Compared with the Mortar, Morutaru are slightly cheaper and take up 1 less population per unit. They also cause less siege damage and move slower than Mortars when in Limber mode but also move faster when in Bombard mode. The lower hit points and damage can be negated by taking advantage of Japan's Daimyo, Shogun and Golden Pavillion auras, to make them extremely potent long range siege and anti-warship units.
Much like Flaming Arrows, they have almost no set-up time and can hit-and-run ships, or snipe buildings and retreat quickly.
With the Morutaru Range card, Morutaru acquire an amazing 44 range (and 48LOS). The only Mortar that beats its range is the Portuguese one, with 48 range and 52 LOS.
In the late sixteenth century, when armies of Japan returned from their military campaigns on the Korean peninsula, they brought with them many lessons in siege acquired from their sophisticated Korean enemy. Unfortunately, use of the mortar, a military art that the Koreans had perfected, was something in which the Japanese did not appear interested. They continued their usual practice of importing European cannons. However, in 1639 the Japanese played host to visiting Dutch advisors who demonstrated a mortar for the Shogun and his representatives. The demonstration caused an uproar even though not one shell fired hit its intended target.