Firearms were present in Japan beginning in the 13th century, but saw little adoption. In 1543, the Portuguese introduced matchlock firearms, a much more impressive weapon, and Japan embraced them. They began manufacturing them in great numbers, researching firearms technology, and fielding armies equipped with firearms, which they used to great effect. In 1592 a Japanese force invaded Korea and rapidly captured Seoul, in large part due to the presence of an estimated 40k gunners in the force. It's estimated Japan may have led the world during this period in firearm production, and surviving written records suggest they saw firearms very positively.
...then, they stopped. There's an excellent book about it called "Giving Up The Gun" (https://www.amazon.com/Giving-Up-Gun-Reversion-1543-1879/dp/...) There's no super clear explanation; the answer mostly seems to be a vague hand-wavy nod towards "cultural reasons".
But, obviously, those cultural reasons didn't seem to apply prior to the Edo period, when Japan went all-in on firearms, arguably more so than any European country. Odd.
Some historians partially credit the victories by noted Admiral Yi Sun-sin to both use of local terrain and waterway lore and the asymmetric fielding of battlefield weaponry. There's a recent movie (The Admiral:Roaring Currents) retelling of the battle that, despite lots of historical liberties and national rah-rah bits, has some interesting visuals on the different dispositions of the opposing fleets.
The rest of the invasion seemed to not go as well where the better trained and more mobile Japanese army had control of much of the peninsula off and on.
> The Sengoku period (戦国時代 Sengoku Jidai, "Age of Warring States"; c. 1467 – c. 1603) is a period in Japanese history marked by social upheaval, political intrigue and near-constant military conflict. Japanese historians named it after the otherwise unrelated Warring States period in China. It was initiated by the Ōnin War, which collapsed the Japanese feudal system under the Ashikaga shogunate, and came to an end when the system was re-established under the Tokugawa shogunate by Tokugawa Ieyasu.
So, after the period of war ended and the Tokugawa Shogunate was established, the "Bakufu" clearly did not want millions of unemployed soldiers hanging around with guns. (I heard even the invasion on Korea was conceived as a means of keeping soldiers and lesser feudal lords busy, though I'm not sure how widely it is believed.)
And yet it still raises questions. It happened very suddenly as these things go (over a few years or decades, rather than centuries), and seems to have been accompanied by a deep, long-lasting cultural shift. Even after Japanese isolation ended in the mid 19th century, there didn't seem to be any real reversion (hence, indirectly, the originally linked article). If the establishment of the Tokugawa Shogunate was enough to make Japan give up the gun, why was it's collapse not enough to make Japan re-embrace it? If the answer is "unique Japanese culture", why was it not present at the start of the Sengoku period? It's not like the Sengoku period was just way more violent than the 1850-1950 period.
Anyhow, the book I linked (which I last read over 10 years ago, so I'm a bit fuzzy on some of the details) goes into a lot more detail, digging through historical records and evaluating most of the obvious theories. I highly recommend it!
I'd imagine during that time in Japan cultural reasons was a big enough reason. Edo period was characterized by isolationism. It was trade, religion (Christian converts were heavily persecuted at that time) and social structures were become more rigid https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edo_society. There was finally the travel restriction https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakoku_Edict_of_1635. Perhaps guns were seen as something foreign they went away with all the other "foreign" things.
Or if your comparison to RT is about them being owned/heavily influenced by the government, they're not: the NHK is the quasi-governmental news org in Japan.
> in gang ridden neighborhoods
Gangs are no longer a problem in most American cities, afaik. It's a obsolete myth in the minds of people who never step foot in poor and working-class urban neighborhoods, but they see lots of TV and movies.
Killing someone is bad, very bad. But murder charges should be reserved for people who planned to kill someone that day versus being driven to do so in the moment. On its face it might not seem like there's a difference, but there is. It's like the difference between yelling at someone for cutting you off in traffic versus planning exactly how you're going to yell at your boss when you quit in pique. It's the heat of the moment versus the calculation of premeditation.
