Jesus, if I have to do this one more time…
I’m sorry for my badgering on, but I get really annoyed by this kind of shows that put things in a completely wrong perspective in time and essence.
Yet here you are doing exactly the same thing.
but don’t forget he was bigger and stronger than his asian counterpart
Not really. People in bygone times were all smaller than today in general; just try on some Victorian clothing if you don’t believe me, its tiny. Its not just us far easterners. And no, Vikings weren’t all 7 feet tall wearing chaos armour
is that the western knight was a professionally trained killing machine
And this is different to a Samurai, how? They’re the same thing dude, professional elite soldiers, its just that one is European and one is Japanese.
I seem to remember clearly the duel between a ninja (or something similar asian wearing an ugly frock and wielding the next type of weapon everybody agrees looks like a katana) and… a highlander… guess who won?
Well, I’m sorry our clothes look like ugly frocks to you, but at least we didn’t wear tights and wigs. Very manly, I’m sure
And I assume their version of a Highlander was some raving looney in a kilt, bearing as much resemblance to a real Scot as Mel Gibson?
hat the steel from his sword didn’t have to get processed that much, because european steel was far superior to japanese steel (which is one of the main reasons the portugese were able to colonise (parts of) Japan that fast).
Where to start really. European swords just aren’t as complex in their construction, thats all there is to it; this is a fact that any knowledgeable historian will agree with. Doesn’t mean that the European sword wasn’t just as well designed, its a completely different tool made for a different fighting style to kill different enemies. And let us also not forget that the katana was, just like the western sword, a sidearm; something you fall back on when your main weapon has been rendered useless on the battlefield, not the primary weapon. Notions of it cutting through heavier armour types are fanciful. The cult of the sword grew up in the Edo period, a period of peace when the Samurai was essentially a policeman; it is from here that the ‘soul of the Samurai’ idea comes from, not times of actual war. If you quoted Edo era thinking to a Sengoku era (civil war period) Samurai, he would think you quite mad.
And as for colonising parts of Japan… the Portuguese were permitted
to trade from a small island offshore and only that island. No more than a handful of Portuguese, or any foreign trader, actually lived in Japan for lengthy periods, and always at the nobility’s discretion.
What I always find interesting is that people just plainly adore samurai, as opposed to the western european knight, or even the chinese soldier.
In China, they adore Chinese soldiers. The difference is that Chinese history hasn’t been mercilessly commercialised abroad like Japanese history has, and Japan is essentially now seen as pacifist and friendly, not like China’s image. People in Europe are just used to Knights, but the whole occidental ‘other’ identity that the Samurai represents has a big appeal for western audiences, and that’s the root of its popularity; not the real Samurai, these people aren’t interested in that, they want the exotic idea that ‘Samurai’ means to them. The opposite is true in Japan, where the Samurai are seen as old and boring and knights in shining armour are the way to go.
I do love Samurai, without a doubt, but I love the real Samurai and I love European history too, and this kind of thoughtless macho size-comparison idiocy really pisses me off and here’s why:
Weapons and armour and tactics all evolve according to who you fight
; hence why Asian gear is all different to western gear; its designed to fight other Asian enemies who wear different stuff to Europeans and fight in different styles in different places. Its like comparing an office chair to an armchair; they’re both for sitting in, but with totally different reasons. This is why that show is stupid.
The other key point that that show totally ignores for all its ‘contestants’ is their tactical role
. Samurai vs Viking should have been horse archer vs foot skirmisher; a totally pointless comparison akin to comparing a table to a spoon. One does one thing in one place, the other does something else entirely. This is why that show is stupid.