A List of Questions

All of these questions (where applicable) need to be asked for:

-The early Tokugawa and late Sengoku periods. (1540-1620 AD)

-Nobility, shogunal Household, daimyō households, lesser land holder, non-landholder/cultivator, merchant, trades-person, casteless and ect classes.

-All regions of Japan.

The most common question: How are men’s and women’s roles conceptualized, and how are those concepts played out in real life? (What’s the difference between guys and girls, and how does this effect living?)


When women’s and men’s quarters were separated, how was this arranged in terms of architecture?

When it was a concern in the building of the building, how was it handled?

When was it a concern in building the building?

How big are closets and where are they placed?

Are there closets with doors on both sides, one in the hall and one in the room?

How are rooms decorated?

What decorations are appropriate in what rooms? (When are flowers okay?)

How are imagery and room-purpose related?

Are rooms identified by decoration? (The green sitting room?)

How was space organized for working? Do people have offices?

-I know the shogun had an office/bedroom/study/sitting room during the Tokugawa. (After Edo castle was built anyway.)

Did castles have courtyards?

What about mansions?

What is the goal of gardens? Where are they? Who tends them? (In castles, in cities, in monasteries…) What sort of stuff goes in them? How many are there?

Who designs them?

Are there kitchen gardens?

Who maintains the gardens?

How are buildings of all kinds heated and lit?

Where are hearths and what do they look like?

What do poor peasant houses look like? Where is the fireplace in respect to the door?

What’s between the ground and the house? The ground and the castle?

Is there a crawlspace?

Are there thresholds on rooms? On doors to the outside?

How are floors made?

Do they creek? Do they creek on purpose? (Nightingale floors?)

What are roofs made of? Mansions? Castles? Fancy temples? Poor houses?

How are roof tiles attached? Do they clatter when you leap on them?

When are there doors, when are there sliding screens, when are they paper, when are they wood? How do hinges work?

What do shutters look like? How do they open? How do they keep the cold out?

Balconies? Verandas?

How are verandas constructed? Is there space underneath? Is it accessible?

Buddhist temples. What do they look like? What are the acoustics like? What are they designed for? How do different sects design differently?

Shinto shrines?

How is a mansion different from a castle? What’s the floor plan look like?

What kind of rented lodging is available?

How do you find housing if you are poor? Where do you live? Rent or buy?

What does the top of well look like? How is the lifting mechanism and rope and bucket thing work?

How is water moved around a castle? Is there a moat?

How is water managed in a mansion?

How do castle gates work? How heavy and large are they? How are they decorated?

Where is the gate house?

How about in mansions?

Do mansions have walls? How tall are they? What are they made of? How are they lit? Are there ramparts? Crenelations?

How heavily guarded are mansions? How do you check people before you open the gate?

Who guards the gates?

Mansions: grounds? Killing zones? What about in castles?

Are there screens rigged to make noise when you open? What kind of house-security measures are taken?


How did people view crying and other emotional expression?

Which emotions where acceptable for which people, when? How was it appropriate to express them?

What do people do to calm down?

What was expected of the wife of a powerful daimyō in the late Sengoku? Who was forming those expectations?

What are the virtues wanted from a Sengoku lady and how were these expressed through the discipline of the body? How did this change over time?

What was expected of daimyō? Who was forming those expectations?

Who where people aspiring to be?

How do the roles of woman of the house and heir intersect? What do young, but not too young, boys do when the castle is at war?

What where women’s duties at the end of the Sengoku?

In a daimyō’s castle, is the concubine the woman of the house, or the niece?

What does polite disagreement look like? A polite rebuke?

Who is it okay to hit? Is it okay to hit high-status women? Your servants or retainers? Peasants?(See Family)

Is it polite to help old people up? How is respect for the aged expressed? When are the aged respected?

What sort of obscene gestures are available to me?

How much cussing is considered refined? How do people cuss?

Is cussing sinful?

Do you curse by heavens, hells, gods?

When, and to who, is it appropriate to admit fault?

How does a daimyō talk to a peasant? Samurai?

To the people employed in the kitchens?

How do you politely address your servants? Impolitely?

What do peasants call each other?

How do retainers address minor-aged important people?

How do people address their superiors?

How are formality and accuracy and convenience negotiated?

How do important people speak to important children? How do people speak to children generally?

If a warrior in charge of a thing needs to talk to a lady about said thing, how does he go about doing so?

Etiquette for roadside meetings? How do you talk to people when you are both on horses?

Do you stop and talk with people you see on the road?

