Mitch Kuntz wrote:
I was just wondering if anytime in the history of Japan shields were used alongside swords. I have never seen or heard of shields in Japanese arts, I can only assume that were rarely used, if ever. I would think a shield would be a very formidable form of defense, that would not take a lot of skill to use effectively.
If anyone could enlighten me as to what part (if any) shields played in Japan it would be much appreciated.
Shields were never used in japan once the katana had been made and perfected. The shield is a large and cumbersome piece of kit and for an army constantly on the move, it would weigh the soldier down, slowing the army up. Why use it if you have this sword that will do the same thing?
You have this two handed sword that will stop (that is physically stop) around 90% of melee weapons that are put in its direction. The only thing you have to worry about is another Katana that is allot harder than yours. Why try put a shield in there as well when it would be less effective?
Since the sword needs two hands to use effectively why bother?
Given the cutting potential of the katana, i doubt a shield would have done much anyhow.
The only kind of shield they used was a mop like device that was held above the head (like an umbrella, but a mop instead) and which a samurai could rotate. It was large- the idea being that as the fibres spun, arrows would get caught in it and not pass through to harm the oppertor.
Bizare as this is it did have a reasonable sucsess rate.