JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

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Image search results - "matchlock"
As part of the annual Nagahama Shusse Matsuri festival held on the second Sat. of Oct., a matchlock gun demonstration (長浜火縄銃大会) is held at Nagahama Castle during 13:30 a.m.–12 p.m. Nagahama Castle is near JR Nagahama Station (West side) on the Hokuriku Line. Short ride from JR Maibara Station.
Three matchlock gun battalions to shoot their guns (blanks of course). The battalions are from Tanegashima (Kagoshima), Sakai (Osaka), and Hikone (Shiga). Japan has a number of matchlock gun battalions who are licensed to possess and fire these guns to preserve their history and perform at events and festivals.
This battalion was from Tanegashima island in Kagoshima Prefecture (Kyushu). That's where guns were first introduced to Japan from Europe in 1543 and forever changed warfare in Japan.
Taking aim and ready to fire...
BANG!!! The guns were extremely loud. Makes you jump.
They were going to take turns and keep shooting for about 90 min. I can handle these loud bangs once or twice, but no more. So I left this event early right after seeing/hearing/photographing this first battalion fire their guns. I didn't want to risk any damage to my ear drums. I wonder how these gunners protect their hearing.
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