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[SCA-JML] Medieval Japanese

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  • fsjlb4
    Gomen kudasai, oshiette itadakitain desu kedo I am trying to find reference for what the Japanese language was like during the Sengoku Jidai. I have been
    Message 1 of 7 , Oct 23, 1999
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      Gomen kudasai, oshiette itadakitain desu kedo

      I am trying to find reference for what the Japanese language was like during
      the Sengoku Jidai. I have been reading a book, set in the beginning of the
      Meiji Era, where the main character, an Edo samurai, is continually using "de
      gozaru." My Japanese teacher said that this was an older form of speaking.
      Are there any resources that list members could recommend on this?

      Furthermore, I am also looking for articles concerning waraji. I just got
      back from Shirakawa Village with my school, and we made a pair, but mine were
      too small. I understand most of it, but it would be helpful to have another
      guide, as well as learning the beginning steps (I didn't thread the foot of
      the sandal). If there is not a useful guide, please let me know and I will
      try to detail my experience as best I can to help others.


      Domo Arigato Gozaimasu

      -Godric Logan
    • Anthony J. Bryant
      ... Hai-hai, ii desu yo.... ... There is a Japanese grammar written by a Jesuit priest named Rodrigues for missionaries. It is, surprise, the only extant
      Message 2 of 7 , Oct 23, 1999
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        fsjlb4 wrote:

        > Gomen kudasai, oshiette itadakitain desu kedo

        Hai-hai, ii desu yo....

        > I am trying to find reference for what the Japanese language was like during
        > the Sengoku Jidai. I have been reading a book, set in the beginning of the
        > Meiji Era, where the main character, an Edo samurai, is continually using "de
        > gozaru." My Japanese teacher said that this was an older form of speaking.
        > Are there any resources that list members could recommend on this?

        There is a Japanese grammar written by a Jesuit priest named Rodrigues for
        missionaries. It is, surprise, the only extant grammar of period spoken
        Japanese, and it's an incredibly useful tool for anyone who wants to get a look
        at what the spoken language was like. Actually, the Portuguese did us a great
        service when they wrote many instructional texts in Japanese, as they used the
        European tradition of inquisitor and knowledgeable person (where the entire text
        is Q&A, one person says, "say, fellow, tell me about the nature of man." and the
        respondant says, "man is the work of god..."). The thing is, since it's all
        dialogue, it's all the way japanese was actually SPOKEN at that time.

        I don't know anyone who's done serious academic work with it, though, and I'm
        not sure how easy it is to find. I've got small chunks of it here. The books are
        written in Portuguese (or rather, with Portuguese orthography) rather than
        Japanese, of course, so you have to learn quickly that "fuque" is Hokke (-sect)
        Buddhism, and that "Xingendono" Takeda Shingen.

        There were definitely differences in speech between then and now, but not as
        much in terms of vocabulary. Japan was a closed country, and very little outside
        influence affected speech from 1550-1850, unlike English or French.

        Texts and letters were written in something called sourou-bun (which also
        affected formal speech), in which the verb-supplement "sourou" finished off
        sentences. For example, if I wanted to say "I want to meet Mr. Noda," today I'd
        say "Noda-san to ai-shitai desu." In sourou-bun it's "Noda-dono ni aishitaku
        sourou."

        What you really need to do is take a class on bungo (a.k.a. kobun), classical
        Japanese. There are many elements of classical Japanese that don't exist today
        but which *did* in the 1500s. Mostly there is a loss of many supporting verbs of
        politeness. (e.g., tamau, tatematsuru, etc.)

        > Furthermore, I am also looking for articles concerning waraji. I just got
        > back from Shirakawa Village with my school, and we made a pair, but mine were
        > too small. I understand most of it, but it would be helpful to have another
        > guide, as well as learning the beginning steps (I didn't thread the foot of
        > the sandal). If there is not a useful guide, please let me know and I will
        > try to detail my experience as best I can to help others.

        You're up on me. I used to buy mine in Tokyo, but I tend to consider more and
        more cheating and making a set of leather (!) using leather soles (lasts longer)
        and with thong ties (doesn't itch as much as straw).

        Effingham
      • Barbara Nostrand
        Noble Cousins! Colloquial 16c Japanese is fairly close to modern Japanese. If you want to find sources for it. One good place is early collections of kyogen
        Message 3 of 7 , Oct 23, 1999
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          Noble Cousins!

          Colloquial 16c Japanese is fairly close to modern Japanese. If you
          want to find sources for it. One good place is early collections of
          kyogen plays. Another good source is of course monogatare dating
          from that period.

          As for shoes. Don't expect premodern shoes to fit. They generally
          were not made that way.

          Your Humble Servant
          Solveig Throndardottir
          Amateur Scholar

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        • Barbara Nostrand
          Noble Cousins! ... Good point! I have seen pictures of the Jesuit grammar, but I do not have a copy. Baron Edward, you were promissing to send me a book or two
          Message 4 of 7 , Oct 23, 1999
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            Noble Cousins!

            Baron Edward wrote:

            >respondant says, "man is the work of god..."). The thing is, since it's all
            >dialogue, it's all the way japanese was actually SPOKEN at that time.

            Good point! I have seen pictures of the Jesuit grammar, but I do not have
            a copy. Baron Edward, you were promissing to send me a book or two after
            Pennsic. Hopefully we can remember which ones they were.

            >I don't know anyone who's done serious academic work with it, though, and I'm
            >not sure how easy it is to find. I've got small chunks of it here. The
            >books are

            Probably the closest thing is a thesis available through UMI which
            anaylsis the language of Kyogen. Unfortunately, I my copy seems to
            have dissappeared from the Pennsic box.

