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Re: Looking for suggestions for Kofun and Yayoi.

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  • daviem01 <ellen.m.davis@att.net>
    ... Chinese ... really be ... Very true. Did Himiko really have 1000 maidservants? :) There are some little things, though, that definitely pop out as
    Message 1 of 19 , Dec 22 4:33 PM
      > The text in Wajinden is, unfortunately, formulaic in a way (the
      Chinese
      > tended to portray *all* barbarians in the same light, so we can't
      really be
      > sure how much is hyperbole and how much is true accounting.

      Very true. Did Himiko really have 1000 maidservants? :)

      There are some little things, though, that definitely pop out as
      uniquely Japanese:
      "In their worship, the high-ranking men simply clap their hands
      together instead of bowing in the kneeling position."
      "The lower arm of their bows is shorter, and the upper arm longer."
      And, of course, "People enjoy liquor." :D
      Silly barbarians!

      > >
      > > -Place: somewhere within the Kansai area. In particular, there
      is a
      > > shrine in Osaka city called Tamatsukuri Inari Jinja which has
      > > supposedly been there since 20 BCE or so,
      >
      > Interesting. I'll have to visit the shrine next time I'm out that
      way! Have
      > you ever been there?

      No, I've just heard about it recently (there's an excellent book on
      past and present Inari worship that mentions it). It's an unusual
      example of an Inari shrine because the normal wishing jewel imagery
      is here replaced entirely by magatama, reflecting the age and
      historical background of the shrine and its surroundings.

      I'm compiling a list of everywhere I need to go when I return to
      Japan. Unfortunately, it would probably take me several years.
      When's the next SCA-JML trip?

      > > -Job/Family: a member of a priestly organization, lineage or
      > > corporation. The problem here is that we know about a large
      number
      > > of the uji (lineages/clans) and be ("corporations"/guilds) in
      early
      > > Japan, but I haven't yet been able to pin down exactly when those
      > > actually APPEARED, and none of the books I've consulted has been
      > > precise on that subject.
      >
      > Not surprising. Any that did would be guesstimating at best, I'm
      afraid.

      Well, I read a little more since that last post and there's one idea
      that says that the be really didn't appear in their "typical" form
      until middle or late Kofun, when individual family lineages started
      to become more important than general clan affiliation. Only then
      did the "be" came into formal existence as sort of "pseudo-clans",
      when the same thing (groups of workers related by blood) had really
      been there all along in a much more informal way.

      Interesting theory, and it does make a lot of sense from an
      anthropological viewpoint. (There's also a suggestion that this same
      decline in the importance of clan affiliation may have contributed to
      the rise of Buddhism in Japan, but that's an entirely different
      discussion.)

      > This is a more interesting question. I'm personally a big fan of the
      > Mononobe and the Ôtomo myself (yeah, I know there's that whole
      rivalry
      > thing... <G>). There are quite a few interesting families and a lot
      > happening, but you have to move into the later Kofun period to hit
      anything
      > where recorded history as we know it provides enough clues to fully
      develop
      > anything.

      It looks like Yayoi-period clans had an elite, ruling lineage
      segment, and other segments which had some sort of hereditary linkage
      to certain jobs or functions within society, although it wasn't quite
      as rigid as the be later on.

      In that sense, I could portray myself as a member of any clan-- but
      as a member of a "sub-lineage" that performed a sort of priestly duty
      such as divination (later the role of the Urabe), the keeping of
      taboos (Imibe), or similar. Some members of my lineage group do this
      job, and some do not; those that do perform that function may do it
      for the general populace, and some do it in the capacity of direct
      assistants to the elites.

      (I particularly like the idea of being a diviner...come by my tent at
      Pennsic and I'll fry up some oracle bones for ya! <G>)

      It's iffy, but given what I'm reading about the period, it would be a
      reasonable way to represent the likely structure of the society. Of
      course, there is still the name issue, and I may never come up with
      anything I can be remotely confident is accurate.

