Home Region:  Northeast Asia (East Asia)

Warring States Japan

D G SC WF HS EQ 2020  jp_sengoku_jidai / JpSengk

Preceding:
1336 CE 1467 CE Ashikaga Shogunate (jp_ashikaga)    [continuation]
Add one more here.

Succeeding:
No Polity found. Add one here.

During the Sengoku Period Japan was fought over by armies of samurau their nobles called the daimyo (’the great names’). The shogun became a prize to control and the capital at Kyoto was devastated by war. The period is also known as the Onin War and the Age of the Warring States (which translated into Japanese becomes the Sengoku jidai or Sengoku Period). [1]
There was no central government. The daimyo, supported by their close kinsmen and vassals, often had an inner council to decide on matters of administration and military policy. Military administrators known as bugyo are known to have been employed in a non-fighting capacity.
The dominant territory (kokka) was not defined by the borders of the traditional kuni (province) and was split into fiefs which the daiymo either directly maintained or controlled through a vassal. At times the daimyo made alliances with each other in the quest for more power. [2]
Despite the turmoil the population during this period probably increased by five million over 100 years to about 20 million in 1568 CE.

[1]: (Turnbull 2002) S Turnbull. 2002. War in Japan: 1467-1615. Osprey Publishing.

[2]: (Turnbull 2008) S Turnbull. 2008. Samurai Armies 1467-1649. Osprey Publishing.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
53 S  
Original Name:
Japan - Sengoku Jidai  
Capital:
Kyoto  
Alternative Name:
Sengoku Period  
Warring States Period  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
1,568 CE  
Duration:
[1,467 CE ➜ 1,568 CE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
alliance with [---]  
Supracultural Entity:
Japanese  
Succeeding Entity:
Japan - Azuchi-Momoyama  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuation  
Preceding Entity:
Preceding:   Ashikaga Shogunate (jp_ashikaga)    [continuation]  
Degree of Centralization:
quasi-polity  
Language
Linguistic Family:
Japonic  
Language:
Middle Japanese  
Religion
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
40,000 people 1500 CE
100,000 people 1550 CE
Polity Territory:
15,000 km2  
Polity Population:
15,000,000 people 1467 CE
17,000,000 people 1500 CE
20,000,000 people 1568 CE
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
[4 to 6]  
Religious Level:
2  
Military Level:
6  
Administrative Level:
[4 to 5]  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
absent  
Professional Priesthood:
present  
Professional Military Officer:
absent  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present  
Merit Promotion:
absent  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
present  
Examination System:
absent  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
absent  
Judge:
unknown  
Formal Legal Code:
present  
Court:
unknown  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
unknown  
Irrigation System:
unknown  
Food Storage Site:
present  
Drinking Water Supply System:
unknown  
Transport Infrastructure
Canal:
unknown  
Bridge:
unknown  
Special-purpose Sites
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present  
Script:
present  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present  
Nonwritten Record:
unknown  
Non Phonetic Writing:
present  
Mnemonic Device:
unknown  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
unknown  
Sacred Text:
unknown  
Religious Literature:
present  
Practical Literature:
unknown  
Philosophy:
unknown  
Lists Tables and Classification:
present  
History:
unknown  
Fiction:
unknown  
Calendar:
present  
Information / Money
Indigenous Coin:
present  
Article:
present  
Information / Postal System
Courier:
present  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
present  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
present  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
absent  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
present  
  Fortified Camp:
absent  
  Earth Rampart:
present  
  Ditch:
present  
  Complex Fortification:
present  
  Long Wall:
absent  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
present  
  Iron:
present  
  Copper:
inferred present  
  Bronze:
present  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
present  
  Sling Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling:
absent  
  Self Bow:
unknown  
  Javelin:
unknown  
  Handheld Firearm:
inferred absent 1467 CE 1542 CE
present 1543 CE 1568 CE
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
present  
  Crossbow:
unknown  
  Composite Bow:
present  
  Atlatl:
inferred absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
inferred present  
  Sword:
present  
  Spear:
present  
  Polearm:
present 1467 CE 1499 CE
absent 1500 CE 1568 CE
  Dagger:
present  
  Battle Axe:
inferred present  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
present  
  Elephant:
absent  
  Donkey:
unknown  
  Dog:
unknown  
  Camel:
absent  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
unknown  
  Scaled Armor:
present  
  Plate Armor:
present  
  Limb Protection:
present  
  Leather Cloth:
present  
  Laminar Armor:
present  
  Helmet:
present  
  Chainmail:
present  
  Breastplate:
present  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
present  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
unknown  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Warring States Japan (jp_sengoku_jidai) was in:
 (1467 CE 1567 CE)   Kansai
Home NGA: Kansai

General Variables
Identity and Location

Original Name:
Japan - Sengoku Jidai

"During the Sengoku Period Kyoto was the capital, but was supplanted in influence by the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate in Edo (now Tokyo) in 1603." [1]

[1]: (Turnbull 2002)


Alternative Name:
Sengoku Period

"The Onin War ... ushered in a time of such unparalleled strife that future historians, puzzling over what to call a century and a half of war in Japan, threw up their hands in despair and settled for an analogy with the most warlike period in ancient Chinese history: the Age of Warring States. Translated into Japanese this became the Sengoku jidai or Sengoku Period ..." [1]

