ext_51796: (no_thought_whatsoever)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
There's a meme going around Facebook asking "What would you like to see me do more of in the SCA in 2017?" I was going to post it myself, but my husband said it would be a waste of time. "Who cares," he said, "what other people want you to do? You're already doing plenty!"

He has a point. So instead, I present a list of things I'm actually working on in 2017.

woman-writing

(Picture: 北国五色墨』「おいらん “High-Ranking Courtesan” (Oiran), from the series Five Shades of Ink in the Northern Quarter (Hokkoku goshiki-zumi), Kitagawa Utamaro (Japanese, 1753?–1806) Part of the collection in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, USA)

Service

My knight, Sir David Dragonhawk, taught me that service to your local group is vital, because the local groups are the backbone of every SCA Kingdom.

I'm continuing to serve as the Chatelaine for the Shire of Cum an Iolair in the SCA Kingdom of Calontir. We are located in the suburbs just south of Kansas City, an area with a lot of population growth, so we get a number of SCAdians moving in, as well as the occasional very new person. Because there are so many active groups in the KC area, the bulk of what I do is try to guide these people to the resources they need, some of which are in the other groups near us.

My usual event service is volunteering for troll/gate, not only in our Shire, but for other nearby groups if I am available for that event.

I just recently became part of the Lanner Herald committee, which is working on cataloging the ceremonies of Calontir (peerages, investitures, coronations, that sort of thing). Right now, that involves mostly data entry. I'm hoping to get a chance to write a ceremony eventually. In the meantime, I should learn a lot from assisting in this project.

I'm also trying to comment more for Heraldry entries on the SCA OSCAR system. I'm not great at heraldry (so much to learn!), but I can help with the Japanese names, especially if someone is looking for something not covered in the usual sources.

Finally, I've been given 2 scroll assignments for the Kingdom. I'm looking forward to the challenge, and hope to have the opportunity to do more.

Teaching

One of the greatest things about the SCA is how people share their knowledge and techniques. In the real world, you usually have to pay quite a bit to learn some of the skills that people share for free (or cost of materials) in the SCA. So teaching is a way to give back to the community.

It's also really difficult for me. I'm a hot mess of anxiety if I have to speak up in public. It may be Imposter Syndrome? OTOH, my handouts tend to be excellent, though. But I need to push through the fear and get my butt out there.

Classes I Plan to Teach in 2017:

1. Kosode Construction Tips and Tricks (documented Japanese stitches, getting that collar on straight, getting lining to lie flat, issues on proportion, etc)--scheduled for Clothiers' Tailor Track
2. Introduction to Shodo--Japanese calligraphy. My (non-SCA) shodo teacher has been urging me to teach this, and I've been gathering materials. Venue is an issue, as I need adult-sized tables and free-standing chairs (not picnic tables).
3. Let's Tanka!--because Japanese poetry is awesome and anyone can do it.
4. Let's Renga!--because Japanese poetry is even more awesome when you do it with your friends while drinking.
5. Poetry in Everyday Life--using the Japanese concepts of yugen and mono no aware, I'd like to help students notice the intricacies of small details (the cobweb on the window sill, a single leaf remaining amidst bare branches) and how to use those details to construct poems.

I'd also love to do a class about Japanese Courtiers, but I'm not sure if anyone would be interested. Most people focuses the Samurai, and while they are fascinating, they have not been a main area of study for me.

This blog is also a teaching tool of sorts, and I plan to post here regularly with bits of research, answered questions, and poetry.

Have Fun, Make Stuff, Learn

Wow, I have such a long list of stuff I want to do! ALL THE THINGS!! Finances limit me to the materials on hand, but fortunately, I'm a hoarder with a lot of materials. What is on my plate at this moment is:

Lives of Famous Women Project: Cecilia de Gatisbury is doing a photography project recreating Richard Tessards' illuminations of Giovanni Boccaccio's Lives of Famous Women. The illuminations were done between 1488 and 1496. I have volunteers to do Cornificia, a Poetess. She is 1st Century BC Roman, but is portrayed in 15th century attire. I have not tried to make a dress from this era before, so it will be an interesting challenge. I will be making a dress, underdress, cloak, veil, and felt shoes.

