44

Wow, where to start. Basically, ignore anything in the previous answer regarding Europe and shields. As far European metallurgy goes, pattern welding was in use as early as the 2nd and 3rd centuries. The technique continued to be used up until about the end of the viking era (mid 11th century) when quenching and tempering basically took over. As a ...


19

The questions (answered separately below): So why wasn't the rest of the world, the world off the steppe, using it? I mean, maybe it didn't reach the classical world until the Huns brought it there, but why weren't the Japanese and the Ayyubids and the Byzantines and everyone else in the faintest contact with the steppe using steppe bows, instead of their ...


13

Based on the scant information I'm finding in English and online, a proper answer to this might be difficult even with some serious library research. Here is a brief mention from the book Vanishing Japan: Traditions, Crafts & Culture by Elizabeth Kiritani, which unfortunately includes no footnotes: Ice made from water that was naturally frozen in the ...


9

We don't know for sure. We know very little about Murasaki Shikibu's life, and much of what we do know is highly circumstantial. There are no direct attestations of either her birth or death. Mainstream theories all place her birth between 970 and 978, which means she married Fujiwara no Nobutaka when she was between 20 to 28 years old. It is impossible to ...


4

It is important that a shield is primarily a defence against missile fire, and only secondarily a defence against melee weapons. As noted here (page 107) the quality of Japanese armour, combined with the failure to utilize crossbows and the relative weakness of their strung bows, meant that a samurai was well protected against missile fire by his armour: ...


3

Given there is an accepted answer, and (I believe) there remains some misconception in answers provided here, I hope to clarify a few points about the usage of defensive shields in Japanese warfare and other related matters. Also, to help Kentaro Tomono (who seem to be particularly interested). Before going through a list of misconceptions (below), the main ...


2

What caused the long lasting of peace in during the Heian Period? Like most things in history, it is never really just one thing. But, in essence, if we are going to provide a short answer -- it was the establishment of Heian palace in 794 CE by the strong and powerful emperor, Emperor Kanmu. Note that Emperor Kanmu's reign is from 781 to 806. History, ...


2

I wouldn’t describe this period as uniquely peaceful. It was likely just as tumultuous period in Japan as other empires at the time. What makes the Heian period unique in Japanese history is how the details of the period are recorded. Much of what we understand from this period comes from art, literature, and poetry of upper class women. They likely were ...


2

Pole arms/spears were the favored weapon on a true battlefield for 95% of cultures. Knight, samurai, Greeks, etc. The Romans are a bit of an exception in that the pilim wasn't their primary. But a soldier would still own a pole arm. A sword is more like a pistol. A reliable side arm for close quarters or if your primary weapon breaks (or jams.) but when a ...


2

Fire was as common in pre-Edo (i.e., Nara, Heian, & Kamakura) Japan as after as the architectural basis for construction did not change on the large scale—though it seems that not as many studies quantifying these fires have been carried out. Fire Prevention Rituals to avoid fires date to much earlier than the Miyagi one you refer to. I saw references ...


1

Sorry, not a Japanese reference but there is a very interesting movie about ice in old Korean (Joseon) called "The Grand Heist". There are many places online to watch it.


1

Armor basically does the same job as a shield, and Japanese armor is extremely advanced even without the use of metals, plus the Ashigaru were most of the time given the long spear like the pike but minor differences. I forget the name but anyway, or the bow, some were bands of raiders that used swords, taken from fallen foes, and like the samurai following ...


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