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  • Susan and Frank Downs
    Oct 5, 2001
      Greetings noble company! I, Takenoshita Naro, feel as if I'm leaping into
      dragons' jaws in this, my first post to the list, but I feel the most
      learned Solveig Throndardottir is overstating her case a bit in saying:

      "A lone warrior in Japan is last I heard a ronin. In short, unemployed
      riff-raff. Not the knight errant of Western fantasy literature."

      While I have no interest in romanticizing or encouraging this class of
      personage, it seems to me that there are ronin and there are ronin. One's
      riff-raffiness appears to be a matter of personal circumstance and
      individual conduct (Riff-raff is as riff-raff does). Forty-seven of them
      seem to be pretty well respected, at least. True, other samurai would
      likely look down on them and not let them join in all the samurai games, but
      I believe peasants would see them in a different light, or several different
      lights. I'm not so sure that this isn't pretty close to the _reality_ -- as
      opposed to fantasy literature -- of the situation for European knights
      errant. Comparing real-life ronin to Lancelot seems a bit like comparing
      apples to _The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes_. William Marshall's is also a
      fairly exceptional case, but doesn't Miyamoto Musadhi's compare favorably?

      Peace to all,

      Takenoshita Naro
      Frank Downs
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