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Re: [SCA-JML] Hello!!

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  • Solveig Throndardottir
    Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! ... 1. You should try to nail down your period a little bit more to either early middle or late Kamakura period.
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 12, 2006
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      Noble Cousin!

      Greetings from Solveig!

      > Hi! I am fairly new to the sca (Well, I've been playing for a year,
      > but still don't have a name or device) and I have finally decided to
      > go Japanese. I would be most greatful for any help anyone can give me
      > on choosing a female given name and a surname that would be
      > appropriate for the Kamakura period. I am also in desperate need of
      > help with a device!

      1. You should try to nail down your period a little bit more to
      either early middle or late Kamakura period. According to Mass, many
      early Kamakura period women were still following Heian period naming
      practices which were for women <uji> no <given name>. Later on, they
      become more attached (that is a polite way of putting it) to their
      husbands and wound up using family names.

      If you are early Kamakura then you need to simply choose one of a
      pile of historical uji names and then come up with a given name. You
      can find these either in the back of the blue cover version of Name
      Construction in Medieval Japan (hopefully someone in your kingdom has
      a copy - or you can buy one for yourself by sending email to
      alban@...) or you can look them up in a published doctoral
      dissertation on kabane whose title is escaping me at the moment. If
      you want to occupy the social strata of peasants, then instead of an
      uji name, you might pick a <be> (pronounced BEH not BEE) name. These
      have the form <occupation>-be. Occupational designators are NOT
      identical to modern occupational words.

      If you are later Kamakura, then you can go with picking either an
      existing premodern family name or make one up. However, I need to
      emphasize that early period tends to be a lot more fun for Japanese
      women than is late period.

      There are quite a few different options for making up a given name
      for you period of interest, but by far the most common has the form
      <theme>ko where theme should represent something or other positive in
      a Japanese sense. If you want to be distinctly old-fashioned, then
      you can go with <theme>me. There are a number of other possibilities
      itemized by Tsunoda Bun'ei in his historical study on Japanese female
      names, but you need to read Japanese to use his materials.

      3. If you are near a research library which has a copy of Daibukan,
      then you can take a look in it for what Kamakura period kamon looked
      like. Daibukan makes this fairly easy for you as it is arranged
      chronolotgically. The first page with pictures is page 3 and the
      last page in the Kamakra period is page 21.

      Here you should try to resist the temptation to put a circle around
      the outside of your kamon. While there are a few early examples of
      this, Kamakura period kamon very rarely had these circles. They
      mostly show up in post-period kamon.

      Otherwise. The important things to think about are that Japanese went
      for unified designs. That is most typically either one or many of the
      same charge (object). When you see multiple objects, they are
      essentially one theme. For example, a mountain rising out of the
      clouds or a cart wheel in a river or two arrows with different kinds
      of point crossed, or a very particular kind of bird in the middle off
      bamboo. You can use up to 3 colours including your background. Birds
      are invariably displayed in Japan so that you can see the plumage of
      their back as opposed to the West where you typically see their
      stomachs.

      Your Humble Servant
      Solveig Throndardottir
      Amateur Scholar
    • Solveig Throndardottir
      Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! ... Please! Please! Please! Do not use this book! It is based on a late 19th century department store catalogue which was
      Message 2 of 7 , Jun 12, 2006
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        Noble Cousin!

        Greetings from Solveig!

        > Greetings!!
        > May I recommend the use of the book "Japanese Design Motifs",
        > translated by Fumie Adachi. ISBN 0486228746. It contains more than
        > 4200 images of Japanese heraldic devices.
        > In service

        Please! Please! Please! Do not use this book! It is based on a late
        19th century department store catalogue which was put out when the
        90% of the Japanese population which did not have kamon were suddenly
        given permission to have them. The catalogue serviced this market. It
        has virtually no relevance for recreating premodern Japanese anything.

        Your Humble Servant
        Solveig Throndardottir
        Amateur Scholar
      • Ii Saburou Katsumori (Joshua B.)
        ... Solveig-hime, while I understand your frustration, would it not be useful to provide some alternative references, if some exist? I have personally found
        Message 3 of 7 , Jun 15, 2006
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          On 6/13/06, Solveig Throndardottir <nostrand@...> wrote:
          >
          > > Greetings!!
          > > May I recommend the use of the book "Japanese Design Motifs",
          > > translated by Fumie Adachi. ISBN 0486228746. It contains more than
          > > 4200 images of Japanese heraldic devices.
          > > In service
          >
          > Please! Please! Please! Do not use this book! It is based on a late
          > 19th century department store catalogue which was put out when the
          > 90% of the Japanese population which did not have kamon were suddenly
          > given permission to have them. The catalogue serviced this market. It
          > has virtually no relevance for recreating premodern Japanese anything.
          >
          Solveig-hime, while I understand your frustration, would it not be
          useful to provide some alternative references, if some exist?