Japanese garb: I put on a lot of weight and most of my old Japanese garb no longer fits, so I'm making new Japanese garb. I'd like to have a court-worthy outfit finished this year, plus some simple lower-class camp garb (kosode, mobakama, ichime-gasa). I'd like to experiment some with construction techniques, reusing vintage kimono silk, or trying dyeing and fabric painting for embellishment.

Norse garb: my man needs his trousers! Alfgeirr has been after me to make a couple of pair of Thorsbjerg trousers for him. I didn't get them done this year, but he'd like them by Lilies War next summer. He could also use some new tunics, a hat, and a coat. For myself, I'd like to make an apron-dress. Since I've sewn a lot in this style over the years, it's just a question of fitting in the time to sew and learning more about embellishment (embroidery style, card-woven trim).

Fiber Arts: Some of this ties in with the sewing--fiber arts is a "dabbler" area for me. I want to play more with card-weaving and kumihimo, and learn the basics of sashiko stitching and maybe mess around some with dyes.

Calligraphy and Illumination: I'm still taking shodo lessons. Shodo is a lifetime art--there is so much to learn and do and try. I have two projects I want to complete this coming year: calliging the Iroha Poem in a variety of styles and carving some inkan (seals). I want to make a couple of European scrolls as well in 2017, either for kingdom or maybe as prize-scrolls, just to get back into practice. Calligraphy used to be my main art, but I've veered more towards poetry in recent years. Still, I'd like to keep my hand in.

Poetry: I'm in the middle of my first 100-poem sequence and wow, it is more difficult than I thought. So I plan to do another one in 2017 (or two, if I can manage it). I was playing around with the idea of straying into European poetic forms, but right now I have my hands full with the Japanese and Chinese. There is a boatload of background reading I have to do, since I have gotten my hands on some translated medieval poetic treatises. This is research heaven, but it also takes a lot of time.

Language study: Japanese language study continues at its slow, self-study pace. I'd be doing this even without the SCA, though, because it is fun.

Research: I want to learn more about the different medieval schools of Japanese Buddhism, as well as how Confucian and Daoist philosophy became integrated into the mainstream of Japanese society. There's also been more published on nikki bungaku (diary literature), which I would like to get caught up on.

Events

Besides local meetings, I'd like to average an event per month in 2017, finances and health permitting.

It's a lot, isn't it? I prefer to dream big. I may not get to everything I want to do in 2017, but this is just a template.
ext_51796: (fox_kitsune_no_ki)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
This is a cross-post from Facebook. Last year, I did a "7 Things" meme about my SCA experience, and it showed up in my memories this year, so I decided to do 7 more things. So here are 14 things about me in the SCA!

1. I consider my official start date to be July 1991 in the Midrealm, but I actually first ran into the SCA in 1980 when I was at Scarborough Faire Renaissance Festival back in Texas. I was so unimpressed with the carpet armor and freon helms that the fighters wore that I spent my time doing Renn Faire things instead, until I moved to Louisville, KY, which at that time didn't have one. The SCA has upped its game tremendously since that time.

2. My first persona was Austrian and was basically the same character I played at Scarborough. I changed her last name from Maria Katerina von Habsburg to Maria Katerina von Adlerhof to get the name registered. My second persona was Anglo-Saxon. Tace of Foxele. Tace is Latin for "Be Quiet!" Foxele is a punning word for fox and holly, but is actually a village outside of Yorkshire mentioned in the Domesday book. It's now known as Foxholes.

3. I really became interested in doing a Japanese persona by 2002, but I didn't register Ki no Kotori my primary until 2008. Ki is for the famous poet Ki no Tsurayuki. Kotori means "little bird" and is a play on my mother's surname, Byrd.

4. I love how so many people are willing to teach their skills for free (or just cost of materials) in the SCA. I've never experienced any other organization that has been so generous with their knowledge. And it amazes me the kinds of things I've been able to learn that I would have never thought to try had I not been involved in the Society. I'm interested in almost too many things, so I try to keep my arts focus on Japanese history, language and literature (especially poetry), calligraphy (both Western and Eastern) and sewing. I like to wear clothing from different cultures and eras, not just Japanese.

