[sticky entry] Sticky: About this Journal

Dec. 31st, 2016 10:22 am
reynardine: (autumn_momiji)
[personal profile] reynardine
The focus of this journal is to be a place where I can share my interest in historical reenactment via the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA). I hope to share some of the enjoyment that I've found from exploring various arts and sciences. In the SCA, I am known as Ki no Kotori and I live in the Kingdom of Calontir. Welcome!

Ki no Kotori
reynardine: (fine)
[personal profile] reynardine
Smiling serenely
My hands stretch out to offer
Congratulations
Nameless, faceless, I step back
And return to the shadows

Link: serenity to smiling serenely

Two people I know (one online, one in person--although he moved out of kingdom some years ago) were invited to join the Order of the Laurel today. They have worked hard and I am very happy for them. As for myself, well...
reynardine: (aki_momiji)
[personal profile] reynardine
In a wild twirl
The last leaves of autumn dance
On the lacy grass
The hesitant ones are left
To the wind's icy mercy

Link: twirling to wild twirl. This one was setting up for the next poem, but was so obvious my brother-in-law caught the reference before I posted the next poem in the sequence. Which was awesome because that's HOW this kind of thing is supposed to work!


Within the tempest
I am a leaf on the wind
Just watch how I soar
In serenity I wait
For the inevitable

Link: icy mercy to within the tempest (eg: no mercy). The second and third lines are a paraphrase from the Firefly movie "Serenity" (hence the wordplay in line four).

For those unfamiliar:



Now get you heathens hence, and watch Firefly, one of the greatest sci-fi series ever made.
reynardine: (ferris_wheel)
[personal profile] reynardine
Possibilities
The winter prairie filled with
Pinwheels spinning
Gaudy illusions twirling
Amidst the dun-colored fields

Link: Possibilities to possibilities

Optimism turns to whimsy, can it be trusted? Or is it an illusion?
reynardine: (evening_kaze_hikaru)
[personal profile] reynardine
The New Year's new moon
The scent of snow in the air
Can you hear the bells?
All the world sees time turning
Oh! The possibilities!

Link: the old year to the new year

Note: poem included in a correspondence to my friend, Volu-Ingibiorg
ext_51796: (clockwork_heart)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
Silence and stillness
The old year creeping away
As if embarrassed
These quiet waiting moments
Of intense anxiety

Link: Such awful stillness to silence and stillness
ext_51796: (window_tea)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
After the snowstorm
Out in the bone-chilling cold
Such awful stillness
The frozen branches twisting
In their silent agony

freezing_branches

Link: Quiet curtain of lace to Such awful silence
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: (winter_kawaii_purple)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
Twilight snow settles
A quiet curtain of lace
Shutting out the sun
Whisper-soft, the darkness falls
Fingers tight around my throat

Link: Swirling snowflakes to a quiet curtain of lace
ext_51796: (seaborn_beach)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
Walking silently
Among the swirling snowflakes
Leaving no footprints
Someone that you used to know
Someone you can't remember

link: shaken up snowglobe to swirling snowflakes
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: (winter_kawaii_pink)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
Empty sky blinking
Silently she cries, shedding
White frozen teardrops
Falling in all directions
Like a shaken-up snowglobe

link: pitiless sky to empty sky blinking, the falling metaphor also carries over
ext_51796: (autumn_cat_leaf)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
Final leaf falling
Floating gently to the ground
On a breath of wind
The naked maple shivers
Beneath a pitiless sky

link: blessings fall to leaf falling
ext_51796: (advent)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
The years pass as the
Year passes, yet your spirit
Still shines like the sun
May blessings fall upon you
Like snow on Mount Yoshino

Link: advent drifts in/the years pass
Written for my friend Saionji no Hana in honor of her birthday
ext_51796: (autumn_momiji_hands)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
I was so pleased to come across the Waka Poetry site again after several years. It has changed a lot and has a lot to look at!

Doctor Thomas McAuley of the School of East Asian Studies at the University of Sheffield (UK) runs the site. He announced the publication of 3 Japenese poetry e-books today for Kindle. They are:

McAuley, Thomas E. (2016) An Anthology of Classical Japanese Poetry: From Man'yōshū to Shinkokinshū (ASIN: B01MTUKF9K)

McAuley, Thomas E. (2016) Sanekata-shū: The Personal Poetry Collection of Fujiwara no Sanekata (ASIN: B01N47WSOL)

McAuley, Thomas E. (2016) Two Hundred Poem Sequences: The Entō Onhyakushu and Keiun Hyakushu (ASIN: B01N9BKS6A)

I gave them a look-over. Simply and nicely done. VERY reasonable prices compared to what poetry translations usually cost! The Anthology is $8, Sanekata Shu is $3, and Two Hundred-Poem Sequences is $2.99. Considering what Japanese literature books tend to sell for (unless you find them used, and even then! It's a small market, after all...), these are an incredible bargain!

I was especially excited to see the Two Hundred-Poem Sequences book, since I am researching that topic now, and am trying my hand at a hundred-poem sequence myself.
ext_51796: (autumn_wet_leaves)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
Candle flame glowing
Yellow leaves quivering as
Autumn shuts her eyes
Advent drifts in on the wind
Wrapped in a cloak iron grey

view_112716

Link: Wet with tears to Autumn shuts her eyes
ext_51796: (asoiaf_sansa_speaks)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
A question was asked on the SCA Japanese Facebook page: "Padded Uchigi. Is this just, like, quilted? fluffy? Essentially really thick interfacing? I assume they used silk, but I can't envision what the final product looks like."

My answer:

真綿 (mawata) is low-quality silk, nowadays mostly used for making handkerchiefs, but was used for padding on winter garments. This page shows what it looks like: http://www.wildfibres.co.uk/html/mulberry_silk.html

"Was it just stuffed in or how did it stay in place?"

John Marshall actually has a chapter about it in his _Make Your Own Japanese Clothes_, where he discusses the traditional method and then a more modern method better suited towards modern washing using easier to find material (since his book IS about modern clothes). Mawata is sticky, so you basically layer it in place. This webpage shows the process for silk handkerchiefs--it is just on a larger scale for garments. http://www.wormspit.com/mawatas.htm

Marshall, John. Make Your Own Japanese Clothes (Tokyo; Kodansha International, 2013 reprint) 978-1568364933. Originally printed in 1988, ISBN 087011865X.
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: (wake_up_america)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
My fingers are bound
And my mouth sewn up with string
My face wet with tears
As our country tears itself
Apart, ripping at the seams

Link: shame to face wet with tears
ext_51796: (samurai)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
Lit by agony
My words become shuriken
Thrown in a frenzy
In a whirlwind of fury
Behold my harvest of shame

link: agony to agony

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