heian court

Murasaki Shikibu was a writer during the Heian era of Japan, born in 973. She is most famous for writing the epic classic Tale of Genji, which is considered to be the first novel ever written. Murasaki was from an aristocratic family. She disliked men and mostly kept to herself, spending much of her time at Imperial court writing new chapters for the Tale of Genji. She passed them on to friends, who in turn copied them out and passed them on to their friends to read and copy, and it quickly became popular. Women were thought to be too stupid to learn the traditional written Chinese kanji characters and were taught phonetic kana instead. But Murasaki learned Kanji easily and taught it to the princess Shoshi in secret, causing outrage when she became empress and used it publicly. Murasaki is largely credited for developing Japanese into a written language. She earned herself the nickname “Our Lady of the Chronicles”.  

anonymous asked:

are there any limits or "don't"s as to what a persona can be?

I don’t really think of “don’t”s when making personae- they’re cognitive representations, so I feel like you’d be able to make a persona based on what you think people would think when it comes to the deity/legend you choose!

one of my most favorite examples is the redesigning of Princess Kaguya: the things you’d most associate with her would be a graceful young woman, the Junihito-e (Heian court lady layered outfit), Outer space (astronauts, aliens, UFOs), and Moon Rabbits

so the designers literally put all of those together- she has bunny ears on something that looks like an astronaut’s helmet, and the outer metallic piece around her arms look like a fusion between the layered coats of the junihito-e and a UFO!

for March Hare (the initial concept for Br’er Rabbit) I ended up thinking about steampunk, porcelain teacups and rabbits, and went with those~

if anything tho I think there’s a pattern when it comes to personae of certain arcanas, though IDK if those applied to player character personas (the Temperance Arcana usually has animals which is why I chose a trickster rabbit in the first place hoho) but that’s really it.

u just gotta look at the various design elements employed by the game and see if you can mash something up using those + the stuff associated with the character you wanna use *u*

anonymous asked:

what is NiF?

acronym for Nirvana in Fire, a 2015 Chinese drama that will make you sit through fifty four one hour episodes crying hysterical tears into the cat’s fur. If you like historical dramas with lots of plot, I highly recommend it although theres a lot of context  I had to be shepherded gently through and for a self educated saltine cracker I have a pretty good grasp of Asian history

Btw, another note on Sai and gender: As far as I know, in the heian court women were generally segregated from men, and could only speak to them from behind an opaque screen unless they were in that woman’s immediate family, or they were literally having sex.

There’s a brief flashback scene where Sai joins a group of women playing go, and this isn’t seen as ~scandalous~ or anything, it’s just a pleasant surprise for the women.

So yeah, honestly, the more I look at things the more I think Sai was definitely consciously intended to be an androgynous figure.

November 15, 2016

Shichi-Go-San is a traditional rite of passage and festival day in Japan for three- and seven-year-old girls and three- and five-year-old boys, held to celebrate the growth and well-being of young children. 

It is said to have originated in the Heian period amongst court nobles who would celebrate the passage of their children into middle childhood. The ages 3, 5 and 7 are consistent with East Asian numerology, which holds that odd numbers are lucky.

It’s already Girls’ Day in Japan, so here’s a list of the components of the components of a full hina doll set, along with a picture. (Most modern sets only include the odairi-sama (emperor and empress dolls), which are considered essential, or the odairi-sama and ladies-in-waiting; full sets take up a lot of space and are extremely expensive.) I’ve listed the dolls on each tier from left to right. If you see anything that should be added or changed, please let me know. :-)

First Tier: Odairi-sama (The Emperor and Empress)

  • Obina: This doll, also known as the emperor, is placed on the left side of the platform in the Kanto area (the area surrounding Tokyo), and the right side of the platform in the Kansai area (the area of western Honshu that includes Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe). He is dressed in a Heian Era court outfit and holds a ritual baton.
  • Mebina:This doll, the empress, is placed on the right side of the platform in the Kanto area , and the left side of the platform in the Kansai area. She is dressed in a multilayered outfit called junihitoe and holds a fan.
  • The dolls are usually placed in front of a golden folding screen. 
  • Accessories such as lamps and sanbo kazari (peach branches in vases) are usually displayed on this tier as well. Basic hina sets usually include these accessories along with the emperor and empress dolls.

Second Tier: San-nin Kanjo (The Three Ladies-in-Waiting)

  • Nagae no Choshi: This lady-in-waiting holds a long-handled ladle for serving sake. She is usually standing.
  • Sanpo: A seated lady-in-waiting with a cup of sake
  • Kuwae no Choshi: This doll is a backup sake bearer. Like the Nagae no Choshi doll, she is usually standing.
  • Trays with mochi called takatsuki are usually placed on either side of the Sanpo doll. Due to space constraints in modern Japanese homes, these are often the only other dolls displayed with the emperor and empress dolls.

Third Tier: Court Musicians

  • Taiko Drummer: This musician holds a small drum. He is usually sitting.
  • Otsuzumi Drummer: This musician holds a large drum. He is usually standing.
  • Kotsuzumi Drummer: This one holds a small hand drum. He is usually standing.
  • Flute Player: This one holds a traditional Japanese flute (fue or yokobue. He is usually sitting.
  • Utaikata (Singer): This doll, which is usually standing, holds a flat fan.

Fourth Tier: Ministers

  • Minister of the Right: This minister is usually portrayed as a young man. He usually sits next to a miniature cherry tree (if the guard dolls are not included in a hina doll set).
  • Minister of the Left: This minister is usually portrayed as an older man. He usually sits next to a mandarin orange tree (if the guard dolls are not included) .
  • Additionally, trays with colorful diamond-shaped mochi, hishimochi are displayed between the two ministers.

