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Re: [SCA-JML] Letter Writing in Mediaeval Japan

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  • Joshua Badgley
    ... I m looking for what I can find. Unfortunately, hardly any of my Japanese friends seem to know much about it, and most of my Japanese teachers, it seems,
    Message 1 of 22 , Jul 2, 2000
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      On Sun, 2 Jul 2000, Anthony J. Bryant wrote:

      > What you really need to do is take a class on bungo (a.k.a. kobun), classical
      > Japanese. There are many elements of classical Japanese that don't exist
      > today but which *did* in the 1500s. Mostly there is a loss of many supporting
      > verbs of politeness. (e.g., tamau, tatematsuru, etc.)
      >
      I'm looking for what I can find. Unfortunately, hardly any of my Japanese
      friends seem to know much about it, and most of my Japanese teachers, it
      seems, don't know where to begin. They seem to mostly just brush it off
      as being too hard to get into. I am going to see what I can find in the
      library, though. Actually, as my time here narrows I'm looking at asll
      these books and wondering what it will cost to photocopy what I need so
      that I can go over it in a more leisurely fashion back home, where I would
      not be able to get them, most likely.


      -Godric Logan
    • Joshua Badgley
      ... Obrigado, I will see what I can find/afford. ;) -Godric Logan
      Message 2 of 22 , Jul 2, 2000
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        On Sun, 2 Jul 2000, Anthony J. Bryant wrote:

        > If your Japanese is up to it, another useful source is the bookstore's selection
        > of high-school texts on kobun. I recommend the Super Sigma (Suupaa Shiguma)
        > "dekiru kobun (kokugo 1-2), by bun'ei do (it's B5 size). Another source (in
        > English) is Introduction to Classical Japanese by Komai & Rohlich (pubbed by
        > Bonjinsha). A *required* book is McCullough's "Bungo Manual". All but the latter
        > can be bought in Japan.

        Obrigado,

        I will see what I can find/afford. ;)

        -Godric Logan
      • Anthony J. Bryant
        ... Then while you re there, grab a good kogo jiten. I recommend either Obunsha s kogo jiten, or perhaps better, the Obunsha zen yaku kogo jiten. Another
        Message 3 of 22 , Jul 2, 2000
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          Joshua Badgley wrote:

          >
          > I'm looking for what I can find. Unfortunately, hardly any of my Japanese
          > friends seem to know much about it, and most of my Japanese teachers, it
          > seems, don't know where to begin. They seem to mostly just brush it off
          > as being too hard to get into. I am going to see what I can find in the
          > library, though. Actually, as my time here narrows I'm looking at asll
          > these books and wondering what it will cost to photocopy what I need so
          > that I can go over it in a more leisurely fashion back home, where I would
          > not be able to get them, most likely.

          Then while you're there, grab a good kogo jiten. I recommend either Obunsha's kogo
          jiten, or perhaps better, the Obunsha "zen'yaku kogo jiten." Another good one
          would be the Benesse "zen'yaku kogo jiten."

          If your Japanese is up to it, another useful source is the bookstore's selection
          of high-school texts on kobun. I recommend the Super Sigma (Suupaa Shiguma)
          "dekiru kobun (kokugo 1-2), by bun'ei do (it's B5 size). Another source (in
          English) is Introduction to Classical Japanese by Komai & Rohlich (pubbed by
          Bonjinsha). A *required* book is McCullough's "Bungo Manual". All but the latter
          can be bought in Japan.

          Effingham
        • Anthony J. Bryant
          ... The latter two I think you can order/find here in the States. The kogo jiten and possibly the Super Sigma book are more important, and only available there
          Message 4 of 22 , Jul 2, 2000
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            Joshua Badgley wrote:

            > On Sun, 2 Jul 2000, Anthony J. Bryant wrote:
            >
            > > If your Japanese is up to it, another useful source is the bookstore's selection
            > > of high-school texts on kobun. I recommend the Super Sigma (Suupaa Shiguma)
            > > "dekiru kobun (kokugo 1-2), by bun'ei do (it's B5 size). Another source (in
            > > English) is Introduction to Classical Japanese by Komai & Rohlich (pubbed by
            > > Bonjinsha). A *required* book is McCullough's "Bungo Manual". All but the latter
            > > can be bought in Japan.
            >
            > Obrigado,
            >
            > I will see what I can find/afford. ;)

            The latter two I think you can order/find here in the States. The kogo jiten and
            possibly the Super Sigma book are more important, and only available there (unless
            you order it via Kinokuniya online).

