東善寺HP  小栗上野介の遺品      火縄銃に父忠高の製作銘   
Tozenji Temple - Kozukenosuke Oguri's relics Matchlock with inscription of his father Tadataka Oguri's work                 

火縄銃に「小栗又一 忠高造」の銘
Matchlock inscribed "Made by Tadataka Mataichi Oguri"
         ▲銃身を外した 銃把が田付流を示している
By removing the barrel, you can see that the grip shows the Tatsuke style.
家紋「丸に立浪」  銘はこの真裏にあった
The family crest of Oguri, "Maru-ni Tachinami: The inscription was located directly behind the family crest.


「小栗又一 忠高造」  ※「又一」は小栗家四代忠政以来、代々襲名した名前。十二代忠順も「又一」だった。

Some visitors to Tozenji Temple say that the relics on display at the Kozukenosuke Oguri Relics Museum at the temple are small in number for a bannerman of 2,700 koku.  

As is well known, Kozukenosuke Oguri and his son were killed by the Western Army. After they were killed, all the many household goods that had been brought from Edo to Tozenji were confiscated by the West and taken to Takasaki, where they were sold by bidding at Shimaya, an express delivery agent. Even after Oguri was killed, many of the household goods that had been delivered by boat to the Kurgano riverbank were sold at an auction and most of them were scattered because there were no recipients. It was a robbery and murder committed by the new government forces.

The items on display at the Museam include several items that have been handed down to the temple, as well as items donated or entrusted to the temple by villagers who treasured them, saying that they were given to them by the lord Oguri.

This matchlock was donated to Tozenji Temple by Minoru Harada in the 1950s. When the matchlock was sent for maintenance service, the following inscription was found on the underside of the iron barrel (directly behind the family crest, usually hidden on the wood).

"Made by Tadataka Mataichi Oguri"
* The name "Mataichi" has been passed down from generation to generation since the fourth generation of the Oguri family, Tadamasa. The 12th Tadamasa was also named "Mataichi."
(It may be confusing, but "Tadamasa" of 4th generation and "Tadamasa" of 12th generation are written in different Kanji charactors.)


The place where this inscription is placed is equivalent to the handle of a sword, and is usually where the gunsmith's inscription is placed. If there is no inscription, it is called "unmarked."

According to the discoverer of the inscription, Mr. Motoharu Mineta (of Firearms Historical Academy of Japan), who arranged the maintenance care, it is rare for a Hatamoto to forge firearms himself, and he has never seen such a case before.




・弘化四年(1847・三十九歳)十月、持筒頭。  ※銃を鍛えていたのはこの前後ではあるまいか(忠順はこの年二十一歳)

・長男 忠順ひとり  長女貞子は忠順が八歳のときに早世。

Tadataka Oguri

- Tadataka, the 11th generation of the Oguri family, was the fourth son of Hidanokami Tadateru Nakagawa, a Hatamoto residing at Surugadai, Edo. His first name was Kengo. Born on January 3, 1809 (3rd year of Bunka).
- In July 1813 (10th year of Bunka), when Tadakiyo Oguri became ill, Tadataka was adopted into the Oguri family at the age of 5 to prevent the family name from being cut off, and later married to Kuniko, Tadakiyo's daughter.
- On July 28 of the same year, Tadakiyo died of illness at the age of 22.

- In 1826 (9th year of Bunsei), he
joined a group of koshos (young people who do miscellaneous work for the shogun or feudal lord) at the age of 18.
- In March 1842, he was given the honor of being invited to the Shogun Ieyoshi's observation of swordsmanship exhibition at the Shiroshoin (a large hall in the Shogunate's imperial palace). In April of the same yeara, he was allowed to observe horse riding.
- In October of 1847 (age 39), he became the Mochizutsu-Gashira (a person in the Edo Shogunate, who was in charge of the Shogun's guns and led dozens of men to guard the Shogun in times of war and fortified the inner gate of the Edo Castle's Honmaru in times of peace). 
* It was probably around this time that he was training to make firearms (Tadataka's son, Tadamasa, was 21 years old in this year).
- In September 1854 when he was 46 years old, he was transferred to Niigata as a magistrate.
- In July 1846, he died of illness in Niigata at the age of 47. He was buried at Houonji Temple in Niigata City.

- Tadataka had a son, Tadamasa, and a daughter, Sadako, but Sadako died when Tadamasa was 8 years old.

▲ Shigenobu Okuma and his wife, Ayako, visited the grave of Tadataka in 1915.                          
▲小栗忠高の墓 ・ 新潟市法音寺 
▲ Tomb of Tadataka Oguri at Houonji Temple, Niigata City (Rubbed copy of the inscription on the back of the tombstone is kept at Tozenji Temple.)
▲小栗忠高の位牌 忠高院殿天眞清鑑居士
▲ Tadataka Oguri's tablet at Houonji Temple, Niigata City


The inscription on the matchlock, "Made by Tadataka Mataichi Oguri," means:
- It is rare that a Hatamoto forged the barrel of a firearm by himself.
- It is said that his son, Tadamasa, was also a keen researcher of firearms.
- Tadamasa was an inquisitive mind and a realist who always keeps the field in check, and his character seems to have been strongly influenced by his father Tadataka's character.

尾栓ネジ 鉄砲が種子島伝来して以来、鉄砲鍛冶は尾栓ネジを一本ずつヤスリを掛け手作りしてきた。雌ねじの多くは雄ネジを入れた銃身を熱して叩き、雄ネジのネジ山に合うよう整える「熱間鍛造法」で作ったという。一本ずつ造るから、「ネジみたいなもの」と言えようが、よく作ったものだ。丸い穴は銃身掃除のとき棒を挿してT字型にして回すため。

▲ Since the introduction of firearms to Tanegashima, gunsmiths in Japan have been making tailstock screws by hand, one by one, using a file. Most of the female screws were made by the "hot forging method," in which a gun barrel with a male screw in it was heated and beaten to fit the threads of the male screw. Since they are made one by one, you could say they are "like screws," but it is amazing that they were able to make such things. The round hole is for inserting a rod and turning it in a T-shape when cleaning the barrel.