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#31 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 10:18 AM

Well then, 4.5 Monme as near as dammit. Thanks again for the useful charts.
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#32 Viper6924

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 10:55 AM

Ok Eric, I'll try to keep it short. To study history is very complicated. Most of the time you have to rely on info that in some cases can be hundreds of years old and tainted by the views of the side who managed to win the battles and write history. No difference regarding Japanese history.
Talking about the history of Japanese matchlocks is even more complicated. The info in English is best described as meager. So the way I have choosen is to have important texts translated to English. But above all, I have travelled a lot to Japan. I have spent at least 6 month over there in search of knowledge. Not only regarding matchlocks but in a quest to find some answers to many of my questions and in the process to understand the way in which Japanese people thinks and operated. The latter a very important part. I agree that the "Sensei-complex" in Japan sometimes can be frustrating. Especially for us fact-fixated forreigners. But if you start to question every little fact that they present to you I can promise you that you will run out of friends and contacts very quick, leaving you reading books like "Giving up the gun" in order to find some info ;)
I am very fortunate to be able to surround myself with very competent people with whom I can futher my knowledge. Of course I don't buy everything they say. But if it's about something trivial I let it pass. If it's about something that I find important I will reply with some suggestions based on my own research. Doing it the correct way and I have noticed that the Japanese are more than willing to engage. But again, demanding proof of everything they say, would be considered extremely bad manners and send you out in the cold.
To wrap this up I can give you two example. My statement regarding that the Bushi was allowed to decorate their guns with the kamon of their choosing was told to me by a man who's father and grandfather done some amazing local research. Their ancestors was samurai and used to operate the guns that now collect dust in collections all over the world. Who am I to argue with that especially when the man showed my guns that confirmed this.
Now returning to the gun in question in this thread. Was it just blind luck that made me predict that this gun probably was around 4 Monme? No, whilst on the way for a exclusive tour of the matchlock collection in Sendai musuem, I had a very interesting talk with one of the persons that was present at the excavation of Date Masamune's grave. He was the one that said that Masamune prefered to equip his rank and files with 4-Monme matchlocks. This was very interesting when I just discovered that the Uesugi-clan during the Edo-period opted to use the 10-Monme as a standard weapon.
So now you know, Eric.
Trying to communicate on forums like this is somewhat "constraining". If I demanded absolute proof of every fact presented by the posters, Brian would most likely have to upgrade his storage capacity every week. Absolute truth is hard when dealing with history. That I'm 100% sure of.

Jan
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#33 estcrh

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 01:03 PM

Ok Eric, I'll try to keep it short. To study history is very complicated. Most of the time you have to rely on info that in some cases can be hundreds of years old and tainted by the views of the side who managed to win the battles and write history. No difference regarding Japanese history.
Talking about the history of Japanese matchlocks is even more complicated. The info in English is best described as meager. So the way I have choosen is to have important texts translated to English. But above all, I have travelled a lot to Japan. I have spent at least 6 month over there in search of knowledge. Not only regarding matchlocks but in a quest to find some answers to many of my questions and in the process to understand the way in which Japanese people thinks and operated. The latter a very important part. I agree that the "Sensei-complex" in Japan sometimes can be frustrating. Especially for us fact-fixated forreigners. But if you start to question every little fact that they present to you I can promise you that you will run out of friends and contacts very quick, leaving you reading books like "Giving up the gun" in order to find some info ;)
I am very fortunate to be able to surround myself with very competent people with whom I can futher my knowledge. Of course I don't buy everything they say. But if it's about something trivial I let it pass. If it's about something that I find important I will reply with some suggestions based on my own research. Doing it the correct way and I have noticed that the Japanese are more than willing to engage. But again, demanding proof of everything they say, would be considered extremely bad manners and send you out in the cold.
To wrap this up I can give you two example. My statement regarding that the Bushi was allowed to decorate their guns with the kamon of their choosing was told to me by a man who's father and grandfather done some amazing local research. Their ancestors was samurai and used to operate the guns that now collect dust in collections all over the world. Who am I to argue with that especially when the man showed my guns that confirmed this.
Now returning to the gun in question in this thread. Was it just blind luck that made me predict that this gun probably was around 4 Monme? No, whilst on the way for a exclusive tour of the matchlock collection in Sendai musuem, I had a very interesting talk with one of the persons that was present at the excavation of Date Masamune's grave. He was the one that said that Masamune prefered to equip his rank and files with 4-Monme matchlocks. This was very interesting when I just discovered that the Uesugi-clan during the Edo-period opted to use the 10-Monme as a standard weapon.
So now you know, Eric.
Trying to communicate on forums like this is somewhat "constraining". If I demanded absolute proof of every fact presented by the posters, Brian would most likely have to upgrade his storage capacity every week. Absolute truth is hard when dealing with history. That I'm 100% sure of.

