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Brewing, fermenting

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  • M&A
    I am curious if anyone has information on brews or fermenting in feudal Japan? I am interested in perhaps taking on this task for A&S. I have been a brewer
    Message 1 of 16 , Oct 12, 2000
      I am curious if anyone has information on brews or fermenting in feudal
      Japan? I am interested in perhaps taking on this task for A&S. I have been
      a brewer for many years. Any help would be appreciated.

      Thanks!

      Mark
    • Joshua Badgley
      I have a question when translating and transcribing Kyougen. Mainly, is there any way to tell whether on-yomi or kun-yomi is being used for compound kanji
      Message 2 of 16 , Oct 19, 2000
        I have a question when translating and transcribing Kyougen. Mainly, is
        there any way to tell whether on-yomi or kun-yomi is being used for
        compound kanji outside of knowledge or furigana? There are several
        combinations, mostly names I think, that I am not sure what the
        pronunciation should be. Examples include 'Daihou' or 'Oomine', which
        seems to mean 'big (tall?) peak' (Nelson's: 1171, 1423]. Later on, there
        are words with furigana, always in katakana, and sometimes these seem like
        common sense, at least today. Ima+nichi=kesa, for example.

        Any light that can be shed would be appreciated. In the meantime I am
        simply transcribing it as best I can and trying to mark the areas I
        question with footnotes and the like.

        -Ii ????/Godric Logan, going through a bit of an identity search at the
        moment.
      • Barbara Nostrand
        Lord Godric! Greetings from Solveig! Which play are you doing again? To answer your basic question though, that is what the furigana and notes and the bottom
        Message 3 of 16 , Oct 19, 2000
          Lord Godric!

          Greetings from Solveig! Which play are you doing again? To answer your
          basic question though, that is what the furigana and notes and the
          bottom of the page are for. The Japanese are likely to guess wrong too.

          Your Humble Servant
          Solveig Throndardottir
          Amateur Scholar
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        • Joshua Badgley
          ... Well, there are no notes at the bottom of the page. The play itself is kagyuu. As I am dealing with a photocopy I made in Japan, I can t find the
          Message 4 of 16 , Oct 19, 2000
            On Thu, 19 Oct 2000, Barbara Nostrand wrote:

            > Lord Godric!
            >
            > Greetings from Solveig! Which play are you doing again? To answer your
            > basic question though, that is what the furigana and notes and the
            > bottom of the page are for. The Japanese are likely to guess wrong too.
            >
            Well, there are no notes at the bottom of the page. The play itself is
            kagyuu. As I am dealing with a photocopy I made in Japan, I can't find
            the information on which book it was in. The furigana pops up only
            occassionally, even for some words that are more well known. The book was
            very old, and bound with open pages, IIRC, which were very long, although
            it was printed.

            -Godric Logan
          • Barbara Nostrand
            Lord Godric! The main character is of course the yamabushi, the other two characters are the nushi and Tarokaja. I was hoping that it was in the Kyogenki in
            Message 5 of 16 , Oct 19, 2000
              Lord Godric!

              The main character is of course the yamabushi, the other two characters
              are the nushi and Tarokaja. I was hoping that it was in the Kyogenki in
              which case I could mail you a copy. I probably have a copy of it in
              one of my boxes of theatre notes, but I can not make any promises of
              finding it. There is a possibility that it is in the Kyogenki under a
              different name. Unfortunately, my cross-reference of play names is in
              storage as well. I thumbed through my copy of Kyogenki as best as I
              could, but I didn't find your play. Kyogenki is not indexed very well.

              Your Humble Servant
              Solveig Throndardottir
              Amateur Scholar
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            • Anthony J. Bryant
              ... The only thing they had was sake, albeit a staggering array of them. European wines came in in the latter days of the 16th century, but there was no
              Message 6 of 16 , Oct 21, 2000
                M&A wrote:

                > I am curious if anyone has information on brews or fermenting in feudal
                > Japan? I am interested in perhaps taking on this task for A&S. I have been
                > a brewer for many years. Any help would be appreciated.

                The only thing they had was sake, albeit a staggering array of them. European
                wines came in in the latter days of the 16th century, but there was no Japanese
                brewing of that horrible, bitter, red stuff. Beer and ale came in in the 1800s,
                and it was the Germans who got the Japanese beer industry off the ground.

                Unless you can do sake, and want to do some really esoteric research (on
                varieties of sake), I'm afraid you're out of luck... <G>

                Effingham
              • Ogami Itto
                ... them. European ... no Japanese ... Spoken like a true lover of sake, obviously... I have trouble seeing how someone could think that sake tasted *good*,
                Message 7 of 16 , Oct 22, 2000
                  --- In sca-jml@egroups.com, "Anthony J. Bryant" <ajbryant@i...> wrote:

                  > The only thing they had was sake, albeit a staggering array of
                  them. European
                  > wines came in in the latter days of the 16th century, but there was
                  no Japanese
                  > brewing of that horrible, bitter, red stuff.