[1]: (Turnbull 2002)

Alternative Name:
Warring States Period

"The Onin War ... ushered in a time of such unparalleled strife that future historians, puzzling over what to call a century and a half of war in Japan, threw up their hands in despair and settled for an analogy with the most warlike period in ancient Chinese history: the Age of Warring States. Translated into Japanese this became the Sengoku jidai or Sengoku Period ..." [1]

[1]: (Turnbull 2002)


Temporal Bounds

Duration:
[1,467 CE ➜ 1,568 CE]

This period starts at the Onin War 1467 CE: "The Onin War ... ushered in a time of such unparalleled strife that future historians, puzzling over what to call a century and a half of war in Japan, threw up their hands in despair and settled for an analogy with the most warlike period in ancient Chinese history: the Age of Warring States. Translated into Japanese this became the Sengoku jidai or Sengoku Period ..." [1]
This period ends in 1568 CE at the beginning of the Unification Period. The Azuchi-Momoyama Period is distinct from the Sengoku because during this latter period central government was reestablished under a number of successive rulers.
However, the Age of Warring States or Sengoku Period traditionally can extend all the way to the seventeenth century, for example to 1615 CE: "With the final defeat of his rivals at Osaka in 1615, the Tokugawa shoguns took over where the Ashikaga had left off, and the Age of Warring States gave way to the long Tokugawa Peace, out of which, two and a half centuries later, was born modern Japan." [1]

[1]: (Turnbull 2002)


Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
alliance with [---]

daimyo made alliances. [1]

[1]: (Turnbull 2008)


Supracultural Entity:
Japanese

Succeeding Entity:
Japan - Azuchi-Momoyama

or Tokogawa Shogunate, depending on whether the more centralized 1568-c1600 CE period is considered a separate quasi-polity from this one.


Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuation

Preceding Entity:
Ashikaga Shogunate [jp_ashikaga] ---> Warring States Japan [jp_sengoku_jidai]

Degree of Centralization:
quasi-polity

"It was an age when rival warlords, called daimyo (literally ‘the great names’) fought one another with armies of samurai - for land, for survival and, in some cases, even for that seemingly most empty of prizes, the control of the shogun himself and his devastated capital." [1]

[1]: (Turnbull 2002)


Language

Language:
Middle Japanese

Middle Japanese 12th-16th century.


Religion

Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
40,000 people
1500 CE

Inhabitants. Kyoto.

Population of the Largest Settlement:
100,000 people
1550 CE

Inhabitants. Kyoto.


Polity Territory:
15,000 km2

in squared kilometers. Typical maximum size of kokka territory of a daimyo.


Polity Population:
15,000,000 people
1467 CE

People. Approximation for Japan based on McEvedy and Jones (1978). [1]

[1]: (McEvedy and Jones 1978)

Polity Population:
17,000,000 people
1500 CE

People. Approximation for Japan based on McEvedy and Jones (1978). [1]

[1]: (McEvedy and Jones 1978)

Polity Population:
20,000,000 people
1568 CE

People. Approximation for Japan based on McEvedy and Jones (1978). [1]

[1]: (McEvedy and Jones 1978)


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
[4 to 6]

levels.
Coded 6 for previous period. Should we assume loss of at least one level for this period?


Religious Level:
2

levels.
Buddhist religion
"Many daimyō took along Buddhist priests as army chaplains. They would perform religious services and could also be counted on to perform funerary nembutsu, the ritual of calling on the name of Amida Buddha. They might even advance at great risk to their own lives during the midst of battle to offer nembutsu to the spirits of those who had just died. They also provided memorial services, and would perform the useful act of visiting relatives of the slain and reporting deeds back to the home temple." [1]
Based on previous periods:
1. Master
2. Disciple

[1]: (Turnbull 2008)


Military Level:
6

levels.
1. Daimyo
the daimyo was the sōtaishō (commander-in-chief) [1]
"The taishō, bugyō and metsuke came under the direct command of the daimyō himself as members of his hatamoto (‘those who stand beneath the flag’)" [1]
2. ikusa bugyo"The various bugyō (military administrators) act as the general staff under the overall direction of the ikusa bugyō, who may take the daimyō’s place on the field of battle." [1]
3. bugyo
2. Taisho (of a division)"The taishō (generals) command the fighting divisions ‘of the line’ in the form of samurai (mounted and on foot) and the three specialized ashigaru divisions of bow, spear and arquebus." [1]
3. Samuraitaishō of a ???"command of the ‘troops of the line’ is delegated through the subordinate generals who may be named samuraitaishō or ashigaru-taishō according to their particular command." [1]
3. Ashigaru-taishō of a Samurai unit"commanders of purely samurai units" [1]
4. Samurai"Every samurai would also be accompanied by a number of personal followers, ranging from a sizeable ‘platoon’ down to a single spear bearer." [1]
5.
6. Individual footsoldier
4. Mounted Samurai (same as above?)
5. Kogashira of a footsoldier squad"The footsoldier squads, under the control of an individual kogashira, come under the overall command of the mounted samurai." [1]
6. Individual footsoldier

