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The Medival European Knight vs a Japanese Samurai

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  • Well, I wouldn't say any.

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    • Originally posted by RepublicanGuard View Post
      Well, I wouldn't say any.

      I forgot that the Europeans knights adopted gunpowder too!

      Anyway if Gunpowder Samurai and Knights using rifles fought it would probably be a draw in a straight on face off.

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      • Originally posted by SegaSaturnGamer View Post
        I forgot that the Europeans knights adopted gunpowder too!

        Anyway if Gunpowder Samurai and Knights using rifles fought it would probably be a draw in a straight on face off.
        I wonder if the knights or samurai adopted gunpowder weapons. There are very few instances of actual "samurai" using muskets. Their armies did but the majority of those using muskets in samurai armies were not samurai but conscripted peasants called ashigaru. And when the wars were over they had their weapons taken off of them precisely because the samurai didn't want non-samurai owning weapons, especially guns. I'll bet it was much the same in European armies of the same time period. Very few knights using muskets and un-noble mercenaries and peasants armed with them.
        Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

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        • Originally posted by SegaSaturnGamer View Post
          Not true Kedoka. Actually contrary to popular belief the Samurai had a WHOLE VARIETY OF WEAPONS aside from bows and Katanas. The Samurais were just as varied as the knights were. Some used blunt hard maces,others used the Japanese equivalent of hard Sledgehammer other used hard farming tools, and others even used gun rifles as their primary weapons.

          The samurai is pretty a EUROPEAN Knight except the Japanese equivalent.

          As to who would win this thread, give me a Gunpowder Samurai and he will kill any knight no matter how great his armor of combat skills are!
          I have never seen many examples of the heavy smashing type of weapons as far as the samurai are concerned, and if you go by the amount of these types of weapons that are in museums and that come up for sale they were never nearly as common as in Europe.

          Europeans by far had many more styles and types of these kind of heavy weapons and obviously spent much more time and materials making and developing these weapons. If you look at old Japanese prints of Samurai it is rare to see anything other than swords, bows,spears, and naginata as far as hand weapons go, very rarely will you see an axe or club like weapon.

          You do see clubs "kanabo" and some war pick or axe types weapons but I have been looking for examples of these kinds of weapons for a long time and only rarely do I see them. I can easily find hundreds of examples of European types of heavy armor smashing weapons.

          Here are a few examples of Japanese weapons.





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          • Originally posted by americansamurai View Post
            I have never seen many examples of the heavy smashing type of weapons as far as the samurai are concerned, and if you go by the amount of these types of weapons that are in museums and that come up for sale they were never nearly as common as in Europe.

            Europeans by far had many more styles and types of these kind of heavy weapons and obviously spent much more time and materials making and developing these weapons. If you look at old Japanese prints of Samurai it is rare to see anything other than swords, bows,spears, and naginata as far as hand weapons go, very rarely will you see an axe or club like weapon.

            You do see clubs "kanabo" and some war pick or axe types weapons but I have been looking for examples of these kinds of weapons for a long time and only rarely do I see them. I can easily find hundreds of examples of European types of heavy armor smashing weapons.

            Here are a few examples of Japanese weapons.





            The problem is that by the time the Meiji era came the Katana and the like was so mythologized that its all we ever hear about. But I do recall that there were Samurais who used heavy smashing blunt weapons back in the Feudal Age.

            One got to remember weapons the Samurais used were not necessarily the standard Katana and bow. Hell the Katana was never even the primary sword of the Samura(the Tachi) is!Weapons the Samurai used varied on the individuals themselves and their preferred fighting methods.

            Same thing about the knights.

            Its probably rare to find such heavy blunt weapon in Japan due to the fact that Musket Rifle quickly replaced melee weapons before heavy armory such as the plate armor of the knights were heavily adopted in Japan.

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            • Originally posted by SegaSaturnGamer View Post
              Not true Kedoka. Actually contrary to popular belief the Samurai had a WHOLE VARIETY OF WEAPONS aside from bows and Katanas. The Samurais were just as varied as the knights were. Some used blunt hard maces,others used the Japanese equivalent of hard Sledgehammer other used hard farming tools, and others even used gun rifles as their primary weapons.

