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  • Matthew Okuhara

A samurai’s gun…

Friends of Gun Samurai will know that I enjoy the accounts of Sakamoto Ryoma during the last days of the feudal era…


We will talk about Sakamoto Ryoma another time but for now, let’s talk about his gun…

With the increase in trade during the late Edo era, foreign goods became available to the population of Japan. Everything from clothing and cameras to coconuts. If there was ever a radical and rapid change to society surely, the Meiji Restoration was surely one of the most significan…


New types of guns arrived too…

And a samurai by the name of Sakamoto Ryoma bought a Smith & Wesson Model No. 2 Army Revolver.


It turns out that this was a very wise purchase. In fact it was almost a life insurance policy. During an era where pro Shogun and pro Emperor supporters were becoming more divided; those who actively encouraged change were often the target of hit squads, thugs or the shinsengumi!


On 9 March 1866, the agents of the shogunate raided the inn to arrest or assassinate Sakamoto Ryōma. He used his revolver to defend himself, his wife and companion Miyoshi Shinzo from the ambush…


This skirmish’s story is now part of samurai history… Japanese history and gun samurai history!

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