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Re: [SCA-JML] Bibliography, clothing, and persona

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  • Barbara Nostrand
    Noble Cousins! ... Ultimately, the only way to have a decent chance for success is to find a reliable reference that has dated pictures. If you have looked at
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 7 12:21 PM
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      Noble Cousins!

      > What are styles to look for or avoid in brocades? How can the unscholarly
      >decide if the brocade is close enough to period? Avoiding metallic threads
      >would be a start, I assume. I have some idea of designs from books on mon
      >and Japanese or Chinese design motifs. I assume that avoiding
      >modern-looking patterns is a good idea, but that seems to be an issue with
      >the printed cotton fabrics more than with the brocades. Are there
      >particular designs that would be avoided by a male?

      Ultimately, the only way to have a decent chance for success is to find
      a reliable reference that has dated pictures. If you have looked at this
      stuff enough, you have a decent chance of spotting it at fabric stores.
      I once bought some upholstry fabric at a Boston fabric store with the
      belief that the pattern looked familiar. I took it home with me and
      thumbed through my massive tea dictionary and found the pattern. It
      was there, and was pre 1600. Some of these patterns MAY look fairly
      modern to Americans.

      >I have yet to make the trip to Nordskogen (Minneapolis) to the warehouse
      >store where Felix Needleworthy and other professionals pruchase their
      >material. I also have yet to do the research to find where good stores are
      >in Chicago, which is just a few hours away. I have had it suggested to me
      >to visit the fabric stores in the theatre district. I also remember some
      >stores in Chicago being mentioned in the few books on Japanese calligraphy
      >and interior decorating that I have. Any suggestions?

      Incidentally, how is Nordskogen? St. Paul is one of the cities where I
      currently have a job offer.

      >I find myself in another quandry regarding garb and persona. My original
      >idea was to take a sohei persona, but I could not find enough material for
      >me to be comfortable in selecting a monastic name, so I selected a
      >bushi-style name instead with the idea of being a younger son who is
      >attracted to monastic life, but who has too much interest in things martial
      >and too much of an unsettled spirit to become a monk, but who found kindred
      >spirits among the sohei, even if they were a rough-and-tumble lot. My
      >difficulty is in the limited availability of information on militant
      >monastics, so I seem to keep getting called by my family to take care of
      >responsibilities away from the temples.

      Err. As I recall, the militant monastics generally dressed as monastics
      and descended on Heiankyou on a regular basis waving their naginata unto
      Nobonaga or some such burned their mountain and basically slaughtered
      them. You are probably much better off being a young bushi who is interested
      in studying zen and other subjects found without actually entering orders.
      Baron Edward probably has a lot to say about these subjects.

      >I would like to do monastic garb, but have not found much information on
      >that, particularly on garb appropriate for sohei. The illustrations in
      >Turnbull's books seem to be at odds with other descriptions - the density
      >of weave, weight of fabric, and whether or not there should be this strange
      >ruffle on the bottom of the outer garment. There was some discussion of
      >monastic garb on the other list, but no sources cited for me to take a look
      >at the material for myself.

      Actually, there are quite a few period illustrations of these costumes.
      Also, I would guess that their construction is covered in the great
      Japanese book of patterns of which Baron Edward has a copy.

      Your Humble Servant
      Solveig Throndardottir
      Amateur Scholar

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    • Barbara Nostrand
      Noble Cousins! I m afraid that I can not resist as this discussion appears to be just too much fun. ... I agree. There does not appear to be any period
      Message 2 of 7 , Jun 7 12:48 PM
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        Noble Cousins!

        I'm afraid that I can not resist as this discussion appears to be just
        too much fun.

        >If you are thinking of making modern style brocade obi to signify
        >your Master or Knight by colour or your squirehood by the same, I
        >would discourage you from doing so. The Japanese system of ranks as
        >signified by belt colour is a modern thing and I would not like to
        >see it encouraged among Japanese personae in our Society.

        I agree. There does not appear to be any period precident for belt
        ranks. There is lots of period precident for rank specific colour
        usage especially in the imperial court and in various Buddhist
        monasteries. For example, high ranking buddhist monks wear very
        large kessa in colours such as purple and green which indicate
        their lofty rank.

        The ancient imperial court established a system of coloured robes
        and distinctive caps. If you look in a variety of references, you
        will discover that a particular shade of brown might be the province
        of the kampaku and another colour might be the province of the
        prime minister. These colours might be best displayed as over robes.
        Low ranking ministers would generally wear black over robes.

        >Matter of
        >fact, recently someone asked Hiraizumi-dono to justify the wearing of
        >white brocade sashes a la Shogun and he said that he could not.
        >There are better alternatives...

