On Line Webinar September 26, on the Battle of Sekigahara

In 1994, I became apprenticed to traditional samurai armour craftsman Ogawa Nobuo,  That same year, on October 21 – the date of the decisive Battle of Sekigahara, in which Tokugawa Ieyasu claimed victory and brought peace to a war-torn Japan, Ogawa Sensei and I went to the actual battlefields for the first time. In 2000,  we took part in the on the 400th anniversary of the battle re-enactments in armour we had crafted ourselves.
Samurai armour craftsman Ogawa Nobuo
Sekigahara battle re-enactments
Over the next 14 years I researched the battle, looked into its roots, the warriors who fought in it, the battle itself and the repercussions it had on Japan, as well as the modern day effects. My first book on the battle was published in 2014, another joint guide was written in conjunction with Professor Owada Tetsuo in 2019, 
"Must see! SEKIGAHARA" Japanese Version
"Must see! SEKIGAHARA" English Version

and later this month will see he release of my new book, available from UK publishers, Frontline Books on the Battle of Sekigahara.

The Battle of Sekigahara: The Greatest, Bloodiest, Most Decisive Samurai Battle Ever
This is without doubt the most detailed book in English on the subject. In a timely turn of events, the JAS, Japan Armour Society will be hosting an On Line Webinar September 26, on the Battle of Sekigahara.
I’ll be the guest speaker, covering the basics of the greatest field battle in samurai history, the Battle of  Sekigahara, fought between a nation divided in two in 1600.
As well as looking at the battle itself, we’ll be looking at some of the surviving  sets of armour known to have been used at Sekigahara.The lecture will be in  English. Places are limited. Book now on the link provided.

MY New Book on The Battle of Sekigahara OUT SOON!

In a time of plentiful bleak news, it is a wonderful feeling to have some Good News to finally report on. My seventh book, a non-fiction account of The Battle Of Sekigahara is set to be released in September by UK based military specialist publishers, Frontline Books, an imprint of the respected Pen & Sword Publishing group.

Pre 0rders are already being accepted!

My first book on the Battle of Sekigahara was published in 2014 after nearly 15 Years of research and was at the time THE most detailed book on the battle available in English. Since then, having been made the Sekigahara Tourism Ambassador, meeting and working closely with many professors, researchers and members of the Sekigahara Board of Education has opened up new lines of research and the discovery of so many more fascinating details, and having a greater understanding of the mechanisms of the battle meant that a new version was required.

While some parts remain similar, they have been altered and updated. New information, more detail, some fascinating discoveries made related to the battle while researching other topics and warriors who took park have been included. Many of the traditional “stories” associated with the battle have been analysed and commented on.  Although there are less maps and photo illustrations in this new hardback book, the quality is better, the information more interesting and far more revealing.

I hope history fans will enjoy it.


For pre order direct from the publishers, Pen & Sword imprint Frontline Books, available from September 30:

Casemate will release the book in November, pre orders can be made here:

Amazon is also taking pre orders, with the release date being December 7…You may wish to check your local regional Amazon for postage details etc.

Making a Complicated Story Simple, Understanding Sekigahara.

One of PPF’s recent projects was the creation of a video package for Gifu Prefecture designed to explain the Battle of Sekigahara to the English speaking world. The Battle of Sekigahara was the largest samurai field battle, fought on October 21, 1600, and saw the deaths of an estimated 30, 000 samurai in a six-hour close-combat skirmish.

Video titles, Understanding The Battle of Sekigahara.

There wasn’t a huge budget, certainly not for the grand scale movie like re-enactments I initially envisioned, and so the challenge came to be how to show and explain the complicated political history leading to the battle, how the nation came to be split into two warring factions, who took part, how and why they came together at Sekigahara, the actions and results of such a large battle, as well as introduce the key players involved.  This had to be achieved in the simplest, yet informative and entertaining way.  

On location at Mt. Sasao, site of the Western forces’ headquarters

It had to be informative, it had to meet certain standards, importantly, it had to tell the story of Sekigahara, simply, distinctly, and for an audience unfamiliar with the battle and characters involved.

I do a number of TV shows for NHK World, including Ninja Truth and Castle Quest. The production team I work with are not only very professional, but have become close friends. As such, my first thought was to secure their services in order to achieve the best possible result.

Filming the opening scenes at the new Sekigahara Museum.

Being a history fanatic, deeply entrenched in the subject, as is often the case, I was too close to the subject matter. Thankfully, being friends, the producer and director were able to take my ideas, scripts and vision plans and help forge them into an easy to follow three-episode video package, Understanding the Battle of Sekigahara.

On the killing fields of Sekigahara, at the site of the most violent of fighting.

It meant three full days of video shoot in the hot, sultry Japanese summer, doing segment by segment but not necessarily in the order seen, but once edited, blend together seamlessly. Further recording sessions and mixing was done in Nagoya and the end result is pretty good considering the restraints.  Have a look at the clips, and enjoy.