5. I started out in the SCA mainly as a fighter, and mostly focused on that activity the first six years I was involved. It took a long time for me to admit I couldn't manage it anymore, and I just sold off most of my armor last year, except my fancy brigandine, which I'm keeping to remind myself that I could actually make armor and it WAS AWESOME. I was squired to Sir David Dragonhawk ( David Teasdale) in 1994. Since I don't fight anymore and Calontir doesn't allow squires to wear chains, I've put my belt and chain away. But Sir Dave will always be "my" knight.

6. I'm a big believer in supporting the local group (shire, barony, whatever). I've met so many people who are not able to play much on the Kingdom level because of job or family responsibilities, or due to finances. We've run into that issue as well from time to time. So it's really vital to keep the local groups vibrant so that people who can't travel much can still enjoy the SCA experience.

7. I have helium hand and between the various groups I've lived in, have served in every local office except for Minister of A&S, Archery Marshal, and Minister of Youth. I've also autocratted at 5 events. My health isn't as good as it was, so I've been less inclined to be an officer, but I still volunteer when I can.

2nd Group of 7:

1. My motto is "Have fun, make stuff, help out." Concentrating on those factors is what has kept me in this hobby for so long. I find if I don't focus too much on being recognized (which I do sometimes--I'm human), the hobby is a lot more enjoyable.

2. Arts and Sciences-based events, and events with a lot of classes are my favorite events to attend. It is fantastic to see all the things people make in the SCA. I always go home on a huge high, wanting to make ALL THE THINGS. Usually after a few days, I realize I don't have the time or money to do that and I should focus on what I already do. But what an inspiration!

3. I am so conflicted about camping at events. On one hand, yes, you definitely get an immersive experience, and wow, what a high that is! OTOH, I've never been good at camping, and now that I'm older, that's even more true. But the multi-day "War" events are so much fun! So the dithering about whether to invest in another tent (our old one died) continues.

4. My husband Robert has actually been playing SCA longer than I have, but it's not his main hobby (gaming is), and due to his job schedule, he rarely makes it to events anymore. He comes out to Shire meetings when he can. I make his garb and it always comes out looking better than mine.

5. I can't drink alcohol anymore due to health issues. Sometimes it is awkward to navigate around that. Never was much of a beer drinker, but I miss trying the interesting meads and wines that people make!

6. A well-meaning friend advised me to make it out to more post-revels. I do try to make it out to the ones he throws, but honestly, I do not shine at all in party situations, being painfully shy, bad at small talk, and a non-drinker. At events or meetings, I can find topics to ask people about. At post-revels, I'm just a big ball of AWKWARD.

7. I love the excitement and enthusiasm that new people to our hobby bring! However, I have to stop myself from lecturing sometimes. It's just that I don't want to see them make the same mistakes I've made! Still, it's so cool to see new people get started and then advance in their skills.
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: (hallow_hello_kitty)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
I signed up to do an outfit for a project that one of my fellow Calontiri, Cecilia, is doing: she is creating photographic portraits recreating the illuminations in Richard Tessard's version of Boccaccio's "The Lives of Famous Women". You can see the pictures on this Pinterest page. My first two choices were already taken, but I settled on the portrait of Cornificia, who was a 1st century BC Roman poet. The dress is plain compared to some of the others, so I think I can manage it, plus with that pose and the cloak, it won't matter that I'm so fat.

Boccaccio writes of her that "She was equal in glory to her brother Cornificius, who was a much renowned poet at that time. Not satisfied with excelling in such a splendid art, inspired by the sacred Muses, she rejected the distaff and turned her hands, skilled in the use of the quill, to writing Heliconian verses... With her genius and labor she rose above her sex, and with her splendid work she acquired a perpetual fame." Her work is lost, but St. Jerome mentions her in his chronicles in 4th century AD, so her work was good enough that it was being read 400 years after her death, and by St. Jerome to boot, who was not an easy man to please.

