The Blog of The Bride of Sesshomaru

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Welcome to my sewing, historical reenactment, and CosPlay blog! Here on this blog you will find all of my random thoughts about sewing, the SCA, manga, anime, CosPlay, costume making, embroidery, sewing historically accurate Japanese costumes, and my fandom of Lord Sesshomaru whom I CrossPlay as.

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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Historical Accuracy VS Lord Sesshomaru


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For those interested in making Lord Sesshomaru's outfit historically accurate, it should be noted that, if you attempt to do so, you will be taking and already difficult and advanced costume, and turning it in an extremely advanced, and very difficult project. You must also keep in mind that as it is, Sesshomaru's outfits are NOT historically accurate and an attempt to make them so, means a complete redesign of the costume, and an end result that will look a bit different from what is seen in the books and on he show.

One of the problems with making Lord Sesshomaru's wardrobe historically accurate is his age, his history, and his lifestyle.

    First off his exact age is unknown. To determine his age we have to look at the information we are told and make an educated guess. Early in the series, Rumiko indicates the Sesshomaru is 250 years old. Than a few years later, we are told that he fought in a war 700 years in the past, making him at least that old. Even later in the series we are told that Sesshomaru is not a normal demon, but is some sort of immortal being and has been around for a very long time, with the mention of "thousands of years" being thrown into the conversation.

    Samurai armies that attack Sesshomaru, come at him with rifles. We know that rifles were invented in 1557, and that the series tells us they were just recently invented. The series follows a time span of approximately 3 years. This dates the InuYasha series at being from 1557 - 1559, most of which taking place in 1558.

    So, if we use that information in order to find a date, we come to the conclusion that Lord Sesshomaru was born at some point prior to 800 A.D. How far prior is unknown, because we do not know for certain how old he is.

    Why is this important? Well, if you want to go the historically accurate road, than you are going to need to research, who was wearing what, and when they wore it, and than change Sesshomaru's outfit to match.

    In researching the history of various elements of Lord Sesshomaru's outfits, we find that each item comes from a different time period in history, and from a wide range of cultures. Items that in real life history would not have been worn together. This posses problems for someone bent on historical accuracy, and gives you one of two choices:


      1) One you can instead study what a fuel lord of 1558 would have worn and make that outfit.

      2) You can go with #1, but assume you are dealing with a well traveled and quite eccentric fuel lord, and make each item historically accurate to their time period and culture, and than wear them all at once. This would be more accurate to staying in keeping with Lord Sesshomaru, but less historically accurate.


    When we look at what Sesshomaru wears, and consider each item and when and where it should have been worn, we are reminded, that Sesshomaru is very, very, very old. At some point in history the item was in fashion and he started wearing it, but with humans fashions die quickly and new fashions replace them. Sesshomaru, though a fashionable creature in his own right, does not stay current with human fashions and apparently once he starts wearing something he likes to wear, well continue to wear it for centuries, even after the rest of the world had stopped wearing them centuries ago.

    In other words, what we see Sesshomaru wearing by the time we see him in 1558, is a mish-mash of items he collected up over a period of many centuries and during his travels across Asia, and the result is a very out-moded, old fashioned, and eccentric outfit, that screams bohemian.


While age posses a problem with Sesshomaru's costume being historically accurate, his lifestyle posses an even bigger problem. In looking at his wardrobe, we can come to only one conclusion: Sesshomaru is an anachronist. He wears cloths out of time and out of culture.

The biggest problem for the costumer, is that they head into this project assuming that because Sesshomaru comes from a Japanese series, that he must therefore be wearing Japanese cloths. This is the farthest things from the truth, however. Sesshomaru wears a Japanese kimono or kosode, and pretty much nothing else of his wardrobe is Japanese. To find the reason for this we must look into his life.
    Rumiko tells us that Lord Sesshomaru took over his father's empire when his father died. She tells us that his father was the Ruler of the Western Lands, the title now belonging to Sesshomaru, and the reason we call him "Lord".

    At first we assume that The Western Lands are someplace in the Western side of Japan, but a closer study of the series, suggests otherwise.

    Throughout the series, InuYasha battles a wide variety of demons. Every once in a while a demon will show up, wearing an outfit, oddly familiar to Sesshomaru's. Each time a demon of this sort shows up they are greeted with discontent, and the question "You're from the continent, aren't you?". Through out the series, we see that the Japanese demons do not take a liking to any demon that came to the island from the continent. To clarify this, we must remember that in the series, Japan is always referred to as "The Island" while China is always referred to as "The Continent". Oddly such Chinese demons, are mentioned as coming from the Western Lands.

    Ah-Huh! Now we are getting somewhere. Most of Sesshomaru's outfit is Chinese not Japanese. He looks quite out of place among the other Japanese characters, however, taking into account that The Western Lands are in China and NOT Japan, makes his Chinese mode of dress, quite natural for him.
    Another thing to consider is this: InuYasha a half breed, is outcast for being a half breed, which is unusual in the series as many other half breed demons are fairly well accepted. Most half breed demons are, half Japanese Demon and half Japanese Human. But looking at the general contempt for Chinese demons in the series, (who are always portrayed as being very evil, btw) we must ask the question: Is InuYasha not only half demon, but also half Japanese?

    The Dog Demons Tribe, as we have already determined, are from China. We know that there was such a hatred for InuYasha, that the day of his birth, the empire revolted against their Dog Demon leader, stormed the palace, burnt it to the ground, and slaughtered everyone inside. Sesshomaru survived because he was not home when this happened, and InuYasha and his mother survived, because his father protected them so she could escape, but he died doing so. She took her only minutes old baby InuYasha and fled back to her homeland of Japan.

    We must ask why she fled back to her homeland, and why, the empire rose up against their leader for taken a Japanese Human as his second wife. It seems therefore more accurate to assume that The revolt was caused not by a demon marrying a human, but by a Chinese Demon marrying a Japanese Human.

    Another thing to note, is that in real mythology, the tales of dog demons come from Chinese mythology, not Japanese mythology, thus making it even more logical (and historically accurate) to assume that Sesshomaru is Chinese rather than Japanese.


We now have an answer as to why Lord Sesshhomaru's outfits look so very Chinese. Now we must ask, how did he come to live in Japan, by the time of the InuYasha series?








What's your take on this? I'd love to hear what you have to say about this post. Leave a comment and share your views!



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