Fifth Tier: Imperial Guards

  • Sad Drinker: This doll sits next to a miniature cherry tree in a full hina doll set.
  • Angry Drinker
  • Merry Drinker: This doll sits next to a mandarin orange tree in a full hina doll set.

Sixth Tier: Imperial Household Items

  • This tier contains items used within the imperial household, such as lacquered boxes, calligraphy sets, sewing kits, kitchenware, and braziers.

Seventh Tier: Items for Traveling

  • This tier contains travel items, such as lacquered boxes and oxcarts.

Hina-Matsuri, Doll’s Festival, is held on 3 March. People celebrate the health and happiness of girls. Families display special dolls known as Hina Ningyo on Hina-Matsuri. It is said that Hina ‚mingyo take away the bad luck of girls who own them. Hina Ningyo depict the imperial court and each one wears a Heian period court costume. They represents the Emperor, Empress, their servants and so on.

Murasaki Shikibu (English: Lady Murasaki) (c. 978 – c. 1014 or 1025)

Murasaki Shikibu was a Japanese novelist, poet, and lady-in-waiting at the Imperial court during the Heian period. She is best known as the author of The Tale of Genji, written in Japanese between about 1000 and 1012, which is considered to be one of the world’s finest and earliest novels. Some argue that Murasaki is the world’s first modern novelist.

Though it was improper at the time for women to learn Chinese classics, Murasaki was taught them alongside her brother in her younger years. In her early twenties, she was married to a distant relative with whom she had a daughter. It is uncertain when she began to write The Tale of Genji, but it was likely while she was married or shortly after she was widowed. In about 1005, Murasaki was invited to serve as a lady-in-waiting to Empress Shoshi at the Imperial court, likely due to her reputation as a writer. She continued to write during her service, adding scenes from court life to her work. After five or six years, she left court and retired with Shoshi to the Lake Biwa region. 

The Tale of Genji became popular from the moment of its release. Within a century it was recognized as a classic of Japanese literature. Scholars continue to recognize the importance of her work, which reflects Heian court society at its peak. 

There are as many sorts of women as there are women.

The Tale of Genji


新幼年(New Childhood) Hinamatsuri Edition March 1920

Today is Hinamatsuri! (03rd March) or the Dolls festival. Traditionally a miniature Heian court with the Emperor, Emperess and courtiers are represented by intricate dolls and displayed on a red carpeted unit. Normally the display is put up during February and then on 3rd March usually there is a special meal involving shirozake, a sake made from fermented rice, a colored hina-arare, bite-sized crackers flavored with sugar or soy sauce and hishimochi, a diamond-shaped colored rice cake.

Chirashizushi (sushi rice flavored with sugar, vinegar, topped with raw fish and a variety of ingredients) is often eaten. A salt-based soup called ushiojiru containing clams still in the shell is also served.

All but the last two photos are illustrations from New Childhood about a Hinamatsuri adventure and were found here

The last two are just for your reference. One, a traditional hinamatsuri display and the other a guide to the doll types and placement. 

Best get them put away quickly though, it’s said to be bad luck in love if the dolls are left out after the 4th March.

Sei Shonagon (c. 966–1017). Heian period court lady, poet, prolific list-maker, bamf.  Author of The Pillow Book:

80. Things That Have Lost Their Power

A large boat which is high and dry in a creek at ebb-tide.

A woman who has taken off her false locks to comb the short hair that remains.

A large tree that has been blown down in a gale and lies on its side with its roots in the air.

The retreating figure of a sumo wrestler who has been defeated in a match.

A man of no importance reprimanding an attendant.

An old man who removes his hat, uncovering his scanty top-knot.

A woman, who is angry with her husband about some trifling matter, leaves home and goes somewhere to hide. She is certain that he will rush about looking for her; but he does nothing of the kind and shows the most infuriating indifference. Since she cannot stay away for ever, she swallows her pride and returns.

Murasaki Shikibu

Art by velvetcouch (tumblr, society6)

Around the year 1000, an aristocratic Japanese woman wrote The Tale of Genji which some consider to be the first novel ever written.  It is groundbreaking as the first example of a work of fiction which explored the inner thoughts and motivations of characters.  The author’s exact name is unknown, but this she is generally known as Murasaki Shikibu and she is believed to have been a member of the Fujiwara clan.  The Tale of Genji is set at the Heian court where Murasaki served as a lady in waiting to Empress Soshi.  

The teenage Empress Soshi was a great fan of literature and she served as a patron to numerous female writers.  At the time, Chinese was the intellectual language of Japan.  Murasaki and other Heian female authors wrote in kana, a written form of Japanese.  These popular works were instrumental in the development of formal written Japanese.

Although she is best known for The Tale of Genji, Murasaki also wrote The Diary of Lady Murasaki and Poetic Memoirs, a collection of 128 poems.  

Recommendation: Asian Women in History from Stuff You Missed in History Class

Updated for 2014

Stuff You Missed in History Class

Sei Shonagon and the Heian Court

China’s Empress Dowager Cixi

Okichi, The Tragic Geisha

Who is India’s Joan of Arc?

Don’t Cross the Dragon Lady

Did Empress Wu’s Reign Change China?

The Trung Sisters vs China

China's Foot Binding Tradition (not so cool, but relevant)

Heian Beauty .  Kogiku, a beautiful maiko dressed in Heian Era court attire during Kyoto’s Festival of Ages. She represents Ono no Komachi, renowned for her skill as a poet and rare beauty.  Oct 26, 2006, Kyoto, Japan.  Text and photography by Melissa Rose Chasse on Flickr