Post by viper6924 on Nov 16, 2016 15:07:05 GMT
With Piers putting together those two polls on another thread, I thoght it useful to post some pictures of a classic Inoue-Ryu matchlock. It´s a good gun to post here cos it more or less displays all the character traits you should expect to find on a gun from this school of gunnery.
Total length is 107 cm, sporting a respectful 10 Monme caliber (1,85cm). Length and caliber vary quite a lot from small Tan-zutsu to large caliber O-zutsu. The barrel is round except from the flat top.As Piers writes in the "How many schools were there-thread"; The Inoue-Ryu guns are instantly recognizable by the smooth sweeping curve and rounded end to the butt. It's equipped with a so called Geki-lock which uses both an inside as well as an outside mechanism. Acoording to Sugawa-san, this is only found in about 10% of Japanese matchlocks and was considered quite expensive back in the day. This Geki-lock allows the shooter to adjust the pull of the trigger.
The Inoue-Ryu gun is equipped with a wire trigger and most of them also got a brass ring which is used to control the matchcord. The rear sight is always of a lattice-shaped contruction whilst the front sight is square-shaped with a hole in the top in combination with two crosss-shaped lines. Clearly meant to be used with some sort of additional sight.
The signature reads: Efu ju Kato Shigemitsu saku
The Efu-part created a few questionmarks for me, but with Piers always nearby to guide this lost soul, I quckly learned that Efu is another word for Edo. This specific Shigemitsu was not located, but there are Kato gunsmiths that worked in Higo, Mikawa and Sendai.Because we can't find this actual gunsmith I will play it safe and call it 19th century.When you study Inoue-guns, you soon discover that many of these guns bears signatures from Kunitomo (Goshu). But being a gun made to a specific school, I guess this style could have been made at several locations in Japan.Inoue-Ryu was one of the largets and most famous of the gunnery schools in Japan. Amongst many famous warlords connected to this school is the Date-clan in Sendai. Each Date-lord had his own personal Inoue-teacher during the whole of the Edo-period. If you have a look at a Sendai-zutsu, you can easely see that the Sendai-zutsu is an near copy of this gun apart from the sloping rifle butt.
Here's a picture of the Sendai matchlock for comparison:
The only thing negative with this specific gun is that some knucklehead have depatinated the barrel. If it was up to me, these people should be hunted down and forced to commit hara-kiri with a bamboo sword...But apart from that, the gun is in very good condition. The wood in the stock is dark and it even contains it's original ramrod which is a nice little bonus for us matchlocks freaks.
Being of military grade, this matchlock is almost devoid of any decorations. But there are actually two small decorations that can easely be overlooked.
Beside the pan is a small inlay which resembles the Hojo-clan kamon. Never seen that before and I really don't know why it's there. Over it sits a rather unusual object which secures the barrelprotector to the barrel. It´s in the shape of a folded fan. Again nothing I've seen before, but it adds a nice touch.
An intersting and usable matchlock which is very easy to label based on the above traits.