Japan, 1632. Hideki is one of the young descendants from the line of Tokugawa Ieyasu. He and Nagamasa, his older brother, are summoned to Edo at the announcement that the current shogun is retiring. Hideki is a likeable seventeen year old and a little of a rapscallion, prone to ducking his samurai responsibilities for more time in the dojo. The sword is his life and Bushido is his mantra. He dreams of being a great swordsman but has trouble even beating Nagamasa.
A transformation for Hideki begins when he witnesses the master swordsman Musashi, in the midst of his own musha shugyo (warrior’s pilgrimage), challenge and defeat the head of the local dojo.
On their trek to Edo for an audience and evaluation, Hideki grows from a day dreaming teenager to a responsible man, dealing with his first crush on a woman, assassins out to extinguish his life, and deceptive and corrupt police and government officials along the way. He is aided in his journey by a deadly master duelist, a young ninja steeped in the old ways of the shinobi, and a princess of a large ninja clan who unknowingly falls in love with her target. And he is plagued by the notion that if his brother does become shogun, he will never be allowed the opportunity to become the swordsman he wants to be.
Hideki attracts a loyal following because of his childlike belief in Bushido as cure-all for everything, but he becomes internally conflicted when he learns his code may not provide all the answers.
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About the Author:
William Marcus Charles II (Marc) is the author of Simplified Self-defense for Women, published by the Marine Corps Association. He has been published in the Marine Corps Gazette and in the Ensign, a global monthly of the LDS Church. Born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Marc spent his formative years in Warren, Michigan. He graduated from boot camp in San Diego at nineteen and for the next twenty-four years wore the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor proudly until retirement as a Lieutenant Colonel of Marines. He has served as an Infantry Rifle Company Executive and Commanding Officer; Company Commander in a Recruit Training Regiment; Commanding Officer of the Marine Detachment USS Midway; Commanding Officer of Company C, Marine Security Guard Battalion; War Planner—US Naval Forces Central Command; and Executive Officer, Marine Barracks, Pearl Harbor. He is a graduate of the US Army Psychological Warfare Course, the US Army Infantry School, and the Marine Corps Command and Staff College. He spent much of his military career in Asia where he studied martial arts. He is a Roku-dan (sixth degree black belt) in Okinawan Kenpo Karate and a Roku-dan in Kobudo (the weapons of Okinawa). He has trained in Aikido, Jujitsu, American Kenpo, Shorinryu, Judo and other lesser known styles. He has founded three martial arts schools in the United States. Marc graduated with honors from Park College with a BS in Management and Finance and has an MBA from National University. He currently resides in Encinitas, California, with his loving wife Sako.