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Noel Perrin's Book "giving Up The Gun"


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#1 estcrh

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Posted 27 March 2016 - 09:29 PM

In another thread  "Giving up the gun" by Noel Perrin was mentioned. The quotes posted below made me think that a seperate thread on this book may be helpful. I have read this book several times, and quoted from it as well. For me this is a very important and well written book, taking into account that the author was not a student of Japanese history and that this book was published in 1979, well before the internet made researching so much easier for authors to track down references which are used to back up what they write.

 

Before this book was written (especially when I was young) I can not remember any mention of samurai using guns, in writtings that I can remember reading and in illustrations I saw, samurai were depicted as wearing armor and fighting with swords and bows. Perrin's book brought a different perspective to the average person who had little access to historical documents and books. He included in his book illustrations of samurai and ashigaru actually using guns from period scrolls and books, something not seen before in any book that I am aware of from this time period. Since this book has been published I know of only a couple of other books on the subject of the introduction and use of matchlocks in Japan. Until the time that someone puts together all of the currently known information and writes a new book, this book is still one of the best references the average person can read.

 

In relation to the quotes below, I do not believe that Perrin ever stated that the Japanese totally abandoned the use of guns, or that as a whole they detested guns. He does state that some individual samurai were not thrilled with using guns for warfare. He mentions that samurai liked to use guns for hunting. He mentions that the Edo period government made extensive efforts to remove guns for the hands of non-samurai and to control their production. I think all of these things are verifiable.

 

Some people feel that Perrin was using his book as a way to suggest that in modern times we could follow the example of the samurai and stop using guns as well, you will have to read the book and decide for yourself if this is the case, but even if you find this to be true it does not change the value of this book when it comes to the primary subject. Anti-gun advocates have ocassionally used this book as an example of how we could change our views on guns / weapons, the military etc, and pro-gun advocates have tried to disparage Perrin's book completely in order to counter what they see as a book that advocates removing guns and disarming our society.

 

The fact is that the samurai did go from a society that heavily relied on guns in warfare to a society were guns were not commonly used for aggressive purposes and then back to a society were guns were once again heavily used in warfare. The reasons for this can be argued and disputed but written and pictoral evidence seems to show this to be true. The fact that the majority of samurai never switched over from the matchlock to other more modern forms of firearms when other cultures did is also a fact. Other forms of firearms were known and introduced and used but the primary firearm remained the matchlock up until the point were they had no choice and were virtually forced to change over to new modern firearms.

 

 

 

Peter Bleed, on 25 Mar 2016 - 1:59 PM, said:

 In 1979 and thoughtful guy who knew very little about Japan - Noel Perrin - wrote book called "Giving up the Gun..." He said that the Japanese had copied European firearms in the 16th century - very well - but then proceeded to "give them up". For that reason the Japanese had to once again copy European firearms designs after they were forced into the modern world - yahhh dahhhh yahhh dahhh - in the 1850s. This story became very popular suggesting to some folks that 1) the Japanese are copiers or 2) peaceful, or 3) that disarmament can happen or 4) that it can't. It has also been the subject of lots of discussion as to whether or not it is true that the Japanese ever really and truly "gave up the gun.

Sources like the one we are discussing here clearly show that the Japanese did not simply or completely 'give up the gun'. Peter

 

 

Viper6924, on 26 Mar 2016 - 12:18 PM, said:

I think the biggest error with Noel's book is his notion that the samurai "gave up" the gun because of some sort of ethic reasons and that they also detested the very sight of a matchlock.

 

The samurai was warrior. If they would have gotten hold of a Tomahawk missile during the early 17th century they would have blown away half the main island without thinking twice about. If it killed the enemy = very good.
And had Noel taking his time to study local matchlock history, he would have found that some samurai during the relative peaceful 18-19th century honored the history of the local style of matchlock and actually spent money ordering new guns instead of spending them on the real symbol of the warrior class, the sword. Jan

 



#2 manfrommagnum

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 02:11 AM

The failure of this premise is to believe that the samurai did not want technological firepower. The reality is that the west always sold old technology to Japan and the Japanese were not geared toward western innovation as a cultural result of craftsmanship and artistic focus. So the samurai class was behind the times, but fully embraced firepower. The reason for not using firearms for personal use was because the rulers took away any ability of lower ranks to usurp authority. Horses and guns were too much of a threat to dictatorship for everyone to have them cart blanch.

