Jump to content

TANEGASHIMA HAYAGO ( Quick-loading tubes )


Recommended Posts

Although it is impossible to give an exact date for the first use of the HAYAGO ( quick-loading tubes ) in Japan, we do know that the first introduction or a better word ... adoption of the firearm in Japan was 1542-1543 courtesy of the Portuguese. The quick-loading tubes ( again a misnomer ) if not introduced at this time, soon followed. The reason I say " misnomer " is that the Hayago was much different from the European variety of quick-loading tubes. The European quick-loading tubes were called " Bandoliers ". They differed from the Japanese ( or at least the variety that we know ) in that the European quick-loading tube contained ONLY the correct charge of powder for one loading. It did not contain wadding or ball. The wadding and balls were carried in a separate leather bag hung from the waist. The European Bandolier was made of either wood or leather. The whole being a leather belt with the tubes attached for quick removal was called a " Collar of Bandoliers " The Japanese at some point improved upon the Bandolier including in the tube NOT ONLY the powder, but also the wadding and ball.

 

A misconception is that they were the earliest Cartridges. This is incorrect as although a Cartridge is somewhat similar to a Bandolier, and even MORE similar to a Hayago in that both the Cartridge and Hayago contain the powder and ball for one shot, ... the similarity ends there. A Cartridge is COMPLETELY consumed ( or as in the case of modern brass cartridges becomes if only for a split second an integral part of the gun ), whereas the Hayago or Bandolier is never consumed upon firing the gun, ... it is simply a convenient and faster method of loading the gun.

 

It is interestingthat the first true cartridges appeared in Europe in 1586, ... being a paper tube containing both powder and ball. The bottom end of the paper tube being bitten off, the powder poured down the barrel followed by the crumpled paper ( acting as a patch or wad ) with the ball still enclosed. This being rammed down the barrel onto the top of the powder using the ramrod.

 

It is amazing this primitive cartridge remained in service in Europe and North America ( later of course ) virtually unchanged from 1586 up until the 1860's when finally replaced with the metallic cartridges we know today.

 

Was the cartridge used in Japan, ........ I do not think so. By the time the cartridge was in general use in Europe, ... Japan had already become a country isolated from the rest of the world. We know also that the Hayago ( Bandolier ) continued in use in Japan right up until the Meiji Restoration of 1867, long after it's disappearance from Europe. It is therefore safe to say that the Japanese never did progress to cartridge technology during its 325 year love/hate relationship with the gun.

 

The Japanese Hayago were produced in a variety of calibers with the largest being about 10 monme ( .75 inch caliber ). This coincides with about the largest caliber of gun an individual would normally have carried into battle. The variety of materials used to make the Hayago tubes include: heavy wrapped paper, leather, bone, wood, and of course the all enduring bamboo. Virtually all were lacquered, and some had a leather belt encircling the individual hayago so that several hayago could be strung from a longer cord, and worn as the European Collar of Bandoliers. Others without this encircling belt but rather left as a simple tube were carried in a leather pouch/box attached to the obi or waist belt.

 

There appears to be only two distinct types of Hayago. The FIRST having the ball enclosed in the bottom of the tube resting upon a small amount of wadding above which is a thicker wad, ... then the appropriate measure of powder, ... all then sealed in the tube by a cloth or leather covered stopper of wood or other material ( SEE FIGURE 1 ). When ready to use, the gunner simply pulled out the stopper, ... poured the powder down the gun muzzle, and then holding the end of the hayago over and flush with the muzzle inserted a ramrod from the top ( usually a permanent opening in the hayago ) and pushed the wad - ball - wad down the bore and seated all on top of the already loaded powder. The SECOND style of hayago I have examined had the correct charge of powder in the tube followed by the ball ( having a wad already glued to the bottom of the ball ) acting as a seal between the powder and ball. This ball and attached wad served as the stopper seal for the hayago. When ready to use, the gunner used his finger nails to pull the ball and wad stopper free, and then poured the powder down the muzzle, ... then inserted the ball with wad attached ( wad down ) into the bore and rammed the ball down with his ramrod. In this case no top wad was required to hold the ball in place in the barrel. ( SEE FIGURE 2 ). Personally I think the second type would be much easier to use and yet the first type appears to be the more commonly found.

