Alex A. Akira, Giveaways, Self-Published

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Dojo Boys Series Tour With Alex A. Akira

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The Novel Approach welcomes author Alex A. Akira today on the Dojo Boys series blog tour. Enjoy Alex’s guest article, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for a chance to win one of the following prizes:

Three Winners get a $25 Amazon Gift Card each.
Seven Runners-up get a free e-copy of the prequel to this series – DOJO BOYS: The First Misunderstanding.

Good luck!

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MASATO & ICHIRO-14-2015-GOLDYAOI, M/M ROMANCE AND THE HISTORY OF THE BISHOUNEN

While researching my yaoi romance novel, Dojo Boys: Dragon & Crow, I was as astounded at the depth of history relating to romanticized sex between males, which led to Japan’s current yaoi empire. I was also struck by how the development of yaoi and male-male romance in the East and West appeared to reflect the liberation of women in both cultures. What is now a rapidly growing group of females who read, write and relish in romantic tales of homoerotic sex between men, may in fact have started as women’s quiet rebellion against each society’s antiquated ideals of females. The Japanese history of the bishounen and of romanticized sex between men who are not necessarily homosexual is vast and during the five- week blog hop of Dojo Boys: Dragon and Crow, I’ll be sharing some of what I learned through a series of posts. I hope you’ll join me on this fascinating journey.

PART TWO: THE WAKASHŪ AND THE SAMURAI

During the Edo period (1600-1857), the pinnacle of samurai culture, male-male love was genuinely regarded as, virtuous, admirable and heroic. The equivalent of the male-male sexual bond between a monk and his acolyte, which I reviewed in my last post, was that of the wakashū and the samurai. A relationship known as shūdo, the abbreviated term for wakashūdo or “the way of the youth.”

D-&-C-VOL-1-800X1200-COVERIn the samurai class it was customary for young boys to undergo martial arts training by apprenticing to an experienced male warrior. These preadolescent and adolescent-aged wakashū served their samurai lords until their coming-of-age-ceremony, which could take place any time between the ages of 15 and 22. The samurai would teach the youth martial skills, warrior etiquette, and the samurai code of honor and if the youth agreed, would enter into a sexual relationship with him.

The samurai’s desire to be a good role model for his wakashū would lead him to behave more honorably himself, while the wakashu’s agreement to have a sexual relationship with his samurai served as an expression of his compassion and his willingness to ease and share whatever angst or burden his teacher carried. Thus a shudō relationship was considered to have a mutually ennobling effect. Both parties were expected to be loyal unto death and although sex between the couple was expected to end when the boy came of age, the relationship would, ideally, develop into a lifelong bond of friendship.

Wakashu wore a distinctive hairstyle: a small shaved portion on the crown of the head and long forelocks at the front. They were permitted to wear long sleeved kimonos, bright colors and flower prints and makeup. Often employed by noble households as pageboys, in addition to looking decorative and accompanying their lord to bed, the wakashu’s duties included entertaining their lord and his guests with music, dance or poetry. But unlike the monastic chigo, a wakashu was expected to train diligently in the martial arts and fight when necessary. A wakashu might wear face powder and bright kimonos, but he still personified the embryonic stage of the fearsome warrior. These wakashu “bishōunen” were often cast in homoerotic tales, which recounted the fearless duels, vendettas, murders and ritual suicides they enacted at the behest of their samurai lord.

D&C-VOL-2-800X1200-COVERSurviving texts on the topic of shūdo suggest the valued characteristics of a desirable wakashū were: fair skin, long glossy black hair, red lips, flushed cheeks, and graceful movement. They also list the ages at which a boy may be loved. A boy is a “blossoming flower” between ages 10 and 13, a “flourishing flower” at the peak of beauty, between ages 13 and 16, and the embodiment of “mature love” between 16 and 19. After 20 the young adult males were considered “falling flowers”. Between the inevitable onset of adulthood and the possibility of a violent end, the beauty of the wakashu was fleeting and they were often compared to a sakura or cherry blossom, Japan’s exquisite symbol of “extreme beauty and quick death”.

Sigh … the romantic angst that led to yaoi and fictional m/m romance is inspiring, no?

