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Re: [SCA-JML] Re: Adventurous ancestors!

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  • Barbara Nostrand
    Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! Please check the frontice piece of The History and Culture of Japanese Food for a biography of the author. The author
    Message 1 of 56 , Nov 30, 2002
      Noble Cousin!

      Greetings from Solveig! Please check the frontice piece of "The
      History and Culture of Japanese Food" for a biography of the author.
      The author appears to be male.

      >Ishige seems to imply that it wasn't that rice cultivation came to Japan
      >during the Yayoi period, but that the tools and social systems neccessary
      >to make it a profitable system of agriculture developed in that time. She
      >goes on to mention that: "In the east, where a stable culture centred on
      >acorn gathering was flourishing, there was very little incentive to hazard
      >a switch to an unknown lifestyle of agriculturalism." She mentions that
      >the spread of iron tools during the beginning of the Common Era it finally
      >became possible to build the large-scale infrastructure--e.g.
      >irrigation--that would open up a large part of the country to wet rice
      >cultivation.

      You don't need iron tools to build irrigation systems. A more likely
      explanation in my opinion is the arrival of the pony soldiers.

      > > http://www.carleton.ca/~bgordon/Rice/papers/SUNSR98.htm
      >>
      >> "1988 by Hunan's Li County Pengtoushan site, where C14 paddy rice
      >> dates of 9100+/-120 and 8200+/-120 years"
      >
      >I'm not sure what this has to do with the present topic: there is no
      >debate (that I'm aware of) as to the existence of rice culture in China
      >prior to Japan.

      It has to do with dating the antiquity of rice culture and even paddy
      culture in China. It supports early introduction of rice to Japan. It
      also suggests that there was more than simple lack or rice or even
      possibly technology which inhibitted the spread of rice culture to
      Japan as rice culture existed in China for a very long time before
      it spread to Japan. Eating rice would for a court with either
      continental origin or simply under significant continental influence
      signify civilization. Rice culture could easily be sustained on a
      small scale as a high-status food. We do know that the court maintained
      specialized farms for its own use and we are also told that at one time
      the court ate Chinese food. We do know that Buddhist thought and other
      continental influences had significant influence on the diet of the kuge
      or at least dietary regulations. At times, the diet of the buke and
      other commoners could be quite different from that of the kuge.

      >Some other advantages of wet rice cultivation that Ishige points out:
      >"[Rice] provides the highest yield of all crops cultivated in the region
      >["monsoon Asia"]. It provides highest yield per unit area of all crops
      >cultivated in the region. it grows in summer in the high-temperature,
      >high-precipitation monsson belt.

      I have a copy of the book. Sometimes Ishige appears to verge on Nihonron.
      There is considerable political and emotional baggage attached to rice in
      modern Japan. Even using Ishige's tables, Japan is on the fringe of the
      Monsoon belt. For that matter, much of China does not use rice as a staple.
      Where it can be grown, rice does produce a high yield. However, much of
      Japan is inhospitable to rice. Further, even with modern rice supports,
      many other crops are grown in Japan. For cultural reasons, rice is
      currently grown in areas where it is most likely less productive than other
      uses would be. This sort of effect is common in many rural areas and is
      not unique to Japan.

      >She suggests that this is because, as the fields are flooded, the fields
      >can be a fishery as well. Nothing special is required--essentially, you
      >cultivate and catch the fish and crustaceans that wander in.

      Have you ever visited a rice paddy? Have you checked out where the Japanese
      fish? For that matter, Ishige is talking about shiokara which I recall is
      made from squid guts. There is a little eaten concoction of rotten fish
      which is eaten at festivals on Sado island. However, most of the villages
      on Sado Island are close to the sea.

      >However, most of the fish caught are going to be small, and individually
      >not worth much. The best thing to do with them--make them into fish
      >paste! This helps preserve them over the year. If you want to preserve
      >the food longer, you can make fish sauce.

      The Carp shiokara dating to ca 700 CE mentioned on page 39 is noted. Carp
      are large river fish. The type of fish found in paddy's are generally
      described as loaches. Fish traps can be operated at inlets and outletts
      to paddy fields. Quite appart from fish paste, small fish are currently
      dried in Japan and used to make soup. Soup is one of the mainstays of
      the japanese diet and has been so since at least the time of the Gossamer
      Diary.

      >Earliest record of fish paste in Japan apparently comes from some wooden
      >labels identifying taxes paid by the provinces, found at the site of
      >Fujiwarakyo (capital from 694-710), which reads "carp shiokara" (Ishige
      >2001:39). I agree with Ishige, however, that since it is easy to make
      >(fish+salt+time) it is quite reasonable to assume that fish paste was made
      >long before this--Ishige suggests it was made and eaten in the Yayoi
      >period.

      Basically, Ishige has no evidence and simply wants familiar distinctive
      types of food to have existed as far back in the remote past as possible.
      This book was well recommended before it came out, but I was a bit
      dissappointed when I received it.
      --

      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@... |
      +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
      | Note. Many popular "free" email services are automatically routed to |
      | the trash by my email filters. |
      +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
    • Jordan Malokofsky
      Ii-dono, I occasionally get the early messages out of order as well; however, I can t imagine that there is a problem with Yahoo. Else, how did the others
      Message 56 of 56 , Dec 19, 2002
        Ii-dono,

        I occasionally get the early messages out of order as well; however,
        I can't imagine that there is a problem with Yahoo. Else, how did the
        others receive the message to reply to? I assume that either A) the
        messages are slow enough to deliver to some mail servers that others
        reply back to the original and that mail goes through faster than the
        original, or B) the time stamp for several of the users are not
        configured correctly, and the e-mail program sorts by date. Thus, the
        original will flag at the right time, but the reply is incorrectly set
        as before the original, or the original is incorrectly set to a future
        time, thus letting replies sort before it.
        Let me know if anyone else has any more insight on this.

        --
        Jordan Malokofsky
        Hayes Lemmerz International, Inc.
        (734) 737-5821


        -----Original Message-----
        From: Ii Saburou [mailto:logan@...]
        Sent: Thursday, December 12, 2002 7:15 AM
        To: sca-jml@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [SCA-JML] Re: Looking for Koto music...


        > ----- Original Message -----
        >
        > That brings up a question I have for everyone: What sorts of
        Japanese
        > musical instruments do people have on this list? I have a
        Shakuhachi
        > (well, Shaku-shichi or Shaku-roku, since it's tuned a western whole
        > step higher) made by a flute-maker more as an experiment than an
        > authentic instrument.
        >
        > And I take it Ii has a Koto?

        I'm only renting one at the moment. Eventually I'll have enough money
        to
        buy one.

        -Ii

        PS: Is anyone else out there getting messages out of order from Yahoo!?

        I have missed the originals on several threads so far, and I need to see

        if it is Yahoo! or my e-mail host.


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