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Time in Japan: When? or, What's in a Date?
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Bethetsu
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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Yes, Tatsu, you are correct on both answers.

In 1582, Pope Gregory declared that the day after October 4 that year would be October 15. He also changed the rules for leap years. Of course, not all countries felt obliged to obey him, among them England, so the Englishman Cocks used the English, Julian calendar. By now most countries use the Gregorian calendar, at least officially. But at the time of Napoleon's invasion of Russia, Russia still used Julian, so Tolstoy's dates are 12 days "earlier" than Napoleon's.

Calendar Converters are good tools, but tools are useful only if you know how to use them (well, I never read directions either). The NengoCalc "Chronology" button mentions the Gregorian problem, but the explanation is in German and very sketchy anyway, so I took it as part of my civic duty to give a fuller explanation of how NengoCalc deals with this on the SA wiki page "Japanese Calendar."
http://wiki.samurai-archives.com/index.php?title=Japanese_calendar#Calculation_Website
Pay especial attention to the footnote. I plan to have a thread on the western solar calendars, so I will not go into the details of conversion here.
You have to be careful, though, because not all conversion calendars deal with this issue in the same way. The most authoritative calendar table, Uchida's 日本暦日原典, gives all western dates in Gregorian and gives a note at the bottom of the page on how to adjust to Julian.

For Ieyasu's entrance into Edo, I read he picked the date because 八is a lucky number as the character gets larger like a fan.


ltdomer98 wrote:
Wait, so the issue is that NengoCalc is wrong? Why/how is it wrong? I use things like that so I don't *have* to think about dates...sigh

The purpose of this class, and especially of this thread is to point out that you *do* have to think about them.


Just for follow up,
Q6 What are the Gregorian and the Japanese dates for the following entries in Cocks' Diary:
a. The feast of the dead on August 27, 1615
b. A feast of Shaka on May 2, 1617


Last edited by Bethetsu on Sun May 29, 2011 4:12 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Bethetsu wrote:
Q6 What are the Gregorian and the Japanese dates for the following entries in Cocks' Diary:
a. The feast of the dead on August 27, 1615
b. A feast of Shaka on May 2, 1617


A: Gregorian-September 6, 1615
Japanese-元和1年七月十四日 (First year of Genna, seventh month, fourteenth day)

B: Gregorian-May 12, 1617
Japanese-元和3年四月八日 (Third year of Genna, fourth month, eighth day)
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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Bethetsu wrote:
...so I took it as part of my civic duty to give a fuller explanation of how NengoCalc deals with this on the SA wiki page "Japanese Calendar." Pay especial attention to the footnote.


I'm assuming you mean "For dates Tenshô 10/9/18 (Oct. 4, 1582) and before, dates are in the Julian calendar, but from the next day, Tenshô 10/9/19 (Oct. 15, 1582) the dates are the Gregorian calendar." That makes sense since there wasn't a Gregorian calendar before 1582.
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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Bethetsu wrote:

The purpose of this class, and especially of this thread is to point out that you *do* have to think about them.


Well, consider me schooled! Embarassed
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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Tatsunoshi wrote:

Q6 What are the Gregorian and the Japanese dates for the following entries in Cocks' Diary:
a. The feast of the dead on August 27, 1615
b. A feast of Shaka on May 2, 1617

A: Gregorian-September 6, 1615
Japanese-元和1年七月十四日 (First year of Genna, seventh month, fourteenth day)

B: Gregorian-May 12, 1617
Japanese-元和3年四月八日 (Third year of Genna, fourth month, eighth day)

Yes. At first I was wondering why A was the 14th because I think of O-Bon being on the 15th, but at the end of the passage he says, "This feast lasteth 3 daies; but to morrow is the solomest fast day."

