Umanosuke's chain scythe
This nasty item is essentially the on-steroids version of a standard ninja weapon, the Kusari-gama in this case, a Kusari-gama with the chain attached to the blade instead of the hilt, and seemingly spring loaded (if not downright rocket-launched) so that the blade can both be fired and retracted with great force. I think it is perfectly reasonable to say that no such thing existed in Edo Japan.
Denkibou's metal claws
Essentially it's another ninja weapon (Iga ninja, to be exact) called a tekko-kagi. Worn on the back of the hand, just as this set is. However, I do not know that tekko-kagi were ever made with folding claws like these; the only examples I can find images of look to have been cast in a single piece. So I'll tentatively say these are probably anachronistic; they're based on something of the time, but their technology may be too extreme for the Edo Period.
Heavy - artillery wheelchair
The earliest known image of a wheelchair appears on a Chinese sarcophagus from the 6th Century (what didn't the Chinese have first?), and in the 16th Century King Philip of Spain used an elaborate custom rolling chair. Moreover, this one is plainly made of wood. The design is probably too advanced for the time --this looks like the ones built in the U.K. in the 18th century-- but if it were just a wheelchair, it wouldn't be impossible. I can even excuse the amount of storage space under the seat and in the hollow arm, since those could, after all, be used for innocent purposes. However: the gun mounted in the armrest definitely takes it out of the "nothing unusual for the time" category. Again, like his brothers' weaponry, Toube's chair is a plausible device amped into implausibility.
The store where Jin and Mugen buy the castilla is exactly the same one, Fukusaya, that's famous for its castilla in Nagasaki today? They claim to be the only place making it from the original unaltered Portuguese recipe, as they have ever since those days. Here are the real store and the frame
Mugen told Jin and Fuu that he killed a man that helf the sign of the shogunate: that man was Mito Komon, the star of the longest-running TV show in Japanese history, which began in 1969 and is still running in 2005, after more than 1000 episodes. Though a fictional character, Komon is based on a real person, Tokugawa Ieyasu's grandson Tokugawa Mitsukuni (1628-1700). The real Mitsukuni was the lord of Mito Province (now Ibaraki prefecture), a reclusive scholar best known for the amount of research he contributed to a very important and influential history, the Dai-Nihon-Shi ("Great History of Japan"). He was called by his literary pen-name, Komon ("yellow gate"), hence "Mito Komon". His fictional counterpart travels the country in the guise of a retired merchant, giving him regular reasons to right wrongs and aid the oppressed. The signature moment of every episode, apparently, comes near the end, when in the middle of a violent struggle with the villain of the week, Komon's attendants interrupt to flash in the evil-doer's face their master's inro, a lacquered case bearing the Tokugawa crest (just as happens in the story Mugen recounts), and proclaim that the man he's fighting is none other than the current Shogun's uncle, Lord Mitsukuni of Mito. ("Hikae! Kono mondokoro ga me ni hairan ka?" "Down! Can you not see this emblem?").
Mugen: Is there a need for a reason to kill someone.
(Three men walk into a restaurant)
Umanosuke: You had a criminal from the Ryukyus who goes by the name of Mugen pass through here, didn't you?
Shopkeeper: (gasps) Who are you?
Umanosuke: If you're trying to hide him, I don't really care, However, one of my men out there wants to kill him so badly he can taste it, and you know when he gets like this, keeping him under control is ver-r-ry difficult.
(Fuu wants everyone to tell a secret about themselves)
Mugen: Sorry sister, I don't really got any secrets. But if you must know, I've been up to no good my entire life.
Fuu: Tell us something we don't know!
Mugen: Well, I kinda like to shag a chick with great big hooters.
Fuu: We know that, too.
Mugen: I know, I got into this nasty ass fight when I was on the road, once. I ended up having to waste some weirdo geezer.
Fuu: Weird. . . how was he weird?
Mugen: He turned to me and said, "Can you not see this box with the Shogun's crest?" So I said, "No, I can't," and I killed the crazy old dude cold.
Kariya: (To Mugen & Jin) Now it's unfortunate, but you'll have to die here.
Mugen: Did you come alone? You're pretty cocky. Come.
Kariya: Don't disappoint me.
(They arrive at a town)
Fuu: Ahh... Look!
(Mugen's and Jin's stomachs growl)
Fuu: Hey. Don't answer me with your stomachs.
Mugen: First off, let's eat.
Mugen: (Bored) How much farther to Nagasaki?
Jin: (Looking at the map) We've already passed Nagasaki.
Fuu & Mugen: Huh?!
Goroujuu: It seems Sara was killed.
Kariya: (Interested) If there is someone who was able to kill her, then it would be worth drawing this sword again for the first time in ages.
Mugen: (to Jin) What's up with her?
Jin: She's sentimental.
Mugen: She's what kind of mental?
Jin: It's a female emotion found in western European women. I suspect she's letting her emotions get the best of her, right now.
Japanese title: 生死流転 其之壱
Romaji title: Shoujiruten ki kore ichi
Translation note: Jin talks about Nanban while eating with Fuu and Mugen. Nanban is a Japanese word which originally designated people from South Asia and South-East Asia.
The word took on a new meaning when it came to designate Europeans, the first of whom started to arrive in Japan in 1543, first from Portugal, then Spain, and later the Netherlands and England. The word Nanban was thought naturally appropriate for the new visitors, since they came in by ship from the South, and their manners were considered quite unsophisticated by the Japanese.
Translation note: Kariya says that the Goroujuu has come. The Goroujuu is a member of Shogun's council.
Character Note: Kariya a.k.a. "The Divine Hand", is one of the Roujuu, which is a member of the shogun's council of elders.
Fuji Television (Japan) air date: March 5, 2005