Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Japanese Shields? Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Alexander Ren




Location: Florida
Joined: 18 Apr 2005

Posts: 153

PostPosted: Tue 27 Dec, 2005 5:18 pm    Post subject: Japanese Shields?         Reply with quote

Did the Japanese ever use shields? I have heard and seen alot of emphasis placed on the swords, pole arms (yari and naginata), and bows that the samurai used in battle but have never heard or seen anything about the Japanese using shields.

I will admit that most of what I have seen on the samurai is from hollywood (Ex: "The Last Samurai" and "Shogun") and the history channel and we all know how reliable (or lack thereof) those sources can be.

I had noticed that in every account or movie of samurai there is nothing about shields shown or talked about. Did the Japanese never develope and use shields? If so they are the only culture that I know of that never employed them. Is this true?

Thanks in advance for your replies.
Alex

"The more you sweat in practice, the less you bleed in battle."
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
Hisham Gaballa





Joined: 27 Jan 2005
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 508

PostPosted: Wed 28 Dec, 2005 3:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I do know that the Japanese used shields very early on in their history, before the 5th century AD. But that's about all I do know.
View user's profile Send private message
Risto Rautiainen




Location: Kontiolahti, Finland
Joined: 23 Feb 2004
Reading list: 10 books

Posts: 176

PostPosted: Wed 28 Dec, 2005 4:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And later on (donīt ask when) they used a pavise type of movable wall to protect them selves from arrows.
View user's profile Send private message
Boris Bedrosov
Industry Professional



Location: Bourgas, Bulgaria
Joined: 06 Nov 2005

Posts: 700

PostPosted: Wed 28 Dec, 2005 7:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello everyone!

The answer is YES, but as Hisham already said, they used them as a warrior's equipment up to the 5-6th C. Sorry, I don't remember its specific name, but if you want, I can check in my books. Somewhere in them I have even a picture of an ancient Japanese warrior, carrying a shield.
After that the samurai used the shields only in fortification role. What you saw, watching the final battle in "The Last Samurai" (for example) is historically correct. Genarally speaking, the reason for "dismissing" the shield in his primary role as a defensive equipment was the expanding of the size of the ken (the ancestor of the tachi and katana) and its transformation into a two-hand sword. As you see, there was no way to fight with two-hand weapon and carrying a shield in the same time.
Happy New Year to all of you, friends!

Regards!
Boris

"Everyone who has the right to wear a long sword, has to remember that his sword is his soul,
and he has to separate from it when he separates from his life"
Tokugawa Ieyasu

Find my works on Facebook:
Boris Bedrosov's Armoury
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Alexander Ren




Location: Florida
Joined: 18 Apr 2005

Posts: 153

PostPosted: Wed 28 Dec, 2005 4:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for your replies.

I ended up finding a discussion on SFI after I posted this that included a post about the samurai using shields early on but did not specify the time frame.

Thanks... Alex

"The more you sweat in practice, the less you bleed in battle."
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
Boris Bedrosov
Industry Professional



Location: Bourgas, Bulgaria
Joined: 06 Nov 2005

Posts: 700

PostPosted: Thu 29 Dec, 2005 7:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello, everyone!

I just want to add something, what I checked yesterday.
The name of the shield in Japanese is "te-date". It has a rectangular shape with cut bottom and central parts - something like this ) (, and curved upper part - something like this ^. In the upper one-third is attached the shield-boss, usually with star with "curved beams" form. The te-date was made from hard wood.
If the shield is used in fortification role (in the late periods) its name is tate, and it was quite bigger than the te-date. As Risto said it was similar to European pavise. After the introduction of firearms in Japan, the tate was covered with steel plate armour.
The second reason for "dismissing" the te-date was use of the bow yumi by the Japanese cavalry-men.

Regards!
Boris

"Everyone who has the right to wear a long sword, has to remember that his sword is his soul,
and he has to separate from it when he separates from his life"
Tokugawa Ieyasu

Find my works on Facebook:
Boris Bedrosov's Armoury
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Matt G




Location: Bay Area, California
Joined: 14 Feb 2004
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 73

PostPosted: Thu 29 Dec, 2005 8:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hopefully these pictures will add to Boris' description. I took these pictures from Stephen Turnbull's "Samurai Warriors".

The first appears to fit the description Boris Gave for the te-date. The book makes no mention of the shield in the photo's caption.

The second picture has a description that reads:

"This type of wooden shield was used throughout the samurai period. It was planted in the ground and provided protection for missile troops. Contemporary illustrations often depict them with mon painted on the front "

I think this may match the second description for the tate.

Boris, if I am mistaken, please let us know.



 Attachment: 20.87 KB
JapaneseShield.jpg


 Attachment: 3.3 KB
JapaneseShield2.gif


"Speak what you think today in words as hard as cannon-balls and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said today."

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Boris Bedrosov
Industry Professional



Location: Bourgas, Bulgaria
Joined: 06 Nov 2005

Posts: 700

PostPosted: Sat 31 Dec, 2005 5:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matt

Thanks for the wonderful pictures.
They are exactly what you think. The first is te-date, and the second - tate.
Happy New Year! Cheers!

Regards!
Boris

"Everyone who has the right to wear a long sword, has to remember that his sword is his soul,
and he has to separate from it when he separates from his life"
Tokugawa Ieyasu

Find my works on Facebook:
Boris Bedrosov's Armoury
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Japanese Shields?
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2020 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum