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  #21  
Old 06-21-2005, 01:43 PM
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Default Re: Feudal Japan, From the Top (Discussion thread)

Looks good. I'll add this to the architecture section.
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Old 06-21-2005, 09:32 PM
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Default Next topic to address.

Thank you sir, that should basically wrap up architecture aspects, could expound some on the castles possibly, but basics should be covered. Liked the post on the different energies of martial arts, and how different ones counter each other, was interesting. Most of the major areas of culture have at least been touched on, architecture, foods, caste system, hmmm, might work on one based on death the afterlife and how different castes viewed death. Rough thesis for one on the Zen Gardens of Zen monasteries, but it'll be a while I think.
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  #23  
Old 06-26-2005, 06:33 AM
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Default Re: Feudal Japan, From the Top (Discussion thread)

Gryph, here is one, just some exerpts I found that was on the social aspect thread... feel free to edit what you need and what isn't useful.


---
On this same note, I've seen a few posts about amphitheaters, stages etc. I think that is a great idea, as other activies outside of combat will make for a better overall experience. Plays were prevelant, music flourished, art, and literature were all a major component of the time. Elsewise, how would we, a civilization 500ish years later, know so much about the time period? Of course a smaller village would not play host to the intellect of that of a larger city, noble's estate or Emperor's courtyard. More about these sections.

Theater: Plays consisted of mainly of musicians and dancers, with Buddhist themes mostly. During this same time Medieval Europe had what were called "Moral<ity> Plays", we see the same thing mirrored here in Japan during this time frame. Some did not contain dialogue, just dancing with symbolism, perhaps outfits. One outfitted character would represent lust/delusion perhaps another would represent truth/virtue... and the play would act itself out from there. From what I have know <not sure about this> only male actors played parts in plays during this time. Three major parts Noh, <oldest> Banraku, <puppet> Kyogen <comediec> comprise theatre in 16th century Japan. Puppets were also used as puppetshows. Geisha dancers were also a part of this timeframe, and I believe that make up first starting being used during this overall time frame.

Literature would be the next section to delve into. I will go so far as to say that the closest thing to a Renaissance the Orient experienced was during this time. Most texts were of a relegious nature, Buddhist, Zen, etc, as these provoke thought, many writings abound about them. Also being taught to read and write was a big deal at this time. Court ledgers, scribes also wrote the exploits of their Lords. Most of what I've read from the time is poetry, which flourished during this time. That coupled with Zen text you can a really solid feel for the time frame. Honor/family are among the main themes, as are the "Heavens", life and love. Though not completely clear when haiku became a popular form of poetry, it would fit into the context of this game. 17 syllabyls, it deals mainly with nature and ones releationship with nature. Imagery is a vital part of this form of poetry as its simplicity lends itself to creating a vivid mental image with as little words as possible. Like painting a beautiful picture with as few brushstrokes as possible. Military themed writings also were popular as they retold the tales of warlords and swordsmen alike and were more than likely commissioned most of the time.
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  #24  
Old 07-06-2005, 07:41 AM
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Default Re: Feudal Japan, From the Top (Discussion thread)

Gryph, maybe there should be a weapons thread in this section. That way if someone has a question on what weapon they plan to use or which would suit their character, they could reference it.
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  #25  
Old 07-08-2005, 03:10 AM
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Default Re: Feudal Japan, From the Top (Discussion thread)

That's a good idea. Maybe I'll start one tomorrow, when I have a day off and am not staying up to ungodly hours of the night reading comments from the various communities I am a part of regarding a terrorist attack....

EDIT: mind you, I have been in "ignore Tatsumaki" mode for a few days now before coming back today. Hopefully I'll get some more done here tomorrow on a fairly wide range of topics.

Last edited by Gryph; 07-08-2005 at 03:12 AM.
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Old 07-11-2005, 12:53 AM
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Post Essay on kamon <mon, or family crests>.

This post is just to touch upon the importance that clan insignia had during Feudal Japan, the history of mon or kamon, how they were attained, where exactly they were positioned on armor and banners, some more famous ones, their meanings, and some other interesting aspects about them. Kind of an answer to the thread about clan emblems, just some research on the topic.