MIKE
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#3 Peter Bleed

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 04:01 AM

Eric’s message doesn’t really ask a question or offer a criticism that needs to be addressed. Still, in citing my comments as a contrast to his own positive assessment of Noel Perrin’s volume, it seems that Eric is wants to discuss firearms technology in Japan. I feel no need to argue about this.

My comments about Perrin’s book were not intended to be harsh. “Giving Up the Gun…” was popular because it offered a very simple – and simplistic – treatment of a topic that people found interesting. A major reason this thin book was popular was because – as Eric points out – it dealt with a topic that had been overlooked. Old school Japan-hands ignored technology and material culture.  

Chado? “Yes, really important. It explained all you need to know about Japan”  

Budo? “Well, not so much. Ruffians did that stuff, not aesthetes”

Haiku and Noh? “Oh, For sure! Really important”

Tatara? “What’s that?”

Perrine told us a story that was simple and interesting. It also matched the interests of sword collectors.

                Swords? “Ahh, yes, they’re the soul of the Samurai”

Tanegashima? “We see those from time to time, but nothin’s been published on them.”

I went back this afternoon and re-read Sir Sansom’s history and it was embarrassingly how little he knew about events like Nagashino. “The muskets were still rudimentary weapons, muzzle-loaded and fired by tinder,” (sanson 1961:287) OMG! This is the level of scholarship that get’s a guy knighted? OMG!

I think we know more now because sword students and others have pointed out that solution to real world material problems really matter. Perrine got us thinking about guns, and with thought we have come to know more. Guns were a solution to real world problems. And after 1603/16, those problems changed dramatically in Japan. That is why guns went out of vogue. The Japanese hadn’t forgotten them, they simply didn’t NEED guns as they had.

If anyone wants to think about “giving up the gun” in a new way, I suggest these podcasts.

http://www.sengokufi...ths-part-i.html

http://samuraipodcas...ving-up-the-gun

Peter


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#4 estcrh

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 04:26 AM

The failure of this premise is to believe that the samurai did not want technological firepower. The reality is that the west always sold old technology to Japan and the Japanese were not geared toward western innovation as a cultural result of craftsmanship and artistic focus. So the samurai class was behind the times, but fully embraced firepower. The reason for not using firearms for personal use was because the rulers took away any ability of lower ranks to usurp authority. Horses and guns were too much of a threat to dictatorship for everyone to have them cart blanch.

MIKE

Mike, when the Japanese first saw matchlocks they had no problem recognizing their potential and they set about purchasing and then copying them, but according to Perrin, as early as 1636 the Dutch presented the Shogun with a dozen flintlock pistols and in 1643, samurai aboard a Dutch ship were shown a half dozen flintlock muskets which they were allowed to use and yet neither of these encounters (if historically accurate) led to the Japanese developing flintlocks, so how do you explain this. 

 

The Ottoman empire was well known for using massive amounts of matchlocks and they used matchlocks for quite a long period of time, eventually they switched to the more advanced flintlock and then to other more modern firearms, the Japanese had the exact same opportunity but did not embrace it.



#5 estcrh

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 04:30 AM

Eric’s message doesn’t really ask a question or offer a criticism that needs to be addressed. Still, in citing my comments as a contrast to his own positive assessment of Noel Perrin’s volume, it seems that Eric is wants to discuss firearms technology in Japan. I feel no need to argue about this.

Peter, I am discussing Perrins book, you brought up the subject first, how about quoting some passages or at least some statements from Perrins book that you disagree with or that you feel are not accurate / correct etc.



#6 estcrh

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 04:50 AM

Anyone who does not have a copy can read a large portion on it here.