            Effingham
          • Eva Grammer
            Greetings to all worthy patrons of this list... My name is Cynwise æt Sceaduwode. I am joining this list due to a nine-year-old s insatiable curiousity for
            Message 5 of 22 , Jul 2, 2000
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              Greetings to all worthy patrons of this list...

              My name is Cynwise æt Sceaduwode. I am joining this list due to a nine-year-old's
              insatiable curiousity for all things Japanese. She wants a Japanese persona in
              the SCA. Of course, I realize that she can't even really register a name until
              she is 18, and that this might be a phase that she could grow out of, but I feel
              very reticent to squelch her curiousity.

              Therefore, I have joined this list to learn how Japanese is done in the SCA. We
              have done some preliminary research, and while she is interested in the Heian
              period, I have real reticence about all those robes, especially in Meridies summer
              heat! (read: humidity, humidity, humidity!) She already has problems dealing
              with the heat as it is.

              Anyway, if any gentles on the list could give me an idea of "Japanese lite" for
              my daughter, I'd really appreciate it. I sew marginally well, but have not tried
              anything more complicated than a T-tunic yet. I would like to get info on a
              period Japanese name for her, as well as some simple garb. And who knows, she
              might like it enough that she continues with the Japanese persona for the rest of
              her life, you never know.

              Thanks in advance,

              Cynwise æt Sceaduwode
              mka Eva Grammer
              Vulpine Reach, Meridies
              --
              You can get paid for reading emails! Check this link out:

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            • Barbara Nostrand
              Lady Cynwise æt Sceaduwode! Greetings from Solveig! ... I do not recall anything in the RfS which restricts registration of Society names to those who are 18
              Message 6 of 22 , Jul 2, 2000
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                Lady Cynwise æt Sceaduwode!

                Greetings from Solveig!

                >the SCA. Of course, I realize that she can't even really register a
                >name until
                >she is 18, and that this might be a phase that she could grow out
                >of, but I feel
                >very reticent to squelch her curiousity.

                I do not recall anything in the RfS which restricts registration of Society
                names to those who are 18 or older.

                Now then. Your child is 9 years old. She is not expected to wear court
                robes yet. In fact, it is rather inappropriate for her to do so as she
                would not receive a court appointment until she was at least 12 or 13
                at the very earliest.

                Concerning heat and humidity. Parts of Japan are quite hot and humid during
                the Summer. The Japanese wore clothing which would allow people to survive
                that sort of weather.

                Japanese clothing can be just about as simple as a T-tunic. As for Japanese
                names. I can try to find my copy of History of Japanese Female Names by
                Pennsic and bring it with me. I will be giving a class on the Origin of
                Japanese Names. Incidentally, your daughter would have a childhood name
                at this point. Japanese customarily took new names at their coming of age
                ceremony. For that matter, an active life could give a Japanese person lots
                of opportunities to change their name or collect new ones to add to old ones.

                Your Humble Servant
                Solveig Thronardottir
                Amateur Scholar

                Sorry for not being of greater help reight now. I have to vacate my office
                within the next two days. (The perilous life of the itinerant academic. I
                am off to a new post in the Autumn. Strange things happen. A place whose
                temporary job I turned down a few weeks ago called at the end of last
                week to offer a tenure track job. If the current tenure track offer falls
                trough, then I will take the newly offered one. *SIGH*)

                --
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                | Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D. | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM |
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              • Barbara Nostrand
                Noble Cousin! Yes, there are a lot of auxiliary verbs and joshi and all sorts of other stuff that was around in classical Japanese, but isn t now. By 1500,
                Message 7 of 22 , Jul 2, 2000
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                  Noble Cousin!

