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Baron Tsuneyoshi Murata (村田 経芳 Murata Tsuneyoshi) was a Japanese arms designer who was active in the 1880s. The designer of the Murata rifle, Murata was one of the leading firearms designers in Japan and was one of its first.


Born the son of a samurai, Murata was well known as being an expert shooter and served in various capacities in the battles of Boshin and Toba-Fushimi. Murata moved to Tokyo in 1871 and enlisted as an infantry captain in the newly-formed Imperial Japanese Army; he would then be promoted to second lieutenant later on.

Murata would later travel overseas to several European countries such as Germany and France for weapons research in the 1870s. He would return to Japan some years later to become the head of the Toyama Military Academy and receive a promotion to Major. While he was teaching at the academy, Murata developed his first rifle, which would end up being adopted by the Imperial Japanese Army the same year as the Type 13.

Murata would return to Europe to refine his designs shortly after; Murata was later appointed into the House of Peers on his return. He was later promoted to Major General in 1890 and appointed reserve duties, later being appointed Baron in 1896 for his services during the battles of Boshin and Toba-Fushimi.[1] One of his design protégés was the then-unknown Nariakira Arisaka, who would eventually develop a rifle that would replace Murata's design.

In his later years, Murata suffered from liver issues; he eventually died in 1921 of liver failure.


Murata was known for his design of his eponymous rifle, which became the standard service arm in Japan for a time.