              The samurai is pretty a EUROPEAN Knight except the Japanese equivalent.

              As to who would win this thread, give me a Gunpowder Samurai and he will kill any knight no matter how great his armor of combat skills are!
              I think we'll have to disagree somewhat on this. The sheer variety of knightly weapons is staggering. Now, this is splitting hairs to a certain degree in that samurai weapons were very varied, from cutting, stabbing, tripping, binding, and impact weapons. However, pole weapons were mostly variations of the yari and naginata, albeit, very effective ones against armor and cavalry. With a knight, where do you even begin...halberds, poleaxes, bec de corbin, bill hook, glaive, pike, spear, and so on.

              My take on the whole thing is that, no armor is invulnerable and no amount of mobility guarantees evasion so it all comes down to the individual. Armor vs. mobility is the long argued 'less filling/tastes great' debate of warfare. I've seen German longsword demos as well as Kenjutsu demos and they are so similar once you get past the cosmetic differences. So, to me, it is the person who has the superior training regimen and spends more hours developing their skill, who will likely be the victor. In that, I would certainly think that knights of religious orders and others who were dedicated to their skill would be equally matched to samurai of serious dojo training.

              It is a precept of Budo that, once you have achieved mastery, all arts at the same. It's rather paradoxical, but I am beginning to see that in my martial development. Fencing, karate, kendo, aikido...they all blend together to make me a better opponent. The mindset, the body, the conditioning, the timing, tempo, and distance are all one, only the specific techniqes are different.
              TTFN

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              • Originally posted by R. Evans View Post
                I wonder if the knights or samurai adopted gunpowder weapons. There are very few instances of actual "samurai" using muskets. Their armies did but the majority of those using muskets in samurai armies were not samurai but conscripted peasants called ashigaru. And when the wars were over they had their weapons taken off of them precisely because the samurai didn't want non-samurai owning weapons, especially guns. I'll bet it was much the same in European armies of the same time period. Very few knights using muskets and un-noble mercenaries and peasants armed with them.
                Learning to use the matchlock was part of many Sengoku samurai training regimens, but ashigaru did the majority of the fighting with them in pitched battles. One minor thing is that, oftentimes, even ashigaru of the period were considered samurai.
                TTFN

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                • Originally posted by americansamurai View Post
                  I have never seen many examples of the heavy smashing type of weapons as far as the samurai are concerned, and if you go by the amount of these types of weapons that are in museums and that come up for sale they were never nearly as common as in Europe.

                  Europeans by far had many more styles and types of these kind of heavy weapons and obviously spent much more time and materials making and developing these weapons. If you look at old Japanese prints of Samurai it is rare to see anything other than swords, bows,spears, and naginata as far as hand weapons go, very rarely will you see an axe or club like weapon.

                  You do see clubs "kanabo" and some war pick or axe types weapons but I have been looking for examples of these kinds of weapons for a long time and only rarely do I see them. I can easily find hundreds of examples of European types of heavy armor smashing weapons.

                  Here are a few examples of Japanese weapons.





                  A good friend of mine, who is a sensei in Australia, schools in medieval Japan devoted to the ono or war axe, developed in the 1100's, based on techniques that grew much earlier. The ono is pretty much what you'd see in a knight's hands of the same period. Also, the o-tsuchi, or war hammer is pretty much a war hammer.
                  TTFN

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Kendoka Girl View Post
                    A good friend of mine, who is a sensei in Australia, schools in medieval Japan devoted to the ono or war axe, developed in the 1100's, based on techniques that grew much earlier. The ono is pretty much what you'd see in a knight's hands of the same period. Also, the o-tsuchi, or war hammer is pretty much a war hammer.
                    But..can you show me 1 actual period example of an ono or o-tsuchi or even a period print showing either? All I ever hear is stories of them and drawings or replicas. That shows me how rare they must have been compared to the other hand weapons of the samurai which can be found and seen quite easily.

