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Re: [SCA-JML] mis-information?

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  • Solveig Throndardottir
    Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! ... How do you support this contention? The dynamics of the two are somewhat different and iconographic evidence does
    Message 1 of 23 , Sep 6, 2007
      Noble Cousin!

      Greetings from Solveig!

      > While I agree on your assesment, for in fact is is very much like a
      > wakizashi with an obscenely long handle, in period (prior to the
      > fall of Osaka in 1615 anyhow) it was considered a spear. As a
      > matter of fact pretty much all cutting or pokey pole weapons were
      > in the general "spear" category, especially in the army lists.

      How do you support this contention? The dynamics of the two are
      somewhat different and iconographic evidence does little to support
      your contention.

      >> You should expect a spearman to be paid more
      >> because he also has swords while the swordsman
      >> only has his swords.
      >
      >> Basically, if the sword is your primary weapon,
      >> then you are pretty low class.
      >
      > Again prior to 1600 (1615 considering Osaka) this is supremely
      > untrue. Spearmen (lancers/pikes) make up the primary bulk of the
      > infantry, very late in period many daimyo or generals did not even
      > bother with providing a "loaned" sword as was customary to the bulk
      > of hired retainers and certainly not to conscripted troops. During
      > the sengoku spears were the primary armament. While a well paid
      > and statused retainer may be issued or posses sword/s of their own,
      > they were expected to fight as directed, which meant spears. The
      > people who did not carry spears and relyed on swords were generally
      > unit commanders, which would not be the low of the low.

      Again you seem to be missing what I was writing. I contended that
      spear or naginata was the primary weapon for most foot soldiers.
      However, battle paintings will still show these soldiers wearing at
      least one and possibly two swords. At least one sword is useful for
      taking heads. Unit commanders are not really relying on swords. They
      may wear them, but that is another matter. Also, lets get real, high
      class folks such as Atsumori in Heike Monogatari go into battle with
      bow and arrow.

      > Check damage to extant armors, the accounts in the scrolls, and
      > visual depictions, all of these contradict the view that spears
      > were premier... everyone was using them, the scut troops almost
      > exclusively.

      Actually, you see lots of spears in battle paintings. You also see
      naginata. If anything, naginata have an almost ceremonial role as you
      will see them held by retainers in headquarters units. For example, a
      particularly famous painting of Takeda Shingen as I recall at least.
      Also, earlier kuge guard units typically used naginata. Thus,
      naginata has a certain panache. Again, I contended that swords were
      secondary weapons. This agrees with what I have read, and what I have
      observed in battle paintings.

      Your Humble Servant
      Solveig Throndardottir
      Amateur Scholar





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Solveig Throndardottir
      Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! ... What sort of army are you imagining? A feudal lord in Japan owed clothing to his retainers and a variety of payments
      Message 2 of 23 , Sep 6, 2007
        Noble Cousin!

        Greetings from Solveig!
        > One should also take into consideration that a katana/tachi would cost
        > the equivalent of 1-2 yrs salary and therefore NOT readily "handed
        > out" to conscripted ashigaru. The naginata would be similar in price.
        > The yari, on the other hand was relatively inexpensive in comparison
        > and much more effective and versatile in the hands of semi-skilled
        > fighters.
        What sort of army are you imagining? A feudal lord in Japan owed
        clothing to his retainers and a variety of payments and possibly land
        rights. However, we are talking about a system built essentially on
        mercenary troops with long-term and possibly hereditary contracts. We
        really are not discussing conscript troops. If anything, steps were
        taken at various times to limit entry into the military class.

        Your Humble Servant
        Solveig Throndardottir
        Amateur Scholar
      • JL Badgley
        Okay, I think people need to stop and start defining their periods. As I see it, we have three general periods people are talking about: Heian-Kamakura
        Message 3 of 23 , Sep 7, 2007
          Okay, I think people need to stop and start defining their periods.
          As I see it, we have three general periods people are talking about:

          Heian-Kamakura

          Muromachi-Sengoku

          Edo

          On 9/6/07, Solveig Throndardottir <nostrand@...> wrote:
          >
          > > While I agree on your assesment, for in fact is is very much like a
          > > wakizashi with an obscenely long handle, in period (prior to the
          > > fall of Osaka in 1615 anyhow) it was considered a spear. As a
          > > matter of fact pretty much all cutting or pokey pole weapons were
          > > in the general "spear" category, especially in the army lists.
          >
          > How do you support this contention? The dynamics of the two are
          > somewhat different and iconographic evidence does little to support
          > your contention.

          While Takeda can support this better than I, I believe that he is
          correct from a Sengoku period mindset, in that 'polearms' are
          generally lumped together as a single category (and I think it usually
          gets translated as 'spear').