 

https://books.google...the gun&f=false

 

51TA9M93V5L._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg



#7 Randy McCall

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 04:02 PM

Members might be interested in the viewpoint researched and put forward in a Master's thesis by  Daniele Lauro, titled: "Displaying Authority:  Guns, Political Legitimacy and Martial Pageantry in Tokugawa Japan, 1600-1868" (82 pages, .pdf file)

In this she proposes that the establishment of the Shogunate, the restrictions on weapons and daimyo to prevent revolt, and the closure of the county, removed the need for large-scale firearm development and manufacture for military purposes.  She shows that many high ranking members of clans and bakufu had access to firearms all through this 250 year era of peace, but without an internal or external threat their use changed from military to ceremonial, used in display to maintain the authority of the bakufu.  It was only with outside threats, from about 1850 on, that development and manufacture of firearms for defense of the country intensified.

Attached File  Displaying Authority_s.pdf   3.08MB   161 downloads

 

Note: As a registered academic thesis, this paper is publicly available and not covered by copyright.

 


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#8 Brian

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 05:13 PM

Nice one, thanks Randy!

 

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#9 BIG

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 05:20 PM

Randy thanks for that essay!

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#10 Viper6924

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 06:22 PM

Thanks a lot, Randy!
That was a very well writing text, indeed.

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#11 Randy McCall

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 06:35 PM

"Research:  It's what I do" 

 

I should really make that my tag line :)


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#12 estcrh

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 09:17 AM

Members might be interested in the viewpoint researched and put forward in a Master's thesis by  Daniele Lauro, titled: "Displaying Authority:  Guns, Political Legitimacy and Martial Pageantry in Tokugawa Japan, 1600-1868" (82 pages, .pdf file)

In this she proposes that the establishment of the Shogunate, the restrictions on weapons and daimyo to prevent revolt, and the closure of the county, removed the need for large-scale firearm development and manufacture for military purposes.  She shows that many high ranking members of clans and bakufu had access to firearms all through this 250 year era of peace, but without an internal or external threat their use changed from military to ceremonial, used in display to maintain the authority of the bakufu.  It was only with outside threats, from about 1850 on, that development and manufacture of firearms for defense of the country intensified.

attachicon.gifDisplaying Authority_s.pdf

 

Note: As a registered academic thesis, this paper is publicly available and not covered by copyright.

 

 

 

 

 

ABSTRACT

DANIELE LAURO: Displaying authority: guns, political legitimacy, and martial pageantry in Tokugawa Japan, 1600-1868.

(Under the direction of Morgan Pitelka)
 
From the end of the sixteenth century on, firearms in Japan are increasingly found in contexts other than the battlefield.  A perusal of the Records of the Tokugawa Family (Tokugawa Jikki) - the military clan that ruled Japan from 1603 to 1868 - reveals, for instance, that guns were often involved in ritual practices performed by the warrior elite, such as weddings, funerals, hunting parades, and celebrations of the New Year. Moreover, it was common for both the shogun and the domainal lords (daimyô) to display firearms and other weapons during public audiences and military parades. By considering different ritual practices that involved the display of military power such as daimyo processions to Edo, shogunal pilgrimages to Nikko, military reviews, large-scale hunts and other pageants, this paper argues that during the Tokugawa period guns were often used by the warrior elite as tools to shore up authority, legitimize the political order, and reinforce
ideals of warrior identity.

This paper while interesting and worth reading does not actually answer any questions unless I am missing something, the author takes known facts and proposes a theory, much in the same way that Perrin does in his book. The reader has to decide whether to believe it or not.

 

One interesting statement that the author makes is that large caliber guns were not meant fur actual use, something I have not heard before, I am not sure how accurate this is.