Cocks was not the best calendrist, because he writes that the feast of Shaka was "the 8th of their month of Sangatsu." At present Kanbutue 灌仏会 is celebrated on 4/8. When I read Cocks, I wondered if it was originally 3/8 but was moved to one month later when the western calendar was introduced, but apparently not, since he writes on 4/8. So I have to assume he was just wrong.

But I am grateful to him for giving me a beautiful example with a correct Japanese date.
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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
How can we tell if a given Western date is Julian or Gregorian? One pointer is the year and the country compared to when that country started using Gregorian. Crocks was an Englishman working in an English company so presumably was using English dates, and as we saw above, this presumption is borne out. Since Adams came to Japan on a Dutch ship, I am not sure which he would have used. References to a date in the Japanese/Chinese calendar or to identifiable events are also helpful. Historians usually state (or should state) in their introduction which they use if their material covers a period or countries using different calendars. However, besides this external evidence, often internal evidence is available.

Q7 What piece of information often included in diaries and letters will tell you for sure whether a given date is Julian or Gregorian?

Another wrinkle in Western dates is that at various times and places the year started on March 25, not January 1. It England this was used between from the 12th century to 1752. Here, one issue is what the original date meant , and another is whether later historians have adjusted for the date. I have not studied the problem, so I don't have good examples of its use and will not get into it. But be aware.
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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Bethetsu wrote:
Q7 What piece of information often included in diaries and letters will tell you for sure whether a given date is Julian or Gregorian?


Would that be a notation to the date giving it "OS" (old style-Julian) or "NS" (new style-Gregorian) status? I know English letters used this and I see from a quick net search that other countries that didn't immediately switch in 1582 did so as well (although some historians insist OS and NS only apply to changes in the determination of the start of the year). Some even used both sets of dates.

So as to the year in England starting on March 25-if we would have had a letter by Cocks dated February 1, 1615, it would actually be February 11, 1616 in our modern way of reckoning years using the Gregorian calendar (and 元和1年十二月二十四日, Genna 1 12th month 24th day in the Japanese calendar)?

Bethetsu wrote:
Another wrinkle in Western dates is that at various times and places the year started on March 25, not January 1. It England this was used between from the 12th century to 1752. Here, one issue is what the original date meant , and another is whether later historians have adjusted for the date. I have not studied the problem, so I don't have good examples of its use and will not get into it. But be aware.


March 25 was (is?) Lady Day in Britain, and was used as the year's start because it's right around the Spring Equinox (days and nights being roughly equal in length)-probably a carryover from Britain's pagan roots.
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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Tatsunoshi wrote:
So as to the year in England starting on March 25-if we would have had a letter by Cocks dated February 1, 1615, it would actually be February 11, 1616 in our modern way of reckoning years using the Gregorian calendar (and 元和1年十二月二十四日, Genna 1 12th month 24th day in the Japanese calendar)?
I would presume so, though as I said, unlike other topics I have discussed I don't have any "smoking gun" and have never even come across a real discussion. However, if you got hold of Cocks's Diary, you could see where the year break was and really see what he did.
Quote:
March 25 was (is?) Lady Day in Britain, and was used as the year's start because it's right around the Spring Equinox (days and nights being roughly equal in length)-probably a carryover from Britain's pagan roots.
Wikipedia ("Old Style") states, March 25 became the start of the year in England in the 12th century. If so, the equinox would have been around March 15 then. Lady Day (Feast of the Annunciation) is not particularly British and is determined by the date of Christmas, December 25. That was around the time of the Roman winter solstice festival, which was around December 25 a millennium earlier. The most reasonable explanation I know for that day being chosen as Christmas is because people could go to church easier on a public holiday. Just like now in Japan more churches have New Year's Day services than Christmas Day services (though there are often Christmas Eve services).So I don't know that March 25 was chosen particularly for the equinox, though I don't know how far back in went in England. Maybe the quarter days went back to Roman custom.
Apparently England was not the only place that did not use Jan 1 for New Year's, but I don't know dates other countries used.
Quote:
Would that be a notation to the date giving it "OS" (old style-Julian) or "NS" (new style-Gregorian) status?
That would work, but I am thinking of information that is much more common, and also with a little bit of effort would tell you not only if it is Julian or Gregorian, but whether the year is the same as the previous or the next January, so you wouldn't have to worry about the ambiguity of OS/NS.
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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
In that case, I don't have a clue. An ordinal date (where the writer would note the number of the day-such as February 28th being the 59th day of the year) in addition to a regular date would tell you what day the New Year started on, but wouldn't work with Julian/Gregorian because the length of the months is still the same (during the times the Gregorian calendar was introduced). So a document with a Julian date of September 1 would have the same ordinal date as a written Gregorian date of September 1 (even though the Julian date would be September 11th by Gregorian standards-without more info, you'd have no way of knowing that).
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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
It is so obvious it is hidden. When you wake up in the morning (or evening) and think about your schedule for the day, what is the first piece of calendrical information you look at? Or if your schedule is too irregular, if you were in the University of Hawaii's graduate school program, what would be the first piece of information you would look at, especially during term time?
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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Bethetsu wrote:
It is so obvious it is hidden.


