Kurofune: The Black Ships – A Novel Of World War 2

Kurofune is a war story, a love story, a story of redemption and rebirth.

The Battle of Saipan saw the Pacific War’s largest Japanese Banzai attack. Over 4,000 Japanese soldiers died while about 1,000 Marines lost their lives during this harrowing nightmare of a suicide thrust by the Japanese to push the Americans back into the sea.

“Kurofune” tells the story of that tragedy against a backdrop of nationalism, military fanaticism, heroism and self sacrifice. Yet Kurofune is also a love story, a war story, a story of redemption and a story of rebirth.


Akira Mizutani, his wife Mariko and their 9-year old son Shoichi loved Saipan. But Akira was fearful that Japan’s vision of South East Asian expansion and Micronesian control in the 1930s and 40s was madness and would have dire consequences for the safety of his family and the people of his small island.

Ted Culp of Bremerton Washington wanted to be a Marine more than anything else. The unprovoked Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour had set a fire in his soul. He was eager to go! Yet he was torn between his sense of duty to serve his country and his faith. He ultimately decides to leave Bremerton and the love of his life for the killing beaches and jungles of the central Pacific atolls and islands.

Unbeknownst to Ted and Akira, this Pacific War would bring them together in a way that they could never have imagined. Their lives would never be the same again.

The “EBook” and / or Paperback version are now available and can be purchased through Amazon at:


You can also purchase this book at Munro’s book store on Government Street in Victoria BC.

Of note: The character of Ruth in this book was based upon a dear friend of mine who passed away 19 August 2019 from cancer.  My sincere condolences to Pascal and his family. She will be missed.

What readers have to say about Kurofune:

John Morrison’s recent novel “Kurofune The Black Ships” is a superb first effort.

The epic story of American gallantry and victory over the brave, but totally fanatical Japanese military is well organized and researched. The cast of characters from the main protagonist Pte Ted Culp, to Pte Airie (Boo Hoo), and Pte Niles (the Reverend) are true comrades-in-arms soldiers. This particular story of the US Marines who literally fought their way through hell, in the numerous campaigns of the South Pacific, is well worth telling again. Focusing on how just one Marine Pte Culp, left his small American town to answer his country’s call to Arms. John’s novel is a joy to read and
is reminiscent of the millions of young men and women who also sacrificed their lives and health for the freedom we enjoy today! At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them. SEMPER FIDELIS.


Wow! What a great book. There is not that many authors that can put you right there with the characters as their stories unfold. This author has achieved that and more. You don’t just read this book you feel it. This book should be made into a movie so more people can get a better understanding of both sides of that horrible conflict, or better yet “read the book”.

Robin Lalonde

“Kurofune: The Black Ships is a well balanced, descriptive novel depicting both the lives of a young US marine and a family from Saipan brought together during the war in the Pacific. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this first novel by John Morrison and hope there will be more to come! BZ!”

R Cooke

“Just finished reading “Kurofune – The Black Ships” a novel of World War 11 written by John Morrison. I found it very educational as I knew nothing about the Pacific War, or even where Saipan was located. The author has gone into great detail to keep this history as accurate as possible, yet still opening up their stories, for both sides, Japanese and Americans. How life changes with war, yet still trying to find the good in people, making some sense of it all and carry on. There is the loss of friends, hope for a better day, and of course a little romance. Totally enjoyed the book, and learned a lot about that era.”

L Munro

“GREAT BOOK” John, couldn’t put it down. Loved the way you wove in the military, historical and personal aspects of this very important part of WW II. Your descriptions of the battle from a marines prospectus really made me appreciate the sacrifices these young men made. Also really enjoyed the way you interwove the personal stories of the family on Siapan and Ted Culp, showing the huge and lasting consequence of War on peoples lives. Well done, a must read and I can see a movie coming out of this. Marijke would have been very proud.”

B Dow


Some pictures from the Battle of Saipan

Garapan, Saipan: Picture was taken shortly after the Bombardment June 1944

Garapan’s main street after the bombardment.

A home impacted by the bombardment.

