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[SCA-JML] Re: Fealty and Nihonjin in the Society

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  • Kass McGann
    This notion of a generic Western medieval court is pure horse manure at best. (Note, horse manure can at least be used for fertilizer, so I
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 10, 2000
      <Froth mode on> This notion of a "generic Western medieval court" is
      pure horse manure at best. (Note, horse manure can at least be used
      for fertilizer, so I am being generous.) Some of the folks who have
      vociferously argued again Japanese at Society events have put forward
      counterfactual conjectures concerning the pope's reaction to Japanese
      and all sorts of other sillyness.
      Oh Amen Sister! I mean, I wasn't trying to imply that I buy any of the
      Society's official protestations. I mean, what indeed would a 10th century
      noblewoman from Heian-kyo being doing so far from the Capital? Surely she
      would have died of loneliness if the journey went farther than Suma...

      What I was trying to get across is that you don't have to do Japanese fealty
      relationships just because you are Japanese. You can do Japanese or Western
      and both would work in the context of the Society. I was saying that we
      have a choice. Personally I chose to do things as the Heian-jidai court
      would have done it. But as you well know, many of those things are
      difficult or impossible. So I try to get as close as I can. But I
      certainly wouldn't blame two Japanese personae for having a Western-style
      fealty relationship.
      Now then, Japanese kinship patterns can be very interesting. One
      notion of family found in Japan was that a family consisted of a
      group of cohabitating people. So in that sense, yes you would
      become a member of another family if you were in certain kinds
      of relationships. Some of the final tea certificates collected
      by tea masters today make them cadet members of house which they
      have been studying under. The problem with doing this
      in the Society is that we are not well set up to accomodate this
      sort of thing. This is actually a problem for in-depth recreation
      of quite a few groups and not just Japanese or East Asians. If
      you will recall, Western Nobility regulalry farmed out their
      children to other nobles and Western apprentices went to live
      with their masters. But, as modern people, we have difficult
      organizing our lives this way at Pennsic and similar events.
      Ohohashi Dono was land agent for a group of people who mundanely
      live close to each other. His was a very good encampment, but it
      was not really (to the best of my limitted knowledge) a theme
      encampment. What you can of course do is imagine that you live
      with Ohashi on a regular basis and that you are also a member
      of some other association which perpetuates your attachment to
      your household.
      Yes, I would be happier if it worked better according to the Japanese model,
      but... The only theme of House Thornwood is "ARCHERY"! But that's cool.
      That's them. Toshi's household is not Japanese at all but mine is and I
      prefer to stick with mine even though he is my Master (of course this caused
      some confusion at first with my oyakata-sama who thought I was leaving the
      household...). In my apprenticeship arrangement my ties to my household
      were honoured, though that was a little weird...

      Thanks for fleshing all this out.

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