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Re: [SCA-JML] feasting knife

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  • Solveig Throndardottir
    Noble Cousin! Greetings from Soveig! The problem is of course that Japanese did not use knives to eat at banquets. About the closest that you come is a kind of
    Message 1 of 13 , Oct 6, 2009
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      Noble Cousin!

      Greetings from Soveig! The problem is of course that Japanese did not
      use knives to eat at banquets. About the closest that you come is a
      kind of fruit knife which does have a wooden handle and a wooden
      sheath. The chef's job was to appropriately cut all of the food items
      in advance of serving a meal. There are some formal occasions where
      the chef would cut the food in the presence of the diners. This is
      described in The Confessions of Lady Nijo.

      There are also "kuromoji" which are sort of like gigantic toothpicks
      which are used to eat moist sweets at tea ceremonies.

      Generally speaking, we have evidence for chopsticks and long handled
      spoons showing up in pre-modern Japanese place settings.

      Your Humble Servant
      Solveig Throndardottir
      Amateur Scholar
    • JL Badgley
      ... Okay, so we just shouldn t eat anything that barbarians who don t know how to cut up food would eat. :) Seriously, though, I think everyone realizes by
      Message 2 of 13 , Oct 6, 2009
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        On Wed, Oct 7, 2009 at 9:22 AM, Solveig Throndardottir <nostrand@...> wrote:
        > Noble Cousin!
        >
        > Greetings from Soveig! The problem is of course that Japanese did not
        > use knives to eat at banquets. About the closest that you come is a
        > kind of fruit knife which does have a wooden handle and a wooden
        > sheath. The chef's job was to appropriately cut all of the food items
        > in advance of serving a meal. There are some formal occasions where
        > the chef would cut the food in the presence of the diners. This is
        > described in The Confessions of Lady Nijo.
        >
        > There are also "kuromoji" which are sort of like gigantic toothpicks
        > which are used to eat moist sweets at tea ceremonies.
        >
        > Generally speaking, we have evidence for chopsticks and long handled
        > spoons showing up in pre-modern Japanese place settings.
        >
        Okay, so we just shouldn't eat anything that barbarians who don't know
        how to cut up food would eat. :)

        Seriously, though, I think everyone realizes by now that knives aren't
        something you regularly find at a Japanese table, but we need a way to
        deal with the fact that food isn't always going to be prepared in a
        Japanese manner, and in the same way we use the chairs provided for
        feast, having a knife is a good idea. Best to have it at least look
        like something you grabbed out of the kitchen to deal with these silly
        nanban customs than to have a something completely wrong for your
        persona, right?

        -Ii
      • JL Badgley
        ... Those are definitely a good buy for our purposes. Nice find! -Ii
        Message 3 of 13 , Oct 6, 2009
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          On Wed, Oct 7, 2009 at 5:06 AM, rickj <rikjohnson@...> wrote:

          > It's a beautiful blade and being japanese, follows the ancestral pattern.
          > I bought two.

          Those are definitely a good buy for our purposes. Nice find!

          -Ii
        • Solveig Throndardottir
          Ii dono! Greetings from Soveig! ... Actually, since the problem occurs at Western feasts, your scenario is an excellent reason to have a blatantly Western
          Message 4 of 13 , Oct 6, 2009
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            Ii dono!

            Greetings from Soveig!

            > Best to have it at least look
            >>
            > like something you grabbed out of the kitchen to deal with these silly
            > nanban customs than to have a something completely wrong for your
            > persona, right?

            Actually, since the problem occurs at Western feasts, your scenario
            is an excellent reason to have a blatantly Western knife such as a
            rather nice knife made in Sweden (I think it was) that looks sort of
            like a dagger. It's made out of carbon steel, comes in a faux leather
            sheath, and is also a whole lot less expensive than a Japanese
            kitchen knife.

            Your Humble Servant
            Solveig Throndardottir
            Amateur Scholar
          • Mori Michimori
            Greetings, Solveig-dono and Ii-dono! ... For those with ~$US50 to spare, there are some very reasonable western European dining and utility knives available
            Message 5 of 13 , Oct 6, 2009
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              Greetings, Solveig-dono and Ii-dono!

              On Oct 6, 2009, at 7:39 PM, Solveig Throndardottir wrote:

              > Ii dono!
              >
              > Greetings from Soveig!
              >
              >> Best to have it at least look like something you grabbed out of
              >> the kitchen to deal with these silly nanban customs than to have a
              >> something completely wrong for your persona, right?
              >
              > Actually, since the problem occurs at Western feasts, your scenario
              > is an excellent reason to have a blatantly Western knife such as a
              > rather nice knife made in Sweden (I think it was) that looks sort of
              > like a dagger. It's made out of carbon steel, comes in a faux leather
              > sheath, and is also a whole lot less expensive than a Japanese
              > kitchen knife.
              >

              For those with ~$US50 to spare, there are some very reasonable
              western European dining and utility knives available through
              Revival.US <http://revival.us/index.asp?
              PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=239> (be sure to check the related items
              at the bottom of the page).

              For my part, when Dôshu attends a Western feast, he will borrow a
              knife from the cook in his entourage, preferring a tool of proper
              Japanese construction to some awkward Western blade of no known
              heritage.