 

( FIGURE 3 ) is a paper cartridge as used in Europe from 1586 to the 1860's but to the best of my knowledge never adopted in Japan.

 

If I may, ... I will strike off on a bit of a tangent here : Both Ian and Piers ( among others ) have referred to the Hayago as being called APOSTLES in Europe. To the best of my knowledge the term " Collar of Apostles " is a romantic nickname that is found in most every piece of modern writing on the subject. The correct term should be : " Collar of Bandoliers ". It is my understanding that current research has been unable to come up with any documentation supporting the term " APOSTLES " as having ever been used during the time frame in which this item was used in Europe. They were always known as a Collar of Bandoliers. In fact the term used in the Scottish Ordnance Papers of the period specifically use the term " Collar of Bandoliers ". It would appear that the term Apostles in referring to these artifacts is simply one of those times when a " catchy phrase " is used so often it becomes accepted as history. If Ian or anyone else could please point out documentation of the 1600's or 1700's where the term Apostles was actually used I would be most interested and of course stand corrected. Respectfully submitted for the study and enjoyment of the NMB members. ..... Ron Watson

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ron, You are quite correct about the use of the term 'Apostles'. Mea Culpa. I have just looked in David Blackmore's book on the Arms and Armour of the Civil War where he quotes from contracts for the New Model Army: The boxes of the said Bandoliers to bee of wood with whole bottoms, to bee turned wth in and not Bord, the Heads to bee of Wood, and to be layed in oyle Three times over, and to bee coloured blew wth blew and white strings with strong thred twist, and wth good belts, and twenty pence a piece. So here they are called 'boxes'. He also states that many boxes had lead covers or tops. These have been found in quantity at sites like Sandal Castle, Marston Moor and other battle sites, but they are not apparently referred to in documents. Some other boxes were of tin-plate. The Earl of Orrery in 'A Treatise of the Art of War' London, 1677 is adamant that cartridges are preferable to bandoliers. These being of paper with a charge of powder and a ball. The boxes should be of tin (plate) as used by the cavalry. A contract dated 1645 / 6 does detail '1200 cartridges the boxes of strong plate covered wth black leather'.

Ian Bottomley

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My usage was picked up somewhere but I never meant it to be definitive. Thanks for the clarification. Sorry to let go of that word, it had a certain picturesque appeal to it. I do remember seeing an early woodblock print of a Western musketeer where the 'bandoliers' are described as 'apostles', but where and when? It's funny, but I have also had a half concept that a bandolier was the cartridge belt itself. Mexican soldiers?

 

As to Japanese usage of Hayago, the leader of our group is adamant that Hayago were not used until the latter part of Edo. He says there is nothing extant to support earlier usage. This is not something I have looked into, but it would be fun to trawl the J sources and look for early mentions. He also said the other day that despite the hole in the end of some Hayago, the ramrod was never pushed through it. The ball was kept at the end with its head slightly proud of the circular lip, but it was loose and could be rolled down the length and out of the Hayago. Again I take this with a pinch of salt but it is another aspect to look into further.

 

Many thanks for bringing this whole subject out into the light, Ron.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Ian,

Was that " Mea Culpa " .... or " Mea Maxima Culpa " .... ;) . Me just being a bit silly there ! You are quite correct by the time of the English Civil War of 1642 - 1651, the English had pretty much replaced the word Bandolier and substituted the word " Box " . I suppose the English could not stand the Continental sound of the word. I did not allow for this synonym in my article for fear of adding confusion to an already confusing nomenclature. ... Ron Watson

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Piers,

The term " Bandolier " ( after the disappearance of the muzzle loading firearm ) was transferred for lack of a better word to the collar or leather belt containing loops for holding modern brass cartridges, .... thus the image of the Mexican Revolutionary " Pancho Villa ", or the ridiculous looking movie images of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

 

The Taicho may be correct saying that the Hayago did not appear in Japan prior to the latter part of the Edo Period, .... I just do not know. Perhaps an old woodblock print or book may yield an answer.

