Shields were considered useful in Europe until the development of full plate armor. Despite the fact that they never had anything comparable to plate armor, shield use was apparently abandoned by the Edo period. The freestanding tate was used to protect archers, but aside from this, shields don't seem to be used at all.
Some argue that shield use was obsolete by the Edo period because they were clumsy, and because Japan lacked Hellenistic influences. While I'm not sure I agree with that, I am unable to evaluate that assertion.