Home Podcasts Japan Station Chatting About Shinobi Mysteries w. Susan Spann | Japan Station 32

Chatting About Shinobi Mysteries w. Susan Spann | Japan Station 32

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On This Episode of Japan Station

On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, we’re talking about ninjas, the judicial system of 16th century Japan, and more with Susan Spann, author of the Hiro Hattori “shinobi mystery” series of books.

About Susan Spann

Susan Spann is the award-winning author of the Hiro Hattori series of mystery books. The novels follow the adventures of Hiro Hattori, a ninja from the famous Iga clan, and Father Mateo Avila da Silva, a Portuguese Jesuit priest, as they travel through 16th century Japan solving murders and avoiding danger. Though originally from the U.S., Spann now lives in Japan. She practices traditional Japanese calligraphy and used to raise seahorses.

Topics Discussed

  • How Susan Spann got the idea to write books about a ninja detective
  • What Susan Spann likes about writing the Hiro Hattori books
  • The evolving relationship between Hiro Hattori and Father Mateo
  • The judicial system of 16th century Japan
  • The social caste system of 16th century Japan
  • The different types of police seen in 16th century Japan
  • The difference between a yoriki and dōshin
  • Whether there were lawyers in 1500s Japan
  • Jails in 16th century Japan
  • Oda Nobunaga and when he will appear in the Hiro Hattori books
  • Where actors stood in the social hierarchy of 16th century Japan
  • How difficult it is to verify information about ninja
  • Whether shuriken were mainly used as “throwing stars” or not
  • The city of Iga in Mie Prfecture
  • Susan Spann’s experience climbing 100 mountains in one year and her upcoming book Climb
  • Places in Japan Susan Spann would like to visit in Japan
  • The challenges of raising seahorses
  • Why male seahorses can seem to be shier than female seahorses
  • And much more!

Listen to Japan Station on

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Links, Videos, Etc.

As of the time of this writing seven books have been published in the Hiro Hattori series. You can find Amazon affiliate links to all seven books below.

You can check out Susan Spann’s website via the button below.

Susan Spann Website

You can follow Susan Spann on these social media platforms.

Here is Susan Spann’s blog entry about why male seahorses seem shy.

And here’s a video of a male seahorse giving birth. It’s pretty incredible and just like Susan described. A must watch.

You can watch Showko Showfukutei’s new special, Absolutely Normal, on Amazon Prime. You can use the affiliate link below to check it out.

And if you’d like to listen to the episode of Japan Station that featured Showko Showfukutei, use the link below.

The two latest episodes of the Ichimon Japan podcast can be accessed via the links below.

Special Thanks

Opening/Closing song: Oedo Controller (大江戸コントローラー) by Yunomi featuring Toriena (Used with permission from Yunomi)
To listen to more of Yunomi’s music, check out his Soundcloud page or YouTube channel.

Japan Station cover art: Provided by Erik R.

Images: Courtesy of Susan Spann

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