              In humble service, as befits a Samurai,

              Dôshu
              --
              Mori Daitarô Michimori-shônagon
            • Rick Johnson
              ... use knives to eat at banquets. Agreed, though I believe that the discussion was about being Japanese in a standard multi-cultural banquet where the food is
              Message 6 of 13 , Oct 6, 2009
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                >>Greetings from Soveig! The problem is of course that Japanese did not
                use knives to eat at banquets.

                Agreed, though I believe that the discussion was about being Japanese in a standard multi-cultural banquet where the food is generally European.
                In that scene, a knife would be useful.



                Rick Johnson,
                aka RikJohnson39@...
                PO Box 40451, Tucson, Az. 85717
                http://geocities.com/RikJohnson39
                "Those who give up a little freedom in return for a little imagined security will soon find that they have neither!"


                Please note: message attached

                From: Solveig Throndardottir <nostrand@...>
                To: sca-jml@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [SCA-JML] feasting knife
                Date: Tue, 6 Oct 2009 20:22:27 -0400



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              • ErinK
                As an aside, I d always heard that I m not responsible for cutting my own food in Japanese culture, but that doesn t really fit with a lot of the things I ve
                Message 7 of 13 , Oct 7, 2009
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                  As an aside, I'd always heard that I'm not responsible for cutting my own food in Japanese culture, but that doesn't really fit with a lot of the things I've been served at restaurants! ;-)

                  I never know whether to rend, bite, or pick....

                  ERIN

                  --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, Solveig Throndardottir <nostrand@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > The chef's job was to appropriately cut all of the food items
                  > in advance of serving a meal. There are some formal occasions where
                  > the chef would cut the food in the presence of the diners. This is
                  > described in The Confessions of Lady Nijo.
                • Solveig Throndardottir
                  Dôshu dono! Greetings from Solveig! With a name like that, I pretty much expect you to be a vegetarian and in not much need of a knife. Your Humble Servant
                  Message 8 of 13 , Oct 7, 2009
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                    Dôshu dono!

                    Greetings from Solveig! With a name like that, I pretty much expect
                    you to be a vegetarian and in not much need of a knife.

                    Your Humble Servant
                    Solveig Throndardottir
                    Amateur Scholar
                  • JL Badgley
                    On Thu, Oct 8, 2009 at 11:05 AM, Solveig Throndardottir ... I wonder how well folks like Shingen and Kenshin kept their various vows? -Ii Shōshō
                    Message 9 of 13 , Oct 7, 2009
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                      On Thu, Oct 8, 2009 at 11:05 AM, Solveig Throndardottir
                      <nostrand@...> wrote:
                      > Dôshu dono!
                      >
                      > Greetings from Solveig! With a name like that, I pretty much expect
                      > you to be a vegetarian and in not much need of a knife.
                      >
                      :)

                      I wonder how well folks like Shingen and Kenshin kept their various vows?

                      -Ii Shōshō
                    • Mori Michimori
                      Greetings, Solveig-dono! ... Ah! It is clear you have never faced a raging daikon! They get really dangerous when they re cornered. Dôshu -- Mori Daitarô
                      Message 10 of 13 , Oct 7, 2009
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                        Greetings, Solveig-dono!

                        On Oct 7, 2009, at 9:05 PM, Solveig Throndardottir wrote:

                        > Dôshu dono!
                        >
                        > Greetings from Solveig! With a name like that, I pretty much expect
                        > you to be a vegetarian and in not much need of a knife.
                        >
                        > Your Humble Servant
                        > Solveig Throndardottir
                        > Amateur Scholar
                        >

                        Ah! It is clear you have never faced a raging daikon! They get really
                        dangerous when they're cornered.

                        Dôshu
                        --
                        Mori Daitarô Michimori-shônagon
                      • Mori Michimori
                        This thread set me off to Google search. An early hit was Japan Woodworker. There is
                        Message 11 of 13 , Oct 7, 2009
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                          This thread set me off to Google search.

                          An early hit was Japan Woodworker.

                          <http://www.japanwoodworker.com/dept.asp?
                          dept_id=13150&s=JapanWoodworker>

                          There is some beautiful stuff here, but judging by the prices on some
                          of the vegetable knives, they must be made by Living National
                          Treasures, using the full ritual!


                          Dôshu Giiku
                          --
                          Mori Daitarô Michimori-shônagon
                        • James Eckman
                          ... Yes, Japan Woodworker in the tradition of Garrett Wade creates some of the finest tool porn ;) They do have stuff sane mortals can purchase though in
                          Message 12 of 13 , Oct 8, 2009
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                            > Posted by: "Mori Michimori"

                            > This thread set me off to Google search. An early hit was Japan
                            > Woodworker. <http://www.japanwoodworker.com/dept.asp?
                            > dept_id=13150&s=JapanWoodworker> There is some beautiful stuff here,
                            > but judging by the prices on some of the vegetable knives, they must
                            > be made by Living National Treasures, using the full ritual!
                            Yes, Japan Woodworker in the tradition of Garrett Wade creates some of
                            the finest tool porn ;) They do have stuff sane mortals can purchase
                            though in addition to the mystical chisels formed by the soul of the
                            samurai. I like their Ryoba saws with the replaceable blades, great for
                            working in softwoods and the ones that are "blue hard" stay sharp for
                            years. Note that mere mortals cannot sharpen Japanese saws (not a joke),
                            the angles are much more difficult that western saws, so if your not
                            local, buy a spare blade.

                            Jim
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