Kurofune. By the EBook or Paperback through Amazon.com



And on a little lighter side, another book of mine that is available for purchase through Amazon:

“I Thought I’d Died and Gone To Heaven”

An Excerpt:

“The next day and the days after that next day at work were
gruesome. I may have been making three dollars and forty-five
cents an hour, but no amount of money could compensate the
physical pain and misery of that job. Shovelling gravel into those
inanimate buckets, hour after hour, day after day for the hottest
summer on record was pure unadulterated torture. I was
dreaming of them. My bucket list! And the only sound heard,
besides Zal’s taunts for more “fucking pitch” being the grunts
and groans from our bodies and the huffs and puffs of our
laboured breaths with every shovelful of gravel taken. Sweat just
poured down every crease and crevasse of our beings. Taking
stints up on the flat roof itself provided no relief with a hot
glaring sun beating down mercilessly on our lithe bodies. The
humidity was a killer. The hard physical work and the potential
for dehydration made it harder and harder to keep our pants
above the waist. As roofers we had the plumber’s crack in
spades. It was kind of comical watching everyone on the crew
continuously pulling up on their pants or tightening their belts as
if stricken by a nervous twitch. On top of that, by the end of the
day, our calloused hands were the worse for wear as newly
formed blisters would crack, then burst, then sting, as the flayed
skin would shed and coagulate with the pus and the blood, which
became an ugly brownish red in colour. The soles of our work
boots expanded vertically, about two to four inches, as the tar and
gravel stuck to the undersides of our boots as we walked around
by the area of the hot tar kettle, the conveyor belt, and the adjacent
pile of gravel. It would take us some time to scrape the
gooey mess off of our boots at the end of the day. But we felt so
tall in our high gravel heels!

“End of the day? Sore and bruised and filthy dirty in sweat
and dust. The long ride home on the bus and subway, lost in
thought, dead to the world, and praying hard and fast for rain on
the morrow or watching the clock, counting hard the seconds,
minutes, and hours before the whole miserable routine would
repeat itself. Please, dear God, let it rain tomorrow for when it
rained roofers didn’t work. But of course it was Murphy’s Law
and not God’s law that ran the day for it only rained on the

“The summer finally ended. I was in great shape physically,
well-tanned, and had a few bucks saved in the bank. I helped out
at home financially, naturally, but I didn’t have to give the
majority of my earnings to my parents as I no longer went to the
Catholic private high school for boys. I thanked God for that!
And looking back on that hot and humid summer, my first real
well-paying job, I could have easily said that life was good. In
some respects that summer was Pitcher (sic) Perfect.”

My latest book. You can check this out via the Free Preview.

Thanks for any support that you may give and have a great Navy Day!





The Fat Lady Has Sung

I am an old fart. No doubt. I have always thought of myself as a people person, non racist. Over the years I have come across many people of all colours and races. My brother in law is Black. My other brother in law is Japanese. I think they are great guys yet if I ever think of criticizing any one of their colour, as in Black Lives Matter, on the same grounds and on the same moral standards as myself, then I am attacked by the progressive crowd and considered a racist, a bigot, intolerant, red neck asshole…too bad but oh so sad…and wrong.

I am a Christian. I am proud of the fact. I am unapologetic about my faith. Yet because of that I am considered as someone who must be absolutely stupid, irrational, imbecile, idiot. How can you even consider something like God as being relevant if you cannot see him or her, or feel their presence, or believe in their incredible legacy of love and salvation for all of us? Well, it is a matter of faith. Something that is lost on so many people these days, especially the Governor General of this great country of ours. Someone who has ridiculed my beliefs only because those beliefs are non scientific in her eyes.

My faith in God has given me moments of sheer joy of being alive and incredible inspiration that I cannot even begin to describe to you. My faith has also helped me get through some very bad times such as the death of my wife and recently my brother. My brother, who was mentally handicapped, was a gift from God himself. He was angelic, had a joyful disposition and an innocence that could have only come from the Almighty. He was blessed and his blessings fell on all of us who knew him. I feel sorry for our Governor General and for all of you out there who lack faith, don’t believe in anything except yourselves or anything that you cannot see or that isn’t secular in nature...too bad and oh so sad. 

