Kate blogs here about her main character, Yamabuki, how she’s different from other woman warriors, and how 12th-century Japan isn’t quite like what you’ve seen in most samurai movies.
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. The 12th-century Japan was very different from the 17th century. This required leaving behind fond images of geisha, two-sword samurai with shaven pate and wearing hair in a topknot, ritualized harakiri, Japanese baths, tatami mats, tea ceremonies, and a host of other things–which Ivan Morris warns us about in his “World of the Shining Prince.”
But mostly, I wanted to write about the humanity of my…
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