Firstly, apologies for my long delay in responding to your message, and
>>> 1. Akunoya were used for garden parties.
>> Yes, I know, but IIRC there is some evidence of them appearing in
>> Daimyou battlefield HQ's on screens.
>Could you possibly cite a source for that? Jinmaku show up all the
>time, but I do not recall a single akunoya.
Their was a major exhibition at the RoyalArmouries in Leeds (UK) a
couple of years ago, with numerous items from Japan on special loan,
including a number of battle screens. One of which had dozens of
headquarters strewn across it's landscape. Now, I myself am near blind,
and so my companions described the image to me. We were studying the
many jinmaku illustrated in particular as we were at that time in the
process of building one of these. However, as I said in my previous
message "if I recall correctly" in one of the headquarters there seemed
to be what my companions thought was the roof of a tent (akunoya). Now I
can not be certain that this is what they actually saw, but at the time
there was a great deal of discussion and we thought the idea reasonable.
I apologise that I am unable to provide you with an accurate reference.
I have the catalogue for the exhibition, but I can't see the relevant
screen. However, if possible I will try to source the data and get back
>> Okay they are not common at all, but there are too few temples or
>> peasant's hovels here in the UK where we
>> can billet ourselves when doing an event.
>Please consider building a yashiki instead. There should be notes
>about building one at the Yamakaminari site.
>>> Also yes, a yashiki would be nice, but the difficulty level is
>> proportionate to it's authenticity, and for the public living history
>> shows that we do we wouldn't be allowed to use one unless it was
>> properly built.
>OK - Here is an alternative. Check out Hideyoshi's famous golden tea
>house. He would have it broken down and transported all over Japan.
>You do not have to guild your own version.
Indeed, in the opening paragraph of the Foreword to my article I mention
that this is one of our long term goals, as well as having go at the
kind of shelter built by the ashigaru. "Gilding", that reminds me I must
keep buying those lottery tickets:-) On the other hand maybe something
more in keeping with the teachings of Sen Rikyu would not only be less
costly, but more typical.
>> At some point we're going to see a minka that was brought to
>> England in 2001, but from what I understand, it's no longer
>Minka are often quite large. That is not what you should be
>attempting. Also, just about all existing minka are pretty much post-
In terms of period we are covering the years from 1543-1640, slightly
later than yourselves, as we are focusing in on the first era of
European contact. As to the Minka, true it would be a wee bit ambitious,
but as I am unlikely to get out to Japan any time soon, it'll be my only
opportunity to see a 1:1 scale 17th century building. Besides it's the
constructional details and general ambience that we are going to
>> We can build a real akunoya,, but a real portable yashiki, would I
>> think be a wee bit out of our league. Besides it's much easier to
>> explain to people that the akunoya although authentic is an
>> uncommon accessory on the battlefield. So, I guess we'll have to
>> perform a well armed garden party instead:-)
>I don't know of any evidence for people sleeping in the things. You
>do see people sitting in the things.
Quite true, we will of course, during public shows be packing the
bedding away. And as I said, we will be carefully explaining the error
and the reason for it's use.
>>> 3. You would probably enjoy a yashiki more anyway.
>>> consider taking Saiaiko hime's class at Pennsic where she will
>>> tell people about building the one she lives in.
>> I'd love to, but I'm very firmly stuck here in the United Kingdom.
>There are airplanes you know.
>Folks show up at Pennsic from as far
>away as Australia and New Zealand.
Ah, aeroplanes require tickets, aka funding, and then there's the issue
of time. My curious lifestyle denudes me of both. I haven't left the UK
in over a dozen years:-( However, perhaps one day...
>Well, you have copied some of the correct drawings of akunoya.
Phew, I'd hate to have got it too wrong:-) Seriously though, the number
of illustrations is fairly limited, but if you have any more I would be
extremely delighted to see them. You can never have too much evidence.
>not recommend making one larger than shown in the period iconographic
On the whole I agree with you. The sizes I have depicted are based on
careful study of the number of panels in the construction of the
illustrated akunoya, with the exception of one. To date all the akunoya
I've looked at have a width of either 9 or 11 panels, while their length
is typically 19. My one exception is the tent from the TV series Shogun,
which is 25 panels long. And yes I'm fully aware of the pitfalls of
using Hollywood as a historical reference. However, in some historical
illustrations the ratio of the width to length suggests quite a long
length or possibly a narrow width, in either case the 25 panel length of
the Shogun tent did not to me seem too unreasonable, although I do
consider this figure to be a probable maximum, subject to more evidence
>Also, pay careful attention to the construction of the
This is the next phase of the project.
>It is not as easy to see as the ropes which hold down the
> However, at the ends there are three vertical post and a
>horizontal cross piece.
Indeed, in my article I illustrate just this form of layout (Figs.
>As for sizing. Each seated person occupies approximately a 1 meter x
>1 meter square. (Probably closer to 1 yard x 1 yard square
I agree, this is a good rough rule of thumb.
>medieval Japanese used a foot called a shaku which was divided into
>10 inches called sun. Or at least so I recall.
Quite correct. Although shaku varied a little from time to time and
place to place, but the accepted figure today is that 1 shaku = 303mm,
which is about 11 and 15/16". I've got a small article on Japanese
It In Japanese.htm
But I need to update it, as I've only just got around to the study of
area, and I'm trying to understand how length, volume, weight and area
inter-relate. It doesn't help when folks like Hideyoshi, came up with a
tax scam in the 1590's, wherein he didn't change the actual tax rate, he
just made the unit of land measure smaller by 20 percent, so everyone,
over night ended up with more taxable land! This sort of thing was quite
common, which makes the study of units of measure a real headache, err I
mean real fun:-)
>Standard tatami mats
>are exactly two squares.
The fun part of course starts when you start comparing tatami from
different regions! We've got three different sized types so far. However
the guideline figure of 3 x 6 shaku for a mat tends to be fine.
Anyway, again sorry for the delay in replying, and I do hope you enjoy
Pensic. At the same time I and my tiny horde will be off to set up a
Japanese display at an event called "Military Odyssey", a multi-period
show covering everything from the stone age through to Gulf War 1. The
WWII neighbours are a wee bit noisy, what with the guns, the tanks and
the aircraft, no exaggeration. We definitely need the anti-aircraft
All the best
Head Of The Fight School