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 other day I presented a map of the Isle of Unknown Fire, which today is called Kyushu and it the southern-most of Japan’s four main isles....

20 January 2015 · Katherine M. Lawrence

Samurai Armor of the Yamabuki era

The armor was light, which allowed the warrior to move, and heavy enough to withstand arrows.

17 January 2015 · Katherine M. Lawrence

Mythical Great Bay Province -- Yamabuki’s Home

In historic fiction, places and time spans might not be strictly correct, but most people who write in that genre attempt to have some sense of geography. The home of the Taka clan is a mythical province called Great Bay. As seen today, the area in and around the mythical Taka compound. As a novel of fiction, but based on a historic person and historic setting, this device allows enough artistic license for the Sword of the Taka Samurai to hopefully not become too didactic....

16 January 2015 · Katherine M. Lawrence

How Old Is Old In Heian Japan?

Adulthood began at age 12 to 14.

15 January 2015 · Katherine M. Lawrence

Who is the woman hero?

The Yamabuki series is inspired by a 12th-century woman chronicled in historic writings of the times. It is said Yamabuki was beautiful and that she accompanied Yoshinaka, The Rising Sun General, and Tomoe Gozen, a more famous woman warrior on their adventures and into battle. Some accounts even say she was a general who led troops into ferocious battles. In writing I hoped as much as possible to avoid setting the action in Tokugawa era, which is familiar to many fans of historic Japan....

27 November 2014 · Katherine M. Lawrence