Sanuki in the north of Shikoku is famous first and foremost for their Udon noodles and the mountain there that they call "Sanuki Fuji" because of its shape. Present-day Kagawa Prefecture.
Just over the water from Bizen, Okayama, they are today linked together by the greatest road/rail bridge in the world, the Seto Oh-hashi 瀬戸大橋n across the Inland Sea.
A collector acquaintance who published a wonderful work on gunsmiths lives there and he sadly told me that although he loves Kunitomo guns and used to collect them, the people around him seem to expect him to collect local Sanuki guns. One of our teppo-tai members, actually the Kumi-gashira in Takahashi, had a gunmetal bronze Bajo-zutsu pistol signed, from Sanuki, but he died last year and his wife let it go.
Since we are changing sites, there is now little need to start a new thread here. The island of Shikoku (literal meaning = "Four countries") is made up of at least four areas of manufacturing, ie Sanuki, Awa, Tosa and Iyo, but they had little overlap/interchange between them, so the title of Shikoku is misleading, in the same way that there is no overall typical Kyushu gun on that other large island either.
Why I mention this is that recently I have been reading 'The Tears of the Rajas' by Ferdinand Mount. Describing the British in India, it dispassionately covers all the good and all the bad done there, in considerable detail, but it also has some very personal insights, now terribly sad, now horribly grisly. I am on page 550 and wishing this heavy paperback would go on forever.
One paragraph caught my eye regarding a British column that fled Kabul in Afghanistan and filed back through the Khyber Pass. They neglected to sweep the hillsides either side, so the Afghanis came out with their Jezails and started picking them off. The British were massacred. The Jezail had a long and thick barrel, with a comparatively smaller bore, which he says enabled it to be loaded with more gunpowder, giving longer range and 'possibly more accuracy' than the British muskets... Well, that is the gist of what Ferdinand Mount describes.
And here was my thought. The guns of Awa are so very different from those of other areas in that they are extra long and heavy with a small bore. No-one has ever explained why, to my knowledge. Only that the Lord Hachisuka held target practice events in his castles. This must have happened some time in the Edo Period, but when? Could it be that the idea behind the Jezail somehow found its way into the Hachisuka domain in Tokushima?
In fact, opening up this idea a little, we could say that where we imagine Japan to have been hermetically sealed during the Edo/Tokugawa dynasty, there was most likely a constant drip of information permeating inwards from the outside world, but once inside probably kept back from others as advantageous secret knowledge, ie ammunition for theoretical internal future conflict. Many of the gunnery schools' secret scrolls would have contained such hard-won knowledge.