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"Why didn't Japanese infantrymen and samurai use shields?" Topic

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1,168 hits since 17 Aug 2017
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP18 Aug 2017 8:55 p.m. PST

Interesting question…

" Shields were considered useful in Europe until the development of full plate armor. Despite the fact that they never had anything comparable to plate armor, shield use was apparently abandoned by the Edo period. The freestanding tate was used to protect archers, but aside from this, shields…"
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firebase2012 Inactive Member19 Aug 2017 12:25 a.m. PST

check this out might explain why the samurai didn't use shields YouTube link The quality of their armor.

photocrinch19 Aug 2017 7:51 a.m. PST

As is the classic Japanese bow which was a main weapon of the samurai.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP19 Aug 2017 10:03 a.m. PST

So… a Roman shield could never have a chance…?


Personal logo optional field Supporting Member of TMP19 Aug 2017 11:59 a.m. PST

I had never wondered about this before, but given that the importance of the bow in Japanese warfare, and difficulty of using a bow in combination with a shield, it seems that photocrinch has hit the nail on the head. In other words it's because it takes too long to ready a bow if one has a shield on one's arm (or too lone to ready a shield if one has a bow in hand).

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP19 Aug 2017 1:18 p.m. PST
Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP19 Aug 2017 9:52 p.m. PST

But in the Middle Agest the archers wore no shields … have you seen the recent Battle of Games of Thrones?… (smile)


Lion in the Stars21 Aug 2017 10:02 p.m. PST

Up until the Mongol Invasions (1274), war was mostly between nobles (and their retainers), and they were almost all horse archers. Foot archers usually fought behind pavises.

It wasn't until the Mongols showed what massed bows could do that the Japanese started massing foot archers, and even then using a bow takes a lot of practice.

CAPTAIN BEEFHEART06 Sep 2017 2:08 a.m. PST

Europe pretty much dropped the shield when better armor arrived. Also, they, like the Japanese often needed 2 hands for their main weapons.

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