Jump to content


Photo

Matagi Gunner's Tools


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Peter Bleed

Peter Bleed

    Jo Jo Saku

  • Members
  • 720 posts
  • LocationLincoln, NE

Posted 01 April 2016 - 03:15 AM

Dear Friends, 

I may be picking at a scab with this message, but I am very uncomfortable with the way our discussion of Noel Perrine's book developed. I am sorry if my sarcastic style offended anyone. irony can be misdirected. At the same time, I do not feel prepared or disposed to address the chapter and verse of Perrine's book.

What I do feel like doing is fostering a nice friendly conversation about pre-modern Japanese weaponry. Can't we all just get along?

Toward that end please let me present the attached image of a set of gunner's tools I bought in Sendai many years ago.This kit was discovered "in a mountain village"  and was offered to me a the tools of a "matagi". The Matagi were essentially commercial hunter who produced hides and bush meat during the Edo period. The mountains of the Tohoku supported lots of these folks who hunted with matchlock guns. In fact lots of rural folksin Tohoku had matchlocks up thru meiji times . The kit shown here also indicates that these hunters ground there own gun powder. These guys were not samurai, but matagi must have operated on the margins of the Daimyo system. In any case, this kit clearly indicates that there were folks in Japan who had not given up the gun.

The existence of kits like this indicates that guns were part of Japanese technological inventory thru the Edo period. The niche they filled was minor - - but present. Separating rural mountaineers' guns from samurai arms is something collectors might want to be able to do.

Peter

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Kit with Mill.jpg

  • Malcolm likes this
Peter Bleed

#2 Bazza

Bazza

    Jo Jo Saku

  • Members
  • 811 posts
  • LocationMelbourne, Australia

Posted 01 April 2016 - 04:36 AM

Couldn't agree more with the good Prof. Bleed.  OK, I understand the ladle is for pouring molten lead into the two bullet moulds illustrated, but what is the Big Round Wheel used for???  The axle through the wheel indicates it once had a frame that has not survived.  The bullet moulds look to me (as a one-time gun collector) as of very good quality and manufacture.  Indeed, Peter please tell us whether these cast round balls or "bullets" as we understand them.  There is a solid history line between musket balls and cylindrical bullet forms.

 

BaZZa.

(who owns three Teppou)



#3 Gasam

Gasam

    Jo Saku

  • Members
  • 210 posts

Posted 01 April 2016 - 06:46 AM

 what is the Big Round Wheel used for???  The axle through the wheel indicates it once had a frame that has not survived. 

 

BaZZa.

(who owns three Teppou)

 

heyas,

 

I have seen such wheels used for grinding up ingredients for different medicines in some Japanese movie I cannot recall the title of now. Ingredients were put into the "tub" and wheel grabbed at axle on both sides of wheel with hands and moved back and forth to grind/mix ingredients. So I don´t think something has to be missing from the wheel, or that it has been mounted necessarily. As I recall (and correct me if wrong) black powder is impact resistant/stable so wheel could be used for mixing it?


Best regards,

G. Samsonsen

#4 Malcolm

Malcolm

    Sai Jo Saku

  • Members
  • 1,351 posts
  • LocationUnited Kingdom

Posted 01 April 2016 - 08:31 AM

Hi Guys,

 

I think the term is for the grinding wheel and the boat shaped receptacle is Yagen   61618.png.

 

They are still used for grinding folk medicines in some parts of Japan.

 

Pip Pip


Malcolm


#5 Viper6924

Viper6924

    Jo Jo Saku

  • Members
  • 379 posts
  • LocationStockholm, Sweden

Posted 01 April 2016 - 09:00 AM

Thats a lovely little kit you got there, Peter! I just saw an old samurai movie displaying a grinding wheel just like that one. It was used by a man producing fireworks. So it's def related to blackpowder. Would love to have one like that.
Very nice find, indeed!

Jan

#6 Stephen

Stephen

    Oyabun

  • Members
  • 9,719 posts
  • LocationIowa

Posted 01 April 2016 - 03:11 PM

See the good karma the Prof. gets from devoting his life to teaching and education, very cool grinder the other tools don't suggest the age to me, as is ive seen like antique at gun shows.


                                  Stephen C.

                      USMC      DEC 63      APR 73

              "Nothing Fxcks you harder than time"

                        Sir  Davos Seaworth


#7 Gasam

Gasam

    Jo Saku

  • Members
  • 210 posts

Posted 01 April 2016 - 06:46 PM

Can also be used for mixing fragrant ingredients to add to bath water in the spirit world :-)

Attached Thumbnails

  • Kamaji.png

Best regards,

G. Samsonsen

#8 Geraint

Geraint

    Sai Jo Saku

  • Members
  • 1,119 posts
  • LocationCornwall UK

Posted 01 April 2016 - 10:06 PM

Dear Peter.

 

Another example of the grinding wheel is illustrated, alongside the three ingredients for gunpowder,  in the rather nice catalogue from Matsumoto Castle called "Teppo Gura".  (see p25)   Apparently the entire collection was donated to Matsumoto castle by Michishige Akahane and includes a wide range of guns as well as accoutrements for shooting.  

 

All the best


Geraint

#9 Bugyotsuji

Bugyotsuji

    Tokubetsu Juyo

  • Members
  • 4,702 posts
  • LocationJapan

Posted 04 April 2016 - 12:37 PM

Although those undoubtedly belonged to a matagi from the hills, they are not exclusive to matagi. Each of them would have been used equally by the samurai classes too. In fact there is nothing in the Yagen, the ladle, or the ball molds to shout matagi. There is no benefit for a dealer to claim matagi use, so that is why I do not doubt his claim.

 

About five years ago I bought a box of bits which were strongly reminiscent of the hunter owner. A long dirty oily rope had been interwoven with rough-hewn Hayago quick-loading tubes. There were two iron tools, for opening two types of Bisen, and a little black leather pouch, poorly woven, for carrying tinder. From a tatty ribbon hung a decrepit primer flask. Everything shouted poverty and hardship, with no evident refinement, delicacy or decoration. My Japanese colleagues looked askance. Why pay good money for something like that?

 

Agreed, though, that at many levels of society gun use continued one way or another throughout the Edo Period. As a martial art, and for hunting, for example, if not for actual war, until the proximity of Western ships set off alarm bells and a governmental urge to rearm from around the 1830s onwards.


Piers D

平常心 Heijoshin




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

IPB Skin By Virteq