How do you greet a shop keeper? How does a shopkeeper greet you?

What’s the range for bowing when it comes to being more or less formal? When do you bow?

How does seating go? Can you always tell rank by seat?

Do people in the street really have to bow to the lord as they see him? How do they avoid him?

Who are the intermediaries between important people and very unimportant people?

What words and styles and forms are used or not used?

How many times do you have to refuse to be polite?

Humming or singing to yourself. Low class activity? Rude? Completely whatever?

What are some examples of elegant, subtle and well turned insults?

What does it mean to insult someone?

How does a lord complement his minions? How are complements gracefully accepted?

What does it mean to complement someone?

How do apologies go?

When is telling on people appropriate?

How does the body language of a refined woman differ from a poor woman? (Same question for guys.)

What’s the status on sexualized violence? How is rape treated? What counts as rape?

How do you seal agreements? Handshake? Drink?

What about more important things, establishing business relationships? (Alliances: see War)

What’s a good translation of “You’re in deep shit.”?

“Only the devil knows.”?

“Silver tongued.”?

“Hen-pecked.”? (I bet this one is fine, isn’t it.)

“Straight laced.”?

“Pull the wool over my eyes.”?


Who wore scent? When? What sort and how was it made?

What does a (rich? poor?) daimyō wear around the house? His wife? His kids?

Who used fans? When? Why? What for? Art? Style? Use in battle?

What are peasants wearing?

What sorts of shoes are there? Who wares which kind when?

Where would you get blisters?

How long does it take various people to do their hair?

How is hair washed and cared for? How is it brushed? How often? How does a lady put up her hair? What do peasants do with their hair?

How does getting dressed go if you are a fancy person? What about when you are being extra fancy?

What are clothes made of for rich people? Poor people? Who makes clothes?

How many changes of clothes do people have? What does a cleaning person wear?

For the high ranking servant of an important daimyō, what is a causal day wear?

What are the options as far as quick, warm clothing?

What are jackets like? Where are they kept at night?

Where and how are clothes stored?

What colors are worn when? Who cares, and why do they care?

Are you allowed to hike up your skirts?

What is traveling clothes for fancy important warrior women? (And also men.)

How is laundry done?

Pockets. Yes, no, where?

What do people wear to bed? Are there dressing gowns?

If you get woken up in the middle of the night for important business, how much clothing do you put on? What do you put on?

Hats. Who wares them? What do they look like?

What sort of make up is available? Who wears what why?

Daily Life

What are portable screens used for? How big are they? Where are they stored?

What’s the cure for nightmares? Insomnia?

If people go outside with wet hair, do people think they will catch colds?

Is there an equivalent sickness to like, ‘the chill’?

Are we worried about the health of young ladies? What do we do when we are?

How’s bathing work? What makes the difference? (Money? Region? Time of Year?)

Who supports an old peasant woman alone, or how does she support herself?

What do you do in the case of fire? In a village? In the fields? In a castle?

Who swims? When did they learn? How did they learn?

What sort of etiquette applies for not-married couples?

When are they allowed to see each other? Are they allowed to touch?

What do visits to a home look like?

What is offered as a welcome or gesture of hospitality? Something to eat or drink?

Who manages the arrival of guests, greeting them?

Is there spring cleaning?

Getting the mats cleaned, the colors changed?

What kind of cleaning do people do in big houses? Who does it? How?

Where are extra decorations stored?

Okay, with paper doors, how is privacy handled? How far does sound travel?

How are documents stored? Private documents?

How do you keep people from reading your papers?

What sort of locks are there? What sort of things are locked?

How are scrolls transported? Protected from the weather?

-I know there are scroll cases.

When do you use a book, and when a scroll? How are books bound?

How is trash dealt with? Who manages it inside? Where does it get taken? What gets reused, resold, and thrown in the final destination?

Where did colored dies come from? What colors? How expensive? Paper?

Do people sit on cushions? What are the cushions made of? What do they look like?

Crates. What is stored in them? What shape are they? What are they made of?

If you were hiding to eavesdrop, where would you hide?

How do promotions go? Official ones? Unofficial ones?

How are weeks measured? How many days are there? What does it matter too? Which days are the

‘Off’ days? Are there any?

Who do you hang out with when you are at home?


Someone is dying. What are the appropriate Buddhist, Shinto (and others?) ceremonies to delay this and deal with the aftermath? How are funerals different for people of different classes?

What’s done with the body? Where is it stored until cremation? Is it always cremated? What rites surround the cremation? Who attended the ceremony?

