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Sengoku-Jidai Database

Weapons of War

Weapons of War
Fan Work


The picture shown to the right is an arquebus. Arquebuses were the first type of firearm to come to Japan. Arquebuses were an effective gun that was a large improvement over earlier guns from Europe. Chinese arquebuses came to Japan in limited supply. One example of where they were used is the Battle of Uehara. In this battle the lord Yoshioki Murakami effectively ambushed a force sent by Shingen Takeda with men holding arquebuses. Shingen Takeda was defeated in this battle due to the effective use of Chinese arquebuses. In time more complex firearms than arquebuses would come to Japan.

Tessen were iron war fans. The different types of tessen varied in looks. Some lords carried ornamental iron war fans which they used to motion orders. Besides this however iron fans were also carried by ninjas for specialized tasks. In battle a tessen would be a primarily defensive weapon. Since it was made of iron it could be used as a type of shield to defend against attacks by swords or clubs. Since shields were not used in Japan a tessens and other weapons were used a substitutes. This iron war fan can also be used similarly to a club for counter-attacks.


The Wakizashi was the short sword carried by samurai. The Wakizashi worked greatly indoors where a long sword was a hassle to use. Furthermore a samurai commited seppuku and disembowled himself with the wakizashi if needed. Samurais during this (the Sengoku-Jidai period) in particular needed this sword. Indoor fighting became common and furthermore swords broke often.
The latter function required the wakizashi alone. Once a sword became dull or broke a samurai could quickly pull out his the wakizashi to fight. Samurai carried the Wakizashi with one hand. Some samurai also wielded two wakizashis rather than a katana and a wakizashi.


^Shown above is a Chinese arquebus. These were the first firearms to come to Japan but they came in a limited supply. Despite being an effective weapon arquebuses had a slow rate of fire. Because of this many lords preferred to use these weapons for ambushes. Cavalry would sometimes use arquebuses as well if enough arquebuses were available.


^Shown above is a Tessen, a defensive fan weapon. Tessens were sold in mass-supply to China. They were also utilized as specialized ninja defensive weapons. Tessens were especially popular in the Edo period after Tokugawa had united Japan. Students in ninja schools during the Edo period sometimes learned sometimes how to effectively use weapons such as the Tessen.


^Above is a Wakizashi outside of it's holder. A Wakizashi would be drawn by samurai if a Katana stopped being useful. Examples of this would be indoors and for instance if a Katana broke. A Wakizashi was a one-handed weapon.

“Having been born into the house of the warrior, one’s intentions should be to grasp the long and short swords and die"
-Kato Kiyomasa

Japanese time of war! Bios, Weapons & More!