[1]: (Turnbull 2008)


Administrative Level:
[4 to 5]

levels.
"... these structures were not rigid systems. Retainers might be killed in battle or just died of old age. New followers were often acquired, prompting changes both in structure and function. As a result any diagram showing a vassal structure represents only a snapshot in time of a dynamic entity." [1]
Example
"The Kashindan of Oda Nobunaga c.1570" had at most 4 levels. 1. Oda Nobunaga. 2. Shukuro (Shibota Katsuie (1530-1583 CE) 3. Roshin (senior retainers) 4. Bugyo (commissioners). [1]
1. Daimyo (ruler) of a kokka
"No longer was a shugo merely the shogun’s ‘deputy for such-and-such province’; he was now, simply, the province’s daimyo - its ruler." [2]
"a few shugo were even murdered and had their places taken by opportunists" [2]
"The word used for the territory a daimyō controlled as a mini-state was kokka, a contiguous geographical unit that often bore no relationship to the traditional borders of the Japanese kuni (provinces), and was defined simply by what could be defended." [1]
2. Relatives"Closest of all to the daimyō were his blood relatives, identified by the expressions ichimon, kamon, ichizoku or shōke, all of which can be translated as ‘kinsmen’." [1]
2. Vassal of a fiefa kokka "consisted of a composite of separate fiefs either held directly by the daimyō or indirectly by his followers, for whom the European term ‘vassal’ is customarily employed" [1]
3. Roshin (senior retainers)"We usually find an elite group called variously karō, rōshin or shukurō (elders or senior vassals) who were drawn from the daimyō’s family or from his most powerful vassals and used as an inner council for administration and military policy." [1]
4. Bugyo (commissioners)
5. Scribe?
1. Emperor

2. Central governmentAs a result of the Onin war 1467-1476 CE "Most of the centre of the ancient capital was reduced to a charred wasteland" [2]
3. : ?. Provinces (Shugo)"Some of the provincial shugo tried loyally and vainly to assert the shogun’s authority, but they were pushed aside." [2]

[1]: (Turnbull 2008)

[2]: (Turnbull 2002)


Professions
Professional Soldier:
absent

absent: 1467-1476 CE
"At the time of the Onin War the samurai were still the elite troops, the officer corps, the aristocracy, while the foot soldiers were lower class warriors recruited from the daimyo’s estate workers." [1]
uncertain_absent_present: 1476-1568 CE
Later: "men casually recruited into an army, enticed by the prospect of loot. These men were called ashigaru (light feet)." [1] Some daimyo disciplined and trained their ashigaru and organised them into squads. [1]

[1]: (Turnbull 2002)


Professional Priesthood:
present

Buddhist priests in temples.
"Many daimyō took along Buddhist priests as army chaplains." [1]

[1]: (Turnbull 2008)


Professional Military Officer:
absent

absent: 1467-1476 CE
"At the time of the Onin War the samurai were still the elite troops, the officer corps, the aristocracy, while the foot soldiers were lower class warriors recruited from the daimyo’s estate workers." [1]

[1]: (Turnbull 2002)


Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present

daimyo could mint coins.


Merit Promotion:
absent

Significant appointments usually made on hereditary basis. "Closest of all to the daimyō were his blood relatives, identified by the expressions ichimon, kamon, ichizoku or shōke, all of which can be translated as ‘kinsmen’." [1]

[1]: (Turnbull 2008)


Full Time Bureaucrat:
present

daimyo had bugyo, military administrators, who worked in non-fighting capacity. [1]

[1]: (Turnbull 2008)



Law
Professional Lawyer:
absent

professional lawyers were not present until the Meiji Restoration. [1]

[1]: (Hall, John Whitney (ed.). 1991.The Cambridge History of Japan. Vol. 4. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.p.123)



Formal Legal Code:
present

Confucian-based with differences between kokka territories.
"the legal system was based on status considerations, and separate legal codes were issued for each status group." [1]
"As the governmental structure fell into disarray, the legal system again became fragmented as local daimyo rose to power, enacting individual laws for their personal domains." [2]

[1]: Hall, John Whitney (ed.). 1991.The Cambridge History of Japan. Vol. 4. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.p.123

[2]: (Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.102-103.)


Not mentioned by sources.


Specialized Buildings: polity owned

Irrigation System:
unknown

They existed in previous period, but sources do not say whether they still did at this time. Frequent warfare likely caused major disruptions, so continuity with preceding periods is more difficult to infer.


Food Storage Site:
present

e.g. Rice storehouses [1]

[1]: (Turnbull 2008)


Drinking Water Supply System:
unknown

present for preceding period but is the kind of costly infrastructure that could be quickly lost in difficult times.


Transport Infrastructure

They existed in previous period, but sources do not say whether they still did at this time. Frequent warfare likely caused major disruptions, so continuity with preceding periods is more difficult to infer.


Bridge:
unknown

They existed in previous period, but sources do not say whether they still did at this time. Frequent warfare likely caused major disruptions, so continuity with preceding periods is more difficult to infer.