What are the expectations for the families in morning?

When someone dies, who gets alerted? How does it go?

How about when it’s a daimyō’s wife? (Or other important but married out person?)

What moral obligation does the witness of a murder have? Is it higher then the moral obligation to your older brother? Your lord?

What does a graveyard look like?

What is done with executed traitors?

What does an execution look like? Who does it? What kind of papers need to be signed?

Once the Tokugawa kicked in, what were the laws in Edo regarding killing people if you were a daimyō? I assume it is still okay on your own land, but on shogunal land? Was there a court system for this kind of thing? How did it function?

Who commits suicide? Why? Do they leave a note? What are the consequences for those who stay behind?

Family Relations

Were women’s quarters separated from men’s? (When, where, who?)

If so, what where some common access restrictions?

Do we know why?

Do husband and wife share quarters? What’s the etiquette for visiting your spouse?

Divorce Sengoku, rich/powerful daimyō women involved in divorce. How difficult was it to separate from you husband if he was from more powerful family then you? What was involved in marriage and divorce in terms of law and expected commitment?

When do last names change for descendants? Do cadet branches of Sengoku daimyō change family names? Why do names change? When do you have the authority to change your own family name?

Does your family name change when you get married?

-No. Not usually. (Sengoku, important samurai families.)

When a rich/powerful daimyō marries off a daughter, who does he send with her?

What obligations does a woman retain to her old house when she marries? Her house to her?

What is the relationship between a daimyō and his wife?

When do daimyō see their children? What are the interactions like?

What is the formal relationship between a daimyō and his mother? What about when he was little?

What is the relationship between a daimyō and his brother?

How does a powerful lord manage his siblings?

How do you greet your father? What about when you are being formal? What about when you’re being formal and he’s got a fancy title?

Are in laws siblings? How are you related to in-laws?

What are your obligations to them? To cousins? Nephews?

What moral obligations do you have to your older brothers and fathers? How important are they? What are they superseded by?

I’m kind of getting an everyone-related-to-everyone feeling here. Is that true for the Sengoku daimyō?

What sort of protection does one expect from dead relatives? What sort of relationship do you have with them? (See Religion)

-I think you mostly pray that they’ll stay out of hell.

Is it okay to hit your relatives, your kids, your wife?

Is your brother hitting you a serious offense?

How are relations between young women regulated?

Are men and women allowed to touch casually? Brothers and sisters?

How many children? Where are they kept? How are they cared for?

Which ones are important, and why?

Who cares for babies? What does caring for babies consist of?

How do powerful families raise all those kids? Who raises the kid, the mother or the father?

-The wet nurse?

How many children make it through childhood?

How is abortion regulated? What methods are available?

What controls are put on children’s behavior?

What is meeting your half brother like? What are the formalities, the expectations?

What are the ceremonies for greeting children/parents?

Greetings or ect for returning lords? Heirs? When does being an heir start to matter?

Is there like an ‘official heir’ point, or does the oldest son (or other expected heir) just get respect?

What debt do you owe your dead father? Should you avenge him?

How are lords connected to the people they have disowned? What’s your responsibility if your nephew is haranguing other people’s peasants?

Is there co-ed family hang out time?

Food and Farming

Fences around the fields? Who decides?

What sorts of grain were grown dry in Japan pre-1600?

What are the most common vitamin deficiency problems? Illness? How does class effect the numbers?

What sort of insects live in that kind of field? What bites?

Flour? Do people eat bread? Are there mills? How is rice processed?

How do peasants cook? What do they cook?

How do you cook millet?

Who is in charge of the kitchens in big households/castles?

Who is hired to be a cook? How are meals distributed, and who receives a meal from the castle kitchen?

What do people eat? (All the people. ALL OF THEM. ALL THE TIMES.)

Are gifts of game given to the kitchen? Are they cleaned first, or after?

Where is food stored?

How is tea served? Is tea only served with a ceremony, or is it a casual drink as well?

What is a causal drink?

What customs and rules surround casual drinking? What drink is offered casually?

How do you politely refuse?

When are the rice fields flooded?

What can be eaten in Japan in the wild?

What sort of meals are made in a massive camp kitchen? What does a camp kitchen consist of?

When on the move, who eats where?

Do men and women eat together?

Breakfast. What do you eat? Who do you eat it with? When do you eat it? When do you eat other meals?

How do dinners go? Do you have formal big dinners with the whole family?

What sort of candy is there? What else is eaten as a treat? (Don’t forget to clarify color on this one!) Food dyes?

