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Questions tagged [medieval-japan]

Covers the period of Japanese history from 1185 to the latter part of the 16th century.

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Can someone give me the history on this Japanese Crest symbol

What is the History and meaning of the symbol #23 (丸に七曜) in this image?
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How did Heian Era Japanese Clans work? (esp. Taira vs. Minamoto)

Wikipedia tells me that certain children of emperors were demoted (removed from the royal lineage) and assigned to Taira as well as Minamoto "clans" during the Heian period. How did this work? Was ...
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Why didn't the steppe bow spread further?

So, this question was triggered by my reading Stephen Turnbull's book on the Gempei War, when he says that he thinks that the yumi, or Japanese longbow, had an effective range of 10 meters against ...
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What is a “barso”? (ref. Richard Cocks' diaries)

Question In his diaries documenting his time in Japan, Richard Cocks mentions barsos frequently, apparently meaning some kind of liquid containing vessel (mostly in reference to [gifts of] alcohol, ...
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Katabami mon (Japanese crests of wood sorrel) Crest family identity

I am hoping to narrow my search for this family crest from two caskets A pair of Edo Period Hokai Kaiawase Lacquer Chests. I have found (with the help of History Stack) a Mon which may be the one. ...
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Was the Korean King Chungnyeol instrumental in persuading Kublai Khan to invade Japan?

The Mongol invasions of Japan were costly failures. According to Wikipedia, the Korean King Chungnyeol (by this time a vassal of the Mongols) was ...known as the fixer who instigated Mongol ...
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Are fiefdoms near the Capital assigned to trusted allies or the opposite, and why?

Our professor of Chinese History (in a document you can't access without a university account) when talking about feudal age China (before 221 BCE) makes a passing remark. She says in Ancient China ...
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Map of Osaka Castle circa late 1600s

Could you help me find a layout of Osaka Castle after it was rebuilt by Tokugawa Hidetada? I've looked all over the web and couldn't find a thing.
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What did the peasants do in Japanese warfare?

From what I understand, warfare in feudal Japan used to work like this - samurai sought out worthy opponents, they would duel, and the winner would move on to find another suitable foe. But what ...
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Was Nobunaga the founder of 3 lines of riflemen formation?

During Battle of Nagashino, Oda Nobunaga ordered his riflemen to make three lines and shoot in a certain order, that is the first line will shoot, followed by the second line. While the second line ...
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1answer
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When would the Japanese have been able to recognize their archipelago?

After watching Bill Wurtz's History of Japan video, it got me wondering. At 4:38, it brings up the Dutch bringing geography to Japan (obviously, this is a humorous video, so I'm sure this is ...
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What kind of political institutions existed in Sakai, Japan in the 500s and 600s AD?

What government bodies were elected and by whom in Sakai Japan during the 500s and 600s AD?
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What was the significance of Bitchu-Takamatsu Castle from a military/political perspective?

What was a strategic intention for building Bitchu-Takamatsu Castle? Its placement in a swamp, in a basin surrounded by mountains might on three sides made the castle impregnable, but also quite ...
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How many samurai warriors were there during the Sengoku period?

I was trying to estimate the number of warriors who were part of the samurai class. I am mainly interested in the 16th and 17th centuries. Trying to search for that, I came across this. It states ...
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Were crossbows used by the Japanese?

Were crossbows used in any significant way by the Japanese? If so, what period and how were they fielded? I found some very brief references: Jonathan Clements' "A Brief History of the Samurai" ...
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Outdoors Survival Knowledge for Samurai?

Did any era's Samurai know Outdoors Survival Knowledge? If so, which eras, which country (or however Japan separated its land at that time), and how much did they know?
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What killed Takeda Shingen?

What killed Takeda Shingen? A sniper's bullet? Illness? Old wounds? A combination of the above? Why is the cause of his death shrouded in mystery? Did the Takeda try and keep his death secret or ...
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Why did Japanese samurai disembowel themselves?

Japanese samurais were known to commit ritual suicide by stabbing themselves in the belly. Why? Why not hang themselves? Cut their own throats? Does Japanese culture view disembowelment differently ...
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Why was East Asia more religiously tolerant than Europe in medieval time?

In medieval time, different religions coexisted in China, Japan and Korea, but only Christianity was allowed in Europe. What factors made medieval East Asia more religiously tolerant than medieval ...
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How was Takeda defeated at the Battle of Nagashino?

The 1575 Battle of Nagashino resulted in the eventual end of the Takenda clan during the sengoku jidai in Japan. In the movie "Kagemusha", the Takeda cavalry charges guns and is devastated. The ...
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What is the meaning of this samurai crest?

From User Jordan Miles Hamanaka Kaplowit's comment to this question: Meaning of samurai crest / symbol What is the meaning of the sixth crest symbol?
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Why did the offices of Shogun and Emperor never merge?

The position of Emperor of Japan was, as I understand it, strictly hereditary, due to the necessity that the Emperor 'descend' from Amaterasu. Thus, the Shogun was not eligible to be Emperor, and ...
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When did private fighting become a capital offense in Japan?

In "Might Makes Right: Just war and just warfare in early medieval Japan", Karl Friday mentions that bushi (warriors) who violated decrees banning fighting were exiled or imprisoned under pre-Edo ...
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Why didn't Japanese infantrymen and samurai use shields?

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 ...
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Why didn't Japan expand into Ezo?

Throughout the first millenium of Japanese history (and before that even) the Japanese rather steadily expanded up Honshu. Once they had taken the whole of Honshu however they seemed largely to stop. ...