People do take advantage of the way our justice system judges you partly on intent, but I think that's an essential part of a humane justice system, and some people will always take advantage of our humanity. And I think if we look at the mechanics of plea bargains, this kind of abuse is probably rife. But I don't think the answer is to raise the minimum sentence. I think the answer is to prosecute the correct charges and to prove intent and planning. Or to accept that many of the killings in question really are perpetrated in the heat of the moment and not out of some cunning plan on the part of the killer.
Some people take 10 years to quit smoking.
Also, while I agree with your point on abusing the justice system and not using it for revenge, you must not forget that:
- currently we also use it as a deterrent system. Even if it doesn't work very well. If somebody is capable of killing someone else, there is a huge different between knowing you will pay 3 years or 10 for it. 3 years to get a reputation or get rid of a life road block could be calculated as an acceptable price.
- there is also the way the non-killers will see the system. If people are being honest, and they witness more and more than being a criminal has not the consequences they though is should have, then people will loose any trust they have in the system. It's a very bad long term side effect to have for a society. Really, really bad.
What's "a murderer" ? Are all of them equals ?
Do you think a Yakuza and a an person wanting an inheritance have the same views on violence ?
And what if you have a one year sentence ? One month ? One week ? None ? Do you think there would be no difference ?
Scenario B: you are angry at your neighbor for always taking your parking lot. So you acquire a gun, and in the middle of the night you sneak over to his house, break in, and shoot him while he's sleeping.
Two dead victims, two very different sets of circumstances. Should both those cases be prosecuted as murder? Given the same sentence?
Self-defense obviously changes that paradigm completely, and because of that, I'd consider that example moving the goalposts of this discussion
Here we are talking about yakuza, organized crime, not Joe or Jane having one bad moment in life.
the legitimacy of the US government
>The real reason why the police set him up, of course, was to improve the district’s anti-crime record. Sometime after I left jail—around 1938, I suppose it would have been—I had just the same kind of trouble myself at my joint in Uguisudani. Told me, in just the same way, to hand in my guns. This particular detective came straight from the Metropolitan Police Board—the very top. I expect they’d been tipped off that some yakuza somewhere had got hold of a few pistols, so they planned to make a clean sweep. But there weren’t any in my place to begin with, and there was nothing I could do.
>So they told me to produce some even if I had to buy them. It was way out of line, but if I’d gone on insisting I didn’t have any, I’d have ended up the same as Kan-chan, so I got a brother to buy me a couple at three hundred and fifty yen apiece. That was enough to buy a house with in those days, but I couldn’t afford to think about that.
>I turned them in to the police immediately. “Good work,” they said—and that was the last I heard about it: no letter of thanks, and no punishment, either....
I find this mindset is reflected in a lot of manga produced in Japan. Heroes are often paired with swords: Rurouni Kenshin, Inu Yasha, and Bleach to name a few.
They also used guns when they became available. They were soldiers and mercenaries, after all.
That's fair. I was just trying to imply that the samurai (and Western cowboy, and European knight, and even modern yakuza and mafia) all present a romantic facade in popular culture that wasn't and isn't necessarily reflected in practical reality.
Apparently even the concept of Bushido is a cultural retcon[0,1] as is, almost everything related to ninja[2,3]. Some young Japanese hoodlums might buy into the hype, but I don't necessarily trust that anecdata as a basis to make some general statement about Japanese culture mistrusting guns because they're less honorable.
The developments that led since then to the modern gun are breech loading, the Minié ball, magazine-fed ammunition, paper and later metal cartridges, rifling, smokeless powder, and the automatic firing mechanism. With the exception of the paper cartridge, all of these technologies were developed in the latter half of the 19th century.
Simply put, pre-American Civil War guns were tactically very different in operation from 20th and 21st century guns. As an aside, this is why WWI was so bloody: generals were trying to fight a war with 20th century guns and 18th century tactics.
For those who are unaware in MMA everything is done by weight classes. If you fight at 155, you need to stand on a scale and weigh 155 or less the day before the fight. Most fighters tend to start at a much higher wight and cut all the water out of their system in the days before. Once they officially weigh in, they rehydrate which makes them much heavier by fight day. A lot of fighters cut more than 20 pounds leading up to a fight, so you can imagine what a disadvantage a fighter is at who fights at their natural weight.
