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Since this page was originally written I have not only noted a great deal of typographical errors in the text, plus others in the illustrations, I've also had the chance to do more research and consequentially rethought some of the ideas herein expressed. However I won't be making the necessary corrections until the end of this year (2010), after our two Japanese tents have been completed and photographed. I'll then take the opportunity to fully revise this guide. Apologies for any inconvenience.
Note added on Wednesday March 24th 2010
The principle purpose of this article is to provide on-line specifications for the maker of our Japanese tent. After completion, the article will be redrafted and include pictures of the results.
DON'T PANIC! This friendly statement is here to assure you that the seemingly overly complicated diagrams set out in the How To section, are intended just to be comprehensive. They are, in fact not difficult to grasp (hopefully). They are there not only to show how to do a thing, but how to avoid costly and frustrating mistakes. Although not aimed at the absolute beginner, I have detailed some basic elements, such as certain seams and hems which are also used by the Japanese. I've done this because not everyone knows the right terms for a given seam, or alternatively agrees exactly what is meant by for example a "French Seam".
A brief word on textiles: when planning any large project like those set out in these pages, you must always take in to consideration the fact that even with modern manufacturing technology, both the width and the colouring of a single bolt of fabric will vary over it's length. For making clothing this is not really a problem, as "local" variations will not make any difference, but it can do, when making something forty or fifty feet long. Historically, this was even more of a serious problem, but careful selection and matching, usually reduced it's noticeability. Personally, I would suggest that you not concern yourself too much with this issue, as the resulting varriations with modern fabrics, will probably match reasonably well to a historical example, but don't expect absolute uniformity. However, when buying cloth, check it thoroughly for serious flaws in the weave or in the dying. For example I have two bolts of pure Irish linen cloth, one of which is hand dyed in "rose madder", wherein one end is far paler than the other. Whilst the second is a burnt-umbar coloured cloth, with a weaving flaw running along it's entire length, right down the middle. In either case a bit of planning solves the problems, and means that you can use faulty textiles bought with a bit of haggling resulting in huge discounts. I was lucky enough to get my examples at circa £1.00 per metre for full bolts in 36" and 58" widths respectively. Irish linen can cost as much as £25.00 per metre in the shops, but if you go to one of the re-enactment fairs you can pick up high quality fabric at £6.00 instead, normally 60" wide. Excellent for all projects!
The weight of the fabric used historically would have probably been somewhere between that of a lightweight shirt (5oz.) through to a heavy canvas (14oz.). My current pair of home made European tents are of 6 and 8 ounce fabrics respectively, whereas the proposed commercially made Japanese one will be made up out of 12-14oz fabrics, as these will better repel heavy rainfall. Please bare in mind that these heavier materials must be sewn with an industrial grade machine as it will wreck an ordenary one in short order.
Then there is the issue of scale. Modern Europeans are considerably larger than their medieval Japanese counterparts, and so when designing any item, it is as well to be aware that on average you will need to add about 5-15% extra to your projects size, to avoid it looking too small, or make it appear as though it is being used by giants. You should also bare in mind that not only is there a scale issue, but one of differing proportions between body parts. For example, despite the hight differences, head sizes tend to be not that different, but Japanese hands are tiny in proportion to their arms when compared to Europeans, alternatively ours are huge. This difference can be quite easily seen when handling period Japanese armour. As I understand it this issue is these days less pronounced due to the improved diet of the Japanese over the last 60 or so years.
Regarding the authenticity of the various designs shown in this article, it must be appreciated that our sources of evidence are almost exclusively from art; paintings, prints, manuscripts and scrolls etc. An interpretation of these can be made, backed up by knowledge of the techniques employed in other crafts, such as sewing, printing and dyeing, for which surviving examples are available for study. However in the end the resulting designs are never more than a best guess. Therefore I have written this document, not as an accademic submission, but as a practical engineering guide for the re-enactor and live-role player, who wants to actually build one of these things for use in the field. If you have any questions, observations, suggestions etc. please EMAIL me, Dean Wayland or phone me on 01438-368177 and I'll do my best to respond. So with all this in mind read on, and hopefully enjoy.
Acknowledgements: Much thanks to Mary R. Gentle (Author) for producing the technical diagrams from my incomprehensible notes and instructions. I also wish to thank the following people who have personally contributed to and aided my research in this field over the years: Ian Bottomley (Royal Armouries/Author), Anthony J. Bryant (Author), David (Dag) Gavin (Tent & Costume Maker), Jock Hopson (Author), Mike & Sue Jessop (The Wade Collection, Snowshill Manor), Stephen R. Turnbull (Author), and numerous members of the Samurai-Archives and SCA's "Japanese" mailing lists.
