Artillery of Japan

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Description of the mechanism of a breech-loading swivel gun in Japanese. 16th century.

Artillery in Japan is recorded in the 13th century. It was not used widely before the Sengoku period in the 16th century.[1]

Takashima Shuhan artillery demonstration for roju and daimyo, 1841

History[change | change source]

In the 1840s, the Tokugawa Shogunate began to anticipate that either British or French military might attack Japan. Takashima Shuhan (1798-1866) submitted a petition to the shogun calling for the purchase of Western firearms. In 1841, a demonstration of Western gunnery made a strong impression.[2] Powerful conservative factions in the shogunate resisted change.[3]

British capture Japanese cannon, 1864

During the 1864 Bombardment of Shimonoseki, European naval guns were shown to be superior to Japanese cannon on shore.[4]

Following the Meiji Restoration, Japan would pursue a policy of "Rich country, strong army" (富国強兵), which led to a general rearmament.

Imperial Japanese Army[change | change source]

The Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) used artillery during the First Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895).

Naval guns and field artillery were important in the Russo-Japanese War of 1905.

Before and during World War II, the Japanese Army deployed a variety of artillery pieces.

Imperial Japanese Navy[change | change source]

The French-built Matsushima, flagship of the Imperial Japanese Navy at the Battle of the Yalu River (1894), used a 320 mm (13 in) Canet gun.

The Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) developed large naval artillery pieces.

Japan Self Defense Force (JSDF)[change | change source]

The self-propelled artillery of the current Japanese military include

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Perrin, Noel. (1979). Giving up the Gun, Japan's Reversion to the Sword, 1543-1879, p. 93.
  2. National Diet Library, "Acceptance of Western Military Science at the End of Edo Period, Land Wrfare Tactics"; retrieved 2012-2-22.
  3. Akamatsu, Paul. (2001). Meiji 1868: Revolution and Counter-revolution in Japan, PP. 50-51.
  4. Perrin, p. 76.

Further reading[change | change source]

  • Evans, David C and Mark Peattie. (1997). Kaigun: strategy, tactics, and technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887–1941 Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland ISBN 0-87021-192-7

Other websites[change | change source]