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LordKenshin
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 1:40 pm    Post subject: Novels Reply with quote
does anyone any good novels about sengoku japan? especially one that concentrated on Uesugi Kenshin? Im curious because just recently I finished a novel about ancient china called romance of the three kingdoms and Im hoping theres a book like that about sengoku japan
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
You might want to read Taiko by Eiji Yoshikawa. It's pretty big. It's by the same author as the infamous Musashi novel.

There really isn't much as far as epic novels about Japan. You're welcome to write your own and help us out, though. Seriously.
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LordKenshin
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I like to write but I dont think Im that good... Ive written a couple of alternate histories but i dont think theyre good enough
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
The worst part is, there are hundreds of them in Japanese, with fiction books about everyone from Hashiba Hidenaga to Date Masamune to Yamauchi Kazutoyo to Mori Motonari, and the obvious choices of Hideyoshi, Nobunaga, and Ieyasu, and probably a bunch of much lesser people. Too bad only "Taiko" is the only book to ever make it into English, as far as I know.
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LordKenshin
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
whats the name of the english book? and whos it written by?
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
LordKenshin wrote:
whats the name of the english book? and whos it written by?


"Taiko: An Epic Novel of War and Glory in Feudal Japan", by Eiji Yoshikawa:

http://www.amazon.com/Taiko-Novel-Glory-Feudal-Japan/dp/4770026099/

Looks like they changed the cover since I read it.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
thanks I think I just might get it. you dont know of any others?
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
My favorite of the genre is "The Signore" by Tsuji. It's in a paperback translation from Kodansha International.

The thing purports to be a long letter home by an Italian gentleman-adventurer in the suite of Fr. Organtino, who becomes a confidant of sorts of Nobunaga (the "Signore" of the title). The conceit is that all the "Japanese" terms are either in Italian (Azuchi castle is called "the Palazzo") or period transliterations from the Jesuits -- a conceit that was also observed in the original Japanese novel, which was called "Azuchi Okanki" (Record of a trip back from Azuchi).


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
AJBryant wrote:
My favorite of the genre is "The Signore" by Tsuji. It's in a paperback translation from Kodansha International.

The thing purports to be a long letter home by an Italian gentleman-adventurer in the suite of Fr. Organtino, who becomes a confidant of sorts of Nobunaga (the "Signore" of the title). The conceit is that all the "Japanese" terms are either in Italian (Azuchi castle is called "the Palazzo") or period transliterations from the Jesuits -- a conceit that was also observed in the original Japanese novel, which was called "Azuchi Okanki" (Record of a trip back from Azuchi).


Tony


Sounds like a confusing read.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Give it a try.

It's one of my favorite fiction works of all time.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 5:52 am    Post subject: The Signore, Furin Kazan and Gracia Reply with quote
I agree with Tony. The Signore is a great read and it gives an interesting, albeit fictional account of what have may have been an unseen side to Nobunaga's personality-- he was actually a lonely, thoughtful man of enlightenment...

I also would suggest that you give Inoue Yasushi's Furin Kazan a try. It was translated into English not too long ago and this book is the basis of the 2007 NHK Taiga drama. It is a quick-paced enjoyable read about the mysterious Yamamomoto Kansuke, a brilliant strategist who was one of the main factors behind Takeda Shingen's rise as one of Japan's pre-eminent Senkogu period warlords. The book ends at the 4th Battle of Kawanakajima and help explains some of the jostling that went on between the Tiger of Echizen and the Mountain of Kai for control of the Shinano area. Although it is about real life people, this book is fiction. After all, there is even some doubt on whether or not Yamamoto Kansuke even existed. He likely did, but probably wasn't quite the person Inoue created. Some people don't like the translation, but beggars can't always be choosers in such a limited English-language market about this time period. I personally thought the translation was fine and again, the book was easy to read.

Another recommendation in English is Gracia-- the story of Hosokawa Gracia, a devout Catholic who gave her life so she couldn't be used as a political hostage by Mitsunari in the game of "go" that he was playing with Ieyasu in the events leading up to Sekigahara. Gracia was the daughter of the infamous Akechi Mitsuhide, the guy who bumped off Nobunaga. Hosokawa Gracia was the basis for Clavell's Mariko in Shogun. Like Furin Kazan, although Gracia was a real person, and the key events happened, this book is fiction. A very good piece of fiction.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
All of these books sound interesting--I'm going to have to look to see if I can find them through interlibrary loan. I've been wanting to read more international literature; it's just hard sometimes to find English translations.

Obenjo Kusanosuke wrote:

Another recommendation in English is Gracia-- the story of Hosokawa Gracia, a devout Catholic who gave her life so she couldn't be used as a political hostage by Mitsunari in the game of "go" that he was playing with Ieyasu in the events leading up to Sekigahara. Gracia was the daughter of the infamous Akechi Mitsuhide, the guy who bumped off Nobunaga. Hosokawa Gracia was the basis for Clavell's Mariko in Shogun. Like Furin Kazan, although Gracia was a real person, and the key events happened, this book is fiction. A very good piece of fiction.


I'm looking for this book. Actually, I'm thinking of writing a story about her too but I know I'm going to need a lot of research...
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Missed this thread while I was away--I'll third Tony and Obenjo--The Signore is one of my all time favorites books.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I just purchased The Signore from Alibris. I should receive it in about two weeks. The book is used so the price was cheap, $7 and I just do not have the cash at the moment until I receive my AT money. Looking forward to reading it.