Picture 3: a late HEIAN era illustration from a scroll showing a pair of Japanese tents, being used for some kind of civilian festivities, possibly including a cock fight. (11th or 12th century). Note the open ended roof typical of AKUNOYA/AKUSHA of this era. The one at left has its wall in place.
Japanese tents or pavilions known interchangeably as AKUNOYA or AKUSHA, were not generally used in the way that Europeans deployed their equivalent shelters. They were mainly used in the way that we today use a garden gazebo to provide temporary shelter from the sun and rain, in their case at formal events such as religious, festive or political ceromonies. However during the 16th century, at the height of the "warring states era" (SENGOKU-JIDAI) they were deployed at or near the headquarters of a DAIMYŌ ("great name" the Japanese feudal warlord), again not as a place to sleep in but as a venue for the conduct of planning meetings and the like out of the hot sun or rain. Senior warriors like these tended to take over the homes of other warriors, lords or farmers, temples or other buildings for their personal accomodation, while the common soldiery (ASHIGARU) and less well off SAMURAI, built temporary shelters, or just bedded down wherever they could find a dry spot, as soldiers the world over have ever done. As here in the UK there is a terrible shortage of suitable YASHIKI (residences or mansions), temples and a plient peasantry etc., we will be using these AKUNOYA as accomodation, complete with TATAMI (floor mats) and other furnishings. In addition it is intended that we research and try out their more primitive counterparts, the various improvised shelters made of cut wood, oilled paper and rush matting (GOZA) and straw raincoats (MINO).
An important difference between these historical fabrics and the modern European alternatives is their edge or "selvage". These early Japanese fabrics were made with a selvage wherein the cross threads of the bolt of cloth were very tightly woven back in to the body of the material, making them both very strong and essentially fray proof, illiminating the need for cutting and rolling the edges and thus no need for big seam allowances. On top of this, historically the Japanese first glued then tacked their seams together, resulting in virtually no wastage of fabric. This made products that were easy to take apart for thorough cleaning, which is fine if you have a large number of servents. As our tents will be machine made with European cut cloth, they will of necessity be sewn with finished seams, and thus a wider seam allowance must be taken into account when designing the fabric elements.
The company who we have approached to make the fabric components for our AKUNOYA, Past Tents uses a standard heavyweight 12-14 ounce fabric circa 36" (92cm) in width, which after splitting in half and sewing, will result in a "finished" stripe or "panel" of circa 16" in width, and so all our designs are based upon this measurement, see Figure 1 below. This number of 16" is in fact dependent upon the chosen seam allowance, it assumes a finished seam of circa 1"/25mm across, which requires 2" (5cm) off the panel's width when joining three pieces of cloth together (see also Figure 18). However if the seams are tighter, than the resulting panel width will be larger as will be the completed tent. This is why the tent's frame will only be built after the fabric component has been finished. However it is vital to use the same allowance throughout your design, so that the various parts match up to one another. So pick your allowance and stick to it.
Rather than giving precise measurements, tents are principally described in terms of the numbers of panels used (actual or theoretical) in their length or width, and sometimes height. Note that where I have given actual dimensions that they are based on the 16" figure, but this should be regarded as only a guideline, unless otherwise stated in the accompanying text.
The number of panels used in the design of a AKUNOYA is always odd, for example 7 wide x 15 long, 9 wide x 19 long or 11 wide x 25 long, as even numbers are not considered as auspicious. Tents with walls including vertical stripes and intended to overlap by one panel to seal the doorway always end up with their finished walls having an odd number of panels in total. For example each wall of a 9 x 25 panel tent would be 35 panels long, that is: 9 + 25 + 1 = 35.
I have no direct evidence to support the idea that the walls "overlapped" at the doorway of a tent. Indeed the only actual "doorway" form I've clearly seen is in one illustration has the ends of the walls merely butted together. See the right hand corner of Picture 4 above. Usually no doorway is visible whatsoever. Only in films like "SHOGUN" is it implied that the door at the centre of an end wall overlaps. However, many years of sleeping in drafty period tents, has convinced me of it's virtue! Also, as I mentioned above the Japanese prefer to avoid even numbers, so I suspect a wall section would be made to overlap for this reason, as well as keeping the rain and wind outside of the tent.
