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6169Re: [SCA-JML] Re: Now that I opened a can of worms (was Trade pots for Garb)

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  • Anthony J. Bryant
    Oct 3, 2001
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      mneumark@... wrote:

      > > What period? And what social class?
      > >
      > Late Period, 1560-1650 (pre-meiji period right?).

      Hm. Okay, late period is 1560-1600. 1601-1650 is *post* period. <G> The
      object for us is to ignore Meiji, and think only of being "before Edo" --
      which began, for all intents and purposes, in October of 1600.

      > Noble woman...or
      > is that not a class really?

      It's a social position, but I meant noble in the sense of military
      aristocracy (daimyo's wife or something) or civil aristocracy (Kyoto's
      traditional kuge nobility). There were gulfs between the two, although there
      was a sort of overlap, seeing as how the daimyo and such warriors had to
      have court ranks as well commiserate with their position (e.g., Nobunaga was
      also the udaijin, minister of the right, one of the *top* positions under
      the old court system).

      > This brings up another question,
      > actually. I have "How things Work: Japan" bookand they say there are
      > only a few classes...

      It's probably speaking of the old tetragon, "warrior farmer artist merchant"
      -- that's a distinction in category, but not class.

      > if say I was a potter living in Kyoto (I would
      > think it was Kyoto) what class WOULD I be? Is there a crafter class
      > or is that merchant or what?

      It depends entirely on who your clientele was. A potter who supplied the
      imperial court with tea ware was above a potter who made bowls for the
      daimyo of Kaga, who was above the one who made bowls for rank-and-file
      samurai homes in Echizen, who would be above the guy who made pots and bowls
      used by the poor folks in the capitals suburban tenements.

      Technically, only the craftsmen who interacted with the high and mighty
      could even get by with anything like "formal" (think "Sunday best") clothes,
      and they wouldn't need court clothes (think "white tie and tails") because
      if by some weird quirk of fate you *are* in court, everyone knows that, as a
      craftsman, you're "just a commoner" and not a samurai or kuge person, so all
      you would be expected to wear is the best and cleanest clothes you have.

      Now, there is another way you can go. It's not unknown for aristocrats, both
      civil and military, to "dabble" in the arts. Nine out of ten times that
      meant poetry, but there were painters and potters on record. Of course, they
      didn't *sell* what they did -- that would be mercenary, and below them. They
      would keep them, or give them as gifts.

      If you want to do something aristocratic, I'd say go with a warrior or noble
      family lineage and say it's your hobby; otherwise, *be* a commoner, a
      merchant, and just do what you like. Personally, I'd find it refreshing to
      see a real craftsman doing a real craftsman non-samurai non-kuge typical run
      of the mill shomin type persona.

      We do have some real craftsmen out there (Hi, Bun'ami-dono!!) but by and
      large the preferred persona is samurai. I've seen lots of people wearing
      "dressing down" Japanese clothig, but I can't recall seeing anyone actively
      trying to DO a common folk outfit/persona.

      > An old movie "The Potters of Japan" I believe it was called,
      > mentioned emperial potters who lived in Kyoto (they also showed Shoji
      > Hamada briefly, which dates the movie).


      > Of course, this was pre
      > 1940's, so I have NO idea how long these people lived there. I do
      > know that the Raku family has been in the same area in Kyoto for 400+
      > years (per the website) when it was first "discovered" I guess.
      > So, actually, what I'd love to have is garb for events, and work
      > clothes...but I think that would be holding my breath (and asking for
      > too much). What do you think?

      Well, you *do* have some decisions to make...

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