Blog hop with me for my next post, THE SHOGUN AND THE TEMPLE DANCER, where I take a look at the young shogun whose male-male romance with a lowborn temple dancer laid the foundations of Japan’s Noh theatre. Between the male/male relationships in Noh and the male brothels of kabuki, well let’s just say … there was a whole lot of “smexing” going on.

BLOG HOP SCHEDULE

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Alex A. AkiraAbout the Author :
Alex A. Akira is the author of the yaoi romance series Dojo Boys, racy tales of young, male martial artists navigating some unorthodox and adventurous paths to find love. The prequel of the e-book series, The First Misunderstanding and the first two-volume box set of Dragon and Crow are available at Amazon:

DOJO BOYS: THE FIRST MISUNDERSTANDING

DOJO BOYS: DRAGON AND CROW

Find Alex A. Akira here: FACEBOOK: DOJO BOYS: DRAGON & CROW  | WEBSITE: ALEXAAKIRA.ORG | TWITTER: ALEX A. AKIRA TWITTER | G+: ALEX A. AKIRA G+

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DRAGON-&-CROW--2-VOLUME-400X600-BOOK-COVERTitle: Dragon and Crow – Deluxe 2 Volume Set

Series: Dojo Boys

Author: Alex A. Akira

Publisher: Triple A Press

Cover Artist: Alex A. Akira

Length: Volume 1 – 275 Pages; Volume 2 – 390 Pages

Release Date: 25th May, 2015

Blurb: Twenty-three-year-old, Native American, Michael Black’s well-ordered life is disrupted one evening when he is ambushed at the dojo he frequents by a mysterious Japanese youth who goes by the name of Kiyoshi.

Soon circumstances have the gorgeous teen staying with Michael at his apartment. The gifted nineteen-year-old is an intriguing mix of angst, innocence and crafty intelligence, but Michael is honor bound by a promise to his sensei to keep his distance. Michael tries to keep his desire in check, but what can he do if the exquisite teen keeps kissing him?

Volume two finds Michael in deep water when, in trying to help Kiyoshi, he is persuaded by his sensei to participate in a joint government undercover operation to bring down a Yakuza lord.

Before long Michael is immersed in beautiful men, martial arts and espionage all to gain the trust and love of Kiyoshi. Secrets, lies, sex and action combine in this racy, romantic, adventure of two men, Michael Black and his sensei, Ichiro Kimura, navigating a dangerous path for true love.

Buy Link: Amazon

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Here’s a Sneak Peek at the Coming Week

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Cheers, folks! Welcome back to another look at what we have in store for you here at The Novel Approach in the week ahead. We’ve got some truly excellent guests stopping by this week to offer good words and giveaways to all of you, so enjoy this little preview of what you can expect in the next six days.

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Monday – Kicking off our week, we have Alex A. Akira on deck to chat a bit about his Dojo Boys series

We’ll also have Hayden Thorne dropping by today to talk about her new book The Golem Upstairs, book two in the Cecilian Blue-Collar Chronicles series

Tuesday – Author Ann Lister makes The Novel Approach a stop today on her Meant for Me blog tour

And we’ll also be helping Eden Winters reveal the new covers in her Diversion series

WednesdayBelinda Burke will be our guest today on her Undone blog tour

Cardeno C. joins us, too, with four new(ish) releases—re-releases to be more specific—on the horizon, and the chance for four lucky readers to win one of those e-books

We’ll also have a new edition of DSP Publications’ “Genre Talk”, and this time Carole Cummings herself is in the hot-seat, courtesy of J Tullos Hennig, talking a bit about her upcoming Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel Blue on Black

Thursday – On tour for the re-release of book two in the Flesh series, we’ll have Ethan Stone with us to chat about Flesh & Blood

We’ll also have author Robert Halliwell joining us to talk cover art and his new book A Way Back to Then, book seven in John Goode’s Tales From Foster High series

Friday – Author Brandon Shire drops in today on his Wicked Men blog tour

Also joining us is RJ Scott, who’s here to talk about her new release, Retrograde

Saturday – And closing out our week, we’ll have authors Erin McRae and Racheline Maltese dropping by on their Phoenix blog tour

As well as Joe Cosentino, who’ll be here to talk a bit about his new novel Drama Queen, and why he created the series

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And that does it for today. Until next Sunday, happy reading!

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