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Edo era firearms

32 Comments

A demonstration of Edo era firearms is held at the Shinagawa Shukuba Festival.

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Winds blowing in opposite direction, still better pic than last year

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Nice action shot

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Good thing it didn't rain.

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This would make a great ad to get young people to join the SDF.

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Basically I love this kind of shot because it seems no one else does. Black powder smoke billowing, chain maile, testocerone, or is it caffeine?

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Nice pic!

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Cool - reminds me of Akira Kurosawa's 1985 movie "Ran"...

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I can't believe guys in Japan used to dress like this.

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I can't believe guys in Japan used to dress like this.

Yeah, I thought they would have worn shorts and t-shirts...

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I can't believe guys in Japan used to dress like this.

It's not just Japan Sarge. We all used to dress funny. I'm kinda partial to those puffy shorts the French use to wear.

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Why wear armor if you have a gun?

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"firearms"

I believe they have proved to enable Mankind to dispense more grief than improve the standard of living.

I'll bet that 100 years from now, people will be saying "I can't believe people 100 years ago used to dress like that." Actually, I can't believe that many people wear what they wear today.

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Um, because even if the enemy had the same guns, they are not semi-automatic and the enemy also has swords and arrows?

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I can't believe guys in Japan used to dress like this.

What do you mean "used to?"

Are these guys part of a recreation group that works elsewhere, or only at this festival, which I always manage to miss.

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At least they wore armor and not like in the napolean age brightly colored army dress, whuch worked like a bullseye

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tMMt There are about 25-30 of these ancient gunnery groups dotted around Japan, calling themselves Kenkyu-kai, Castle Matchlock Company, etc. Some are more active than others. (Ab)normal people get special permission from the police, dress up for a display at some event several times a year and undergo a temporary personality change. There was a massive gathering on Tanegashima at the end of August with 22 groups and 250 samurai gunners.

dennisbauer Many of these guys have bright Mon on their armor/armour, and crests on their helmets, which look very much like targets to me! LOL It must have been an act of psych-out, or of reckless bravery.

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PS I have met some sturdy women too, who have been doing this for many years.

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i think it is really really cool. love it.

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I'm surprised the Koreans and Chinese didn't protest this blatant glorification of period Japanese aggression.

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chardk1 Most of the fighting like this was done between the Japanese themselves in the Muromachi and early Edo Periods, and at the end of Edo to protect Japan against the Western barbarians who were threatening to do to Japan what they had done to China.

Admittedly there was a period when Hideyoshi took his troops to Korea towards the end of the Momoyama dressed like this, and the Koreans are proud of the role that their turtle ships played in repelling those invasions. The Koreans and Chinese dressed in armour/armour and used similar guns, and different ones too, to fight back.

In my experience there is no consciousness among the practitioners of these displays of any non-Japanese enemy. The faceless enemy is a Japanese army, or a Japanese castle. I speak as the only Westerner to be doing this on a regular basis.

Actually I think you are trying to stir a pot that doesn't need stirring here.

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I wish the cops today would dress like this. Then when they're sitting around doing nothing I could get a good picture of them.

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In reality those single shot rifles probably weighed a TON. I know this because we have a Black Powder group & each time I am handled a h/gun or rifle I am utterly amazed at the weight compared to modern rifles, shotguns or h/guns.

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chardk1 Most of the fighting like this was done between the Japanese themselves in the Muromachi and early Edo Periods, and at the end of Edo to protect Japan against the Western barbarians who were threatening to do to Japan what they had done to China.

I was being sarcastic, sorry if that wasn't clear.

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This is VERY strange to say, but the basic structure of those armor suits are viable in modern warfare - composition of the small plates would be blast resistant ceramics. Cooling and flexibility is inherent in the design, and could be lightweight. Musings from late night study on ancient warfare.

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chardk1 No problem, mate! The trouble with this site is many people do not pick up on the sarcasm, and my first thought was, "Uh oh, here we go again!" (Very very tired after the whole Dokdo episode, LOL)

apecNetworks. A brother! I spend a lot of my time thinking the same things! If a Japanese blade was said to be the sharpest and strongest weapon around, then what kind of armor/armour could stop it? It had to be light and flexible and super hard, with materials commonly available hundreds of years ago.

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Yeah, those guys were the inspiration for the Imperial Stormtroopers. Clones in armor. Same basic concept. One of them can now be seen dancing in the streets of Tokyo on occasion.

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Looks fantastic; wished I could have been there.

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Very well said, Nandakandaamanda! I also enjoy Japanese history too. :-)

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Nandakandamanda - Thanks for the info, I hadn't realized that kind of re-enactment was popular here. I will pay more attention to the paper...

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Smythe. Most of the long guns they are firing weigh 5-10 kg, but the one you see at this end of the line looks like a 6-10 Monme Samurai gun, a Shi-zutsu, which probably weighs a bit more.

As part of the display some groups will fire larger 'hand cannons' of 20, 30, 50, or sometimes 100 Monme, which can weigh over 30 kgs.

PS Although we think of diameter of inside of barrel, Monme is the unit of weight for the ball. (Rather than 'caliber' or 'bore'.)Thus a 10 Monme gun would fire a lead ball of 37.5 grams, (.70 caliber?) and 100 Monme gun shot would weigh 375 grams.

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PS The weights above are very approximate and may be considerably off.

Used this site: http://www.japaneseweapons.net/hinawajyu/index.htm

but it is rumoured/rumored to have some inaccuracies in the Japanese and English pages. Treat with a pinch of salt.

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PPS If you were unable to get off the Japanese page to the English Home Page, try this: http://www.japaneseweapons.net/

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