This blog is meant to serve as a means for hosting pieces of historical fiction I have written, primarily for the Samurai Archives annual fiction contest. In addition to ensuring that my work remains available for interested readers, it is also useful to have my work collected in one place for my own perusal (and editing!) as well.
I am neither a professional writer nor a historian. I am just someone who loves writing fiction and history. Why historical fiction set in Japan’s Sengoku and Edo periods? To be honest, I’m not sure myself. You could probably trace it back to my childhood in the 1980s and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, followed by an interest in classic samurai movies (Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Hara-Kiri, etc.) and video games (Nobunaga’s Ambition, Samurai Warriors, Sengoku Basara, etc.). As I grew older and my appreciation for history and seperating fact and fiction developed, I began to seek out more realistic and scholarly analysis of the samurai class and events from Japanese history. The Samurai Archives Web site has been an invaluable resource in this regard, and if it weren’t for the historians there (academic and amateur) I’d probably still be clinging to Western misconceptions and misrepresentations of Japanese history and culture. (Also be sure to check out their awesome podcast.)
My stories typically focus on samurai behaving badly, be it as swords-for-hire unconcerned with honor or schemers placing ambition before morality. In popular media, samurai are often depicted as heroic, stoic warrior-philosophers who are the paragons of physical prowess and loyalty. Bushido, like Western chivalry, was more of a romantic idea than a reality. Even a cursory glance of Japanese history reveals several cases of cowardice and betrayals. Not only were samurai just regular flawed human beings like you or me, they were also members of a privileged social class that permitted them to be jerks and get away with it. Personally, I think this is what makes this particular genre so interesting, as samurai would not be very fun to write about if all they did was walk around acting like perfect role models. All good fiction requires some sort of conflict, and the samurai thrived (and created) plenty of conflict in their heyday. In the end, their greatest time of conflict came when peace broke out in the 17th century and they became warriors in a time that no longer needed (or wanted) them.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the blog and the pieces you find here. Feedback is alway welcome and encouraged. Enjoy!