Now, the diagrams below look like an explosion in a paint factory, as the shades used are a wee bit bright, which although in theory would have been fine for our period (1543-1640) a very colourful age, period technology wasn't quite up to this degree of eye-popping harshness. These colours have with the exception of the "burgundy" and "golden yellow" used in Figures 40 & 41 , been selected as they are "web safe". So our replica AKUNOYA will in practise (fortunately) be somewhat more muted/restrained in their intensity especially after exposure to direct sunlight, so sunglasses will not be required, although for viewing this page, recommended.
KAMON meaning "family crest", are the heraldic devices seen on flags, armour, household goods etc. These MON (crests) like the School's crossed swords logo at the top of this page, were also painted on to tents, or more often created during the cloths dying process. For us, it will be Dylon fabric paint, templates, brushes and patience!
KAMON can be placed all over the fabric, or laid out in a more conservative pattern. Typically they are about 12" across and rendered in either black or white to contrast against the background colour. Coloured MON do appear but seem to be less common as far as I can tell.
AKUNOYA comprise four elements:
Picture 6: an illustration from a scroll showing an AKUSHA with both horizontally striped roof and walls. Note that the walls themselves have been rolled up and tied to the frame, and that another JINMAKU has been erected around it. This AKUSHA has a 6 x 3 vertical pole layout, making it quite long. Note the rope running across the top of the roof, which is of the open ended form. Here you can see some of the internal structure, as well as the "V" shape that the two roof ropes make at each end. The surrounding JINMAKU appears to be suspended from wooden poles rather than ropes. This image also serves as a link to the only other English language web site dealing with Japanese tents, SENGOKUDAIMYO.COM written by Anthony J. Bryant, American author and Japanese re-enactor, which also has some other nice illustrations, click his image above to go direct to his tent page.
With the exception of the wall-less "gazebo" like shelter Figures 8-12, all our designs use a vertically striped roof panel, see Figure 3. The bottom of this upper striped portion denotes the lowest edge of the roof section itself, which always overlaps the wall with a fringe. Above this on the side views is a black line that represents the change in direction from the vertical portion of the roof section to the sloped or "pitched" portion. This change in direction is shown at 6' 8" above the ground (which is here represented by the long green panel with the warriors standing upon it). As stated above the lower vertical portion of the roof panel slightly over laps the top of the wall by about 9", which is why when there is a horizontal stripe at the wall's top, as opposed to a purely vertically striped type wall, this horizontal panel is shown as narrower in width than its compatriot running along the ground (see Figures 3 & 29 for comparison). In fact both the outer faces of these horizontal stripes are the same width at 16". The bottom edge of the wall's upper horizontal stripe, and the top of the one running along the ground is also marked with a black line, so as to make it clear that these are seams between seperate panels of otherwise identical coloured cloth (see the red panels on the walls in Figure 3). All our designs have centred doorways of the over-lapping panel form, therefore a black and white vertical line is shown in the end views, drawn on the open edge of the over-lapping panel to show its position. These always overlap left over right in the same manner as for KIMONO, as right over left is only done on the garments of a corpse.
For reasons of clarity, the three guy lines and stakes that should be present In the end view diagrams have been omitted, and are only shown in the side and one of the plan views. As mentioned above, there is sometimes another rope running along the upper face of the roof, to aid in securing it, again we have omitted this, along with its "V" portion that would otherwise be seen in the end views (see Picture 4 above).
The SAMURAI and ASHIGARU figures are there to give you a rough idea of scale.
In some of the sewing diagrams I have used the terms "inside" and "outside" to show whether the "face" indicated is on the outside or inside of the tent. Elsewhere I have used the sewing terms "wrong side" or "right side" which for our purposes here equate to inside and outside respectively. This has been done because these illustrations will also be used in clothes making descriptions, where their meaning will be more closely defined.
Finally, some illustrations such as Figures 16-18 are drawn in a exadurated "block" style, showing the fabric in an "edge-on" plan view. This has been done to hopefully make things clearer, but in all cases these technical diagrams are provided with descriptions/instructions to aid in their interpretation.
If necessary, Option#2, a shorter 21 panel version can be built instead. All that is required is to remove four panels from the centre of the design. See panels 17, 18, 19 and 20 of the main roof and walls of Figure 14 below. The shorter tent will be circa 64" shorter at 28' long. The design can be further reduced by another 32", to a 19 panel model, Option#3, by removing panels 16 and 21 as well, making it 25' 4" overall.
Figure 4: End View (both ends are identical).