 

I must however disagree strongly with your Taicho's ( shooting boss ) idea of the makeup of the Hayago's having the hole in the bottom when he says this was not for the ramrod. Just for the hell of it, ... I took a ten monme tube ... the type I illustrate in Figure 1, .... and loaded it according to his description. It held a load of exactly 490 grains of FFG black powder using the ball as a stopper, and 470 grains with the ball enclosed .... and a cloth covered stopper instead. This experiment using an original 10 monme hayago. ( THAT IS ONE HELL OF A CHARGE ) NOW, .... loading the same hayago as per my Figure 1 with .... wad-ball-wad-powder, ... and sealed with the cloth covered stopper the same hayago held exactly 90 grains of FFG black powder which is the correct load of powder for a .75 caliber ( 10 monme ) gun.

 

The type of Hayago WITHOUT the ramrod opening is much shorter as is pictured in Figure 2, ... and therefore holds a correspondingly less amount of powder. In fact the length of the tube dictates the type of Hayago one is dealing with. Again it is one of those instances where a " word " or " catch phrase " , ... or as in this case " mis-information " becomes engrained to the point it is accepted as fact even though it can be proven incorrect. ..... Ron Watson

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ron,

No, Mea Culpa was about right since I didn't use the term Apostles but I did believe that the term had some historic usage. It was one of those so-called 'truths' that you absorb from reading but don't actually question. Very wrong of me.

Ian

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sawada Taira seems to suggest in his book that the 'Karuka' ramrod was pushed through the Hayago, but I must admit that it would be hard to control the Hayago over the mouth of the barrel with the left hand and organize the insertion of the Karuka with the right. You'd have to grasp the Hayago and the barrel together like the teat of a cow's udder. I suppose you could pour the powder in with the right hand and then do the ball with the Hayago in the left hand after that. This illustration is taken from his book, Nihon no Furu-ju. It's not clear from either the text or the pic what the direction arrow indicates, a finger/thumb, or the Karuka...

post-601-14196781966755_thumb.jpg

post-601-14196781969183_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Piers,

The Butt of the gun rests upon the ground, ... with the barrel upright and resting in the crook of the left arm, thus leaving both hands free, ... the plug on the hayago is opened, ... the powder poured down the barrel, ... the barrel is now grasped by the left hand near the muzzle, ... the hayago is now placed flush over the bore with the right hand, ... the palm of the left hand grasps the muzzle, ... the index finger and the thumb of the same left hand hold the tube flush and against the bore, ... the right hand inserts the ramrod into the top of the hayago, ... and the contents are pushed down the barrel for about 6 - 7 inches, the ramrod is removed from the hayago, and is now free to re-insert in the bore and finish the ramming of wad-ball-wad down the barrel until it seats firmly upon the powder. It is a drill procedure and once practiced a couple of times becomes not only comfortable but very efficient. It is much faster than loading all components of a Muzzleloading firearm seperately. Unfortunately in Japan, ... the Japanese laws will not allow for you to use a projectile ( ball ), ... and since you gunners are using small squib loads with wadding, ... you would have to make up your own VERY SHORT hayago to be able to utilize the hayago at all. You could however take an empty hayago and still not only practice the drill, ... but you would then see how easy it all works. The ONLY criticism I have with the drawing in the picture you provide is that the person who drew it forgot the VERY NECESSARY wadding in picturing the hayago. He is however obviously correct in showing the ramrod being ready for insertion once the hayago is in place. He also forgot the necessary small bit of wadding ahead of the ball covering the top of the ball. This EXTRA bit of wadding was necessary because the Tanegashima being smooth bore really had nothing in the way of friction to hold the ball from rolling out of place in the barrel should the barrel be tipped down. If the ball had enough of a friction fit, ... this wad could have be illiminated. Certainly after one shot, ... the fouling in the bore would have given the ball friction enough that the extra bit of wadding would have been ( all right ) but un-necessary. KEEP YOUR POWDER DRY, ... Ron

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ron, we actually use old film containers to pour in measured amounts of the black powder, (mostly 10 gms for Shizutsu long guns, and 8 gms for the pistols, and correspondingly more or less depending on the weapon) ) but some of our members have recently made their own Hayago to replace these rather ugly opaque film canisters and before the displays they can be seen busily filling them in advance. Sometimes the gallery is quite close and they can see everything that we do. I am tempted to adopt this idea.