                    Antique Japanese ono>>

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                    • Originally posted by Kendoka Girl View Post
                      My take on the whole thing is that, no armor is invulnerable and no amount of mobility guarantees evasion so it all comes down to the individual. Armor vs. mobility is the long argued 'less filling/tastes great' debate of warfare. I've seen German longsword demos as well as Kenjutsu demos and they are so similar once you get past the cosmetic differences. So, to me, it is the person who has the superior training regimen and spends more hours developing their skill, who will likely be the victor. In that, I would certainly think that knights of religious orders and others who were dedicated to their skill would be equally matched to samurai of serious dojo training.

                      It is a precept of Budo that, once you have achieved mastery, all arts at the same. It's rather paradoxical, but I am beginning to see that in my martial development. Fencing, karate, kendo, aikido...they all blend together to make me a better opponent. The mindset, the body, the conditioning, the timing, tempo, and distance are all one, only the specific techniqes are different.
                      I once read a quote by a German Knight who was a master SwordsmanshipIt went something like this:
                      "All arts of the blade are the same."

                      In other words no matter what martial art is being used the human body is the same. Same body mechanics for everyone.What the quote means is that the German knight fought knights from every corner of Europe and even Arabian and Turkish warriors. The German knight means to say that from his experience every opponent he fought regardless of which swordsmanship style they are using or cultures they come from all the fundamentals of using a sword is basically the same be it a katana or a Kilij(Turkish sword). In other the basic slashes,stances, thrusts, etc. are all used by every swordsmanship in every culture.
                      Originally posted by Kendoka Girl View Post
                      I think we'll have to disagree somewhat on this. The sheer variety of knightly weapons is staggering. Now, this is splitting hairs to a certain degree in that samurai weapons were very varied, from cutting, stabbing, tripping, binding, and impact weapons. However, pole weapons were mostly variations of the yari and naginata, albeit, very effective ones against armor and cavalry. With a knight, where do you even begin...halberds, poleaxes, bec de corbin, bill hook, glaive, pike, spear, and so on.
                      No matter how skilled someone is with a sword, if he is fighting some one with a gun in hand its over man over!. WHat I meant to say is that a Gunpowder samurai will simply kill any knight except those using firearms as Musket rifle bullets could easily pierce through the strongest plate armor and before any knight could come close in for melee he would be dead from one shot by a Gunpowder Samurai!

                      Which is why I believe the Gunpowder Samurai could easily kill almost any knight!

                      Add in Knights from the late 1600s in the age of musket and gunpowder and we have a different story though.
                      Last edited by SegaSaturnGamer; 30 Nov 10, 08:59.

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                      • Originally posted by Kendoka Girl View Post
                        Learning to use the matchlock was part of many Sengoku samurai training regimens, but ashigaru did the majority of the fighting with them in pitched battles. One minor thing is that, oftentimes, even ashigaru of the period were considered samurai.
                        There is a lot of confusion on the classification of ashigaru, were they samurai or not...one thing to consider.....everything the ashigaru used in battle belonged to a samurai and their training and fighting was under the supervision of a samurai, they were if not samurai then samurai by proxy. There was no ashigaru just running around fighting, they were under the control of whatever samurai paid for their service. Ashigaru armor and weapons were samurai weapons on loan to the ashigaru and returned to the samurai who owned them when fighting was done.

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                        • Originally posted by americansamurai View Post
                          There is a lot of confusion on the classification of ashigaru, were they samurai or not...one thing to consider.....everything the ashigaru used in battle belonged to a samurai and their training and fighting was under the supervision of a samurai, they were if not samurai then samurai by proxy. There was no ashigaru just running around fighting, they were under the control of whatever samurai paid for their service. Ashigaru armor and weapons were samurai weapons on loan to the ashigaru and returned to the samurai who owned them when fighting was done.
                          Much the same as the English longbowmen prior to gunpowder weapons. These archers were trained and paid by the various nobles and knights who used their services. However, they were not knights as French reaction to the longbowmen killing them at Agincourt and other battles proves that they weren't knights. French knights considered it dishonorable that these archers were able to fight against them.

                          I consider ashigaru much the same way. If they were samurai, then why did Toyotomi Hideyoshi order them to turn in their weapons during the Great Sword Hunt?