Figure 5: Plan View: note the black line at the centre that indicates the apex of the roof. Also note the sets of three guy lines and pegs at each end of the AKUNOYA.
Figure 6: The roof section being used as a stand alone shelter.
Figure 7: The wall being used as a JIN-MAKU or "camp curtain", supported by special poles with iron hooks and decorative finials, built for the task. It is shown laid out in an "[" shape, so that only the middle 25of it's 35 panels are directly visible.
As mentioned above, unlike the other tents, the roof section is open at its two ends, and in the first example (Figures 8 & 9) you can see the tips of the supporting poles projecting beyond the canvas. Alternatively the roof fabric may be made longer and allowed to drape over the pole ends forming a short fringe like border at each end circa 9" deep, like those along the long sides, see Figures 10 & 11.
This open ended design lends itself more easily than the closed off variety to a horizontally striped pattern, so this is what we intend to use, as it will render it even more distinct from it's European counterpart. The coloured stripes are arranged, would you believe, as per the days of the week, five of which are named for the Chinese elements, and goes as follows: starting from the bottom, we have red ("fire-day = Tuesday"), black ("water-day" = Wednesday), blue ("wood-day" = Thursday), white ("metal-day" = Friday) and yellow ("earth-day" = Saturday), then back to red. Another reason for our choice of this arrangement of colours is that when standing under it, the darker shades are at eye level, providing the best protection from direct sunlight, whereas the paler colours are towards the centre and above the head, making the interior hopefully brighter. NB: in Figure 12 the black horizontal lines between the coloured stripes mark the seams, which are arranged like a tiled roof to aid in the drainage of rain water. See also Figures 9 and 11 which indicate this "tiling" by exadurating the overlapping effect of the higher panels over the lower ones.
Figure 8b. this is the same version of the AKUSHA fitted with a pair of our JINMAKU to provide superior shelter. See Picture 7 below for a photo of our JINMAKU.
Figure 9: End View: note the vertically hanging fringes at the sides only and the top of the internal frame. NB: the roof has been illustrated with an exadurated "tiled" structure to more clearly indicate the over-lap arrangement of the roof panels.
Figure 10: Side View: note the absence of the wooden pole tips at each end, the roof being longer than the frame, providing it with a fringe at the ends as well as the sides.
Figure 11: End View: The fringed version, created by the excess roof fabric hanging over the end of the frame. NB: the roof has been illustrated with an exadurated "tiled" structure to more clearly indicate the over-lap arrangement of the roof panels.
The diagram is shown orientated in portrait format, with west to east running from top to bottom, and south to north going left to right. This had to be done as the image was too large to be displayed in the correct landscape format. In the very centre is the main roof panel, with it's two triangular inserts above and below. At left is the south wall, and at right the north. At the very top of the illustration is drawn the overlap layout for the west end triangular insert together with the first three panels of the fringe of the main roof, while at the very bottom is that for the corresponding eastern end. Arrows indicate which overlap belongs to which panel. At the far left and right at the mid-point in the diagrams length are the middle panels of each wall, showing the direction of the tiling which runs the same from west to east, and end to end.
The numbers and colours in each wall corresponds to it's counterpart in the roof section, with an additional identifying suffix in the panels of the two triangular end sections. Panels N1, S1 and R1 and N35, S35 and R35 are the central panels of each end of the tent's walls and roof, whereas panels N18, S18 and R18 are the mid point in it's length*. The overlap arrangement runs from west to east (top to bottom in this illustration). The first number in a sequence overlaps the following one. By the way, this tiling effect is identical to that used in putting together the iron plates of a Japanese helmet or KABUTO. Following this design will result in all the seams and colours lining up correctly as in Figure 13A. Because this design has a horizontal stripe along the top of each wall, seperating the stripes of the roof from those of the walls, you might wish to argue that this is unnecessary, but firstly it will create a width error in each end panel, and secondly I have found that if you are going to do a job, do it right and do it well, as the devil is always in the detail, and it will show up if you do it wrong.
The panels are joined to one another by using the seam illustrated in Figure 18. The tops of the walls, and the bottoms of both roof and walls are hemmed as per Figure 17. The narrow ends of the walls are hemmed as per Figure 19, and the loops (aka tabs) are made and installed as per Figure 20. For our design of wall you also need to consult Figure 16A, for other options see the rest of Figure 16.
