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Wokou Weapons Used in Raids


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#1 Wokou-Bushi

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 06:36 PM

Hello fellow members, I'm studying the history of the Wokou recently but ran into some obstacles so I thought it a good idea to raise it here. I know the term "Wokou" had been used over excessively in history, it's even still in usage today. But the Wokou I'm refering to are the Japanese Pirates from the years 13th century till late 15th century. A quick look on Wiki will help: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wokou



Anyways back to my question, do you know what weapons the Wokou used during their raids? From some paintings and sources I think they used the katana, some also said they were the longer blade katanas, don't know if it's correct? Also I think I saw some paintings of Wokou armed with Yari and Naginata, can someone back it up for me?



Thanks so much guys, any help would be useful !! :)

#2 Yun

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 04:39 AM

Common weapons used by the 'wokou' (many of whom were actually Chinese smugglers and pirates) included the two-handed no-dachi longsword (which is not the same as the katana), spears, Japanese-made arquebuses, and Japanese-made hand grenades. Most of their weapons were purchased in Japan, since the Ming government had a strict ban against the sale of weapons to civilians.
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#3 ih8eurocentrix

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 04:48 AM

Were Wokou similary trained to Samurai?

#4 Wokou-Bushi

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 02:16 PM

Common weapons used by the 'wokou' (many of whom were actually Chinese smugglers and pirates) included the two-handed no-dachi longsword (which is not the same as the katana), spears, Japanese-made arquebuses, and Japanese-made hand grenades. Most of their weapons were purchased in Japan, since the Ming government had a strict ban against the sale of weapons to civilians.





Thanks so much Yun, yes I think these are no-dachi longswords and not katanas in the paintings I see. Thanks !!

#5 Yang Zongbao

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 04:56 PM

Were Wokou similary trained to Samurai?


I don't know if there was a set training system for them.

While probably not a majority, some of them were Samurai or Ronin. As to whether the rest were trained in a like fashion...I do not know.
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#6 Altaica Militarica

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 04:07 AM

Common weapons used by the 'wokou' (many of whom were actually Chinese smugglers and pirates) included the two-handed no-dachi longsword (which is not the same as the katana), spears, Japanese-made arquebuses, and Japanese-made hand grenades. Most of their weapons were purchased in Japan, since the Ming government had a strict ban against the sale of weapons to civilians.


Dear colleagues,

In 1550-s Koreans had to defeat 2 raids of Wake. Koreans used handgonnes and bows and they did not mention any firearms from Japanese side. But they reported that Wake were coming back from the raid to China and tried to rob Korea as well :charge:

So I think that harquebuses in 1550-1560-s used by Wake are hardly possible.

Best regards,

Alexey.

#7 caocao74

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 07:07 AM

So I think that harquebuses in 1550-1560-s used by Wake are hardly possible.


Why? The 1st Potuguese guns reached Tanegashima in 1543, and by 1544 were being copied in Sakai and at the Negoroji. By 1549 the Shimazu were using guns in battle. Why wouldn't western lords (such as the Wako leader Murakami) not do likewise? :g:
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#8 Altaica Militarica

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 05:06 AM

Why? The 1st Potuguese guns reached Tanegashima in 1543, and by 1544 were being copied in Sakai and at the Negoroji. By 1549 the Shimazu were using guns in battle. Why wouldn't western lords (such as the Wako leader Murakami) not do likewise? :g:


The first appearance and mass usage of the weapon are different things :) Then Chinese troops captured a lot of "Nan Man" before 1543 (since 1512) and could start to produce this weapon much earlier (please pay attention Portugueses came to Japan by Chinese junk). In 1558 it was the ADDITIONAL production of 10000 harquebuses in China and only 3000 harquebuses were used by Nobunaga at Nagashino, 1575.

So, as Korean sources did not mention any harquebuses in 1550-s, I think they only started to spread over Japan and were not common weapon even of all Japanese armies, not the Wake only.

Best regards,

Alexey.




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