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Re: [SCA-JML] Tenkoku

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  • Solveig
    Noble Cousins! Greetings from Solveig! As I recall, kaisho and not tensho predominates for use in seals. This applies to seals dating from the sixteenth
    Message 1 of 29 , Jan 17, 2003
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      Noble Cousins!

      Greetings from Solveig! As I recall, kaisho and not tensho predominates
      for use in seals. This applies to seals dating from the sixteenth century
      and earlier. Again as I recall, tensho is more of a calligraphic
      form. Unfortunately my really good calligraphy book sprouted legs and
      walked off at Pennsic a few years ago.

      >there are personal seals which are supposed to be unique to each person,
      >and what they do to ensure it is unique, I'm not sure. I'm also not sure
      >if that was something that they worried about quite as much in period;

      They don't assure that they are unique. They do register the things at
      your local city hall. However, it is not hard to get a duplicate if you
      go back to the place that you bought the thing and buy one with the same
      letters written in the same style. The registery people are unlikely to
      be able to tell the difference although a microscopic analysis will
      probably be able to tell appart different seal impressions.

      As for what they did in period. They used kao not inkan to sign documents.
      There is also at least one example of a double full hand impression.
      --

      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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    • Ii Saburou
      ... The difference, I believe, is between inkan and tenkoku (which, now that I look at it, makes sense! I had been thinking heaven and wondering= What
      Message 2 of 29 , Jan 18, 2003
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        On Sat, 18 Jan 2003, Solveig wrote:

        > >there are personal seals which are supposed to be unique to each person,
        > >and what they do to ensure it is unique, I'm not sure. I'm also not sure
        > >if that was something that they worried about quite as much in period;
        >
        > They don't assure that they are unique. They do register the things at
        > your local city hall. However, it is not hard to get a duplicate if you
        > go back to the place that you bought the thing and buy one with the same
        > letters written in the same style. The registery people are unlikely to
        > be able to tell the difference although a microscopic analysis will
        > probably be able to tell appart different seal impressions.

        The difference, I believe, is between 'inkan' and 'tenkoku' (which, now
        that I look at it, makes sense! I had been thinking 'heaven' and
        wondering='What does heaven have to do with seals?' Doh! Stupid Romaji
        confusion).

        Inkan can be bough pre-made--probably even mass-produced, all for similar
        names, just so that you can quickly give your name. Tenkoku, on the other
        hand, are used for legal purposes and need to be unique. That's how it
        was explained to me in Japan, at least.

        Here's one example of differences:
        http://www.takase.com/Names/HowToWritePart1.htm

        And talk about the uniqueness (among other things) of tenkoku:
        http://www.paperscissorsstone.com/pss/tenkoku_page1.htm

        > As for what they did in period. They used kao not inkan to sign documents.
        > There is also at least one example of a double full hand impression.

        For those who don't know Japanese: inkan = stamp/seal; kao = signature.

        BTW, looking online I found this site with a couple of books that have
        examples of Tensho script:

        http://www.kampo.co.jp/english/kccproducts-E/syodo-books/syodo-ListD.html

        A little more on the history (Internet source: use at own risk) of Tensho:

        http://www.dallasbudokai.com/artseds/Art_shodo.htm

        Wish I had some hard and fast sources on this: I'm always wary of the
        Internet, but hopefully this can give some leads to check it out.

        -Ii
      • James Eckman
        ... I don t know of any places that have such a thing on-line but here s a few links to get started. http://pages.prodigy.net/fugu/sumi.html
        Message 3 of 29 , Jan 18, 2003
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          sca-jml@yahoogroups.com wrote:

          > From: Debbie Strub <tsuruko@...>
          >
          > I'm researching Japanese seals with the intent of making one for myself to
          >"sign" Baronial scrolls. Does anyone know where I can find information on
          >writing the Tensho script? I've done some internet research and found lots
          >of places that will make one for me but I want to make it myself. Any ideas?
          >
          >
          I don't know of any places that have such a thing on-line but here's a
          few links to get started.
          http://pages.prodigy.net/fugu/sumi.html
          http://www.zhongwen.com/

          Seal carving's not that difficult other than designing the actual seal,
          I do remember a website that showed how to do it and in San Francisco at
          least you can buy blank seals at many stores.

          > From: Ii Saburou <logan@...>
          >
          >I would also recommend looking into differences between modern and ancient
          >seals--I'm not sure what changes may have happened, but it might be a good
          >thing to look into.
          >
          >
          There are changes, but some people continue using the more archaic
          styles as well so there are character dictionaries for drawing them
          available as books. Note, I've never seen that info on line so pass on
          any links you find!

