why were european armies so much more advanced than japanese ones

#1Crunch34Posted 3/18/2011 7:14:44 AM
i mean european armies had earlier access to gunpowder and everything, it just seems like they were so much more advanced than japanese ones, why?
#2maximus_2Posted 3/18/2011 7:17:48 AM

Because Japanese were on the island and had traditional thinking..

#3Kaserhawk16Posted 3/18/2011 7:23:50 AM
Japan also doesn't have as much resources as Europe does (I.E Metals)


Also very different ways of millitary thinking.
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#4DadansterPosted 3/18/2011 7:43:34 AM
The Japanese didn't effectively modernize until 1867-1905. Fighting it out with swords and feudal styles of fighting was preferred until Americans came in 1867. To their credit, they modernized very quickly with 50 years and became a Great Power after the Meiji Restoration.

But until then they were very isolationist and traditional. All their style of fighting was made in order to fight each of their own clans, and in some cases the Chinese, Koreans and other Asian countries. The Europeans were an entirely new thing to them.
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#5vestax159Posted 3/18/2011 9:25:25 AM
The Huns also devastated Asia, which probably set them back a little bit. Seriously Huns were an ancient version of Hitler but worse.
#6BigTlovesBEERPosted 3/18/2011 9:38:07 AM
Europe's economic structure was very different for the hundreds of years leading up to this time period. It led to more fiercely competitive rivals that were right on top of each other if you look at it geographically. It forced them to make innovations in technology to one-up their opposition. This was, for lack of a better phrase, "the european way"

I know Japan was shrouded in war but their sensibilities about combat were totally different. The way they looked at a battlefield was as much about honor and glory as it was economic and political gain. This isn't to badmouth euorpean cultures of the time. They obviously had honor codes as well but it was just a different mentality. The "Stakes were higher" so to speak in europe. Made them innovate or die basically.

At least... that's my understanding of it. I just read alot of history but I'm sure a good history buff or better yet a professor can lay it out better than I can.
#7wave5Posted 3/18/2011 9:46:33 AM
The Huns also devastated Asia, which probably set them back a little bit. Seriously Huns were an ancient version of Hitler but worse.

I don't think the Huns touched Japan afaik. Do you mean the Mongols?
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#8Xiahou MaoPosted 3/18/2011 9:56:17 AM
i mean european armies had earlier access to gunpowder and everything, it just seems like they were so much more advanced than japanese ones, why?

For what it's worth, the backbone of European armies circa 1600 was the Maurician formation, named after Maurice of Nassau, Dutch Statholder and general from 1585-1625. It made gunpowder weapons more viable by innovating a system of firing them in ranks, so that a constant barrage of firepower was being rained down upon an advancing enemy, with one rank reloading as the next stepped up to shoot.

Thing is, Oda Nobunaga, the famous Sengoku daimyo, had already created that formation, using it to great success against the Takeda cavalry in 1573.

Given the right, forward-thinking minds like Nobunaga, there was no reason that Japan couldn't have been competitive with Europe even way back then. He was already out ahead of Europe in certain aspects, as his advanced use of muskets proved. The thing is, he didn't unify Japan, he was killed in a rebellion. The unifiers that outlived and succeeded him, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Tokugawa Ieyasu and especially Ieyasu's son Hidetada, were more concerned with protecting their status than developing their country, and as such firearms were outlawed, trade with Europeans greatly restricted, and the peasantry oppressed. Had Nobunaga unified Japan, or another innovative mind like Date Masamune, things would undoubtedly have been very different.
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#9BlackScythe0Posted 3/18/2011 9:59:10 AM
The rise of the Mongol Empire in 1260 resulted in the technologies of the east, middle east, and the west coming together and a rather large surge in military technology. Gunpowder weapons were the result.

The (failed) Mongol Invasions of Japan resulted in them becoming even more xenophobic and as a result their technology was at a basic standstill, no exchange of ideas or resources with the outside world.
#10fire810Posted 3/18/2011 10:37:03 AM
the mongols invaded them twice (i think) The first time they whooped the Japanese so bad that they thought it was some sort of advanced tactical trickery so they left. They returned a second time only to find Japan had built walls all around the islands. That's when a huge tsunami obliterated half of the Mongol force.

In other words, Japan got lucky