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Re: [SCA-JML] New Question on Old Subject

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  • shinomoto yoshinaga
    although unusual it is not unheard of for someone to have a gender bender persona in the sca. she could take a male persona. this would take care of the women
    Message 1 of 17 , Feb 17, 2009
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      although unusual it is not unheard of for someone to have a gender bender persona in the sca. she could take a male persona. this would take care of the women wearing swords question but would open the flood gates to others.

      Through the bitter and the sweet.

      The fray stands firm!

      --- On Tue, 2/17/09, seki_nakagawa <sekinakagawa@...> wrote:
      From: seki_nakagawa <sekinakagawa@...>
      Subject: [SCA-JML] New Question on Old Subject
      To: sca-jml@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Tuesday, February 17, 2009, 3:30 AM












      Greetings,

      I know in the pass the question of women fighting has been taken care

      of, I even read about it in AJ books and ST books, my question is

      regarding the wearing of samurai swords by female warriors, I have a

      young woman in our group who recently decided to go Japanese and she

      is a fighter and would like to carry a Katana for dress code but her

      persona is not male. I do not remember any sources on the subject and

      in all of the court drawings and paintings I have seen the women did

      not carry swords, some carry tanto blades but nothings else. I do not

      want to mislead this young lady. Any help would be greatly appreciated.



      Humbly,

      -Sukeie



      "To ask a question maybe a moments' shame,

      But not to ask and remain ignorant is a life long shame."































      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • sekinakagawa@aol.com
      Solveig-hime, Thanks for the information, now, assuming the right time frame, it would be ok for her to carry a sword even though she is not portraying a male
      Message 2 of 17 , Feb 17, 2009
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        Solveig-hime,
        Thanks for the information, now, assuming the right time frame, it would be
        ok for her to carry a sword even though she is not portraying a male
        persona, that is what you are saying, right? I will pass this info on to her.

        Humbly,
        -Sukeie

        To ask a question may be a moments' shame,
        But not to ask and remain ignorant, is a life long shame.
        **************Need a job? Find an employment agency near you.
        (http://yellowpages.aol.com/search?query=employment_agencies&ncid=emlcntusyelp00000003)


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Solveig Throndardottir
        Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! ... Yes, but that still doesn t mean that she should go around wearing it all the time. It s mostly an on-duty in a
        Message 3 of 17 , Feb 17, 2009
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          Noble Cousin!

          Greetings from Solveig!

          > Thanks for the information, now, assuming the right time frame, it
          > would be
          > ok for her to carry a sword even though she is not portraying a male
          > persona, that is what you are saying, right? I will pass this info
          > on to her.

          Yes, but that still doesn't mean that she should go around wearing it
          all the time.
          It's mostly an on-duty in a military/guard/police capacity sort of
          thing.

          Your Humble Servant
          Solveig Throndardottir
          Amateur Scholar






          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Bryant Richards
          From the book Samurai 1550-1600 by Anthony J Bryant, published by Osprey Publishing: pg.6 (refering to female samurai) Women were all trained in how to use
          Message 4 of 17 , Feb 17, 2009
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            From the book "Samurai 1550-1600" by Anthony J Bryant, published by Osprey Publishing:
            pg.6

            "(refering to female samurai) Women were all trained in how to use the small dirks they carried in their waist sashes. Usually kept wrapped in a brocade case, this was as much a sign of their position as the sword was for the men."
            It also talks of the Naginata being a favored weapon of women.

            From the book "Secrets of the Samurai: The Martial Arts of Feudal Japan" by Oscar Ratti/Adele Westbrook, published by Charles E. Tuttle Company
            pg. 247

            "This weapon was also called the "woman's spear" (Stone, 463), because women of the buke were expected to have mastered the use of the naginata by the age of eighteen."

            pg. 282

            "Using or throwing a dagger or a knife, whether moving or standing still, and whatever illumination (often in total darkness, or when blindfolded), developed into an art (tantojutsu) in which the women of the buke often became quite skilled. These women carried the dirk on their persons at all times, this weapon being for them what the katana was for th male counterparts"

            so from what I have read traditonaly women would not have carried the katana or wakizashi, they would have carried a dirk, this dirk I have seen refered to as "kaiken", "tanto", and "aikuchi". It seems that tanto refers to any of the many styles of daggers, kind of like katana technicaly could mean any sword, where as kaiken and aikuchi seem to refer to specific types of tanto (both of the above refernces have pictures of each"


