Japanese 36 Pounder Bronze Gun

An unusual Japanese gun, its bore is 6.875 inches in diameter; this would enable it to fire a 39-pound solid shot. It bears no mark other than the numeral "8" on the right trunnion and a trophy inscription on the first reinforce. This powerful gun formed part of the armament of the batteries guarding the Shimonoseki Straits, the narrow passage between the islands of Kyushu and Honshu leading from the Inland Sea to the Korea Strait. During the early 1860s, the feudal clans of southern Japan were at war with the leading Tokugawa clan for political supremacy. They resented the recent opening of their country to foreign influences, and anti-foreign feeling ran strong in this part of Japan. The Shimonoseki batteries fired on French and Dutch vessels, and on the American steam sloop-of-war Wyoming. On 5 and 6 September 1864, a combined French-Dutch-British squadron, joined by the chartered American naval steamer Ta Kiang, bombarded and silenced the Shimonoseki forts. This retaliatory naval bombardment is credited with putting an end to the antiforeign movement in Japan. This large gun was designed for use with breeching tackle, a heavy cable passed around the cascabel to check recoil within a certain space. The large sight bases - called sight pieces or sight masses - are out of the ordinary for weapons of this period.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze. Di: 6.875"

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-BC
Institution:
Naval Historical Center