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Did Japanese use shields

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  • ushikeraitokoyonokokuo
    Yes though not as a rule. In the later eras (1600s) at castle sieges the foot soldier (ashi-garu) and samurai used thick two wheeled wood rectangular walls
    Message 1 of 9 , May 29, 2010
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      Yes though not as a rule. In the later eras (1600s) at castle sieges the foot soldier (ashi-garu) and samurai used thick two wheeled wood rectangular walls with slits to fire rifles and arrows thru them. In earlier periods small hand shields were used, but probably fell out of favor do to the rise of the codes like bushido. One was on display at West Point military acadamy in the 1980s. I hope this is of help.
    • JL Badgley
      On Sun, May 30, 2010 at 4:23 AM, ushikeraitokoyonokokuo ... It really has nothing to do with the rise of codes (bushido is rather hard to tack down, anyway,
      Message 2 of 9 , May 29, 2010
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        On Sun, May 30, 2010 at 4:23 AM, ushikeraitokoyonokokuo
        <johnleepope@...> wrote:
        > Yes though not as a rule.  In the later eras (1600s) at castle sieges the foot soldier (ashi-garu) and samurai used thick two wheeled wood rectangular walls with slits to fire rifles and arrows thru them.  In earlier periods small hand shields were used, but probably fell out of favor do to the rise of the codes like bushido.  One was on display at West Point military acadamy in the 1980s.  I hope this is of help.
        >

        It really has nothing to do with the rise of "codes" (bushido is
        rather hard to tack down, anyway, given its nature). Rather, you have
        a change in the type of warfare--when you are doing running archery
        battles on horseback, often using ambush tactics and chasing after
        fleeing opponents, shields just aren't so useful. The larger set
        battles then grew from there (vice the earlier Ritsuryo forces that
        were more like a continental army). Being an archer, first, takes two
        hands, so you don't really want a hand shield but a pavise, which is
        what the later tate were--free standing shields that you could shoot
        from behind.

        -Ii
      • Jeanel Walker
        ok now i have a question...did they not use the shaft of there sword as a blocker??? something like a shield. i mean i know its movie blitz but they had to
        Message 3 of 9 , May 29, 2010
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          ok now i have a question...did they not use the shaft of there sword as a blocker??? something like a shield. i mean i know its movie blitz but they had to come up with the idea from somewhere.

          May the joy of your past be the worst of your tomorrows!!!
          Jeanel Walker aka Eilionora "Takaatsu" of Kisimull
          http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg208/brytephyre/Takinagadevisesm.jpg
          http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg208/brytephyre/Eilionoriadevicesm.jpg


          --- On Sat, 5/29/10, JL Badgley <tatsushu@...> wrote:

          From: JL Badgley <tatsushu@...>
          Subject: Re: [SCA-JML] Did Japanese use shields
          To: sca-jml@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Saturday, May 29, 2010, 6:46 PM







           









          On Sun, May 30, 2010 at 4:23 AM, ushikeraitokoyonokokuo

          <johnleepope@...> wrote:

          > Yes though not as a rule.  In the later eras (1600s) at castle sieges the foot soldier (ashi-garu) and samurai used thick two wheeled wood rectangular walls with slits to fire rifles and arrows thru them.  In earlier periods small hand shields were used, but probably fell out of favor do to the rise of the codes like bushido.  One was on display at West Point military acadamy in the 1980s.  I hope this is of help.

          >



          It really has nothing to do with the rise of "codes" (bushido is

          rather hard to tack down, anyway, given its nature). Rather, you have

          a change in the type of warfare--when you are doing running archery

          battles on horseback, often using ambush tactics and chasing after

          fleeing opponents, shields just aren't so useful. The larger set

          battles then grew from there (vice the earlier Ritsuryo forces that

          were more like a continental army). Being an archer, first, takes two

          hands, so you don't really want a hand shield but a pavise, which is

          what the later tate were--free standing shields that you could shoot

          from behind.



          -Ii























          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Thomas
          Using a sword to Parry is much different from using a shield to block. When you have a weapon which must be used for your attack and defense you begin to
          Message 4 of 9 , May 30, 2010
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            Using a sword to Parry is much different from using a shield to block. When you have a weapon which must be used for your attack and defense you begin to think on terms of lines and angles. You must align your sword in such a way that you can close off a line of attack from your opponent while still allowing yourself an opening to attack with the same implement.

            Conversely, a shield is dedicated to defense and so is used differently. While the sword is still used for some defensive purposes, it is much more open to finding an attack place while the shield handles defense.