Special-purpose Sites
Information / Writing System


Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present

The earliest known written Japanese texts date to the eight century. Although the spoken languages have no relationship Chinese characters were borrowed to enable Japanese to be written ‘Over time the Japanese writing system developed into a complex use of Chinese characters along with two different phonetic scripts to represent the sounds of spoken Japanese. The two phonetic scripts—hiragana and katakana—represented the same sounds but were used in different contexts reflecting, among other things, class and gender.’ [1]

[1]: Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.242.



Non Phonetic Writing:
present

The earliest known written Japanese texts date to the eight century. Although the spoken languages have no relationship Chinese characters were borrowed to enable Japanese to be written ‘Over time the Japanese writing system developed into a complex use of Chinese characters along with two different phonetic scripts to represent the sounds of spoken Japanese. The two phonetic scripts—hiragana and katakana—represented the same sounds but were used in different contexts reflecting, among other things, class and gender.’ [1]

[1]: Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.242.



Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
unknown

Sources consulted on the history of Japanese literature tend to gloss over this period. It seems reasonable to infer that authors did not simply cease to produce texts for the century or so of the Sengoku period. However, as noted for the previous polity, scientific literature had not yet emerged at this time.



Religious Literature:
present

Practical Literature:
unknown


Lists Tables and Classification:
present

"Hōjō had been perfecting a standardized index for surveying both private and daimyō land." [1]

[1]: (Turnbull 2008)





Information / Money
Indigenous Coin:
present

"As the assessment of the land was expressed in cash terms it was first as hard cash that taxes were collected, until technical difficulties obliged the Hōjō to change the system. Being unable to mint sufficient coins within the domain, and being equally unable to control the entry of debased coinage into the domain, conversion standards were introduced to express the tax in terms of rice, lacquer or cotton." [1]

[1]: (Turnbull 2008)


Article:
present

"As the assessment of the land was expressed in cash terms it was first as hard cash that taxes were collected, until technical difficulties obliged the Hōjō to change the system. Being unable to mint sufficient coins within the domain, and being equally unable to control the entry of debased coinage into the domain, conversion standards were introduced to express the tax in terms of rice, lacquer or cotton." [1]

[1]: (Turnbull 2008)


Information / Postal System
Courier:
present

"Messages from the scouts would be delivered to the daimyo at great personal risk to the messenger, and could be either verbal or written." [1] tsukai (couriers) [2]

[1]: (Turnbull 2002)

[2]: (Turnbull 2008)


Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
Wooden Palisade:
present

wooden stockades [1]

[1]: (Turnbull 2002)


Stone Walls Non Mortared:
present

Eventually, stone bases began to be used, encasing the hilltop in a layer of fine pebbles, and then a layer of larger rocks over that, with no mortar. [1] ‘He [Nobunaga] decided to build the castle completely of stone something, as I have said; quite unknown in Japan. As there was no stone available for the work, he ordered many stone idols to be pulled down, and the men tied ropes around the necks of these and dragged them to the site.’ [2] ET: also Nobunaga was Warring States period.

[1]: Stephen Turnbull. 2003. Japanese Castles 1540-1640. Osprey Publishing. Oxford.

[2]: Mason, Richard Henry Pitt. 1997. A History of Japan: Revised Edition. Tuttle Publishing.p.185


Stone Walls Mortared:
absent

Eventually, stone bases began to be used, encasing the hilltop in a layer of fine pebbles, and then a layer of larger rocks over that, with no mortar. [1]

[1]: Stephen Turnbull. 2003. Japanese Castles 1540-1640. Osprey Publishing. Oxford.


Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present

numerous castles attest to this



at yamashiro castles [1]

[1]: (Turnbull 2002)


Fortified Camp:
absent

field fortifications "did not suit the fluid nature of most samurai warfare and make only rare appearances such as at Okita Nawate in 1584" [1]

[1]: (Turnbull 2002)


Earth Rampart:
present

Yamajiro (Yamashiro): ’A squat Japanese mountain fortress common during the Sengoku jidai era. They were carved out of canyons and gullies and were usually girded by a wooden palisade and guarded by dry moats and earth ramparts. Some had watchtowers.’ [1]

[1]: Cathal J. Nolan, The Age of Wars of Religion, 1000-1650: An Encyclopedia of Global Warfare and Civilization Volume 2, Greenwood Press, 2006, p. 949


at yamashiro castles [1]

[1]: (Turnbull 2002)


Complex Fortification:
present

’Castle towns trace their origin to the Muromachi period and the construction of wooden defenses typically located on hills for reasons of protection and surveillance. These fortifications were the precursors to the castles and castle-building styles that grew more elaborate during the Warring States period. [1] ‘the acquisition, possession and loss of a castle were common events during the Sengoku Period, but once the trend towards larder armies developed, the castle became not only a barracks for the troops, but a symbol of the daimyo’s authority. [2]

[1]: Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press. p.60.

[2]: Turnbull, Stephen. 1998. The Samurai Sourcebook. Arms & Armour Press.p.161



Military use of Metals

[1]

[1]: Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.171.


All ranks of samurai wore a suit of iron and leather armour "made from small scales of metal, lacquered for rust prevention and then laced together". [1]

[1]: (Turnbull 2002)


required for bronze


[1]

[1]: Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.169.