      > I wish I could come up with some. Have you read Gina
      Barnes' "Protohistoric
      > Yamato"? It's an archaeological book -- not really cultural or
      historical --
      > but its got some interesting things. I'd also recommend William
      Wayne
      > Farris' "Sacred Treasures," although that tends to focus more on
      > Asuka/Fujiwara/Nagaokakyô.

      I have not read Barnes' book yet, but that was next on my Amazon wish
      list. Archaeological books are absolutely fine with me-- that's my
      educational background, so I don't get intimidated by most of the
      jargon. <g>

      One that I've been reading recently is Koji Mizoguchi's "An
      Archeological History of Japan: 30,000 BC to AD 700". I can honestly
      say it's one of the best-written and most interesting archeological
      texts I've seen in a long time. It focuses on how the physical
      topography of Jomon, Yayoi and Kofun sites reflect the mental,
      social, and spiritual "topography" of life in those periods, and
      presents a lot of interesting ideas about how any individual person
      might have perceived his or her position within the society and the
      larger world.

      -Aine
    • daviem01 <ellen.m.davis@att.net>
      ... whether ... of ... Thank you, Effingham-dono; you said it better than I could have. I do understand your concern, Lady Solveig, but the vast majority of
      Message 2 of 19 , Dec 22 4:53 PM
        --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, "Anthony J. Bryant" <ajbryant@i...>
        wrote:
        > Barbara Nostrand wrote:
        >
        > >
        > > That is unlikely to work. It really doesn't matter that much
        whether
        > > you are claiming to be priest/king of all of Japan or priest/king
        of
        > > the local valley.
        >
        > You're arguing a logical fallacy. Priest != king. Priest = priest.
        >

        Thank you, Effingham-dono; you said it better than I could have.

        I do understand your concern, Lady Solveig, but the vast majority of
        the time, the concept of a priest-king just means that the ruler
        performs some priestly functions. In such a society as we are
        talking about in early Japan, the elites do perform some form of
        ritual or shamanic mediation, but also have to cope with much more
        pressing mundane tasks: negotiating with other groups for land and
        water rights, figuring out how to obtain trade goods (such as bronzes
        from China) that are symbolically or physically necessary for the
        good of society, and defending the village against attackers.

        After all, the Emperor of Japan performs certain ceremonies during
        his reign for the good of the realm; he is the only one who can
        perform these rituals. Does this make him a Shinto priest?
        Arguably. Does this make all Shinto priests royalty? Definitely not.

        All kings are priests != all priests are kings.

        -Aine, getting back to watching "Samurai Jack"
      • Solveig
        Baron Edward! Greetings from Solveig! ... We are talking about a time largely before historical records. A lot of proto-historical stuff in Japan does unify
        Message 3 of 19 , Dec 23 6:56 PM
          Baron Edward!

          Greetings from Solveig!

          >Because the kings also had sacerdotal roles does not mean all priest have
          >royal ones.

          We are talking about a time largely before historical records. A lot
          of proto-historical
          stuff in Japan does unify secular leadership and sectarian
          leadership. This is also fairly
          common cross-cultural thinking. Positing a significant division of
          labour just to
          justify doing something in the Society appears less than reasonable to me.

          >The Emperors in Rome were the chief high priests (that whole "rex et
          >sacerdos" thing), and there sure as hell were hundreds of other priests
          >running around.

          The Roman emperors are a bad example and you know it. The Roman emperors are
          post-republican and a long long time after the sort of
          social/political organization
          being discussed.
          --

          Your Humble Servant
          Solveig Throndardottir
          Amateur Scholar

          +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
          | Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D. | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM, CoS |
          | deMoivre Institute | Carolingia Statis Mentis Est |
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        • Solveig
          Baron Edward! ... Maybe in the Byzantine Empire, but not necessarily everywhere else. In this context king = political leader. The question is whether or not
          Message 4 of 19 , Dec 23 7:16 PM
            Baron Edward!

