Here are some more questions that came in from the blog for Tony Bryant. Thanks everyone for participating, and thanks to Tony for agreeing to the interview in the first place.
Dear Sir Anthony,
Studying history requires us to investigate the past. Like a detective, we start with the easy, known pieces of historical information. We then shuffle other pieces around to see how they may fit together. Once all the pieces fit, we have the full picture. I think, it is really exciting to see the full picture.
Being a writer, how do you plan or prioritise points which you think are more important than others. Would you consider such work out/plan vital, as to make sure everything you write makes sense not only to you, but to the readers?
I don't really know how to answer that in general terms. Each project is different, so each case takes a need for a different approach and view.
History is full of true stories about real people – heroes, good guys, bad guys and ordinary people such as ourselves. When we take a closer look at their successes and failures, we may detect a certain philosophy/pattern. Does reading past historical events have any impact on your real life? What is your philosophy in life? What importance do you consider of being a balanced person? In your journey through life, you may encounter obstacles or some such. What “golden rules” would you like to give/advise which you think will help motivate younger generations?
That's a heck of a lot of questions -- any one of which could be paragraphs long in response. Gah.
Well, I'll have to try to be concise:
Does reading past historical events have any impact on your real life?
Short answer: It depends on the event. I generally can't think of any actual impact, but there are quite a few events that I wonder "what if" about sometimes, events that I would love to know what might have happened had things gone another way. I wonder what would have happened if someone had been with Lee at Gettysburg and had been able to stress the importance of occupying the high ground on his right on the first day -- which would have allowed him to flank the Union forces and possibly win. Or if someone could have told that unknown officer NOT to wrap Lee's complete battle plans around his cigars before the battle of Antietam. (Yes, I'm a Confederate sympathizer. )
To bring it back into Japanese history, if someone could have talked Terumoto into actually marching to Sekigahara instead of sitting in Osaka -- or if someone could have convinced Ankokuji Ekei and Mori Hidemoto to just cut through Kikkawa Hiroie's position and descend on Ieyasu's rear. (Or, just to give some equal time, if someone could have gotten word to Hideyori *sooner* not to attack the Sanada). Likewise, I wonder if the Heian polity might have lasted longer if Taira no Kiyomori had followed his first intention and executed the young Yoritomo and Ushiwaka.
I guess the answer is, it doesn't actually *impact* my life, but it does give me things to think about.
What is your philosophy in life?
Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women.
Actually, my philosophy has little to do with history per se -- I am an Orthodox Christian, and my philosophies on life -- and how one should act -- are a product of that.
What importance do you consider of being a balanced person?
Lots. Instability is Ungood.
In your journey through life, you may encounter obstacles or some such. What “golden rules” would you like to give/advise which you think will help motivate younger generations?
Read history, and learn from it.
As Gandhi said, tyrants may rise and for a time hold sway, but in the end, they always fall.
What makes a difference -- not only to your own soul but to the world at large -- is how you deal with the interim. You can be a Quisling or a Schindler -- a Petain or a deGaulle.
It is a truism that the only thing necessary for evil to thrive is for good men to do nothing.
3) May I ask some personal questions?
Well.... uh, okay.
a) Have you reached the stage that you wish to have an exclusive relationship? I’m very curious as to why you are still single at this age. ^_^
I've often wondered the same thing. Just Kidding
b) Would you consider appearance more important than personality?
Depends on the appearance and the personality.
c) Could you give 3 best female characters from the past history whom you like best, and why?
Limiting to three is hard. Oof. Hm.. (For the record, I think I stared at this question for almost half an hour trying to think of *only* three.)
The Theotokos. As an Orthodox Christian, I can't possibly leave her out.
Abigail Adams. Damn. Just.... damn. Read some of her correspondence.
Boudica. Sometimes, you win when you lose. Vercingetorix found that out, too.
It’s indeed a gift, the very sweetest and most precious of gifts to have known you and to have a chance to learn Japanese from you from the two forums I visit regularly. May I take this opportunity to wish you and your family good health, happiness and success on all levels.