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6241Re: [SCA-JML] Re: Ronin

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  • James A Barrows
    Oct 6, 2001
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      On Sat, 2001-10-06 at 09:54, Susan and Frank Downs wrote:
      > Greetings all!
      >
      > Quoth James A Barrows:
      >
      > "The best metaphor I have heard for Japan is that of a fishing village.
      > Somewhat apropos. If you are not part of the fishing village, you are
      > dangerous, because no fishing village in their right minds throws out
      > perfectly good people. Not to mention that perfectly good people are
      > busy helping to suppor their families and therefore their village.
      > As with all metaphors, this one is not iron clad.. but it does give a
      > feel for the loathing with which the Japanese would view strangers."
      >
      > Sure, dangerous, feared, possibly loathed, alien, outside the system, but
      > "riff-raff?" Universally? Really?

      Yes of course. Armed wanderers who have no village, no responsibilities
      to anyone, in a society where cooperation is paramount to surviving?
      There has to be a reason they were thrown out into the wilderness.
      Probably becuase they were no-goodniks.

      >
      > >
      > > "A lone warrior in Japan is last I heard a ronin. In short, unemployed
      > > riff-raff. Not the knight errant of Western fantasy literature."
      > >
      >
      > Again quoth James A Barrows:
      >
      > "Don't forget, that even after
      > killing their enemy, the survivors still followed their master into
      > death. They did not want to become ronin again."
      >
      > I don't believe I said that anyone would want to become ronin, but that they
      > could achieve a measure of respect through their actions. Couldn't their
      > seppuku be seen as an expression of honor rather than of fear of being
      > ronin?

      They had no honor until they avenged the Master. Vengenace is a good
      thing, especially when it is hard won. THe lengths you go to for
      vengeance are great, as demonstrated by the 47. They were willing to
      completely degrade themselves. This would be roughly equivalent in
      today's society of 47 men becoming crack whores (or lawyers :) ) in
      order to obtain their vengeance.
      Since their lord was dead.. they had to follow him, or truly become the
      scum they had hidden among.

      >
      > Once more quoting James A Barrows:
      >
      > "A good illustration would be the start of 7 Samurai. They were all what
      > we would call Knight Errants. They were still pretty scummy. Didn't
      > fit that picture at all. The fit what they were, well armed scum not
      > afraid to die. Well.. maybe not so much afraid to die, but so close to
      > it that it didn't really matter."
      >
      > I think _Seven Samurai_ demonstrates my point pretty clearly. The level of
      > scumminess of the characters varies depending on their conduct. No, none of
      > them are pillars of society, but do you think knights errant would be viewed
      > that way? The point was that ronin held a similar place in society to the
      > _reality_ of a wandering European sword-slinger. Do you think that European
      > villagers flocked to welcome well-armed strangers riding through their
      > villages on the way to some tourney? Don't you think their feelings were
      > probably pretty similar to those of the fishing villagers in your post? I
      > don't want to romanticize ronin, but comparing real-life ronin to
      > romanticized knights errant doesn't make sense either.

      I'm not comparing them to knights errant. I was pointing out that the
      villagers had to hire scum. That they were scum. Barely surviving. In
      addition, if you will remember the villagers thought themselves very
      fortunate that they weren't killed outright by the very ronin they
      sought to hire. It was, from the story, at least somewhat expected.

      > --
      > Takenoshita Naro
      > Frank Downs
      >
      >
      >
      --
      James A Barrows
      Software Developer
      Oppurtunity doesn't knock, it only presents itself after you kick down
      the door.
      --Kyle Chandler
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