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Modern Clothing Patterns

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  • karl.j.jacobs@jci.com
    Aoi-dono (Sumimasen, but what is the correct honorific?) wrote: The clothing patterns in How to Make Your Own Japanese Clothes are thoroughly modern and
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 1, 2000
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      Aoi-dono (Sumimasen, but what is the correct honorific?) wrote:

      The clothing patterns in "How to Make Your Own Japanese Clothes" are
      thoroughly modern and therefore only marginally useful to us. In
      period (and even in modern traditional clothing), fabric was cut
      according to fabric width, not to body size. The Japanese had a
      great dislike of showing the shape of the body (thus the
      voluminousness of the female court garb...). Jonh Marshall's book
      gives great construction techniques, but one should never cut their
      Japanese garb "to fit".

      Folkwear's hakama pattern in also modern. The only book out there
      that shows period patterns for Japanese garb is a book Hiraizumi-dono
      mentioned before with "nuikata" in the title. Sorry that I can't
      remember the rest of the title off the top of my head right now. But
      patterns from this Japanese-only book will be available in his
      upcoming CA...

      I reply:
      Indeed, the subtitle to the book makes it so abundantly
      clear that the patterns are modern that even one of such
      muddled perceptions as mine may understand that. I am
      glad to know that the construction techniques are correct.

      As of yet, I know of very few resources on period garb in
      English. From my conversations with other gentles with
      Japanese persona, it would seem that very few of us read
      much, if any, of the language or are scholarly enough to
      have done the research into garb that is needed to make
      period garb.

      We are most fortunate to have scholars such as you among
      us. I was delighted when I found the CA you wrote. That,
      along with the chapter of historical garb in the
      front of The Book of Kimono and John Marshal's book are
      the majority of the detailed information that I was able
      to find. I was disappointed that Carey's "The Samurai
      Undressed" did not have more garb-oriented information.

      My own skill at sewing garb is poor, and I have come
      nowhere near the level of skill and experience which
      would let me look at an illustration of garb and make
      that item, so John Marshal's book and the Folkwear
      patterns are what I had available that are appropriate
      to my current level of skill.

      I have been distressed at the web pages that I have
      found where gentles in the SCA mention that finding
      garb for a Japanese persona is easy because all that
      is required is to purchase a hakama and dogi from a
      martial arts supply store. The modern martial arts
      uniform is jarring to my sensibilities and does not
      strike me as making an attempt at pre-17th century
      garb. However, if someone is just starting out,
      wants to do a Japanese persona, does not know better,
      and has no idea of how to do research, I can
      understand how such an assumption might be made.
      Another thing that bothers me is when someone uses
      a kimono pattern from one of the modern pattern
      companies along with some shiny polyester satin or
      rayon pseudo-silk. Perhaps when I learn more,
      my standards of what is acceptable will be raised
      further.

      Unfortunately, there are not many of us doing Japanese
      persona (at least not in the Midrealm), so there is
      not the body of research and information accessible to
      us as to someone who wants to do a Landsknecht (sp?).
      The kingdoms, and perhaps the SCA as a whole, do not
      seem to have developed the same discriminating sense
      of what is acceptable as an attempt at authenticity.

      This is unfortunate because, as a whole, the current
      crop of nihonjin in the SCA seem to be a bit behind
      what the gentles of more widespread cultures have
      achieved. We have shining stars in our midst who are
      striving to correct this, and those of you whom I know
      about are examples to me of how I need to improve my
      own knowledge and skills.

      However, there is something of a benefit in this
      situation as well. To the sensibility of most
      gentles I have encountered, the clothing from
      Marshal's book and the folkwear patterns, when made
      with natural fiber fabrics in colors and printed
      patterns that do not seem to reflect a modern artistic
      style - these items of garb are acceptable to the
      ambiance of the events. They do not seem modern
      because they do not conflict widely with what people
      have seen in any of Kurosawa's films, in SHOGUN, or
      the 3-volume set on Musashi's life.

      This, of course, does not mean that we should accept
      this and not strive further!! But what it does mean
      is that we have a bit of breathing room while we
      struggle to learn more and improve out efforts. While
      I am currently satisfied with my level of skill and
      appearance, I would like to do more, and am slowly
      reading on garb while I pursue my other interests in
      archery, fencing, equestrian activities, leatherworking,
      armored combat, Japanese calligraphy, Chinese painting,
      Middle Eastern drumming and dance along with Islamic
      illumination.

      If someone were to approach me at an event and offer
      suggestions as to how to do better, I would listen for
      as long as the person wanted to talk, and would likely
      invite them back to camp so that we might sit, enjoy
      refreshments, exchange contact information, and that
      I might take notes from the conversation. If I find
      information in email, I print and save it. I am eager
      to learn more - especially how to evaluate the
      secondary or tertiary sources that are most commonly
      found in English and know what is good and what is
      garbage.

      I eagerly await the publication of Effingham-dono's
      CA on garb. My own interest is more in the Ashikaga
      and Muromachi periods, so if anyone has suggestions
      for reading on these, I would very much appreciate them!