            >You're arguing a logical fallacy. Priest != king. Priest = priest.

            Maybe in the Byzantine Empire, but not necessarily everywhere else. In this
            context king = political leader. The question is whether or not the religious
            leader is also the political leader. The notion that these two jobs are unified
            is a pretty orthodox position to take with late Japanese pre-history. Besides,
            in the specific context of the Society, it really doesn't matter
            whether someone
            is claiming to be a Baron, a Bishop or an Abbot. All three are considered
            territorial and are not freely assumable.

            >Again, pish-tosh. This argument depends on the assumption that we're talking
            >about clericalism of substantial rank, and that's nowhere implied in Aine's
            >posts.

            Actually, it did seem to be pretty strongly implied. If he wants to be part of
            the inbe, then I don't have a problem as that was an entire guild with the
            requisite flunkies.

            >There's a big difference between a shrine priest, for example, and
            >the head priest of Ise;

            Doesn't matter. Further, I'm sure that you know that it doesn't matter. I know
            at least one person who is trying to arogate Arabic titles and is constantly
            drawing flack over it. It's fundamentally the same problem. If you
            want to claim
            rulership over more than your own little residential manor, then you tend to
            draw flack in the Society. If we were talking about English titles the
            discussion would probably have ended already.

            >there's also, it must be noted, a lot of "flunky"
            >priests at Ise in addition to the guji, but even then there's a huge status
            >leap between the head priest of a major shrine and a sovereign of a state
            >(regardless of whether that sovereign is imbued with priestly funtions).

            Yes. And current Ise practices are a long site removed from what the
            time period
            under discussion. We are talking about pre-imperial social
            organization you know.

            >But Solveig, you're the only one who's saying "priest/king." *I* certainly
            >have no problems with anyone wanting to portray an early Shinto or
            >shamanistic cleric.

            The devil is in the details. The proposal included lots of extra social
            relationships which placed this particular bit of recreation a long ways away
            from the local shaman. Even so, there are people out there who will object to
            being any sort of village headman.
            --

            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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          • Solveig
            Noble Cousins! Greetings from Solveig! I urge you not to debate logical fallacies with me. I am quite familiar with the rules of logic and have demonstrated
            Message 5 of 19 , Dec 23 7:34 PM
              Noble Cousins!

              Greetings from Solveig! I urge you not to debate logical fallacies
              with me. I am quite familiar with the rules of logic and have
              demonstrated Godel's Incompleteness Theorem. Saying that there are
              priest's who are not kings in some societies is irrelevant. You
              can engage in priestly functions, but only if you are doing so in
              such a way that you are not claiming rank or status. This means
              that you do not control territory and that you are not an heir to
              someone who controls territory. Sorry, but that is how the rules work.

              Thus, you may be able to be an abstainer. You can not, however, run
              the village. You need to establish who runs the village or whatever
              and you have to establish that it is NOT YOU. As I mentioned earlier,
              this rule has general application. Abbots and Bishops are also generally
              out of bounds.

              As for the emperor. His big claim to power is that he is the high
              priest of Amaterasu no Mikoto. The same sort of thing is true for
              pharoh. This is quite different from the Roman emperors who had
              themselves declared gods. Shrinking this sort of theocratic
              relationship to a local level does not solve the problem anymore
              than calling yourself an abbot instead of a baron solves the problem.
              --

              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 |
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            • daviem01 <ellen.m.davis@att.net>
              ... we re talking ... in Aine s ... be part of ... She, actually. Darn Hiberno-Norse names! ... And I don t believe I implied any sort of substantial
              Message 6 of 19 , Dec 30 7:13 PM
                >
                > >Again, pish-tosh. This argument depends on the assumption that
                we're talking
                > >about clericalism of substantial rank, and that's nowhere implied
                in Aine's
                > >posts.
                >
                > Actually, it did seem to be pretty strongly implied. If he wants to
                be part of
                > the inbe

                She, actually. <g> Darn Hiberno-Norse names!