                  Yes, there are a lot of auxiliary verbs and joshi and all sorts of
                  other stuff that was around in classical Japanese, but isn't now.
                  By 1500, Japanese starts looking pretty recognizeable. Even so,
                  there is a "translation" into modern Japanese of Ryorimonogatari
                  (17c) Regardless, a good text is:

                  The Guide to Japanese Literature
                  Shogakukan
                  ISBN 4-09-504501-9

                  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 |
                  | mailto:nostrand@... | mailto:bnostran@... |
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                • Anthony J. Bryant
                  ... We re not talking about now. We re talking about 16th Century Japanese. ... Shakespeare is fairly recognizable too, but there are many points of grammar
                  Message 8 of 22 , Jul 3, 2000
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                    Barbara Nostrand wrote:

                    > Noble Cousin!
                    >
                    > Yes, there are a lot of auxiliary verbs and joshi and all sorts of
                    > other stuff that was around in classical Japanese, but isn't now.

                    We're not talking about now. We're talking about 16th Century Japanese.

                    >
                    > By 1500, Japanese starts looking pretty recognizeable. Even so,
                    > there is a "translation" into modern Japanese of Ryorimonogatari
                    > (17c)

                    Shakespeare is "fairly recognizable" too, but there are many points of
                    grammar and syntax in Shakespeare that are not common in contemporary
                    English. The same with elements of Shakespearean vocabulary. Ask Lord
                    Goderic about those Kyogen and Noh texts he's been trying to work on.
                    That's *not* modern Japanese.

                    Let me quote something as an example.

                    Let's be specific, too, since we're talking about letters. Here's a letter
                    in its entirety which was sent from Ieyasu to Hideyoshi who was in the
                    midst of a campaign (my apologies to those who don't speak Japanese and
                    can't catch why this is different):

                    "Tsusshinde gonjou. Somosomo kondo Kishuu omote ni oite kakushuu to shite
                    goriun no dan omowazariki ni, shojin botsuraku su. Kore mata gokenryo no
                    hoka nari. Iyoiyo bangun genke taigen no ittou kijiku shi, tokoshinae ni
                    tsuranatte taishi taiyou ne ni kashite chouken nari. Naozari ni rikkoku,
                    narabi ni kitaru koto kaku no gotoshi. Jin'i wo Kyuushuu ni furui, ikioi
                    nao moppara nari. Hatamata gokikan sottaku tsusshinde hofuku su. Yotte,
                    kudan no tou. Sonkou sonhitsu uyamatt mousu.
                    "Nangatsu itsuka Nanigashi
                    "Fujiwara Hideyoshi-kou
                    "Teishou shitatematsuru gobandokoro."

                    The translation:

                    "With deep respect, I report to you. Just when I did not expect you to be
                    victorious in your present campaign in Kii province, the opponent being so
                    persistently hostile, all enemy camps collapsed. This again is nothing but
                    [evidence of] your wisdom. More and more, all armies have no option but to
                    vanish before you like apparitions. Entwined for all eternity, branches and
                    leaves become roots, healthy and strong. It happened just as easy as
                    conquering the Six Provinces all at once. When you extend your divine might
                    to Kyushu, your strength will become even more complete. Moreover, I
                    prostrate myself in anticipation of the propitious occasion of your return.
                    Thus the foregoing. With deep respect, I remain your humble servant.
                    "Some month, some day X
                    "Lord Fujiwara Hideyoshi
                    "To the guardhouse that will present this letter."

                    Does that look very modern? No desu. No gozaru. Hell, no sourou. Inflected
                    verbs and adjectives. Honorific joshi.

                    That's kobun showing there.

                    If you've not had any exposure to bungo, reading or writing 16th C.
                    Japanese won't make very much sense at all.

                    Effingham
                  • Kass McGann
                    ... facial ... on ... headwear? ... about ... I personally have made a tsuboshozoku, commonly referred to as a bug hat . Basically it s a big basket-like hat
                    Message 9 of 22 , Jul 5, 2000
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                      --- In sca-jml@egroups.com, "Anthony J. Bryant" <ajbryant@i...> wrote:
                      > Mikazuchi Ukyo wrote:
                      >
                      > > With the summer months here now, and having suffered a nice
                      facial
                      > > sunburn from the East Kingdom War Camp day...anyone have any idea
                      on
                      > > where I can purchase, or preferably make some nice Japanese
                      headwear?
                      > > I have a late 16th century persona that is still being worked on
                      > > heavily, but I'm dying for some shade. =)
                      >
                      > Well, some martial arts stores sell the conical straw hats. That's
                      about
                      > as close as you'll get this side of the pond. Unless you make a big
                      > jingasa out of metal or leather and lacquer it all up.
                      >
                      > Effingham

