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As I usually do, I make a point of buying a Christmas present for myself as a counter to the inevitable socks / shirt / sweater (delete where appropriate) from my nearest and dearest. This year, a scan through the auctions failed to find a sword of any interest, but a teppo in an auction normally devoted to modern shotguns sparked by interest and was duly acquired. When Christmas day dawned, I found to my delight that I was now the proud owner of what appeared to be a military gun that might have some age. There is no kamon or other decoration on the octagonal barrel or stock, other than the usual flower shaped around the mekugi holes.

 

The gun has a bore of just over 16mm, which equates to 7 momme, with a barrel length of 910mm. The barrel is signed by smith named Tanaka ....?  I can find in my albeit very limited references on gun-makers a Tanaka Nobuyuki 田中信之 but mine is a different person. I can make out Tanaka jugo ..... the rest being beyond me. There are also two kanji on the adjacent flat. I append images and would appreciate any assistance. 

Ian Bottomley

all gun.JPG

reducgungig.JPG

secondsig.JPG

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Happy New Year Ian. Please see the two examples below.

 

https://www.dejapan.com/sp/top/mall/asp/detail.asp?code=m491598214&mall_name=Auction&s_keyword=&s_display_item=&pageCnt=0&s_sort=

https://nihontou.jp/choice03/toukenkobugu/koshikijuu/009/009.htm

 

The pages refers to this as Tanaka Zengorō - 田中善五郎 (though the last kanji before saku is not 郎).

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Ian, Happy Christmas!!! And of course with this new baby a happy introduction to the New Year! We've all missed you. Well, I have, even if no-one else has! :laughing:

 

Your new gun looks splendid, and being for military use has no need for flashy decoration. The name is 田中善五郎 作. Zengoro was a Sakai/Settsu smith recorded as having made a gun in 享和元年 or the first year of Kyowa. It would appear that he was the first of a branch line of Tanaka smiths.

 

It interests me especially because I see a connection to the typical shape of Bizen guns which appear slightly later than your gun, and we know that the Ikeda lords placed their orders with Sakai from long before they finally began to manufacture at home in Bizen, in the heart of sword country. I wonder if it was an order for the Okayama Han...?

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Ray and Piers,   Many thanks for your wishes for the new year as well as on the gun. Problem solved. It goes well with my Sakai and Satsuma ones. 

May I return my best wishes to you both in return.

Ian

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Happy New Year, Ian! Good to hear from you.
First the Satsuma and now this 🙂

Looks like an honest matchlock once owned by a proud samurai.

As it happens my first ever matchlock was a 3,5 monme matchlock made by the very same gunsmith as yours.

It’s not in top condition but it carries a Maeda-kamon which looks to be original to this gun. It might suggest that the gun was ”exported” to Kaga at one stage.

Isn’t matchlocks so much fun 🙂

 

Jan

CD11B94A-CFFA-4D28-A819-D5D19939E2E4.jpeg

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Jan,  A Happy New Year to you and other Vikings.  I now have three teppo - a Saki one covered in fancy brass ornament, the Satsuma gun and now this. Thanks to Piers I also have a primer and a powder flask. All I need now is a bullet mould and I have the complete outfit. I have shot the Sakai gun with powder and a wad only. Great fun

Ian

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Piers,  Officially it is 4th September, but in reality I stopped having them as they are too much of a reminder of my mortality. To counter the problem, I have been going backwards for some time now and have reached the grand old age of 63. :laughing::laughing:

Ian

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