The Right Coast

March 21, 2004
all things japanese
By Tom Smith

My oldest son is obsessed with all things Japanese. As a result, among many other things, I am spending four hours a week training with him in Japanese style martial arts, two in Jujitsu, the weaponless fighting technique of the samurai warriors, and two hours in their sword fighting art. I'm in the process of turning our garage into a martial arts training area, and I'm most of the way there. I am planning a post on sword fighting, which I think many blogophiles will find interesting, given the high level of interest by many internet types in LOTR, fantasy novels and other genres that involve fighting with blades. In just a few weeks, I've learned a number of things you wouldn't necessarily expect from having read Tolkein or Robert Jordan.

Anyway, just a teaser. The novel Across the Nightingale Floor, a fantasy novel set in an imaginary version of medieval Japan, is really quite good. It is certainly on a higher literary level than the vast majority of fantasy novels. It has unusually developed characters, and works in elements of magic and fighting prowess much more naturally than is usual in the genre.

And here's a blog from some design type guy in Tokyo, where my son threatens to move.