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Re: [SCA-JML] Re: blackened teeth

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  • Kass McGann
    Hi. Forgive me for not addressing you by name, but you didn t give one. I think I have answers to some of your questions. Read down. ... Hi. I m new here.
    Message 1 of 45 , Jun 11 5:41 AM
      Hi.  Forgive me for not addressing you by name, but you didn't give one.  I think I have answers to some of your questions.  Read down.
        Hi.  I'm new here.  I was reading up on past posts, and I had a
      question about the tooth blackening thing.  Did they blacken all their
      teeth, or just the top ones?  I have heard different things. 
      Tooth blackening was a common practice in Japan from very ancient times for both men and women.  When the bushi took control of the government, men stopped doing it but upper class women continued to blacken their teeth until the Meiji Restoration when the Empress was the first "woman of quality" to appear in public without blackened teeth.  She did it to encourage the Westernization that her husband, the Emperor, was espousing.
      Tooth blackening was accomplished with a mixture of iron filings and oak galls or strong tea -- anything that produces high levels of tannins, it seems.
      how did bushi women from the Kamakura era wear their hair?  
      In a long ponytail caught at the nape of the neck or flowing free down the back.  The elaborate hairstyles we normally think of when we think of Japan belong to the 17th century.
        What did Kamakura era bushi women wear besides the red hakama and
      the white kosode?  I bought one vintage kimono over the net, a white
      wool one with skinny red stripes (can't afford silk :(), and I just
      want to know what else I have to make/buy. 
      Kamakura era women wore any number of robes over their kosode and hakama.  They didn't go out of doors without an overrobe.  It would be worn open and trailing or it could be tied closed with a small sash and pulled up to make walking easier.  Here are some pictures:
      A Kamakura era woman in everyday dress:  http://www.iz2.or.jp/fukusyoku/busou/1.htm
      A Kamakura woman in traveling clothes:  http://www.iz2.or.jp/fukusyoku/busou/7.htm
        I found a decent book in Borders called "Everyday Life In
      Traditional Japan" by Charles J. Dunn in an effort to 'bone up' on
      japanese culture.  Unfortunately, it seems to cover the Tokugawa era
      more than the Kamakura era.  Are there any books that one can
      recommend about everyday life in feudal Japan during or around the
      12th century, or can I get away with most of the stuff in my book?
      Check Amazon.com for anything by Richard Mass.  He was the master of the subject of the Kamakura era.  I haven't read anything by him that was bad...
      And be careful of the word "traditional".  It usually means 19th century.
        Sorry to deluge you guys with all these questions, but I kind of
      need a little help.
      Understood.  Better to ask those who have gone before than to struggle alone.  =)
      aka Fujiwara no Aoi
    • Barbara Nostrand
      Shonaigawa Dono! Greetings from Solveig! If you ignore the rice fields, everything from Tohoku North, plus Kamikochi and a few other central mountain areas
      Message 45 of 45 , Jun 20 9:07 PM
        Shonaigawa Dono!

        Greetings from Solveig! If you ignore the rice fields,
        everything from Tohoku North, plus Kamikochi and a
        few other central mountain areas looks like Washington
        State except miniaturized somewhat.

        As for the Old Norse business. One interesting feature
        of early Japanese architecture is log buildings. Log
        buildings are actually fairly uncommon. The Haida,
        Klinget, &c did not have log buildings. They built
        split plank buildings. The Norse, the Volga Russ (more
        Norse), and the Japanese built log buildings.

        I can see how you are finding similiarities between
        Ainu textile patterns and North Pacific coastal texitle
        patterns, but they are also distinctly different. Totem
        poles are actually quite interesting. Only two Pacific
        Coastal tribes originally did free standing totem poles.
        However, totem pole like lodge poles can be found
        pretty much ubiquitously among North Pacific coastal
        indians and in a variety of Polynesian cultures. The
        Ainu do not appear to be genetically related to this
        group, but they could have acquired this cultural
        artifact from trans-Pacific sources.

        If you are interested in truly radical Archeological
        theory, Thor Hyrdahl (sp) posits extensive trans Pacific
        commerce, &c. by the PNW coastal groups and especially
        the Haida who were the vikings of the Pacific Northwest.

        The Haida are definitely known to have practiced
        celestial navigation out of sight of land. Their
        canoes were definitely seaworthy. Aside from theories
        about their involvement with the Easter Islanders, they
        are definitely known to have undertaken voyages of
        hundreds or even thousands of nautical miles on a
        regular basis.

        Japanese involvement with the three kingdoms on Chosenhanto
        (Korean Penninsula) is pretty well established and involves
        much easier journeys than trans-Pacific journeys. Please
        understand that the national founding legend for Atera
        (New Zealand) involves the voyagers in danger of starvation
        on their canoes at the time they spot a cloud bank on the
        horizon. (Atera basically means long cloud bank and is the
        name for New Zealand. I was friends with a New Zealander
        about a year ago.)

        One thing that you do have to watch out for with touristy
        spots is that they sometimes deliberatly put in things
        intended to look exotic. This may not be the case with
        the village that you visited. But, it is something to
        watch out for.

        As I recall, part of the Japanese version of the Indian
        Wars involved forced resettlement of at least some of
        the conquered groups. Among other things, Japanese are
        notibly hairier than groups across the sea of Japan, and
        some Japanese are notibly hairier than others. This
        hairiness is not normally part of the Amerind phenotype.
        The Ainu on the other hand are noted for being quite

        According to most estimates there are almost no pure-blooded
        Ainu left. However, even the photographs from Batchelor's
        Ainu studies show significantly hairly people. In a recent
        Monumenta Nipponica article, the diary of the Rusian official
        who occupied Shakalin following the Pacific War noted the
        preponderance of curly haired children among the Japanese
        population. Curly hair is also not noted as an Amerind feature.

        Your Humble Servant
        Solveig Throndardottir
        Amateur Scholar
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