Monthly Archives: September 2013

Crystal Kite in Tokyo

This past weekend I was in Tokyo to attend and speak at the 2013 SCBWI Japan Showcase. While I was there, I was presented with the 2013 Crystal Kite award for the Asia/India/Middle East region.  My debut novel Samurai Awakening won this year’s peer chosen award. It was an honor to receive the award and I was able to meet many other Japan-based writers.  The trophy was presented by Regional Adviser Holly Thompson, author of The Language Inside. While I was

First Giveaway for Revenge of the Akuma Clan

The launch date for my second novel Revenge of the Akuma Clan the sequel to the award-winning Samurai Awakening is fast approaching.  Here’s your chance at an early copy.  The very first signed hard copy of this great new YA novel. Enter below on Goodreads.   Goodreads Book Giveaway Revenge of the Akuma Clan by Benjamin Martin Giveaway ends October 31, 2013. See the giveaway details at Goodreads. Enter to win  

2013 Kanegusuku Festival and Shishimai

Every few years at the largest full moon of the year there is a small festival in the Kanegusuku area of Kume Island.  As with many events in Okinawa, the date of the event is based on the kyureki (lunar) calendar.  While this means that the event is on a different day each year, the lunar timing means that the event always takes place at a full moon.  In this case, August 15th of the kyureki calendar. This particular festival

2013 Gima Obon Festival

Obon in Japan takes place at different times throughout the year.  In Okinawa it took place over three days from August 29-21. On the second night, communities throughout Kume Island celebrate together. Since all of the small festivals take place at the same time, it’s hard to see all of them.  This year I visited the largest festival since I was talked into buying raffle tickets in advance (they help pay for the fireworks and event materials).  This year the

2013 Kume Island Ha-ri-

The Ha-ri- races are a yearly event on Kume Island. This year they took place on June 12 at three locations around the island.  This year I stuck to the Maja area where locals and students gathered together for a day of races and fun in the water. While the races are the primary attraction, there is also generally a ball-toss game for the nursery school children and a tug-of-war.  There are numerous races from both locals and school participants.