JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

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Image search results - "matchlock"
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Taking aim and ready to fire...
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BANG!!! The guns were extremely loud. Makes you jump.
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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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