Samurai vs. Shadow

Wow. Now that is some seriously amazing choreography!

Samurai Horses

As someone into Japanese history, I always wondered something- why didn’t the Japanese make more extensive use of horses during their wars? I knew they made some use of them, but nowhere near as much as people from other countries did.

Since there’s a horse element to this week’s part (and the coming parts) of my story “The Inuyama Rebellion” I thought I’d look up something on Japanese horses of the Sengoku (Warring States) period.

What I didn’t expect to find was the reason why Horses weren’t used much in Japan by the Samurai the way they were in many other parts of the world. They used them, but only in fairly small numbers, and I’d always wondered why. Well apparently the answer is that Japanese native horses are actually pretty small.

Text: Thoroughbred/Japanese Horse

This meant that they had a very limited ability to carry a Japanese Samurai (much less one in full armour) for long distances and thus were apparently only used by commanders and messengers in war. The Japanese apparently didn’t even bother to have actual mounted cavalry units per-se.

Here are pictures of Samurai and horses for comparison-

 

The last picture (painting, really) shows a clear-ish view of what a saddle of the period looked like too. (And this is likely the style of saddle Masato would be using in the story.)

Rob

How To Use A Samurai Sword Properly ~ www.popgive.com

For those writing Samurai fiction, here’s a treasure trove of detail!

Each school will have different variations of angles, grips and body positions, but here is a fundamental cutting concept that most sword styles share: When delivering a cut, make sure that your wrists are lined up behind the blade handle. It may feel fine in the air, but when you actually cut into something, you’re in for a big surprise when you loose control of your sword.

How To Use A Samurai Sword Properly ~ www.popgive.com.

KFAT Fiction Launched!

As will come as no surprise to anyone who was reading my posts yesterday, I’ve decided to take the plunge into writing serialized web fiction. At first I thought about writing Flash Fiction, and I may still try my hand at it, but for now I’m going to write serialized stories in a more normal mode. I find my productivity varies a lot recently, and I’m hoping that being forced to produce at least 1000 words a week of prose writing will help to generate some good writing habits once more!

So the plan is to put up a new part of the story of 700-1000 words in length each Monday morning on my new KFAT Fiction website- http://fiction.kungfuactiontheatre.com/. I plan to write a few shorter things first (20,000 words or so) and clear out a couple unfinished projects, and then move on to slightly bigger works. If I find myself getting too ahead on the writing side, I may start posting twice a week, but intially I’m just going to stick to once a week as I’m about to enter my most busy time of the year at work (Yay! September!) and don’t want to miss any postings unless I absolutely have to. (So the idea is to keep a couple episodes ahead at all times.)

For my first story, I chose to serialize The Inuyama Rebellion, which is an ongoing adventure story set in feudal Japan that I’ve half completed, and which I thought felt like a good fit for this kind of format. As it’s already partway done, I decided to put the first third of the story up on the site in handy bite-sized pieces to help give new readers a good taste of what to expect. These first eight pieces take us about halfway into the second “episode” of the version which has been heard on the KFATales audio fiction podcast, and I do eventually plan to finish the podcast version as well once the serialized version is done.

Enjoy!

Rob