When did tobacco start being imported?

How much is a quarter koku in volume? (69.575 liters, one waist high barrel. A koku is about a 55-gallon drum, one of those big metal ones.)

How is rice harvested? If in baskets, how big are the baskets?

How is it stored and transported?

How do you cook rice over an open fire?

Moving cooked food around. Lunch boxes? Dinner pails? What were they made of? How did they look?

Beer. What is beer made of? Who drinks it? How are sake and beer made?

What is the difference between different qualities of sake and beer?

What sort of livestock is there, and who owns it?


If a daimyō kills his wife, whose responsibility is that? What laws apply to daimyō in the Sengoku era?

-Whatever ones the want to apply.

In the Ashikaga? In the Tokugawa?

Who has the authority to confine people? Who has the authority to confine the daimyō’s wife’s cousins?(In literally every situation ever.)

What are your moral and legal obligations to your ‘lord’?

In the Sengoku, who is a criminal?

What are the laws, who passes them, who enforces them?

Who is allowed to punish? (Who has authority?)

Punishment: See Service

Execution: See death

Poaching laws? Individual land owners? Bakufu?

Who owns the game?

Are there housebreakers? What are some common techniques?

How are we feeling about grappling hooks?

How were stolen goods sold?

If you think someone is trying to sully your good name, what do you do?

What’s the punishment (in the Tokugawa) for importing illegally?


Who plays which instruments when? How do they learn? Why do they learn?

-Late Edo, shamisen was played by merchants daughters, and people thought they were ‘loose women’ hem hem. But it got them places in samurai households as concubines, which was the goal.

What musical instruments do men play?

What’s a good translation for ‘biwa’ and ‘koto’ and ‘shamisen’?

-Lute, floor harp, I have no idea.

Who sings? When? What does it mean? What do they sing?

How are calligraphy boxes managed? Where are they kept? Do people set up and take down their own writing supplies? What tools do adults have that kids don’t? (And vise versa)

What kind of leisure activities were considered appropriate for rich samurai women in the Sengoku? (What kind of leisure activities were appropriate for who when?)

What sort of toys do kids play with? Are there tops? What do they look like?

What sort of games do children with no money play? What sort of songs do they sing?

What forms of dancing are there? Who does them? Who watches them?

Do individuals dance, or only dancers? What does it mean?

Who makes visual art? Where is it displayed?

What arts are considered valuable? Why does that change over time?

What does gambling look like? What forms are there? Are there dice games?

Is it illegal (HAH!) Okay, when in the Tokugawa is it made illegal, and for who? Is it considered immoral?

What do peasant women make dolls out of? How are they made and what do they look like? What other kind of handicrafts do people get up to?

If a daimyō goes out, where is he going? Does he walk?

In the city? In a smaller city? In the country?

Is he going on a walk? What kind of walking-for-pleasure community is there?

How many guards does he take with him?

Same questions, for Edo period ladies. What sort of plays can they go see?

How much does it cost to have actors come to your house and do the play there?

How much trouble are you likely to be in?

What where there before their were geisha?

Where there tea houses? Brothels? Who owns them? How are they run?

-Edo period: Inns have a regulated number of prostitutes, large cities have restricted movement/’pleasure quarters’ for prostitutes. Most prostitutes are indentured to a brothel owner.

What sort of decoration do they have? Who patronizes them (and when)?

If one wanted to have a clandestine meeting in a public place, where does one go?

Who is the chief hostess in a tea house?

What is the etiquette for introduction? Do you need to be introduced?

How does paying work? Are there restaurants?? DO YOU TIP???

What do peasants spend their time doing?

What do they sew? How do they make brooms?

How do they keep their houses clean?

What do they spin? How do they spin it? Are there drop spindles?

Is there a significance to catching bees?

-Bug catching appears to be a young-poor-male bored in the summer activity.

How is falconry done? How was it done before it was only lords doing it? What sort of gear is required?

What sort of punishment was there for breaking sumptuary laws? For flying a hawk?

Drinking parties. How formal is this activity?

Occasion? Manners? Normal order of events?

When do they start? When do they finish? Do you spend the night, or ride home?

Is there a ‘being late’? What does that mean?

Where do you sit? How is precedence determined? When did it start mattering where you sat?

Who pours?


Who does a Sengoku daimyō hire to teach his kids? How does he go about getting this person?

Did they have one tutor, or many? Were they taught by tutor?

What were boys expected to learn?

How do lessons go? Music lessons?

What was their relationship with their tutor? How long were lessons?

