... [Davidov and Chvostov] fell with glee upon two junks and burned them to the water's edge. Finally they found a ten-pounder brass cannon which seemed a fitting trophy to take home. It was, by some curious chance, an old Korean gun captured in 1597 by Hideyoshi's invading force, but it was hauled away in triumph to be taken to Kamchatka as a memorial. [Wildes's "Aliens in the East", pp. 147]

[Khvostov and Davydov] appropriated the rich cargo, and destroyed the ships. In the booty there was allegedly a ten-pounder bronze cannon, captured by Toyotomi Hideyoshi from the Koreans in the closing years of the sixteenth century. [Lensen's "Russian Push Toward Japan", pp. 171]

If Khvostov and Davydov really brought a centuries-old Korean cannon back from Japan to Kamchatka in 1807, "as a memorial", what happened to it?

  • 4
    Any reason to believe that the tale isn't true? Commented Oct 8, 2017 at 7:24
  • The story is repeated in Russian push toward Japan by George Alexander Lensen (p 171). He lists several sources in the footnote, only one of these appears to be in English. The answer may be in one of those sources, if you can read them. Commented Dec 6, 2018 at 6:36

1 Answer 1


Wildes seems mistaken about the cannon's destination: it never went to Kamchatka. Stephan in The Kuril Islands cites Lensen in reporting that after their raids, Khvostov and Davydov headed to Okhotsk. Lensen also says that upon arrival Commandant Bukharin imprisoned the two and helped himself to the booty they brought from Sakhalin and Iturup.

The cannon appears to have arrived in Okhotsk, where it was possibly stolen for a third time.

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