Here is the picture she will be recreating:

Cornificia

Although color substitutions are being allowed, I think I already have linen in both that blue and the light purple. The tight sleeves look like those of a Gothic fitted dress, but those gathers in front resemble a houppelande? But those tend to have big or hanging sleeves and women mostly wear those belted. This dress is NOT belted. It might be some kind of loose gown?

There's a similar dress on the Blessed Virgin Mary in The Calvary Triptych by Hugo van der Goes (@1468). Sleeves are a bit different, but the shape of the dress looks similar.

hugo_van_der_goes_1469

Here's another example by van der Goes from the Monforte alterpiece. He puts the Virgin Mary in this same style of dress consistently.

vandergoes_wijzen_monforte_grt

So anyway, have some research to do. I'm going to try to finish this outfit by the end of July.
ext_51796: (sing_tomoyo)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
Kestrel’s Lullabye

Words by Tace of Foxele/ Ki no Kotori
Music: Blessed Be That Maid Marie (tune: Staines Morris in William Ballet’s Lute Book @1590)
http://www.santasearch.com/resources/sheetmusic/blessedbemaidmarie.html

The original performed by Telynor, the song begins at the 1:40 marker.



Dedicated to Lora Ann Ros (Donna Brooks), who passed from us April 21st, 2016

Little kestrel, nestled near,
Come to rest in Calontir.
Outside dangers may abound.
We will keep you safe and sound.

Little kestrel, have no fear,
Nothing ill can harm you here.

Where the wild northwinds howl
Lies the land where gryphons prowl.
Paths to our home can’t be seen
In amongst the maze of green.

Little kestrel, have no fear,
Nothing ill can harm you here.

Eastward, dragons can be found
Rife with strength of great renown,
Past their lair they cannot creep,
The river runs too wide and deep.

Little kestrel, have no fear,
Nothing ill can harm you here.

There are gracious, grassy dells
In the land where horses dwell,
Past those fields they rarely stray.
(There’re no bridges anyway!)

Little kestrel, have no fear,
Nothing ill can harm you here.

In the warm southeastern land
Lives the wild and wooly ram.
He may climb the mountains tall,
But you can fly above them all.

Little kestrel, have no fear,
Nothing ill can harm you here.

On the bleak southwestern plain,
Lions wander, hunt and maim.
But they never venture far
From the light of the lonesome star.

Little kestrel, have no fear,
Nothing ill can harm you here.

The mighty stag may often roam
From his westward forest home.
His legs are strong, but even he
Cannot swim the amber sea.

Little kestrel, have no fear,
Nothing ill can harm you here.

Little kestrel, tuck your wing
While huscarl and fyrdmen sing.
Dream sweet dreams of flying free,
And we shall watch over thee.

Little kestrel, have no fear,
Nothing ill can harm you here.


Notes:

1. I heard this tune on Telynor’s excellent Christmas Album Off the Beaten Path, which can be found here.

2. Since the song was about a kestrel, I wanted to include other animal imagery. The animals here are the heraldic mascots of the kingdoms and principalities surrounding Calontir.

Northshield = Gryphon
Middle Kingdom = Dragon
Meridies = Horse (that one was hard to find!)
Glenn Abheann = Ram
Ansteorra = Lion
Outlands = Stag

3. I tried to follow the logic of an older falcon and how they would see the land, hence the “maze of green” cornfields of Iowa and the “amber sea” wheatfields of Kansas and Nebraska. From the sky, that’s what they would look like.

4. I originally wrote this for Page the Kestrel, one of Lora Ann's birds, but changed the dedication and wrote the last line when Lora Ann died.

5. Thanks to Lora Ann for making me perform this in public when I first wrote this song. I was very scared, but she was right, I needed to sing this to an audience. :-)
ext_51796: (furuba_shigure_is_amused)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
Okay, because I sang a bit of this song in the car this weekend, I thought I'd share the words. I think I wrote this in 2003 or so?

Another bardic attempt. Gained me quite a bit of infamy a few years ago. Pavel even gave me his alphabet soup. But every word of it was true!

fra-angelico_angel_viola

*sees can'o'worms*

*sees can opener*

Oh, lordy, I feel like singin'....

