Please let me once again post a note that will risk getting me banished from the NMB - or at least cause "serious Japanese collectors" to roll their eyes.
This morning I enjoyed a podcast entitled "What is Gold Damascene" and I want to encourage NMB members to give it a look.
We Nippon-to types tend to be 1) elitist - believing that Japanese stuff is not only the best but also unique, and 2) naive about the rest of the World. In fact Japanese weapons makers addressed basic challenges of arms makers across the world and borrowed lots of foreign ideas. We tend to emphasize how Japanese craftsmen applied those ideas. We like to think that the "Japanese way" is distinctive - if not unique, but looking more broadly can help us understand why that "way" is the way it is..
A case in point is Nunome zogan. We tend to see it as distinctively Japanese since it has that nice Japanese name. The Japanese roots of nunome are pretty obscure,but it sure seems that gotten started in the early Edo period since there is little evidence of it before that time.. There are, to be sure, Korean examples of the technique. And the Indian version is called KOFTGARI, Both of those techniques are - well - not up to the Japanese standard.
What the Forgotten Weapons podcast makes clear is that the technique was also being practiced in the recent past in Spain - and at a very high level. I am not about to become a serious collector of pimped out Astra pocket pistols, but I think this discussion is worth our time.