 

 

 

Of eight warriors listed, three distinguished themselves for their ability with guns. Specifically, Chôkuryôzaemon, a warrior serving the Maeda family was renowned for his skill in using “hundred monme guns”; Arano Musashi no kami distinguished himself for being able to shoot “fifteen kanme (= fifty-six kilograms) guns” whose length was “seven shaku and two sun (= 227 cm)”; Taneshima Naizen, another Shimazu retainer, was known for his skills with “shooting hundred monme (= 37,5 kg) guns of the Minamihashi school with one hand.” The calibers of the guns listed in the record are strikingly large. Monme is the Japanese measure used to indicate both the diameter of the caliber and the size of the balls. The size of the balls used for actual fight normally ranged from one monme to one kanme, and a two or three monme bullet was sufficient to kill a man; as a consequence the ability of these warriors was clearly impressive.36 Guns of the size described by the Taihei yûshi roku were too heavy and difficult to maneuver to be used on the battlefield; instead they were used for military reviews (jôran) or demonstrations by shooting schools.

 

 

 

Similar to the bukan discussed in section one, firearms used at Fukiage garden are striking for their unusual calibers - between 30 and 100 monme – a size unsuited for actual fight.


#13 Randy McCall

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 12:11 PM

This paper while interesting and worth reading does not actually answer any questions unless I am missing something, the author takes known facts and proposes a theory, much in the same way that Perrin does in his book. The reader has to decide whether to believe it or not.

 

A small difference, perhaps, is that she successfully defended her research and conclusions before the University of North Carolina Oriental History Department's Masters Degree Committee to achieve her MA, a rigorous academic process at a well respected institute of higher learning.  Of course an individual reader is always free to decide whether or not to accept any particluar thesis. 


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#14 estcrh

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 03:28 PM

A small difference, perhaps, is that she successfully defended her research and conclusions before the University of North Carolina Oriental History Department's Masters Degree Committee to achieve her MA, a rigorous academic process at a well respected institute of higher learning.  Of course an individual reader is always free to decide whether or not to accept any particluar thesis. 

Let me know when she writes a book and presents it to the world. Writing a thesis and presenting it to a group of academics is not easy for sure but writing a book that will be in the public view forever is a much larger step.



#15 Justin Grant

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 08:58 PM

I don't even know how to answer that ridiculous comment, except to say, defending your ideas and text in front of a host of Professors and PhD's that have spent their lives researching and teaching Asian history is a smaller step than writing a book that is not vetted or and does not need to be supported by any facts other that what one chooses to see and is allowed to ignore any other facts they chose is harder?

 

Alright then......

 

Some authors are credible, others are free to speculate and drop facts not supported, that does not make a public book a larger step. I have 3 published, does that make me more creditable than an academic who's sole focus is on research?


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#16 Brian

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 09:03 PM

C'mon guys...it's all mainly opinion formed from research. We're all allowed our opinions, and all interested in the same things here. Let's debate with respect and civility.
We can differ and yet still remain cordial I hope.


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#17 Randy McCall

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 10:29 PM

Having worked in the academic and research fields, I think I can say unequivocally that a down-and-dirty MMA cage match has nothing on a group of academics arguing whose theories are right.  Or, usually, "most-right".  :)


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#18 estcrh

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 11:56 PM

This thread is about Noel Perrin's book and two forum members negative view of it, as of yet not one person has posted an accurate passage / quote / sentence from the book that they view as being historically incorrect, misleading, wrong etc. Still waiting............. if instead you want to discuss Daniele Lauro's paper I would be glad to do this, simply start a new thread on the subject.



#19 estcrh

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 12:01 AM

I don't even know how to answer that ridiculous comment, except to say, defending your ideas and text in front of a host of Professors and PhD's that have spent their lives researching and teaching Asian history is a smaller step than writing a book that is not vetted or and does not need to be supported by any facts other that what one chooses to see and is allowed to ignore any other facts they chose is harder?

 

Alright then......

 

Some authors are credible, others are free to speculate and drop facts not supported, that does not make a public book a larger step. I have 3 published, does that make me more creditable than an academic who's sole focus is on research?

On one hand you have a paper that will only be seen by a small handful of academics, with no way to know what was actually said about it by those academics.....on the other hand you have a book that is widely available for the whole world to see and openly critique...humm.



