Hi there.I’m Naoemon.
It was not simply because of the sea. Because the Philippines was conquered by Spain at a similar time.
Among the materials of the Satsuma clan on display at the Reimeikan facility in Kagoshima Prefecture, there is one about guns written in 1606.
It describes how guns were introduced from foreign countries to Japan and how they were introduced to the country.
According to the record, on August 25, 1543, a large foreign ship drifted ashore on Tanegashima Island.
He ordered his vassals to learn how to mix gunpowder from a foreigner.
He also had his vassals make a replica of a gun barrel, but they could not figure out how to make the details of the parts.
The next year, they learned the manufacturing process from a foreigner who came to Japan, and finally completed a replica of a gun in Japan.
One year after guns were introduced to Japan, Japan was able to produce dozens of guns.
Later, merchants from Sakai, Osaka, who visited Tanegashima, learned guns and manufacturing methods and brought them back to Japan, and gun manufacturing began mainly in the Kansai region.
The manufacture and use of guns then spread rapidly in Japan, and the army of Ishiyama Honganji, which fought against Oda Nobunaga in 1570, used 8,000 guns.
In the Battle of Nagashino in 1575, the allied forces of Oda and Tokugawa split into three groups of 1,000 guns each and famously defeated the cavalry of Katsuyori Takeda by firing simultaneously.
In a book titled “The Japanese Who Abandoned Guns,” Noel Perrin, a professor at Dartmouth College in the United States, writes: “The Arabs, Indians, and Chinese were far ahead of the Japanese in using guns.
The Arabs, Indians, and Chinese were all far ahead of the Japanese in the use of guns, but only the Japanese succeeded in mass producing guns. Not only did they succeed in mass-producing guns, but they also successfully used them as their own weapons.
Japan was then, as it is now, a highly industrialized country. The most mass-produced commodity in Japan was weapons, and for about 200 years Japan was the world’s leading arms exporter. Japanese weapons were used throughout East Asia.
At least in terms of the absolute number of guns, Japan at the end of the 16th century had more guns than any other country in the world.
The British army as a whole, for example, possessed fewer guns than the armies of any of the six of Japan’s top lords.
In 1569, when the British Privy Council conducted an overhaul to determine the number of troops and arms throughout England that could be mobilized in the event of an invasion of France, the French ambassador obtained the information through spies and classified the soldiers. reported to Paris that a total of 24,000, of which about 6,000 had guns.
In 1584, the Sengoku daimyo Ryuzoji and his Takanobu fought against their Harunobu and Iehisa Shimazu in the Shimabara area, leading an army of 25,000, of which 9,000 were gun troops. there were.
In other words, the number of guns in Hizen Province was 50% more than the number of guns in the British army.
Moreover, Japan improved the performance of the gun with its own ingenuity, developed a spiral drive spring and trigger adjustment device, and implemented a rain protection attachment that allowed the matchlock to be fired even in the rain.
Noel Perrin, a professor at Dartmouth College in the United States, writes that the Japanese were substantially ahead in terms of weapons compared to the fighting in Europe at the time.
He said that Japan was superior not only to guns, but also to swords and armor compared to European ones.
By reading this book, you can see why Japan did not become a colony of the West.
There is a record of the Jesuit missionaries who stayed in Japan at that time praising Japan, and this book also records that a foreigner who was dispatched to Japan at the time wrote that Japan was a more developed country. is introduced.
In this era, Japan was superior to Western countries in terms of guns, swords, and culture, so Western countries were unable to conquer Japan.