Unfortunately (well, fortunately for my pocket) the long Spanish matchlock musket with stand had sold. I did discover a couple of shops with some lovely (mostly continental) flintlocks for sale, but reluctantly had to conclude that I could never bring one back and register it in Japan.
My prized Bashin/Umabari I gave to a friend for his 60th birthday. I don't think he really knows what a fleam is! There was a Glaswegian girl staying at his house for the lambing, a trainee vet, and she had heard of a fleam. (Must be connected to the word inflammation, and the removal of the flame.)
Yesterday we had to demonstrate our martial skills at the Kobudo-sai at the Achi-Jinja in Kurashiki. Lots of Iai and stuff.
When our turn came, our names and Dan rankings were read out. We were to do a short version of our normal displays, with long gun and pistol. Then the programme was for the bigger guns, demonstrated by individuals. I was asked to bring my black lacquered 20 Monme which normally I don't like to do as our equipment often gets damaged in transit.
"Now we will have Spider Godwin firing the 20 Monme!" I have to go first, before the two 30 Monme and the 100 Monme cannons.
I place my chu-zutsu on its block, and move forward to lift the black O-zutsu off the shogi.
In front of the crowd I place it upright on the leather pad, and rest my left hand over the muzzle, bowing and flicking my right hand away. I move my right foot back, and place my hand on my hip, then bring my arm round and point at the imagined enemy target. Slowly I circle the extended arm around and up to a point above my right shoulder, then swiftly bend down and lift up the gun in one movement. I fix the lighted matchcord to the serpentine, balancing the heavy and still fairly upright gun with my left hand. The pan lid opened, I grip the stock, splay my legs fore and aft and heft the gun up into the air gradually dropping it to where it is pointing above the heads of the crowd in front. A gentle squeeze on the trigger and there's a click as the serpentine drops. Fizzzzzzzzz........... blaDAMMMMMM
Gasps and claps from the crowd. My body swings right to absorb the recoil. I retrieve the dangling burning cord, place the gun upright in front of me, repeat the bow and then retreat.
Well, that was how it was supposed to go! LOL. Our leader gave me 90%. Later his wife who had been filming in the crowd told me that a lump of my wadding had stayed together and a flaming ball of it had come zooming over and down onto them!
We were given two Issho-bin of Jinja sake in thanks, and requested to come again next year as we are becoming a popular feature. It had rained on and off all day and we just managed to squeeze ours in between two showers. Rain and matchlocks DO NOT mix.
Now I have to sort out the armour/armor, and wash the sweaty underclothing. Here is what the guns looked like before dismantling and cleaning,