Jan

Good information Jan, I am aware that you have spent a lot of time and effort trying to do legitimate research, but this is the only statement of yours that I was questioning

Many Kamon was indeed meant for export and made during the Meiji-period
......what information leads you to say this???

#34 Justin Grant

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 03:39 PM

Hawley and Chappelear have a book on Mons. They indicate that in 1688 the restrictions on mons fell apart, and by 1703 Merchants were using them and you could put any mon on anything, but you could not claim it as your own (meaning exclusive use) unless you could prove an ancestor wore it. They claim that by 1751, books were published for anyone to pic a mon from to decorate your personal clothing and items, and it would not have matched the family you worked for.

 

They claimed that their sources are Kansei Choshu Shoka Fu, Bukan, Kakei Jisho, Nihon Monsho Gaku, and many others.

 

Sasama also claims that Kamons were removed from armor at the end of the period and redecorated with others for resale.

 

Most of the text is in Japanese and you'll need to read there. Again, it is commonly held beliefs based on their research of their heritage and history. I encourage serious study on this, as I believe it is light. But unless there is extrinsic evidence that suggests they are incorrect, we have little purchase to counter the argument.


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#35 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 04:55 PM

Great information above!

My sword teacher laughed when I was trying to pin down a Mon on a very nice wakizashi. There's just no way to be sure, he said, especially when the same Mon was even legitimately shared by several families. With one Tanto though I am sure about the provenance. Such cases are rare, so do not get your hopes up, I felt Brian was trying to say above.

Our teppotai leader, an armour researcher and antiques expert, warned me about Mon on teppo. If they are small, three-dimensional, not shiny, and unobtrusive, well maybe a case can be made, he says. A serious military gun should not be brightly reflective on top of the barrel, he said. Recently I observed some wonderful silver inlay on a teppo in the west, but part of the inlay was overlaid on top of and to obscure the 1873 registration stamp on the barrel.

Some bling decoration was for merchants or Daimyo.

Having said all this, I agree a case can be made for a Date connection with the gun in question above, as Ian B and Jan say.
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#36 estcrh

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 05:11 AM

Hawley and Chappelear have a book on Mons. They indicate that in 1688 the restrictions on mons fell apart, and by 1703 Merchants were using them and you could put any mon on anything, but you could not claim it as your own (meaning exclusive use) unless you could prove an ancestor wore it. They claim that by 1751, books were published for anyone to pic a mon from to decorate your personal clothing and items, and it would not have matched the family you worked for.

 

They claimed that their sources are Kansei Choshu Shoka Fu, Bukan, Kakei Jisho, Nihon Monsho Gaku, and many others.

 

Sasama also claims that Kamons were removed from armor at the end of the period and redecorated with others for resale.

 

Most of the text is in Japanese and you'll need to read there. Again, it is commonly held beliefs based on their research of their heritage and history. I encourage serious study on this, as I believe it is light. But unless there is extrinsic evidence that suggests they are incorrect, we have little purchase to counter the argument.

Again good information, the type needed to back up a statement.....but.....any mention of the theory that mons were added for items specifically meant for Western Export? I have no problem believing that a certain amount of items were decorated with mons not specifically owned by any particular family, but on the other hand many items have mons that are related, case by case is how I see it. I have seen a FEW Japanese items in the west including teppo that were so poorly decorated that I would have no problem believing that they were decorated way after the item was originally manufactured, and quite possibly these were meant for export.