First, I'll address what exactly is a kamon or mon, and where they originated and a brief history. It should be noted that "The kamon (family crest) is a monshou (crest or informally called a mon) used to identify an individual clan or family." (1) A direct translation of kamon; "name (ka "house", mon "design")"(6) These came in all types of styles and with different motifs: "The most popular kamons portray plants, animals, insects, geographic features, and abstract designs. Japanese also used other natural themes such as waves, sandbars, lightning, mountains, snake eyes, fish scales, and snow. In addition, they used weapons, coins, tools, Chinese characters, heavenly bodies (sun, moon, stars) and religious symbols as topics." (1)

Now, I'll address the history of the kamon. I guess it should be noted that "there are about 12,000 different kamon in use in Japan today, most of which are based on the earliest 350 patterns used during the Heian Period" (1) The practice started with "The tradition of choosing or bestowing family kamon in Japan developed among the nobility around the imperial court during the Heian Period (794-1192). (1)

The earliest origins of kamon begin with "the Asuka-era (A.D. 603). According to one of the oldest Japanese histories "Nihon-Shoki", it said that Emperor Suiko used the pictures on his flags and it marked as the beginning of family crest. In this case, it seemed that the family crest was the Ka-mon rather than one of the designs."(2) In this particular instance, there was no actual design but the flag itself was the kamon, archaic, but the start of the kamon.

Another documented instance of early kamon use; "literature stated that Saneyoshi Tokudaiji (who used Mokko-mon as his family crest) and Sanesue Saienji (who used Tomoe-mon) were the first using their own Ka-mon on their vehicle in the Heian-era (794-1192).(2) To research either of the mon, type in the family name, and then look for their mon.

In the beginning, only a chosen few could use kamon, and "Kamon began to advance with the development of the feudal age and the warrior class during the Kamakura Period (1185-1333). During these feudal times only the imperial family, lords and samurai could use kamon."(1) As you can see, wearing a mon was an exclusive right of the upper castes.

At first the kamon of a family was just a symbol of their unity, however that changed with the increase of warfare in Japan, "during the Muromachi Period (1333 -1568), the shape of the kamon became more abstracted and refined than before, at the same time the purpose changed. It took a significant roll in the warrior society at that time. Kamon were used as a battle insignia as a means of rapid identification during battle. The wearing of a kamon and two swords became a privilege officially restricted to the samurai class and many rules and formal ceremonies were involved."(1)

The next point to make concerning kamon would be how someone actually recieved a kamon. For a samurai to attain a kamon was very important and was done in several different manners. Tradition was one way; "Often they had been passed down in their families for generations".(1) But a more interesting way was that "sometimes they were a reward from a lord to his retainer for praiseworthy service."(1) It was a great honor for the imperial court to award a new kamon, "The imperial court or shogun could make such an award. Then the family would then stop using its original kamon and adopt the newly awarded one."(1) Also it should be noted that "Important families had two kamon, one for important occasions and one for everyday use." (1)

Another element of kamon to take into consideration pertaining to kamon is: "Almost everything in nature had a symbolic, natural or superstitious meaning. There were many things, therefore, which might affect how a family chose the design or subject matter for its family kamon. Sometimes the subject was related to an occupation or possession and started out as an identifying mark, which later was adopted by the family as its kamon. Sometimes an element of nature or a particular animal was chosen to commemorate a particular special event, which brought honor to a family. Sometimes a kamon was chosen to preserve the memory of a special or famous ancestor and became a symbol of loving respect for the dead ancestor."(1)

The kamon were actually displayed upon different areas of personal clothing and belongings as well as military gear. Some details of this are; "Clothing marked with the family crest is called montsuki, wich literally meeans "an object with a crest". A crested haori and hakama was pur over a crested kimono as a formal dress." "Kamon were placed on armor, flags and weapons.(1) As well, "wealthy merchant Kinokuniya-Fumizaemon used his family crest on "Kimono". With these, the designs became more artistic, elegant and also more varied."(2) Another instance of printed kamon is; "SHOGUN Yoshimitsu Ashikaga in Muromachi-era was the first person who printed Ka-mon on his clothes." (2) Not only on clothes but sometimes on "battle flags with family emblems waving over the battle field, or of a group of soldiers sitting on benches surrounded by encampment curtains with a family emblem." (3) Not only military inventory, but personal "furnishing and household belongings."(4)
As well, "the mon could be found on the kimono on both sides of the chest, on both sleeves, and in the middle of the back. On the armour, it could be found on the kabuto (helmet), on the do (cuirass), flags, and various other places. Mon could also be found on coffers, tents, fans, and many items of importance.(5)