IMPORTANT: to ensure that the two triangular sections end up as the same width it is vital to cut the cloth for the central panels of the walls and roof at each end asymetrically, as follows (see also Figure 1C & 1D):
This will make the finished width of every panel when viewed from the outside look the same at 16". Because of the way the overlap is done, it will also make the overall length of the triangular roof sections the same. Not to do so would result in a missfit and distortion of the roof, as the western end would be an inch too wide, and the eastern end an inch too narrow overall. See also Figure 15.
*If it is decided to go for either of the shorter options in the same color scheme, then for Option#2, after panels 17, 18, 19 and 20 have been removed from the design for the main roof and the two walls, then panels S16, R16 and N16 become the new mid point in the length of the tent. In Option#3 the mid-point becomes panels S15, R15 and N15 after panels 16 and 21 have also been removed. For ease keep the numbers for the following panels the same, unless you really want me to tell Mary that you want her to redraft the image!
The actual height of the triangular end sections at there centre is, despite the effect of the exadurated "tiling" shown in the above illustration, in fact the same at 45" when fully finished. The two ends only differ in that the western end has a 1.5" total vertical seam allowance, whereas the eastern end has a deeper 2.5" one due to the differences in the way the panels overlap.
Figure 16A: For this style of wall the two long horizontal strips need to be cut asymetrically, see Figure 1C, the upper being 17.5" wide, and the lower 18.5", so that when finally viewed from outside they are the same width as all the other panels at 16". The two vertical end stripes are also cut to these same widths. All the other panels are cut as per normal (18"). I'd recommend cutting the long panels at least a metre longer than required as sewing can in effect shrink the fabric over such a long distance. The vertical strips need to be cut 45" long.
The vertical stripes are assembled first, using the overlap pattern specified in Figure 14, and the standard seam described in Figure 18. Great care must be taken to ensure that the whole thing remains straight, as it is quite easy to inadvertently put in a curve. The top and bottom hems should then be installed on the top and bottom panels, see Figure 17. Then these two panels should be attached to the vertically striped section using the standard seam, Figure 18. Once completed the ends of the walls should be hemmed using Figure 19. Finally the susspension loops (aka tabs) should be made and fitted, see Figure 20.
Figure 16B: For this style of wall the single horizontal strip needs to be cut to a width of 17.5" so that when finally viewed from outside it is the same width as the other panels at 16". The two vertical end stripes are also cut to these same widths. All the other vertical panels are cut as per normal, 18" wide. I'd recommend cutting the long panel at least a metre longer than required as sewing can in effect shrink the fabric over such a long distance. The vertical strips need to be cut 61.5" long.
The vertical stripes are assembled first, using the overlap pattern specified in Figure 14, and the standard seam described in Figure 18. Great care must be taken to ensure that the whole thing remains straight, as it is quite easy to inadvertently put in a curve. The top and bottom hems should then be sewn in to the top of the long upper panel and at the bottom of the assembled striped section, see Figure 17. Then these two panels should be attached to one another using the standard seam, Figure 18. Once completed the ends of the walls should be hemmed using Figure 19. Finally the susspension loops (aka tabs) should be made and fitted, see Figure 20.
Figure 16C: For this style of wall all panels with the exception of the first and last are cut to a width of 18". The first panel is cut to a width of 17.5", and the last to 18.5", so that they end up as the same width as all the others at 16" when viewed from outside. All panels are 77" deep.
The panels are assembled using the overlap pattern specified in Figure 14, and the standard seam described in Figure 18. Great care must be taken to ensure that the whole thing remains straight, as it is quite easy to inadvertently put in a curve. Upon completion the top and bottom hems should be sewn as per Figure 17. Next, the ends of the walls should be hemmed using Figure 19. Finally the susspension loops (aka tabs) should be made and fitted, see Figure 20.
Figure 16D: For this style of wall the top and bottom strips need to be cut to a width of 16.5" and 17.5" respectively. The remaining three panels are cut to a width of 17". This is done so that when finally viewed from outside they will all be the same width at 15". This reduced width is vital to ensure that the total wall height does not exceed 75"*. I'd recommend cutting these long panels at least a metre longer than required as sewing can in effect shrink the fabric over such a long distance.
First the top and bottom hems should be sewn in to the top of the long upper panel and at the bottom of the lowest one using Figure 17. Then each of these panels should be sewn together using the standard seam, Figure 18. Once completed the ends of the walls should be hemmed using Figure 19. Finally the susspension loops (aka tabs) should be made and fitted, see Figure 20.
*You may wish to consider having your roof panels 1" narrower, so that the design is uniform. The downside of this is that your tent would be smaller and there would be more wastage from a 36" wide source fabric.
