Daimyos who constructed castles in settings of the

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: Nobunaga divided the infantry of his army into three units by weapons: gunners, bowmen, and spear men. The major problem with the guns of that day, apart from their inaccuracy, was the time required to reload them. During the minutes when the gunners were reloading, the bowmen and spear men had to take up the slack by maintaining the attack against the enemy. The reloading problem could also be dealt with by dividing the gunners into groups and having them fire in relay or volleys. It appears, in fact, that Nobunaga was the first commander in the world to develop such volley fire. Geoffrey Parker, describing the Battle of Nagashino in 1575, in which Nobunaga’s guns defeated the finest cavalry in the land (the cavalry of the Takeda family), writes: “The warlord Nobunaga deployed 3,000 musketeers in ranks in this action, having trained them to fire in volleys so as to maintain a constant barrage. The opposing cavalry—ironically of the same Takeda clan which had pioneered the use of the gun—was annihilated. The battle-scene in Kurosawa’s film Kagemusha (The Shadow Warrior) offers a credible reconstruction, for the action is intended to represent Nagashino.”6 According to Parker, Europeans did not develop the technique of volley fire until the 1590s, some two decades after the Japanese. It is often assumed that the Portuguese also influenced the Japanese in the construction of castles in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries (fig. 42). Certainly this was the great age of castle building in Japan, but there is little evidence that the Japanese received any direct Portuguese instruction or aid in the building of these fortresses. Rather, the castles of the era of unification appear to have evolved as a natural product of conditions of accelerated warfare and the formation of more firmly and rationally controlled daimyo domains. In the early centuries of the medieval age, the samurai had apparently felt very little need for strong defensive fortifications. Although occasion- 1...
View Full Document

This note was uploaded on 02/08/2013 for the course ANTH 142 taught by Professor Hans during the Spring '13 term at The University of British Columbia.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online