            >Texts and letters were written in something called sourou-bun (which also
            >affected formal speech), in which the verb-supplement "sourou" finished off
            >sentences. For example, if I wanted to say "I want to meet Mr. Noda,"
            >today I'd
            >say "Noda-san to ai-shitai desu." In sourou-bun it's "Noda-dono ni aishitaku
            >sourou."

            Sourou is an older form. It dates from at least the time of the Mongol
            invasion.

            >What you really need to do is take a class on bungo (a.k.a. kobun), classical
            >Japanese. There are many elements of classical Japanese that don't exist today
            >but which *did* in the 1500s. Mostly there is a loss of many supporting
            >verbs of
            >politeness. (e.g., tamau, tatematsuru, etc.)

            How about a whole inflection!

            Your Humble Servant
            Solveig Throndardottir
            Amateur Scholar

            +---------------------------------------------------------------------+
            | Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D. | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM |
            | de Moivre Institute | Carolingia Statis Mentis Est |
            | mailto:nostrand@... | mailto:bnostran@... |
            +---------------------------------------------------------------------+
            | Ignored domains: bestbiz.net, pop.net, hotmail.com, aibusiness.com |
            | vdi.net, usa.net, tpnet.pl, myremarq.com |
            | netscape.net, excite.com, bigfoot.com, public.com |
            | com.tw, eranet.net, yahoo.com, success.net |
            | mailcity.com, net.tw, twac.com, netcenter.com |
            | techie.com |
            +---------------------------------------------------------------------+
          • Anthony J. Bryant
            ... Doh! How could I forget kyogen? Sigh... Tarokaja... I m still dreaming of finding someone using that in the SCA. I ve got a great kataginu for him. ...
            Message 5 of 7 , Oct 23, 1999
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              Barbara Nostrand wrote:

              > Noble Cousins!
              >
              > Colloquial 16c Japanese is fairly close to modern Japanese. If you
              > want to find sources for it. One good place is early collections of
              > kyogen plays. Another good source is of course monogatare dating
              > from that period.

              Doh! How could I forget kyogen? Sigh...

              Tarokaja... I'm still dreaming of finding someone using that in the SCA.
              I've got a great kataginu for him. <G>

              > As for shoes. Don't expect premodern shoes to fit. They generally
              > were not made that way.

              Aren't to comfy, either. Walking around with my toes sticking out isn't too
              comfortable on rocks...

              Effingham
            • Anthony J. Bryant
              ... That would be Rodrigues treatise on epistolary style (souroubun). Send me your snail-mail and I ll put a copy in the mail. ... That s an idea; a special
              Message 6 of 7 , Oct 23, 1999
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                Barbara Nostrand wrote:

                > Noble Cousins!
                >
                > Baron Edward wrote:
                >
                > >respondant says, "man is the work of god..."). The thing is, since it's all
                > >dialogue, it's all the way japanese was actually SPOKEN at that time.
                >
                > Good point! I have seen pictures of the Jesuit grammar, but I do not have
                > a copy. Baron Edward, you were promissing to send me a book or two after
                > Pennsic. Hopefully we can remember which ones they were.

                That would be Rodrigues' treatise on epistolary style (souroubun). Send me your
                snail-mail and I'll put a copy in the mail.

                > >I don't know anyone who's done serious academic work with it, though, and I'm
                > >not sure how easy it is to find. I've got small chunks of it here. The
                > >books are
                >
                > Probably the closest thing is a thesis available through UMI which
                > anaylsis the language of Kyogen. Unfortunately, I my copy seems to
                > have dissappeared from the Pennsic box.

                That's an idea; a special box for teaching stuff, constantly loaded and ready to
                go. I'll have to try that.

                > >Texts and letters were written in something called sourou-bun (which also
                > >affected formal speech), in which the verb-supplement "sourou" finished off
                > >sentences. For example, if I wanted to say "I want to meet Mr. Noda,"
                > >today I'd
                > >say "Noda-san to ai-shitai desu." In sourou-bun it's "Noda-dono ni aishitaku
                > >sourou."
                >
                > Sourou is an older form. It dates from at least the time of the Mongol
                > invasion.

                And it was still in use through to Meiji. You want to read Edo text, you have to
                learn souroubun.

                > >What you really need to do is take a class on bungo (a.k.a. kobun), classical
                > >Japanese. There are many elements of classical Japanese that don't exist today
                > >but which *did* in the 1500s. Mostly there is a loss of many supporting
                > >verbs of
                > >politeness. (e.g., tamau, tatematsuru, etc.)
                >
                > How about a whole inflection!

                I still have nightmares. <G>

                Effingham
              • fsjlb4
                Thank you very much for all the information on Medieval Japanese. I will look into it at my school. ... longer) ... The ones we made used a nylon rope for the
                Message 7 of 7 , Oct 23, 1999
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                  Thank you very much for all the information on Medieval Japanese. I will look
                  into it at my school.
                  >
                  >You're up on me. I used to buy mine in Tokyo, but I tend to consider more and
                  >more cheating and making a set of leather (!) using leather soles (lasts
                  longer)
                  >and with thong ties (doesn't itch as much as straw).

                  The ones we made used a nylon rope for the thong ties, but I saw examples of
                  them made with cloth and what appeared to be silk ties as well. This might be
                  more comfortable to wear. As for making soles, it probably wouldn't be a bad
                  idea; when I do Native American regalia for dancing I put a second sole on my
                  shoes. Period it is not, but it sure helps them to hold up longer, and helps
                  my not so impressive budget :)

                  Oh, and in regards to another comment on the size of the shoe. I noticed that
                  the toes hang over the front and the heel drags a bit, but the sandals I had
                  made barely reached passed the center of my arch; I think that I need them a
                  bit larger than that :*)


                  Thank you to all for your assistance,

                  -Godric Logan
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