Thursday, January 17, 2019

Japan Gave Up the Gun

However, history provides some interesting counterexamples to apparently inevi-
table technologies. The gun would appear to be the classic example of a weapon
that no society could reject once it had been introduced. Yet the Japanese did just
that. They adopted guns from Portuguese traders in 1543, learned how to make
them, and gradually gave up the bow and sword. As early as 1575 guns proved de-
cisive in a major battle (Nagoshino), but then the Japanese abandoned them, for
what can only be considered cultural reasons.