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Re: [SCA-JML] Newbie Questions

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  • Don Luby
    ... Welcome! Enjoy! ... A most excellent book - I always recommend it. ... Yes, that s pretty much what I ve been led to believe is the norm, at least for
    Message 1 of 10 , May 2, 2003
      On Thursday, May 1, 2003, at 11:50 AM, genevra1676 wrote:

      > Hi!!
      > I've been in the SCA for a number of years under a late-15th century
      > French persona, but I've recently become interested in creating an
      > alternate Japanese persona, most likely late period (late Muromachi
      > or early Edo).

      Welcome! Enjoy!

      > I've so far picked up Liza Dalby's "Kimono: Fashioning Culture,"

      A most excellent book - I always recommend it.

      > read some info on the Web from fine websites such as those by Clan
      > Yama Kaminari, Clan Genji, Lord Hiraizumi Ttrokurt Tadanobu no Ason,
      > and the F{zoku Hakubutsukan in Kyoto, and surfed eBay for
      > Japanese-related stuff. But as it is not easy to find books on
      > period Japanese garb & its accessories, I have a number of questions
      > that I hope you good gentles can help me with:

      > 1. Hair--Most of the info I've seen so far regarding period women's
      > hairstyles refers to long ponytails with "mutilated" lappets in
      > front.

      Yes, that's pretty much what I've been led to believe is the norm,
      at least for 'ladies' (i.e. of the nobility, which we're all
      "supposed" to be).

      > But in "Kimono," Liza Dalby mentions that more ornate up-dos
      > inspired by Chinese hairstyles began to become popular sometime in the
      > 16th century.

      I have never really heard of it, and it never seems to show up in
      the period paintings and woodblocks, so I'd believe they are rather
      uncommon, or for particular occassions or some such.

      > I've seen some absolutely gorgeous wedding/geisha wigs go up on
      > eBay, and I would like to know if these styles, such as the
      > shimada-mage, are period

      For women of 'rank', personally, I'd doubt it - their hair would
      have been 'trained' since childhood, and wouldn't have had a need for
      them, really.

      > --especially if you extend the definition of "period" to early Edo
      > pre-1650 (Yes, I know that Corpora says "pre-17th century," but if
      > we actually adhered to that, most of the fencers and quite a few
      > others would have to throw out their wardrobes; my husband for
      > example is a French Cavalier ca. 1625) --or are they still
      > completely OOP?


      The way it was explained to me when I joined, lo those many years
      ago, was that period ended at 1600 (well, maybe 1603 for the death of
      Elizabeth and the founding of the Tokugawa Shogunate) *period*. You
      could uses sources that were written as late as 1650, but only to
      document things that existed and were in moderately common usage
      before 1600 (many dance directions and pieces of music fall into that
      category). Thus, in my opinion, anything which came into vogue after
      1600, including Cavaliers, Roundheads, and everything Tokugawa (which
      would cover female geisha, Musashi, and whole host of other 'common'
      Japanese stuff), was right out, because not only did they not exist in
      regular usage, but they didn't even really exist in concept.


      So, using the two relevant issues here (class of persona, and
      'period'ness), I would expect that at least one of these two points
      would make such a wig inappropriate.

      > What about the various hair ornaments--kanzashi, kushi, kogai, etc?

      I think most of those existed, but that's not my speciality, so I
      couldn't say for certain.

      > 2. Shoes--In modern Japan, geta are considered casual and zori
      > considered more formal. Was there a similar convention in (late)
      > period? Are pokkori--geta with lacquered platform soles & bells in
      > hollows in the platform--period?

      Well, I would think that in period, geta would be 'outdoors' shoes,
      and zori would be 'indoors' (for as much as shoes were worn indoors),
      so I could see that as the basis for formal/casual.
      As for pokkori, I'm pretty sure they're *not* period, at least not
      for the kind of persona you seem to want.

      > 3. Kimono--How feasible would it be to adapt a mordern kimono or uchikake?

      Adapting it would be fairly difficult; OTOH, if you're just wearing
      it to have pretty-looking Japanese garb, I don't think you'd really
      *need* to adapt it - the patterns aren't that different, really, and
      most people won't be able to tell the difference anyway.

      > I've found a website that offers beautiful Oriental-patterned cotton
      > prints but haven't had much luck finding silk with similar quality
      > patterns

      There are a number of sites which sell kimono bolts (and
      occasionally on eBay as well), and the many of them are silk.

      > (mostly since I think most of the patterning for fine kimono is done
      > after the kimono is put together via painting or embroidery).

      AFAIK, no, not really, at least not very often in period - mostly it
      was patterned on the bolt, and then sewed together very meticulously.

      > But I can find plenty of lovely kimono on eBay . . .
      > Also, did kimono hemlines trail at all in period? Liza Dalby says
      > no, but I've seen pictures that do, so I'm a bit confused.