Very Happy You're right about that. It has to be the day of the week, which if combined with a regular day-month-year date will allow you to determine if it's Gregorian or Julian (since the same date will fall on different days of the week under each calendar-it wouldn't hold true between 1100-1300, but since there was no Gregorian calendar then, it's a moot point). It also would allow you to figure which 'year', since the day of the week for every date would never be the same in consecutive years. You'd need charts or a mathematical formula to figure it out, but they're probably out there or would be pretty easy to extrapolate.
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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Tatsunoshi wrote:
It has to be the day of the week
Atari!
I still have some other things to look at for this thread, and I made use of some waiting time to work on the next item, but I hd better take a break and let everyone get back to work, or to the quiz.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Things have been quiet the past few days. Perhaps I should continue looking at the different meanings a certain date can have. Unlike previous topics there is little firm data about this one, so I cannot set too many problems.

Different Japanese calendars
We saw above that for several centuries two different civil calendars were used in Europe, and by Europeans in Japan. One could ask, was there a variety of Japanese calendars in use at one time in Japan? There was, but unfortunately we know little about them.

I will later have a thread on the history of the Japanese calendar, but calendars were first calculated by the 暦道rekidô of the imperial court.
However, during the medieval period, major shrines and temples also calculated and published calendars using the same calendar procedure. The oldest may be the one published Mishima Jinja in Izu which certainly existed in the 14th century and may go back to near the beginning of the Kamakura shogunate. However, while Western calendars can be surely calculated given a minimum of knowledge and care, calculating lunar calendars, which involves calculating the moment of the new moon, is complex, involving pages of procedures and long calculations--without dentaku or PCs! Therefore it is easy to make mistakes resulting in differences in calendars of a particular year(s).
Furthermore, Tradition! For instance, the rekido had a tradition not to allow an intercalary 8th month 閏八月 under certain circumstances, and continued this tradition until near the end of the 14th century when the rekidô gave up almost all traditions. However, this tradition continued in some regional calendars. In fact, it seems that the Kashima Shrine decided by divination whether to allow an int 8 in these cases.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
(cont.)
Several concrete example of differences in calendars are well-know. One is a reference in (of course) the diary of a nobleman who went to Atami and on 1374/3/4 reported that that according to the Mishima calendar that day was Jôshisetu (hina-matsuri) , i.e. 3/3.

