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Re: Looking for suggestions for Kofun and Yayoi.

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 |
        | mailto:nostrand@... | mailto:bnostran@... |
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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 3 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@... |
          +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
          | Note. Many popular "free" email services are automatically routed to |
          | the trash by my email filters. |
          +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
        • 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 4 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 |
            | the trash by my email filters. |
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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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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@... |
                    +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
                    | Note. Many popular "free" email services are automatically routed to |
                    | the trash by my email filters. |
                    +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
                  • 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 9 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 10 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 11 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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