                > then I don't have a problem as that was an entire guild with the
                > requisite flunkies.

                And I don't believe I implied any sort of "substantial rank". I am
                an individual with a YTBD religious occupation-- common, and quite
                varied in period. I am also related in some sort of kinship sense
                with the person who is the head of our local group-- again, a very
                reasonable assumption for Yayoi: since these are clans we're talking
                about, EVERYONE down to the lowest laborer can claim a similar kind
                of relationship. It's only later that individual family units
                overwhelm the old clan system.

                (In fact, although I belong to a particular "guild" (say, the
                diviners), I'm not so sure that in this period I could rightfully
                call it a "Be". It's very possible that the true "Be" concept arose
                a little later than Yayoi to replace the old lineages which had these
                traditional functions within a clan. Yet another problem with
                picking a name...)

                Anyway, although I have a religious occupation, I (along with my
                entire lineage) am NOT the one calling the shots. When I do
                divination, or whatever, I do it entirely within the service of the
                leader (or anyone else in the clan who may ask me to do it). That's
                what I was raised to do and what most of my immediate relatives do.
                For me to say that that gives me the right to also, say, perform
                rituals before the kami, or lead the warriors of our clan in battle,
                would be ridiculous. Those have absolutely nothing to do with my job.

                > >There's a big difference between a shrine priest, for example, and
                > >the head priest of Ise;
                >
                > Doesn't matter. Further, I'm sure that you know that it doesn't
                matter.

                Funny, to most of the people I know within the Society, such
                distinctions DO matter quite a bit. But perhaps I'm lucky in my
                associations.

                It's important to choose one's battles, and there are many I won't
                touch with a ten-foot pole. However, I cannot accept the suggestion
                that one should not replicate a religious persona because some people
                might get confused and not recognize the difference between your
                basic shrine priest (or Benedictine monk, or Zen brother) and a high
                religious authority who also wields secular power. That's not a
                matter of SCA politics-- it's a matter of good historical
                recreation. (It also makes such a persona that much more challenging
                to do correctly, because one must confront such misunderstandings.)

                I hate sweeping generalizations, they're all dangerous. (Yes, that
                statement is itself a sweeping generalization. Bah! :)

                -Aine
              • daviem01 <ellen.m.davis@att.net>
                ... lot ... to me. I don t believe I posited a significant division of labor , just enough to suggest that there were different roles that both priestly and
                Message 7 of 19 , Dec 30 7:22 PM
                  > We are talking about a time largely before historical records. A
                  lot
                  > of proto-historical
                  > stuff in Japan does unify secular leadership and sectarian
                  > leadership. This is also fairly
                  > common cross-cultural thinking. Positing a significant division of
                  > labour just to
                  > justify doing something in the Society appears less than reasonable
                  to me.

                  I don't believe I posited a "significant division of labor", just
                  enough to suggest that there were different roles that both priestly
                  and secular authorities fell into, sometimes together. I am making
                  what I feel are reasonable guesses considering my knowledge of the
                  period, which is increasing daily.

                  > The Roman emperors are a bad example and you know it. The Roman
                  emperors are
                  > post-republican and a long long time after the sort of
                  > social/political organization
                  > being discussed.

                  Just for clarification...are you saying "a long long time" to suggest
                  some kind of natural progression of forms of government? Because the
                  Roman emperors were contemporaneous with middle to late Yayoi, and
                  Kofun...

                  -Aine
                • Solveig
                  Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! ... The problem is that you are recreating an era which is generally believed to have been theocratic. Assume the role of
                  Message 8 of 19 , Dec 30 8:45 PM
                    Noble Cousin!

                    Greetings from Solveig!

