Research

Library score! Exciting!

So I went out for a soda and came back with an enormous stack of books; what else is new? BUT I’M VERY EXCITED. Check it out:

A stack of 6 library books about Song dynasty China, ancient Japan-China relations, and sex work

I’m excited for literally all of them, but I’m especially interested in Ambassadors from the Islands of Immortals, which covers China-Japan relations during the Han-Tang period, which is a little before my blorbos but nevertheless seems like excellent background! Shigeru, who also appears in Winter Sun, is from Japan, which would be going through the Kamakura period during that time. Which would probably mean that if he was in Lin’an, it would be as an ambassador.

Also very excited for Cities of Aristocrats and Bureaucrats, which seems to be about infrastructure and city planning in the Tang and Song dynasties— finally, an answer to my question JUST HOW BIG WAS LIN’AN IN ITS HEYDAY ANYWAY? Weirdly hard to figure out? Because modern-day Lin’an is Hangzhou, which is a prefectural-level city and so is… not exactly a city in the way San Francisco is a city. It is Lorge. Like 6,495 square miles large.

You have no idea how much time I spent down the rabbit hole scouring the internet for this information. I looked up maps. I did math. Ultimately, I settled on the answer “roughly the size of Manhattan”, but I’m extremely excited to find out if I was right.

The other books are just generally useful for this project or background reading for other things I have percolating. Do I actually need to know about the sex trade in Kamakura Japan? Not really, but I’m curious, and all background is helpful background, right?

Chicken is a little relevant for a different project revolving around a sex worker that I have shelved right now, but that’s… a whole other thing.

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