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

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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 1 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.

    • 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 2 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
        > > sunburn from the East Kingdom War Camp day...anyone have any idea
        > > where I can purchase, or preferably make some nice Japanese
        > > 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
        > 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

        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 3 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 шке 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

          > 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

        • 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 4 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 5 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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