                    >And I don't believe I implied any sort of "substantial rank". I am
                    >an individual with a YTBD religious occupation-- common, and quite
                    >varied in period. I am also related in some sort of kinship sense
                    >with the person who is the head of our local group-- again, a very
                    >reasonable assumption for Yayoi: since these are clans we're talking
                    >about, EVERYONE down to the lowest laborer can claim a similar kind
                    >of relationship. It's only later that individual family units
                    >overwhelm the old clan system.

                    The problem is that you are recreating an era which is generally believed
                    to have been theocratic. Assume the role of a priest can easily put you
                    in the position of claiming territory which is a no-no. Today, we look at
                    being a priest as being a kind of job much like being a janitor or a plumber.
                    That is not necessarily the case in all places and in all times. If you are
                    careful, then you can be part of a group which was clearly extensive and
                    not territorial. This is why the abstainers are really good. However,
                    being a priest in the Mononobe or something like that does cause problems
                    because it can easily place you in the authority pecking order of a territory.
                    As far as I know, most of the Mononobe were not priests. Most of the inbe
                    appear to have been priests. There is a difference.

                    >(In fact, although I belong to a particular "guild" (say, the
                    >diviners), I'm not so sure that in this period I could rightfully
                    >call it a "Be". It's very possible that the true "Be" concept arose
                    >a little later than Yayoi to replace the old lineages which had these
                    >traditional functions within a clan. Yet another problem with
                    >picking a name...)

                    Actually, the time period you are dealing with requires you to engage in
                    a good deal of conjecture. I do think that you should go on what is
                    generally thought to have been the social order prior to Taika. If you
                    want to be a priest, then you should pick one of the clans which we know
                    at one point in its history provided relgious services in a manner which
                    you are attempting to recreate rather than a clan which is not known to
                    have done so. Orthodox thinking about prehistoric Japan has a union of
                    religious and secular authority in the clan chief and his deputies. The
                    religious authority does not cause problems in the Society, but the
                    secular authority does. If you pick something like the abstainers, then
                    you are definitely trying to "play the game" if however you pick a
                    to recreate a person who could easily be argued to hold secular authority,
                    then you easily appear to be doing something prehistoric in an attempt
                    to circumvent Society conventions. That does not look good. And, I will
                    tell you that there are quite a few people in the Society who are
                    suspicious of recreating religious vocations.

                    >Anyway, although I have a religious occupation, I (along with my
                    >entire lineage) am NOT the one calling the shots. When I do
                    >divination, or whatever, I do it entirely within the service of the
                    >leader (or anyone else in the clan who may ask me to do it). That's
                    >what I was raised to do and what most of my immediate relatives do.
                    >For me to say that that gives me the right to also, say, perform
                    >rituals before the kami, or lead the warriors of our clan in battle,
                    >would be ridiculous. Those have absolutely nothing to do with my job.

                    As I said, you should pick a group like the abstainers who did at least
                    evolve into a group which functioned in a way that you are claiming to
                    be functioning. Claiming to be a priest in a general clan, does not do
                    this.

                    > > >There's a big difference between a shrine priest, for example, and
                    >> >the head priest of Ise;
                    >>
                    >> Doesn't matter. Further, I'm sure that you know that it doesn't
                    >matter.
                    >
                    >Funny, to most of the people I know within the Society, such
                    >distinctions DO matter quite a bit. But perhaps I'm lucky in my
                    >associations.

                    I think it's fine that your friends know about Ise. But that misses the
                    point. In terms of acceptability, it doesn't matter. It really doesn't
                    matter whether you are claiming to be the bishop of Rome, the bishop of
                    Antioch or the bishop of York. It doesn't matter. Calling yourself a
                    bishop is generally considered to be a no-no. Calling yourself a parish
                    priest attached to a manor house should be acceptable. Calling yourself
                    an abbot of anyplace is a no-no. Calling yourself a friar is generally
                    accepted. Finally, who you claim yourself to be will not simply cause
                    notice amoung your friends. It will cause notice among those who are not
                    your friends as well. As people are not as well clued in about Japan as
                    they are about England, you may be able to wander around for a few years
                    before youre priestly occupation will rise up and bite you.