 

The question is, did western dealers simply prefer to buy these already decorated items over the plain ones seeing these as being more attractive to their future clients, or did western dealers specifically ask for certain items to be decorated by Japanese artists before export, or did the Japanese dealers themselves decorate these items specifically to appeal to what they understood western tastes to be before they were even purchased by western dealers.....????



#37 Justin Grant

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 05:46 AM

I believe the question is answered as such. With the new exotic nation opened, and the world enthralled by the new wonders , would a simple item or one decorated to appeal to this craze sell? The Victorian era was one of elaborate colors,ornate design, and exotic natures.

I think the Japanese, already aware of what sells to the Dutch at Dejima, appealed to western people.

But I'm sure it was trial and error. The emperors logo was used a lot during this time, so it adds some reason to the free for all theory.

My Dad has a set of plates purchased in Japan in 1900 by his Grandfather. They have Tokugawa's kamon on them. They were new when purchased. His father, my grandfather, was an Admiral in WWII and part of the occupation. He purchased a lot of items my dad has that are covered in various mons.

But, serious study is needed.
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#38 Brian

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 10:35 AM

Just look at the brass mounts on late Edo swords, with flimsy thin brass sheeting and aoi mon all over them.
Once you decide what those were made for.....your answer to many (not all) of the similar mon on Tanegashima will be answered.


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#39 Malcolm

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 10:51 AM

Hi Justin and Brian.,

 

I'm not so sure that the actual Kamon used by the Emperor was used freely, more an approximation of it.

 

For example, one petal less or more in the Kikumon Kamon makes a different Kamon.

 

Likewise, I have a suspicion that if you count the leaves and lines in what looks like the Tokugawa Aoi  Kamon on a Meiji or Taisho article, there will be a slight difference to the actual Tokugawa Kamon.

 

Here's a recent example of potential litigation over the use of the Mito Branch of the Tokugawa Kamon (now a registered Logo):

 

http://www.asahi.com...1611070058.html

 

Ian B's the man to answer this question I think.


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#40 IanB

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 02:09 PM

Like many I gave up on mon years ago having bought all manner of books on them. Almost all simply list the mon and make no references to who used them.The only book that does give names that I have is 'Seishi Kamon no Jiten' ISBN 4-87190-714-7.  I think it worth repeating that the largest collection of mon in use during the Edo period was a draper's shop - the customers handing the generations of shop keepers drawings of their mon to be added to their new kimono. Over time the drawings had been thrown into a box that somehow survived. Sadly, the shop keepers didn't add the customer's names to the drawings so we get no nearer there. More relevant to our interests are the various battle screens that illustrate combatants with their heraldic flags camp curtains and so on. These have little labels saying who they represent. From these screens we can be fairly sure that the people pictured used a certain mon, but even that isn't all it could be - there were important commanders at Seki ga Hara whose mon we just do not know. Another source are the monsho books issued throughout the Edo period that illustrate the mon and other heraldic devices used by the daimyo. Again to add confusion some generations of daimyo families made changes. This was true of the Tokugawa whose early aoimon had fewer veins in the leaves than those used later (reference for Eric's information - told to me by the Deputy Head  Priest at Nikko Toshogu Shrine verbally so no written evidence). Not a happy situation. There is a book I saw in Sendai Museum, whose title I do not know, that had been produced in the 1920's or 30's with vast amounts of information (I was enquiring after a certain mon and the curator kindly quoted a passage describing it). Since I have never seen another copy I cannot be more help on it.