          > From: Solveig <nostrand@...>
          >Subject: Re: Tenkoku
          >
          >Noble Cousin!
          >
          >Greetings from Solveig! Seals are interesting. Some old seals produce
          >impressions exhibiting mirror writing. Seals in general are eith deko
          >or boko depending on whether it produces a positive or negative image.
          >I believe that positive seals are prefered for attesting documents.
          >
          I don't know what the ancient customs for that are, but I've seen both
          used for recent items.

          >I have a Japanese book on how to carve inkan. Originally, I carved them
          >out of stone and have the correct tools for doing so. However, a friend
          >warned me of silicosis
          >
          I can't imagine getting silicosis if you are using a seal carving knife,
          the pieces that are carved off are way too big. I don't recommend dremel
          tools unless you are really good with them and then I would use a mask.

          >and I switched to wood years ago. Seals were
          >commonly made out of metal, ivory, wood, and stone.
          >
          >
          You can cheat and use linoleum as well! Easily available at places like
          Micheals. Please don't buy new ivory for carving. You could try Corian
          scraps as an ivory replacement if you wanted that look.

          Also note that most seal ink is highly toxic, don't leave it around
          small children!

          Jim Eckman
        • Debbie Strub
          ... You re right of course; that s what I meant to say. I m a bit brainless while I m on these cold medications... ... I d planned on using the positive
          Message 4 of 29 , Jan 18, 2003
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            At 07:14 PM 1/17/2003 -0900, you wrote:
            >On Fri, 17 Jan 2003, Debbie Strub wrote:
            >
            > > I do know that it's much older than Kanji and is still used nowadays
            > > exclusively for seals. One site implied that it was just kanji characters
            > > that were rendered in a more linear or squared off fashion to make them
            > > easier to carve. I may have to do just that and fake it with kanji.
            >
            >Well, they are kanji (Chinese characters) so it can't really be 'older
            >than Kanji'--but I do believe they often use older versions.

            You're right of course; that's what I meant to say. I'm a bit
            brainless while I'm on these cold medications...


            >Actually, you will notice many different ways of writing Chinese
            >characters. Seals, swords, brush calligraphy, chiseled characters--I took
            >some pictures of some of the characters I found on stones at Nagoya
            >castle, built in the 17th century, which you can find at:
            >http://modzer0.cs.uaf.edu/~logan/pictures/ishiji5bg.JPG (there is also a
            >'6', '7', and '8')
            >
            >Note: These are not examples of how characters would necessarily appear on
            >seals, just an example of the type of 'signature' people created out of
            >kanji characters.
            >
            >There does seem to be a specific style of writing used in seals. I
            >believe that they do something with modern seals, though--there are
            >generic seals that just have common names that anyone can buy, but then
            >there are personal seals which are supposed to be unique to each person,
            >and what they do to ensure it is unique, I'm not sure. I'm also not sure
            >if that was something that they worried about quite as much in period;
            >possibly it was enough that it was handmade and therefore very difficult
            >to duplicate.
            >
            >Solveig does point out a good distinction you should make--whether you
            >want a seal that leaves the characters voided or prints them with the ink.
            >Basically, are you cutting into the seal, leaving the characters white on
            >red, or are you curring out the seal, leaving the characters red on white.

            I'd planned on using the "positive" version, red characters on white.

            Tsuruko


            >Let us all know how it turns out!
            >
            >-Ii
            >
            >
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            >
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          • Debbie Strub
            Now I m really confused. It sounds like I should just keep signing my name on the scrolls rather than using a seal because that s more correct for us. Am I
            Message 5 of 29 , Jan 18, 2003
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              Now I'm really confused. It sounds like I should just keep
              signing my name on the scrolls rather than using a seal because that's more
              correct for us. Am I understanding you correctly?
              Unfortunately I don't have a lot of information on this other than
              a few lines here and there in various books and some internet research
              (which is admittedly suspect).