                    >It's important to choose one's battles, and there are many I won't
                    >touch with a ten-foot pole. However, I cannot accept the suggestion
                    >that one should not replicate a religious persona because some people
                    >might get confused and not recognize the difference between your
                    >basic shrine priest (or Benedictine monk, or Zen brother) and a high
                    >religious authority who also wields secular power.

                    The thing that you keep insisting on ignoring is that the size of your
                    territory does not matter a whole lot. If you get to collect taxes,
                    raise troops, dispense law, &c. then people will go twinge at you.
                    Things were not nearly as up-tight twenty five years ago. Twenty five
                    years ago, Bishop Geoffrey (da Bish) was a regular feature at East Kingdom
                    court. But, things are different now.

                    > That's not a
                    >matter of SCA politics-- it's a matter of good historical
                    >recreation. (It also makes such a persona that much more challenging
                    >to do correctly, because one must confront such misunderstandings.)

                    But, SCA politics can rear its head up and bite you. And, it can bite
                    hard. Japanese recreation is already at a disadvantage. There are also
                    people who confuse the rules banning religious rituals from official
                    activities with a general ban on religious recreation. You really
                    really need to have your ducks in order. That is why I urge you to
                    recreate the abstainers or some other group which you can demonstrate
                    were not a territorial authority as far back as we have records. Just
                    saying, "oh I'm not a territorial authority I'm just the priest with
                    the beads" simply will not work with some prominent people of my
                    acquaintance. So, you may well get publicly questioned someday. I have
                    seen people get really unhappy when questioned in this manner.
                    --

                    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. |
                    +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
                  • Solveig
                    Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! ... Again irrelevant. China was also considerably advanced with respect to Japan and a LOT closer. That doesn t prevent
                    Message 9 of 19 , Dec 30 9:03 PM
                      Noble Cousin!

                      Greetings from Solveig!

                      >Just for clarification...are you saying "a long long time" to suggest
                      >some kind of natural progression of forms of government? Because the
                      >Roman emperors were contemporaneous with middle to late Yayoi, and
                      >Kofun...

                      Again irrelevant. China was also considerably advanced with respect to
                      Japan and a LOT closer. That doesn't prevent Japan from having tribal
                      government or shamanism or any number of other things. The separation
                      in time was significant for ROME and its development. Japan also
                      enjoys distinct periods of development.

                      Believe it or not, I am trying to help you. You appear to be
                      falling into "rationalization research" where you are trying to
                      prop up your desires about how you want things to be. If you start
                      being surprised and find that you have to change your mind about
                      things on occasion, then you will have made the leap to true
                      research. Maybe that is already happening to you. I do hope that it is.

                      Maybe there was the kind of specialization in religious
                      occupations which makes your recreation possible. Thus, far you
                      really haven't offered anything from the period in question to
                      demonstrate that it did. You have offered up stuff from much later.
                      That doesn't automatically work. We have good reason to believe
                      that the religious life of the kuge changed significantly after
                      the introduction of Buddhism and Chinese government.
                      --

                      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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                    • Yama Kaminari no Date Saburou Yukiie <ka
                      ... acquaintance. So, you may well get publicly questioned someday. I have seen people get really unhappy when questioned in this manner. -- (mock Monty Python
                      Message 10 of 19 , Dec 31 4:43 AM
                        >simply will not work with some prominent people of my
                        acquaintance. So, you may well get publicly questioned someday. I have
                        seen people get really unhappy when questioned in this manner.
                        --



                        (mock Monty Python Voice to follow...)
                        "...nooooooobody expects a Spanishhhhh Inquizzzzzzzzition!!!!"
                        ;-)


