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  • Gara
    My Lords and Ladies, I would appeal to you for guidance in my research of a subject of study. I am known in the SCA as Gara of Clan Chattan, or otherwise Gara
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 3, 2000
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      My Lords and Ladies,
      I would appeal to you for guidance in my research of a subject of
      study.

      I am known in the SCA as Gara of Clan Chattan, or otherwise Gara of
      Lions Gate. I am originally from the Barony of Lions Gate, Kingdom
      of An Tir (mundanely Vancouver Canada). However I now reside within
      the reaches of the Stronghold of Vale de Draco, Palatine Barony of
      the Far West (mundanely I live in Oyama-shi, Tochigi-ken, which is
      about 40 miles north of Tokyo).

      My current SCA persona is Celtic, and this comes from an interest in
      my mundane ancestry on my mother's side. Another possibility for my
      persona development is French, as I am approximately 10th generation
      French-Canadian on my father's side.

      I have been living in Japan now for two and a half months, but this
      is nothing new to me, as I lived in Kyushu in 1995-96. I am
      currently teaching English here, and am bored witless as I have
      little to occupy my time. My contact with the SCA amounts to nothing
      since I am a little ways away from the nearest group, and their
      interests reside solely in heavy fighting.

      I have considered studying Japanese culture within the SCA time
      period, but I seem to have little desire to switch over to a Japanese
      persona. However, I would like to put my time here to good use, and
      beseech your input on things that I could study while I am here.
      Please bare in mind that while I am fluent in modern, spoken
      Japanese, I can only read and write hiragana and katakana, and know
      about this much (holding index and thumb about one inch apart) kanji.

      Do you have any suggestions as to things I could learn while I am
      here? I have an interest in learning ikebana for personal reasons,
      but I would also like to know if you can tell me about the history of
      ikebana, and whether or not modern ikebana stretches back far enough
      to fall within the SCA time period.

      Any other suggestions are more than welcome! Particularly anything I
      can learn and share with fellow An Tirians upon my return home in a
      year, without necessarily taking on a Japanese persona.

      Ever in service,
      Gara
    • Barbara Nostrand
      Lady Gara! I am sorry to hear that your local group is only interested in heavy list. Regardless, you have marvelous opportunities to study stuff in Japan. You
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 4, 2000
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        Lady Gara!

        I am sorry to hear that your local group is only interested in
        heavy list. Regardless, you have marvelous opportunities to study
        stuff in Japan. You said that you are fluent in modern conversational
        Japanese. I am duly impressed and envious as I am really very poor
        at languages.

        If you were interested in 16th century Portugese, Japan might
        present opportunities as well.

        As for flower arranging. If you get a good teacher you will eventually
        learn a bit of the history of flower arranging. As I believe that
        flower arranging was incorporated into the tea of Sen no Rikyu which
        would put some sort of flower arranging back to the 16th century.
        However, you should expect this to be quite different from modern
        flower arranging. For the most part, the iemoto system which marks
        much of traditional Japanese art was codified early in the Tokugawa
        period. While this may at times get you back to about 1650, you
        should also understand that the iemoto have continued to create
        new stuff. (This helps maintain their position.) If you get a
        high-class teacher you will at times learn earlier stuff as well
        and a bit of history. (Yes. I am repeating myself.)

        Things that you could continue to enjoy in Vancouver. How about
        just about any martial art. Or how about Tea Ceremony. Urasenke
        has the biggest group of followers, but I know Omotesenke people
        in the Society as well.

        You could also take up mountain climbing. That is a popular
        activity both in Japan and in Vancouver. You might even try
        to link up with a Yamabushi group or some other sect that
        combines hiking with religious asceticism.

        Your Humble Servant
        Solveig Throndardottir
        Amateur Scholar
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