              YIS,

              Tsuruko

              At 12:52 AM 1/18/2003 -0500, you wrote:
              >Noble Cousins!
              >
              >Greetings from Solveig! As I recall, kaisho and not tensho predominates
              >for use in seals. This applies to seals dating from the sixteenth century
              >and earlier. Again as I recall, tensho is more of a calligraphic
              >form. Unfortunately my really good calligraphy book sprouted legs and
              >walked off at Pennsic a few years ago.
              >
              > >there are personal seals which are supposed to be unique to each person,
              > >and what they do to ensure it is unique, I'm not sure. I'm also not sure
              > >if that was something that they worried about quite as much in period;
              >
              >They don't assure that they are unique. They do register the things at
              >your local city hall. However, it is not hard to get a duplicate if you
              >go back to the place that you bought the thing and buy one with the same
              >letters written in the same style. The registery people are unlikely to
              >be able to tell the difference although a microscopic analysis will
              >probably be able to tell appart different seal impressions.
              >
              >As for what they did in period. They used kao not inkan to sign documents.
              >There is also at least one example of a double full hand impression.
              >--
              >
              > 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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              >
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            • Ii Saburou
              ... I would like to see sources on what the kao (signature) vs. tenkoku (seal) were used for. It sounds like an inkan is a stamp of your name--it s like
              Message 6 of 29 , Jan 18, 2003
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                On Sat, 18 Jan 2003, Debbie Strub wrote:

                > Now I'm really confused. It sounds like I should just keep
                > signing my name on the scrolls rather than using a seal because that's more
                > correct for us. Am I understanding you correctly?
                > Unfortunately I don't have a lot of information on this other than
                > a few lines here and there in various books and some internet research
                > (which is admittedly suspect).

                I would like to see sources on what the kao (signature) vs. tenkoku (seal)
                were used for. It sounds like an inkan is a stamp of your name--it's like
                printing your name, more than signing it. The kao does make sense as
                individuallistic--but for official functions, I can hardly see the local
                governing official signing everything like that. For that I would imagine
                they would use the tenkoku.

                This is all conjecture, however, based on what I know of people and how I
                have seen inkan--if not tenkoku--used.

                The thing we need to do is find out what sorts of extant documents we can
                find from the period in question (or research on extant documents) and see
                what we can find. Not sure what sort of studies have been done on that,
                though.

                -Ii
              • Debbie Strub
                I was thinking along those same lines. We ll see what I can turn up. Thanks for all your help. YIS, Tsuruko
                Message 7 of 29 , Jan 18, 2003
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                  I was thinking along those same lines. We'll see what I can turn
                  up. Thanks for all your help.

                  YIS,

                  Tsuruko

                  At 08:32 AM 1/18/2003 -0900, you wrote:
                  >On Sat, 18 Jan 2003, Debbie Strub wrote:
                  >
                  > > Now I'm really confused. It sounds like I should just keep
                  > > signing my name on the scrolls rather than using a seal because that's
                  > more
                  > > correct for us. Am I understanding you correctly?
                  > > Unfortunately I don't have a lot of information on this other
                  > than
                  > > a few lines here and there in various books and some internet research
                  > > (which is admittedly suspect).
                  >
                  >I would like to see sources on what the kao (signature) vs. tenkoku (seal)
                  >were used for. It sounds like an inkan is a stamp of your name--it's like
                  >printing your name, more than signing it. The kao does make sense as
                  >individuallistic--but for official functions, I can hardly see the local
                  >governing official signing everything like that. For that I would imagine
                  >they would use the tenkoku.
                  >
                  >This is all conjecture, however, based on what I know of people and how I
                  >have seen inkan--if not tenkoku--used.
                  >
                  >The thing we need to do is find out what sorts of extant documents we can
                  >find from the period in question (or research on extant documents) and see
                  >what we can find. Not sure what sort of studies have been done on that,
                  >though.
                  >
                  >-Ii
                  >
                  >
                  >UNSUBSCRIBE: E-mail sca-jml-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                  >
                  >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                • Bill Fornshell <bfornshell@yahoo.com>
                  Hi, I have been reading the past messages on the subject. If some of this has been covered before I am sorry. Koa, also called Shohan (written seal) or
                  Message 8 of 29 , Jan 18, 2003
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                    Hi, I have been reading the past messages on the subject. If
                    some of this has been covered before I am sorry.
                    "Koa, also called Shohan (written seal) or Hangyo (seal
                    shape) are written by hand rather than stamped or printed, and
                    constitute a stylized type of signature. They can be written along
                    with one's name, or they, in themselves, can serve as one's
                    signature. The Chinese character for "ka" in the compound "kao"
                    means flower, suggesting that one's signature is written in a
                    form as beautiful as a flower. the word kasho (flower
                    inscription), kagyo (flower shape), and kahan (flower seal) also
                    refer to kao."
                    This is from an article in the Chanoyu Quarterly # 76. Most of this
                    issue is about the Kao. Solveig or Barbara as I know her
                    should know about the Chanoyu Quarterly and may even have a
                    copy. I can comment on the "Seal Scrip" lettering used for
                    seals also, but I am on my way to the local library to pickup a
                    book before they close. Bill