I am a patriot. I have served my country for 37 years. I loved it. I am proud of the fact. But in this country so many of my fellow citizens despise the military, the police, any person of authority. Why? Because they lack self discipline and self respect in their own right. We are considered losers by many of our fellow Canadians and especially from our political leadership. Too bad and oh so sad.

I am tolerant. I do not care if you are black or white or gray (grey) for that matter. Everyone is unique. Everyone is wonderful in their own right. Everyone deserves respect. Everyone needs love and should be loved. But when you attach identity labels to yourself and demean me because of the colour of my skin – white is a colour you know – or my beliefs, or my faith and expect me to cow tow to your every need or whim because of mistakes or prejudices of the past then who is the intolerant one here? Yes mistakes and prejudices have been made. In the past. But this is the present. I have faith in the future. Let us move on and not be so damn sensitive to every little thing out there. Unfortunately, as I have seen through some of the feedback I receive from this blog, many of you have lost your sense of humour or sense of fun. In your eyes everything is offensive. And when everything is offensive then nothing is offensive anymore. Fun has become a four letter word. That is too bad and oh so sad.

I am proud of my American friends. One of my very best mentors was an American. I met him and his wife in Hawaii when I lived there way back in 1973 / 74. He was a Navy Veteran of World War II. He treated me as an equal even though he was 50 to my 22/23. He was generous, intelligent, patriotic, religious and tolerant. He possessed many of the values that defined his generation as being the Greatest Generation. He volunteered for many years at St Jude’s Hospital in Memphis Tennessee. It was Ted who convinced me to join the Navy after I had sewn my wild oats. It was Ted’s life that inspired me to write Kurofune: The Black Ships. Ted was a wonderful man and a proud American. He passed away June 2011. He was 87. He died the year I retired and 37 years after I knew him. Coincidentally, I served 37 years in the Royal Canadian Navy after I met him.

So for all of you smug Canadians out there, Americans cannot be defined by a single politician or a political party. And to refuse to go to the United States because you do not like their duly elected President or to shun Americans as being ignorant ignoramuses and idiots – as I have heard too many times, then who are the intolerant ones here? Canadians are probably the smuggest, most holier than thou racists on the entire planet. And that is bad and oh so sad. And hypocritical.

I am not an intolerant racist. Yet whenever I poke fun at a particular group or an individual, or religion, or an event I am labelled a (insert whatever label here) phobe. Our free speech is under threat and when we lose that we have lost our freedom and we will ultimately begin to denigrate into totalitarianism. And that my friends will be very bad and oh so sad.

After considerable thought on my part I am finished doing this blog for the time being. It was fun doing it. I may come back to it in the future but for now I am just going to use it as a vehicle to promote my current books and to those that come.

For people like Derek, thanks man.

John aka Shakeyjay!


And for my last musical addition, a Christian song written by a Jew that is psychedelic during an era of piece and love. Talk about inclusiveness. Remember that. Trying to replicate Woodstock ain’t goin to work. By the way this song was way ahead of its time with respect to its Riff.


Summer In The City

The Fifteenth Hottest Third Tuesday In July Since Records Began (Last August)….wow.

I just had my third largest “dump” in all of my history on this planet

I see CO2……..really. That invisible odourless gas Greta?


I see dead people too.

See the source image

So do I. Every time I see some guy or gal tell me the earth will end in 11 years if we do not address climate change…NOW!

Well, It’s that time of year again — summer — when the weather/climate charlatans try to scare us into believing that because we are having the annual heat wave, global warming is real and the world will surely end by next summer (by which time you’ll have forgotten last summer).

I love this. Paris heat wave is proof positive that global warming climate change is real. Paris is a heat sink, a heat island. As is Toronto, Chicago, Tacoma, Atlanta, LA. they say that temps hit 40 for the first time in years. Well, wait a minute. I did a pilgrimage last summer from Vezelay France to St Jean Pied de Port – 900 kilometers in total over 45 days. On August 3rd 2018, in a small town called Premerly the temps hits 44 degrees. So there.

