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Amparo Bertram

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05:32 pm: Toilets will always get their attention
Unfortunately, I was never presented with an opportunity to work on my yukata today, so I mainly whiled away the time at my desk, reading. Occasionally, though, I was consulted by one of the other English teachers. Her students are apparently putting together various presentations. One group is making a PowerPoint presentation about how noblewomen in the Middle Ages managed to use the toilet while wearing elaborate dresses. They seemed to have put a lot of work into researching the problem...

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From:firesign10
Date:June 2nd, 2005 08:28 am (UTC)
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Some things just reach across the ages.... hehehe!
I assume they had lots of help - presumably one of the less desirable functions of ladies-in-waiting?
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From:spacealien_vamp
Date:June 2nd, 2005 01:00 pm (UTC)
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I assume they had lots of help - presumably one of the less desirable functions of ladies-in-waiting?

Exactly. The Japanese noblewomen in particular--they wore special formal outfits called juunihitoe that were essentially twelve kimono layered on top of each other. They needed their serving women to hold their skirts up for them.
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From:firesign10
Date:June 2nd, 2005 01:12 pm (UTC)
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Yowza! *tries to imagine the heat and the weight of that*
I'll stick with present-day... :-)
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From:spacealien_vamp
Date:June 2nd, 2005 01:24 pm (UTC)
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Yowza! *tries to imagine the heat and the weight of that*

Keep in mind that they were not expected to be able to walk much. Generally, all they did was sit in their rooms all day. If they ever went out, they traveled by oxcart. This is why they became obsessed with literature--it was something they could do to pass the time. A noblewoman's value was based on A) her sense of fashion--they sat behind screens, so men could only see their sleeves peeking out, B) her ability to write, and C) her ability to play music.

[This trivia brought to you by far too many Heian Era romance novels.]
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