            Having a shield is a different fighting dynamic than just a sword. the discussion here is whether or not the Japanese had any access to things like bucklers, heaters, or the like. The answer in general seems to be "Yes, but..." or "No, unless..."
          • JL Badgley
            ... Do you mean the scabbard? They could block with the scabbard, but that s not its purpose. It is hardly a substitute for a shield, though they probably
            Message 5 of 9 , May 30, 2010
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              On Sun, May 30, 2010 at 12:12 PM, Jeanel Walker <brytephyre@...> wrote:
              > ok now i have a question...did they not use the shaft of there sword as a blocker??? something like a shield. i mean i know its movie blitz but they had to come up with the idea from somewhere.
              >
              Do you mean the scabbard?

              They could block with the scabbard, but that's not its purpose.

              It is hardly a substitute for a shield, though they probably trusted
              their armor in that regard (rather like Europeans did, when they moved
              away from maille armor).

              -Ii
            • Nathan k
              Real Sword steel from the proper parts of Japan is some of the strongest known to man. I have no doubt that the blade COULD have been used to block, but based
              Message 6 of 9 , May 31, 2010
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                Real Sword steel from the proper parts of Japan is some of the strongest known to man. I have no doubt that the blade COULD have been used to block, but based on what little I know of kendo and my actual combat experience, I doubt it was used in the outright blocking capacity of say, a shield. A blade could be used to redirect an opponents swing and leave him open to attack. Much in the same way you see during a kendo demonstration.

                Instead of holding the blade before me and letting my opponent make contact with the sides of the blade, I bring the blade above me (or to the side) and let my opponent's sword slide down its surface. At this point I'm coiled to strike and my opponent is committed to his swing. I'm most often offered strike zones on the forearms and wrists.

                Block/deflect with the back-swing and strike.

                Like I said, my experience is extremely limited. Most of what I know is taught to me by my unit members, but if it works now, I see no reason it didn't work 200 years ago.

                PLEASE feel free to correct me here. I offer this with as much humility as I can muster, you guys know a lot more than I do.

                Pendrin

                --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, JL Badgley <tatsushu@...> wrote:
                >
                > On Sun, May 30, 2010 at 12:12 PM, Jeanel Walker <brytephyre@...> wrote:
                > > ok now i have a question...did they not use the shaft of there sword as a blocker??? something like a shield. i mean i know its movie blitz but they had to come up with the idea from somewhere.
                > >
                > Do you mean the scabbard?
                >
                > They could block with the scabbard, but that's not its purpose.
                >
                > It is hardly a substitute for a shield, though they probably trusted
                > their armor in that regard (rather like Europeans did, when they moved
                > away from maille armor).
                >
                > -Ii
                >
              • JL Badgley
                ... First off, welcome! Second, I have to disagree with you about the Real Sword steel comment. Japan has some of the crappiest deposits of iron sand, and
                Message 7 of 9 , May 31, 2010
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                  On Mon, May 31, 2010 at 2:18 PM, Nathan k <pendrin2020@...> wrote:
                  > Real Sword steel from the proper parts of Japan is some of the strongest known to man.  I have no doubt that the blade COULD have been used to block, but based on what little I know of kendo and my actual combat experience, I doubt it was used in the outright blocking capacity of say, a shield.  A blade could be used to redirect an opponents swing and leave him open to attack.  Much in the same way you see during a kendo demonstration.
                  >

                  First off, welcome!

                  Second, I have to disagree with you about the "Real Sword steel"
                  comment. Japan has some of the crappiest deposits of iron sand, and
                  the steel that it makes is not, generally, very good. They can either
                  get hard and brittle or soft and malleable. What makes the Japanese
                  sword so technically inspiring is its ability to blend two or more
                  substandard steels together to make a sword that will take a sharp
                  edge while keeping a flexible spine, so that breaks are less likely to
                  destroy the sword. The *strongest* steel is also something that is
                  questionable, because how are you measuring it?

                  Indian "wootz" steel is generally agreed to be one of (if not the)
                  best steels created in our period of study, and it likely inspired the
                  great trade for "Damascus" blades, even though that usually used a
                  process of folding steel more similar to the Japanese.

                  Also, just because it is strong doesn't mean that you should whack
                  things together edge-to-edge--two swords with similar hardness of
                  steel will both chip each other if used that way. On the other hand,
                  if a harder steel hits a softer steel then it is more likely that the
                  harder steel will maintain its shape while the softer steel deforms
                  (though it still isn't a good idea).

                  The techniques you mention are useful, however. A slap to the side of
                  the sword as you rise upwards will definitely work on round objects (I
                  have not played with this technique much outside of wood, rattan, or
                  bamboo simulators). Edge v. flat parry is a debate for a wholly
                  different thread...