#20 estcrh

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 12:07 AM

Having worked in the academic and research fields, I think I can say unequivocally that a down-and-dirty MMA cage match has nothing on a group of academics arguing whose theories are right.  Or, usually, "most-right".  :)

Randy, you may be right but most people have no way of viewing the arguments you mention, they go on behind closed doors.



#21 Peter Bleed

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 12:25 AM

Eric, I am sorry if I have offended you. Indeed, I have tried to make it clear that I respect Perrine for having opened consideration of guns in Japan and Japanese history. I am also sorry if my assessment of that book and its basic message offends with your assessment. It isn't a bad book IMHO, it just isn't right. I don't own a copy of the book at the moment so I can't give you chapter and verse. I did provide citations to pod casts and blogs that do offer specific and substantive criticisms of Perrine's book and argument. 

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#22 estcrh

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 03:24 AM

Eric, I am sorry if I have offended you. Indeed, I have tried to make it clear that I respect Perrine for having opened consideration of guns in Japan and Japanese history. I am also sorry if my assessment of that book and its basic message offends with your assessment. It isn't a bad book IMHO, it just isn't right. I don't own a copy of the book at the moment so I can't give you chapter and verse. I did provide citations to pod casts and blogs that do offer specific and substantive criticisms of Perrine's book and argument. 

Peter

Peter, I am not "offended" at all so stop worrying please, this is a discussion forum, I am simply attempting to have a discussion based on your and Jans negative feelings about this book which you both openly expressed here. You may be right or there may not be any right or wrong, it may be a subjective matter. I did post a link to some chapters in the book, maybe you can find some of the same citations you provided to pod casts and blogs there. I personally would like to understand what exactly "isnt right" about the book in your opinion, without being able to read the exact text that you feel is wrong it is not possible to do this. 



#23 Justin Grant

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 03:26 AM

On one hand you have a paper that will only be seen by a small handful of academics, with no way to know what was actually said about it by those academics.....on the other hand you have a book that is widely available for the whole world to see and openly critique...humm.



Eric, try JSTOR, the place that peer reviewed articles are stored, there are dozens of other places they are stored. Anthony Bryant has several out there where researchers of serious works do their research.

The faults of the book you talk about have been debated here and other places. Noel makes the claim they have up the gun, they did not, and we have records that guns continued to be made in quantity post the period he talks about. In fact, the book of recorded Smith's is mostly of Smith's post this giving up period. He was a passivist who has/had a social statement he was trying to make. It's a good book, but I don't think it's the authority on the subject. But an introduction that once read, should propel people to find more information.
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#24 estcrh

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 03:56 AM

Randy, you may be right but most people have no way of viewing the arguments you mention, they go on behind closed doors.  

 

 

 

 

 

The faults of the book you talk about have been debated here and other places. Noel makes the claim they have up the gun..................... He was a passivist who has/had a social statement he was trying to make. It's a good book, but I don't think it's the authority on the subject. But an introduction that once read, should propel people to find more information.

 

Justin, can you post the paragraph, sentence, quote etc were he specifically said this? (Noel makes the claim they have up the gun) 

 

Perrin did get a Masters degree in English from Duke University in 1950 and went on to finish his studies at Cambridge with a masters of English literature in 1958, and he was a full professor at Dartmouth (does this make him an "academic?), I would assume he knew how to properly research and cite a book as he was an author of several books and many essays over the years. Were did you find the information about Perrin being a passivist, I was aware that he was interested in environmental studies but never read that he was passivist, are you sure that this was not a label that was applied to him by people who were critical of his work?

 

As for being an "authority" on this subject of Japanese guns in Japan from 1543 to the end of the Edo period who exactly is the "authority" that should have written this book instead of Perrin? As far as I know there were and still are no authorities on this particular subject, the earliest researched work in English on this subject that I know of is  "The Impact of Firearms On Japanese Warfare, 1543-98 by Delmer M. Brown, 1948, other than this I am not aware of any other major writtings until Perrins book, maybe someone here knows of one.



#25 Justin Grant

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 02:15 PM

I have no intentions of arguing with you Eric, you seem very upset,   I am too, like the others above, am sorry to have offended you and will leave you to this thread.