 

Ian Bottomley 


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#41 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 02:58 PM

A propos of nothing really, but a Japanese collector of armour related materials travels the country following rumours of this and that. In a majority of cases the objects offered to him bear Mon/Kamon that were added as the feudal system broke up, he was telling me. (He is on the board of the J armour society.) There was a free-for-all period where every little family started to display Mon, to lift themselves from obscurity, based upon relatively nothing, apparently.
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#42 estcrh

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 03:10 PM

Lets compare the matchlock being discussed here to one currently for sale in Japan, one appears to be a plain matchlock with a few mon, I would have no problem believing that this one is either an arsenal gun with mon for identification or it was owned by a low ranking samurai, with decoration suited to the status of the owner, I see not reason to believe that it is anything else, it certainly is not overly decorated and it is not elaborate, not what one would think of as being made for western tastes etc.

 

The second one, which I repeat is currently in Japan and is highly decorated, not only with mon but with other decorations but certainly not what you would call "elaborate", it also appears to have seen quite a bit of use judging from its condition.......if this was made for export....why is it and many other similarly decorated matchlocks still in Japan? In my opinion these were made for samurai, maybe for hunting or target practice, or for processional use etc, there is no reason I know of to assume that these types were made specifically for export. It is more likely that either western dealers choose these over the plain matchlocks, or that Japanese dealers picked these types up to sell to western dealers.

 

Just my personal belief based on seeing numerous matchlocks still in Japan that are highly decorated but not in the manner you would expect a high ranking samurai to own.

 

 

 

1d28bbfdd256b1cdc1c6fa6ecddd7c99.jpg

95dce9c1a46662687cc2b9ac9933b4a0.jpg


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#43 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 03:25 PM

The second one is an Osaka merchant's gun of 3.5 Monme or under, typically decorated, and not military, according to Sawada Taira in Nihon no Furuju.
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#44 estcrh

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 04:00 PM

The second one is an Osaka merchant's gun of 3.5 Monme or under, typically decorated, and not military, according to Sawada Taira in Nihon no Furuju.

First I have heard of this, does he say what defines a "merchants gun" or were he gets this info from?  Here is the description. Hard to tell from a picture but it looks larger than 3.5 monme.

 

 

素晴らしい火縄銃です。   銘:芝辻長左衛門作   芝辻長左衛門は、江戸幕府の御用鉄砲鍛冶として重用された、芝辻理右衛門家の分家で、「五鍛冶」と呼ばれ、他の鉄砲鍛冶を統制した極めて高名な堺の鉄砲鍛冶です。   銃身も美しく、銃床には、真鍮の飾細工が施されております。  兜をかぶった武者の非常に珍しい飾が付いております。   細部まで丁寧に造り込まれた、秀逸な細工です。   カラクリも多少固くなっておりますが、きちんと作動します。   当時の上手のお品です。   登録証:愛知県 第75640号   

商品寸法   全長:125.8センチ  銃身長:96.6センチ  口径:1.5センチ

 

6574056367f009f447e7a6220c5d2349.jpg



#45 Malcolm

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 09:18 PM

Thank you Ian,

 

You said: "I think it worth repeating that the largest collection of mon in use during the Edo period was a draper's shop - the customers handing the generations of shop keepers drawings of their mon to be added to their new kimono."

 

I think that would be the Matsuya Piece Good Store catalogue from 1913

 

Dover did the reprint:

 

http://store.doverpu...0486228746.html

 

Matsuya rebranded themsleves and went up market in 1931, they still exist with two huge stores in Tokyo, One in Ginza and the other in Asakusa.

 

You also said: "There is a book I saw in Sendai Museum, whose title I do not know, that had been produced in the 1920's or 30's with vast amounts of information (I was enquiring after a certain mon and the curator kindly quoted a passage describing it). Since I have never seen another copy I cannot be more help on it."

 

There was a major book on Kamon published in 1926, its title is Koyo Nihon Monshogaku by Numata Raisuke     Publisher: Tokyo Meiji Shoin

 

 

Pip Pip Cheerio


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#46 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 09:37 PM

Shibatsuji in their description was a famous gunsmith's in Osaka. The very worn muzzle diameter is probably close to 1.5 cm as stated, Eric, but I suspect that the actual bore is quite a bit less. Always prepared to be wrong however!

