Yamabuki

Taka Yamabuki is the main character of Katherine M. Lawrence’s books about a female samurai, who is documented in history, who lived in 12th century Japan.

The Ruins of the Taka Compound

The Ruins of the Taka Compound

Many have searched for the ruins of the Taka compound that existed 850 years ago in ancient O-Utsumi prefecture–the alleged site is shown in this photo. But there is no trace of the clan. Not even the footings of the giant estate houses that overlook Great Bay. No trace of the gardens and orchards where …

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Cover for Cold Heart: Yamabuki vs. the Shinobi Priest, by Katherine M. Lawrence

Cold Heart Release

Cold Heart is with my editor, Laura Lis Scott, for final revisions. It is my longest Yamabuki book to date—longer than the first three combined—over 80,000 words long. The first chapter is succinct and sets the tone and premise: the supernatural—which Yamabuki of course scoffs at—will play a central role in this story, and as always, the …

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Music to Write By. Samurai Stories

Music to Write By. Samurai Stories

The soundtrack for Shogun Assassin is where my writing music started. Here Lone Wolf defeats three ninja women who are disguised as dancer acrobats in the circus de soleil of their day. Some writers like to immerse themselves in the place and setting of the action. We put on our music and takes us to …

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zatoichi dance scene

Dancing in Samurai Film

Painting the life of the common people in a world where the major daily chore was finding enough food, can lead readers to think they are indeed being presented with a bleak world. And yet, the Japanese culture has always been one of songs and dance and laughter. Some genre readers are excited by the swordplay, but wonder why …

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Archery and War

Hazard Sensei used to say that archery was the prefered method of fighting in old Japan. Swords were too personal. Too in close. Too involved with the opponent. Archery was “better.” In fact, the old Japanese root word for “war” is said to come from something approximate to “archery exchange.” As I draw to a …

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Will a Long Sword Best a Shorter Sword? The "Nodachi" double-length sword.

Will a Long Sword Best a Shorter Sword? The “Nodachi” double-length sword.

In Kurosawa’s film Seven Samurai, Toshiro Mifune plays the character Kikuchiyo, the seventh (and odd-ball member) of the seven samurai. For those not familiar with the film, the concept is that seven unemployed samurai (sometimes called ronin, literally “man of the wave”) are hired by a group of hapless farmers to protect the farmers’ village …

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A Woman Samurai in the Era of Genji

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…

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