This range represents the armies of the Late Asuka, Nara, and Early Heian periods in Japanese history, which saw a strict codification of Japanese society initiated by the Imperial Court in Kyoto. In military affairs, this saw the replacement of the noble foot archers and their retainers that had characterized Kofun period armies with more lightly armoured Heishi militias who were archers but also employed spears. Units employed pavises as well, one per five-man squad. O-yumi giant crossbow artillery was also widely used. Cavalry remained armoured mounted archers, but were in greater numbers than in the Kofun period, supplemented later by resettled Emishi and other cavalry.|
The infantry fought as protected archery, behind pavises and likely protected by spearmen (we don't know many details of their tactics, but we do know men were trained in the use of the long spear as well as the bow), so sets are provided with a mix of spearmen and archers -- six spearmen in two poses, and six archers in three poses. Militiamen either wore caps or bamboo hats, and were not required to possess armour, but spearmen probably wore light protection. Heavier armour was issued to the infantry on occasion.
Wars in this period were largely major rebellions such as the Hayato Rebellion, Jinshin War, and the Fujiwara no Hirotsugu rebellion, and wars against the Emishi, such as the epic Thirty Eight Years' War. Japanese armies also fought in Korea, against the Chinese, in an attempt to protect their Baekche allies from the T'ang.
As is so often the case, we wish to thank Duncan Head for his help with this range, although any errors in the range are ours alone.