 

We use thin tissue paper wadding for the first shot only which we prepare in advance. Makes for a good tight bang when we fire the first broadside. During the display there is no further wadding used, but a thorough tamping with the ramrod does seem to settle the blackpowder down into the back of the breech; lack of such prodding produces a sort of hissing firework fizz. 8)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Piers,

Actually, ... 10 grams is equivalent to 154 grains. Just as well you guys are just loading tissue. Put a wad-ball-wad down instead, .... and you'd have a real Tiger to hang on to. You see once you are propelling a wad-ball-wad, .... the resistance of the weight ahead of the powder causes a great deal of force to be exerted in the opposite direction of the ball as the expanding gas builds up ( instantaneous by the way ) and begins pushing the ball out of the barrel, ..... thus RECOIL. A large powder charge such as 154 grains is ALMOST twice what one would use in a gun of .75 caliber ( 10 monme ) should one actually be using a ball. Tissue = little resistance = little recoil, ... BUT lots of smoke, fire, and boom. A real projectile loaded firearm gives a " crack sound ", ... rather than a boom. .... " And the NIHONTO guys think they have to study " .. :lol:

 

...... Ron Watson

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I roll my tissue up real tight and ram it down when no-one is looking just so that I can get a good report. Unfortunately a member of the public complained when a flaming ball of wadding threatened to go down the front of her dress, :shock: so I now put little rips in it beforehand to help it disperse once out of the barrel. :idea:

 

Last summer I spent an interesting day at Bisley with a Yabusame friend firing blackpowder guns, mostly percussion cap. We had big Western blackpowder revolvers, some under-action rifle work, and I even survived skeet/clay pigeon shooting with a 4-bore elephant gun. Smashed the clay first shot too, and very proud of myself for not getting egg on my face (or a bruised shoulder). 8)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Piers ( and ALL ),

Shooting is a wonderful sport. It is sad that the " left wingers " in our society/world could not keep to their own bloody business of sitting on their asses in the mindless pursuit of watching .... " gladiator sports ", .... and leave others to enjoy participating in a the most Scientific and Gentlemanly Sport of shooting. Canada for instance the last time I looked ( admittedly a few years ago ) had over the years won more Olympic medals in the " shooting sports " than all other sports combined. I do not run over and grab their beer, and turn off their television, .... so don't bloody mess with my interests.

Now that we live in a country of " woosies ", .... who do not have the ability to take a crap without government direction but have control of the " vote ", .... shooting has become Politically incorrect. Guns are associated with crime, .... but these are the same twits who would have us all believe that somehow taking firearms away from lawbiding individuals will somehow influence the criminal element in giving up there's ! I have to smile a little when I see some of these same individuals cringe, wimper and shudder in dis-belief when their " SWORDS " are threatened with confiscation. It all boils down to freedom, and whether or not you take the position of becoming a slave to the state or you remain a free man. ..... Ron Watson

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a very interesting discussion. The tubes are a very good idea; as one who loads his patched roundball and powder separately, I'll try to make some hayagos this summer when I visit back to my hometown in the States. I cannot find sources that show Koreans using such a device; the Korean loading procedure described individual components (and only single wadding). They did, however, use a device (called an ogu 烏口) that dispensed balls; it was shaped like a bird's beak and had a pouch attached to the back--I have seen similar in Japanese pictures and drawings.

 

Regarding powder, although the amount burned of 154gr would give a good kick, I think most of the powder would remain unburned and just be wasted out the muzzle. If the same amount was shot from a long-barreled musket, such as a wall gun, most of the powder would be burned.

post-2004-14196782033327_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Thomas,

You are quite correct, ... with only the wad holding the powder in place, or as Piers says after the first shot not even a wad, but just tightly packed powder, .... much is indeed expelled from the barrel, but most if not all will have ignited, providing lots of smoke and flame for the audience. Yes indeed the Bird's beak ball dispenser I have seen pictured in Japanese books. It looks to be in nice condition. A pleasure to see it, ... and know that it was in use in Korea as well as Japan. Very interesting.

