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Re: [SCA-JML] Re: Alchemy

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  • Ii Saburou Katsumori (Joshua B.)
    ... You d probably end up looking for references in Onmyodo --Japanese yin-yang divination, which seems to have covered much of the esoteric knowledge from
    Message 1 of 9 , Jul 26, 2005
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      On 7/25/05, booknerd9 <Booknerd9@...> wrote:
      > that tradition made it overseas. Most scholarly pursuits (during the Heian
      > period, anyway, that's the one I reenact) would be Chinese in nature and strictly
      > limited to the upper escelons of sociey- or that's at least what Morris' "World of
      > the Shining Prince" had to say about accupuncture and herbalism.

      You'd probably end up looking for references in 'Onmyodo'--Japanese
      yin-yang divination, which seems to have covered much of the esoteric
      knowledge from China. Still, I'm not sure that there was much alchemy
      going on. It seems that things were more of a spiritual than physical
      nature.

      There is evidence of some possibly alchemical ideas in the esoteric
      'mikkyo' of certain Buddhist sects, as well. That might be another
      source to investigate.

      -Ii
    • Solveig Throndardottir
      Noble Cousins! Greetings from Solveig! First I hope that I didn t discourage people by remaking about the Japanese Alchemy animated series. However, I have
      Message 2 of 9 , Jul 28, 2005
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        Noble Cousins!

        Greetings from Solveig!

        First I hope that I didn't discourage people by remaking about the
        Japanese "Alchemy" animated series. However, I have run in to people
        who have wanted to base stuff on similar television programs, and just
        wanted to mention that what appears in that program has little or
        nothing to do with more traditional representations of magical
        practices in Japan. Magical practices in Japan have several roots one
        of which was already mentioned. Yes, Toaism was imported into Japan by
        the court nobility. However, you should not neglect early forms of
        Buddhism which were imported into Japan chiefly for their magical
        claims. Another magical tradition in Japan is the Yamabushi cult.
        Generally, however, you will not see a lot of recognizable alchemy in
        premodern Japan. You will see a lot of herbalism, asceticism, a lot of
        use of mudra (mystical hand positions and gestures), and a lot of use
        of music, chanting, and dance. As for life extension in general. This
        is a major topic of the Ishinpo. There are complete translations of the
        Ishinpo into modern Japanese and partial translations into English. The
        virtues of a specific approach to "love making" for extending life is
        the subject of one book of the Ishinpo. I have two different English
        translations of the "love making" manual with all of its talk about the
        "jade stock" and the "jade gate". We will be discussing this work in a
        class at Pennsic this year.

        > Anyway, I don't really know much about the topic, but basically, start
        > doing some
        > research on pre-Song China and it's alchemy, and pick up a few key
        > words, then
        > expand your search out to Japan, make use of your local library, etc.
        > etc.

        I think that Springer Verlag may have a book on Chinese Alchemy or was
        it a book on Chinese Astrology? I forget. I think I got a copy a few
        years back. Harvard University Press has a book on Japanese Astronomy.
        These are not the sort of book that most local libraries are going to
        have. You really need to make the acquaintance of your reference
        librarian and try to find a way to get onto Worldcat and so you look
        for things to request through interlibrary loan. However, even with the
        resources of academic interlibrary loan, I have been known to make
        several library trips each year where I travel to research libraries
        such as Harvard Yen Ching Library.

        Your Humble Servant
        Solveig Throndardottir
        Amateur Scholar

        +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
        | Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D. | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM, CoS, Fleur |
        | deMoivre Institute | Carolingia Statis Mentis Est |
        | mailto:nostrand@... | mailto:Solveig@... |
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      • Solveig Throndardottir
        ii dono! Greetings from Solveig! ... There is a theory of something like five elements in Chinese and Japanese herbal medicine. However, I really don t know of
        Message 3 of 9 , Jul 28, 2005
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          ii dono!

          Greetings from Solveig!
          > There is evidence of some possibly alchemical ideas in the esoteric
          > 'mikkyo' of certain Buddhist sects, as well. That might be another
          > source to investigate.
          There is a theory of something like five elements in Chinese and
          Japanese herbal medicine. However, I really don't know of anyone in
          Japan getting involved in what would look like typical alchemical
          operations until the importation of Dutch medicine during the Edo
          period.

          Your Humble Servant
          Solveig Throndardottir
          Amateur Scholar

          +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
          | Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D. | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM, CoS, Fleur |
          | deMoivre Institute | Carolingia Statis Mentis Est |
          | mailto:nostrand@... | mailto:Solveig@... |
          +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
          | Note. Many popular "free" email services are automatically routed to |
          | the trash by my email filters. |
          +----------------------------------------------------------------------+


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