How about the Tokugawa? Less or more important families? Why did it change?

How are teachers cared for, fed, paid, housed?

How did schooling go for not rich people? How were temple schools run?

Who in the Sengoku is likely to be literate? HOW literate?

Who is likely to write poetry? What sort of poetry?

In what context was poetry practiced and preformed?

-Parties, gifts?

Do ladies do it?

Who gets invited to poetry parties?

What sort of things do people notice about other people’s handwriting?

Who is in charge of weapons instruction? What forms did it take?

How does sparing work? Is that part of learning how to use a sword? What are the rules? What sort of weapons and protective equipment are in use?

How much arms training, and what sort, did samurai women receive?

-Probably some serious glave training during the Sengoku.

What kind of education do daimyō receive about leadership?

What classics are they reading?

How do you evaluate someone else’s understanding of etiquette and their education? Written test? Pick the most convoluted ceremony possible and put them in charge of it?

Religion and Ideology

Which sect of Buddhism was popular with daimyō and why?

-Zen(…probably). As to why, how cynical do you want to be?

In what ways did a Sengoku daimyō relate to and control the temples on his land or in his province? Does he have temples on his land, or do they always own their own land?

Would he have a priest or nuns in residence?

What is the meaning of meditation to different sects? Did lay people practice?

-Zen: Meditation is kind of like void. The goal is to be nothing so that the Buddah-nature inside you is revealed. (I think…)

What are prayer beads for?

Where women confined as nuns? How did that work?

How are prayers or sutras dedicated to the dead?

Which sects value what in a prayer?

What myths are there about strange old women?

How is possession dealt with? Violent possession?

-I know in some cases (which cases?) a medium and a man (title?) come and the medium gets possessed so the guy can talk to the spirit.

Do different sorts of spirits have different effects when they possess people? (Badger, fox, ghost, ect?)

How do people related to or communicate with spirits? What sort of spirits might they be communicating with?

What do different ideologies say about farmers?

What kinds of shrines are there?

What do the shrines in houses look like? In peasant houses?

Which places get shrines and why? (Shops? Tea houses? Inns?)

Do retainers, servants, etc keep shrines to the ancestors around? Where are these shrines? What offerings are made? Is this a graveyard only thing?

Who goes to hell, when, and why? What virtue is most valued by a Sengoku lord? By who?

How do the different sects deal with the idea of karma?

What religious observances are observed by which people?

When do you go to temples? What do you do there?

What does it mean to shed blood? Is it unclean? How do you cleanse yourself?

What are the rules surrounding temples and shrines? How about the one at Iso?

What counts as treachery? What does it mean? How is it dealt with?

What does it mean to be insane? Who gets to decide if you’re insane?

What does it meant to be stupid?

How does sickness work?

How does augury and signs work for normal people?

Can you do it yourself, or do you need to see an expert?

When does Neo-Confucianism kick in, and what was it before that?

How does peer loyalty compare to vertical loyalty?


What sort of thing does a maid fetch when told to fetch something refreshing? (See Food)

Who is in service at the castle? What are they employed for? What does it take to get hired?

Who hires ladies maids? What sort of attendants do children need?

Young daimyō princess types? How are such people hired? Family references? Cregslist?

How many constant attendants does a daimyō have? How about his wife? His kids?

Are daimyō surprised when they are literally alone? (Think Tale of Genji, when no when is ever alone ever…)

Who serves a samurai lady?

What are the duties of a lady in waiting to a daimyō’s wife? Who is she? Where does she come from?

Who decides where the servants work?

When do servants change from your parent’s servants to your servants?

What punishments are applied to who, when?

Can you be fired from service? How does that go?

What does flogging look like? How many lashes, with what?

How is the floggie cared for afterward? Do you get something to bite?

(See death)

Who serves as a page? What are their duties?

When do they start? How long does it last?

What comes after that?

Who attends a daimyō going to Attendance in Edo (Tokugawa)? Just the soldiers he’s supposed to be bringing? What sort of attendants does he have at him?

-I don’t know, but a lot.

How do you politely dismiss servants from the room? Attendants of high rank?

(I need to know this one for court ladies too)

What does the career path of a servant look like?

How does causal employment work? Do you have to be in a client relationship to get money from a lord?

How is housing handled for servants? In castles and mansions? Do they live in?

If so, what do the servant quarters look like? Where are they? How are they decorated? How much space is allotted to each servant?

How do servants get in and out of the grounds at night?


Do beds stay out all day?

-No. There is no way.

What do daimyō sleep on? What do poor people sleep on?

