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Noel Perrin's Book "giving Up The Gun"


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#31 BIG

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 12:30 PM

Hi,
Perrins thesis that the Japanese had social problems using ( owning ) tanegashima is not true. Many high ranked samurai had
teppos and used tem, so the gun had no bad social prestige.
PS like the perrin book

Best Regards

Pps it is said in an edo contest a bowman fired 13053 arrows in 24 hours; the gunmans coups were plenty...
Peter Reusch

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#32 estcrh

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 12:37 PM

Hi,
Perrins thesis that the Japanese had social problems using ( owning ) tanegashima is not true. Many high ranked samurai had
teppos and used tem, so the gun had no bad social prestige.
PS like the perrin book

Best Regards

Pps it is said in an edo contest a bowman fired 13053 arrows in 24 hours; the gunmans coups were plenty...

Do you have a quote from the book which backs up your statement or is this your personal opinion?? What proof do you have that this is Perrins "thesis", personal insight or fact??? So far not one person has posted any text from the book which backs up anything they say...humm.



#33 BIG

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 01:12 PM

Hi Eric, I have the german version from Klett-Cotta..
page 36 ... Hatten die Japaner mit den Feuerwaffen auch soziale Probleme. ...

Also int. Die Produktion von Waffen in Japan, LIT Verlag, Harald Poecher

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#34 BIG

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 01:32 PM

And an int Paul Varley pdf..with thoughts that without the guns there was no united Japan..

http://publications....pdf/article.pdf

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Peter Reusch

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#35 estcrh

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 02:20 PM

Hi Eric, I have the german version from Klett-Cotta..
page 36 ... Hatten die Japaner mit den Feuerwaffen auch soziale Probleme. ...

Also int. Die Produktion von Waffen in Japan, LIT Verlag, Harald Poecher

Best Regards

Sorry, I do not speak German, care to translate? I am not sure if page 36 in the German version is the same as the English version, what chapter is that from?



#36 estcrh

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 02:23 PM

And an int Paul Varley pdf..with thoughts that without the guns there was no united Japan..

http://publications....pdf/article.pdf

Best Regards

I tried to be perfectly clear here

 

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.

I am not interested in discussing what some other person may have said, I am interested in discussing direct quotes (in English) from Perrins book that you disagree with, as in not being accurate, historically correct etc.

 

I am trying to understand the basis for some of the negative comments about this book and at the same time I am trying to show that this book was written by a very competant author using a wide variety of historical texts, and verifible references. In order to do this people need to post direct quotes from  the book that they disagree with...so far not one person has come up with a single sentence to discuss.



#37 BIG

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 02:26 PM

Sorry, the translation...the Japanese had social problems with firearms...

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#38 estcrh

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 02:43 PM

Sorry, the translation...the Japanese had social problems with firearms...

Best Regards

Perrins book has several period illustrations which show SAMURAI using matchlocks...he shows mounted samurai using matchlock pistols and a group of samurai using matchock muskets, he pointed out that this group had two swords and called them "gentlemen musketeers". There are references about samurai asking for more matchlocks while fighting in Korea. He also points out the importance of swords to the samurai. He discusses both points since these were topics that were of importance in that time period.



#39 BIG

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 03:01 PM

Eric, it's chapter II, right after quote number 38 about the french musketeers...

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Peter Reusch

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#40 BIG

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 03:20 PM

and Chapter III third sentence...

...very effictive weapons more and more overshoed the men who used them...

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Peter Reusch

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#41 estcrh

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 03:40 PM

Eric, it's chapter II, right after quote number 38 about the french musketeers...

Best Regards

Ok, found it, thanks, I will try to post the exact quote.



#42 estcrh

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 03:50 PM

and Chapter III third sentence...

...very effictive weapons more and more overshoed the men who used them...

Best Regards

Found that as well, I will post the exacte quotes.



#43 estcrh

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 04:08 PM

and Chapter III third sentence...

...very effictive weapons more and more overshoed the men who used them...

Best Regards

During the half century after Lord Oda's victory, firearms were at their height in Japan. Not to know how to use them was not to be a soldier. But, at the same time, the first resistance to firearms was developing. It arose from the discovery that efficient weapons tend to overshadow the men that use them.

 

 Perrin was relating the samurai delemma of the day. When  you have a weapon that just about anyone could be trained to use in a very short period of time, how do you justify your existance as a samurai? If the samurai were needed to defend the homeland but any bunch of men with guns could wipe of a much larger number of highly trained professional samurai fighters what then? Japan could have conscriped an army of commen men and armed them with guns, just as the Europeans did...no more samurai needed then. This was a real problem that was debated during that time period.



#44 estcrh

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 11:06 AM

Sorry, the translation...the Japanese had social problems with firearms...