If you have Sawada Taira's book I can translate what he said, and his 3.5 Monme borderline, but I do not have a copy here in Europe. He still lives in Osaka and is most proud of Settsu/Sesshu guns. He considers himself to be the foremost expert on Japanese guns today.
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#47 kalamarz

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 09:41 PM

Gents,

 

Please have a look at some of the kamons below:

 

kamon.jpg

 

It looks like Jinbo is the closest to the ones on the gun.  However, Jinbo clan was from Toyama prefecture, a bit removed from Sendai...


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#48 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 09:50 PM

Yes, one of the main Date Kamon featured three upright Hikiryo.
https://www.google.c...biw=414&bih=628
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#49 Dr Fox

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 12:02 AM

Shibatsuji in their description was a famous gunsmith's in Osaka. The very worn muzzle diameter is probably close to 1.5 cm as stated, Eric, but I suspect that the actual bore is quite a bit less. Always prepared to be wrong however!

 

 

 

Hi Piers

I also took note of the greater muzzle diameter, and supposed the flare could be deliberate.

It would assist as a 'starter' area, for a patched ball. Or assist speed loading.

What do you think?


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#50 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 12:56 AM

Well, yes, that happened in the west, Denis, but I have yet to see a clear deliberate example in Japan. It is possible that you are right and that I have simply been overlooking them though.

(Muzzles could become worn through constant use of ramrods, especially after they became iron.)

In my list of gunsmiths there are two guns listed for Shibatsuji Chozaemon, one of 3.5 Monme, and a bigger one of 12 Monme.
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#51 estcrh

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 02:35 AM

The second one is an Osaka merchant's gun of 3.5 Monme or under, typically decorated, and not military, according to Sawada Taira in Nihon no Furuju.



Shibatsuji in their description was a famous gunsmith's in Osaka. The very worn muzzle diameter is probably close to 1.5 cm as stated, Eric, but I suspect that the actual bore is quite a bit less. Always prepared to be wrong however!

If you have Sawada Taira's book I can translate what he said, and his 3.5 Monme borderline, but I do not have a copy here in Europe. He still lives in Osaka and is most proud of Settsu/Sesshu guns. He considers himself to be the foremost expert on Japanese guns today.


Piers, you opened the door to a whole new question. Hopefully Sawada has some references listed which explains why he thinks that there were special merchants guns. I do not have his book but if someone here does and would find that particular passage this would be helpful.
 
I have my doubts about Sawada's statement but the only reference to Osaka merchants and weapons I know of has to do with wakizashi. I have heard many people state that Osaka merchants were responsible for the large amounts of elaborate Edo period wakizashi, but not one of these people can say were this info originates. On the other hand there is one researcher who casts some doubt on that claim. Here is a quote on the subject from "WAS CHONIN CLASS IN EDO PERIOD ALLOWED TO WEAR/CARRY SWORDS? S. Alexander Takeuchi, Ph.D. Department of Sociology University of North Alabama October 26, 2003." https://s-media-cach...03edb70a520.jpg
 

ac7edd008c30ee2c21eb8b6ad33274e5.png


The question is....were Japanese matchlocks with this specific type of decoration made exclusively for merchants...or did some merchants buy existing matchlocks that were also used by samurai. The large amounts of these types of decorated matchlocks seems to indicated that there were more people using these than just Osaka merchants. As for the 3.5 monme borderline mentioned by Sawada, could the merchants have preferred this monme or were they required to use a smaller monme than samurai.
 
If you extrapolate the info from Takeuchi's essay on Osaka merchants wakizashi to Osaka merchants matchlocks you can assume that these particular type of decorated matchlocks were not exclusive to merchants, which leaves the question about the 3.5 monme open. IF Osaka merchants were actually able to own matchlocks (some sort of proof is needed) were they specifically limited to 3.5 monme in the same way that they were limited to the size of the sword that could own? if this was the case then you can conclude that Sawada is correct.



