A FORMER Sunderland University student has his first book published this month.
Jason Rohan graduated with a degree in English, and went on to work in Japan as a teacher, and in New York for Marvel Comics. Now he has put all of his experiences together with his passion for words in the children’s book, The Sword of Kuromori.
Jason says the book, the first in a trilogy, is a glimpse into a culture which is little known outside of Japan.
“There is a huge amount of Japanese pop culture in everyday life, from Pokemon to Hello Kitty, but Japanese folklore is largely unknown in the West,” says Jason. “I had the idea for a children’s adventure set in Japan, and the more I researched Japanese mythology, the more exciting the idea became.”
The Sword of Kuromori follows the adventures of 15-year-old Kenny, a British boy who moves to Japan to be with his estranged father. He finds himself in the centre of a hidden war, and must negotiate modern and mythological Japan to save himself.
“I’ve been writing stories since I could hold a pen,” says Jason, “I was a bit of a comic geek in my teens, and managed to blag my way into Marvel Comics in New York.
”After I graduated, I decided to broaden my horizons by teaching abroad, and ended up in Japan, which is somewhere I had always wanted to go.
“I learnt much more about life, language, people and culture than I ever taught my Japanese pupils. A lot of world myth, such as Greek, Roman, Norse and Egyptian is familiar to Western readers, but Japanese myth is largely unknown.”
Jason said his time at Sunderland gave him a solid grounding for a career as an author.
“When I studied at Sunderland, it was largely well-known for engineering and sciences, but we had a very high standard of English teaching.”
l The Sword of Kuromori is available at book stores and to download for Amazon Kindle.