Do people use pillows?

Who uses those wooden hair-protection pillows?

Who sleeps where and with whom? (Not to be confused with: who has sex where and with whom?)

What is in a bedroom? Do people get their own bedrooms? When?

Are there assigned bedrooms?

How thick are quilts? How many are around?

Special Occasions

What ceremonies surround name changing? Changing family names?

What ceremonies surrounded entering and leaving combat for Sengoku daimyō? Their troops?

When will a betrothed move to her husband’s house? What sort of ceremonies should she expect when she arrives at her husband to be’s house? What will the marriage involve? Where does the wedding take place? Who attends?

When a rich samurai woman marries, who does she bring with her to her new lords home? Cousins? Servants? Her mother?

Who decides who a peasant girl marries? What delays and ceremonies and costs are there?

When are gifts exchanged and what are they?

How do peasants propose, and to whom? Samurai? Imperial people?

When do women get married? Men?

When are official visits to city lords called for? Could a daimyō (or his son) pass through a city that was the seat of a powerful daimyō and not visit? What does that sort of visit look like?

Attendance at the Shogun’s: Does it consist of sitting in the hallway, or greeting the shogun, or what? How long does it last? What happens if you’re ‘too sick to attend’? Can you send your heir instead? In what circumstances? How should your hair be done for this occasion?

– I mean, there is definitely some sitting in hallways. But like, other than that.

How are envoy’s received and dealt with?

How are new members of the household introduced?

What kind of ceremonies are done or attended as a household through out the year? Are there any?

Social Order

Who qualified as samurai in the Sengoku? Is all that was required to serve with the sword?

-Well, you can be a soldier without being a samurai, and you can be a samurai and not really use a sword (although I think you probably have one).

What where the benefits of being a samurai? IS THIS EVEN THE CORRECT QUESTION??

-This is a correct, but rather unspecific, question. The answer is TIME PERIOD SPECIFIC. But, during the Sengoku it would imply a client relationship with someone (fighting for food, protection, and later money). During the Tokugawa, it implies a whole truck-ton of class benefits on account of being the legal ruling class (including, probably, a stipend), but also implies probably bored and or poor.

How does a daimyō organize his men? Police his realm?

How does peasant language differ from samurai or noble language? Are regional dialects greater then class dialects?

What means of peaceful protest are commonly practiced? By women?

Who owns the land?

-This is a very complicated question. OMG. I can’t even answer this question for modern day USA. Did you know that there are like, laws about how PGE is allowed into your backyard? You like sign a thing! It says! On the deed thing! Crazy.

How are taxes collected?

How much does space cost, in a city? If you don’t live in a village, how do you pay rent? How do you pay rent in a village? (See, who owns the land?)

When does the Will of their father go out of effect? How much does being the expected heir matter before it is official? When does it become official?

During the Sengoku period, does a warrior have any reason to switch which family he is serving?

What are those reasons?

-They’re going to loose so hard. You’re mad at them. Money.

What could prevent change? (Oaths, societal recrimination…) How do you seek out ‘new employment’? Can service be temporary? What is the meaning of service?

What age does a person no longer count as little?

How is a prostitute identified? Who counts as a prostitute?

What are the costs to be sexually involved with someone of high status?

What are the benefits?

How are the standards for sexual involvement different for high status men and women?

What is the tension between youth and power? How is it dealt with?

How does being the illegitimate daughter of a relative of the emperor go?

-Well, ‘illegitimate’ is probably not a good word. I don’t quite understand the different meanings of different parents yet.

How do people feel about suddenly finding out they have imperial cousins?

Is the contract between a lord and his retainers official or unofficial?

Is it written? What are the terms and expectations?

Do you marry your enemies? How does a defeated/surrendering clan swallowed by a bigger daimyō survive? (Sengoku)

In the house of a powerful daimyō in the Sengoku, what is the female head of household’s role? What about in the Tokugawa?

How does the whole ‘having two households’ thing work? What position does the non-wife lady of the house occupy? What are her responsibilities? If the wife is in Edo, who does the wife’s work back in the province?

How is expected wife’s work changing in this time?

What is the title of the female head of household? Just wife? What if she’s not married to the male head of house?

What title does your uncle’s concubine get?

What counts as a household?

Specialized Knowledge

Who had medical knowledge in the Sengoku, and how much?

Who manages the horses?

How are maps made?

How accurate are they? Who makes them?

Who has professional business moving in the woods?

Who manufactures weapons?

What are some common techniques for self-disguise?

How is women’s knowledge differentiated from men’s knowledge?

