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Late Muromachi Tanzutsu Teppou.

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Hey guys, just checking to see if my translation is accurate on this tanzutsu on my site. www.nihontocollection.com Should be 大和守 yamatonokami, 飾之 kazayuki, tensho year 1. Please note that this is not a weapon and was never made to fire. It is an original reproduction gift item.

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Not sure what you mean by never meant to be fired, as accurate replicas are frowned upon, (no vent?) but the wording is generally right. The left facet though says 飾之 Kazaru kore, which I assume is supposed to mean “decorated this”.

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Piers,
Does this look like a 1500's gun?
And what would it mean to write Yamato no kami decorated this? Surely there should be the name of an artist there, or do you think the Lord of Yamato decorated it? Seems a bit odd.
The theory is that this was made as a display piece in the 1570's..not a working gun. I am fairly sure that cannot be correct and that it must have been made as a working gun.

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Chris, as I mentioned in the other post I do not believe that 飾之 has the reading of Kazuyuki and I suggested kazari (kazaru) kore as an alternate meaning for the inscription.

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FWIW I doubt this gun was made in Tenshou.  The date I would think to be an allusion to something, similar to the Kamakura period date on armour doeskin stencilling.  The barrel must come off simply because it was "put on".  I will bet there is a brass pin underneath the two small medallions either side that will push out and the bbl can be removed.  I'm not saying it is simple - one of my guns took an enormous (and gentle) effort to remove the bbl even when the 3 retaining pins were out.

 

Having seen similar teppou the black lacquered stock suggests to me it is of Edo period manufacture.  A very nice and desirable teppou, to be sure. :Drool: :Drool: :Drool:

 

BaZZa.

 

EDIT:  Looking again at the pictures I feel the two small medallions were added much later to prevent access to the pin.  The pictures aren't clear enough, but they don't look "as good" as the rest of the gun.  Note also it has the Tokugawa mon on the bbl and lacquered on the stock; the Tokugawa were ascendant primarily after 1600..

 

EDIT 2:  I'm reasonably sure the bbl will be signed by a Kunitomo gunsmith???

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I don't know what to make of the writing on this, or the item itself. I think it is unlikely that Ieyasu, an up-and-coming regional warlord in 1573 (Tensho 1) would have a hollyhock decorative hand-cannon such as this. I don't think the title "Yamato-no-kami" would have any more significance on this piece than it does on a sword, which is to say the title is an honorary title of the craftsman, and if 飾之 is to be read as a name, there should be some record of a gunsmith named Kazayuki who had the title of Yamato-no-kami. If not, I think we have to look for other explanations, as meikan more (absent from existing records) seems too unusual.

 

If 飾之 is to be read as "decorated this" or "was presented this as a decoration" or some other permutation of 飾る and 之, which I think is plausible (although I've never come across it before), I start to think the item is a late Edo curio, possibly something assembled from various pieces, specifically for the tourist trade. 1573 just seems too turbulent, and too desperate, for a craftsman to use precious resources and time on a highly impractical decoration like this. But, I am merely an armchair historian, and know nothing about firearms. I do know something about translation, but 飾之 is new to me. I would be hesitant to define this as a 1573 gift from Tokugawa, and my feeling is that it would be wrong to position it to potential consumers this way. Likewise, you need to address the "伝" in your Nio Kiyohisa. You shouldn't ignore this in your description, as it denies the unsuspecting purchaser of some very useful information. This omission, plus the definition of the above item as a "daimyo" piece, is, I feel, dishonest. 

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Steve, as an armchair historian you have done a great service to a very interesting teppou.  Thank you.

 

So, its time I dug out the details of 3 teppou with black lacquered stocks sold here in Oz a few years ago.  They were similarly lavishly decorated.  I managed the translation with the help of an accomplished Japanese gentleman and wrote them up for an auction. It might take me a while - watch this space.

 

BaZZa.

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This is not the first time I have seen Kazaru Kore like that. In perhaps two other examples I have seen in recent years, there was no other way of making sense of the inscription.

 

You have to consider every possibility. The stock may be original, but it may have lost the original barrel. It could have been lacquered and gilded later for this 'new' life. The barrel could be  a cut-down barrel which had lost its stock. It could have had that rear sight added later, along with the zogan and 'Mei'. The reason that the Mekugi pin is hidden may be that the barrel has been fixed in place in some unorthodox way; the now-hidden mekugi hole in the barrel perhaps has no corresponding iron eye/loop under the barrel to join through.

 

All of this is conjecture, of course, but worth keeping in mind.

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dishonesty wasn't my intention. I have since changed the title after reading these :) seriously thanks everyone!

I don't know what to make of the writing on this, or the item itself. I think it is unlikely that Ieyasu, an up-and-coming regional warlord in 1573 (Tensho 1) would have a hollyhock decorative hand-cannon such as this. I don't think the title "Yamato-no-kami" would have any more significance on this piece than it does on a sword, which is to say the title is an honorary title of the craftsman, and if 飾之 is to be read as a name, there should be some record of a gunsmith named Kazayuki who had the title of Yamato-no-kami. If not, I think we have to look for other explanations, as meikan more (absent from existing records) seems too unusual.

 

If 飾之 is to be read as "decorated this" or "was presented this as a decoration" or some other permutation of 飾る and 之, which I think is plausible (although I've never come across it before), I start to think the item is a late Edo curio, possibly something assembled from various pieces, specifically for the tourist trade. 1573 just seems too turbulent, and too desperate, for a craftsman to use precious resources and time on a highly impractical decoration like this. But, I am merely an armchair historian, and know nothing about firearms. I do know something about translation, but 飾之 is new to me. I would be hesitant to define this as a 1573 gift from Tokugawa, and my feeling is that it would be wrong to position it to potential consumers this way. Likewise, you need to address the "伝" in your Nio Kiyohisa. You shouldn't ignore this in your description, as it denies the unsuspecting purchaser of some very useful information. This omission, plus the definition of the above item as a "daimyo" piece, is, I feel, dishonest. 

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The original description on the teppou went as follows. 'The kanji on the gun reads as follows: 大和守 yamatonokami, 飾之 kazayuki, tensho year 1. That means this is an original tokugawa display piece from 1573. This, most likely would have been a gift from the tokugawa to yamatonokami (the lord of yamato). However, as we do not have provenance, we are pricing on the quality and the kanji written alone. Note, if anyone has any information on this tanzutsu we would be very greatful. ' so i don't feel i was being dishonest since I clearly stated that there is a lack of provenance and I was willing to listen to information. :) 

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