      Thank you for your kind attention in reading this.

      Kou no Toshikage
    • Barbara Nostrand
      Noble Cousins! Actually, some costume is Japanese film is truly spiffy. You should check out Taketori Monogatari (tale of the bamboo cutter) sometime. Please
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 1, 2000
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        Noble Cousins!

        Actually, some costume is Japanese film is truly spiffy. You should
        check out Taketori Monogatari (tale of the bamboo cutter) sometime.
        Please ignore the Spielbergesque flying saucer at the end of the movie.
        Otherwise the movie shows you Heian period architecture, costume, &c.
        and tells one of the really really old Japanese stories.

        Basically, you need to know what kind of Japanese movie you are looking
        at before you decide to use it. Also, you should be sensitive to what
        period it is est in. Yojimbo is clearly set c.a. 1865. Even then,
        Yojimbo is (I believe) generally classified as a chanbara film and not
        as a jidaigeki film. In general, the Japanese take their jidaigeki quite
        seriously

        Your Humble Servant
        Solveig Throndardottir
        Amateur Scholar

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      • Kass McGann
        ... Fujiwara-dono or Fujiwara-hime is fine... ... Please do not degrade yourself in this manner, Kou-dono. It is obvious that if you do not know the answers,
        Message 3 of 3 , Jun 5, 2000
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          --- In sca-jml@egroups.com, karl.j.jacobs@j... wrote:
          >
          > Aoi-dono (Sumimasen, but what is the correct honorific?) wrote:

          Fujiwara-dono or Fujiwara-hime is fine...

          > I reply:
          > Indeed, the subtitle to the book makes it so abundantly
          > clear that the patterns are modern that even one of such
          > muddled perceptions as mine may understand that.

          Please do not degrade yourself in this manner, Kou-dono. It is
          obvious that if you do not know the answers, you have the great
          wisdom to ask the right questions...

          > I am
          > glad to know that the construction techniques are correct.
          >
          > As of yet, I know of very few resources on period garb in
          > English. From my conversations with other gentles with
          > Japanese persona, it would seem that very few of us read
          > much, if any, of the language or are scholarly enough to
          > have done the research into garb that is needed to make
          > period garb.

          This is because there is very little interest in non-SCA circles to
          make SCA-period Japanese clothing. Hiraizumi-dono and I are doing
          our best to provide something solid for our SCAdian brethern (and
          sisterern) to use.

          > My own skill at sewing garb is poor, and I have come
          > nowhere near the level of skill and experience which
          > would let me look at an illustration of garb and make
          > that item, so John Marshal's book and the Folkwear
          > patterns are what I had available that are appropriate
          > to my current level of skill.

          I feel I must drive home an important point here, Kou-dono. Japanese
          clothing construction techniques are stultifyingly simple. Most
          Japanese garments are rectangles. That means there are very few
          curves to navigate. You put straight line up to straight line and
          sew. I cannot think of less complex garb, even for the needle
          newbie. Frankly, I think you might find cutting your fabric freehand
          easier than following a pattern such as Folkwear's...

          > I have been distressed at the web pages that I have
          > found where gentles in the SCA mention that finding
          > garb for a Japanese persona is easy because all that
          > is required is to purchase a hakama and dogi from a
          > martial arts supply store.

          <shiver>

          > The modern martial arts
          > uniform is jarring to my sensibilities and does not
          > strike me as making an attempt at pre-17th century
          > garb.

          From your mouth to the heavenly ones' ears!

          > However, if someone is just starting out,
          > wants to do a Japanese persona, does not know better,
          > and has no idea of how to do research, I can
          > understand how such an assumption might be made.

          I liken it to wearing a T-tunic and jeans or sweat pants to your
          first few events. It distresses me when non-newbies persist in these
          habits, however...

          > Another thing that bothers me is when someone uses
          > a kimono pattern from one of the modern pattern
          > companies along with some shiny polyester satin or
          > rayon pseudo-silk. Perhaps when I learn more,
          > my standards of what is acceptable will be raised
          > further.

          Oh, I can see you walking down a bright and expensive road, Kou-dono,
          lined with aya gauze and nishiki brocades! Welcome to the
          obsession...

          > Unfortunately, there are not many of us doing Japanese
          > persona (at least not in the Midrealm), so there is
          > not the body of research and information accessible to
          > us as to someone who wants to do a Landsknecht (sp?).
          > The kingdoms, and perhaps the SCA as a whole, do not
          > seem to have developed the same discriminating sense
          > of what is acceptable as an attempt at authenticity.

          It is unfortunately the same in these Eastern lands as well, Kou-
          dono. We can only lead by example and try to help those who want to
          strive.

          If there is anything I can do to assist you, please let me know. In
          the meantime, I encourage you to attend Hiraizumi and my classes on
          Japanese garb and accoutrements at Pennsic this summer. The dates
          are posted on our group calendar at egroups.

          You servant,
          Aoi
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