                    -- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, Debbie Strub <tsuruko@r...>
                    wrote:
                    > I was thinking along those same lines. We'll see what I can
                    turn
                    > up. Thanks for all your help.
                    >
                    > YIS,
                    >
                    > Tsuruko
                    >
                    > At 08:32 AM 1/18/2003 -0900, you wrote:
                    > >On Sat, 18 Jan 2003, Debbie Strub wrote:
                    > >
                    > > > Now I'm really confused. It sounds like I should just
                    keep
                    > > > signing my name on the scrolls rather than using a seal
                    because that's
                    > > more
                    > > > correct for us. Am I understanding you correctly?
                    > > > Unfortunately I don't have a lot of information on this
                    other
                    > > than
                    > > > a few lines here and there in various books and some
                    internet research
                    > > > (which is admittedly suspect).
                    > >
                    > >I would like to see sources on what the kao (signature) vs.
                    tenkoku (seal)
                    > >were used for. It sounds like an inkan is a stamp of your
                    name--it's like
                    > >printing your name, more than signing it. The kao does make
                    sense as
                    > >individuallistic--but for official functions, I can hardly see the
                    local
                    > >governing official signing everything like that. For that I would
                    imagine
                    > >they would use the tenkoku.
                    > >
                    > >This is all conjecture, however, based on what I know of
                    people and how I
                    > >have seen inkan--if not tenkoku--used.
                    > >
                    > >The thing we need to do is find out what sorts of extant
                    documents we can
                    > >find from the period in question (or research on extant
                    documents) and see
                    > >what we can find. Not sure what sort of studies have been
                    done on that,
                    > >though.
                    > >
                    > >-Ii
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >UNSUBSCRIBE: E-mail
                    sca-jml-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                    > >
                    > >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                    http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  • Solveig
                    Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! Three more Japanese words are hanko which is generic and jitsuin or true seal and motome (if I remember that word
                    Message 9 of 29 , Jan 18, 2003
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                      Noble Cousin!

                      Greetings from Solveig! Three more Japanese words are hanko which is generic
                      and jitsuin or "true seal" and motome (if I remember that word correctly).
                      The individually made things are not gauranteed to be unique. They are just
                      not those mass produced things you see stuck in display racks like pencils.
                      The legal signature seals are the ones registered at city hall. Period.

                      My registration card from Musashino city hall says "Inkan Tourokusho" on it.
                      The one from Mitaka city hall says the same thing. The registered seals are
                      called "inkan" in government documents.

                      Tensho refers to a "shotai" calligraphic style of font. This calligraphic
                      font is frequently used in inkan. (ref. Daijirin.) Please forgive my lapse
                      of memory. Kaisho is a very clear calligraphic form in the kaisho ->
                      gyousho -> shousho sequence. There is an interesting calligraphic form which
                      I thought that you were refering to. It is about twice as wide as it is
                      high and is fairly old. Kanwajiten generally show the tensho version of
                      popular kanji as a gloss to the text. Alas, my memory is turning to mush.

                      Tensho does not use the kanji for heaven. Neither does tenkoku. Tenkoku
                      uses the same ten ans tensho and refers to making seal impressions.

                      Tenkai does have "heaven" in it and is one the ten Dharma worlds of Tientai
                      Buddhism and its derivatives.

                      There are special kanji for numbers customariliy used in legal documents.
                      Ordinary numerical letters can easily be changed by adding a few brush
                      strokes. The special legal numerals have extra brush strokes which make
                      this sort of modification impossible.

                      Your Humble Servant
                      Solveig Throndardottir
                      Amateur Scholar

                      --

                      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! The traditional seal carving tool is a ctually a small chisel and not a knife. You can buy the things at calligraphy
                      Message 10 of 29 , Jan 18, 2003
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                        Noble Cousins!

                        Greetings from Solveig! The traditional seal carving tool is a ctually a
                        small chisel and not a knife. You can buy the things at calligraphy supply
                        stores in Japan.

                        I do not recommend eating seal ink.

                        > Now I'm really confused. It sounds like I should just keep
                        >signing my name on the scrolls rather than using a seal because that's more
                        >correct for us. Am I understanding you correctly?
                        > Unfortunately I don't have a lot of information on this other than
                        >a few lines here and there in various books and some internet research
                        >(which is admittedly suspect).

                        Yes. You should devise a kao which is more of a monogram than what you might
                        think of as a signature. Imagine writing your name in a sousho style script
                        with all of the letters on top of each other in one place.

                        You can make a seal for the barony. That would be spiffy. I have been making
                        seals for royalty, because I can not expect them to learn how to write kao,
                        not because I think that it is the best approach.

                        Mass writes about the use of kao in Antiquity and Anachronism in Japanese
                        History.

