Ogami Itto wrote:
> Statement one: I have just purchased a copy of Edward-tono's role
> playing game called "Sengoku", which I recommend, if nothing else, for
> the rather extensive list of books and movies contained in the
> bibliography. It looks like I have a bit of reading to do, and it
> would take an act of God for me to even track down all the movies
You should have seen the *original* bibliography; that's the Reader's
Digest version. <g>
> Statement two: I have found a website offering such classics as
> Lone Wolf and Cub, Zatoichi, Sleepy Eyes of Death, Lady Snowblood, and
> a bunch of others for sale. If any of you out there are movie freaks
> like me, it might be of interest. The site is http://www.videoz.com.
> Look for their Samurai Cinema section.
You can also get piles of samurai vids from Gold Rush Games, the publishers
> Question one: I have recently seen Ran for the first time (yeah,
> yeah, I know...), and I was wondering exactly what that garment that
> all the lords seemed to be wearing was.
It's a hitatare, the standard daywear garment for samurai from around
1400-1580. After about 1580, the kataginu more or less replaced it in
common wear, and the hitatare converted to a more ceremonial garment.
The hitatare is typically made of matching material with the hakama, in
which case it's called a "hitatare kamishimo" or just "hitatare" for short.
It's a "double-width" garment (i.e., the body is two widths of fabric wide,
unlike the suikan and kariginu, which are single-width garments and so much
narrower. The sleeves are each 1 1/2 widths wide.
Patterns for all these are in the Japanese costume CA I'm writing now.
> Is this particular garment worn only by men of rank, or was it worn by
> anyone that could afford it? And does it have to match the hakama, or
> is it proper to have it in a contrasting color or pattern?
It's samurai daywear. In the Heian Period, a version with more
close-fitting sleeves was the daywear of the common class and the
nightdress of the nobility. The samurai, being bumpkins, wore such clothing
on a day to day basis, and when they achieved more power, the garments were
fancied up. They became a sort of "off-duty" uniform, as opposed to the
suikan, which was the "on duty" garment, or the kariginu (the ceremonial
outfit) in the case of the upper classes. The middle and lower ranked
samurai kept the hitatare as their formal attire.
If you're early period (Heian), wearing a hitatare means you're lounging.
If you're Kamakura or Muromachi, it's common daywear. If you're late period
(say, after 1580), you're dressing up.
It's typical to match the hakama, but it doesn't have to. If it matches,
it's the same fabric and color. If it doesn't *it doesn't*. Close doesn't
count, as gaudy is in.
For the record, the kataginu is a development of the hitatare; take the
sleeves off and you have the period version of the kataginu. Samurai would
tie up (or even tie BACK, together at the middle of the back) the sleeves
for freedom of movement, and some would rip them off for action; this
became the kataginu.
> Question two: How do I go about fashioning an eboshi such as was
> worn by the lords? It appeared to be laquered into shape, and had a
> tie the went from the tip of the cap to the front, and tied around the
> chin. Clues, anyone?
It's hard to describe, but really easy to make. Yup, it's lacquered. I've
had decent luck with paper and spray lacquer.
Make a rectangle that is the length of half your forehead circumference
wide, and 1.5 times that tall. Now round the corners of the top by about
3-4" radius. You don't want an oval top, but you want something more akin
to a softened rectangle. This is the pattern. You will cut two of these of
heavy paper (or black fabric, which is also common for soft models), adding
1/2 inch for a seam allowance around the edges. Sew it up like a bag,
leaving the flat (bottom) unhemmed. You'll close that with gloss black bias
tape (I use gloss black nylon ribbon folded over a few times and ironed to
form the usual "bias tape" shape). Anyway, turn right side out, and press.
Draw an imaginary line from about 1 1/2 inches up from the center front to
the back. This angle is about 45 degrees, so the front is 1 1/2 inches, the
back about 8 or 9. Fold on that line (you are folding the thing over to the
LEFT, so that if you look at the right side there is a straight line and no
flap, on the left you have a flap). Turn it over to the other side, and
repeat the 1 1/2 up and 45 degree line fold, only this time it's on the
BACK. Fold the flap toward you. (This means the big, first flap is to the
left of the hat, the second, smaller fold is to the right.)
Now open the hat, and as you do, press down and in on the center just in
front of the smaller fold. This will make the back end start to stand up.
You'll notice that the front center pokes up slightly like the prow of a
ship, and that the back bottom starts to bend *inwards*. That's why their
queue helped hold it on.
Believe it or not, that's all there is to it. That's the simple version;
there are about half a dozen different folds and patterns. These will also
be in the CA.
> Question three: I noticed that hakama appeared to be in varying
> length- was this a reflection on station, or for utility?
They're all about the same size, generally. If you're taller, they "flood"
on you. They're all cut to more or less the same pattern. Poor people,
however, tended to have shorter hakama as they tried to conserve cloth
where ever they could. The only place with a true variation in cut is the
*style* of hakama -- it could be a simple two panel hakama (where each leg
is made of two widths of fabric) or a more fancy three panel hakama (with
three widths of fabric. It could even be the modern pattern which is
actually four panels and a fraction. Period hakama were no where near as
floppy as modern aikido models.
> Question four: When putting mon on garments, were they always
Hardly ever. They were invariably resist dyed. Silk-screening is the
closest thing to resist dying you can do -- much closer than embroidery
(which doesn't seem to have been used).
> That should do it for today. Thank you again for your patience
> with my foolishness.
Nonsense.... Not asking and making the outfits with no prep... now THAT'S
foolish. I know. I've done it. Sigh...