link: History of gringing implement in Japan

Origin of Japanese gunpowder production and it's first use

Noel Perrin:hGiving up the gun-Japanfs Reversion to the Sword,1543-1879h(1979) pointed out that Japan was No.1 in the world for number of gun. But his discription did not touched to gun powder. A gun is only a pipe without gunpowder.

[1.] How to produce the gun powder?

Ancient times, black gunpowder was a mixture of three fine powders. It consists of 75% saltpeter, 10% sulfur and 15% carbon. The grinding of saltpeter and sulfur are very easy, but grinding of carbon is very hard work, because the origin of carbon is charcoal of special hard wood( Hannoki in Japanese). For the grinding implement, stone mill was used. For pilot light of gunpowder, special fine powder, which was grinding by tea-mill, was used until second world war in Japan.

[2.] A secret of saltpeter production in Japan Gun was introduced into Japan from Europe 1543 AD. The gun was present from TOKIAKI to a SHOGUN , which mediated by HONGANJI. HONGANJI temple initiate into the secrets to a warrior UESUGI KENSIN.j. @ As the production of the gunpowder is a secret, there was no information. We can find the origin of saltpeter in a game of children. Under the floor of old Japanese private house, we could find the crystal of saltpeter. The crystals is play a role of interesting toys. Ifm sorry, but the phenomenon was lost by environmental change of sanitary living style. You can understand the mechanism of formation of saltpeter in Fig.1.

Fig.1. Mechanism of formation of saltpete under floor in Japanese private house

After very long hours, about 80 years, the crystallization was found. This was a common event. The circumstance was peculiar event in Japan. Fig.2.


Fig.2. This is a picture in Japanese old document.(1863)

In Europ or China in diferent dry weather , the origin of saltpeter was as shown in Fig.3. This is a example in Germany 1580A.D.

Fig.3. Cottage rubbish of sheep was raw materials of old saltpeter plant in Eulop.

[3.] First use of gun was in KAWANAKAJIMA war

Industrial production was started in GOKAYAMA by the of the disciples of HONGANJI. HONGANJI (temple) to oppose ODA NOBUNAGA. On the first use of gun was 1561 at fourth KAWANAKAJIMA war by SHINGEN. 1570A.D. by HONGANJI , NOBUNAGA was surprised very much in SESSHU-NODAFUKUSHIMA. An accepted theory of first use in NAGASHINO must revise by this fact.