                        Gosh. That calligraphy mill charges $160.00 for a certificate.
                        --

                        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
                        Greetings to all from Yama Kaminari no Date Saburou Yukiie, Those of us who make Japanese style armor are familiar with four little rivit combos called shi
                        Message 11 of 29 , Jan 20, 2003
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                          Greetings to all from Yama Kaminari no Date Saburou Yukiie,
                          Those of us who make Japanese style armor are familiar with four
                          little rivit combos called "shi ten byo" or sometimes "she ten no byo"
                          on the hachi of a kabuto.
                          I am familiar with the names of the four Deva kings from Buddhism that
                          these refer to, but I do not know which one is which on the hachi, if
                          indeed the assignment has been made. Perhaps Baron Edward, or one of
                          the other armor-familiar might be able to help.
                          In search of humble understanding...
                          Date

                          Yama Kaminari no Date Saburou Yukiie
                          Shi wa hei to de aru - all are equal in the grave
                          http://www.kabutographics.com
                          kabuto@...
                        • James Eckman
                          ... True, but in English anybody who I ve met calls it a knive and you don t push it like a chisel. I recommend buying a 1/4 or 3/16 bits of high speed steel
                          Message 12 of 29 , Jan 20, 2003
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                            >
                            >
                            > From: Solveig <nostrand@...>
                            >
                            >Noble Cousins!
                            >
                            >Greetings from Solveig! The traditional seal carving tool is a ctually a
                            >small chisel and not a knife. You can buy the things at calligraphy supply
                            >stores in Japan.
                            >
                            >
                            True, but in English anybody who I've met calls it a knive and you don't
                            push it like a chisel. I recommend buying a 1/4" or 3/16" bits of high
                            speed steel (cheap) and wrapping them with rubber tape and the like. The
                            stores want $20-30 for this little bit.

                            >Gosh. That calligraphy mill charges $160.00 for a certificate.
                            >
                            From what I've read, calligraphy in Japan is all about certificates and
                            not much to do with art. So this is not surprising. They have levels,
                            formal schools, the works.

                            Jim Eckman

                            >
                            >
                          • Elaine Koogler
                            I know that the Chinese used what are termed the great seal characters for their seals. These are not just squared off characters/kanji, but rather an
                            Message 13 of 29 , Jan 20, 2003
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                              I know that the Chinese used what are termed the "great seal characters" for their seals. These are not just squared off characters/kanji, but rather an archaic form of their written language. You can see excellent examples of them if you can locate pictures of the bottoms of some of the early bronzes. I don't know, but my suspicion is that, as the Japanese frequently adopted Chinese culture wholesale, that this could be the case here as well.

                              Kiri
                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: Debbie Strub
                              To: sca-jml@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Friday, January 17, 2003 10:04 PM
                              Subject: Re: [SCA-JML] Tenkoku


                              I do know that it's much older than Kanji and is still used nowadays
                              exclusively for seals. One site implied that it was just kanji characters
                              that were rendered in a more linear or squared off fashion to make them
                              easier to carve. I may have to do just that and fake it with kanji.

                              YIS,

                              Tsuruko

                              At 03:44 PM 1/17/2003 -0900, Ii Saburou wrote:
                              >Regrettably, no.
                              >
                              >You may want to research the seals--find the characters that you want (or
                              >even characters with the elements you want), and look to see how they are
                              >put together.
                              >
                              >I would also recommend looking into differences between modern and ancient
                              >seals--I'm not sure what changes may have happened, but it might be a good
                              >thing to look into.
                              >
                              >-Ii
                              >
                              >On Fri, 17 Jan 2003, Debbie Strub wrote:
                              >
                              > > Greetings,
                              > >
                              > > I'm researching Japanese seals with the intent of making one for
                              > myself to
                              > > "sign" Baronial scrolls. Does anyone know where I can find information on
                              > > writing the Tensho script? I've done some internet research and found
                              > lots
                              > > of places that will make one for me but I want to make it myself. Any
                              > ideas?
                              > >
                              > > YIS,
                              > >
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                            • Elaine Koogler
                              Again, as I m not really familiar with Japanese seals, I m not sure I m on firm ground here. However, if the Japanese seals follow the way the Chinese seals
                              Message 14 of 29 , Jan 20, 2003
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                                Again, as I'm not really familiar with Japanese seals, I'm not sure I'm on firm ground here. However, if the Japanese seals follow the way the Chinese seals were made, they were usually composed of great seal characters carved into soapstone, almost like a stamp. So what you get when you print it is the characters voided.

