An excellent summary of the Portuguese introduction of matchlocks. This is the first full description that I have seen on the changes to military tactics because of the musket. I have never seen any significant credit given to the concentrated use of the Tanegashima musket making Oda Nobunaga’s consolidation of power possible nor in his efforts to invade Korea.

Obviously the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate after 1603 brought in a long period of peace that made the aristocratic role of the samurai primarily symbolic. The intense focus on the katana as the symbol of this led to limits on the use of firearms.

It would be interesting to know more about the ways that flintlocks evolved and the traditions maintained during the Tokugawa.

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Educator, CIO, retired entrepreneur, grandfather with occasional fits of humor in the midst of disaster. . .

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