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  • Writer's pictureMatt Okuhara

Maintenance and Preserving History

Every gun in the collection at Matsumoto Castle and Matsumoto City Museum is a relic of the feudal era of Japanese history.

The matchlocks, as well as other types of guns in the collection are a direct link to the past. Some of these weapons were used in conflicts such as the Mito Rebellion or Boshin War. Others were part of a feudal household and only ever used for display or ceremonial purposes. However all of them are of significant value to Japan. Along with swords and armour, the collection on display at Matsumoto Castle gives genuine insight into the Way of the Warrior.

Every year, the Matsumoto Castle Gun Corps allocate time to care for and maintain these weapons so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Every gun has associated paperwork with it that details the condition of the weapon, any relevant observations and any work that has been carried out in order to keep it in good condition. Even the simple action of checking a matchlock for rust is recorded. This is because these weapons are in some cases 300 years old! It would be irresponsible to overlook even the simplest action.

Whilst many of the guns are in a useable condition, others are not. Therefore any action that can be taken to restore the weapon to a firing condition is also considered and noted. However the Gun Corps, being the custodians of the firearms; are not the owners. The executive committee of the Akahane Collection; research team and castle officials have ultimate responsibility for deciding what action should be carried out in the name of preserving history.

You can see the team working in the castle by clicking here.

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