                                Kiri
                                ----- Original Message -----
                                From: Ii Saburou
                                To: sca-jml@yahoogroups.com
                                Sent: Friday, January 17, 2003 11:14 PM
                                Subject: Re: [SCA-JML] Tenkoku


                                On Fri, 17 Jan 2003, Debbie Strub wrote:

                                > I do know that it's much older than Kanji and is still used nowadays
                                > exclusively for seals. One site implied that it was just kanji characters
                                > that were rendered in a more linear or squared off fashion to make them
                                > easier to carve. I may have to do just that and fake it with kanji.

                                Well, they are kanji (Chinese characters) so it can't really be 'older
                                than Kanji'--but I do believe they often use older versions.

                                Actually, you will notice many different ways of writing Chinese
                                characters. Seals, swords, brush calligraphy, chiseled characters--I took
                                some pictures of some of the characters I found on stones at Nagoya
                                castle, built in the 17th century, which you can find at:
                                http://modzer0.cs.uaf.edu/~logan/pictures/ishiji5bg.JPG (there is also a
                                '6', '7', and '8')

                                Note: These are not examples of how characters would necessarily appear on
                                seals, just an example of the type of 'signature' people created out of
                                kanji characters.

                                There does seem to be a specific style of writing used in seals. I
                                believe that they do something with modern seals, though--there are
                                generic seals that just have common names that anyone can buy, but then
                                there are personal seals which are supposed to be unique to each person,
                                and what they do to ensure it is unique, I'm not sure. I'm also not sure
                                if that was something that they worried about quite as much in period;
                                possibly it was enough that it was handmade and therefore very difficult
                                to duplicate.

                                Solveig does point out a good distinction you should make--whether you
                                want a seal that leaves the characters voided or prints them with the ink.
                                Basically, are you cutting into the seal, leaving the characters white on
                                red, or are you curring out the seal, leaving the characters red on white.

                                Let us all know how it turns out!

                                -Ii


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                              • Elaine Koogler
                                there are also some nuts...can t remember the name, but it s something like takua nut or along those lines, that s being used for carving/scrimshaw/etc as it
                                Message 15 of 29 , Jan 20, 2003
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                                  there are also some nuts...can't remember the name, but it's something like takua nut or along those lines, that's being used for carving/scrimshaw/etc as it mimics ivory, but is a vegetable rather than coming from an animal. I'm not sure how well it would work...i.e., it might be too porous to work well.

                                  Kiri
                                  ----- Original Message -----
                                  From: James Eckman
                                  To: sca-jml@yahoogroups.com
                                  Sent: Saturday, January 18, 2003 8:41 AM
                                  Subject: [SCA-JML] Re: Tenkoku


                                  sca-jml@yahoogroups.com wrote:

                                  > From: Debbie Strub <tsuruko@...>
                                  >
                                  > I'm researching Japanese seals with the intent of making one for myself to
                                  >"sign" Baronial scrolls. Does anyone know where I can find information on
                                  >writing the Tensho script? I've done some internet research and found lots
                                  >of places that will make one for me but I want to make it myself. Any ideas?
                                  >
                                  >
                                  I don't know of any places that have such a thing on-line but here's a
                                  few links to get started.
                                  http://pages.prodigy.net/fugu/sumi.html
                                  http://www.zhongwen.com/

                                  Seal carving's not that difficult other than designing the actual seal,
                                  I do remember a website that showed how to do it and in San Francisco at
                                  least you can buy blank seals at many stores.

                                  > From: Ii Saburou <logan@...>
                                  >
                                  >I would also recommend looking into differences between modern and ancient
                                  >seals--I'm not sure what changes may have happened, but it might be a good
                                  >thing to look into.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  There are changes, but some people continue using the more archaic
                                  styles as well so there are character dictionaries for drawing them
                                  available as books. Note, I've never seen that info on line so pass on
                                  any links you find!

                                  > From: Solveig <nostrand@...>
                                  >Subject: Re: Tenkoku
                                  >
                                  >Noble Cousin!
                                  >
                                  >Greetings from Solveig! Seals are interesting. Some old seals produce
                                  >impressions exhibiting mirror writing. Seals in general are eith deko
                                  >or boko depending on whether it produces a positive or negative image.
                                  >I believe that positive seals are prefered for attesting documents.
                                  >
                                  I don't know what the ancient customs for that are, but I've seen both
                                  used for recent items.

                                  >I have a Japanese book on how to carve inkan. Originally, I carved them
                                  >out of stone and have the correct tools for doing so. However, a friend
                                  >warned me of silicosis
                                  >
                                  I can't imagine getting silicosis if you are using a seal carving knife,
                                  the pieces that are carved off are way too big. I don't recommend dremel
                                  tools unless you are really good with them and then I would use a mask.