            In Honor and Service,
            Uesugi no Ryujuichiro Uchiyasu




            ________________________________
            From: seki_nakagawa <sekinakagawa@...>
            To: sca-jml@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 5:30:56 AM
            Subject: [SCA-JML] New Question on Old Subject


            Greetings,
            I know in the pass the question of women fighting has been taken care
            of, I even read about it in AJ books and ST books, my question is
            regarding the wearing of samurai swords by female warriors, I have a
            young woman in our group who recently decided to go Japanese and she
            is a fighter and would like to carry a Katana for dress code but her
            persona is not male. I do not remember any sources on the subject and
            in all of the court drawings and paintings I have seen the women did
            not carry swords, some carry tanto blades but nothings else. I do not
            want to mislead this young lady. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

            Humbly,
            -Sukeie

            "To ask a question maybe a moments' shame,
            But not to ask and remain ignorant is a life long shame."







            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Solveig Throndardottir
            Noble Cousins! Greetings from Solveig! ... Please note the dates. This book covers a very late period and is unlikely what the person originating the question
            Message 5 of 17 , Feb 17, 2009
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              Noble Cousins!

              Greetings from Solveig!

              > From the book "Samurai 1550-1600" by Anthony J Bryant, published by
              > Osprey Publishing:
              > pg.6
              >
              > "(refering to female samurai) Women were all trained in how to use
              > the small dirks they carried in their waist sashes. Usually kept
              > wrapped in a brocade case, this was as much a sign of their
              > position as the sword was for the men."
              > It also talks of the Naginata being a favored weapon of women.

              Please note the dates. This book covers a very late period and is
              unlikely what the person originating the question is looking for.
              These tanto were kept to commit suicide by cutting the throat.

              > From the book "Secrets of the Samurai: The Martial Arts of Feudal
              > Japan" by Oscar Ratti/Adele Westbrook, published by Charles E.
              > Tuttle Company
              > pg. 247

              This books is totally unreliable and should never ever be cited. Yes,
              there is accurate stuff in it. But, there is purest fantasy in it as
              well. Further, the author really doesn't draw a distinction between
              the two.

              > "This weapon was also called the "woman's spear" (Stone, 463),
              > because women of the buke were expected to have mastered the use of
              > the naginata by the age of eighteen."
              >
              > pg. 282

              If you are mentioning the naginata (basically a sword on a stick),
              this weapon was in general use among male members of the military as
              late as 1600.

              Your Humble Servant
              Solveig Throndardottir
              Amateur Scholar






              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • sekinakagawa@aol.com
              Greetings into you, All this information is great and reassures my thoughts and understandings of the subject, like I said I do not recall seeing any women
              Message 6 of 17 , Feb 17, 2009
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                Greetings into you,
                All this information is great and reassures my thoughts and understandings
                of the subject, like I said I do not recall seeing any women carrying swords
                in any of the scrolls I have seen, but base on this information I will pass
                on to her that as a general rule it should be worn only on the mentioned
                duties. By the way, the chances of her adopting a male persona is 0%.

                Humbly,
                -Sukeie

                To ask a question may be a moments' shame,
                But not to ask and remain ignorant, is a life long shame.
                **************Need a job? Find an employment agency near you.
                (http://yellowpages.aol.com/search?query=employment_agencies&ncid=emlcntusyelp00000003)


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • coyote Silverpaw
                Taking it with a pinch of salt as I am no historical expert, but I would think that it would be more realistic of a woman to be wearing a tanto of sorts - it
                Message 7 of 17 , Feb 18, 2009
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                  Taking it with a pinch of salt as I am no historical expert, but I would think that it would be more realistic of a woman to be wearing a tanto of sorts - it was possible to have some rather long tantos, but I would think that that defeats the purpose of the knife carried by a woman - somewhat hidden.

                  I dont recall any woman openly wearing a katana, except as stated if in case of being involved in a battle. However it was common for non samurai to carry wakazashi - and they can be of varying length as well.

                  It all depends on era and style of persona - a high ranking woman would most likely have guards rather than her own katana. Then again there were times when women, being only children of top samurai, were taught the arts of combat like a son.

                  Kenji

                  call me coyote, call me raven, call me something else
                  youd be right, youd be wrong!
                  Find something worth dying for, and LIVE for it!