It's basically technophobia. Usually a dangerous bias, but if we can harness it to prevent people from shooting each other, maybe that's the upside.
The idea that a peasant could murder an armored nobleman with a lucky shot? Inconceivable!
Edit: Unless I'm missing something basic here? I don't see any reference or link to the "study on juvenile crime" the article title references.
First, It's less than 20 years old for a crime to be punished differently than adults in Japan. Not 21 years. An article containing this level of mistake cannot trusted further.
It said, Japanese biker gang can get a gun but not doing so because of honor, “Being able to move your finger on a trigger is not really a skill that wows anyone.” What?
It costs a fortune(and you have to deal with bad guys) to illegally acquire the shitty hand gun that was so poorly manufactured and cannot be trusted.
And each live rounds cost a fortune too.
How can a young dropouts and delinquents earn such amount of money while still maintaining the bikes?
Children can be charged at any age, but there is no criminal liability under 14. Children under 14 can still be sent to juvenile detention centers.
From 14 on-wards, they can be sentenced to prison, with reduced sentences compared to adults.
From 18 on-wards, they can be sentenced like adults.
There's also a scene that an the "oyabun" (absolute leader of a yakuza clan) use gun to kill one man who did not complete a mission, but instead of shooting into his head, the oyabun gave the man his coat, and shoot to the back. It turns out that the coat is bullet proof, and the oyabun actually allow that man to live a normal life thereafter.
Watching that movie make me absolutely want to fight someone with my bare hand (I know I shouldn't).
Both hoodlums and police stopped at the red light, and sat there until the light turned green before resuming their "chase" at approximately 20km/h.
I think they got away. Very slowly.
TL;DR yes youth culture is quite different around the world
Because I get that a gang use guns in the US, where it's quite easy to get your hands on one.
But in France, while some criminals do have guns, it's not that common. It's not only hard to get a gun but it would also almost always considered like a sure tell something fishy is going on. Having a gun, unless you can conceal it very well and not be noticed when you use it, is a great way to get busted.
The most serious restriction on guns in France is you can only own two at any time that accept military calibers. So 9x19mm, bad, but 9x21mm A-OK.
A process that is hardly as casual as this: http://money.cnn.com/2015/06/19/news/guns-background-checks/...
And come on, if you get an FFL licence, you can even get a silencer or a machine gun as a normal citizen.
The difficulty is not even on the same scale.
And come on, if you get an FFL licence
you can even get a silencer or a machine gun as a normal citizen
I like that attitude.
Secondly, I think your comment reveals a classical misunderstanding of the tactics required to maintain a position of superior strength. As the article makes clear, using a gun would elicit scorn, thereby risking the antipathy of one's allies, a grievous situation indeed. You really think that a lone gunman against 20-50 skilled hand-to-hand combatants mortally dedicated to his demise would remain 'undefeated'?
I think at best the gunman succeeds in the first encounter, with the advantage of surprise, and the shock of his willingness to dishonour himself, his gang, and his adversaries. Thereafter, having made himself honourless, he no longer need be treated with honour.
Right from the article.
It's a cultural thing methinks...
I can't even count the times I've heard of...
I have over 60 years of criminology data and yet cannot find one case that meets your stated criteria (bar fight or any other collection of strangers resulting in more than 2 fatalities or 3 wounded).
1 dead 2 wounded: http://www.azfamily.com/story/37585825/police-investigating-...
1 dead 2 wounded: https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2016/10/2...
and that's just Phoenix.
Hold on...found a 6 people shot one too: https://www.click2houston.com/news/6-people-shot-after-fight...
Don't think your criminology database is all that comprehensive...
Actually, just up the street from the first link I was in the parking lot of Kitty's Bar calling into dispatch (was working for Sunrise Cab at the time) and this "individual" took 3 or 4 steps into the street and unloaded his handgun in the air. Me (being me) looked at this "individual", who's 30-40 feet away from me, and see he's not shooting at me so go back to what I was doing and was like "whatever".
Only thing I can think of is he was either mad at getting kicked out of the bar or perhaps wanted the traffic to stop for his jaywalking, dunno? Of course all my later calls were in the area the police were conducting their manhunt which was a PITA.