          > Again you seem to be missing what I was writing. I contended that
          > spear or naginata was the primary weapon for most foot soldiers.
          > However, battle paintings will still show these soldiers wearing at
          > least one and possibly two swords. At least one sword is useful for
          > taking heads. Unit commanders are not really relying on swords. They
          > may wear them, but that is another matter. Also, lets get real, high
          > class folks such as Atsumori in Heike Monogatari go into battle with
          > bow and arrow.

          Dragging Atsumori into a discussion of massed spearmen seems to be
          really mixing your periods. With the rise of the ashigaru, the
          spearmen are certainly not high-ranking or highly paid. In fact, they
          are probably the lowest paid men in the army.

          Heck, even in the Mongol scrolls, though the naginata is a more
          'elegant' weapon, it would seem, those using it are generally dressed
          in retainer armour, indicating their lower status and, I would assume,
          lower pay. In that case the more 'expensive' troops have bows and,
          perhaps even more important, horses. Of course, during that period,
          you pretty much had to outfit yourself, it seems, so a sword would
          have been part of what you had.

          > > Check damage to extant armors, the accounts in the scrolls, and
          > > visual depictions, all of these contradict the view that spears
          > > were premier... everyone was using them, the scut troops almost
          > > exclusively.
          >
          > Actually, you see lots of spears in battle paintings. You also see
          > naginata. If anything, naginata have an almost ceremonial role as you
          > will see them held by retainers in headquarters units. For example, a
          > particularly famous painting of Takeda Shingen as I recall at least.
          > Also, earlier kuge guard units typically used naginata. Thus,
          > naginata has a certain panache. Again, I contended that swords were
          > secondary weapons. This agrees with what I have read, and what I have
          > observed in battle paintings.

          Okay, I think you misread him here. Takeda-dono pointed out that you
          see lots of spears in battle paintings. That's his contention--if
          everyone is using them, they aren't that rare. With such a flood of
          spearmen on the market, they aren't that valuable.

          Also, just because kuge guard units use the naginata doesn't mean it
          has panache--I don't see the logic in your argument. And where is
          your source for that?

          I apologize that I can't go tracking down my sources, as I need to get
          to work, but if this is still going when I get home, I'll start
          digging.


          -Ii
        • Solveig Throndardottir
          Noble Cousins! ... Well, this is one of the things that has bothered me about some of the statements in this discussion. Takeda, I think it was, was
          Message 4 of 23 , Sep 7, 2007
            Noble Cousins!

            > Okay, I think people need to stop and start defining their periods.
            > As I see it, we have three general periods people are talking about:

            Well, this is one of the things that has bothered me about some of
            the statements in this discussion. Takeda, I think it was, was
            generalizing all use prior to 1615. Considering that pre 1615
            includes Japanese implementations of classical Chinese armies,
            I am unwilling to buy into the generalization.

            > While Takeda can support this better than I, I believe that he is
            > correct from a Sengoku period mindset, in that 'polearms' are
            > generally lumped together as a single category (and I think it usually
            > gets translated as 'spear').

            Lots of people insist on translating "mochi" as "rice cake" and "katsuo"
            as "bonito" even though "rice cake" conjures up a completely
            different image and "katsuo" is really a skipjack (if I am recalling
            the fish correctly). Regardless, a naginata really isn't a spear.

            > Dragging Atsumori into a discussion of massed spearmen seems to be
            > really mixing your periods. With the rise of the ashigaru, the
            > spearmen are certainly not high-ranking or highly paid. In fact, they
            > are probably the lowest paid men in the army.

            The ashigaru were definitely low class and low paid. However, there
            was little if any specific mention of them either in the subject line or
            in the general discussion. The message which started this discussion
            reads:

            >> I was told this last night, since it's beocome known in our group
            >> I am into
            >> Japanese. It seems people are dredging up whatever they know and
            >> presenting it to me. Which is great because there is soooo much to
            >> learn.
            >> But some I have to wonder about.
            >>
            >> Is it true in period that spearmen were paid more than swordsmen?
            >> The reason given was there are only 16 basic sword moves/positions
            >> and there are 93 basic spear moves/positions. Also is there another
            >> name for a spear in period? I thought it was Yari but someone kept
            >> calling it a different name that I can't recall now.

            "Period" includes rather a LOT more than the Sengoku period. Further,
            simply talking about weapons forms covers a lot more than ashigaru.

