A forbidden land: voyages to the Corea 1880
Ernst Jakob Oppert
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The armament of the Corean soldiers is a very primitive one, and consists of quite antiquated common matchlocks, bows and
arrows, and of single and three-pointed lances.
The bows are made of very strong, tough wood, with strings of twisted hemp, which throw arrows with a two-inch iron point.
The lances with three points look like harpoons, and are of rude make, with wooden or bamboo shafts.
Foreign arms are as yet unknown in the country.
The battlements of the numerous forts and batteries which line the banks of the main rivers, are in a complete state of decay,
and the guns with which they have formerly been mounted have been deposited in arsenals.
When the French landed at Kangwha they found a large number of these guns buried near the town, which, to judge by their
appearance, must have lain there for many years past; curiously enough amongst them several breechloaders were discovered,
made upon a simple but very effective principle.
They were charged through a long square hole at the upper part of the breech, which was closed by a well-fitting sliding-piece,
and then fired by a match. In all probability these guns date from the period of the Japanese occupation, and they certainly were
several centuries old.
Common soldiers hardly ever wear swords, only officers and mandarins of a higher rank are armed with such of Japanese make,
but they are all old and rusty, and it is more than likely that these also were brought into the country by the Japanese, and were
left behind.on their withdrawal.