                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • James Eckman
                  Hmm, maybe I should tell my bad ukiyo-e joke. How to you tell the boys from the girls in a print? Usually the boys have the swords. Carrying around naginatas
                  Message 8 of 17 , Feb 18, 2009
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                    Hmm, maybe I should tell my bad ukiyo-e joke.

                    How to you tell the boys from the girls in a print?

                    Usually the boys have the swords.

                    Carrying around naginatas all the time could be a pain, I recommend the
                    swords!

                    Jim
                  • Bryant Richards
                    ________________________________ From: Solveig Throndardottir To: sca-jml@yahoogroups.com Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 5:40:30 PM
                    Message 9 of 17 , Feb 18, 2009
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                      ________________________________
                      From: Solveig Throndardottir <nostrand@...>
                      To: sca-jml@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 5:40:30 PM
                      Subject: Re: [SCA-JML] New Question on Old Subject


                      Noble Cousins!



                      Please note the dates. This book covers a very late period and is
                      unlikely what the person originating the question is looking for.
                      These tanto were kept to commit suicide by cutting the throat.
                      that is not the main use of the tanto for the women when it refers to samurai. Infact nothing in any of the books I have read that talk about samurai women even mention cutting the throat.





                      This books is totally unreliable and should never ever be cited. Yes,
                      there is accurate stuff in it. But, there is purest fantasy in it as
                      well. Further, the author really doesn't draw a distinction between
                      the two.
                      I have never heard of this book as being considered unreliable, I was even refered to it by a couple of Japanese historians, and everything I have chosen to cross refernce with it comes up the same every where else with only the most minor difference, but I will keep this in mind and cross reference more of it.





                      If you are mentioning the naginata (basically a sword on a stick),
                      this weapon was in general use among male members of the military as
                      late as 1600.
                      I never said that men didn't use the naginata, just that women were trained on it more than say the katana. Men used it as well just not as much since it was looked upon as a women weapon, I have also been told this same thing by atleast 3 different Naginata schools, 2 in the US and one in Japan.



                      Your Humble Servant
                      Solveig Throndardottir
                      Amateur Scholar

                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]







                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Solveig Throndardottir
                      Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! ... Please do not blindly accept stuff that modern martial arts schools tell people. There is a lot of iconographic
                      Message 10 of 17 , Feb 19, 2009
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                        Noble Cousin!

                        Greetings from Solveig!
                        > I never said that men didn't use the naginata, just that women were
                        > trained on it more than say the katana. Men used it as well just
                        > not as much since it was looked upon as a women weapon, I have also
                        > been told this same thing by atleast 3 different Naginata schools,
                        > 2 in the US and one in Japan.
                        Please do not blindly accept stuff that modern martial arts schools
                        tell people. There is a lot of iconographic evidence that shows that
                        fairly high status bushi were using the naginata as their primary
                        weapon in the late sixteenth century.

                        Your Humble Servant
                        Solveig Throndardottir
                        Amateur Scholar






                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • JL Badgley
                        On Fri, Feb 20, 2009 at 11:05 AM, Solveig Throndardottir ... To emphasize (and I am a ranked student of atarashii naginata), the naginata s reputation as a
                        Message 11 of 17 , Feb 19, 2009
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                          On Fri, Feb 20, 2009 at 11:05 AM, Solveig Throndardottir
                          <nostrand@...> wrote:

                          > Greetings from Solveig!
                          >> I never said that men didn't use the naginata, just that women were
                          >> trained on it more than say the katana. Men used it as well just
                          >> not as much since it was looked upon as a women weapon, I have also
                          >> been told this same thing by atleast 3 different Naginata schools,
                          >> 2 in the US and one in Japan.
                          > Please do not blindly accept stuff that modern martial arts schools
                          > tell people. There is a lot of iconographic evidence that shows that
                          > fairly high status bushi were using the naginata as their primary
                          > weapon in the late sixteenth century.

                          To emphasize (and I am a ranked student of atarashii naginata), the
                          naginata's reputation as a "woman's weapon" seems to come down through
                          several areas:

                          1) By the 16th century, the naginata was not seeing widespread use as
                          a battlefield weapon, its primary purpose having been taken over by
                          the spear. It appears as though it was still seen as a good defensive
                          weapon, though, as it could keep people at range and had a long reach.
                          Since most women were left at home as well, a connection between home
                          defense and women seems to have grown up (and I believe we have
                          several examples of women defending their castles from invaders).

