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  • Dean Wayland
    Hi All, Quite a few folks have emailed me off list, this message is just to apologise to you all for the delay in replying as I m deep in the process of
    Message 1 of 64 , Aug 2, 2007
      Hi All,

      Quite a few folks have emailed me off list, this message is just to
      apologise to you all for the delay in replying as I'm deep in the
      process of preparing an event for this weekend, and so I'll get back to
      you once the dust has settled:-)

      Meanwhile apart from spelling goofs, several folks have pointed out that
      one of my images is missing, Figure 8b, the akusha with improvised walls
      using our jinmaku. It's now fixed, so you can go and see it at:


      All the best

      Home Page
      SHOUGUN Page
    • Dean Wayland
      Greetings Solveig-hime, Firstly, apologies for my long delay in responding to your message, and secondly... ... Their was a major exhibition at the
      Message 64 of 64 , Aug 11, 2007
        Greetings Solveig-hime,

        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
        to you.

        >> 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
        >> portable.
        >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.


        >You should
        >>> 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...

        >> http://www.thefightschool.demon.co.uk/The_SHOGUN_Tent_Guide.htm
        >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.

        >I do
        >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
        of course.

        >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
        measures at:

        http://www.thefightschool.demon.co.uk/Measure 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


        Dean Wayland
        Head Of The Fight School
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