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Re:Jewels & Mirrors

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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 1 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 2 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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