Japanese guns

  • Introduced by the Portuguese sailors who were stranded on a Japanese island in 1543.
  • The name of the island is tanegashima and the Japanese call all the primitive guns with this name.
  • A Japanese daimyo who saw the men using the matchlocks to hunt a duck was very impressed and purchased 2 of them. He immediately ordered to the blacksmith to make many copies.
  • It used to take about 1 minute to load the gun powder and fire. Oda Nobunaga had 2 groups of soldiers one fired while the other group loaded.
  • The samurai armors protected from the bullets. Most Japanese castles have loopholes to fire at the approaching enemy.
  • In the Edo period the guns were banned, only the yakuza had them.
  • The guns were heavily used in wars, mostly by footsoldiers (ashigaru).

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