Lower castes of society mimicked the the higher castes' kamon in a plan to stick out in society: "Among the lower classes, it became popular to wear emblems showing a family mark similar to those used by upper-class families. Lower-class families devised many kinds of emblems resembling those used by the upper classes. They even developed a new style of their own. These emblems seem to have served as a sort of business card."(3)

On a related note, after searching countless sites, I did not find any evidence that warriors wore cloaks of any sort. Aristocacy, the Emperor, and monks wore cloaks of differing styles and constructions. Fur-lined to being made of straw. I found no evidence in research to support the idea of military use of shields either, which is odd considering the amount of archers during the time.

Great site for banners.
Site for crests.

Bibliography:
1: Site - http://www.geocities.com/SiliconVall...64/Kamon1.html
2: Site - http://www.netpersons.co.jp/kamon/origin.html
3: Site - http://www.asgy.co.jp/anglais/whatskamon/history.html
4: Site - http://andrejkoymasky.com/liv/kam/kam00.html
5: Site - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamon
6: Site - http://www.s-gabriel.org/heraldry/solveig/kamon/
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Last edited by ShininShado; 08-13-2005 at 02:25 AM.
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  #27  
Old 07-26-2005, 10:45 PM
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Default The Feudal State of Japan, and how it came to be.

Did the thread on combat, and here's a post I did a while back about different aspects of political power, and how there came to be a Feudal State in Japan.

"Basic difference between Shogun and Emperor is shogun held military power, and Emperor held political power, until the Onin War: The Hojo clan held power by changing the Emperor every 10 years, by doing this no one ever really established power. Go-Dagio came to power and that changed:

When Go-Daigo(1288-1339) ascended the throne, real power was with Hojo clan, who alternated the throne between a senior and a junior line of the Imperial family, for better control. Go-daigo, of the junior line, was intended only to hold the place until a member of the senior line could grow into it. But he refused to step down, and plotted to overthrow the Hojo. Betrayed, he fled Kyoto in 1331, taking refuge in the mountaintop monastery at Kasagi. The shogunate sent a huge army against him, and, despite the valour of the defenders, managed to overthrow the castle. Go-Daigo, who as Emperor was unused to walking more than a couple of steps at a time, was forced to flee during a thunderstorm in bare feet, disguised in a peasant's rain gear. The storm scattered his supporters, so that only the brothers Fujifusa and Suefusa were left to assist him in this new and unpleasant exercise.

Despite the assistance of the brothers, Go-Daigo was captured, deposed, and exiled to Oki Island. In 1333, his partisans overthrew the shogunate, and he returned to implement his reforms, establishing Imperial power in both civilian and military government. However, some of his supporters found that, without the bakufu, there weren't the perks they expected. Ashikaga Takauji expected to be appointed Shogun, and was refused. In 1336, he rebelled, establishing his own Emperor. Go-Daigo set up a rival Southern Court in Nan-cho that lasted until 1392."(http://www.sinister-designs.com/gra...ts/history.html)

Go-Daigo plans to overthrow the Hojo clan:

"In 1318, upon the abdication of the Jimyōin-tō Emperor Hanazono (his second cousin), Go-Daigo became Emperor at the age of 29, in the prime of his life. In 1324, with the discovery of Go-Daigo's plans to overthrow the Kamakura Shogunate, the Rokuhara Tandai disposed of Go-Daigo's close associate Hino Suketomo in the Shōchū Incident.