Projectiles
Tension Siege Engine:
present

"The celebrated exploits of Kusunoki Masa-shige made the Nanbokucho Wars (the ‘Wars Between the Courts’), which lasted until 1392, into something of a golden age of siege warfare in Japan. Yet, once again, these operations were conducted against isolated fortresses rather than walled towns, and, although the sieges of Akasaka and Chihaya involved certain siege machines that are compared in the Taiheiki to devices of Chinese origin, there is no specific mention of either catapults or crossbows. There are, however, several references in war reports and casualty lists to samurai being killed or wounded by stones. ... It may well be that the stones were simply dropped from the castle walls, an impression strengthened by the fact that so many of the victims were flag bearers, who traditionally would be the first to approach the enemy defences. It is not until 1468 that we find an unambiguous reference to the use of traction trebuchets in Japan." [1] ‘sporadic accounts of stone-throwing catapults occur in the Japanese chronicals over the next two centuries [1400-1600s].’ [2]

[1]: (Turnball 2002) Turnball, S. 2002. Siege Weapons of the Far East (1): AD 612-1300. Osprey Publishing.

[2]: Turnbull, Stephen. 2012. Siege Weapons of the Far East (1): AD 612-1300. Vol. 43. Osprey Publishing.p.23.


Sling Siege Engine:
absent

traction trebuchets were powered by human muscle not gravity. "Japan appears never to have adopted the counterweight trebuchet, making the leap direct from traction trebuchets to cannon, although even these saw little use until the very end of the age of the samurai." [1]

[1]: (Turnball 2002) Turnball, S. 2002. Siege Weapons of the Far East (1): AD 612-1300. Osprey Publishing.


absent, although they had been present in the much earlier Yayoi period (c.300BCE-300CE). [1]

[1]: Friday, Karl F. 2004. Samurai, Warfare and the State in Early Medieval Japan. Psychology Press.p.68.


although single piece bows were used in earlier times, and could technically have been used, the composite bow had been standard military equipment since the 9th century.


Could not find any evidence of use


Handheld Firearm:
absent
1467 CE 1542 CE

"Foot soldiers were armed with either arquebuses, spears or bows, and all also carried a sword." [1] Introduction dated to 1543 CE following Portuguese shipwreck. First recorded use 1549 CE. [1] Known as teppōgumi. [2]

[1]: (Turnbull 2002)

[2]: (Turnbull 2008)

Handheld Firearm:
present
1543 CE 1568 CE

"Foot soldiers were armed with either arquebuses, spears or bows, and all also carried a sword." [1] Introduction dated to 1543 CE following Portuguese shipwreck. First recorded use 1549 CE. [1] Known as teppōgumi. [2]

[1]: (Turnbull 2002)

[2]: (Turnbull 2008)


Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
present

Cannon [1]

[1]: (Turnbull 2002)


"The bow staves of Chinese crossbows were composites of wood, bone, sinew and glue ... But, as we have observed, the Japanese lacked supplies of animal products, and fashioned their bows from wood and bamboo instead, which required that the weapons be long. Manufacturing crossbows with composite bow staves of wood and bamboo comparable in length to those of regular bows would have resulted in a weapon too unwieldy to be practical". However some crossbows were imported. [1]

[1]: (Friday 2004, 74-76) Karl F Friday. 2005. Samurai, Warfare and the State in Early Medieval Japan. Routledge. New York.


Composite Bow:
present

The samurai was armed with "a longbow, shot from one-third of the way up its length" however this period saw the transition to mounted spearman so bow use primarily by "mobile sharpshooters" [1] "Foot soldiers were armed with either arquebuses, spears or bows, and all also carried a sword." [1] Archers known as yumigumi. [2]

[1]: (Turnbull 2002)

[2]: (Turnbull 2008)


Could not find any evidence of use


Handheld weapons

Kanabou (金棒) is noted as being a club weapon in use: ’Sort of iron club used by warriors in ancient times, and a favorite weapon of some monk-warriors (Heisou) in the Heian and Kamakura periods’ [1] Photographs exists as late as 1868 with samurai still being equipped with this [2]

[1]: Louis Frederick, Japan Encyclopedia, translated by Kathe Roth, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 202, p. 466

[2]: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/?next=/pin/create/button/%3Furl%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.thoughtco.com%252Fimages-of-the-samurai-japans-warriors-4122916%253Futm_source%253Dpinterest%26utm_medium%3Dsocial%26utm_campaign%3Dshareurlbuttons_nip%26media%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Ffthmb.tqn.com%252Fe8I92cksGuk5-eG0KOHC1VaizSA%253D%252F735x0%252Fabout%252FOgawaEraSamurai-56a040323df78cafdaa0adc7.jpg%26description%3DImages%2520of%2520the%2520Samurai%252C%2520Japan%2527s%2520Warriors%253A%2520Photo%2520of%2520a%2520Tokugawa-era%2520samurai%2520warrior


the samurai had a two-handed sword [1] "Foot soldiers were armed with either arquebuses, spears or bows, and all also carried a sword." [1]

