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Tonkotsu

Utilitarian Matchlock

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 Something honest about this ashigaru military gun that I cannot quite put my finger on. Still thinking... What is the bore (internal diameter) in centimeters? Is there a Mei under the barrel?

 

The seal on the side is 茨 Ibara, probably indicating Ibaraki north of Edo, (Mito). The Kanji is a variant,  with grass kanmuri over not 次, but ニand 欠.

We can guess that it was either an indicator for Mito (Ibaraki) Castle armoury, or added at the time of the great roundup and registration in early Meiji. (Probably the former as there should normally be a date and number with it for a Jinshin Bango)

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Looks like the seal was burned in, using a preformed "branding" iron.

 

I have seen similar effect on Koryu  Bokuto from Meiji and Taisho era.

 

Which supports Piers' statement:

 

"We can guess that it was either an indicator for Mito (Ibaraki) Castle armoury, or added at the time of the great roundup and registration in early Meiji." 

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Piers,

Here is the matchlock with the barrel pulled. No markings but lots of rust. The bore measures at 12mm.

barrel-out.jpg

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1.2 cm, give or take a few touches of rust? 3 Mon-me', hmmmm. That would put it right on the lower edge for military use, i.e. for a small ashigaru. Any smaller and it would not really do enough damage to any opposing troops!  But no pretense to this gun. 💘

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