Thanks for sharing :thanks: ...... Ron Watson

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Thomas,

A great photograph, .... any idea the date it was taken. Thank goodness for some of the early Photographic Adventurers.

Without the likes of Felix Beato, .. and the Japanese Kusakabe Kimbei, among others a large part of the history of Asia would only be Woodblock interpretations. Thanks for sharing ! ...... Ron Watson

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ron,

 

I think it was taken around 1900. It's one of my favorite old-time photos. The guy in my avatar looks a lot like my g-grandfather (American Indian--Odawa).

 

A little OT: You are right--Felice Beato was quite a character and photographer. I bought copies of the negatives of what he took in the 1871 US-Korea conflict (Shinmiyangyo 辛未洋擾) and have used them extensively in my research (Also, various Korean orgs--public and private--have borrowed them from me for different events). It's interesting when you look at his photos taken in Korea and China; you can see he staged some of them, as they are very similar in the way they were set up. Still, they are literally a snapshot of the past and extremely important to historical research.

 

O.K., back to hayago :D

 

For those of you who make your own hayago, how do you do it? Materials, procedures, etc.?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tiger hunters. Are they Korean? (Chinese?) What a great photograph! The bird-beak dispensers are called Karasu-guchi in Japanese. (Crow beak) You can see separate ball bags and on the man on the left a priming powder flask and a matchcord.

 

Almost everything in that picture I use regularly throughout the year. I have a collection of most of the equipment that was used way back when, but still missing a couple of very rare items.

 

Yesterday BTW I saw a little glass case with a toy gun rack and two miniature Tanegashima, with all the supporting accoutrements done in miniature. Must have been hand-made by some ancient gun fan.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, they are Korean hunters (the original pic mislabeled them as Chinese). The Korean matchlocks were based upon the Japanese matchlocks brought to Korea during the Imjin War. For decades, Koreans had problems in producing their own (and into the early 17th C. imported many from Japan), but by the middle 17th C. were making matchlocks of good quality (and exported many to China). It eventually became a legal offense to produce inferior matchlocks and there are records of gun makers dealing with the wrath of the king. Also, each village had to stock a local armory with matchlocks from the main firearms office (hullyeondogam), which actually became a source of graft by some high-ranking military officers; that practice was short-circuited when each province started producing their own matchlocks.

 

The main differences between the Japanese and Korean matchlocks were mainly cosmetic. Korean matchlocks were, generally, simple and unadorned, while Japanese matchlocks--as is well-known here--tend to be fancy. Also, the makers of Japanese matchlocks are known and their work signed, much like with swords, while the makers of Korean matchlocks are almost completely unknown (there are a couple of exceptions to that); the gun makers in Korea were just considered gov't employees and not artisans, so the only marks you would find on Korean matchlocks were those of the arsenal they came from and when they were made. One other difference is the barrel muzzle; while Japanese muzzles generally had a tulip shape, Korean muzzles did not.

 

 

T

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Excellent information Thomas. Many thanks. Actually many Japanese will say they do not like decorated guns and prefer simple sturdy ones. The highly decorated guns have mostly been sold to foreigners, goes the accepted story around here, although you do see some fancy ones in Japanese museums. :clap:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thomas, Thanks for the information. I have a copy of J L Boots article on Korean weapons and was struck by how many of the guns could just as well be Japanese.

Ian

 

Ian,

 

It is true that Korea imported many matchlocks from Japan for several years after the Imjin War, but not many of those remain. As a matter of fact, the Korean Army Museum is buying a Japanese tanegashima, so that they have one in their collection.

 

Would it be possible to get a copy (or scan) of Boots' article? I've read it before (several years ago), but have been unable to get a copy of it. Thanks :)

 

 

Thomas

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a Korean one on display in the Museum on Tanegashima Island.

The only shot I can find is just before half-way down this page, the middle photo of three on the left, but this photo only shows the lock section of the gun:

http://www.geocities.jp/shimizuke1955/370hinawajuu.html

 

And here's a pic of Sawada Taira giving 5 Korean-made guns back to Korea.

http://www.sankei-kansai.com/2010/03/15 ... 021613.php

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one, unless your post is really relevant and adds to the topic..

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...