                          2) In the Edo period (post SCA period) samurai women would sometimes
                          receive a naginata as part of their dowry. The naginata was thought
                          to be a good weapon because of its reach and because it was thought it
                          would be easier to gain leverage against a stronger opponent (I don't
                          necessarily agree with that last one, but it is one of the
                          justifications I've seen). Note: The Edo period sees the naginata as
                          a suitable weapon for women, but that in no way implies that it is not
                          suitable for men. I believe most of the naginatajutsu ryuha continue
                          to pass down through men until the Meiji period.

                          3) During the late 19th and early 20th centuries (Meiji/Taisho),
                          administrators look for a way to add more Japanese cultural tradition
                          to the schools, which had been set up, originally, as near mirror
                          images to their Western counterparts. In part to cultivate a proper
                          "Japanese" spirit, kendo and various sword-based excercises are added
                          to the physical education program for young boys. Later, a naginata
                          curriculum is formed for the young girls. This, I believe, is where
                          there is really born the concept that the sword is for a man, and the
                          naginata is for a woman.

                          Today, of course, both men and women participate in both, though there
                          are probably more men in kendo and more women in atarashii naginata
                          (the form of naginata that was practiced under the ZNKR and later the
                          ZNNR).

                          If anyone is interested in some good research into this subject, I can
                          recommend several books.


                          -Ii
                        • Bryant Richards
                          Awesome, this was actually very informative. Like I have mentioned before I get most of my informaion from different books, so if I read say 5 books and they
                          Message 12 of 17 , Feb 19, 2009
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                            Awesome, this was actually very informative. Like I have mentioned before I get most of my informaion from different books, so if I read say 5 books and they all say the same thing then I general take that for correct information and base my assumptions on that. As for the naginata bit, I am learning that weapon not only for heavy fighting but as a demostration tool for A&S projects. I am a long time martial artist (ranked secound in the state and third in the US about 4 years ago in Taekwondo). Around here Taekwondo is pretty much your only option for martial arts as it is the only school within 45 miles. But anyway when I wanted to learn the naginata I started researching schools to see if there where in near here, or maybe a "summer camp" type one as I have seen those for taekwondo, you go for about 2-3 weeks learning all day and you sleep there, like going away to summer camp. And most of the schools I found would have a brief history of the
                            naginata on their website, so thats where I got that info. Unfourtantely I couldn't find one near enough or within my price range so i am learning via videos and books. Not the best way to learn at all, but it's pretty much my only choice and having a background in martial arts, even though I haven't trained in awhile, seems to help me understand what the books and videos are trying to teach. I also have a background in the kama, tonfa, 3 section staff, and jetti. Never picked up the sword though, I guess cause when I went to competitions I wanted to win and using a weapon that doesn't get seen very often earns you some "brownie" points with most judges so thats what I leaned towards. Anyway enough rambling on.

                            In Honor and Service,
                            Uesugi no Ryujuichiro Uchiyasu




                            ________________________________
                            From: JL Badgley <tatsushu@...>
                            To: sca-jml@yahoogroups.com
                            Sent: Friday, February 20, 2009 12:32:34 AM
                            Subject: Re: [SCA-JML] New Question on Old Subject


                            On Fri, Feb 20, 2009 at 11:05 AM, Solveig Throndardottir
                            <nostrand@acm. org> wrote:

                            > Greetings from Solveig!
                            >> I never said that men didn't use the naginata, just that women were
                            >> trained on it more than say the katana. Men used it as well just
                            >> not as much since it was looked upon as a women weapon, I have also
                            >> been told this same thing by atleast 3 different Naginata schools,
                            >> 2 in the US and one in Japan.
                            > Please do not blindly accept stuff that modern martial arts schools
                            > tell people. There is a lot of iconographic evidence that shows that
                            > fairly high status bushi were using the naginata as their primary
                            > weapon in the late sixteenth century.

                            To emphasize (and I am a ranked student of atarashii naginata), the
                            naginata's reputation as a "woman's weapon" seems to come down through
                            several areas:

                            1) By the 16th century, the naginata was not seeing widespread use as
                            a battlefield weapon, its primary purpose having been taken over by
                            the spear. It appears as though it was still seen as a good defensive
                            weapon, though, as it could keep people at range and had a long reach.
                            Since most women were left at home as well, a connection between home
                            defense and women seems to have grown up (and I believe we have
                            several examples of women defending their castles from invaders).

