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Culture: History

  • What kinds of weapons were used by traditional Japanese soldiers?
    The sword was the traditional weapon of the Japanese soldier (samurai). Bows and arrows and, later, guns were also used.

  • Who was Takeda Shingen?
    Takeda Shingen (1521-73) was a warrior-lord of the Muromachi (1338-1573) and Azuchi-Momoyama (1573-1603) periods. Go to Japanese History to learn about other important people, places, and dates from Japan's extensive history.

  • What was Toyotomi Hideyoshi's nickname?
    Hideyoshi was nicknamed saru(monkey) by the warlord Oda Nobunaga under whom he served. For more information on Hideyoshi, go to: Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

  • From what country was the first European ship to reach Japan?
    The first Europeans to reach Japanese shores were Portuguese traders, whose ship landed in 1542 on Tanegashima, an island near Kyushu. They introduced firearms to the country.

  • Can you tell me something about warriors in Japan?
    Look at this page on shoguns.