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, slightly swamped towards the muzzle where it is fitted with a triangular section foresight with a silver bead. Towards the breech is a block shaped backsight having a curved sloping portion in front. It is decorated with inlay of brass and silver with peonys and a shishi. The brass pan cover remains but the flashguard is missing. The barrel is signed on the bottom flat at the breech.
The stock is of kashi (red oak) in the normal Sakai form with minimal brass inlay in the form of plum blossoms surrounding the peg holes and a shishi on the outer face of the butt. On the reverse of the butt is a circular arrangement of chrysanthemum washers surrounding a blind hole. The present rounded trigger guard, held in by the spring retaining pin is a later replacement. The inletting of the stock shows that the original guard was longer reaching further forward in front of the trigger. On the base of the pistol grip is a brass mon of oak leaves in a circle. The lock is of the type known as a geki lock with a horizontally rotating tumbler released by a horizontally acting scear. The bearing surfaces are of steel and the scear has an adjustable spring to regulate the trigger pull. On the outer face of the lock is a punched seal of two characters.


Dimensions: The length of the barrel is 103.5 cm, the width across the breech is 2.8 cm and across the muzzle is 2.2 cm. The bore is 1.48 cm at the muzzle which is slightly conical for loading. This corresponds to a 3 momme bore firing a ball 1.25 cm diam. The total length of the gun is 133.5 cm. Weight: The weight of the barrel is 2.6kg, the total weight of the gun is 3.98 kg.

Inscriptions and Marks

Signed under the breech 'Niju kenchu Goshu Kunitomo', the latter part almost obliterated.


Places Japan, Omi


This is a very high quality gun that shows modifications that have been carried out in its working life. The end of the stock shows some rotting through storage on a wet surface.