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Re:Jewels

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  • deanna.baran
    ... her flowers ? ... that such things as jewelry and ornaments were very heavily restricted, at least from Nara to Meiji. The Japanese seemed to be very fond
    Message 1 of 14 , Jul 2, 2007
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      > I would also like to know more about ancient Japanese jewelry in
      > general. What did a lady wear back then when she put on
      her "flowers"?
      > I haven't seen any examples of necklaces or earrings in portraits, but
      > they must have used their "7 treasures from the sea" for something
      > fabulous, right?


      ---It might depend on the time period, but I'm under the impression
      that such things as jewelry and ornaments were very heavily restricted,
      at least from Nara to Meiji. The Japanese seemed to be very fond of
      sumptuary laws. :o) For example, anyone beneath the sixth rank was
      forbidden to wear gold or silver, except on their armor, swords, and
      official costumes. So if you were well-born, you might be important
      enough to merit a gold hairpin. ;o)

      There are Haniwa and Asuka figurines that wear Han-dynasty earrings and
      necklaces. You get lots of magatama-necklaces in tombs as well-- but I
      would suspect those had strong religious connotations, rather than
      being purely ornamental.

      http://www.tnm.jp/en/servlet/Con?
      pageId=B01&processId=00&mansion_id=M3&dispdate=2007/05/30

      has a small picture of the pieces of a magatama bracelet from the Yayoi
      period.

      http://www.miho.or.jp/booth/html/artcon/00005295e.htm

      has both kudatama (cylindrical beads) and magatama (comma-shaped beads).

      To compensate for those restrictions, a woman would convey her rank and
      prestige through her clothing, rather than through accessories. I'm
      most interested in the Heian period, so using that as an example, a
      woman would wear colors that lower-ranking women were restricted from
      wearing... or they would wear many layers of robes of such a quality
      that a less wealthy woman could not afford. They were very particular
      about shades of color as well; I seem to remember an episode in the
      Pillow Book where the ladies all laughed at someone where one of her
      robes was a shade off of the color it should have been. :o) I do know
      that mo could not only be dyed or embroidered, but also embellished
      with mother-of-pearl, semiprecious jewels, gold or silver foil, tiny
      mirrors, etc.

      Once you get into later periods, the sumptuary laws start getting more
      restrictive. But the emphasis is always on clothes and materials and
      subtle details, rather than on accessories as we think of them. :o)

      Good luck!
      -Deanna
    • Solveig Throndardottir
      Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! ... You do not see much in the way of jewelry in premodern Japan period. There are some odd hats especially early on.
      Message 2 of 14 , Jul 2, 2007
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        Noble Cousin!

        Greetings from Solveig!
        > ---It might depend on the time period, but I'm under the impression
        > that such things as jewelry and ornaments were very heavily
        > restricted,
        > at least from Nara to Meiji.
        You do not see much in the way of jewelry in premodern Japan period.
        There are some odd hats especially early on. Also, if you go way way
        back, then you have the necklaces. But, that's pretty much it.
        > The Japanese seemed to be very fond of
        > sumptuary laws. :o) For example, anyone beneath the sixth rank was
        > forbidden to wear gold or silver, except on their armor, swords, and
        > official costumes. So if you were well-born, you might be important
        > enough to merit a gold hairpin. ;o)
        Actual examples involve cap ranks which restricted the construction,
        colour, and ornamentation of hats and the colour and composition of
        of official robes. I don't know about hairpin regulation.
        > There are Haniwa and Asuka figurines that wear Han-dynasty earrings
        > and
        > necklaces. You get lots of magatama-necklaces in tombs as well-- but I
        > would suspect those had strong religious connotations, rather than
        > being purely ornamental.
        This is also rather unfortunately, prehistoric. You do not see much
        in the
        way of this sort of thing once you start getting into the historical
        era.
        To compensate for those restrictions, a woman would convey her rank and
        > prestige through her clothing, rather than through accessories. I'm
        > most interested in the Heian period, so using that as an example, a
        > woman would wear colors that lower-ranking women were restricted from
        > wearing... or they would wear many layers of robes of such a quality
        > that a less wealthy woman could not afford.
        The quality, quantity, and tasteful arrangement of the robes are the
        big deal.
        Actually, I think it was Sei Shonagon that got all miffed about a
        lowlife
        doing a dance of thanksgiving.
        > robes was a shade off of the color it should have been. :o) I do know
        > that mo could not only be dyed or embroidered, but also embellished
        > with mother-of-pearl, semiprecious jewels, gold or silver foil, tiny
        > mirrors, etc.
        Are you sure about the mirrors? Mirrors are 1) rather sacred and 2)
        being of polished bronze don't work very well on clothing.
        Once you get into later periods, the sumptuary laws start getting more
        > restrictive. But the emphasis is always on clothes and materials and
        > subtle details, rather than on accessories as we think of them. :o)
        As I wrote earlier, there were restrictions on hats. The hats worn by
        the emperor could be rather extreme.

