Yonin: Section 4

Three Preliminary Assessments on Opening Gates

Item One

In the matter of opening doors. In a case where there is a lock on the gate, know well about that place and the details of the attached lock. Knowing the details will allow you to choose the method of breaking the lock. ...Therefore, once you have decided to break into a certain house, know its gate and appearance, after which you will be able to choose the appropriate tool for breaking the lock.

*This section of the Bansenshukai deals with methods of breaking various types of locks, and with specialized tools for breaking locks. Naturally, the types of locks, as well as the tools, are no longer in use. The information and the names provided in this text assume that the reader is familiar with them, thus there are no specific descriptions. Instead, the author provided the reader with some drawings. Yet, even the drawings are based on the assumption of the reader's familiarity with them. Consequently, it is impossible to provide a literal translation of terminology because it will make no sense. Without having in-depth knowledge of early-modern period locks such translation can not be done satisfactorily. Therefore, the current translation is rather a short summary of the opening paragraph.


Item Two

Mark the place where you will break the lock.

*In this short description, the author adds an important instruction for the preparation work.

Iten Three

When breaking in, it is of utmost importance to know where the wind and sounds come from. ...Be certain that you do not make noise while using special tools for breaking in.

*Though not directly a technical aspect of breaking a lock, it is nonetheless an important consideration. The locks where rather massive and crude, and quite breaking was unlikely. To remain undetected while bending or hitting the metal, the author instructs a careful consideration of the direction of the wind and sound.


Yonin: Section 5

Night Attack

Item Four

When criminals break into a temple or a strong warrior residence, the resident warriors will come out [to apprehend the intruders] and they should identify the lunatics.

*In this translated section of the Bansenshukai the author discusses the problems involved in apprehending intruders. That is, identifying the enemy in the dark is not only important but also very difficult. It is interesting to note that the author uses "lunatics" in this context. It is not clear though, whether he refers to all the intruders as lunatics, or to those among them who are especially violent and behave like lunatics. In any case, it is interesting to see the wide range of possibilities and details the author includes in this section.