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#26 estcrh

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Posted 16 July 2016 - 07:15 AM

Continuing with this book review I ask that comments be limited to the text contained in the book, if you find it to be not factual and or historically accurate etc then by all means post a quote for discussion, if you do not have any text from the book that you disagree with please refrain from making comments based on your personal beliefs.

There are only 4 books in English that I know of that have any real information on Japanese matchlocks.

"Giving Up the Gun: Japan's Reversion to the Sword, 1543-1879", Noel Perrin, 1979
https://books.google...id=4Ete0zPAnjwC
 
"Tanegashima-The Arrival of Europe in Japan", Olof G. Lidin, 2002
https://books.google...id=6WQnNqhDNhAC
 
"The Japanese Matchlock:A Story of ther Tanegashima" by Shigeo Sugawa, 1990
http://www.japanesew...hon/english.htm
 
"Espingarda feiticeira: A introdução da arma de fogo pelos portugueses no Extremo-Oriente / The bewitched gun : the introduction of the firearm in the far East by the Portuguese" (Portuguese and English in one book), Rainer Daehnhardt, 1994
https://www.amazon.c...n/dp/9724703738
 
Of these four books I would recomment reading Noel Perrins book first. It is the most interesting and readable with a lot of period illustrations. Next I would recommend reading Olof Liddens much longer book, both of these books discuss roughly the same time frame and information which is the initial introduction of the matchlock to Japan. These two books can usually be purchased online quite reasonably.

Shigeo Sugawas book deals mostly with the actual matchlocks and accessories, there are a lot of very good photos, this book is a little bit more expensive usually around $100. Shigeo also has a web site in both English and Japanese which is highly recommended, there is information on all types of Japanese firearms and other weapons besides matchlocks, it is well worth taking some time to look through. Here is a link to a discussion on his book and links to his web site.

http://www.militaria...neseweaponsnet/
http://www.japanesew...rui/english.htm
http://www.xn--u9j37...a539qcybpym.jp/

Rainer Daehnhardts book should be reserved for last, it is not primarily about Japanese matchlocks, it is about the Portuguese matchlock, since the Japanese matchlock originated in Portuguese India there is some good information in this book especially about Goa India and how the Portuguese gained control of the city and eventually produced the type of matchlock first used by the Japanese, this book is also quite expensive, usually around $200 or more.
 
 
Several references to Perrin not being a Japanese history scholar etc have been made here and elsewere, Anthony Bryant even made this comment about Perrin.......  
 

Among real historians of Japan, Perrin is considered a laughing stock -- if he's considered at all.

 
.....but this is actually quite inaccurate, you have to look at Perrins sources, references and his basis for even writing this book. I mentioned "The Impact of Firearms on Japanese Warfare 1543-98" by Delmer M. Brown. This short but very well researched essay was published in 1948.
 
Now here is were Perrins book gets interesting, Delmar Brown was certainly a scholar...
 

Dr. Brown 1909-2011 (author and teacher), was a lecturer in English at the Fourth Higher School in Kanazawa, Japan, from 1932-38. He received a Ph. D. in Japanese history from Stanford in 1946. From 1946 to 1977, Dr. Brown was a professor of Japanese history at UC Berkeley, becoming professor emeritus in 1977. He was chairman of the history department from 1957 to 1961 and 1971-1975. He edited and contributed to "The Cambridge History of Japan".

 
When you look at Perrins reference list you find Browns essay listed. Since this essay is as far as I know the first substantial written information in English on the subject of Japanese matchlocks I have come to believe that Perrin at some point in time read this essay and formulated his idea of writing a book on Japanese matchlocks at least partially based on Browns essay.
 
Almost 30 years passed from the time of Browns essay to the publishing of Perrins book. If you look at when Browns essay was published you see that is was just a few years after WWII, not a very popular theme at that time, I think anything which seemed to shine a positive light on Japanese military history, even if it was history from several hundred years in the past would not have been extremely popular with the war being over for only 3 years. As a result it did not seem to have reached very far into the view of the general public.
 
