About the author                                      

Author with Tadayoshi swordsRoger Robertshaw was born in 1956 in Taunton, Somerset, England and grew up in the small fishing town of Ilfracombe in the neighboring county of Devon. He studied Human Biology at Loughborough University as a Royal Air Force university cadet where the dream of flying as a young boy was eventually fulfilled as a young man. He became a front line fighter pilot flying the Hunter, Hawk and Harrier VSTOL aircraft. He flew the Harrier operationally from Ascension Island in the South Atlantic Ocean during the Falklands War of 1982 and later the Falkland Islands. He became a weapons and electronic warfare pilot instructor serving at many other overseas bases including Belize in Central America and Germany, as well as UK Bases.

Author at Shodai Tadayoshi gravesite
At the grave-site of Shodai Tadayoshi in Shinkaku Temple, Saga, Hizen, during a research visit

Whilst serving at RAF Chivenor near his home town, he studied Yoshinkan Aikido under the instruction of O-Sensei Ted Stratton, which also fostered in him a deep passion for the Japanese sword. He went on to run his own Dojo as a 2nd Dan at RAF Gutersloh, Germany. He eventually retired from "fun, but bloody dangerous flying" with the RAF and joined Cathay Pacific Airways as a civil aviation pilot based in Hong Kong. Over the years his travels around the world as an aviator have led to many interesting and varied places where he has acquired Japanese Swords. He makes the comment "It is truly amazing some of locations that you can still find fine Hizen Swords - but none finer than the Sandai Tadayoshi School blade which turned up on my own doorstep in Ilfracombe!"

He is now both an avid collector of Hizento and an admirer of Japanese art. He has been collecting swords, books and related items and  for over 20 years. His travels, experiences and dangers around the world as a fighter pilot and martial artist have been surpassed by another equally passionate world…

........................the world of Hizen Tadayoshi.