Register :: Log in :: Profile   


Komuso sect and attire?

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Samurai Archives Citadel Forum Index // Japanese Art and Religion
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Matsuhide
Bamboo Spearman
Bamboo Spearman
Veteran Member



Joined: 15 Oct 2007
Posts: 329
Location: Denver

PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:17 pm    Post subject: Komuso sect and attire? Reply with quote
I'm working on a komuso character design and I was wondering if anybody might be able to answer a few questions about their garb.

First, I've found a few variants in the general color scheme (mainly, predominantly white with some black elements, and the inverse) and was curious as to the differences between them. Do/did they reflect different sects or regions?

On a similar note, there are variations as to what (if anything) they have written on the front of their "smocks" (actual term?). The most common I've seen is 明暗 ("light & dark," or "shading" according to my dictionary) and some longer ones I cannot distinguish. What significance do these characters hold? I assume they are of Buddhist origin/application, but where/why would you see one or another (or blank)?

Also, any other color variation significance?

Thanks!
_________________
Rekishi to wa, takeyabu ni, tadayotteiru kiri no you na mono desu.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Tatsunoshi
Miko no Kami
Miko no Kami
Forum Kanrei
Forum Kanrei
Multi-Year Benefactor
Multi-Year Benefactor



Joined: 07 May 2006
Posts: 4923
Location: 京都日本 Cincinnati, OH

PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:50 am    Post subject: Re: Komuso sect and attire? Reply with quote
Matsuhide wrote:
First, I've found a few variants in the general color scheme (mainly, predominantly white with some black elements, and the inverse) and was curious as to the differences between them. Do/did they reflect different sects or regions?


Not to my knowledge. Usually color differences were mainly attributable to the fact that monks would use whatever material was available to them-black for the most part, but more of the outfit would become white if they had an abundance of white cloth on their hands. The general design would be largely up to the skills of whoever was sewing their robes-many times the individual monks themselves.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
shin no sen
Izumi no Kami
Izumi no Kami
Veteran Member
Multi-Year Benefactor
Multi-Year Benefactor



Joined: 25 Nov 2006
Posts: 1056

PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Dislaced samurai during the Tokugawa period were allowed to form the Buddhist Zen Fuke-shû sect. This is the sect that received special privileges because of their assistance to the bakufu in maintaining order. They were allowed to carry small arms and were komuso 虚無僧 'monks of emptiness' because of the headgear. Lots of ronin falsely took on this garb using it's benefits to their own advantage, especially the border passages allowed them. Dismantled in 1871 because of its association with the bakufu. It doesn't seem to have a standard dress until its revival, except the basket headgear and the predominance of black and white the colours of many sects of Zen monks. John
_________________
知恵は時間及びエネルギーである
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Matsuhide
Bamboo Spearman
Bamboo Spearman
Veteran Member



Joined: 15 Oct 2007
Posts: 329
Location: Denver

PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
shin no sen wrote:
It doesn't seem to have a standard dress until its revival, except the basket headgear and the predominance of black and white the colours of many sects of Zen monks. John

I was wondering if that may have been the case, thanks!
_________________
Rekishi to wa, takeyabu ni, tadayotteiru kiri no you na mono desu.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
shin no sen
Izumi no Kami
Izumi no Kami
Veteran Member
Multi-Year Benefactor
Multi-Year Benefactor



Joined: 25 Nov 2006
Posts: 1056

PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Oh, BTW I think these monks wore the kiri mon and not Buddhist slogans. If I recall rightly it is other sects that do this. ie. Ikko ikki. I wouldn't exactly include the komusa as sohei, but, somewhat similar I think. John
_________________
知恵は時間及びエネルギーである
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Akaguma
Kibamusha
Kibamusha
Veteran Member



Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 633
Location: Strasbourg, France

PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 5:02 am    Post subject: Re: Komuso sect and attire? Reply with quote
Matsuhide wrote:
On a similar note, there are variations as to what (if anything) they have written on the front of their "smocks" (actual term?). The most common I've seen is 明暗 ("light & dark," or "shading" according to my dictionary) and some longer ones I cannot distinguish. What significance do these characters hold? I assume they are of Buddhist origin/application, but where/why would you see one or another (or blank)?


The box they carry around their neck is called a gebako 偈箱 "verses box". They put in it sûtra, music parts, or money they begged. Most of them are shown with those kanji 明暗 myô-an written on it. It designates the name of the temple they comme from, in this case Myôan-ji 明暗寺 in Kyôto.
There was two other known Fuke-sect temple : Ichigetsu-dera 一月寺 in Shimôsa province, and Reihô-ji 鈴法寺 in Musashi.