In the Genkō Incident of 1331, Go-Daigo's plans were again discovered, this time by a betrayal by his close associate Yoshida Sadafusa. He quickly hid the Sacred Treasures in a secluded castle in Kasagiyama (the modern town of Kasagi, Sōraku district, Kyōto Prefecture) and raised an army, but the castle fell to the Bakufu's army the following year, and they enthroned Kōgon, exiling Go-Daigo to Oki Province (the Oki Islands in modern-day Shimane Prefecture), the same place that Emperor Go-Toba was exiled in 1198.

In 1333, Go-Daigo escaped from Oki with the help of Nawa Nagatoshi and his family, raising an army at Funagami Mountain in Hōki Province (the modern town of Kotoura in Tōhaku District, Tottori Prefecture). Ashikaga Takauji, who had been sent by the Bakufu to find and destroy this army, sided with the Emperor and captured the Rokuhara Tandai. Immediately following this, Nitta Yoshisada, who had raised an army in the East, destroyed the Hojo clan and captured the Bakufu." (http://www.answers.com/topic/emperor-go-daigo-of-japan)

The Court to the South and North clashed:

"The Nanboku-cho (南北朝, lit. "South and North courts"), spanning from 1336 to 1392, was a period that occurred during the early years of the Muromachi period of Japan's history. During this period, there existed a North Imperial Court, established by Ashikaga Takauji in Kyoto, and the South Imperial Court, established by Emperor Go-Daigo in Yoshino.

The two courts fought for 50 years, with the South giving up to the North in 1392. Still, it is the South Imperial Court which is today considered legitimate, since it controlled the Japanese imperial regalia."(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanboku-cho)

After which time, several different factions emerged, and the power shifted from the political power of the Emperor and to the the military power of the different clans - hence "feud" in Feudal Japan.

"The Ashikaga Shogunate(1338-1567) was never an extremely powerful shogunate as the Kamakura Shogunate(11-1336) had been. Neither the shogun nore the emperor had enough power to restrict or control the feudal houses (daimyo), which by 1467 had grown to almost 260 in number. So, for all practical purposes, Japan by 1467 was in fact 260 separate countries, for each daimyo was independent and maintained separate armies. The political and territorial picture in Japan, then, was highly volatile. With no powerful central administration to adjudicate disputes, individual daimyo were frequently in armed conflict with other daimyo all through the Ashikaga period.
With the Onin War (1467-1477), this volatile situation exploded, and within a few years after the start of this war, practically every province in Japan was wracked by warfare, thus beginning what the Japanese call "sengoku jidai," meaning "the age of the country at war," or Warring States Japan. This period was a long protracted struggle for domination by individual daimyo and would result in a powerful struggle between various houses to dominate the whole of Japan. What would emerge from this struggle are three individuals who would become the three great heroes of Japan—Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu—who in the latter part of the sixteenth century devoted their martial energies to the unification of Japan under a single powerful house." (Complete story of Onin War what lead to Feudal Japan here.)

Sooooo... I guess the power of the Shogun and Daimyo were born from the void of power left after the Emperor's court was weakened. The samurai were undoubtly strong swordsmen.
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Last edited by ShininShado; 07-26-2005 at 10:49 PM. Reason: Added last link for full explanation and reference.
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  #28  
Old 01-13-2006, 06:10 PM
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Default Re: Feudal Japan, From the Top (Discussion thread)

How about dividing all info here into sub-threads?
it is really hard to navigate.
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  #29  
Old 09-03-2006, 01:44 PM
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Default Re: Feudal Japan, From the Top (Discussion thread)

I posted in your other thread, sorry, but here goes
A few things about martial arts:

first...shotokan, not shodokan invented 1906

second aikido was invented in 1942 soo...umm...nooo
judo was invented in the 1882 19th century...
even jujutsu was 1600 17th century

combine aikido and judo and change to Aiki-Jujutsu, a 12th century fighting system

if you want a joint lock system, use Aiki-Jujutsu 12th century in place of Aikido and Yawara 805 bc for grappling in place of jujutsu as for shotokan, replace that with Dote, a cross between early okinawan karate "te" and chinese kempo.
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  #30  
Old 04-08-2007, 11:13 AM
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Default Re: Feudal Japan, From the Top (Discussion thread)

Thanks TheeFlash. I have removed the inaccurate material.
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