Who learns herb-lore?

How is glue made?

Travel and Communication

Did the Ashikaga shogunate have a postal system? Was there one in the Sengoku period? How did people get messages to one another? Important people? Poor people?

Who maintains the roads?

Are messengers sacrosanct?

Where does a messenger wait inside a castle? And for how long?

What were litters, carriages, and other methods of being transported?

What is the difference between a litter and a palanquin and box on sticks? What was each like?

When do you walk and when do you ride and when do you take a litter?

Do ladies ride? How is men and women riding different?

Who travels? In each period, who was likely to be on the road and why?

Itinerant priests, monks, merchants?

How are trade and travel regulated?

-Sengoku, each daimyō regulates on their own. At some point, but I don’t know what year, Oda Nobunaga told all the people under him to pretty much stop putting tolls on the roads and the trade, but I don’t know how far that went, or who else did it.

How do you purchase weapons? Large amounts of weapons?

How does shopping for the household work?

How do seals on letters and important documents work?

What other forms of identification/authentication are there for letters, documents, orders?

How do you address letters? What are the conventions for letter writing?

Are letters dated?

How do you speak differently in a letter?

How many issues are addressed in each letter? (One issue each, lots of letters, or one letter each lots of issues?)

Do you read your mail yourself? Do you write it yourself?

What do envelopes look like and how are they made? Do you buy them made, or make them yourself?

How long does a good forgery take?

What sort of measures are there to defend against that kind of thing?

How does a daimyō get intelligence about his land? About the land of his neighbors?

What do you rely on to understand what’s going on over there?

What are maps for?

How are the stars named?

Are there saddle bags? How are they made? How much do they carry?

How do inns work? Who patronizes them? Where to important people stay? How do they look? What services do they offer? How do you tell an inn is a good inn?

Are there systems for quartering and requisitioning of houses? If there was no where else to sleep, would a daimyō sleep in a peasant’s house?

Do people welcome traveling strangers into their houses?

Do temples put people up? For how long? What if they pay?

-I know they sometimes put pilgrims up.

What does the camp of a traveling daimyō look like? In the Sengoku? At the beginning of the Tokugawa period? Nearer to the middle?

What are tents like? What are they made of? How are they heated and lit? What do they have in them amenities wise?

How nice does a tent have to be before you take your shoes off?

How does a peasant travel?

How do traveling peasants carry their stuff?

How is all the stuff for a procession carried?

How are big camps and marches and processions organized generally?

When you bring women along, is it different?

When a daimyō travels, how is the camp organized? Whose job is it to logistics this humongous undertaking?

How are the servants and duties different when you travel?

See Food

When traveling, who do the children travel with? (A nurse?)

How are the horses cared for on long journeys? Stable tent?

Who carries water in a camp? What do they use to carry it?

Urbanization and the City (and Edo)

How was Edo organized and regulated? How fast did it grow?

How is water handled in Edo? Did the Baku build wells in Edo?

What sort of reaction did a powerful lord receive? (Probably not that strong, with daimyō processions coming and going so often)

Do cities have walls? How high are they? What are they made of? How are they made?

Was there a height restriction on mansion walls in Edo?

Are the city gates closed?

When, and in what form, where streets lit?

Where are villages established? How does a growing urban place interact with the villages around it?

-Fancy houses on the tops of the hills around Edo were established for the daimyō, and of course the city kind of grew up around them.

What do shops look like? Doors to the street? Shop signs? How are goods presented?

-I know that you step up into shops, and the shop has a raised floor which the shop girls walk around on.

How are the streets policed?

Are official announcements posted around the city? On paper?

What challenges would be presented by roof walking in Edo? In a less urban area?

Are the streets paved? With what? Or is it just mud and dust? Do the houses get washed?

What hours are children on the streets? If they aren’t fooding from their parents, where do they food?

What sort of infrastructure is in place for orphan care? Where children live if they don’t live with family?

When are children ‘put to work’? How do you get a job, and what sort of job is it? (Early Edo, industry?)

What sort of industry did Edo have in the 1650s? 1700s?

What are the roads called?

How are streets identified? How much planning is done on streets? How are they designed?

Was the river clogged with the mess of the city?

When you’re at business all day, where do you eat lunch? Can you picnic on the grounds?

Does the Great Interior resemble the system in Kyoto or in daimyō houses?

-Only aspirationally.

How is the Great Interior decorated? Do they have gardens? What are the rules?

What do the women there do all day?

When did women gain control of shogunal access?