                                  >and I switched to wood years ago. Seals were
                                  >commonly made out of metal, ivory, wood, and stone.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  You can cheat and use linoleum as well! Easily available at places like
                                  Micheals. Please don't buy new ivory for carving. You could try Corian
                                  scraps as an ivory replacement if you wanted that look.

                                  Also note that most seal ink is highly toxic, don't leave it around
                                  small children!

                                  Jim Eckman


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                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • Solveig
                                  Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! It sure does look like a chisel regardless of how you weild it. Besides, Japanese saws work backwards from European saws,
                                  Message 16 of 29 , Jan 20, 2003
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                                    Noble Cousin!

                                    Greetings from Solveig! It sure does look like a chisel regardless
                                    of how you weild it. Besides, Japanese saws work backwards from
                                    European saws, but nobody has any problems calling both of them
                                    saws.

                                    You are talking about the thing for carving rock aren't you? Not
                                    the thing for carving wood? I have both.

                                    Yes. There are several ryuha for calligraphy. The one I belong to
                                    publishes montly ratings in their magazine.
                                    --

                                    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. |
                                    +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
                                  • BamboOni@aol.com
                                    In a message dated 1/20/2003 9:46:26 AM Eastern Standard Time, ... They are called Tagua nuts. And if polished right you can t tell the difference between them
                                    Message 17 of 29 , Jan 21, 2003
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                                      In a message dated 1/20/2003 9:46:26 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                                      ekoogler1@... writes:

                                      > there are also some nuts...can't remember the name, but it's something like
                                      > takua nut or along those lines, that's being used for carving/scrimshaw/etc
                                      > as it mimics ivory, but is a vegetable rather than coming from an animal.
                                      > I'm not sure how well it would work...i.e., it might be too porous to work
                                      > well.
                                      >

                                      They are called Tagua nuts. And if polished right you can't tell the
                                      difference between them and ivory(unless your an expert) :)


                                      Takebayashi Genpachi

                                      'Only the bamboo knows the pure breeze'
                                      Zen Master Nanrei Kobori-roshi


                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • James Eckman
                                      ... Yes, they have they are the much older forms. Quite artistic in their own way. ... They use it nowadays, but I m clueless about historical usage. ... They
                                      Message 18 of 29 , Jan 21, 2003
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                                        >
                                        >
                                        > From: Elaine Koogler <ekoogler1@...>
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >These are not just squared off characters/kanji, but rather an archaic form of their written language.
                                        >
                                        Yes, they have they are the much older forms. Quite artistic in their
                                        own way.

                                        >I don't know, but my suspicion is that, as the Japanese frequently adopted Chinese culture wholesale, that this could be the case here as well.
                                        >
                                        >
                                        They use it nowadays, but I'm clueless about historical usage.

                                        > Sent: Friday, January 17, 2003 10:04 PM
                                        > Subject: Re: [SCA-JML] Tenkoku
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > I do know that it's much older than Kanji and is still used nowadays
                                        > exclusively for seals. One site implied that it was just kanji characters
                                        > that were rendered in a more linear or squared off fashion to make them
                                        > easier to carve. I may have to do just that and fake it with kanji.
                                        >
                                        >
                                        They were carved originally on oracle bones and the like. This is pre-paper.

                                        > From: Elaine Koogler <ekoogler1@...>
                                        >Subject: Re: Re: Tenkoku
                                        >
                                        >there are also some nuts...can't remember the name, but it's something like takua nut
                                        >
                                        Tagua.

                                        >or along those lines, that's being used for carving/scrimshaw/etc as it mimics ivory, but is a vegetable rather than coming from an animal. I'm not sure how well it would work...i.e., it might be too porous to work well.
                                        >
                                        >
                                        I have some, but I haven't used them for seals, they tend to be small
                                        though. They aren't very porous, available from some woodworking dealers.

                                        Jim Eckman
                                      • Park McKellop
                                        I bet the nuts are easier to chew. :-) Are they edible? Alcyoneus BamboOni@aol.com wrote:They are called Tagua nuts. And if polished right you can t tell the
                                        Message 19 of 29 , Jan 21, 2003
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                                          I bet the nuts are easier to chew. :-) Are they edible?
                                          Alcyoneus
                                          BamboOni@... wrote:They are called Tagua nuts. And if polished right you can't tell the
                                          difference between them and ivory(unless your an expert) :)


                                          Takebayashi Genpachi

                                          'Only the bamboo knows the pure breeze'
                                          Zen Master Nanrei Kobori-roshi



