Magic as advanced technology

Rowland, Jennifer A B jennifer.rowland at
Mon Sep 20 06:39:02 EDT 2004

Melissa wrote:
> But reading *about* _Genji_ is quite interesting.

Heian Japan was a fascinating world, I get quite a bit of the sf-ish "sense of wonder" from reading about it. (I suppose most cultures would be like that if you look at them closely enough, especially, for a westerner, those with different basic assumptions than the mostly-Christian-derived default settings for our societies. The Heian period is easy to get interested in, I think, because of the pillow books and novels, giving a really interesting glimpse into their minds which many countries don't have for a long time afterwards. Lovely clothes, too.)

(I was at the Victoria and Albert museum yesterday. They've got a temporary exhibition of clothes called "Different by Design", with garments arranged by technique of making instead of by country/era- all the embroidered or pleated or transparent ones together. The similarities and differences were really interesting. Status symbols being quite similar between societies- clothes that are costly to make and keep clean and that don't permit you to do any work- and then the interpretation being completely different. Beautiful exhibit.)

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