Figure 17A-E: The default value for "X" is 0.5", resulting in a hem 0.5" across. |
Simply fold the edge of your fabric in on the "wrong" side, that's the part that will be on the inside of the tent when finished. Then do this a second time, and pin down. Sew in place with a single row of stitching, or if desired, a double row. If you have gone for a wider hem, two rows of stitching will give a much better finish to the edge.
Figure 18A: The default value for "X" is 0.5", and will result in a finished seam that is 1" across.
Starting with the panel that will lie below the new one in a sequence, so that it is the right side up, that is the face that will be on the outside of the tent when finished. Fold in it's edge once, and go to Figure 18B.
Figure 18B: Lay the new panel on top of the first one, so that it has it's "wrong" side upwards facing you. This is the face that will be on the inside of the tent when it is finished.
Move it's edge up to the turned edge of the lower panel and pin it in place, then proceed to Figure 18C.
|Figure 18C: Mark a line 0.5" from it's edge, marked as "D" , then stitch the two panels together. Proceed to Figure 18D.|
|Figure 18D: Fold the new panel forward over the stitch line. And proceed to Figure 18E.|
Figure 18E: The upper half of this image labelled (i) is here really only as a reference, that is because it is in the same orientation as the proceeding illustrations. In practise it is better to turn the whole thing over and view your work as shown next to (ii), as this will make working with it so much easier
Now, pull the new panel taught, and pin it in place. Once done sew the two panels together for a second time.
Lastly, turn the work back over to prepare it for the attachment of the next panel. Try not to get your work twisted.
Note that on the underside of your seam you will see two lines of stitching, while on the top there will only be one.
The following is the alternate method of constructing the above seam, replacing 18A-C. Upon completion of "ALT C", go back up to "18D" above and continue from there.
Figure 18 ALT A: Withe the first panel laid down with it's right side up, being the face that will be on the outside of the finished tent, lay the new panel "right" side down on top of it. This should leave the new panel's inside face up.
Move the edge of the new panel to point "B" being 1" from the edge of the first panel and pin it in place. Now proceed to Figure 18 ALT B.
|Figure 18 ALT B: Come in 0.5" from the edge of the upper panel to point "D", mark, then sew the two panels together. Proceed to Figure 18 ALT C.|
|Figure 18 ALT C: Fold in the edge of the lower panel to meet that of the upper one and proceed to Figure 18D.|
|Figure 20A: Take your 3.5" x 29" panel and fold it in half and pin in position. Go to Figure 20B.|
|Figure 20B: Mark two stitching lines each 0.5" in from the edge, and thensew the two halves of cloth together. Go to Figure 20C.|
|Figure 20C: Take a narrow but stout stick and use it to turn the hollow panel inside out. Go to Figure 20D.|
|Figure 20D: Make sure that you push out the corners fully so that they will lay flat when installed upon the wall. Go to Figure 20E.|
|Figure 20E: Turn up the bottom 0.5" inside the panel and flatten it. Go to Figure 20F.|
|Figure 20F: Sew the open end of the panel shut. Go to Figure 20G.|
|Figure 20G: Fold the finished panel in half. Go to Figure 20H.|
|Figure 20H: This is the finished tab or loop ready to install upon your wall. Note the horizontal seam on the rear portion of the tab. Go to Figure 20J.|
Figure 22: End View.
Figures 26-28 show an arrangement of the wall section wherein there is only a single horizontal stripe running along its top edge. To date I have not yet seen an illustration of an AKUNOYA or AKUSHA fitted with a wall like this, but JIN-MAKU of this pattern do appear. Therefore it seems possible that such a JINMAKU was at sometime made to match up to a roof section.
Figure 24: End View: western entrance to Figure 23.
Figure 25: End View: eastern entrance to Figure 23.
Figure 26: Side View. a single horizontal striped wall variant of an asymetric pattern.
Figure 27: End View: western entrance to Figure 26.
Figure 28: End View: eastern entrance to Figure 26.
Figure 41: End View, complete with an army of ASHIGARU!
Picture 7: a photograph of our JIN-MAKU set up at the Military Odysseydisplay of 2005.
JIN-MAKU, are made in either vertical or more commonly by our period (1543-1640), horizontal stripes. Very early versions were made with a horizontal stripe top and bottom, with vertical ones in between, being in practise the walls of an AKUNOYA, see Figure 42 below. Prior to our period JINMAKU began to also be made with a single horizontal stripe running across the top, as an alternative to the older fashion.