        Your Humble Servant
        Solveig Throndardottir
        Amateur Scholar





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      • deanna.baran
        ... ranks and robes and protocol, but I haven t found anything thorough yet... any suggestions? :o) ... The Traditional Arts of Japan: A Complete Illustrated
        Message 3 of 14 , Jul 3, 2007
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          > Actual examples involve cap ranks which restricted the construction,
          > colour, and ornamentation of hats and the colour and composition of
          > of official robes.

          ---I've been looking for some good books in English on the subject of
          ranks and robes and protocol, but I haven't found anything thorough
          yet... any suggestions? :o)


          > Are you sure about the mirrors? Mirrors are 1) rather sacred and 2)
          > being of polished bronze don't work very well on clothing.

          ---The information re: gold, hairpins, and mirrors came from:
          The Traditional Arts of Japan: A Complete Illustrated Guide
          H. Batterson Boger
          Doubleday & Co., Inc.
          Garden City, New York 1964
          pp. 91, 289.

          Looking at what it says about mirrors (pp. 97-98), it says the
          Chinese had been casting bronze ones from at least the beginning of
          the Han Dynasty (which began 206 BC), and they were introduced to
          Japan at the end of the Han Dynasty (AD 220). Those dates may have
          changed based on subsequent archaeological evidence. :o) Post-
          Kofun/post-650, everywhere but Hokkaido stops being prehistoric. :o)
          By the time you get to Nara, they had developed mirrors that were
          artistically Japanese in shape and design, rather than just copying
          Chinese mirrors. They have interesting shapes (squares, six or eight
          lobes, eight or twelve-pointed), and are often decorated with birds,
          flowers, and landscapes. By the time you get to Heian period, it's
          distinct enough to be called a wakyo, or Japanese mirror, and they've
          made progress in becoming thinner. During Kamakura, they're often
          decorated in the e-uta/picture-poem style. And the ekagami, or
          handled-mirror, developed in Muromachi times, but became popular in
          Momoyama.

          While I don't disagree that the mirror has tremendous religious
          significance, especially to the Shinto, it seems that it had an
          undeniably secular usage as well.

          When it said "tiny mirrors", though, I can't help but wonder if they
          meant "tiny pieces of polished bronze." If full-sized mirrors are
          appearing in lobed shapes, it makes me think of a flower-shape... and
          I could see how, say, a mo appliqued with small, thin, polished
          and/or etched bronze blossoms could be considered attractive. I don't
          think it would be very technologically difficult; I'd be more curious
          as to whether they were only applied for wearing, and then removed
          afterwards, to keep from getting oxidization stains on the fabric.
          But yes, I agree, I wish it had been more clear, and possibly
          illustrated. :o)

          Thanks!
          -Deanna
        • Solveig Throndardottir
          Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! ... Learn Japanese? That is not quite as flip as it sounds. If you learn Japanese then you aren t dependent upon other
          Message 4 of 14 , Jul 4, 2007
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            Noble Cousin!

            Greetings from Solveig!
            > ---I've been looking for some good books in English on the subject of
            > ranks and robes and protocol, but I haven't found anything thorough
            > yet... any suggestions? :o)
            Learn Japanese? That is not quite as flip as it sounds. If you learn
            Japanese then you aren't dependent upon other folks getting around
            to translating the stuff you are interested in. However, you do become
            dependent upon 1) books available from U.S. libraries and 2) books
            which can be purchased from Japan. (Now that one is a truly heavy
            addiction. Pun intended.

            On a slightly more helpful note, there is an English Language guide
            to classical Japanese literature which has a lot of the stuff that you
            are interested in. However, the down side is that the last time I
            looked for it, I found a different book. So, I am not in a good position
            to point you to the correct volume. And, no, I'm not thinking of the
            Shining Prince guidebook. This is a much bigger book.

            Your Humble Servant
            Solveig Throndardottir
            Amateur Scholar





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