I'm serious and don't call me Shirley. A ukiyo-e is a print. I'm always serious about weapons and armor, but that is not important now. What is important is that I specifically said "a period print or drawing", I did not say Edo period, during the time when there were not prints there were drawings.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I'm amazed. The 7 Edo period woodblock prints up on my walls are definitely prints, and definitely from the Edo period, but according to estrch that's not possible, since there were no prints from the Edo period. My entire world is collapsing on itself in my confusion. Shocked
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
ltdomer98 wrote:
I'm amazed. The 7 Edo period woodblock prints up on my walls are definitely prints, and definitely from the Edo period, but according to estrch that's not possible, since there were no prints from the Edo period. My entire world is collapsing on itself in my confusion. Shocked
Don't worry. As I look at the oodles of what I thought were Edo period ukiyo-e around my apartment, I too, feel confused. Now I know that prints didn't exist then. I actually feel worthless and stupid too, as I just realized that so many art dealers have ripped me off!
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
ltdomer98 wrote:


You didn't answer the question.


And he's not going to. He has avoided the question of his faith so far, and that isn't going to change.

I've seen people who zelously believe that the 47 Ronin were paragons of virtue and honor despite the contrary evidence and will fight to the death to defend that, I've seen people who cling to the false idea that "All Samurai Followed Bushido and Were Honorable", or that they themselves are modern Samurai who follow Bushido, but this is the first time I've ever seen someone so zelously hitch their wagon to... Perrin (?) a non-expert that has been dismissed by any academic who feels like it's even worth bothering, and who the Japanese as a whole dismissed outright as basically inventing a version of history that doesn't exist.

This farcical comedy of errors has gone on a little too long, and estcrh continues to ignore or dismiss 90% of the comments and questions from the people posting here, and I still can't figure out what his game is, why he is invested in something so marginal and outside the public consciousness, what he has to gain by being so zelous about something so off the map as Perrin - my guess is that it might have something to do with him using that book to tout how rare and amazing firearms from Japan are to benefit whatever type of business his is in, and so to protect his business, he needs to defend that book. So I have to shut this sideshow down. You can't change someone's religious beliefs, and estrch is not ready to question his bible or god, or if he's just doing it to protect his business interests, that's a double waste of everyone's time. It's time we stopped feeding the monkeys and put them to bed, so I'm going to lock this thread down.
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