Re:Jewels & Mirrors
> Actual examples involve cap ranks which restricted the construction,---I've been looking for some good books in English on the subject of
> colour, and ornamentation of hats and the colour and composition of
> of official robes.
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)---The information re: gold, hairpins, and mirrors came from:
> being of polished bronze don't work very well on clothing.
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
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
- Noble Cousin!
Greetings from Solveig!
> ---I've been looking for some good books in English on the subject ofLearn Japanese? That is not quite as flip as it sounds. If you learn
> ranks and robes and protocol, but I haven't found anything thorough
> yet... any suggestions? :o)
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
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