ext_51796: (research_sunako)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
This is from the SCA Japanese Facebook community--I was answering a question regarding yamabushi and their headwear. The original question was whether yamabushi would wear the same kind of cowl that sōhei wore into battle, and also if anyone could recommend books/sources on the subject of yamabushi.

[A quick definition: yamabushi 山伏 were/are mountain ascetics, usually solitary monks who adhered to Shugendō, esoteric Buddhism which mostly descends from the Shingon sect, but had other influences as well, including Tendai Buddhism, Shinto, and Daoism. Sōhei 僧兵 were warrior monks that were usually attached to a monastery. Yamabushi would sometimes fight, but they were mostly loners and fought in loose confederations, whereas sōhei were groups attached to monasteries.]

The Teeth and Claws of Buddha by Mikael S. Adolphson is the most thorough book I've found on the subject of warrior monks. Osprey has done two books on them, one on the Yamabushi and one on the monasteries. Interesting general reading, but start with Adolphson's book if you want to go deeper into the subject.

What the sōhei wore on their heads was called kato no kesa 裏頭(か[くわ]とう)の袈裟(けさ), and they were kesa (usually worn on the chest) worn on the head--that is technically what kato no kesa means. The yamabushi would sometimes wear kato no kesa, but the headdress more identified with them is the tokin 頭襟, which looks kinda like a small black box. The Japanese Costume museum has it larger and covering the head, but I've seen pictures of it being smaller and worn near the forehead, as it is today. Here is a site that has some description of yamabushi clothing. It starts with doctrine, scroll down to see the parts about clothing.

As to whether a tokin would be worn in battle, I am not sure. The emaki depictions that I've seen of yamabushi have often just been of them traveling, and they did wear the tokin at those times.

Here's a picture of a yamabushi from the Japanese Costume museum. Note the hat:

yamabushi_jp_costume_museum
from the Japanese Costume Museum

Now compare to this modern Yamabushi--these are the small tokin I've seen in emaki scrolls:

>yamabushi_tokin
from the now-defunct homepage of Kannonji Temple, Shiga Prefecture. Photographer unknown.

And this is an example of the kato no kesa that sōhei wore:

Benkei
From the Taiga Drama, Yoshitsune, scanned by me.

Update and Correction: when questioned by HE Master Ii Katsumori regarding the modern Yamabushi (who I first identified as a reenactor), I dug deeper to find the origin of the picture, which had been uploaded to Pinterest. The picture is from a now-defunct Japanese webpage (the company hosting it closed, but the Wayback Machine caught it) here: http://homepage3.nifty.com/huayan/temple/event06.htm. I can't link directly to the Wayback Machine's page, but that's the original (defunct) page. Just plug that in the Wayback Machine to see the text (not pictures) of the original.

This used to be the homepage of Kannonji temple. Some more digging showed that the man in the picture is Professor Yoshida Eirie, a professor of Buddhism at Hanazono University in Kyoto and a priest of Kumano Shugendo. Also a martial-arts master of Kukishinden Tenshin Hyoho Ryu. So yes, he IS a modern Yamabushi.
ext_51796: (research_sunako)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
God bless obsessive manga artists who blog about their work and how they are going to draw medieval Buddhist outfits by making little drawings showing how said outfits are put together. Sure, it's a tertiary source, but given the lack of primary and secondary sources in English (except photos of emaki, paintings, and statues, and some spare descriptions on the Japanese Costume Museum site), I'll take it. Got a lot of translation to do, though. (PS, I will share the source later once I get some things translated, including the artist/writer's name, so I can properly credit). (PSS: Won't be this week, cause Worldcon.) Oh, and those cloth hats the ladies are wearing in The Maple Viewers? So totally zukin. Like I said. *vindication feels like victory*

Chigiri-e

Aug. 4th, 2016 08:14 am
ext_51796: (write_shodo)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
Another answer to a FB question, this time about the process that goes into making the colorful paper that poetry is often written on, like this 10th century example from the collected poems of Lady Ise:



The paper is dyed (by various methods: sukizome (adding pigments at the time of production), hitashizome (soaking paper in liquid dye), hikizome (applying dyes with wide brushes), and fukizome (spray-dyeing) or marbled (Suminagashi 墨 流 し), then collaged in a technique called chigiri-e (ちぎり絵). It was (and is) hugely expensive--the washi (mulberry paper) has long fibers and is strong enough to withstand that much treatment.

