Introduction: totally new to all of this
- Konnichiwa -
I'm a little bit shy, but I want to introduce myself. I have a lot of
questions so I hope that's all right.
My name is Emily. I'm from Seattle, but I just recently relocated to the
Chicago area. I've had an interest in Japanese culture ever since I was a
little girl. It's been such a theme in my life for so long in fact, that I
sometimes wonder about past life experience. :-)
I found this list while doing research on the samurai on the web. I had
never considered historical reenactment as something I was interested so
when the search engine listed the "reconstructing history" site, I almost
passed it by. I'm glad I didn't. I was most impressed with the sincerity
and dedication with which Fujiwara-hime pursued the recreation of a Heian
noblewoman. My interest pique-ed, I looked for more sites and eventually
stumbled upon this list.
I've been lurking for several weeks now and I'm even more impressed than I
was before. The level of scholarship and dedication here is just
incredible. I'm quite blown away. What's really cool is that you're doing
this in the SCA. I had some friends in the SCA about 10 years ago but I
didn't join them because though the time frame was right, I wasn't
interested in Europe, I was interested in the east. I guess I should have
done a little more homework!
So, I'd like to join in the fun. I love making costumes, reading history,
and this would be a great opportunity to practice my Japanese as well as
learn more about a culture that has been a constant fascination for me. I'm
not too familiar with the SCA though and so I have some questions that
weren't answered by the web site. I hope you don't mind my asking them
First, from what I've read here, it appears as though people doing Japanese
reenactment are somewhat misunderstood in the SCA. Would it be totally
inappropriate for me to attend my first SCA function in Japanese garb; would
that immediately set me apart? Japanese is what I'm interested in, but I
also don't want to rock the boat too totally. How does one introduce
themselves, their persona, and interests, so to speak? I don't want to
I do have garb, but it's not totally period (though with some adjustments,
it could be). I had some fun this summer taking the Folkwear happari and
monpei patterns and creating a journeyman samurai costume like the ones worn
in Kurosawa's Seven Samurai (did I mention I'm a raging Kurosawa fan?).
That's too late for the SCA, but with a few changes it could be basic
peasant clothing for earlier periods of Japanese history. Unfortunately it
would be basic peasant clothing for a man.
This leads to my second question. I get the impression that folks here are
very dedicated to as exact a representation as possible while pursuing their
particular cultural interests at the same time. I do Kendo and Iaido so one
of my big interests is swords and the samurai. But women in Japan of that
period didn't normally fight so I'm not sure how to work that into my
character. My research doesn't answer this question, but I'm sure one of
you might know more. How uncommon would it be for a spirited daughter of
noble birth to occasionally break away from quiet court life and don a young
man's clothes to fight or at least practice? I imagine it would be pretty
unusual, but is it totally unheard of? Could I justify that kind of
behavior in the SCA?
I've read Samson and the Tale of Genji and I think I'd like to target the
Heian period as a focus. Though the samurai of later periods are more
interesting to me, I'm not all about fighting. I'm a Buddhist and I write
haiku as well. A lot of wonderful stories and literature came out of the
Heian period and it seemed to be a time when woman's literacy was at an all
time high. (Once again, correct me if I'm wrong, you guys know way more
about this than I do.)
I'd like to make simple garb for a woman of this period. I saw the pattern
on Fujiwara-hime's site, but I'm also wondering, since I have the Folkwear
kimono pattern if that one could be adjusted to make a suitable kosode and
overrobes? It would just be more convenient to use that since the seam
allowances are all laid out and stuff. Would it just be adjusting the
length and sleeve sizes or is there more to it?
I've read this over and it is long. I don't sound so shy actually which is
good, but I don't want to be too long winded. Thus I will close with a
final question about names. I love the name Etsuko and would like to use it
for my character. Even after reading Effingham-sensei's information on
names, I am still a little confused by Japanese woman's names. If I were to
create a name for myself with Etsuko in it, would I follow the standard
Etsuko no <place name> or did it work differently for women? Would I also
use a family name too such as Yamamoto? (I'm sorry if these questions are
answered by the website, I'm having a really hard time understanding this
for some reason.)
Well, it is nice meeting you. In advance for your answers, domo arigato
Effingham-dono, I hope you don't mind that I called you sensei. You have
much to teach.
- on 10/2/01 4:48 PM, Anthony J. Bryant at ajbryant@... wrote:
>Period? I don't think I'm quite ready for that.
>>> Also, "okagesama de" is the response to "how are you," not "pleased to meet
>>> you." -- But you'll pick up the Japanese bits more and more as we play. <G>
>> What would have been the proper response? Dozo yoroshiku?
> Yes, in fact, or perhaps "kochira koso" (hard to translate; if we translate
> "Yoroshiku onegai shimasu" as "pleased to meet you", "kochira koso" is the
> equivalent of "the pleasure's all mine").
> Now, if you want to switch to period Japanese.... <G>
But... "Kochira koso." Hai. Wakarimasu.
This does mean however, that I've made this mistake before. Like I said, I
was trying to be super polite to Ii-dono. It would follow then that I've
most likely made the same gaff greeting various sensei. <wince> They
probably thought it was quaint...
>Your site is amazing. I've been slowly sifting through it and digesting it.
> You should see my calendar page in the Miscellany <G>.
> http://www.geocities.com/sengokudaimyo .
I just haven't gotten to the calendar part yet. (Probably because I'm still
trying to figure out how people's names worked! :-)
>I didn't see Fletch, but I'm in a terribly good mood and got a huge laugh
> Flirting? Ummm... not as... um....
> Did you see "Fletch"?
> Juvenile delinquent: "Are you a cop?"
> Fletch: "As far as you know."
out of that quote. I shall have to see it. I think it will be the first
movie in English I've seen in like a year...
>Say - perhaps my kendo ashi-sabaki will actually be useful for something
> Actually, it's rather easy. You get used to it. Of course, smooth wooden
besides kendo. We slide around on smooth wooden floors all the time.
>You'd be absolutely right about that. :-)
> Actually, no... <G> If you don't *know* an AoA, you probably don't have one.
>Ah. Okay. Too bad really. I was quite taken with the idea of being called
> They'd probably use your surname plus "-dono."
"princess" even though I'm not one. I will have to earn it I suppose.
As always, thanks for the info.