                            2) In the Edo period (post SCA period) samurai women would sometimes
                            receive a naginata as part of their dowry. The naginata was thought
                            to be a good weapon because of its reach and because it was thought it
                            would be easier to gain leverage against a stronger opponent (I don't
                            necessarily agree with that last one, but it is one of the
                            justifications I've seen). Note: The Edo period sees the naginata as
                            a suitable weapon for women, but that in no way implies that it is not
                            suitable for men. I believe most of the naginatajutsu ryuha continue
                            to pass down through men until the Meiji period.

                            3) During the late 19th and early 20th centuries (Meiji/Taisho) ,
                            administrators look for a way to add more Japanese cultural tradition
                            to the schools, which had been set up, originally, as near mirror
                            images to their Western counterparts. In part to cultivate a proper
                            "Japanese" spirit, kendo and various sword-based excercises are added
                            to the physical education program for young boys. Later, a naginata
                            curriculum is formed for the young girls. This, I believe, is where
                            there is really born the concept that the sword is for a man, and the
                            naginata is for a woman.

                            Today, of course, both men and women participate in both, though there
                            are probably more men in kendo and more women in atarashii naginata
                            (the form of naginata that was practiced under the ZNKR and later the
                            ZNNR).

                            If anyone is interested in some good research into this subject, I can
                            recommend several books.

                            -Ii






                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Solveig Throndardottir
                            Ii dono! Greetings from Solveig! ... Thank you for your posting. None of the post-1600 stuff counts for our purposes, but does help explain the reputation.
                            Message 13 of 17 , Feb 20, 2009
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                              Ii dono!

                              Greetings from Solveig!

                              > To emphasize (and I am a ranked student of atarashii naginata), the
                              > naginata's reputation as a "woman's weapon" seems to come down through
                              > several areas:
                              >
                              > 1) By the 16th century, the naginata was not seeing widespread use as
                              > a battlefield weapon, its primary purpose having been taken over by
                              > the spear. It appears as though it was still seen as a good defensive
                              > weapon, though, as it could keep people at range and had a long reach.
                              > Since most women were left at home as well, a connection between home
                              > defense and women seems to have grown up (and I believe we have
                              > several examples of women defending their castles from invaders).

                              Thank you for your posting. None of the post-1600 stuff counts for
                              our purposes, but does help explain the reputation. There is of
                              course rather a lot of iconographic evidence for naginata units
                              acting as either guards or as combat units fairly late in period. I
                              believe that you have done an admirable job of explaining where this
                              mental connection between women and the naginata is coming from. I
                              agree that spear does appear to become more popular than the naginata
                              possibly because of the spearing having a double edge. However, I
                              still recall there being quite a few naginata on display among the
                              spears and what naught in museums attached to various sixteenth
                              century sites.

                              Your Humble Servant
                              Solveig Throndardottir
                              Amateur Scholar






                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • JL Badgley
                              On Sat, Feb 21, 2009 at 10:18 AM, Solveig Throndardottir ... I d say that s probably because the naginata was a more upscale weapon. It took more time to
                              Message 14 of 17 , Feb 20, 2009
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                                On Sat, Feb 21, 2009 at 10:18 AM, Solveig Throndardottir
                                <nostrand@...> wrote:

                                > Thank you for your posting. None of the post-1600 stuff counts for
                                > our purposes, but does help explain the reputation. There is of
                                > course rather a lot of iconographic evidence for naginata units
                                > acting as either guards or as combat units fairly late in period. I
                                > believe that you have done an admirable job of explaining where this
                                > mental connection between women and the naginata is coming from. I
                                > agree that spear does appear to become more popular than the naginata
                                > possibly because of the spearing having a double edge. However, I
                                > still recall there being quite a few naginata on display among the
                                > spears and what naught in museums attached to various sixteenth
                                > century sites.

                                I'd say that's probably because the naginata was a more 'upscale'
                                weapon. It took more time to make and more effort was usually put
                                into it (there are some nice spears, but let's face it, most yari
                                heads are pretty straightforward (no pun intended) and even today they
                                don't usually fetch the same price as a naginata or sword blade).
                                Therefore, I'd expect naginata to survive more often than the yari.

                                I'd also expect to see more of them at castles, where they could be
                                used in defense, though they probably were still on the battlefield
                                occasionally--the Sengoku period does seem to have a profusion of
                                different weapons, with some more experimental than others.


                                -Ii
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