                  Spoken like a true lover of sake, obviously...
                  I have trouble seeing how someone could think that sake tasted
                  *good*, while wine was horrible, bitter stuff. <smirk>


                  Beer and ale came in in the 1800s,
                  > and it was the Germans who got the Japanese beer industry off the
                  ground.

                  <bleah!> No no no, that is just wrong! Beer should be german,
                  english or irish, not japanese. <G>
                  >
                  > Unless you can do sake, and want to do some really esoteric
                  research (on
                  > varieties of sake), I'm afraid you're out of luck... <G>
                  >
                  > Effingham

                  A serious question... There were clearly other things that
                  were fermentable in Japan, other grains, and a pretty okay variety of
                  fruit. Why did it develop that rice was the only thing that ever got
                  turned into alcohol?
                  There may not be a good answer to this question, of course, but
                  if anyone knows, I would be curious about knowing.

                  ~Yoshinobu
                • Barbara Nostrand
                  Noble Cousins! I m not sure that there is really a good answer to the question of why the Japanese did not brew that may different kinds of alcoholic
                  Message 8 of 16 , Oct 22, 2000
                    Noble Cousins!

                    I'm not sure that there is really a good answer to the question of
                    why the Japanese did not brew that may different kinds of alcoholic
                    beverages. But, you can ask the same question about a lot of other
                    places and may ask why kumiss was not widely distributed for that
                    matter.

                    For example, the Torah speaks of only two kinds of alcoholic
                    beverages: grape wine and beer. That's it. Only two. Why no
                    mead? Well, part of the answer for that is that the honey in
                    the Torah is supposed to be actually date "honey" and not
                    bee honey. But, why wasn't it fermented? Nobody knows.

                    The only two likely indigenous fruit trees for making wine are
                    varieties of pears and peaches. Apples show up in Japan during
                    Yamato Jidai. Aside from eating fruit fresh, the Japanese dried
                    them and also candied them. Since the Japan has abundant fresh
                    water, there was little need to flavour or otherwise treat the
                    water supply. This probably tended to discourage experimentation
                    with fermentation.

                    However, there are some suggestions of early appearance of
                    fruit based alcoholic beverages in Japan! This involves the
                    story of Susanowonomikoto in the Nihongi and the Kojiki.
                    (ref. Naracho Shokubunka no Kenkyu p. 264) However, introduction
                    of large scale (for Japan at least) rice farming brought with it
                    sake production. (Alcoholic beverages are generally produced
                    using some sort of mass produced raw ingredient.) By the
                    Japanese middle ages, sake production was a specialized
                    occupation. (ref. Shokubunkaron p. 94).

                    Grape wine was introduced to Japan by the Portugese ca. 1565 and
                    beer was introduced ca 1600.

                    Your Humble Servant
                    Solveig Throndardottir
                    Amateur Scholar
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                  • Barbara Nostrand
                    Noble Cousins! My impression is that rice, wheat, barley, and corn have been used for large scale fermentation. Other grains such as oats, millet, &c. have
                    Message 9 of 16 , Oct 23, 2000
                      Noble Cousins!

                      My impression is that rice, wheat, barley, and corn have been
                      used for large scale fermentation. Other grains such as oats,
                      millet, &c. have not. This may have something to do with
                      available sugars in the grain itself. Early Japanese agriculture
                      produced millet with a bit of rice as a luxury crop. There was
                      also some wheat grown which was used for making certain kinds of
                      noodles. However, the main development of agricultural land was
                      directed toward producing paddy fields for rice cultivation.

                      Your Humble Servant
                      Solveig Throndardottir
                      Amateur Scholar
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                    • mercy67@aol.com
                      Did they have Plum wine or any other wines or cordials? Just sake? Also, Edward, the dutch were influencial to the Japanese after 1600 weren t they (I had
                      Message 10 of 16 , Oct 23, 2000
                        Did they have Plum wine or any other wines or cordials? Just sake?

                        Also, Edward, the dutch were influencial to the Japanese after 1600 weren't
                        they (I had read somewhere about a little island where Dutch traders lived
                        after 1600 sometime)...did they give the japanese anything they didn't have
                        or influence them in any major ways? Or was my source incorrect?

                        --Mercy (being curious)
                      • Barbara Nostrand
                        Noble Cousin! Actually, both English and Dutch traders were originally housed on the artificial island in question. The English abandoned their trade mission.
                        Message 11 of 16 , Oct 23, 2000
                          Noble Cousin!

                          Actually, both English and Dutch traders were originally housed on
                          the artificial island in question. The English abandoned their trade
                          mission. After the Portugese arrived, the Japanese had grape wine.