If Perrin did not use Browns essay as a starting point for his book it was certainly a very valuable resource since it contained numerous references to Japanese texts. I suggest that anyone interested in this subject read Browns essay, I have hosted it on my Pinterest site and it can also be downloaded from JSTOR.
 
https://www.pinteres...arfare-1543-98/
https://www.jstor.or...an_tab_contents
 
When it comes to the sources he used Perrin acknowledges that he did not read Japanese, he used Japanese translators to help him decipher the ancient Japanese texts that he used as references, he also lists scholars that helped him along the way. He had a one year Guggenheim fellowship which allowed him the freedom to put everything together. 
 
This was not a book written by an amature out for a quick buck, it was a well researched project, he states that he had between seven hunderd to eight hundred source materials, of which about one hunderd and twenty are listed in the bibliography.
 
He used many period illustrations as well, including selections from a 1595 gun manual of the Inatomi school, in the Spencer collection, New York Public Library, something that as far as I know had not been done before.
 
Perrin did not need to be a Japanese historian, he had the services on many to help him and hundreds of references written by Japanese historians. He picked the sources he felt were important and put them together into a very readable and easy to understand book.

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#27 IanB

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Posted 16 July 2016 - 12:52 PM

The idea that the Europeans only allowed the Japanese old technology is not true. A study of the diaries of John Saris (published in 1900, as The Voyage of Captain John Saris to Japan, 1613, edited by Ernest M. Satow) describes how he gave Matsura Hoin in 1612 'a damaskt peece, double locked' which would probably have been a snaphaunce at that date, giving similar gifts to Tokugawa Ieyasu when he visited him in Sumpu. Richard Cocks, who remained in Japan running the factory there, writes in his diary (Diary of Richard Cocks, with preface by N. Murakami 1899, reprinted from the Hakluyt Society ed. 1883) that in 1615 ‘ And sent a present to Gonrok Dono … 2 damaskt fowling pec, cost 10 ta. \this present is sent hym as cheefe bongew of all goods brought into Firando, Langasaque, or any of these partes of Japon.’ and elsewhere ‘Figean Samma sent for 8 damaskt snaphanne fowling peeces to send for Safian Donno for the Emperor – 20 taies each’. Elsewhere in his diary he lists a further 23 guns that were sold by the English. What is remarkable is that so far, not a vestige of these guns, obviously regarded as sufficiently prestigeous to give to the shogun, appear to have survived. 

Ian Bottomley


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#28 Malcolm

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Posted 16 July 2016 - 04:17 PM

Good afternoon Ian.,

 

Fascinating stuff to be sure, is there any truth in the story of the various "Kapitan" at Dejima bringing in specific new technologies by "tacit order" of the Shogunate?

 

Cheers


Malcolm


#29 IanB

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Posted 16 July 2016 - 06:48 PM

Malcolm,  Not sure. By the time the Dutch had been moved to Dejima the whole attitude had changed. Every Dutch ship had to anchor off-shore and be searched for weapons and religious material before being allowed to dock. Anything found was confiscated but returned to them when the ship sailed. However, other material, such as scientific instruments and the like were imported and sold in karamonoya or curio shops. By far the best book on all of this is 'Bridging the Divide' Editor Leonard Blusse, Willem Remmlink and Ivo Smits, Hotei Publishing ISBN 90-74822-24-X. And of course when the panic over the coming of the Americans started, the Japanese imported mortars and other cannon from the Dutch.

Ian Bottomley


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#30 estcrh

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Posted 16 July 2016 - 07:17 PM

The idea that the Europeans only allowed the Japanese old technology is not true.

Perrins book certainly does not push this particular idea as far as I know, in fact he lists at least two instances were the Japanese were introduced to more advanced firearms (flintlocks). He mentions a 1636 Dutch trading mission in which the shogun was presented with "a dozen smart new flintlock pistols" and then in 1643 when a group of samurai onboard a Dutch ship were allowed to fire the ships flintlock muskets. He mentions that the Dutch were puzzled by the Japanese "indifference to new weapons".






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