There’s a bunch of websites I find myself going back to again and again when I’m writing about medieval Japan.
I have a degree in Japanese Studies, but that was Lo These Many Years ago and I when I find myself typing something like “She put rice balls in lacquered boxes” I then have to go research if Lily, as a peasant, would have eaten rice and if the lacquered boxes were in use back in the Ashikaga period of Japanese medieval history, etc.
Not to mention some other writerly tools.
For getting in the mood to write! For the Tiger Lily sequel, Straw Doll Cries at Midnight, I’ve got a playlist with Rin (a now disbanded lovely group of japanese girls who play traditional instruments), Chitose Hajime (Okinawan popular singer,) Phillip Phillips, Jason Mraz, and a choir singing Lauridson’s Lux Aeterna.
I can’t tell you how useful it is for someone, like me, who has random bits of time during the day to write to instantly get myself in the mood.
I have a paucity of vocbulary I’m able to use actively. I’m much more of a passive vocabulary type person. So when I find myself using “dark” for the hundredth time in three minutes…..
#3 The Samurai Archives>
For character names and confirming certain historical alliances.
#4 The Metropolitan Museum of Art
For Visual Inspiration
#5 The Emotion Thesaurus
Because I tend to use “His dark eyes looked” waaaaaaaaay too much
#6 On the Art of No Theater: the Major Treatises of Zeami, translated by J Thomas Rimer and Yamazaki Masakazu
Because one of my characters is Zeami himself 🙂