Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 74.djvu/172

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it he thought it was the most wonderful thing in the world. At first he did not know any name for it or how it was used, but it finally acquired the name "teppo." I do not know whether it was so named by the Chinese or by our island-people.

One day Tokiaki said to the barbarians through the interpreter: "I can not shoot this very well, I wish to learn." The barbarians answered, also by means of the interpreter: "If you wish to learn this we will go to the very bottom of it with you." Tokiaki said: "I would like to go to the deepest principle." The barbarian said: "All that is necessary is to quiet the mind and keep one eye closed." Tokiaki answered: "To adjust one's mind was taught by the old sacred teachers, and that is what I have learned. In general throughout the world if the mind is not under control all conduct will be false. What you say in regard to controlling the mind must mean just this. But about closing one eye—if it is not bright enough without both to put a candle at a distance,[1] is it necessary to close one eye?" The barbarian replied: "Well, everything must be done in a simple way."[2] Tokiaki said gladly: "That may be as Roshi said, 'To say clear, looking small thing.'"[3]

On a certain ceremonial day Tokiaki put a white spot at one hundred steps away, and with the wonderful medicine and a small lead ball he shot pretty closely. People were surprised, and when it hit they were frightened. He said solemnly: "I wish to learn." Tokiaki did not complain about the fearfully high price, but bought two teppo from the barbarians and added them to the house curios. He had the small vassal Sasagawa Koshiro learn the method of making the medicine. Tokiaki studied very earnestly; the first time he shot pretty closely; but later if he shot a hundred times he hit a hundred times, and never failed even once.

At that time a priest named Sugibo of Negoro temple in Kii[4] came to get a teppo, not caring for the distance. Tokiaki was affected by that strong desire for searching, and thought to himself: "In the olden time Jiokun coveted Kisatsu's sword, though he never let it be known by words. Kisatsu found it out and gave him his honorable sword. Our island is small and we can spare one teppo. I came by them unexpectedly and I was so overjoyed that I did not sleep, and had a strong desire to hand them down to my descendants. How much more delighted would a person be to get one after having searched for it. What I like, others will like. Why should I conceal them in boxes? "So he sent Tsuda Kanmotsunojo to Sugibo with one of them and let him know how to make the medicine and how to set it off.

As Tokiaki prized the firearms very highly he had several blacksmiths examine them, and desired them to make new ones. Though they got the shape almost the same they could not discover the way to close the end.[5]

  1. This probably means, "If with only one eye I can not see any better than by candle light."
  2. Probably means, "It requires concentration."
  3. This probably means that clearness of statement is aided by considering one point at a time. There is a suggestion of similarity here to the passage in Matthew VI., 22, "if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light."
  4. The Kii peninsula in central Japan, several hundred miles away.
  5. The difficulty that they encountered was probably in finding a way to lose the stock end of the barrel, when once they had molded a barrel tube, open at both ends, around a smooth rod. They learned to do this later, probably by screwing in a breech plug and welding the end.