Sword of the Taka Samurai

A six part series that traces sixteen year old Taka Yamabuki as she goes out for the first time, solo, as a samurai.

A Woman Samurai in the Era of Genji Sword of the Taka Samurai

A Woman Samurai in the Era of Genji

The Yamabuki series traces the adventures of a young samurai set shortly after the time of The Tale of Genji. It is in large part a homage to Genji’s author, Lady Murasaki, while never forgetting it is a head-on story of a warrior in the tradition of Japanese chambara (crashing swords) and jidaigeki…

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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The royal carriage of Taka Yamabuki Sword of the Taka Samurai

The royal carriage of Taka Yamabuki

Readers of Sword of the Taka Samurai, especially those tracing Taka Yamabuki through chapter 2 of Cold Blood, are told of a royal carriage. Western readers sometimes picture something out of Cinderella — four horses and carriage out of Louis XIV. However, the Japanese carriage of the year 1165 was somewhat different. For example, it …

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Straw snowboots of medieval Japan

Cold Trail — Samurai Footwear

Writing historic fiction can be smooth and yet not. When the wind is in our metaphoric sails, we can dash out thousands of words until we come to a hiccup. Tanith Lee spoke of this in an interview some years ago. She might write a hundred or two hundred pages … and then … in …

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