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Putting a komuso outfit together and making a Tengai hat
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Daniel Ryudo
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PostPosted: 2012-06-16, 13:20    Post subject: Putting a komuso outfit together and making a Tengai hat Reply with quote

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Great komuso photo with that North Carolina (I'm assuming) mountain backdrop. If you want to do a real wind test go up to the top of Mt. Mitchell. Are you going to be the first komuso to hike the Appalachian trail?
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PostPosted: 2012-06-23, 05:21    Post subject: Putting a komuso outfit together and making a Tengai hat Reply with quote

What a fantastic project this has been, Jon. It sounds like you really learned a lot throughout these months of researching, gathering materials and constructing your komuso garb. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences here.
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Daniel Ryudo
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PostPosted: 2012-06-23, 11:41    Post subject: Putting a komuso outfit together and making a Tengai hat Reply with quote

Yes, your self-constructed tengai is especially impressive; good to know that it helps to keep one cool in the heat of the sun.
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Iain Bankson
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PostPosted: 2012-06-23, 17:09    Post subject: Putting a komuso outfit together and making a Tengai hat Reply with quote

Jon Kypros wrote:

For me a total novice without any outside help it would have taken me two full weeks working non-stop almost all day with breaks for food and soaking the reeds. However, I made so many mistakes and had to tear apart days and even a week of work because of some mistake made previously. So much is effected by what you've done before which can be nerve racking and annoyingly symbolic. At times I felt completely defeated to the point of no emotion.



I have had infinite trouble weaving simple sushi mats. I can't imagine, even after you described it, how hard it was to make that tengai. Cheers Jon!
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Jon Kypros
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PostPosted: 2012-06-24, 02:51    Post subject: Putting a komuso outfit together and making a Tengai hat Reply with quote

Thank you guys,

Daniel - you are correct those are the Appalachian Mountains. I haven't been to Mt. Mitchell yet but I will have to go. I'm afraid I would get eaten by a bear walking the trail as a komuso Smile It really does keep the head very cool.

Erin - I did! It was quite a journey ;P Really.

Iain - Same here, I had a hard time with patterns, still do. I don't know what I was thinking starting it. It was a nightmare! But I'm glad I did it Smile
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Jon Kypros
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PostPosted: 2012-07-17, 21:30    Post subject: Putting a komuso outfit together and making a Tengai hat Reply with quote

Kiku Day wrote:
Wow! That is fantastic! Now almost there!
Do you know about the patterns of the kesa?


Kiku, a very nice women from Fukuoka that I met at this years bamboo festival in Asheville informed me that the pattern is 松竹梅 "sho chiku bai". She sent me a great page explaining the meanings:

http://www.miyokographix.com/shochikubai.html

Very happy coincidence that my Kesa can have such meanings!
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Kiku Day
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PostPosted: 2012-07-18, 11:22    Post subject: Putting a komuso outfit together and making a Tengai hat Reply with quote

Hi Jon

I apologise... I totally got away from this thread and forgot all about posting pictures and explaining what I meant. Sorry!

The kesa itself is sewn into patterns. Here I am not talking about patterns in the material used. I am sure there can be some symbolic meaning to the patterns in the material used for kesa - but here are photos to illustrate what I mean:



You see the way there is a "frame" made with the material itself. And inside that "frame" the material is sewn into patterns as well.

Next photo:



Here above there is a symbol of some sort sewn into the part that will appear on the shoulder of the person wearing the kesa. That symbol has a meaning as well.

I was given this kesa by Takahashi Suiko sensei. He is a Myōan Taizan-ha player. He did mumble when he gave it to me about the patterns and it was representing him and not me.... but he thought that was ok and if asked I could say I got it from him....
My aunt, who is a professor in islamic art was very interested in seeing my kesa. She has been studying "kesa" on Sufi mystics. The "kesa" (I don't know if they call it kesa) used by the sufis comes originally from Buddhism - she told me. She wanted to see the patterns my kesa was sewn into as a comparison with what she had seen of islamic "kesa".

