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Re: [SCA-JML] Men and Beads?

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  • Barbara Nostrand
    Noble Cousins! Greetings from Solveig! ... Aside from some thinking about necklaces during the Jomon (late stone age) period in Japan, no they did not wear
    Message 1 of 13 , Nov 26, 2002
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      Noble Cousins!

      Greetings from Solveig!

      >Did Japanese men, more specifically the Samurai, ever wear beads or any type
      >of jewelry?
      >The only pictures I've found of Samurai wearing jewelry were Christian
      >Samurai weaing beaded necklaces with the cross on them.

      Aside from some thinking about necklaces during the Jomon (late stone age)
      period in Japan, no they did not wear jewelry of any kind except for certain
      ornaments incorporated into hats. They also decorated containers such as
      inro boxes storage boxes. Neither did Japanese women go in for rings or
      necklaces. In later times, and especially after 1600, women did wear combs
      and similar ornaments in their hair. Ostenation was most often expressed by
      selection of fabric and colour and the number and style of garments worn.

      Neither the rosary-like string of beads called a "juzu" nor the strings of
      coins provide working models for strings of combat ribbons in bead form.
      Monks might at times wear a juzu around their necks or perhaps tucked into
      their obi when doing rounds. Most people would only carry carry a juzu in
      their hand while actually engaged in worship but will have them tucked away
      someplace at other times. Devotes of Bhuddist sects which use them, usually
      keep their juzu on in their Butsudan (Bhuddist alter) when not in use.

      > I'm sort of intrigued by the notions of 'keeping track of their
      >kills in battle'; while personal glory is all good (samurai were
      >certainly all about that!), I would think that overall success of the
      >unit would be more important to the household, rather than the
      >'notches' of your hot guns.

      The most common form of enduring "bragging" that I am familiar with is the
      battle illustration which could either be on a folding screen, a wall, a
      hanging scroll, or an illustrated book. These commonly have legends
      identifying all of the important people appearing in the illustration.
      Immediately following a battle, there would be a formal presentation and
      inspection of heads taken during the battle.

      The suggestion that these beads be displayed as a foreign novelty is an
      excellent one especially if you happen to be from the late sixteenth
      century when various Japanese war lords took up wearing dublets complete
      with ruffs, acquired cardinal's hats, &c.

      Your Humble Servant
      Solveig Throndardottir
      Amateur Scholar

      | Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D. | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM, CoS |
      | deMoivre Institute | Carolingia Statis Mentis Est |
      | mailto:nostrand@... | mailto:bnostran@... |
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