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#418671 - 04/26/09 10:19 AM Samurai Shields???
tsafa Offline
Member

Registered: 04/27/05
Posts: 144
I found some info related to what appear to be early use of shields by Samurai at My Armory. I am trying to get verification and more information if I can.

It is an image of a Samurai shield from the Heian period (794 to 1185). Here is an illustration of Emperor Jinmu accompanied with a foot soldier carrying a shield.

http://horse.shrine.net/samurai/jinmu.html

It was stated that the Japanese kept the "tate", a type of pavise, and it seems the "kabuto"or the "jingasa" (equivalent of a kettle hat) would be used as a buckler when one was left with a short sword or dagger. It was also mentioned that Yagyu Shingan Ryu still practices those techniques.

Here are some photos of renactors carrying those shields:

http://www.pbase.com/joanseeuw/image/41052063
http://www.pbase.com/joanseeuw/image/41052065

It would be great if anyone can add to this info.
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#418672 - 04/26/09 11:00 PM Re: Samurai Shields??? [Re: tsafa]
tsafa Offline
Member

Registered: 04/27/05
Posts: 144
A friend of mine in the SCA who specializes in Asian fighting sent me an English translation link of what I posted.

http://www.tctv.ne.jp/uma490/html/1/e_uma08.html

His comment was:

"Looks like a Chinese foot soldier's shield so it may be accurate considering the flow of military tech between Japan and mainland Asia. "

He also sent me the following:

http://www.bowdoin.edu/mongol-scrolls/

"Look at the end of section 2 in the 13th century version for a Japanese shield wall hanging off the side of a boat. Most other shields in this source are Korean or Southeast Asian versions of scutums."
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#418673 - 04/27/09 02:56 AM Re: Samurai Shields??? [Re: tsafa]
Ames Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
I'm by no means an expert on this, but it seems to be that is a shield that would be primarily used long range (against arrows). My understanding is that for close combat, shields had long since fallen out of use by the time of the samurai.

I was told this because I posed a similar question to someone knowledgeable about this topic, regarding a quote by Musashi in the Go Rin No So.

--Chris
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"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
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#418674 - 04/28/09 09:16 PM Re: Samurai Shields??? [Re: Ames]
karl314285 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 326
Loc: The Matrix, Serif is Teacher
Hi,

It seems to me, on reflection, that (especially for "Elite" forces [generally given the best new toys and training, e.g. non-lethal weapons in SWAT], or "Holy or Spiritual" Protectors of August personages) one will notice (if able to historically go back far enough) that the , call em Elite Warriors, have always started as other rank and file; but, as technique/weaponry/or plain Cool Attitude grew the 'Rules of Engagement' for the Elite slowly discarded or MODIFIED a "Peasant" weapon faster....Consider the poor and humble Tessen, not the Iron cudgel made to pass as a fan in 'polite 'society....but the Iron ribbed color you can see coded to command troop movements. Is this "Fan" not also a shield, just made PC...as a shield it hides what the other hand is doing, the heavy lacquered paper strong enough to deflect or at least stop full penetration of a variety of hand thrown weapons, the ribs sharpened at the tips to slash or jab as a shield...no self respecting Samurai following the code of Budo would be seen in the "Down home Shield Shop"; but, if it keeps one cool, works as a non-verbal command in battle, and just happens to look neat while functioning in tighter circles and quarters...a shield is a shield...unless the mores of the time dictate your Elite warrior status shun it for lower classes only (not quite same so in Chinese Weaponry, methinks)... cocky Samurai, kicks are for trids

-Karl.
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