For a MAKU like ours, five "standard" 40'-45' long bolts of cloth in widths of circa 16"-18", are used to make a curtain five panels tall, and full bolt length. Incidentally this is the same size of bolt used for making a single KIMONO type garment. Ours is made of pure Irish dark and pale blue linen, 75" tall, and 42' long, and yes it is made up of five separate panels of cloth sewn together. The source material was originally 32" wide for the dark blue, and 58" for the pale.
In the field the MAKU hangs by contrasting fabric loops from a rope attached via iron hooks on circular wooden poles driven into the ground. The loops are about 4" long and spaced at a distance equal to the fabric width, circa 16", and fitted with the same traditional extra thick "cross-knots" as seen on banners for additional security. The tops of the poles are decorated with a finial made from a wooden cube (4"x4"x4"), which have their corners cut off to produce their distinctive shape. About 8" below this is an iron hook, from which the rope is suspended. See Picture 7 above and 8 below. Poles are usually painted, ours are currently plain black, but it is planned to redo them possibly in some form of striped pattern in a bright lacquer substitute, as real Japanese lacquer or URUSHI is quite dangerous to use. For ease of installation they have a 12" steel ferall at the bottom to make it easier to get them into the earth. When used for civilian purposes TOBARI, can sometimes be seen suspended from thin horizontal wooden poles rather than a rope, which in turn sit on top of the vertical supports. For our circa 160' JINMAKU, we have 15 poles, each being 8' 6" tall and 1.6" (40mm) in diameter. NB: we do NOT hammer them in, as this damaged the first one we tried to do this too. Instead a hole is first made and the pole inserted, and normally, but not always secured by four guy lines to 15" long wooden pegs. We have no evidence for the use of guy lines on MAKU poles, but we do see them on those used for flags. And as most site owners would object to us digging the poles in deep, we elected to use the guys and pegs instead.
Horizontal MAKU like ours, have periodic slits, that help to reduce the impact of the wind, and serve as "windows". They are arranged in groups forming a pattern starting at the top junction seam, with either 1 or 2 slits, then in a pyramid like arrangement you will find 2-3 at the next seam down as appropriate and then 3-4 below that. The lower junction seam has none, see Figure 43 & 44 below. To have a MAKU with these slits, it is best to make them authentically, that is out of five separate strips, each being fully pre-hemmed. When the slits are put in, the edges will be already turned over and hemmed, and all that is necessary is to put in a reinforcing stitch at each end of the split to both protect it and if desired to hold the window open slightly, see Figure 44 below. With regard to MON and the "windows", later on in the EDO period (1600-1867) rules were devised governing the number and arrangement of both MON and slits, and indeed what rank of warrior could use which level of slit, see Figure 45 below. So, remember, you have been warned, if you're found peaking through the wrong window at the wrong time it will probably cost you your head!
Figure 44: The assembly of the strips, and the making of a "window". Note the two versions of the reinforcing stitch: at left is a "cross-stitch" that prevents ripping but tends to keep the window closed, whereas the "whip-stitch" type holds it open, but can look less neat. (IMAGE TO BE ADDED)
Sadly, these slits didn't save one of our curtains when a gale force wind tore it and broke a pole at the 2006 Military Odyssey, despite each pole being guyed to four 15" pegs. NB: in scrolls, it is unclear whether or not guy lines and pegs are used to secure the poles, but we have found it essential. However, but as I said above there is evidence for banner poles being secured in this fashion. Currently our MAKU also does not have any ties at their end to affix them to a pole, as our only evidence has so far been a movie, but after our previous experiences, we will be adding six ties per end this year, one at each seam. On ours the MON are placed so as not to be split by a "window". Eventually each of our MAKU will have at least 3 MON, being about 36" in diameter, painted in between the 5 sets of slits. MON seem mostly to be either black or white, so as to contrast with their background, but coloured ones do exist. We decided upon red for ours, to provide some bright color on what is otherwise a sombar light and dark blue design. Vertically polarised MAKU, or those with a single horizontal stripe at their top, have the bottom 12"-18" or so of every other seam left open, again to reduce the effect of the wind. Our entire JIN-MAKU can be stored with its ropes and pegs in a single HITSU (wooden chest), measuring 19' wide by 18' deep and 25" tall, and easily carried by one person. The poles on the other hand, all 15 of them....
