The seminar's members, representing the full range of academic disciplines that bear upon the study of Japan and including Japan specialists from government, business, and the nonprofit sectors, meet regularly to discuss scholarly papers on all aspects of modern Japan, from history, literature, art, and the performing arts to politics, economics, social issues, and the US-Japan bilateral relationship.

Seminar: #445

Founded: 1960

May 22, 2008

December 12, 2008
Anne Walthall, UC Irvine

Technologies of war and masculine identities: the introduction and diffusion of guns

Did the first guns from Portugal arrive at Tanegashima in 1543? In whose interest was it to make this claim? How effective were the sixteenth century guns? Did they, for example, make a decisive difference in the battle of Nagashino between Oda Nobunaga and the Takeda forces? By asking who used guns, under what circumstances, and how did guns function in relation to other weapons of war, it is possible to use the history of guns in Japan as a perspective from which to assess what it meant to be a military man during the warring states period and how definitions of masculinity changed through to the eighteenth century for various members of the warrior class.

Discussant: Gregory Pflugfelder (Columbia)