            Your Humble Servant
            Solveig Throndardottir
            Amateur Scholar





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • sigrune@aol.com
            ... Clarification: generalizing that spearmen were generally the lowest paid of troop types prior to 1615) ... I personally feel that my original statement:
            Message 5 of 23 , Sep 7, 2007
              Solveig Throndardottir <nostrand@...> writes:

              >Takeda, I think it was, was generalizing
              >all use prior to 1615.
              Clarification: generalizing that spearmen were generally the lowest paid of troop types prior to 1615)

              >Considering that pre 1615 includes Japanese
              >implementations of classical Chinese armies,
              >I am unwilling to buy into the generalization.

              I personally feel that my original statement: that spear (and polearm troops) prior to 1615, including the Jomon and Nara periods were generally the lowest paid of all troop types, and that it is not until the Edo period in the 1700's that spearmen came to rate a premier pay position. I feel my statement holds true for any time prior to 1615, and if there are exceptions it would be of either extremely talented individuals (hired as spear instructors, which would not be a basic troop type) or people who used spears but were being paid more for societal rank, (again not a basic troop type)

              >Regardless, a naginata really isn't a spear.

              I agree, modernly a naginata is not a spear.
              Yari and naginata are polearms (arms having a pole) and will leave it at that.

              >There was little if any specific mention of them
              >either in the subject line or in the general discussion.
              >The message which started this discussion reads:
              >"Is it true in period that spearmen were paid
              >more than swordsmen?"

              And that is what I based my answer on... "In period", "spearmen", "swordsmen"; there is no mention of societal class. If you are going to critisize my answers please make sure you truly read the question and my answer, since it addressed each part of the question seperately.

              -Takeda
            • sigrune@aol.com
              ... Lady Solvieg, I do appologize if my last reply causes any offence to you, I replyed in the tone I took from your post, which was not the best thing for me
              Message 6 of 23 , Sep 7, 2007
                Solvieg writes:

                >Considering that pre 1615 includes Japanese implementations
                >of classical Chinese armies, I am unwilling to buy into the
                >generalization.

                Lady Solvieg,
                I do appologize if my last reply causes any offence to you, I replyed in the tone I took from your post, which was not the best thing for me to do.

                I would like to inquiry you about your above statement, in my own readings the ancient Imperial armies, based on the Chinese model had the largest portion of the ranks made of spearmen, though heavily supllimented by swordsmen. (and in that time, ones who may or were equiped with shields) Have you seen any evidence that the spearmen of the rank and file were higher paid, or of higher status that the swordsmen of the rank and file in those units? I have not seen such in my reading and research, though there is little that I have read that specifically talks about wages or recompense, either directly or by compairison of those of the rank and file in the early Imperial armies.

                Thanks,
                -Takeda
              • Solveig Throndardottir
                Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! ... The point I made in the posting to which you responded is that generalizing for all Japanese armies prior to 1615 is
                Message 7 of 23 , Sep 7, 2007
                  Noble Cousin!

                  Greetings from Solveig!
                  > I would like to inquiry you about your above statement, in my own
                  > readings the ancient Imperial armies, based on the Chinese model
                  > had the largest portion of the ranks made of spearmen, though
                  > heavily supllimented by swordsmen. (and in that time, ones who may
                  > or were equiped with shields) Have you seen any evidence that the
                  > spearmen of the rank and file were higher paid, or of higher status
                  > that the swordsmen of the rank and file in those units? I have not
                  > seen such in my reading and research, though there is little that I
                  > have read that specifically talks about wages or recompense, either
                  > directly or by compairison of those of the rank and file in the
                  > early Imperial armies.
                  The point I made in the posting to which you responded is that
                  generalizing for all Japanese armies prior to 1615 is at best a huge
                  leap of faith. During that period of time, the Japanese had a number
                  of societal, governmental, and military systems. Earlier, someone
                  objected to my mentioning Atsumori, but the problem is that simply
                  saying pre 1615 allows not only for Atsumori, but the earlier Chinese-
                  style armies which includes troops best attested to by the famous
                  terra-cotta figures.

                  Regardless, a bushi who has only a sword is poorly equipped.

                  Your Humble Servant
                  Solveig Throndardottir
                  Amateur Scholar





                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • James Eckman
                  Posted by: Solveig Throndardottir ... Because bonito is one of it s other popular names. The problem with using popular versus scientific names. ... Since it
                  Message 8 of 23 , Sep 8, 2007
                    Posted by: "Solveig Throndardottir"
                    > Lots of people insist on translating "mochi" as "rice cake" and "katsuo"
                    > as "bonito" even though "rice cake" conjures up a completely
                    > different image and "katsuo" is really a skipjack (if I am recalling
                    > the fish correctly).

                    Because bonito is one of it's other popular names. The problem with
                    using popular versus scientific names.

                    > Regardless, a naginata really isn't a spear.