The other difference was much more significant, as it involved the extremely socially and therefore politically important question as to which month was the first month of 1583. New Year's greetings were extremely important. The disagreement among various calendars was recognized in 1582, and the Owari calendar makers asked Oda Nobunaga to have the imperial calendar changed. Nobunaga summoned the rekido to Azuchi, but the matter was not settled. Nobunaga even had a meeting on 6/1 in Kyoto about it. However, he was attacked and killed the next morning. I presume the court was afraid of loss of authority about the matter and requested Akechi to attack him. In any case, the imperial calendar was not changed, and that is the standard one used in histories and given in tables.
In the Kantô, Hôjô adjudicated in favor of the Mishima calendar as opposed to the one that matched the standard imperial calendar, and many daimyo in Kanto, Echigo, and northern Shinano followed this. In a collection of Sanada documents, the dates of two letters are transcribed thus: (閏正月)正月廿九日 . When I first came across these dates, I thought the transcription meant that the 閏 was omitted by carelessness, but later I found out about this problem and remembered these examples. So, if you are dealing with documents dated between the 12th month of 1582 and the 2nd month of 1583 (exclusive), be careful and see where they are from. I hope to discuss the calendrical problem in a later thread.

In 1685 the shogunate adopted a new calendar and at the same time required that all regional calendars follow the shogunate dates and submit their calendars for approval. Presumably the shogunate was extending its control, but of course Japan had developed to the point where one calendar for the whole country was desirable.

By the way, the person who pushed through the new calendar was named Shibukawa Harumi, and a 2009 novel about him 天地明察 Tenchi Meisatsu by Tsubukata Tô 冲方 丁 , who writes manga and computer games, won the Yoshikawa Eiji Bungaku Shinjin shô 吉川英治文学新人賞.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Bethetsu wrote:
For instance, the rekido had a tradition not to allow an intercalary 8th month 閏八月 under certain circumstances...


Would this be decided by divination like the other shrines, or what might be some of the other circumstances?
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Bethetsu wrote:
I presume the court was afraid of loss of authority about the matter and requested Akechi to attack him.


You must have been reading my mind. Laughing

Bethetsu wrote:
In a collection of Sanada documents, the dates of two letters are transcribed thus: (閏正月)正月廿九日 . When I first came across these dates, I thought the transcription meant that the 閏 was omitted by carelessness, but later I found out about this problem and remembered these examples.


So 閏正月 is an intercalary month that happened to fall in between the 12th month of the old year and the first month of the following year (which is represented by the 正月廿九日, I'm assuming)?
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Tatsunoshi wrote:
Bethetsu:For instance, the rekido had a tradition not to allow an intercalary 8th month 閏八月 under certain circumstances...

Would this be decided by divination like the other shrines, or what might be some of the other circumstances?

No, it was astronomical. It had to do with the 19-year solar year:lunar month relationship, the Metonic cycle(章). During the third year after the beginning of the cycle there had always been an i6 or i7, but in 1129 when the procedure calculated a i8, the rekido made it an i7. When criticized for it, he said it had been a secret, oral tradition not to have an i8 there. There is a tendency for intercalary months in the cycle to get later and later over the centuries. Many of the changes the rekido made to the calculated calendar had to do with the (eventually vain) effort to preserve the cycle tradition.
Tatsunoshi wrote:
Bethetsu:In a collection of Sanada documents, the dates of two letters are transcribed thus: (閏正月)正月廿九日 . When I first came across these dates, I thought the transcription meant that the 閏 was omitted by carelessness, but later I found out about this problem and remembered these examples.

So 閏正月 is an intercalary month that happened to fall in between the 12th month of the old year and the first month of the following year (which is represented by the 正月廿九日, I'm assuming)?

I was not clear. Sorry.The letter itself had 正月廿九日, but the editor added the (閏正月) in the transcription and gave it the heading "天正11年(1583)閏正月29日..感状” , presumably because it was 閏正月 (though probably not actually the 29th) by the standard, Kyoto calendar.
It is in http://wiki.samurai-archives.com/index.php?title=Sanada_Family_Materials
In the Chinese-type calendar the intercalary month number is always that of the _previous_ month, so it followed the 1st month. (In contrast, in the traditional Indian calendar intercalary months have the same name as the following month.) So in 1582-83 the months of the Kyoto calendar went
12, 1, i1, 2, while the Mishima calendar went
12, i12, 1, 2. Sometime I will go looking for letters dated 1582.i12.
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Q8 During the Edo period one han was exceptionally allowed to calculate and publish its own calendar. Which was it? As the calendars were almost almanacs, it could give some good reasons. (The answer should not cause any surprise.)
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
Q8 During the Edo period one han was exceptionally allowed to calculate and publish its own calendar. Which was it? As the calendars were almost almanacs, it could give some good reasons. (The answer should not cause any surprise.)