#52 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 08:43 AM

When I get back to Japan I will check the passage again and translate it, but from memory my impression is that notes and references are not Sawada Taira's strong suit. He has taken much material from older books and rehashed it, adding illustrations, but he has also undertaken much of his own research.
Talking with people I did get the feeling that certain merchants could be permitted wakizashi and up to 3.5 Monme guns, similarly. I will keep my eyes and ears open for possible sources to back that up.
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#53 Dr Fox

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 12:26 AM

There is evidence that sport shooting took off big time in Japan.

It is recorded that guns in the hands of civilians, were responsible for the reduction of the Oriental Stork.

Its not out of reason, to suppose that bling would have appeared.

And decorations for personal taste added.


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#54 estcrh

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 06:32 AM



There is evidence that sport shooting took off big time in Japan.

It is recorded that guns in the hands of civilians, were responsible for the reduction of the Oriental Stork.

Its not out of reason, to suppose that bling would have appeared.

And decorations for personal taste added.

According to the National Museum of Japanese History, the use of guns for hunting may have predated their use as weapons of war.

https://s-media-cach...4cb07e64eeb.jpg

7880e250e6e71137a967d4cb07e64eeb.jpg


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#55 kalamarz

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 05:06 AM

Piers-san,

 

I found couple more characters interestingly on a side adjacent to the one with main characters, please have a look.

 

Thanks,

Paul

Attached Thumbnails

  • DSCN1630.JPG
  • DSCN1631.JPG

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#56 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 02:43 PM

Small oops moment. Slip of the pen(?) When I originally wrote the smith's Romanized name of 芳賀 as Hōga, it should have been Haga, an alternative, but in this smith's case, probably more correct reading. Difficult for most Japanese to know how to read it, it seems.

These two Kanji you have found are pretty well unreadable for me. I suspect there may be more kanji on the facet to the 'right' of the Mei as you hold the muzzle upwards.

The only long shot is another gun from this gunsmith which bears the inscription 鉱鉄上々鍛. Could what you have uncovered be 上鍛, I wonder, i.e. Superior forging?
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#57 kalamarz

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 04:21 AM

Piers-san,

 

I was able to "excavate" these some more, not sure if this is more helpful.  

 

t2.jpg

t3.jpg

ta2.jpg

 

You also mentioned writing to the right but we already looked at them before.  I'll try to get some better images of these characters later.

 

Thanks,

Paul


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#58 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 10:42 AM

Nothing more on all three facets then? OK, forgive me!

Now with those fine new shots for which thanks, I think we can just about confirm the 'long shot' above. Agegitae, Jotan, meaning what? In swords basic process (下鍛 = Shitagitae) completed, plus further process (上鍛). Or does it mean superior workmanship or superior forging?

See No.3 on this page for the expression Agegitae, where it means continuing to hammer and fold steel to produce skin steel or harder, less malleable outer layer of a Nihonto blade.
http://www.touken.or...aku/koutei.html
Piers D

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#59 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 11:16 AM

Incidentally it was the second of the three quoted smiths who included the forging comment on one of his barrels. Does this suggest that they were still experimenting with the right hardness of steel for a barrel, or is it a mark of satisfaction I wonder?
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#60 IanB

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 12:39 PM

Piers, I read the two character inscription as 'superior forging' . Work-hardening by repeated hammering was also practised in Europe. Felix Werder, a Swiss gunmaker, hit on the idea for producing brass barrels which he claimed were superior to any others - keeping his technique a secret and charging the earth for his guns. In the days of muzzle loading brass barrels were less prone to damage by corrosion and could be kept loaded (hence their frequent use for blunderbuss) and in his case very thin and light weight and hence desirable. What he in fact was doing was casting the tubes and then repeatedly hammering them around a mandrel to break down the crystal structure and harden the metal. The research on a pair of his pistols has been done and published but I'm b*ggered if I am quoting full references on a simple observation

As for the use of mon on export goods - of course they were! Some items were covered in them. The jingasa illustrated in the Galeno Collection p.128, looks like a page from a book on mon. This poor old thing has obviously had the treatment to attract a buyer. You should read the book by Mortimer Menpes of his time in Japan where he is befriended by a Japanese antique dealer. He describes all the tricks being perpetrated to produce stuff for the tourists.

Ian Bottomley


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