                          According to Nihon Shoku Seikatsu Shi pg. 37, sake has been made
                          from rice in Japan since the Jomon period. Basically, rice wine
                          grabbed the ecological niche and held onto it. On page 102, we
                          also learn about rice wine being used to manufacture vinegar. You
                          might consider floating flower petals in sake or otherwise
                          adulterating the stuff.

                          You may be gratified to know that whisky makes it to Japan during
                          the Edo period. ref. Nohon Shoku Seikatsu Shi pg. 170.

                          Your Humble Servant
                          Solveig Throndardottir
                          Amateur Scholar
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                        • Barbara Nostrand
                          Noble Cousins! Grapes are grown in Japan these days. I have been to grape arbors. My impression is that the Japanese primarily grow seedless table varieties. I
                          Message 12 of 16 , Oct 23, 2000
                            Noble Cousins!

                            Grapes are grown in Japan these days. I have been to grape arbors.
                            My impression is that the Japanese primarily grow seedless table
                            varieties. I have for instance been to a cut your own grapes
                            establishment.

                            Nihonshokuseikatsushi pg. 102 does note that during say the Nara
                            period there was a special plum vinegar that was served during
                            New Year festivals. This does open the possibility for an
                            unstable plum wine during the Nara period.

                            Your Humble Servant
                            Solveig Throndardottir
                            Amateur Scholar
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                          • Ron Martino
                            ... Or a rice vinegar flavored with plums. Still, as you suggest, it could be a young wine that quickly turned, thus the availability during New Year s. If so,
                            Message 13 of 16 , Oct 23, 2000
                              > Nihonshokuseikatsushi pg. 102 does note that during say the Nara
                              > period there was a special plum vinegar that was served during
                              > New Year festivals. This does open the possibility for an
                              > unstable plum wine during the Nara period.
                              >
                              > Your Humble Servant
                              > Solveig Throndardottir
                              > Amateur Scholar

                              Or a rice vinegar flavored with plums. Still, as you suggest, it could
                              be a young wine that quickly turned, thus the availability during New
                              Year's. If so, we should look for references to plum wine in autumn
                              festivals nd parties.

                              By the by, was this plum or ume?

                              Yumitori
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                            • Barbara Nostrand
                              Yumitori Dono. Ok. You got me. It was ume. Technically it is a Japanese apricot. Actual plums are imports from the West and are known as Western sumomo. Your
                              Message 14 of 16 , Oct 23, 2000
                                Yumitori Dono.

                                Ok. You got me. It was ume. Technically it is a Japanese apricot.
                                Actual plums are imports from the West and are known as Western
                                sumomo.

                                Your Humble Servant
                                Solveig Throndardottir
                                Amateur Scholar
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                              • Barbara Nostrand
                                Noble Cousin! ... It is also possible that they only used it after it had turned. Sort of like Muslims using vinegar to make sekanjabin. Appearance in the New
                                Message 15 of 16 , Oct 23, 2000
                                  Noble Cousin!

                                  > Or a rice vinegar flavored with plums. Still, as you suggest, it could
                                  >be a young wine that quickly turned, thus the availability during New
                                  >Year's. If so, we should look for references to plum wine in autumn
                                  >festivals nd parties.

                                  It is also possible that they only used it after it had turned. Sort of
                                  like Muslims using vinegar to make sekanjabin. Appearance in the New
                                  Year festival suggests that the ume vinegar was considered felicitous
                                  during the Nara period. Drawings of the place settings forr banquets
                                  rather prominently place a dish of vinegar toward the center of the
                                  table service.

                                  The central area of the food display facing the guest had the rice
                                  bowl on the left proceeding from left to right to include four dishes
                                  of principle accompaniments. These proceeded as follows: salt, vinegar,
                                  sake, and one other. One interesting feature of this banquet is four
                                  plates of "Chinese" okashi.

                                  Your Humble Servant
                                  Solveig Throndardottir
                                  Amateur Scholar
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                                • Barbara Nostrand
                                  Noble Cousin! Louis Frederic in Daily Life in Japan claims that medieval Japanese drank a variety of flavored sakes. Sake flavored with tea flowers, skae
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Oct 23, 2000
                                    Noble Cousin!

                                    Louis Frederic in Daily Life in Japan claims that medieval Japanese
                                    drank a variety of flavored sakes.

                                    Sake flavored with tea flowers, skae perfummed with iris root, &c.
                                    Ref. page 74 in the English translation.

                                    In the Azuma Kagami (Mirror of the East) a great New Year's banquet is
                                    prepared by Yoritomo which consisted only of large bowls of rice and
                                    sake. These large bowls of rice (oban) were considerd a sign of esteem
                                    directed toward the vassal.

                                    Your Humble Servant
                                    Solveig Throndardottir
                                    Amateur Scholar
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