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Raven Winter

Report | 07/07/2014 10:51 pm

Raven Winter

Actually, the writings I've read from samurai around that period kind of have that implicit theme in them -- that their peers had degenerated over time, and that many of them weren't "proper" samurai, at least in that they did not embody the correct behaviors and such. I've got one book, oh... somewhere, which was written as kind of a handbook for young samurai attempting to convey an understanding of bushido, which until that very book had gone unwritten for centuries. It tends to speak reverently of the past, and points out many flaws the writer perceived in his class by that time, in one passage suggesting that he thought some of them were essentially bandits.
Knights were a product of the economic system of the Middle Ages, really -- money was looked upon somewhat negatively, and the possession of large amount of money was actually seen as a bad quality, so value was calculated according to one's possessions and wealth was distributed in the form of land. A king legally owned all the land in his kingdom, which he parceled out to lords in return for their sworn fealty -- they would serve under him, manage the land they oversaw, ensure that he received taxes (usually in the form of crops and such), serve him militarily, etc. The lords then parceled the land they received in that way out to what became known as knights -- essentially, the knights would constantly train for war and serve their lord who in turn served the king, managing their land and overseeing the lower classes living there and the peasants who worked it for them. I believe if a knight served the king directly, he'd simply be a lord, but I'm not certain and it probably doesn't matter much. The class status of both lords and knights was hereditary, and they were fairly similar, for the most part, if on different levels. Opinions on them vary as well -- sometimes they were seen as we tend to see them; sometimes they were viewed the same as the various corrupt lords and such. Medieval Europe was also an incredibly violent place, even compared with Japan, so it may have been that the people were a bit more tolerant of any mistreatment they may've faced, since it might seem not especially out of the ordinary.
Raven Winter

Report | 07/05/2014 3:22 am

Raven Winter

Ah, thanks.

I consider swords not fundamentally any different from any other martial art, at least in spirit. There are technical differences, but it all still seems to derive from the same idea at heart. Of course, I'm the furthest from an authority on either. I was taught that the cultivation of humility was a natural part of the spiritual cultivation of the martial arts, but I get the sense that spiritual aspect is unfortunately often forgotten.

Not so much "were" considered avatars as "are" -- it seems like they're viewed romantically, not necessarily by Japan as a whole but the attitude doesn't seem super uncommon, in sort of the sense Westerners might view a knight: all the cool people in the Middle Ages, or at least the Middle Ages we constructed in our fantasies, were knights, right? -- but I definitely see what you mean. I am also entertained by your comparison to Yugioh.
This is an informative conversation and I appreciate it.
Raven Winter

Report | 07/04/2014 2:19 am

Raven Winter

Musashi is an entirely fascinating character to me regardless; he ended up becoming a role model as I became an adult. I intend, when I go to Japan, to visit his grave, as well as Reigando. I'm not sure what, if anything, would be an appropriate offering, however. I feel obligated to leave one. Japanese deities are all pretty interesting, like most, but it seems like they're often rather overlooked in comparison.

I guess I was never super invested in the respective benefits and drawbacks of this technique or style vs. that one. If I'm fighting, my goal will simply be to cut my opponent down; anything else is just distracting. Paradoxically, that's why I'm fascinated by seeing new styles and ways of doing things. Ultimately, I feel like there are only so many ways to cut someone down, and it matters less how you do it than simply that you do it, but because of that, I feel like I've got no reason to deride someone's technique if it works. So it's incredibly interesting to see as many different approaches as possible, to learn new things from them, and see the different ways people find that all work. That's why I get so bothered by people who are suuuper into what they consider to be the "right" way of doing things. I'm sure you've met plenty of those. My friend got super into larps for a while and insisted I go with him; turned out that particular group was bad about that, and I eventually stopped bothering to go because they were a pain in the a** to be around.