[1]: (Turnbull 2002)


the spear was the main weapon used by the samurai [1] "Foot soldiers were armed with either arquebuses, spears or bows, and all also carried a sword." [1] Spearmen known as yarigumi. [2]

[1]: (Turnbull 2002)

[2]: (Turnbull 2008)


Polearm:
present
1467 CE 1499 CE

‘First used by the early Kamakura period, the naginata is closest to a European glaive in form, with an elongated shaft, and a single-edged blade curved more than that of a Kamakura-period Japanese tachi. Most likely, the naginata was based upon similar weapons introduced from China by 300 C.E. which have been unearthed in graves.’ [1] ‘From the 11th until the mid-15th century, the naginata was the primary weapon wielded by foot soldiers....From the end of the 15th century, most troops serving on foot were provided with a straight, thrusting spear (yari) that produced more effective results in destroying opposing forces.’ [2]

[1]: Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.161.

[2]: Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.162.

Polearm:
absent
1500 CE 1568 CE

‘First used by the early Kamakura period, the naginata is closest to a European glaive in form, with an elongated shaft, and a single-edged blade curved more than that of a Kamakura-period Japanese tachi. Most likely, the naginata was based upon similar weapons introduced from China by 300 C.E. which have been unearthed in graves.’ [1] ‘From the 11th until the mid-15th century, the naginata was the primary weapon wielded by foot soldiers....From the end of the 15th century, most troops serving on foot were provided with a straight, thrusting spear (yari) that produced more effective results in destroying opposing forces.’ [2]

[1]: Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.161.

[2]: Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.162.


the samurai wore a dagger [1]

[1]: (Turnbull 2002)


Battle Axe:
present

[1]

[1]: 『騎兵と歩兵の中世史』 近藤好和:著 株式会社吉川弘文館 2005年, p. 176


Animals used in warfare

this period saw the development of the mounted samurai spearmen. Archaeology: "horse’s skeleton at Tsutsuji ga saki, the Takeda capital. Its height to the shoulder was 120cm, and its weight was estimated as 250kg, which compares to 160cm and 500kg for a modern thoroughbred, so the shock of a charge hitting the enemy ranks would have been much less." [1]

[1]: (Turnbull 2002)


I could find no evidence of elephants - but no sources saying that they were not used either (although I think this is a very safe bet)


I could not find references to Donkeys being used - this does seem odd so I would triple check


I could find no evidence of dogs - but no sources saying that they were not used either


I could find no evidence of camels - but no sources saying that they were not used either (although I think this is a very safe bet)


Armor

Scaled Armor:
present

All ranks of samurai wore a suit of iron and leather armour "made from small scales of metal, lacquered for rust prevention and then laced together". [1] "The earliest armor used in Japan, as elsewhere, was padded or made of scales or rings sewn on cloth. The armor found in the grove mounds of prior to 400 B.C. is made by riveting together small pieces of iron to make helmets and cuirasses. Some of the latter give quite the effect of plate armor but are built up of small pieces. By the 10th century, the earliest time of which we have definite knowledge, it had assumed a characteristic form which it retained until armor was abandoned in the middle of the 19th century. A Japanese suit, fig. 78, consists of a helmet, kabuto, usually made of a large number of narrow plates riveted together with raised edges at the joints. It has a small peak, maizashi, in front and a wide neck guard, shikoro, made of strips of steel or of scales of leather or steel laced together with heavy silk or leather cords. One or more of these pieces is turned back in front to form ear guards, fukigayeshi. The front is usually decorated with two horn-like pieces, kuwagata, representing the leaves of a water plant; between them is an ornament, maidate, corresponding to the European crest. The face is covered by a steel mask, menpo, to which a laminated neck guard, yodare-kake, is attached. There are five varieties of menpo - covering the entire face - all of the face below the eyes - the forehead and cheeks only - and two for the cheeks and chin only. Of these, the second is much most used. A gorget, nodowa, was sometimes worn but was not considered as a regular part of the suit. The body was enclosed in a corselet, do, made of plates or strips laced together with silk or leather cords. It either opened at the side, do-maru, or at the back haramaki-do. Attached to it were shoulder pieces, watagami, from which it hung. The taces, kusazuri, made of strips laced together, hung from the do. Under these was worn an apron, hai-date, of brocade covered with mail or mixed plate and mail. The legs below the knee were protected by close fitting greaves, sune-ate, of plate; and the feet were covered with bearskin shoes, tsurumaki, or with mail or plate tabi. The arm guards, kote, were brocade sleeves covered with mixed plate and mail. They usually ended in guantlets which covered only the backs of the hands and thumbs. Mail guantlets were rare but were sometimes used. Large guards, sode, were hung on the shoulders. They were either single plates, two hinged together or made up of strops or rows of scales laced together." [2] "The Japanese made more varieties of mail than all the rest of the world put together." [2]

[1]: (Turnbull 2002)

[2]: (Stone 1999, 60-61) George Cameron Stone. 1999. Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armor in All Countries and in All Times. Dover Publications, Inc. Mineola.