I'm going to guess Nagasaki, because they were close to Dutch knowledge, and would have had different things to put in the almanac, and/or might have incorporated Western methods of calculation.

If not, do we get three tries? I have a couple other thoughts.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
lordameth wrote:
I'm going to guess Nagasaki, because they were close to Dutch knowledge, and would have had different things to put in the almanac, and/or might have incorporated Western methods of calculation.


That's a good guess, Meth, but Nagasaki wasn't a han-it would be in either Saga or Omura han (can't recall which, although the city itself was under Bakufu control). But it does make sense.

My initial thought was that it would be Kagoshima han (usually called Satsuma han) since they seemingly received exemptions on most Bakufu regulations. One might think of Yodo han (so the Imperial Court could use its calendar), but since the regular calendar was called the Kyoto Calendar, probably not.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Yeah. My first thought was Satsuma, since they received exceptions on so many other things (e.g. on the one castle per domain limit).

I knew that Nagasaki was controlled directly by the bakufu, but somehow I figured that since "Nagasaki han" rolled off the tongue so well, and didn't sound awkward, it was probably a thing. Guess I was thinking of Nagasaki-ken.

If it's not Satsuma, my next best guess would be Tsushima, in order to help allow them to better match up with the Korean calendar, perhaps? Somehow Matsumae seems a tempting answer, but I can't think of a good reason for it, other than just that it's distant from the metropole/center.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Satsuma-han is correct.
Only about a dozen of its calendars are still in existence, but it built an observatory in 1779. The shogunate first built a permanent observatory in 1765.
One difference with the Kyoto calendar was the times of sunrise and sunset--naturally since Satsuma is south--which affected the length of the hours, since night and day hours were of different lengths. (I think elsewhere the temple bells were all rung by Kyoto time.)

Even more noticeable was the very large number of rekichû 暦注, divination notes, which seem to have been taken from the Chinese calendar, probably via Ryukyu. In other Edo-period calendars the rekichu were controlled as well as the dates.

According to one Satsuma source, the Satsuma calendar was used by the lord and high-ranking retainers, while ordinary people used the calendars distributed by Ise Shrine (賦暦).

The Satsuma calendar makers studied the calendar procedures with bakufu tenmonkata 天文方, so it seems there were no date differences, unfortunately. I was looking forward to announcing that bakumatsu chronology has to be rewritten. Sad
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Cocks' Dates

Bethetsu wrote:
Another wrinkle in Western dates is that at various times and places the year started on March 25, not January 1. It England this was used between from the 12th century to 1752.

Tatsunoshi wrote:
So as to the year in England starting on March 25-if we would have had a letter by Cocks dated February 1, 1615, it would actually be February 11, 1616 in our modern way of reckoning years using the Gregorian calendar ?

I got hold of the old edition of Cocks's Diary and correspondence.

In his letters some are dated thus:

the 30th November, 1613
January the , 1613[4] to Wickham [from] Firando in Japan
!the 1st Aprill, 1614 to Wickham [from] Firando in Japan
the 12th of May, 1614 to Wickham [from] Firando in Japan
le 6th of December, 1615
the 25th February, 1615[6]
le 1st January, 1616[7]
the 10th of Marche, 1619[20] (Nangasaque in Japan)
the 13th of December, 1620

The letters to Wickham are clearly related, and for the last on the 13th of December, 1620 he refers to his last letter in Nangasaque the 10th of Marche, 1619, so it seems that the editor (Edward Thompson) put in the brackets correctly.

