Susan Spann Finds Her Muse High Atop Mount Koyasan [GUEST POST]

Konpon Daito Pagoda

Structures like the impressive two-storied Konpon Daito Pagoda elicit quiet contemplation and meditation from even the most experienced traveler. (Photo by Susan Spann)

Most of the time, the plot of each new novel drives my research, but in the case of Trial on Mount Koya, a sacred mountain turned that process upside-down. Each Hiro Hattori novel features a crime in a different setting, and a victim from a different social class or niche, allowing me to keep the series fresh and interesting. Read more of this post

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The Surprising Role of Women in Medieval Japan [GUEST POST]

Geisha

Over the centuries, Japanese women have been everything from shopkeepers and moneylenders to geisha and warriors. (Photo by Yiannis Theologos Michellis, Flickr)

Many people don’t realize the important roles women played in medieval Japan, or that a Japanese woman’s “place” was often in the shop—or even on the archery range—as well as in the home. Read more of this post