In what ways to more powerful women express their power over their companions?

Who is in charge of discipline and what sort powers do they have?

What contact do these women have with people who don’t live with them? Where do the servants live?

-Not much! Women over a certain rank weren’t ever allowed to leave the Great Interior. Servants, both private and employed by the GI lived in. Lower class servants had a contract and could leave after it was up.

Who hires them? How many people do you bring with you?

Who reads your mail?

What happens if your family goes to war?

How do top-tier Bakufu council meetings go? How do politics go? (By which I mean, what is the experience of politics, which I understand to be largely out-system maneuvering to get in system results.)

War and Weaponry

How is war declared?

Are prisoners exchanged? What’s the process?

What expectations and etiquette surrounds captivity? What about for daimyō or important relations?

What does it mean to be a prisoner?

Where are prisoners kept? How are they treated?

Do you take prisoner’s shoes off?

How often are hostages executed?

Who goes to war?

What sort of training do they have? Equipment stipends?

-Sengoku: Clan groups train together, and post 1550s extensively in things like drill.

What are they expected to bring with them?

Where do they meet?

(See Learning)

What sort of unarmed combat (if any) was practiced? What sort of knife combat?

What sort of concealed weaponry was there?

What sort of banners do processions and armies carry?

-Sengoku, there were (at least) individual banners for important people.

-Messengers carry a messenger banner, which is different for different leaders.

Do the banners indicate who is in command? A lord or an individual or a rank?

How is rank shown on amour or personal insignia or belongings?

How do I know someone is a general or a sergeant or what?

How is an army fed?

What sort of accommodations do soldiers travel with?

What does the ‘chain of command’ look like?

How are armies organized?

-By clan group. (Although I think this may have changed in some armies post 1550s.)

What where the rules about being in the army and having sex?

What place did women have in an army?

Where are weapons kept at night, on the road and at home? (Swords, other weapons) When you are in danger? When you are supposed to be being peaceful?

How are weapons stored?

How does conquest go?

Is there a formal process?

Can you behead the leader of the enemy clan? What are the consequences?

Pages: See service

How is surrender and truce arranged, signaled and sealed?


How do armies communicate with each other? With themselves? Banner waving, fan waving, musket shots, messenger? How are orders passed along?

-Sengoku: There are messengers, they ride on horses like crazy people, wear big balloons to block them from arrows and they go from group to general to group real fast. (Tsukai-ban)

Is there a time/place in Japan where arms are banned entirely?

How are injuries dealt with? On the battle field? Are there infirmary tents?

How are swords peace-bonded? Are they?

What are the rules about peasants and bows?

-Bows take a lot of training. So, they never caught on for non-full time samurai?

How are bows cared for and transported?

In the Sengoku, what sort of warrior used what sort of weapon?

-Well, to start with, it transitioned. Hoorrraay!

Samurai mostly used spears, or, for lower ranks (not on horses) swords. Foot soldiers used spears.

-Then, later, foot soldiers used guns. Oh baby, the guns. (Bows haven’t gone completely out of style, they are more accurate, and samurai squads assigned to bow-doing still bow-do.)

What are the ceremonies that surround battle?

What is valued in a warrior? A war leader?

How many horses do you have?

-Not as many as you have people!

At what point (if ever) does it transition from each warrior taking care of their own horse to horses owned by a lord to mount a troop?

Muskets. (Purchasing: See travel and communication)

What sort?

-A matchlock arquebus thing. Apparently no stand required.

How are they loaded?

How are they made? What are they made of?

What is the range, accuracy, learning curve, maintenance, cost?

-About 30-50m. They take less training then a bow, but are ‘less accurate’.

What is required to fire them (powder, shot)? How is it manufactured?

How is gunpowder and shot stored? Transported? Manufactured? Transported across the ocean?

How quickly after arms were banned/restricted did arms actually go away? What sort of collection measures were taken?

When do you receive your first weapon? Which weapon is it? (How does that change over time?) What does it mean?

When do samurai boys start riding?

What do we say to a boy who has just gone through his first battle?

Battle masks. Do people actually wear them? What are they good for besides looking sweet?

How are enemy bodies treated? Their stuff?

If one wanted to hire bandits, who is available?

You repair your own armor, right? Do you lacquer your own sane?

How much does home repair cost? Who pays for armor maintenance?

If you shout for someone, what do you shout? In a military context?

Are there siege weapons? What sort? Who makes them?

What do the people left at home do?

Other Questions

How hard is it to kill a horse with an arrow?

Do unshod horses still kick up sod?