The Japanese have an incredibly fascinating notion of human nature and the nature of responsibility and obligation, and it's applied in such a unique way. It really seems like the samurai were the "avatars" of Japanese society and values in a way that isn't really comparable to any other group anywhere else, at least as far as I'm aware. That's part of why they're so interesting to study -- by coming to understand more about them, one comes to better understand the "soul" of Japan, and the two are nearly synonymous, in a way. It's somewhat amusing that, to put it too simply, "It's okay to not live entirely for other people all the time" is as progressive an idea as it is in Japanese culture, considering how it's practically the opposite here. It'd certainly be fascinating to get some idea of what nihonjiron is, although it's also a little sad that it may not be something I can come to truly appreciate. It's a shame that my experiences may actually prevent me from fully understanding other perceptions and cultures; it feels like a failure to do them justice.
Mister George Kapland

Report | 07/01/2014 5:36 am

Mister George Kapland

Oh me? uhh.... Lets see, college. had a Kid. became a single parent. Still college. Work. Living life. Tripping. Trying to establish myself as an artist, a father, and a freakin' adult.
I went back to school, ended up with some broad, ended up knocking said lady up, we have a child. Just.. you know, doing it.

I'm sorry to hear about your medical mishaps, I really and for truely am. I was actually thinking about you a few weeks back I ran into somebody online that reminded me of you so much much I was like "Did....were you Neko Namida?" and was forsure embarassed that they weren't. I'm pretty stoked you're back in the shape of things. And if you'd ever like to really formally chat and catch up, I can provide a skype, milady.
HMS Thunder Child

Report | 06/24/2014 8:00 pm

HMS Thunder Child

It's money and living situation. Since I take care of my folks and live in their home, and my dad will not react well to me coming out at all, I'm closeted and angry about it, lol. The consult is different but still sort of required kind of. No longer need the Real Life Experience and all that other restrictive bullshit, thankfully.

I was messaging Vince a while back and I fell asleep partway through but my responding to him did not, lol
HMS Thunder Child

Report | 06/24/2014 6:12 am

HMS Thunder Child

Anything that makes a 20000 expense tolerable, lol. But really anything federal or in one of the handful of areas that blocks discrimination against transpeople.

Ah, cool. ALL ACCORDING TO PLAN MUAHAHAHAHA (forgive me I'm sleepy and about to go to bed lol) I'm really happy for you. Sounds like you're in a pretty good position and woot!
HMS Thunder Child

Report | 06/23/2014 7:37 am

HMS Thunder Child

I'd love to teach but teaching won't get me my surgery. sad

Damn. I'm sorry it didn't work out exactly as you'd planned, but it's great you've got so many spin-off opportunities! And ugh, that sounds ******** awful. Fingers crossed about the upcoming months! whee
HMS Thunder Child

Report | 06/21/2014 1:04 pm

HMS Thunder Child

Well, it's not entirely full time and they do some things themselves, but I do a ton ton ton of driving and it's super draining. They can be jerks. Well, to clarify, I can't come out because I'd be kicked out on my a**. So yeah.

Lol, I don't actually. I figured I'd find work and then do night school or something to get the degree during. Apparently it doesn't work like that, so I went for teaching aide positions and stuff. Sorry to hear about your uncle but yeah, I know some people like that. Some people think I'm like that but that's usually because they ignore all the s**t I do and am dealing with. And heart thanks. Though I applied for janitorial work, too (US gov pays like 50k a year to janitors at the Capitol but they don't hire often), so not all dream jobs. Good paying ones, too, lol.

You're welcome 3nodding
HMS Thunder Child

Report | 06/20/2014 2:20 pm

HMS Thunder Child

Something like that. Nothing official of course and I'm paid a small amount a month effectively so I can pay off my student loans but it's a pain in the a** frequently.

And yeah, you're right. I guess they eventually realized that it's difficult to keep making money hand over fist if you don't have people actually working. Lots of sharp coders don't have the money to get there so it's great they're broadening their search. You're going to be fantastic there. ^_^
HMS Thunder Child

Report | 06/20/2014 4:12 am

HMS Thunder Child

It's not too bad. 10 hours on a good day, 13 sometimes in traffic. I didn't get the job (teaching) and I'm currently a stay at home caretaker for my family because the moment I'm not depressed enough to hunt for work absolutely everything falls to s**t.

Dude, that's exciting. You're really something special because folks never want to seem to train anybody these days. And woman-presenting (apologies if I'm using shitty terminology here, I'm awful inconsistent when I'm defining myself, but I usually say MAN COSTUME for myself) in a "man's field," too. Super ******** rad

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