Цанко Цолов, магистър I курс, СУ «Св. КлиментОхридски», ИФ
The first firearms of Japan and their role for the country’s unification (1543 – 1615)
Tsanko Tsolov, Sofia University „St. Kliment Ohridski“, History department
In 1543 A.D. the portuguese introduced the first firearms in Japan – the musket. The local feudal lords – the Daimyo, found the new weapon astonishing and bought several guns along with the recipe for making gunpowder. That happened in times, in which the japanese warfare was changing heavily. The small, well trained samurai troops, and their subordinates fighting alongside them, were replaced with larger armies of ashigaru – lightfoot soldiers, most of them armed with firearms. Japan’s great unificators – Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi were the ones, who gave the firearms greater role in battle. It was their tactital skills and the power of firearms combined, that gave Nobunaga, and later Hideyoshi, the upper hand in the bloody wars of the late XVI century. All this culminated in the establishing of the Tokugawa shogunate by Tokugawa Ieyasu – subordinate of both Nobunaga and Hideyoshi.
The first firearms in Japan, Japan’s unification, Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Portuguese landing on Tanegashima.