                          The people in the various provinces are strictly forbidden to have in their possession any swords, short swords, bows, spears, firearms, or other arms. The possession of these unnecessary weapons makes difficult the collection of taxes and tends to foment uprisings . . . Therefore the heads of provinces, official agents, and deputies are ordered to collect all the weapons mentioned above and turn them over to the government…
                          http://www.zenstoriesofthesamurai.co...iHideyoshi.htm

                          The rights of samurai involved the carrying in swords and possesing weapons.

                          The following makes clear that ashigaru were subordinate and seperate from samurai.

                          It became increasingly apparent that the daimyo of Japan needed to harness these lower class foot soldiers and get them to fight with discipline and to, above all, be loyal if they were to stand any chance of defeating their rivals. Both the elite samurai and the ashigaru needed to complement each other if battles were to be won. This was no more apparent than in the Sengoku period when the daimyo needed as many men as possible and often they needed to be raised from the farms and assume their role as part-time soldiers. They were needed to not only swell the ranks of their overlord's army but to also operate siege weapons and, of course, they were needed to fulfill the role of sailors and marines on naval vessels.

                          Some ashigaru were employed to carry the personal belongings of a samurai. Among them were sandal bearers or zori tori and spear bearers or mochiyari gumi. These were no menial duties but required the ashigaru to attend the samurai or even a daimyo. It was very important for a samurai to have someone carrying a good supply of sandals because as they were made of straw they did not last long and needed to be changed quite often. The sandal bearer of Oda Nobunaga not only provided this service but also kept his sandals warm in cold weather and this bearer was none other than Toyotomi Hideyoshi. No greater honour could be attached to the spear bearer who not only carried the lord's personal polearm but was also his bodyguard. There were also ashigaru who carried a number of other weapons including the bow, arquebus and naginata.
                          http://www.taots.co.uk/content/view/13/27/

                          I'm sure there were ashigaru that achieved samurai status through battlefield promotions and other acts that would've prompted a daimyo to confer this status on them but ashigaru as classified above were not samurai.
                          Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

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                          • To the person who said that gun samurai would beat any knight anywhere. In the waning days of chivalry, Blacksmiths developed armor developed especially for the task of defeating bullets. One such suit I read about in a book removed the boot and gauntlet armor to save up weight to increase the thickness of the breastplates, greave, pauldrons, and helmet to the point that they could defeat a bullet at a close enough range for the knight to have enough time to spear the shooter before he could reload. The thing about early firearms is that if an enemy was charging at you, you could count the number of shots you would get to fire before you were at melee range on one hand. The gun would certainly frighten those with little experience in dealing with such weapons, but if a knight went through the trouble of getting armor designed to deal with muskets he probably has enough experience with gunpowder weapons to not turn and run at the sound of one.

                            And of course, as previously said, gun using knights and samurai were very few and far between, though you could much more easily find Knights and Samurai who had equipment meant to deal with those who relied on firearms. When faced with Guns, the Samurai used virtually the same technique as their European counterparts, they increased the thickness of their armor and often added angles to them to aid in deflection and present more material to any projectile.
                            Standing here, I realize you were just like me trying to make history.
                            But who's to judge the right from wrong.
                            When our guard is down I think we'll both agree.
                            That violence breeds violence.
                            But in the end it has to be this way.

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                            • Some info on bullet proofing European armor...many Samurai armors can be found with bullet marks under the lacquer showing that the armor was tested for strength.

                              http://www.royalarmouries.org/what-w...etproof-armour

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                              • Originally posted by R. Evans View Post
                                Much the same as the English longbowmen prior to gunpowder weapons. These archers were trained and paid by the various nobles and knights who used their services. However, they were not knights as French reaction to the longbowmen killing them at Agincourt and other battles proves that they weren't knights. French knights considered it dishonorable that these archers were able to fight against them.

                                I consider ashigaru much the same way. If they were samurai, then why did Toyotomi Hideyoshi order them to turn in their weapons during the Great Sword Hunt?


                                Who could own what weapons and even the size allowed changed from time to time. This is a good article on the ownership of weapons by commoners in Japan.

                                http://www.una.edu/faculty/takeuchi/...onin_sword.htm

                                Its my understanding that the role of ashigaru also changed during the Edo period but its a murky subject and hard to find researched information.

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