Object Title

Matchlock musket (teppo)

Matchlock musket (teppo)



Object Number



Presented in 1958; from the collection of Major Ernest Ambler (d. 1958).

Physical Description

The barrel is octagonal, tapering considerably towards the muzzle where it swells into an elaborate flower shaped moulding. There is a triangular section foresight, that has lost its silver bead inlay, and a block shaped rearsight that slopes down to the barrel surface in a concave curve at each end. The latter is drilled with a triangular arrangement of transverse holes. There is the usual pan and flash guard but the pan cover is missing. On the upper surface the barrel is decorated with the rival generals at the battle of Uji bridge in simplistic inlay.
The stock is of red oak black lacquered and all over decorated with kara kusa scrolls in gold lacquer. On each side are two mon in the form of a pine tree in a circle. Inlaid in the stock are elaborate brass plaques and silver birds and a hare. The pin washers are in the form of plum blossoms in silver. The barrel breech band and the lock are bordered by a raised edge chiselled with close set diagonal lines. In the butt is a hole bordered by elaborate floral washers and an eight bucket waterwheel; this may indicate the gun was originally made for the Sato or Doi family. In the barrel channel is a paper label bearing the number 20 in ink and traces of an older ink inscription on the wood which starts with the character for 10.
The lock consists of an simple plate chiselled with a border decorated with diagonal lines.Internally there is an iron scear and iron scear spring of the simplest type. Like the barrel and stock, the lock has a scratched assembly mark 12.


Dimensions: The length of the barrel is 100 cm, the width at the breech is 2.7 cm and just before the muzzle is 1.65 cm. The overall length of the gun is 131 cm. Weight: The weight of the barrel is 1.56 kg, the weight of the whole gun being 2.77 kg.


1.142 cm.

Inscriptions and Marks

Signed 'Sesshu Sakai Enami Ihee saku'. Numbered under the barrel on paper 20.


Bibliographic References

Dorling Kindersley, Weapon. A visual history of arms & armour, Dorling Kindersley Ltd, London, 2006, p. 156-7


The Sakai school was founded in 1560, and has the reputation of producing the finest firearms in Japan. Two screws for this weapon are on top of study K. This gun is probably of some considerable age and has been modified by being lacquered and decorated at a later date. The pine tree mon has yet to be identified.