Putting a JINMAKU up is quite time consuming, especially if all the poles are being pegged out. Scrolls show trees and even parts of buildings being used to support the MAKU, so as to save time. Also, when the screen is overly long for a given task, its unused end can be seen unceromoniously piled up or draped across the ground. Sometimes an improvised gateway, much like a TORII made of logs is set up as an entrance to a camp, with the MAKU tied to it. JIN-MAKU, or as mentioned above, more correctly termed as TOBARI when in non-military service, can also be seen at shrines, made over-size in height with 6 horizontal panels, and similarly affixed to either side of the shrine's gateway.
Before putting your MAKU up, first lay it down along the route you wish to cover, then position your poles. When satisfied with your layout, make a loop in the rope at each pole point, make your hole in the ground and insert it. When ready to raise the MAKU, all you need to do is elevate it above the hook, and seat it there. This means that you do not need extra long arms or a box to stand on to get it in place! When taking it down, simply reverse the process. For speed we have found that leaving each panel's suspension rope threaded through its hanging loops when packing aids swift future deployment. Our guy lines are individual, four to a pole. Each has a loop at one end, for installation on the pole, in the same manner as the main MAKU's rope. Special attention must be paid to the guy line that runs out from the end of the MAKU as this takes the most strain. Incidentally, we found that securing our banner poles to the MAKU's ones reduced the number of guy lines available in camp to trip over, but this can add even more stress, especially if the wind gets up.
Finally, having built one of these very impressive devices, you must ensure that you retain a supply of spare fabric, rope and pegs, if you don't when it gets damaged it will show, fortunately for us we remembered this very important rule of fieldcraft!
More illustrations etc. will be attached to this part of the page as soon as they are ready.
European tentage was incredibly varried, in its materials, colours, sizes and shapes. Ranging from small 1 to circa 10 person "soldier's" tents through to "great pavillions" intended as accomadation or entertainment venues for the wealthy.
The former were very simple having a frame of two vertical poles, possibly with a ridge pole (dependent upon size), and a single canvas structure arranged as an inverted "V", with either flat or more often rounded (bell) ends. These look much more like a modern tent, however the entrance was typically in the side, where either an arched "doorway" or a simple slit was fitted. Larger examples (9'-12' tall) sometimes had an awning, extending out over the doorway supported upon an additional pair of poles. This style used few guy lines, but was extensively pegged down around its edge. Smaller versions were often plain white, whereas the larger ones were commonly made in two contrasting stripes, with heraldic badges painted upon their surfaces, although this practise reduced over time, due to the large sizes of European armies and the resulting costs of kitting them out in the 16th & 17th centuries.
The grander great pavillion style of tent were made normally in two separate parts, the wall and a roof panel. They are supported by a single stout pole at their centre with a "cartwheel" like structure at the base of the roof line. This comprises of a wooden hub, with spokes that engage with the canvas, to make an almost rigid structure. Our larger one (top of this section) has 20 spokes that terminate in iron spikes that pass through holes in the fringe of the roof. The wall is then tied to these spokes, and pegged out on the ground. The junction of the wall ends forms the doorway, which in some cases was shaped in to a arch and provided with another panel to serve as "door". This design makes use of a larger number of guy lines, our big one has 10, whereas our smaller 12' ground base diameter "pink pavillion" has 12 guys.
These pavillions are sometimes in plain cloth, but normally striped, or when the owner was of high status painted with heraldry, and fitted with a flag or other device at the apex. The fringe, the portion of the roof that overlapped the wall, was also sometimes finished in various decorative shapes, such as "dagging" (like a saw-tooth pattern). Very elaborate models, were made of brocade, and could be composed of two or three pavillions joined together with short corridors, thus creating a suite of rooms, see below.
These great pavillions had at least a ground diameter of 10', while a medium to large form, would, like ours (Picture 9 above) be 16' across or bigger at its base. Also ours is 10' in diameter at the bottom of the roof section and 13' tall, excluding the 5' flag pole.
Square or rectangular tents once again began to appear on the European battlefield during the late 16th and early 17th centuries, usually in the posession of officers. These could have pitched or pyramidical roof sections, usually had elaborate doorways.
Incidentally the reason why our larger pavillion is plain white, was that at the time it was made by us in 1988, we were unable to source any suitable coloured fabric, and we intended, but never got around to what would have been the very expensive task of painting it. We had chosen to do this as our 1985 experiment in dying resulted in our smaller tent ending up as the "pink pavillion", it was supposed to be red and yellow! For our next tent, the Japanese "great pavillion" we are commissioning John Waterhouse of Past Tents to build the fabric components - a very wise choice.
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