Cocks does seem to consider Jan 1 New Year's Day though, even though the year number did not change, as that is the only place he gives year dates in the diary. That seems very counterintuitive to me, but the Egyptians sometimes did the same thing. Except for the first he gives both years.
January 1, 1615[6]
January 1 1616-7
January 1, 161 8/9 (written like the fraction, 8 9ths with a horizontal bar)
January 1 (Shiwas 19), 162 0/1
January 1, 162 1/2

There are a few references to the two calendars, as
Dec 22 [1615] The Hollanders discharded much ordinance…it being their new yeares day.

July 8 [1616] I receved 2 letters, 1 from Jor. Durois of the 16th July, new stile
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Bethetsu
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Bethetsu wrote:

b. A feast of Shaka on May 2, 1617

Cocks was not the best calendrist, because he writes that the feast of Shaka was "the 8th of their month of Sangatsu." At present Kanbutue 灌仏会 is celebrated on 4/8. When I read Cocks, I wondered if it was originally 3/8 but was moved to one month later when the western calendar was introduced, but apparently not, since he writes on 4/8. So I have to assume he was just wrong.

But I am grateful to him for giving me a beautiful example with a correct Japanese date.

I find I have to apologize to Cocks. He was not a poor calendrist: Cooper was a sloppy editor. Cooper regularly changes original spellings of Japanese words to Hepburn, but he changed Cocks's "the 8th of their month of Singuach" to "their month of Sangatsu". However, when Cocks later regularly gives Japanese dates in his diary, he consistently spells Sangatsu as Sanguach and Shigatsu as Singuach.

So, it is always worth checking the original of somthing if possible. Besides, the original is often very interesting Smile I wonder how much of Cocks' prose I can digest in the 2 weeks I have the book.
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Tatsunoshi
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks for the follow up. Seems as if they treated the multiple calendars quite matter-of-factly. You should scan Cocks's book if possible-that way you could study it at your leisure.
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Hosokawa Gracia
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Bethetsu wrote:
Cocks' Dates

Tatsunoshi wrote:
So as to the year in England starting on March 25-if we would have had a letter by Cocks dated February 1, 1615, it would actually be February 11, 1616 in our modern way of reckoning years using the Gregorian calendar ?

I got hold of the old edition of Cocks's Diary and correspondence.

In his letters some are dated thus:

the 30th November, 1613
January the , 1613[4] to Wickham [from] Firando in Japan
!the 1st Aprill, 1614 to Wickham [from] Firando in Japan
the 12th of May, 1614 to Wickham [from] Firando in Japan
le 6th of December, 1615
the 25th February, 1615[6]
le 1st January, 1616[7]
the 10th of Marche, 1619[20] (Nangasaque in Japan)
the 13th of December, 1620


Bethetsu, I have a quote from Richard Cock's diary that I found in the Zen Sanctuary of Purple Robes: Japan's Tokeiji Convent Since 1285 by Sachiko and Robert Morrell. It is referring to Naahime after she became a nun (Tenshu) at Tokeiji in Kamakura. It probably was the time of the annual trip from Nagasaki to Edo to meet with the Shogun Hidetada. Cocks and Will Adams would have been passing through Kamakura. It's in old English so I'll update it:

The little daughter of Hideyori-sama
is a shorn nun in this monestary,
only to save her life, for it is a sanctuary
& it would be an injustice to take her out.

Richard Cock's Diary;
entry for 18 October 1616

Now the Summer Campaign at Osaka ended by the 5th of June, 1615. If this is October 10, 1615 (by Tatsunoshi's calculations) and June 4, 1615 was the day that Sen-hime was escorted to Hidetada and to Ieyasu (according to Turnbull, it would have taken only a week or so to get to Kamakura, so Cocks and Adams must have passed by four months and a few days after she arrived.

Am I right or wrong?
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