I don't know the kanji yet for sukizome, hitashizome, hikizome, or fukizome, which came off of the Tokyo museum website in an English description of an exhibit. These are very specific and technical terms, so they aren't found in general dictionaries and I will have to dig about a bit to see if I can track down the kanji for the words. The paper I've gotten from Nihon Shuji tends to only be simply dyed.

To reproduce this kind of paper would be a major project by itself, certainly!
ext_51796: (inaribib)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
In answer to a question on the Calontir list about period (pre-1600) paper mache:

The Japanese have a kind of roly-poly doll that was made via a paper-mache process. They are called Okiagari koboshi (起き上がり小法師) and date to the 14th century. The term means "Little monk that falls down and gets up again." The famous Daruma dolls are a form of Okiagari koboshi, although they really became popular in the 17th century (post SCA period). Japanese paper (washi) is well-suited for paper mache because it has very long fibers and is strong even when wet. I know they also made masks of paper and lacquer, which were used for theater (like Noh plays) and religious festivals, but I'm not sure of the date on those. Wooden masks are definitely in period--the paper ones I'm not sure about.

Extra for here: while paper was used extensively in Japan very early on, the "traditional Japanese paper crafts" that we often associate with the Japanese (like origami) usually date to the Edo period (1603-1868). The technology was there, but because there was several centuries of internal warfare during the Japanese Middle Ages, there wasn't much opportunity to devote time and effort to such crafts. However, during the stability of the Edo period, a lot of different paper arts flowered very quickly. The issue for an SCA person is trying to find pre-Edo examples of certain crafts which may or may not have been done before the year 1600.
ext_51796: (write_japan)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
This is a good article on how Japanese surnames evolved. It's a big long and heavy on jargon (the site is one about learning Japanese), but well worth a read.

The article can be found here on Tofugu.
ext_51796: (translation_kana)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
I was answering a question on the SCA Japan FB page and thought I'd record my answer here as well, since I just spent about an hour translating Japanese webpages.

katsura_tsutsume_1

(I found this image on a Google Search. It is from a Japanese photo blog, looks like someone taking pictures at the 2014 Jidai Matsuri parade. The photographer's handle is EGACITE and his blog is here.)

According to the Costume Museum's Japanese website, that particular headgear is called katsura tsutsumi 桂包 (かつらづつみ). Katsura is a village, tsutsumi is a long wrapped cloth. According to legend, the women of Katsura began wrapping their heads this way back when the Empress Jingu conquered the three Han states in Korea--the original wrapping was her belt (literally 腹帯 (ふくたい) fukutai = abdominal band, bellybelt, maternity belt, per WWWJDICT translation). It goes on to say that there is no evidence that the legend is true. Here's a link to a different translation of the page. And yes, as Mistress Saionji says, it's a long wrapped rectangular cloth. (Side note: Zukin are a different type of headdress--it literally translates to "hood" and was mostly seen on women who had taken Buddhist religious vows of some type.)

Here is a translation I did off of another Japanese page that was defining the term katsura tsutsumi from the Daijirin 3rd Edition: Wrap the head from behind with a long cloth such as a towel, Knot in front, then pull back the remainder on both sides of the face. This was customarily worn by common women of the Muromachi period. “Katsura” [which can mean wig] comes from the village of Katsura.

And a partial rough translation from the Encyclopedia Nipponica: A woman’s headdress from the late middle ages. Wrap the head like a headband in a long white cloth, tied a bit lower in the front. It is also called “Katsura-maki”. From Katsura Village in the Kyoto Western Suburbs. The custom was supposedly begun by fishwives and candy sellers carrying their wares. Legend claims it was bestowed on the women of Katsura by the Empress Jingu, who conquered the Three Han States (in Korea). Pictorial evidence shows this a custom of common women rather than those of the aristocracy, and there are many depictions of common women so attired.

There's more, but I have to get back to real life. Didn't realize there would be so much out there on a simple search. Here's the webpage where I found the above two definitions.
ext_51796: (read_sei)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
I had seen this page linked on the SCA Japan FB page a while back, but ran across the author in another forum today, so wanted to share the link here as well. Exhaustive list of Japanese statuary, mostly Buddhist with some Shinto. There's a lot to go through on this site, but very useful AND all in English!

GODS of Japan, A to Z Photographic Dictionary of Japanese Religious Statuary and Art
ext_51796: (akikawa_nikki)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
Originally posted December 29, 2004.

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