                      I personally have made a tsuboshozoku, commonly referred to as a "bug
                      hat". Basically it's a big basket-like hat with a strange
                      cylindrical protrusion at the center and "curtains" of silk gauze to
                      keep the bugs (and the eyes of on-lookers) away. It ties onto the
                      head in a way that makes it very stable. It's still rather heavy,
                      however. But since I'm used to wearing all those Heian robes, I
                      don't much mind a heavy hat.

                      I highly recommend making one. Someone taught me how to basketweave
                      and I made a reasonable replica on my first attempt.

                      If you'd like to try it, email me privately and I'll give you some
                      instruction. Or perhaps I'll see you at the next EK Warcamp in
                      Eisental?

                      Fujiwara no Aoi
                    • Anthony J. Bryant
                      My apologies for not getting back to you sooner! ... { snippage } ... Welcome to the madhouse. Pull up a zabuton, have some sake, and sit back for the ride.
                      Message 10 of 22 , Jul 6, 2000
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                        My apologies for not getting back to you sooner!


                        Eva Grammer wrote:

                        > My name is Cynwise 誥 Sceaduwode. I am joining this list due to a nine-year-old's
                        > insatiable curiousity for all things Japanese. She wants a Japanese persona in
                        > the SCA.

                        { snippage }

                        > Therefore, I have joined this list to learn how Japanese is done in the SCA.

                        Welcome to the madhouse. Pull up a zabuton, have some sake, and sit back for the
                        ride.

                        > We
                        > have done some preliminary research, and while she is interested in the Heian
                        > period, I have real reticence about all those robes, especially in Meridies summer
                        > heat! (read: humidity, humidity, humidity!) She already has problems dealing
                        > with the heat as it is.
                        >

                        Well, the japanese survived it... and in Kyoto. A more muggy and humidly icky place I
                        have never visited. Actually, multi-layering of loose clothing is remarkably cool;
                        more layers to catch a breeze or wick heat away or some such idea. I'm really not too
                        clear on it.

                        Fortunately, for kids, you don't have to deal with all those layers. If your computer
                        can read JPEGs or GIFs, I can scan in and send you a couple of color photos of
                        Heian-era girlchild garments. And they're really easy to make, too, being almost
                        entirely composed of rectangles.

                        It's possibly a bit beyond a nine-year-old, but you might want to get and read (if
                        only for your own edification) a copy of Ivan Morris' "The World of the Shining
                        Prince." It's starting to show its age (c. 30+ years) but it's still arguably the
                        best popular look at Heian life and custom. It's in paperback, and you can get it
                        from Amazon.com.

                        >
                        > Anyway, if any gentles on the list could give me an idea of "Japanese lite" for
                        > my daughter, I'd really appreciate it. I sew marginally well, but have not tried
                        > anything more complicated than a T-tunic yet. I would like to get info on a
                        > period Japanese name for her, as well as some simple garb. And who knows, she
                        > might like it enough that she continues with the Japanese persona for the rest of
                        > her life, you never know.
                        >

                        You should also grab Compleat Anachronist #65, "A Japanese Miscellany" -- it's got a
                        lot of basic info on doing Japanese in the SCA, including a section on naming
                        patterns.

                        Effingham
                      • kujika@aol.com
                        Solveig this is Kuji you where kind enuff to do Tea at my camp last year , I will have Igo at war
                        Message 11 of 22 , Jul 7, 2000
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                          Solveig this is Kuji you where kind enuff to do Tea at my camp last year , I
                          will have Igo at war
                        • Kass McGann
                          ... year , I ... Kuji! You unapologetic lurker! Fujiwara no Aoi
                          Message 12 of 22 , Jul 7, 2000
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                            --- In sca-jml@egroups.com, kujika@a... wrote:
                            > Solveig this is Kuji you where kind enuff to do Tea at my camp last
                            year , I
                            > will have Igo at war


                            Kuji! You unapologetic lurker!

                            <in a huff>
                            Fujiwara no Aoi
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