THE IOWEGIA SONG
by Evil Bard Tace of Foxele <--now the saintly Ki no Kotori

(Tune is "Tau Garco La Durundena")*

Here is the Boston Camerata's version of the original work on YouTube so you can hear the melody:



Tell us, distant Iowegia,
Northern Flower of Calontir
What secrets are you hiding there?

Who thought there would ever be
Shires out past Coeur d'Ennui *1
Living there most happily *2
Frolicking among the cornfields?

Tell us, distant Iowegia,
Northern Flower of Calontir
What secrets are you hiding there?

No matter where you think you are
The Northern Road is twice as far *3
As you're riding in your car
The children crying "Are we there yet?"

Tell us, distant Iowegia,
Northern Flower of Calontir
What secrets are you hiding there?

The warriors, radiating charm, *4
Keen of eye and strong of arm,
Dealing enemies great harm,
Don't see much of Knights or Fyrdmen? *5

Tell us, distant Iowegia
Northern Flower of Calontir
What secrets are you hiding there?

What sane man would ever miss
The sweetness of Melissa's kiss *6
Never have we known such bliss
(The women really love it also)

Tell us, distant Iowegia
Northern Flower of Calontir
What secrets are you hiding there?

Rarely do we ever see
Anything like royalty *7
They're not here, where could they be?
Has anybody seen our masters?

Tell us, distant Iowegia
Northern Flower of Calontir
What secrets are you hiding there?

*Composer: Bartomeu Carcares as part of the larger work, La Trulla, mid-16th century Catalan, words by Evil Bard! Tace

1 Yeah! 9 groups altogether!

2 Relatively

3 A common Iowegian proverb

4 Relatively

5 Except in Des Moines

6 A Heraldshill specialty!

7 Except in Des Moines

Man, I'm gonna be in so much trouble....



Yes, I did get into a lot of trouble, but OTOH, people still ask me to sing this song.
ext_51796: (akikawa_nikki)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
I found this resource last year and thought I'd linked it here, but I guess I only had the link on Facebook.

Kanagawa University in Yokohama, Japan has done a lot of work on Nonwritten Cultural Materials. As part of a project, they put together a focus group which translated an important Japanese-language resource that identified daily items as presented in Emaki scrolls.

So far, 3 volumes of 5 have been translated. Volumes 1 and 3 are available, FOR FREE and PERFECTLY LEGALLY, as PDFs online. For some reason, Volume 2 was not put online, but is available in the US via Inter-Library Loan. Here are the links to the other two:

Volume 1: http://www.himoji.jp/jp/popup/publication/seika_010101.html
Volume 1 Glossary: http://www.himoji.jp/jp/popup/publication/seika_010102.html

Volume 3 and its glossary can be found at this page (they are pop-up links, so no direct linking!)

http://himoji.kanagawa-u.ac.jp/en/publication/research_result_report.html#pbox1_2_1
ext_51796: (research_sunako)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
Here is a link to my Queen's Prize Entry for 2016. Format is PDF.

Yoshitsune_peek
Woman wearing a sode-zukin from the NHK taiga drama "Yoshitsune".

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3ihUlPBxSXTUEVHYUtmUXFlYWM/view?usp=sharing
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*
ext_51796: (spring_lamb)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
Now that Calontir Kingdom Arts and Sciences is over, here is my project. During the year 2015, I challenged myself to compose a tanka poem a day for a year. I didn't quite hit the mark, but I did write 327 poems. I picked 42 of these poems to present for this project, and wrote documentation for my work. Since I knew most of my judges would probably not have a background in Japanese literature, I tried to give examples of how medieval Japanese poets classified their own poetry. It is a bit of a long read--24 pages, but if you are interested, please enjoy. The format is pdf.

Prairie Poems from the Year Heisei 27

If you have any questions or comments, please let me know!
ext_51796: (akikawa_nikki_2)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
20 Poems from the Shōyōshū (小葉集 Small Leaf Collection) This was my entry for Calontir Kingdom Arts and Sciences in 2015. For several years, I have been writing poems in the tanka style. For this project, I collected 20 of them and wrote documentation. The link is in PDF format.

My Small Leaf Collection

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to let me know!

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