Two finely illustrated orihon (or folded books, accordion style) manuscripts, measuring 249 x 6032 mm. & 249 x 14,832 mm., depicting a series of 44 (of 45, lacking the first image in the first vol.) finely painted scenes relating to marksmanship using matchlock muskets. Title in second vol.: "Teppo gokui meate sadame" [trans.: "Ultimate Method of Eyes focusing on the Target using a Matchlock Musket"]. 8vo, orig. shiny stiff wrappers, label on upper cover of Vol. I "Teppo gokuiwaza yokogaki" [trans.: "Matchlock Musketry, Ultimate Positioning Techniques"]; Vol. II: "Kugo asagiri" [trans.: "Morning Dew"]. In excellent condition, the paper very shiny with mica & specially prepared, all leaves ruled in gold, silver, & red. N.p. [but Japan]: dated in the postscript at the end of second volume "1607."
by INATOMI MARKSMANSHIP ORIHON
European matchlock muskets ("hinawaju") were introduced into the island of Tanegashima, Japan, in 1543 by Portuguese traders. The Inatomi school of gunnery ("Inatomi ryu"), founded in the latter part of that century, was one of the leading schools of marksmanship in early Japan, employing "hinawaju." These two finely illustrated manuscripts depict techniques of marksmanship. In the first volume each of the eight images (of nine, the first is lacking) depicts a musketeer in different positions, with targets in the distance. The musketeers are finely drawn in black ink with flesh-colored wash, and the muskets are painted in brown, gold, and silver. The musketeers are all depicted nearly naked (but they are wearing the most gorgeous loincloths made of rich colors including gold and silver in different patterns) in order to reveal correct body positioning. Each scene is titled according to the body position; the bodies of the musketeers are surrounded by notes pointing to proper positioning of each body part. There are measurements, comments regarding whether the musketeer is short or tall, how to hold the gun and squeeze the trigger, which part of the body should be tense or relaxed, how to place the barrel on a rest or foot to increase accuracy, etc. Some of the targets are conventional paper targets with bull's eyes and some are very beautifully drawn birds in the water. The second volume is concerned with problems of ballistics and marksmanship. There are three kinds of targets: paper with bull's eyes, highly decorative fans (painted in rich colors including gold, silver, red, green, white, blue, and brown), and humans (each wearing different loincloths of richly colored fabrics). The copious notes, written in one fine calligraphic hand, deal with the length of barrel, size of bullet, wind and weather conditions, shooting uphill and downhill, distance to target, etc. At the end of this volume, there is a postscript where we learn that in 1607 Iganyudo Ichimu Inatomi, the founder of the Inatomi ryu, gave the secrets contained in these manuscripts. The information must be kept secret. The first volume has some traces of dampstaining on several leaves, causing minor discoloration in blank portion of the leaves. The final leaf of the second volume, where the text regarding who owned these manuscripts, has suffered from some scrapping away. A date has been eradicated along with the names of the owner and recipient of the manuscripts. The kao and the red circle seal, while suffering some scrapping, are largely intact.
(Inventory #: 6146)
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