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matthewbrice

Translation help on Wall Gun

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Hello.  I picked up a Kaei period wall gun.  I could use help translating the signature.  Hopefully someone here can assist.  
 

Thank you in advance!

 

 

 

—Matt Brice

 

 

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The two photos of the signature loaded onto this thread in reverse order—so the third photo is the top part of the signature, and the second photo is the bottom part of the signature.  
 

 

 

—Matt

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Without my books here I can say it’s a Gō-Shū Kunitomo Tōbei gun, summer of 1848. Something about one of five. Not quite sure what you define as a ‘wall gun’, Matt (?) 

 

The stock is signed Yoshida Saburo Uemon Nao... something. Plus 3 and 57

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Sounds like a very nice gun. Got you re the weight. An Ōzutsu or large gun. Can you measure the inner muzzle bore diameter in cm, pretty please? Maybe 2.3 cm or more? How long is the barrel in cm?

 

The individual smith name 充俊 maybe reads Mitsutoshi, so “Gō-Shū Kunitomo Tōbei Mitsutoshi” 

(One character is different, but they sometimes kept the sound and changed a character. Mitsutoshi may be the son 光俊 of the famous Ikkan-Sai.)

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"Wall guns" are more of a European style of musket. They were large and had very long barrels, best suited for use upon fortress walls, thus 'wall' guns. They were typically too cumbersome to carry onto the battlefield.

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Thanks Chris. In the context of Japan that would be a Hazama-zutsu for castle walls and loopholes.

 

Matthew at 1.9 cm diameter your gun is a 10 Mon-mé Shizutsu 士筒 or Samurai gun, much bigger and more powerful than a regular foot soldier’s gun, and rarer in the scheme of things. I have one, also very heavy.

 

Oh, and the maker of the stock will be Naomichi 直道. (Just found his name among the Kunitomo stock craftsmen.)

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The barrel measures 69.5 cm long.  Here are a quick couple snapshots—the overview photo on my exercise room carpet rug photo doesn’t due it fair justice.  The other two photos more fairly represent the gun.    

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Thank you so much, Bugyotsuji.  Can you tell what is meant by the 1 of 5 reference in the signature?  
 

I hesitate to guess—did the daimyo order 5  of these guns at the same time?  
 

 

 

—Matt

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A bit dark, but very nice! 😄 And that is a “Maru ni Suhama” Mon.

 

Just saw your question and the answer must be yes, an order for five. 
(It’s the middle of the night here and my brain is not yet able to figure out what is written below the date. Anyone else want to have a shot?)

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五挺之内 

Go chō no uchi

 

挺 = chō is/was a counting suffix used for guns. 

As Piers says, it just means one of 5 guns - possible five guns ordered as a set. 

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