Japanese Historian Describes First Contact With Europeans // 16th cent. “Teppo-ki” // Primary Source

published on July 20, 2020

to the south of bushu 18 re of the shore there is an island called Tanegashima my forebears have lived there for generations according to a legend from ancient times the name Tanegashima the seed Island is derived from the fact

That the number of inhabitants in spite of the smallest of the island has grown and prospered like seeds which once planted grow and produce new seeds without number some years ago in the 10-man era on the 25th day of the eighth

Month in the autumn of the Misano tou a big ship had arrived at dawn at Nishimura bay no one knew from what country it came there were some 100 people on board among them there were those whose physical features differed

From ours and whose language is not understood those who saw them found them strange among them was a scholar from great Ming China his personal name was Goho but now nothing is surely known about his family name the chieftain of

Nishimura at the time was or even Ojo who knew written chinese well by chance meeting with Goho he conversed with him by writing in the sand with a stick he wrote we do not know what country these people on board come from they look

Strange do they not they are traders from among the southwestern barbarians they have some knowledge of the relationship between superior and inferior but otherwise they do not know about

Property therefore when they drink they do not use cups and when they eat they use their fingers and not chopsticks as we do they show their feelings without any self-control and they do not know the rig

Script or the use of it such traders are in the habit of roving from place to place bartering things which they have for those that they do not have they are not very strange and are withal quite harmless this video is sponsored by

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Description for a special free trial for voices of the past viewers thanks then Arobin ljoe wrote 13 reef rum here is a seaport called a Kogi where the family whom I serve has lived for generations the population of the seaport consists

Of several thousands of rich and prosperous households merchants from the south and traders from the north go back and forth there as continuously as the shuttle on a loom now being anchored there although it is not a deep port is

Far better than here since the port is sheltered and calm when the report of the foreign ship was made to my grandfather Shigure Toki and my father Toki takka takka takka dispatched tens of boats to

Fetch the ship to a Kogi where it arrived two days later on the 27th day the Tsuchinoko day visiting the port at that time was a monk shoo-shoo so a disciple of ryojun

In issue desirous of learning the wonders of the one vehicle Lotus gospel he was staying temporarily at the port he was well versed in the Chinese classics and known for his agility with the brush he happened to me to go home

And they conversed in writing and Goho filled two that he had found a true friend in a foreign land there were two leaders among the traders the one called Mercia Cuccia and the other Kira schita domoto they had in their possession an

Object which was about two or three Shaku and length as for its shape it was straight on the outside with a passage inside and made of a heavy substance even though its inside was hollow its bottom end was closed there was an

Aperture in its side through which fire who was applied its shape could not be compared with anything else when used some mysterious medicine powder was put in it and the small LED pellet was added at first a small white target was set

Upon a bank when it was discharged the man gripped the object with one hand straightened his posture and squinted with one eye when thereupon fire issued from the opening the pellet always hit the target squarely the explosion seemed

Like the lightning and the sound like rolling thunder all bystanders covered there is setting up a small target is like placing a Swan target in archery one shot from this object can make a mountain of silver

Crumble and break through a wall of iron someone with aggression in mind towards a neighboring country would lose his life instantly when hit needless to say this also holds for the deer that ravaged the rice just planted the many

Ways this object can be used in the world cannot possibly be counted on seeing it Lord taki teki thought was the wonder of wanders at first people did not know what to cool it nor exactly what it was used for

At last people called it TEPO firearm that it was not known whether it was named by the ming chinese or by people on our island one day Dakka Dakka said to the two barbarians by means of double interpretation i do

Not think that i am able but i would like to learn to shoot it the two barbarians also using double interpretation answered if you Lord would like to shoot it we would love to teach you all its secrets

Dakka Dakka said can i really learn its secrets the Barbarian said the secrets lie only in rectifying your heart and in squinting one eye Dakka Dakka said as for rectifying the heart the ancient sages taught people how to do it and I

Have learnt it if generally one does not follow the principle under heaven in action movement and rest one will necessarily end up in error what do you mean with rectifying the heart however is perhaps something different if you

Squint with one eye you will not be able to see what is far away why should one therefore squint with one eye the barbarians responded this is where concentration comes in and is necessary when concentrating a long vision is not

Necessary closing one eye does not mean that one cannot see clearly but the one is concentrating and wishes to hit what is faraway this is what you should consider Lord delighted taka daka said that corresponds to what Lao Tzu said to

See what is small clearly that is called clarity that year the day of the festival of the ninth day of the ninth month fell on the kanuto day and this day was chosen as the lucky day to shoot the musket for trial the wondrous powder

And pellet were put into the barrel a small target was set up 100 steps away and lo and behold the target was hit almost in dead center people were at first startled then they became frightened in the end however people

Said in unison we would like to learn regardless of the high price taka taka purchased two TEPO from the barbarians and kept them as precious treasures in his house as for the art of grinding and mixing the wondrous medicine taka taka

Had his retainer Sasakawa Koshiro learn it taka taka practiced shooting incessantly from morning to evening as a result he was able to convert the misses of his earlier attempts into hits 100 hits out of 100 shots

Taka Takas interest in the weapon was so enthusiastic that he had a number of iron workers examine and study it carefully through months and over seasons they worked with the objective of producing a new musket the form of

The new weapon was much like the foreign original but the workers could not figure out how to close the bottom end of the arrow tock attackers interest they neither in the wooden stock nor in the

Ornament but in the way that the weapon could be put to use at times of war therefore his retainers far and near practiced with it and there were many among them who could score 100 hits out of 100 shots now more than 60 years have

Gone since this object came to our land there are some grey haired people who still remember the event clearly this could happen because our Lord TACA TACA procured the to tempo from the above-mentioned barbarians and learned

To use them the first shot from then reverberating through the 60 provinces of our country moreover it was Lord taka taka who made iron workers who learn the technique of their manufacture and made it possible for it to spread over the

Entire country in ancient times people chose the simile of one seed growing and becoming new seeds without number and so our island was called Tanegashima now it has been the first seed in the same manner the people of old said if the

Virtuous achievements of the forebears are not made clear to the world the descendants are to blame for this reason we have written this record you

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