They were allowed to wear a wakizashi as any heimin would when travelling. The also didn't have to shave their hair as monks usually did.
_________________
福は内、鬼も内、悪魔は外!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Matsuhide
Bamboo Spearman
Bamboo Spearman
Veteran Member



Joined: 15 Oct 2007
Posts: 329
Location: Denver

PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks Akaguma!
What about the "sash" they wear over one shoulder, is it just a kesa (or perhaps rakusu, I think I just answered my own question)?
As I look through the images I have in my reference material, it seems that most of the characters on the gebako would likely correspond to one of the three temples you mentioned. I'm wondering if the different color-schemes might be related to these temples as well? (hmm, as I look more closely, there indeed does not seem to be much correlation...)
Oh yeah, one last thing about the gebako; in most of the photos they are clearly wooden boxes as Akaguma mentioned, but in a few images (especially woodblock prints) they seem more flat and to be made of fabric. Any thoughts?
_________________
Rekishi to wa, takeyabu ni, tadayotteiru kiri no you na mono desu.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Akaguma
Kibamusha
Kibamusha
Veteran Member



Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 633
Location: Strasbourg, France

PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
This sash is their version of the kesa. It's a big rakusu 絡子 called a ô-kuwara 大掛絡.

Whereas rakusu does look like a flat fabric bag worn around the neck (but it is not a bag !).



here is a photo from the very good site of the Kyôto costume museum
You can see there that the gebako is indeed a box,


On this picture, the gebako also looks like a box.


Here is a chanbara-like komusô I've drawn.

Here are other komusô :


_________________
福は内、鬼も内、悪魔は外!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Matsuhide
Bamboo Spearman
Bamboo Spearman
Veteran Member



Joined: 15 Oct 2007
Posts: 329
Location: Denver

PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I was just about to post this image with some inquires, when I saw Akaguma's post, now I have only a few items left to fill in:
(I found this image by searching komoso [a precursor to the komuso] and it was on a site in German which still didn't give the names for the numbered items.)


1. Tengai
2. Kosode
3. Okuwara
4. Obi?
5. Wrapped Wakizashi?
6. Netsuke?
7. Kyahan
8. Tabi
9. Waraji
10. Hachimaki?
11. Shakuhachi
12. Tekou
13. Gebako
14. ?(tassel, fusa?)
(many of these Akaguma filled in with his last post)

It seems one of the prints I was referring to clearly depicts the Okuwara hanging in front rather than a Gebako:


But here is one that is a bit confusing:


It seems the black gebako are boxes wrapped in cloth:


But the two in the first pic (especially the one on the right) appear to be flat. Perhaps it's just the lighting and B/W photography.

Once again, Akaguma, thank you for taking the time to help out to such an extent!
MUCH APPRECIATED!!! You rule
_________________
Rekishi to wa, takeyabu ni, tadayotteiru kiri no you na mono desu.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Akaguma
Kibamusha
Kibamusha
Veteran Member



Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 633
Location: Strasbourg, France

PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Matsuhide wrote:
(I found this image by searching komoso [a precursor to the komuso] and it was on a site in German which still didn't give the names for the numbered items.)



1  tengai 天蓋[i-gasa 藺笠]
2  kosode 小袖
3  ô-kuwara 大掛絡[rakusu 絡子]
4  obi 帯
5  spare flute in bag 袋に入れた替笛(かえぶえ)
6  inrô 印籠
7  kyahan 脚絆
8  tabi 足袋
9  waraji 草鞋
10 hachimaki 鉢巻
11 shakuhachi 尺八
12 tekô 手甲
13 gebako 偈箱
14 tassels of the spare flute bag's cord 替笛の袋の括緒(くくりお)の房(ふさ)
(found in Kyôto Costume Museum site (again ! Wink )

Quote:
Once again, Akaguma, thank you for taking the time to help out to such an extent!
MUCH APPRECIATED!!! You rule

You're welcome ! Very Happy
_________________
福は内、鬼も内、悪魔は外!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Tornadoes28
Oki no Kami
Oki no Kami
Veteran Member
2009 Benefactor
2009 Benefactor



Joined: 31 Dec 2008
Posts: 1420
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
What is the significance of the Tengai? Why did they wear this unusual headgear? It is very interesting and unusual headgear and I am curious as to the reason that this was worn? I did a really quick Google and but didn't find anything specific.
_________________
http://twitter.com/28loki

Google+
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Akaguma
Kibamusha
Kibamusha
Veteran Member



Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 633
Location: Strasbourg, France

PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
This had already been answered there

AJBryant wrote:
The idea behind the basket-like hat was anonymity -- the "self" didn't matter.

In the process, they became great disguise fodder for spies, killers, and other bad folks.

_________________
福は内、鬼も内、悪魔は外!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
shin no sen
Izumi no Kami
Izumi no Kami
Veteran Member
Multi-Year Benefactor
Multi-Year Benefactor



Joined: 25 Nov 2006
Posts: 1056

PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Another pic as if there isn't enough. John


_________________
知恵は時間及びエネルギーである
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Tornadoes28
Oki no Kami
Oki no Kami
Veteran Member
2009 Benefactor
2009 Benefactor



Joined: 31 Dec 2008
Posts: 1420
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Akaguma wrote:
This had already been answered there

AJBryant wrote:
The idea behind the basket-like hat was anonymity -- the "self" didn't matter.

In the process, they became great disguise fodder for spies, killers, and other bad folks.


Thank you.
_________________
http://twitter.com/28loki

Google+
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Samurai Archives Citadel Forum Index // Japanese Art and Religion All times are GMT - 10 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Help the Samurai Archives




alexisRed v1.2 // Theme Created By: Andrew Charron // Samuraized By: Aaron Rister

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group