I don't dare to write anything particular about these patterns as all my sources here are just from people telling me bits and pieces. I need to look more into it. When you posted about your kesa the first time, I wondered if you had found any sources about the patterns kesa are sewn into. And thought it would be great to know more. Perhaps something we should search for together... or perhaps someone here on the forum knows much more! Smile

Great stuff, Jon!!! Okay Okay Okay
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Jon Kypros
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PostPosted: 2012-07-18, 14:28    Post subject: Putting a komuso outfit together and making a Tengai hat Reply with quote

Hi Kiku,

When I set out to find info on these I did find a few really helpful PDF patterns. I decided to forego the complex pattern and just make my own simple version, i.e., a single piece of fabric with straps and "tag". I am still unsure as to whether or not it is more correct to call it a Rakusu, a Kesa, or a Kesaya, however, a google image search for Kesa seems to pull up more of the larger shawl while rakusu returns more of the "bib" like items.

Here's the PDF and some other sites with info on them.

www.upaya.org/teachings/rakusu-pattern.pdf

http://terebess.hu/zen/szoto/ruha.html

PS according to Denshi Jisho a "Kesa" is a stole worn over the shoulder and wikipedia says - "The rakusu is a miniature version of a standard kasaya worn around the neck like a bib. The rakusu is a garment of Chinese origins[1] dating back to the periods of the Buddhist persecutions from which the Ch'an Buddhist tradition emerged as the strongest sect."

So it would seem Komuso wear a smaller Rakusu over the shoulder in an unusual manner.
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PostPosted: 2012-07-18, 16:19    Post subject: Putting a komuso outfit together and making a Tengai hat Reply with quote

Hi Jon

That is a cool file with explanations. Thanks!!!
I will try to - one day - look into the more esoteric part of the kesa of the komusō monks.... I hope! Could be great to investigate!
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m a doherty
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PostPosted: 2012-08-06, 21:56    Post subject: Putting a komuso outfit together and making a Tengai hat Reply with quote

All three terms refer to the Buddha's robe, and thereafter monk's robes, and those worn by lay people as well, usually in meditation.

"Kasaya" is applicable to the historical Buddha directly, and those monks in the Indian tradition, as it is a sanskrit term.
The "Kesa" is a Zen adherent's meditation robe, which is fashioned after the Buddha's robe.
The "Rakasu" is a miniature (originally a travel version) version of the kesa. But the rakasu is also referred to as a "kesa".

The pattern on the kesa represents, in part, the original practice of piecing together the kesa with old patches of cloth - I believe 24 patches, but I am sure this can and does change by teacher and lineage.
The symbol on the back, around the neck represents, typically, the sect, soto or rinzai. The kesa you have Kiku is a soto sect, with a representative broken pine needle pattern.
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Kiku Day
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PostPosted: 2012-08-07, 05:57    Post subject: Putting a komuso outfit together and making a Tengai hat Reply with quote

cool thanks Michael. I wasn't so sure about where it belonged. Smile
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Jon Kypros
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PostPosted: 2012-12-19, 18:54    Post subject: Putting a komuso outfit together and making a Tengai hat Reply with quote

The Komuso version is ô-kuwara 大掛絡, larger than rakusu and worn over shoulder as we know~

Happy playing Smile Jon~

PS just finished this which I pieced together from another website along with my own knowledge etc.

1. Tengai (天蓋) "basket hat" "ten/天" sky-heaven "gai/蓋" cover
2. Kimono (紋付), usually "mon-tsuki" five crest
3. O-kuwara (大掛絡), like rakusu except larger and worn over shoulder
4. Obi (帯), "kaku-obi" stiff cotton belt for men
5. Second shakuhachi (usually fake these days)
6. Netsuke (根付) place to store small items
7. Kyahan (脚半) "shin covers"
8. Tabi (足袋) "split toe socks"
9. Waraji (草鞋) "straw sandals"
10. Hachimaki (鉢巻) "head band"
11. Shakuhachi (尺八) 1.8 "D/Db"
12. Tekou (手甲) hand-forearm covers
13. Gebako (偈箱) "alms box" which also held official komuso papers
14. Fusa (房) "tassle"


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