historic fiction

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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Usagi Yojimbo -- Rabbit Bodyguard

Usagi Yojimbo — Rabbit Bodyguard

My kendo teacher told me about a wonderful comic book series by Stan Sasaki called Usagi Yojimbo, literally “rabbit bodyguard.” Set in the 1600, about 400 years after Yamabuki, it is a wonderful world invented by Sasaki, filled with animals who inhabit a Tokugawa Japan. Usagi is a samurai and a fighter, but he is …

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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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IOU0116youngWarlord

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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The royal carriage of Taka Yamabuki

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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