        White sashes?? I have mercifully forgotten much of Clavel's stuff.

        >I am apprenticed and proteged to my Master and I wear a kumihimo
        >braid of yellow, green, blue and white. Yellow for my protegehood,
        >green for my apprenticeship, and blue and white for my Master's
        >colours. This would be a much better decision than a brocade obi.

        Properly used kumihimo are a great idea especially when applied
        as ties to formal robes or hats. Remember though that hats themselves
        have specific import. Now for some real (at least late period) Japanese
        feudal clothing use. The master should present at the time of vassalage
        and annually at new year clothing or at least the cloth for that clothing.
        This cloth should ideally express both the rank of the vassal and the
        identity of the lord. A great honour would be to allow your vassal to
        wear cloth with a brocade pattern of the master's kamon. In fact, one
        of the final certificates granted by Sen Hounsai to Urasenke students
        is permission to bear the family kamon. (Granted that Urasenke is
        post period, but it does express the idea and this business about
        clothing vassals does go back.)

        >Remember that the five-crest or three-crest mon design on kimono is
        >relatively recent. But wearing fabric with a mon printed all over it
        >dates to the Kamakura period (12th century).

        Older patterns tended to quite large and covered the entire expanse
        of cloth. Modern kamon are actually applied after the cloth is woven
        and has been delivered to the kimono maker.

        >I try to avoid Chinese designs because they are so different from
        >Japanese ones. But sometimes we have no choice. Recently, I found
        >beautiful silk brocade with gold Chinese luck roundels all over it.
        >It is not a Japanese design, but the Japanese used a similar design
        >with gold mon. Unfortunately, they didn't have enough yardage for my
        >needs...

        Japanese were not necessarily adverse to wearing Chinese cloth.
        you might easily wear Chinese cloth for under garments of various
        sort or use them for linings or as the base for some overgarment.
        The problem with the Chinese luck roundels is that they simply
        do not express corporate identity the way that a proper Japanese
        kamon does. Further, there were various anti-Chinese periods
        during Japanese history when Chinese panterns would simply not
        be very popular.

        Your Humble Servant
        Solveig Throndardottir
        Amateur Scholar

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        | Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D. | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM |
        | de Moivre Institute | Carolingia Statis Mentis Est |
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      • markejag@aol.com
        In a message dated 6/7/00 3:22:07 PM Eastern Daylight Time, nostrand@bradley.edu writes: Short
        Message 3 of 7 , Jun 8 1:47 PM
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          In a message dated 6/7/00 3:22:07 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
          nostrand@... writes:

          << Avoiding metallic threads would be a start, I assume. >>
          Short interjection and additions to previous conversation.....

          Look carefully at the illuminations, some of them are plain silk, of various
          thickness and weaves and have the gold couched on the fabric with the
          'brocade' patterns embroidered all over.
          I am sure Aoi and Hiraizumi have reliable sources of pictures to look at. I
          have noticed that the brocade patterns Aoi spoke of (
          www.yusoku.com/koaoi.html - the kikko or tortoise shell pattern) can also be
          traced to the Heian period as an example of complete covering, overall
          embroidered.

          Fumio
        • Kass McGann
          ... of various ... the ... look at. I ... can also be ... overall ... Well, it s not embroidered but rather the metalic threads were brocaded into the
          Message 4 of 7 , Jun 8 1:50 PM
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            > Look carefully at the illuminations, some of them are plain silk,
            of various
            > thickness and weaves and have the gold couched on the fabric with
            the
            > 'brocade' patterns embroidered all over.
            > I am sure Aoi and Hiraizumi have reliable sources of pictures to
            look at. I
            > have noticed that the brocade patterns Aoi spoke of (
            > www.yusoku.com/koaoi.html - the kikko or tortoise shell pattern)
            can also be
            > traced to the Heian period as an example of complete covering,
            overall
            > embroidered.
            >
            > Fumio

            Well, it's not "embroidered" but rather the metalic threads were
            brocaded into the fabric when it was woven, but you have the right
            idea. Metallic threads ARE NOT taboo...
            Aoi
          • Marc Choronzey
            Konichiwa All, I Agree, my persona comes and goes between late Heian and Muromachi periods... Is there a concensus on what period is the easier to respect or
            Message 5 of 7 , Jun 10 10:21 AM
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              Konichiwa All,

              I Agree, my persona comes and goes between late Heian and Muromachi
              periods...

              Is there a concensus on what period is the easier to respect or is the most
              popular?

              Domo,

              Sayonara.
              ---------------------------------------------------------
              "A man who judges others but not himself judges badly..."

              Hebikage Shimaha
              (Marc Choronzey)
              514-388-1790


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