The Pillow Book of a Samurai

Lady Sei Shognagon, a historic person, wrote her diary (“pillow book”) about life in the high court in Japan in around the year 1,000. The Pillow Book of a Samurai is a fictionalized diary of Taka Yamabuki and is a hommage to Lady Sei Shonagan.

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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An Open Letter To Wiscon: Because of Wisconsin’s LGBTQ+ discRiminatory policies, we will not be attending

Hello Wiscon, In light of Wisconsin’s recent attack on LGBTQ health coverage, Toot Sweet Inc will not be attending ANY events whatever in Wisconsin and that, alas, that includes Wiscon.  We will not lend any financial support to such a State. Same with North Carolina. Same with Indiana, and any other state that discriminates against …

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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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Lancelot and Tammy

Lancelot and Tammy

For those of us who are writing historical fantasy, naming characters can be tricky. Take King Arthur. Getting the name right to get the right feeling across. Mixing up contemporary names with ancient names can end up in a loss of authenticity. Romeo and Juliet works, Romeo and Janet does not. Writing about Heian Japan, …

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