Very Happy


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 4:16 pm    Post subject: Re: The Signore, Furin Kazan and Gracia Reply with quote
Obenjo Kusanosuke wrote:
I also would suggest that you give Inoue Yasushi's Furin Kazan a try. It was translated into English not too long ago and this book is the basis of the 2007 NHK Taiga drama. [... snip ...] Some people don't like the translation, but beggars can't always be choosers in such a limited English-language market about this time period. I personally thought the translation was fine and again, the book was easy to read.

Couldn't speak to the translation, but I just started reading this one in Japanese, and I'll second Obenjo's suggestion. I'm still only a little ways into it, but it's a page turner.

Guess I'll put The Signore (in Japanese) on my list of Japanese period fiction to read.

<sigh> So much to read, so little time.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Who was the author of Gracia. Trying to find the book on the web. I should be another great read. If anybody knows the author's name, let me know.

Les aka nobu-chan Confused
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
The author is Ayako Miura. Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thank you Obenjo! bow
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:04 am    Post subject: Slush Pile Samurai Reply with quote
I have shared the frustration of other thread posters with the shortage of Sengoku Jidai fiction available in English. When I couldn't find enough information about my favourite samurai, Ishikawa Jozan, I ended up writing a novel about him. It's not published yet, but I would welcome your honest opinion about it if you have the time. Some facts that might interest you from his bio 1) He personally served Tokugawa Ieyasu. 2) He was present at Sekigahara and Osaka (1614 & 1615). All three battles are featured in the novel, but those excerpts aren't uploaded at this time.

Here are some possible links of interest:

[Edit: dead links removed]

The Samurai Poet

This is my book. It's straight historical fiction that bridges the Sengoku and Edo Jidai.


Last edited by Shisendo on Mon May 10, 2010 1:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I have just received The Signore in my mailbox. What a novel. The author goes deep into Nobunaga's loneliness. Which caught me off guard. If the account was true, I can understand why. The man from Owari was a self-made man, a rarity in Japan. He knew he had God given talent and pushed his skills to the limit. My opinion, his isolation was due to the fact that nobody could understand him. In the end, the book made me cry and now have a soft spot for the man from Owari. It made him human. WAAAAAH!

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
nohime wrote:
In the end, the book made me cry and now have a soft spot for the man from Owari. It made him human. WAAAAAH!


That was a great book, wasn't it? Oh, but don't cry, Nohime. Would you like Hikonyan to give you a hug and make you feel better?

HEY HIKONYAN-- Get your furry fat rear over here and give Nohime a hug! He's feeling blue now that he's gotten in touch with the fictional soft-side of Nobunaga!!!
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
You are the man Obenjo! The one sentence that has stuck with me from The Signore: "In the final analysis, he(Nobunaga) was living proof of the adage that the soul that seeks to rise above the common herd is perforce a lonely one." p. 74.

Obenjo, thanks for the tip. Yeah, it made me cry. But the book was a very good read. bow

Les aka nobu-chan Very Happy
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Obenjo Kusanosuke wrote:

HEY HIKONYAN-- Get your furry fat rear over here and give Nohime a hug! He's feeling blue now that he's gotten in touch with the fictional soft-side of Nobunaga!!!


Well, gee, Obenjo, I can't really do that. That yaoi That's gay stuff freaks me out-it would cloud my reputation as an ass-kicking bloodthirsty samurai warrior. But because I can, I'll send Nohime a GREAT BIG HUG from my little friend Yachinyan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



She's really cute! Nyyyyyyyaaaaaaaaannnnnnn-nyan! Naughty naughty Two thumbs up relief Woooo! I care Happy dance kampai! Drool

I think I know where the next Nyan family heir is coming from!!!

But seriously, Nohime, Nobunaga wasn't so much different than all of us-he had concerns and problems in his day to day life too. It's just that his problems revolved around how to kill off all the nasty people who pissed him off, like women, monks, and children. That kinda forces people into the loner mold, or as we call it these days, a Cluster B
personality disorder (specifically Antisocial Personality Disorder). Nyan nyan! But you know what? They had it coming. That what the voices say. Take that!
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Surprised Wait a minute! I thought Hikonyan was supposed to be a fluffy, uber kawaiiiiiiii, schmoo-looking, stuffed samurai cat that kids, teenaged girls and Nobunaga fans in need could rely on for a hug.

I guess I was wrong. Sad Sorry Nohime, no hug for you from Hikonyan. The cat's got some attitude-typical for a feline- but at least he's sending his hot little friend to give you a hug! Wink
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 2:57 am    Post subject: Re: Slush Pile Samurai Reply with quote
Shisendo wrote:
I have shared the frustration of other thread posters with the shortage of Sengoku Jidai fiction available in English. When I couldn't find enough information about my favourite samurai, Ishikawa Jozan, I ended up writing a novel about him. It's not published yet, but I would welcome your honest opinion about it if you have the time. Some facts that might interest you from his bio 1) He personally served Tokugawa Ieyasu. 2) He was present at Sekigahara and Osaka (1614 & 1615). All three battles are featured in the novel, but those excerpts aren't uploaded at this time.

Here are some possible links of interest:

http://www.authonomy.com/ViewBook.aspx?bookid=523

This is my book. It's straight historical fiction that bridges the Sengoku and Edo Jidai.

http://www.authonomy.com/ViewBook.aspx?bookid=472

This book is a part of a series with a fantasy element.

http://www.authonomy.com/ViewBook.aspx?bookid=1512

This book has a mythic quality that features a ronin anti-hero.
Shisendo, I couldn't help it, I first read OSAI. It was quite entrancing and interesting. On the site, it says that the book is "incomplete." Now I want to know how this book ends.

Now I'll read THE SAMURAI POET. I'll look forward to this. Very Happy
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