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Wo Long
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 8:22 pm    Post subject: Armorors testing armor Reply with quote
Alright, so I read somewhere that, after guns had become common weapons, armorsmiths would test their armor by shooting it. Then, it would leave a dent in it which would sort of act as a medieval guarantee that the armor was in fact bulletproof. Is this true? If it is, please share some sources. I was asked to cite my source at another forum and I'm having trouble finding it now. Apparently it's not very well known or it's just not brought up because none of the armor sections in my books (that I can see) mention this fact. Sad
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 1:42 am    Post subject: Re: Armorors testing armor Reply with quote
Wo Long wrote:
Alright, so I read somewhere that, after guns had become common weapons, armorsmiths would test their armor by shooting it. Then, it would leave a dent in it which would sort of act as a medieval guarantee that the armor was in fact bulletproof. Is this true? If it is, please share some sources. I was asked to cite my source at another forum and I'm having trouble finding it now. Apparently it's not very well known or it's just not brought up because none of the armor sections in my books (that I can see) mention this fact. Sad


Yes, this was very common. There's another thread in this forum that has photos of some specimens (sorry, you'll have to track it down yourself).
As far as printed sources you can easily find, virtually any of Stephen Turnbull's books will contain this information (try 'Samurai Sourcebook' or 'Samurai Warfare').
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maikeruart
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 2:28 am    Post subject: Re: Armorors testing armor Reply with quote
Tatsunoshi wrote:
Wo Long wrote:
Alright, so I read somewhere that, after guns had become common weapons, armorsmiths would test their armor by shooting it. Then, it would leave a dent in it which would sort of act as a medieval guarantee that the armor was in fact bulletproof. Is this true? If it is, please share some sources. I was asked to cite my source at another forum and I'm having trouble finding it now. Apparently it's not very well known or it's just not brought up because none of the armor sections in my books (that I can see) mention this fact. Sad


Yes, this was very common. There's another thread in this forum that has photos of some specimens (sorry, you'll have to track it down yourself).
As far as printed sources you can easily find, virtually any of Stephen Turnbull's books will contain this information (try 'Samurai Sourcebook' or 'Samurai Warfare').


Nihon No Bujutsu (cannot remember the issue... I cited it on the Teppo article in the Wikki) has 2 specimens of bullet proof armor. I will scan in pages someday
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Wo Long
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 4:41 am    Post subject: Re: Armorors testing armor Reply with quote
Tatsunoshi wrote:
Wo Long wrote:
Alright, so I read somewhere that, after guns had become common weapons, armorsmiths would test their armor by shooting it. Then, it would leave a dent in it which would sort of act as a medieval guarantee that the armor was in fact bulletproof. Is this true? If it is, please share some sources. I was asked to cite my source at another forum and I'm having trouble finding it now. Apparently it's not very well known or it's just not brought up because none of the armor sections in my books (that I can see) mention this fact. Sad


Yes, this was very common. There's another thread in this forum that has photos of some specimens (sorry, you'll have to track it down yourself).
As far as printed sources you can easily find, virtually any of Stephen Turnbull's books will contain this information (try 'Samurai Sourcebook' or 'Samurai Warfare').


I've got his Warriors of Medieval Japan. Would that have it? I ask because I couldn't find it, though I did suspect it was in there.

Oh, and maikeruart, I found the thread you're talking about. Thanks for that!
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Tatsunoshi
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 6:55 am    Post subject: Re: Armorors testing armor Reply with quote
Wo Long wrote:

I've got his Warriors of Medieval Japan. Would that have it? I ask because I couldn't find it, though I did suspect it was in there.


Unfortunately, it's not in there. You might try doing a web search using 'Nanban-do' or 'Nanban Do', since this is what these armors were known as much of the time.
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Wo Long
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 6:57 am    Post subject: Re: Armorors testing armor Reply with quote
Tatsunoshi wrote:
Wo Long wrote:

I've got his Warriors of Medieval Japan. Would that have it? I ask because I couldn't find it, though I did suspect it was in there.


Unfortunately, it's not in there. You might try doing a web search using 'Nanban-do' or 'Nanban Do', since this is what these armors were known as much of the time.


Alright, will do. I'm surprised it's not in that book, though. I know I read it and I only have a few books about Japanese history.
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Tsubame1
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Matsudaira family. 5 shots (on the Do).
I've highlighted 2, find the other 3 by yourself.
Sources : Richard Storry, "Samurai, i guerrieri
aristocratici", Istituto Geografico de Agostini,
1978, no ISBN.


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Ashigaru
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Shooting your own kabuto before heading into battle became sort of a fad among superstitious samurai. Apparently they believed that it would ward off musket balls during the actual conflict.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
? ? ? ? ? ?

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Yeah, sounds pretty weird, doesn't it? The practice is described in a bit more detail in 戦国の意外なウラ事情 (著:川口 素生 / PHP研究所).
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Somehow, in all my reading, I have managed to miss this.


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Ashigaru
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Well, as far as I know, the author doesn't have a shady reputation and the rest of the book seemed pretty solid to me. Unfortunately the book doesn't have footnotes, only a bibliography.

Kawaguchi mentions in passing that Matsura Seizan seems to show evidence of knowing about the superstition in his Kasshi Yawa (甲子夜話), which describes him comparing bullet-marked kabuto from Mori Yoshinari and Ichihashi Nagatoshi. Matsura concludes that the dent in Yoshinari's kabuto was incurred in combat, while Nagatoshi's was put there by himself before battle.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Ashigaru wrote:
Shooting your own kabuto before heading into battle became sort of a fad among superstitious samurai. Apparently they believed that it would ward off musket balls during the actual conflict.

I'm calling BS on that comment.

We all have come across examples of bullet tests performed on armor, but done as a fad before battle? Ridiculous. Jesus, who are these authors that make such claims?

No sir, that dog just ain't gonna hunt.
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Ashigaru
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Ranger wrote:
We all have come across examples of bullet tests performed on armor, but done as a fad before battle? Ridiculous. Jesus, who are these authors that make such claims?


*shrug* It's no goofier than the many other superstitions samurai followed at the time, like using o-mikuji to determine lucky days on which to do battle and what direction to attack from, or eating abalone, chestnuts, and kelp before battle because they have lucky names.

Do you think the author got the wrong idea from the Kasshi Yawa anecdote?
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Yeah, I rather do.

Pop history is a big thing in Japan, and whacky theories based on a single (often misunderstood line) in a diary somewhere is all it takes to get going.

I can point you to "history" books that "prove" that Hideyori and Yodo-gimi survived the Osaka campaign and retired to Kyushu to live out their lives quietly -- which goes against everything else ever written about their personalities, or the very public execution of Hideyori's wife and children.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Well, I posted the info I have. I've checked a variety of Japanese sites and can find nothing that suggests Kawaguchi Sunao's work is suspect (the guy has 18+ books under his belt and has done NHK commentaries, so it seems unlikely that he's that obscure). If you guys come across information to the contrary I'd be happy to revise my opinion accordingly.
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