          I have personally found that 'Japanese Design Motifs' will help you to
          draw some Japanese designs, but will not tell you what is and is not
          period. It may give you ideas for what types of things you could try
          to pass through the CoA, though, and works well to trace out designs.

          I don't know that there is a good, easily accessible book on mon in
          English. That's one of those projects that I think would be wonderful
          for someone to undertake. Most such works are not as concerned with
          the period that a given mon was used, which can be difficult.

          That said, I've found some use in W. M. Hawley's
          (http://www.wmhawley.com/) works. Although it often has the problem
          of whether or not something is actually pre-17th century, there are a
          few famous people that are noted with dates that actually helps to
          establish the use of the mon pre-17th century or not. There is some
          good information I've found regarding what mon were used in what
          periods (e.g. Heian period 'mon' are designs that tend to be found in
          fabric, while the later kamon appropriated by the buke seem to fit
          more of the single 'emblem' motif that we are more familiar with).

          Stephen Turnbull has some limited information in his 'Samurai
          Sourcebook', too, iirc.

          Unfortunately, I believe that most of the works on mon are in
          Japanese, and most of the resources appear to be from the Edo period,
          when it was important to know who used what mon for identification of
          the various sankin-kotai processions.


          -Ii
        • Barbara Nostrand
          Ii dono! Greetings from Solveig! ... I have. It is called Daijirin and is available in several research libraries. Unfortunately, even Japanese kamon books
          Message 4 of 7 , Jun 15, 2006
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            Ii dono!

            Greetings from Solveig!
            > Solveig-hime, while I understand your frustration, would it not be
            > useful to provide some alternative references, if some exist?
            I have. It is called "Daijirin" and is available in several research
            libraries. Unfortunately, even Japanese kamon books are not always so
            useful.
            > I don't know that there is a good, easily accessible book on mon in
            > English. That's one of those projects that I think would be wonderful
            > for someone to undertake. Most such works are not as concerned with
            > the period that a given mon was used, which can be difficult.
            I do not know of one. I am planning on a chapter on kamon on "Bunka -
            Premodern Japanese Culture". I bought an antique Japanese armorial on
            e-Bay to help provide illustrations. But, I am under orders from Lord
            Alban to finish the food pamphlet first. Something about getting pre-
            orders from libraries or something like that.
            > That said, I've found some use in W. M. Hawley's
            > (http://www.wmhawley.com/) works.
            I've got copies of most of Hawley's stuff somewhere. I do not believe
            that I have his work on kamon. I expect, however, that it is better
            than than the Matsuya catalogue.
            > Although it often has the problem
            > of whether or not something is actually pre-17th century, there are a
            > few famous people that are noted with dates that actually helps to
            > establish the use of the mon pre-17th century or not.
            I published an illustrated armorial of the kamon of famous people in
            the Proceedings of the Known World Heraldic Symposium maybe fifteen
            years ago.
            > There is some
            > good information I've found regarding what mon were used in what
            > periods (e.g. Heian period 'mon' are designs that tend to be found in
            > fabric, while the later kamon appropriated by the buke seem to fit
            > more of the single 'emblem' motif that we are more familiar with).
            I believe that kamon actually evolved out of textile patterns.

            Your Humble Servant
            Solveig Thorndardottir
            Amateur Scholar
          • Ii Saburou Katsumori (Joshua B.)
            ... My apologies. I had missed your other message. ... That s my understanding, but in the W. M. Hawley pamphelet I have floating around here somewhere they
            Message 5 of 7 , Jun 16, 2006
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              On 6/15/06, Barbara Nostrand <nostrand@...> wrote:
              >
              > Ii dono!
              >
              > Greetings from Solveig!
              >
              > > Solveig-hime, while I understand your frustration, would it not be
              > > useful to provide some alternative references, if some exist?
              >
              > I have. It is called "Daijirin" and is available in several research
              > libraries. Unfortunately, even Japanese kamon books are not always so
              > useful.

              My apologies. I had missed your other message.

              > > There is some
              > > good information I've found regarding what mon were used in what
              > > periods (e.g. Heian period 'mon' are designs that tend to be found in
              > > fabric, while the later kamon appropriated by the buke seem to fit
              > > more of the single 'emblem' motif that we are more familiar with).
              >
              > I believe that kamon actually evolved out of textile patterns.
              >
              That's my understanding, but in the W. M. Hawley pamphelet I have
              floating around here somewhere they note the evolution from textile
              patterns to more standalone patterns as the usage changed. E.g. look
              at the famous 'sumo bunny' mon, or else some of the simple designs
              like the circles with one or two lines through them. Mon which use
              kanji characters as well. These are usually found later, and really
              wouldn't make very good textile patterns at all.

              This isn't to say that the textile patterns disappeared; just that you
              had different mon created as the function and display changed over
              time.

              -Ii
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