                        Happy New Year all
                        Date
                      • daviem01 <ellen.m.davis@att.net>
                        ... Ooh! Ooh! Maybe they ll put me in the Comfy Chair ! Agemashite omedetou gozaimasu, all, Aine
                        Message 11 of 19 , Dec 31 7:15 AM
                          >
                          > (mock Monty Python Voice to follow...)
                          > "...nooooooobody expects a Spanishhhhh Inquizzzzzzzzition!!!!"
                          > ;-)
                          >

                          Ooh! Ooh! Maybe they'll put me in the "Comfy Chair"! <g>

                          Agemashite omedetou gozaimasu, all,

                          Aine
                        • daviem01 <ellen.m.davis@att.net>
                          ... is. I do understand and much appreciate your help. However, although I may only have a bachelor s degree, and may not have extensive published research, I
                          Message 12 of 19 , Jan 6, 2003
                            >
                            > Believe it or not, I am trying to help you. You appear to be
                            > falling into "rationalization research" where you are trying to
                            > prop up your desires about how you want things to be. If you start
                            > being surprised and find that you have to change your mind about
                            > things on occasion, then you will have made the leap to true
                            > research. Maybe that is already happening to you. I do hope that it
                            is.

                            I do understand and much appreciate your help. However, although I
                            may only have a bachelor's degree, and may not have extensive
                            published research, I am already very well acquainted with how "true"
                            research operates, and I'm a bit confused as to why you would suggest
                            otherwise...

                            I am in the middle of extensive reading on the period in question,
                            and my knowledge is very much in flux at the moment. My method for
                            understanding the period from an SCA perspective is to put myself in
                            the shoes of my persona as I CURRENTLY understand that person's life
                            to have been. Any statements I make on the board from my persona's
                            viewpoint ("I am a diviner in the service on my lord", etc.) should
                            be understood from that perspective. As one's understanding of the
                            period changes and grows, so, in good faith, should one's reenactment-
                            - and I expect to make many changes as I continue to do research.

                            I would venture to say that that is all that anyone in the SCA can
                            achieve, in terms of accurately re-enacting an individual life from
                            any period in question. I just happen to be starting at a bit of a
                            disadvantage here: I'm reenacting a period where the sources are less
                            historical than archeological and anthropological, and there is
                            correspondingly more uncertainty.

                            > Maybe there was the kind of specialization in religious
                            > occupations which makes your recreation possible. Thus, far you
                            > really haven't offered anything from the period in question to
                            > demonstrate that it did. You have offered up stuff from much later.
                            > That doesn't automatically work. We have good reason to believe
                            > that the religious life of the kuge changed significantly after
                            > the introduction of Buddhism and Chinese government.

                            I don't believe I'm extrapolating from later periods-- in fact, to be
                            honest, anything after the Taika reforms and before Heian is woefully
                            sketchy in my mind! (Muust reead mooore.) I am very wary of using
                            later sources, precisely for the reasons you mention.

                            In contrast, my research on the subject has primarily focused on our
                            archeological understanding of the Jomon, Yayoi and Kofun periods.
                            In terms of daily life, social organization, and (to a limited
                            extent) religious beliefs and rituals, the archeological record is
                            our best source of information on the period. In particular, there
                            is one archeologist operating out of Kyushu University, Mizoguchi
                            Koji, who has done quite a bit of theoretical work on Yayoi and Kofun
                            in order to understand how social structures and worldviews changed
                            throughout those periods. (For example, the way settlements and
                            burial grounds were organized from early Yayoi to Kofun reflect an
                            increasing awareness of, and competition between, different segments
                            within a lineage or clan, and of those segments becoming specialized
                            to different occupations.)

                            I need to write to Dr. Mizoguchi to clarify some of his points on the
                            matter, but he provides a lot of good suggestions about the period,
                            supported by archeological and anthropological theory and evidence.

                            Might I suggest, Lady Solveig, that any further discussion between
                            the two of us be conducted off-list? I am interested in what you
                            have to say, but I feel that we have adequately covered this topic
                            for a public forum.

                            -Aine
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