Plate Armor:
present

"The earliest armor used in Japan, as elsewhere, was padded or made of scales or rings sewn on cloth. The armor found in the grove mounds of prior to 400 B.C. is made by riveting together small pieces of iron to make helmets and cuirasses. Some of the latter give quite the effect of plate armor but are built up of small pieces. By the 10th century, the earliest time of which we have definite knowledge, it had assumed a characteristic form which it retained until armor was abandoned in the middle of the 19th century. A Japanese suit, fig. 78, consists of a helmet, kabuto, usually made of a large number of narrow plates riveted together with raised edges at the joints. It has a small peak, maizashi, in front and a wide neck guard, shikoro, made of strips of steel or of scales of leather or steel laced together with heavy silk or leather cords. One or more of these pieces is turned back in front to form ear guards, fukigayeshi. The front is usually decorated with two horn-like pieces, kuwagata, representing the leaves of a water plant; between them is an ornament, maidate, corresponding to the European crest. The face is covered by a steel mask, menpo, to which a laminated neck guard, yodare-kake, is attached. There are five varieties of menpo - covering the entire face - all of the face below the eyes - the forehead and cheeks only - and two for the cheeks and chin only. Of these, the second is much most used. A gorget, nodowa, was sometimes worn but was not considered as a regular part of the suit. The body was enclosed in a corselet, do, made of plates or strips laced together with silk or leather cords. It either opened at the side, do-maru, or at the back haramaki-do. Attached to it were shoulder pieces, watagami, from which it hung. The taces, kusazuri, made of strips laced together, hung from the do. Under these was worn an apron, hai-date, of brocade covered with mail or mixed plate and mail. The legs below the knee were protected by close fitting greaves, sune-ate, of plate; and the feet were covered with bearskin shoes, tsurumaki, or with mail or plate tabi. The arm guards, kote, were brocade sleeves covered with mixed plate and mail. They usually ended in guantlets which covered only the backs of the hands and thumbs. Mail guantlets were rare but were sometimes used. Large guards, sode, were hung on the shoulders. They were either single plates, two hinged together or made up of strops or rows of scales laced together." [1] "The Japanese made more varieties of mail than all the rest of the world put together." [1]

[1]: (Stone 1999, 60-61) George Cameron Stone. 1999. Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armor in All Countries and in All Times. Dover Publications, Inc. Mineola.


Limb Protection:
present

"The earliest armor used in Japan, as elsewhere, was padded or made of scales or rings sewn on cloth. The armor found in the grove mounds of prior to 400 B.C. is made by riveting together small pieces of iron to make helmets and cuirasses. Some of the latter give quite the effect of plate armor but are built up of small pieces. By the 10th century, the earliest time of which we have definite knowledge, it had assumed a characteristic form which it retained until armor was abandoned in the middle of the 19th century. A Japanese suit, fig. 78, consists of a helmet, kabuto, usually made of a large number of narrow plates riveted together with raised edges at the joints. It has a small peak, maizashi, in front and a wide neck guard, shikoro, made of strips of steel or of scales of leather or steel laced together with heavy silk or leather cords. One or more of these pieces is turned back in front to form ear guards, fukigayeshi. The front is usually decorated with two horn-like pieces, kuwagata, representing the leaves of a water plant; between them is an ornament, maidate, corresponding to the European crest. The face is covered by a steel mask, menpo, to which a laminated neck guard, yodare-kake, is attached. There are five varieties of menpo - covering the entire face - all of the face below the eyes - the forehead and cheeks only - and two for the cheeks and chin only. Of these, the second is much most used. A gorget, nodowa, was sometimes worn but was not considered as a regular part of the suit. The body was enclosed in a corselet, do, made of plates or strips laced together with silk or leather cords. It either opened at the side, do-maru, or at the back haramaki-do. Attached to it were shoulder pieces, watagami, from which it hung. The taces, kusazuri, made of strips laced together, hung from the do. Under these was worn an apron, hai-date, of brocade covered with mail or mixed plate and mail. The legs below the knee were protected by close fitting greaves, sune-ate, of plate; and the feet were covered with bearskin shoes, tsurumaki, or with mail or plate tabi. The arm guards, kote, were brocade sleeves covered with mixed plate and mail. They usually ended in guantlets which covered only the backs of the hands and thumbs. Mail guantlets were rare but were sometimes used. Large guards, sode, were hung on the shoulders. They were either single plates, two hinged together or made up of strops or rows of scales laced together." [1] "The Japanese made more varieties of mail than all the rest of the world put together." [1]

[1]: (Stone 1999, 60-61) George Cameron Stone. 1999. Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armor in All Countries and in All Times. Dover Publications, Inc. Mineola.


