I specialise in the military and religious history of Japan. I have now published 80 books, the latest of which is Ninja: the (Unofficial) Secret Manual. Non-Japanese titles include books about China, Korea, the Mongol Empire, and a Training Manual for Pirates!
I also provide an advisory and consultancy service about Japan including a picture library holding 35,000 items. I helped design the award-winning computer strategy game Shogun Total War, and in 2010 I acted as Historical Adviser to Universal Pictures for the movie 47 Ronin. I enjoy giving talks to interested groups, and was honoured to present the inaugural lecture at the launch of the International Ninja Research Centre at Mie University in Japan.
I took my first degree at Cambridge and have two MAs (in Theology and Military History) from Leeds University. In 1996 I received a PhD from Leeds for my thesis on Japan’s Kakure Kirishitan. In its published form the work won the Japan Festival Literary Award in 1998. Having lectured in East Asian Studies and Theology I am now retired and am an Honorary Lecturer at Leeds, a Research Associate at SOAS and Visiting Professor of Japanese Studies at Akita International University.
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