                    Since it really doesn't have a western equivalent, it also gets called a
                    halberd sometimes. You could make a new word, pole-sword?

                    Jim Eckman
                  • Date Saburou Yukiie
                    My dear Solvieg-hime - you know I love you as a member of the family, and as a scholar...but we should focus on things war-like, or not... The warriors of this
                    Message 9 of 23 , Sep 8, 2007
                      My dear Solvieg-hime - you know I love you as a member of the family, and as a
                      scholar...but we should focus on things war-like, or not...
                      The warriors of this group have a lexicon, and a valued set of rules and postulates...
                      Your understanding of things Japanese is wonderful - but your focus is broad...
                      Those of us who refine our search for understanding into more finite terms, may (or may
                      not, as it were) have a view that encompasses a better outlook.
                      You, my dear, are not a soldier, nor could you ever be. You are too sweet. I would not even
                      like to see you don the garb of a soldier, nor would I hope to see you wear the clothes of
                      one who studies such.
                      When you step into the discussions of soldiers, you do not nec. have a soldiers point of
                      view.
                      We love you and your skill at research...but it is not the research of a soldier.
                      Date, your Clan brother...with all love and respect...


                      --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, James Eckman <ronin_engineer@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Posted by: "Solveig Throndardottir"
                      > > Lots of people insist on translating "mochi" as "rice cake" and "katsuo"
                      > > as "bonito" even though "rice cake" conjures up a completely
                      > > different image and "katsuo" is really a skipjack (if I am recalling
                      > > the fish correctly).
                      >
                      > Because bonito is one of it's other popular names. The problem with
                      > using popular versus scientific names.
                      >
                      > > Regardless, a naginata really isn't a spear.
                      >
                      > Since it really doesn't have a western equivalent, it also gets called a
                      > halberd sometimes. You could make a new word, pole-sword?
                      >
                      > Jim Eckman
                      >
                    • Park McKellop
                      James Eckman wrote: Regardless, a naginata really isn t a spear. Since it really doesn t have a
                      Message 10 of 23 , Sep 8, 2007
                        James Eckman <ronin_engineer@...> wrote: > Regardless, a naginata really isn't a spear.

                        Since it really doesn't have a western equivalent, it also gets called a
                        halberd sometimes. You could make a new word, pole-sword?

                        Jame Eckman
                        Glaive works pretty well.
                        Alcyoneus








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                      • wodeford
                        ... Big Pointy Thing On A Stick.... There. I ll go back to being decorative now. ;-D Saionji no Hanae West
                        Message 11 of 23 , Sep 8, 2007
                          --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, Park McKellop <squire009@...> wrote:
                          > Glaive works pretty well.
                          > Alcyoneus

                          Big Pointy Thing On A Stick....

                          There. I'll go back to being decorative now. ;-D

                          Saionji no Hanae
                          West
                        • Park McKellop
                          In German, that would be Bigpointythingonastick. ;) Alcyoneus the Mostly Decorative Or not. ;) ... Big Pointy Thing On A Stick.... There. I ll go back to being
                          Message 12 of 23 , Sep 8, 2007
                            In German, that would be Bigpointythingonastick.

                            ;)

                            Alcyoneus the Mostly Decorative

                            Or not. ;)

                            wodeford <wodeford@...> wrote:
                            --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, Park McKellop <squire009@...> wrote:
                            > Glaive works pretty well.
                            > Alcyoneus

                            Big Pointy Thing On A Stick....

                            There. I'll go back to being decorative now. ;-D

                            Saionji no Hanae
                            West






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                          • James Eckman
                            ... True, I will use that word as the Western equivalent. Or bigpointythingonastick ;) Jim Eckman
                            Message 13 of 23 , Sep 9, 2007
                              > Posted by: "Park McKellop"
                              > Since it really doesn't have a western equivalent, it also gets called a
                              > halberd sometimes. You could make a new word, pole-sword?
                              >
                              > Glaive works pretty well.
                              > Alcyoneus

                              True, I will use that word as the Western equivalent. Or
                              bigpointythingonastick ;)

                              Jim Eckman
                            • chasrmartin
                              ... called a ... Glaive. - Mugyo
                              Message 14 of 23 , Sep 10, 2007
                                --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, James Eckman <ronin_engineer@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > > Posted by: "Park McKellop"
                                > > Since it really doesn't have a western equivalent, it also gets
                                called a
                                > > halberd sometimes. You could make a new word, pole-sword?
                                > >
                                > > Glaive works pretty well.
                                > > Alcyoneus
                                >
                                > True, I will use that word as the Western equivalent. Or
                                > bigpointythingonastick ;)

                                Glaive.

                                - Mugyo
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