Heian Japan

The Heian Period of Japan was from 794 to 1185 CE. The events of the Yamabuki books take place toward the end of the period, in the years running up to the Genpei War. (More on Heian Japan on Wikipedia.)

The World of Taira no Kiyomori

As a big fan of Japanese television, I have watched more than a historic drama or two. It is a rather Japanese style to introduce historic dramas by showing the films of historic places as they look today along with artifacts and scrolls. Think Ken Burns and The Civil War, if you are American. The …

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Samurai Armor of the Yamabuki era

Some people find ancient Japanese armor fascinating. In Cold Rain, Yamabuki finds an armor maker to repair a gash to her chest protector. Japanese armor was solid, but unlike the kind of armor seen in The Game of Thrones, it was not plate. Part of it was made of steel pieces called kozane and other …

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How Old Is Old In Heian Japan?

Recently I sent part of a chapter to a professional editor for review. I got an interesting reaction. In the excerpt young Inari Takakatsu, 17 at the time, is thrust into the position of ruler after his father, the war lord, is killed in an accident. It’s kind of like Hamlet, without an uncle who …

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Cold Saké: Yamabuki vs. the Undead, by Katherine M. Lawrence

Judging Books and Covers

How I worked with Laura Lis Scott to create the book cover design for my Yamabuki book Cold Saké.

Murasaki's World – Heian Japan

The Japan of the Heian period, 794-1185, unsurprisingly was different from popular images of medieval Japan. In writing the Yamabuki series, as much as I could, I looked to experts in the field who understood what the Heian period was, and also what it was not. “If the informed Westerner was asked to enumerate the …

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Woman samurai

Woman warrior during the Gempei Wars. Several women fought in the Gempei Wars, 1180-1185, for control of Japan.

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