Muromachi merchant class
- Ohayo, everyone. I have a couple of questions I hope someone on the list
can help me with. I am interested in creating a persona from the
Muromachi/Sengoku Era, circa 1550, who is the daughter of a zashu, perhaps a
silk merchant(?). I was thinking she could live in Sakai, a nice busy
trading port of the time. I figure merchant wasn't done too much in the
Japanese subset of the SCA, so I'll be original. Would it be unheard of to
have an unmarried adult female persona during this era?
I am choosing this era so I can satisfy the "in contact with europeans'
clause in my local club, since the Portugese misssionaries started popping
over to Japan during this time. I know there was a group or two of Japanese
who came to Europe on some Jesuit caravan or something, where can I learn
more about this? I figure I can have my persona come over to Europe on one
of these caravans, though I don't know if a female would have been on one of
these to begin with.
People in my group are giving me some flak for choosing japanese, but I
will not back down. I don't want any holes in my persona that they can
shoot me down with.
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- On Fri, 6 Jul 2001, Jen Wallace wrote:
> Japanese subset of the SCA, so I'll be original. Would it be unheard of toI doubt it would be unheard of, but I don't think it would be common. If
> have an unmarried adult female persona during this era?
your father was a decent merchant he would probably be trying to marry you
off to a good upper class husband. Still, I'm not entirely sure about the
merchant class. I'll see what I can find.
> I am choosing this era so I can satisfy the "in contact with europeans'Well, I don't know where to find too much more. I only know what I have
> clause in my local club, since the Portugese misssionaries started popping
> over to Japan during this time. I know there was a group or two of Japanese
> who came to Europe on some Jesuit caravan or something, where can I learn
> more about this? I figure I can have my persona come over to Europe on one
> of these caravans, though I don't know if a female would have been on one of
> these to begin with.
heard: we know the names of all of the Japanese who went and I don't think
that any of them were women. Sorry.
> People in my group are giving me some flak for choosing japanese, but II once gave a class when I first started to look at my own interest in
> will not back down. I don't want any holes in my persona that they can
> shoot me down with.
Japanese that everyone remembers simply as 'Why Japanese isn't Period'.
Basically, there is only a small subset of the Europeans that would ever
have contacted the Japanese and even then it would not have been in Europe
accept for a single, fully documented event.
However, start looking at this in another way: how likely would a 4th
century Roman, a 10th century Viking, and a 15th Century Italian ever have
met, let alone set down to feast together?
We aren't in Europe, we are in the SCA, which is made up of fanciful
Kingdoms based on a twisted version of English royalty, trial by arms, and
an often post-period sense of the Chivalric Ideal. As such, I have no
problem with people stretching the 'Western Europe' aspect and wrapping it
over to the Orient if they strive to be authentic in their recreation.
And, if you ever need help, well you've come to the right place.
- --- Jen Wallace <akirawally@...> wrote:
> Would it be unheard of toNot anymore than it would have for a woman to travel
> have an unmarried adult female persona during this
to Europe, eh?
> I am choosing this era so I can satisfy the "inWhen you say "Local Club", that means it's a a local
> contact with europeans'
> clause in my local club, since the Portugese
> misssionaries started popping
> over to Japan during this time.
rule? I'm not aware that the SCA has such a rule, in
fact. After all, our own Fujiwara-dono is a Heian
I know there was a
> group or two of JapaneseNo, and Jesuits didn't travel in caravans. They
> who came to Europe on some Jesuit caravan or
> something, where can I learn
> more about this? I figure I can have my persona
> come over to Europe on one
> of these caravans, though I don't know if a female
> would have been on one of
> these to begin with.
traveled on boats. If you want a good idea (even
though it's a novel) of the travels of Japanese in
Europe, read THE SAMURAI by Shusaku Endo. Not many
Japanese went over to Europe, though, and no women. I
don't know what your local group is telling you, but
you shouldn't be too concerned with concocting some
elaborate story to justify yourself as a Nihonjin. My
persona actually hasn't quite figured out how he got
to the Midrealm, but hey, it doesn't matter. Like
others said, where is the sense in a roman talking to
a Viking and an Italian? Sounds like your comrades in
your local group need to relax.
> People in my group are giving me some flak forThen don't, PLEASE don't concoct some story about
> choosing japanese, but I
> will not back down. I don't want any holes in my
> persona that they can
> shoot me down with.
being on a boat lost at sea, or sold into slavery by
wandering Chinese pirates, or aliens coming down and
taking you and dropping you in Europe. Plain and
simple, a Japanese woman in Europe would not happen.
If they want to be sticklers, then you should be
accurate, and it is most accurate for you NOT to
invent some cockamamie story. You fell asleep by a
river one day and woke up somewhere else, something
like that--there is nothing to shoot holes in!
Good luck with your persona, and definitely ask here
for questions--many on the list know much more than I,
and all of us will help however we can.
Good Luck, ganbare!
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- Noble Cousin!
Greetings from Solveig! The status of women generally eroded
after the Heian period, so it gets harder and harder to be
adventurous. You are, however, picking a good period. If you
must come into direct contact with Europeans in Europea there
are a several somewhat speculative approaches that could be
1) You could come from an impoverished family who sold you
either directly (less likely) or indirectly to the Portugese
or Spanish who then cruely transhipped you from Japan. (This
sort of thing actually did happen, although it is a bit more
likely with male slaves who we do know the Portugese employed
on their sailing vessels.)
2) A bit more adventuresome and rather speculative would be the
wife of one of the Japnaese adventurers who set out during
the late sixteenth century to seek their fortunes outside of
Japan. (One of them conquered one of the Indo-Chinese countries.)
3) Along the lines that you are seeking, you could possibly
accompany a trading expedition to China. (Although you would
be better advised to be peddling silver or gold which is what
the Chinese took in payment. You might also have reels of silk
fibre.) There were licensed Japanese trading vessels. However,
I do not recall any pictures of them showing female passengers.
4) There are those who believe that there was a Japanese contingent
in Neuvo-Espania (Mexico) during the late sixteenth century.
Further, there was an immediately post-period Japanese expedition
to Europe which crossed the Pacific to Mexico on a Jpaanese
(not a European) sailing ship. (The Japanese employed
Miura Anjin (Wm. Adams), &al to teach them European ship building
an navigation. There were a number of mixed crews under Japanese
command prior to the closure of Japan in the seventeenth century.
Now. If your family happens to be christian, there were at times
ample motivation not to return to Japan.
BEST ADVICE. Politely tell the people criticising you to bug off
as the Society DOES NOT require persona stories. Persona stories
ultimately become more than a bit tiresome anyway. Unless your
group is tightly themed, each and every one of them would
have trouble justifiying contact with the rest of them. I know
of no recorded instances of eleventh century normans dining
with sixteenth century english despite the norman conquest of
England in 1066.
Your Humble Servant