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144[SCA-JML] Re: Clothing, movies, and etc.

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  • Anthony J. Bryant
    Dec 1, 1999
      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
      > listed.

      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
      of Sengoku.

      > 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
      > embroidered?

      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...

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