Best Regards

Perrin does say that "besides these technical difficulties the Japanese also had a social problem with guns"....he goes on to explain that before the introduction of the matchlock, the Japanese had a custom of exchanging "ritual compliments" right before beginning a battle. He refers to a battle in 1548 in which a samurai force armed with matchlocks was defeated by a force that did not have matchlocks due to the fact that after exchanging these "ritual compliments" the matchlocks had not been prepared to fire and they were defeated by the force without matchlocks, he sites a source for this (#40).

 

Perrin goes on to discuss the solution for certain technical problems as well as relating a later battle in 1575 were a force men armed witjh matchlocks not only started using their matchlocks in battle with out the previously customary ritual compliments, they also hid themselves behind breastworks. Referring to Lord Oda's forces, Perrin said this "He never even considered letting them introduce themselves-or even be honorably visible" and that this new tactic which included having three thousand matchlocks being fired in volleys of a thousand at a time led to Lord Oda being sucess.

 

I see not problem with any of these statements or facts unless that are historically inaccurate, do you have any evidence of this?



#45 Brian

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 12:42 PM

Are we not taking this too seriously? It is what it is...a book. A good read, but not going to change the way we collect or how we see matchlocks. Most of these points are niggly little things that are distracting.


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#46 estcrh

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 01:09 PM

Are we not taking this too seriously? It is what it is...a book. A good read, but not going to change the way we collect or how we see matchlocks. Most of these points are niggly little things that are distracting.

Brian, I agree with you but when you have someone like Anthony Bryant and other authorities that people look up to saying things like.........."Among real historians of Japan, Perrin is considered a laughing stock---- if he's considered at all"...........you are bound to have people that end up thinking this book was not seriously researched when it actually does contain a lot of very interesting historical information. 

 

I was trying to find out if anyone who had a negative opinion about this book was basing it on inaccuracies or if they were possibly just being swayed by the negative comments they have heard about the book. 

 

I have no problem if you want to deleted any comments of mine or anyone elses that you feel distract from this review, maybe clean it up a bit.



#47 Brian

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 02:19 PM

Let's consider the debate done unless any further info is really pertinent.


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#48 Peter Bleed

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 11:04 PM

Saying anything at this point seems like Folly!

To begin with, Brian sets our sights on "pertinence", But, HEY, this community is devoted to Japanese swords! Obviously we are not afraid of being impertinent!

And beyond that, Eric seems ready and able to stand behind Noel Perrin. I understand that there is no rancor behind his support, but the fact that lots of Japan scholars don't like Giving Up the Gun simply won't cut it for Eric. He wants substantive evidence and he is not afraid to talk about it. Truth to tell, I have always found Perrin's book rather thin and rather too interpretive of slim data, but I do not command the chapter and verse that Eric would need. And let’s remember that Eric has also assembled and wonderfully presented lots of useful images and information on Japanese weaponry - including stuff on teppo. He is the kind of guy we want to encourage.

Among other things, Eric has cited the major available books on premodern Japanese guns. I - respectfully - suggest that Eric's list of citations may present a pertinent point. The reality is that we do NOT know very much about Edo period Japanese firearms!

There may be a source to two that could be added to Eric's list. "The Cultural History of Fasteners and Guns" by Yukichi IWATA is one. This is basically a Japanese language volume with a few pages of English and enough pictures to be easy to understand. It presents Japanese guns in the context of world and East Asian technology. Such sources will not, however, change the basic reality that there is little assembled information about who was working with firearms in premodern Japan.

What would it take to show that Edo period folks were interested in refining there firepower? First of all, I think we will have to shed the interpretive structure that both Perrin and his critics bring to this issue. Let’s find some data before we decide what it means.

A few years ago, as a result of doing some research on Civil War era artillery, I learned of a Genroku era artillery range in Kanzaki-shi, Saga-ken. Saga-ken was interested in establishing a UNESCO World Heritage District composed of Edo period industrial facilities. And right in the middle of the blast furnaces, forges, and kilns that mark this industrial zone is the Iwata Daiba range. A map is attached. Obviously there were no cannons left at the site. And soil resistivity studied by Japanese archaeologists revealed neither gunnery gear nor anything else.  The UNESCO nomination languished so our proposal to do systematic metal detection to determine what was being shot down range has gone nowhere. The mere existence of this range, however, is clear evidence that Japanese researchers were making, refining, and using emergent firearms technology.

Peter

 

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#49 Viper6924

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Posted 21 July 2016 - 10:47 AM

Well written, Peter! I think you nailed it with the "The reality is that we do NOT know very much about Edo period Japanese firearms".
There is very little written about this subject in english and a lot of the Japanese texts are full of "legends" for a better lack of words.
When you start to ask some hard questions to the right people in Japan, and trust me here, I have, it becomes painfully clear that there is a lot of questions needing answers.
For the question about the samurai and their view on guns that is one of the major key points in Perrins book, there is no easy answer. But I can say that there seems to have been a big regional difference in the way domains handled the question about firearms during the Edo-period.
Who knows, there might be something coming in the shape of a book later on ;)
But one thing is absolutly certain. The Japanese did not give up their guns.

Jan
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