                                          ---------------------------------
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                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        • Anthony J. Bryant
                                          ... I m reminded of the fact that Nobunaga s kao was a highly calligled and sylized kirin (as in, the mythical beast). The first time I saw it and was told
                                          Message 20 of 29 , Jan 21, 2003
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                                            Solveig wrote:

                                            >
                                            > Yes. You should devise a kao which is more of a monogram than what you might
                                            > think of as a signature. Imagine writing your name in a sousho style script
                                            > with all of the letters on top of each other in one place.
                                            >

                                            I'm reminded of the fact that Nobunaga's kao was a highly calligled and sylized
                                            "kirin" (as in, the mythical beast). The first time I saw it and was told what
                                            it was, I remember asking, "you're sure it doesn't read 'Rorschach'?"
                                            <G>

                                            Effingham






                                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          • Anthony J. Bryant
                                            ... There is no direct one-to-one assignment, I m afraid. The term shiten no byô is just a name given to the rivets -- individually, they haven t been
                                            Message 21 of 29 , Jan 21, 2003
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                                              "Yama Kaminari no Date Saburou Yukiie " wrote:

                                              > Greetings to all from Yama Kaminari no Date Saburou Yukiie,
                                              > Those of us who make Japanese style armor are familiar with four
                                              > little rivit combos called "shi ten byo" or sometimes "she ten no byo"
                                              > on the hachi of a kabuto.
                                              > I am familiar with the names of the four Deva kings from Buddhism that
                                              > these refer to, but I do not know which one is which on the hachi, if
                                              > indeed the assignment has been made. Perhaps Baron Edward, or one of
                                              > the other armor-familiar might be able to help.

                                              There is no direct one-to-one assignment, I'm afraid. The term "shiten no
                                              byô" is just a name given to the rivets -- individually, they haven't been
                                              designated one or the other.

                                              Sorry. <G>

                                              Effingham
                                            • Yama Kaminari no Date Saburou Yukiie <ka
                                              Domo, Baron Effingham, I suspected as much, but always wondered... Date ... shiten no ... haven t been
                                              Message 22 of 29 , Jan 22, 2003
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                                                Domo, Baron Effingham,
                                                I suspected as much, but always wondered...

                                                Date

                                                >
                                                > There is no direct one-to-one assignment, I'm afraid. The term
                                                "shiten no
                                                > byô" is just a name given to the rivets -- individually, they
                                                haven't been
                                                > designated one or the other.
                                                >
                                                > Sorry. <G>
                                                >
                                                > Effingham
                                              • James Eckman
                                                ... Only if you have stainless steel teeth and jaw muscles of a bulldog. ... Rule of thumb for Chinese/Japanese calligraphy, the more artistic, the less
                                                Message 23 of 29 , Jan 22, 2003
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                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > From: BamboOni@...
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > From: Park McKellop <squire009@...>
                                                  >I bet the nuts are easier to chew. :-)
                                                  >
                                                  Only if you have stainless steel teeth and jaw muscles of a bulldog.

                                                  > From: "Anthony J. Bryant" <ajbryant@...>
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >I'm reminded of the fact that Nobunaga's kao was a highly calligled and sylized
                                                  >"kirin" (as in, the mythical beast). The first time I saw it and was told what
                                                  >it was, I remember asking, "you're sure it doesn't read 'Rorschach'?"
                                                  ><G>
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  Rule of thumb for Chinese/Japanese calligraphy, the more artistic, the
                                                  less readable ;)

                                                  > From: Solveig <nostrand@...>
                                                  >
                                                  >Greetings from Solveig! It sure does look like a chisel regardless
                                                  >of how you weild it. Besides, Japanese saws work backwards from
                                                  >European saws, but nobody has any problems calling both of them
                                                  >saws.
                                                  >
                                                  >You are talking about the thing for carving rock aren't you? Not
                                                  >the thing for carving wood? I have both.
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  Yes, I'm talking about the one for rock which looks like a chisel but
                                                  you don't push it, you slice/carve with it. You can call it whatever,
                                                  but the people at the stores will call it a knife and probably don't
                                                  understand what a chisel is. English is not a strong point among most of
                                                  these vendors and I don't know the Japanese/Chinese names for the tool.
                                                  I also have the wood carving tools and you do use the chisels as chisels
                                                  then.

                                                  >Yes. There are several ryuha for calligraphy. The one I belong to
                                                  >publishes montly ratings in their magazine.
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  Are you taking one of the classes by mail from Japan? I had a classmate
                                                  that took those. She could draw them beautifully but couldn't read them.
                                                  What scripts are you studying? I'm lucky that I know multiple
                                                  calligraphy teachers! I can get help in person, which is good because my
                                                  writing is not very good.

                                                  Jim Eckman
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