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"Books on Japanese black powder warfare?" Topic


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Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP06 Mar 2017 10:28 p.m. PST

Wasn't sure where to put this exactly, but any good books on Japanese military campaigns during the black powder era?

Looking mainly for things from a military perspective.

Pre or post isolation, whatever you can suggest :)

Thank you in advance.

evilgong Supporting Member of TMP07 Mar 2017 4:57 p.m. PST

Stephen Turnbull seems to know his stuff, I have some of his books via second hand shops – albeit he may concentrate on a period a bit before what you want.

db

Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP07 Mar 2017 8:48 p.m. PST

I'll give him a glance regardless, thanks!

Lion in the Stars12 Mar 2017 4:34 p.m. PST

There's the events of the late Sengoku (Warring States) era, as firearms were introduced to Japan in the 1540s, pretty quickly spread in use up until 1600, but Japan was more-or-less at peace from 1600 to 1860 under the Tokugawa Shogunate. No open warfare, at any rate, until the Americans showed up in 1853, and even then the conflict was almost exclusively confined to Kyoto until the collapse of the Shogunate in 1868.

Then there was the Boshin War in the 1870s with the remains of the Shogunate loyalists (events of The Last Samurai), the Sino-Japanese War in 1894-95, and then the Russo-Japanese War in 1904-05.

Before the Tokugawa Shogunate, IIRC there were at least two major invasions of Korea, last one wrapping up in 1598.

Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP12 Mar 2017 11:55 p.m. PST

So if I want black powder Japanese gaming, I'd be looking at the Boshin war pretty much?

Lion in the Stars16 Mar 2017 3:24 a.m. PST

No, there was a lot of matchlock arquebus use from 1540s up to 1615, at the tail end of the Sengoku, particularly from about 1570 on. So the battles with Oda, Toyotomi, and Tokugawa.

The tech levels then stayed pretty constant up until Commodore Perry showed up in 1853, and Japan was rather resistant to opening up to the West up until 1868, when the Shogunate finally fell.

You don't see breechloaders or even percussion caps show up until the Boshin War. Good news is that there are some great 28mm minis for Boshin War now, available from Bac Ninh Miniatures: bacninhminiatures.blogspot.com

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP23 Mar 2017 6:23 a.m. PST

No, there was a lot of matchlock arquebus use from 1540s up to 1615, at the tail end of the Sengoku, particularly from about 1570 on. So the battles with Oda, Toyotomi, and Tokugawa.

Absolutely correct. Black powder weaponry played an important role in the famous battle of Nagashino (1575), where 10,000 ashigaru arquebusiers, behind protective screens, mowed down the much vaunted Takeda cavalry. Turnbull wrote a specific book on the battle: Nagashino 1575: Slaughter at the Barricades, published by Osprey.

So if I want black powder Japanese gaming, I'd be looking at the Boshin war pretty much?

Would the Boshin Wars not have had more modern weapons?

Lion in the Stars27 Mar 2017 6:05 p.m. PST

The Boshin War (1868-69) would have had the Imperial Japanese troops armed with modern weapons (1853 Enfield rifles, Armstrong guns, and Gatlings).

The Shogunate and later Ezo Republic troops may have kept older weapons (flintlocks or matchlocks) in service, though most of them should have had German smoothbore muskets. But they were lacking cannons, and only had a few modern rifles.

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