The tanegashima (種子島), also known as hinawajū (火縄銃), was a type of matchlock or arquebus firearm introduced to Japan through the Portuguese in 1543. Tanegashima were used by the samurai class and their foot soldiers (ashigaru) and within a few years the introduction of the tanegashima in battle changed the way war was fought in Japan forever.
The popularity of the tanegashima grew exponentially during the Sengoku period due to various victories attributed to it. In 1563 the Amako of Izumo province won a victory over the Kikkawa with 33 of their adversaries wounded by tanegashima, as a result, in the year 1567 Takeda Shingen announced that, "Hereafter, the guns will be the most important arms, therefore decrease the number of spears per unit, and have your most capable men carry guns". Oda Nobunaga used tanegashima in the Battle of Anegawa (1570), and again against the powerful Takeda clan in the Battle of Nagashino (1575), 3,000 gunners helped win the battle, firing by volleys of a thousand at a time.
Japan became so enthusiastic about the new weapons that it possibly overtook every European country in absolute numbers produced. It's usage by powerful warlords made it a status symbol for noble and wealthy classes.
In Gameplay Edit
Matchlock firearms appear both as pistols, favored weapons of Kagetora Akame and Merchants, and rifles used by Soldiers. Possibly as a display of their wealth, the House of Akame always starts the game with the rifle upgrade.