Leather Cloth:
present

All ranks of samurai wore a suit of iron and leather armour "made from small scales of metal, lacquered for rust prevention and then laced together". [1]

[1]: (Turnbull 2002)


Laminar Armor:
present

"The earliest armor used in Japan, as elsewhere, was padded or made of scales or rings sewn on cloth. The armor found in the grove mounds of prior to 400 B.C. is made by riveting together small pieces of iron to make helmets and cuirasses. Some of the latter give quite the effect of plate armor but are built up of small pieces. By the 10th century, the earliest time of which we have definite knowledge, it had assumed a characteristic form which it retained until armor was abandoned in the middle of the 19th century. A Japanese suit, fig. 78, consists of a helmet, kabuto, usually made of a large number of narrow plates riveted together with raised edges at the joints. It has a small peak, maizashi, in front and a wide neck guard, shikoro, made of strips of steel or of scales of leather or steel laced together with heavy silk or leather cords. One or more of these pieces is turned back in front to form ear guards, fukigayeshi. The front is usually decorated with two horn-like pieces, kuwagata, representing the leaves of a water plant; between them is an ornament, maidate, corresponding to the European crest. The face is covered by a steel mask, menpo, to which a laminated neck guard, yodare-kake, is attached. There are five varieties of menpo - covering the entire face - all of the face below the eyes - the forehead and cheeks only - and two for the cheeks and chin only. Of these, the second is much most used. A gorget, nodowa, was sometimes worn but was not considered as a regular part of the suit. The body was enclosed in a corselet, do, made of plates or strips laced together with silk or leather cords. It either opened at the side, do-maru, or at the back haramaki-do. Attached to it were shoulder pieces, watagami, from which it hung. The taces, kusazuri, made of strips laced together, hung from the do. Under these was worn an apron, hai-date, of brocade covered with mail or mixed plate and mail. The legs below the knee were protected by close fitting greaves, sune-ate, of plate; and the feet were covered with bearskin shoes, tsurumaki, or with mail or plate tabi. The arm guards, kote, were brocade sleeves covered with mixed plate and mail. They usually ended in guantlets which covered only the backs of the hands and thumbs. Mail guantlets were rare but were sometimes used. Large guards, sode, were hung on the shoulders. They were either single plates, two hinged together or made up of strops or rows of scales laced together." [1] "The Japanese made more varieties of mail than all the rest of the world put together." [1]

[1]: (Stone 1999, 60-61) George Cameron Stone. 1999. Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armor in All Countries and in All Times. Dover Publications, Inc. Mineola.


"A samurai’s helmet would be a substantial affair of lacquered iron, while the ashigaru wore simpler conical iron hats." [1]

[1]: (Turnbull 2002)


Chainmail:
present

"The earliest armor used in Japan, as elsewhere, was padded or made of scales or rings sewn on cloth. The armor found in the grove mounds of prior to 400 B.C. is made by riveting together small pieces of iron to make helmets and cuirasses. Some of the latter give quite the effect of plate armor but are built up of small pieces. By the 10th century, the earliest time of which we have definite knowledge, it had assumed a characteristic form which it retained until armor was abandoned in the middle of the 19th century. A Japanese suit, fig. 78, consists of a helmet, kabuto, usually made of a large number of narrow plates riveted together with raised edges at the joints. It has a small peak, maizashi, in front and a wide neck guard, shikoro, made of strips of steel or of scales of leather or steel laced together with heavy silk or leather cords. One or more of these pieces is turned back in front to form ear guards, fukigayeshi. The front is usually decorated with two horn-like pieces, kuwagata, representing the leaves of a water plant; between them is an ornament, maidate, corresponding to the European crest. The face is covered by a steel mask, menpo, to which a laminated neck guard, yodare-kake, is attached. There are five varieties of menpo - covering the entire face - all of the face below the eyes - the forehead and cheeks only - and two for the cheeks and chin only. Of these, the second is much most used. A gorget, nodowa, was sometimes worn but was not considered as a regular part of the suit. The body was enclosed in a corselet, do, made of plates or strips laced together with silk or leather cords. It either opened at the side, do-maru, or at the back haramaki-do. Attached to it were shoulder pieces, watagami, from which it hung. The taces, kusazuri, made of strips laced together, hung from the do. Under these was worn an apron, hai-date, of brocade covered with mail or mixed plate and mail. The legs below the knee were protected by close fitting greaves, sune-ate, of plate; and the feet were covered with bearskin shoes, tsurumaki, or with mail or plate tabi. The arm guards, kote, were brocade sleeves covered with mixed plate and mail. They usually ended in guantlets which covered only the backs of the hands and thumbs. Mail guantlets were rare but were sometimes used. Large guards, sode, were hung on the shoulders. They were either single plates, two hinged together or made up of strops or rows of scales laced together." [1] "The Japanese made more varieties of mail than all the rest of the world put together." [1]

[1]: (Stone 1999, 60-61) George Cameron Stone. 1999. Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armor in All Countries and in All Times. Dover Publications, Inc. Mineola.


Breastplate:
present

"When guns were introduced, breastplates were made out of solid iron plates." [1]

[1]: (Turnbull 2002)


Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
present

[1] ‘The atake-bune was a type of naval warship that was used in battles during the Warring States period and into the early Edo period. These vessels were anywhere from about 20 to 65 feet in length. Atake-bune included a wooden tower from which arrows or matchlock guns could be fired at the enemy. Twenty to 25 oarsmen were needed to propel these large ships.’ [2] ‘Seki-bune was a type of Japanese warship used in the Warring States period and at the beginning of the early modern period. Unlike its contemporary, the atake-bune, the seki-bune was much smaller and faster’. [3]

[1]: (Turnbull 2002)

[2]: Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.335.

[3]: Deal, William E. 2005. Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. Oxford University Press.p.337.


Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present

Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
unknown


Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
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Power Transitions
- Nothing coded yet.