                  -Ii
                • James Eckman
                  Posted by: Nathan k ... Until the development of modern metallurgy. Japanese sword smith families now make very high end tool porn err... woodworking tools
                  Message 8 of 9 , May 31, 2010
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                    Posted by: "Nathan k"
                    > Real Sword steel from the proper parts of Japan is some of the strongest known to man.
                    Until the development of modern metallurgy. Japanese sword smith
                    families now make very high end tool porn err... woodworking tools and
                    buy steel from steel companies. They also still make swords from time to
                    time and on at least one NHK special I could see the stock bin.

                    The actual production is still laborious, it would keep you warm during
                    a Hokkaido winter!


                    > Posted by: "JL Badgley"
                    > First off, welcome!
                    >
                    > Second, I have to disagree with you about the "Real Sword steel"
                    > comment. Japan has some of the crappiest deposits of iron sand, and
                    > the steel that it makes is not, generally, very good. They can either
                    > get hard and brittle or soft and malleable. What makes the Japanese
                    > sword so technically inspiring is its ability to blend two or more
                    > substandard steels together to make a sword that will take a sharp
                    > edge while keeping a flexible spine, so that breaks are less likely to
                    > destroy the sword. The *strongest* steel is also something that is
                    > questionable, because how are you measuring it?
                    >
                    The tradeoff in steel for weapons is hardness versus toughness. You
                    could temper steel to glass hardness (RC80?) and wind up with something
                    that would crack if you look sideways at it. Untempered steel will
                    certainly never shatter, but would make an OK club at best. As Ii-dono
                    points out, it's the actual construction that makes a katana work well,
                    not the materials used. I would also not care to take on somebody in
                    plate with a katana, it's not well suited for beating attacks.

                    Jim Hrisoulas's The Complete Bladesmith covers modern steels suitable
                    for blade making along with various construction methods. The Japan
                    Woodworker's catalog describes materials for some of the tools. Well
                    worth looking at for anyone interested in woodworking on this list. Many
                    of the higher end tools have steel forge welded onto a wrought iron
                    body, a practice that to me seems silly since steel is no longer the
                    magical substance that took huge amounts of effort to create.

                    Jim
                  • Waffle
                    The main idea when parrying with a katana is not to use a dead stop block. Nathan k is essentually correct as to the defensive use of a katana, and for that
                    Message 9 of 9 , May 31, 2010
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                      The main idea when parrying with a katana is not to use a dead stop block. Nathan k is essentually correct as to the defensive use of a katana, and for that matter almost any other Japanese bladed weapon. There are essentially two basic defensive techniques used in kenjutsu. The first is to move out of the way of the attack and then simultaneously counter-attacking. The second is to use the side, or, even better, the back of the blade to defect the attack in a manner similar to a slap parry in fencing. Then use the momentum of the parry to set up the back swing for an immediate counter-attack.

                      As for the use of the saya (scabbard) as a blocking or parrying tool, and I am speculating here, I am sure it may have been done, but with the quality of katanas that we know of, as a parryng tool, maybe, but a dead stop block with the saya probably means two smaller sayas, or at least a severly damaged one. So, I am just not sure of how effective it would be, unless you are just well pacticed in using one that way.

                      Waffle

                      --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, "Nathan k" <pendrin2020@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Real Sword steel from the proper parts of Japan is some of the strongest known to man. I have no doubt that the blade COULD have been used to block, but based on what little I know of kendo and my actual combat experience, I doubt it was used in the outright blocking capacity of say, a shield. A blade could be used to redirect an opponents swing and leave him open to attack. Much in the same way you see during a kendo demonstration.
                      >
                      > Instead of holding the blade before me and letting my opponent make contact with the sides of the blade, I bring the blade above me (or to the side) and let my opponent's sword slide down its surface. At this point I'm coiled to strike and my opponent is committed to his swing. I'm most often offered strike zones on the forearms and wrists.
                      >
                      > Block/deflect with the back-swing and strike.
                      >
                      > Like I said, my experience is extremely limited. Most of what I know is taught to me by my unit members, but if it works now, I see no reason it didn't work 200 years ago.
                      >
                      > PLEASE feel free to correct me here. I offer this with as much humility as I can muster, you guys know a lot more than I do.
                      >
                      > Pendrin
                      >
                      > --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, JL Badgley <tatsushu@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > On Sun, May 30, 2010 at 12:12 PM, Jeanel Walker <brytephyre@> wrote:
                      > > > ok now i have a question...did they not use the shaft of there sword as a blocker??? something like a shield. i mean i know its movie blitz but they had to come up with the idea from somewhere.
                      > > >
                      > > Do you mean the scabbard?
                      > >
                      > > They could block with the scabbard, but that's not its purpose.
                      > >
                      > > It is hardly a substitute for a shield, though they probably trusted
                      > > their armor in that regard (rather like Europeans did, when they moved
                      > > away from maille armor).
                      > >
                      > > -Ii
                      > >
                      >
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