      I've always assumed that they do, at least for women, based on the
      pictures I've seen. From a practical point of view, your need to
      weigh that against it dragging in the dirt (since I would think that
      most of those garments would be 'indoors only') and sitting for feast
      in chairs (as opposed to kneeling on the floor).

      > That's all for the moment, although I'm sure I'll come up with more
      > questions soon. Domo arigato,
      > Genevra d'Angouleme (for the moment) :)

      Sir Koredono

      Don Luby Magariki Katsuichi no Koredono, KSCA
      djl@... Yama-kaminari-ryu
      Pittsburgh, PA Debatable Lands, AEthelmearc
    • Rosemary Norwood
      ... Male Geisha existed in the early 1600s. Female Geisha didn t appear until 1751 according to Liza Dalby s Geisha . -Tatsu.
      Message 2 of 10 , May 2, 2003
        On Thu, May 01, 2003 at 06:37:00PM -0000, genevra1676 wrote:
        > Were geisha period (to Momoyama or early Edo)? I'm not sure yet what
        > class I want to be yet, although if being geisha or rich merchant-
        > class would give me more options in the wearing of "pretties" (since
        > this is before the sumptuary laws restricting what non-nobles could

        Male Geisha existed in the early 1600s. Female Geisha didn't appear
        until 1751 according to Liza Dalby's 'Geisha'.

      • Anthony J. Bryant
        ... HI!!!! Effingham ... show France how you feel: just say non http://www.cafeshops.com/justsaynon
        Message 3 of 10 , May 3, 2003
          ELAINE KOOGLER wrote:

          > My pleasure. I just hope I've been of some help to you. Trust me...I
          > started this about 23 years ago, and there was even less available
          > then...no Dalby, none of what you mentioned above...except Hiraizumi-
          > dono...my very old, dear friend!

          HI!!!! <waving like a demented lunatic from waaay over here>

          show France how you feel: just say "non"
        • Solveig
          Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! ... Very very few Japanese have hair that is actually straight. Most have slightly wavy hair. I know Japanese who have
          Message 4 of 10 , May 3, 2003
            Noble Cousin!

            Greetings from Solveig!

            >I got a book in the mail yesterday about traditional Japanese
            >hairstyles (huzzah eBay)--don't know the name, as it is all in
            >Japanese. But it does have dates in it, and so does confirm what
            >people have told me so far--namely that the majority of updos didn't
            >appear until well after the end of SCA period. The couple that the
            >book indicated were pre-1650 I didn't particularly care for, so it
            >looks like the long ponytail is the best way to go. Fortunately my
            >hair is naturally long and black, but it is decidedly NOT straight.
            >Since I don't know if I want to spend an hour or more before events
            >trying to blowdry my hair straight, does anyone know of someplace
            >where one can find a wig that doesn't look too fake yet won't cost an
            >arm & a leg?

            Very very few Japanese have hair that is actually straight. Most have
            slightly wavy hair. I know Japanese who have tightly curly hair. I
            even know a Japanese with brown hair and I have seen Japanese albinos.

            Japan being monogenetic is a modern myth.

            > > You should consider the basic function of geta. They are for:
            >> going to the toilet, going to the bath, and walking through
            >> the muck during rainy season. A few groups are generally
            >> associated with the things at other times such as certain monks.
            >So would it be a safe bet to get a pair of geta to wear outdoors
            >(particularly at Pennsic) and a pair of zori to wear at indoor events
            >(since most event floors aren't covered with clean tatami mats)?

            Technically, zouri are outdoor shoes. You wear other shoes indoors and
            you never wear shoes on tatami. Basic rule of shoe usage in Japan,
            everytime you change level, you change footwear. Baths and toilets
            are either elevated or depressed with respect to the hall and have
            toilet shoes waiting for you inside. You wear slippers or other
            shoes in hallways, and you wear tabi or socks on tatami.

            I can guarantee that zouri are worn outdoors. One of their main features
            is that they have flat bottoms as opposed to geta which are elevated.
            Incidentally, although they are now generally made out of other materials,
            the kanji for writing the word indicates that they were originally made
            from straw or similar vegitable material.

            >Not to be argumentative, but there are also plenty of people who do
            >post-1600 (but generally pre-1650) in a historically accurate fashion-
            >-namely the numerous folk who do Cavalier garb and persona. My lord,
            >for example, is a French falconer from ca. 1625, and he can document
            >his garb better than many people who do earlier period stuff. And
            >I'd certainly rather stand next to someone doing post-1600 Cavalier
            >well than someone who throws a T-tunic over a pair of sweatpants and
            >thinks they're period.

            Baron El of the Two Knives insists that the cutoff IS 1650, but the
            documents do say 1600. Since there are lots of anti-Asians in the
            Society, it is best to be clearly pre 17th century.

            Your Humble Servant
            Solveig Throndardottir
            Amateur Scholar

            | Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D. | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM, CoS |
            | deMoivre Institute | Carolingia Statis Mentis Est |
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