AOC wants to ban all jetliners with her Green New Deal. Yeah, that should work.

AOC’s favourite tune.

Oh and the temps hit 42 degrees yesterday in Toronto. Wow. On further inspection, 42 was the humidex temp. What it felt like because T.O is located on the northern shore of Lake Ontario, one of the 5 great lakes, a relatively large body of water. Of course humidity, due to water vapour not CO2, will be high. The actual temperature in T.O was 29 Celsius.

Yes, it is hot Virginia. It is summer. It is supposed to be hot. We have heat waves. Hot air incoming, not from Ottawa, but from weather patterns from the gulf of Mexico. If it was cool, you would have everyone complaining about the shitty summer. And in the winter, we have………..oooooo……………wait for it………….The Polar Vortex. My legs are shaking. No Virginia. It is winter. It is supposed to be cold. But now -10 is the new -30 due to the wind chill. Climate Change.

Love this headline:

Democracy Must be Suspended to Fight Climate Change. In Canada we have an elected dictatorship, so we’re already there Virginia. And as there is no debate on this I feel Democracy in this country has already been flushed down the heat sink.

How can anyone believe this shyte:


I don’t know what or who is scarier. Her or that picture.

Bill Nigh?;

Beware of false prophets.

You just wait. This 16 year old girl from Sweden will win the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize. Laughing stock. This pic is an insult to Dante’s Divine Comedy. It is no laughing matter though. Indoctrination…you bet. No wonder climate suicides are on the rise. Blasphemous.

I do not know about you but I love summer. I love sitting out back with a cool one enjoying the sweltering heat, especially when a cool breeze pops up out of nowhere. Heaven. I remember my parents sitting in their cool basement back in the summer of the 1950s / 60s sucking back a Pilsner, while dragging away on their Buckinghams, or Camels. It was a summer heat wave. Love it.

To all of those guys out there:


You have two choices in life:
You can stay single and be miserable,
or get married and wish you were dead.

Another great song from the 60s:Monday…and don’t believe this shyte.

Or this. Remember?






Had a great talk with a friend of mine today – somewhat of a philosopher, and his take on women and what makes for a very successful relationship.

Over a few beers……….

“What do ya know about women anyway, Shakeyjay?” he says to me

“Not too much.” I says

“Do you know what makes for a great, long lasting relationship.?

I just shrugged.

“No, what” I says, curious now.

“Silence! Silence, on your part Shakeyjay. While your woman is nattering on to you, you say nothing. Nothing at all. Nothing… nada.”

“Say what?” says I

“Not say what. You say nothing. And I mean nothing.

“You just sit there while she rambles on. You smile, just smile, nod your head once in awhile, smile again while she goes on but under no circumstances do you say anything. Anything! Nothing at all. Do you understand me?

“Really.” I said. “I don’t think I can do that. Just sit there silently, with a broad smile on my face, but saying nothing.”

“Well, yes, it does take some getting used to. Some discipline on your part.”

He went on…….

“You see…while she is rambling on to you, unbeknownst to her, every single thing she is saying is going in one of your ears and coming out the other. Nothing, and I mean nothing, no word that she mouths or says is caught up in there – between your ears I mean – to cause or stir a single rational thought on your part. No brain matter to understand or dissect whatever she says. You cannot rationalize irrationality of expression. You know that. And that is what it is. And the very neat part of all of this is that it just becomes white noise after a while. But that takes a great deal of practice and experience.

“Wow.” I said

“Yes, and this is the best part of all. While she is going on about who knows what you just smile at her knowing full well that as she rambles on you can go to that wonderful safe place of yours. You know – the golf course, the pub, the poker game, the stag party, out with your mates. Well just about anything or anywhere your heart desires and she will not be the worst for wear – just as long as you keep smiling at her.

“Oh and if you do detect a pause in her banter, just say ‘mmm hmmm'”

“But do not, I repeat, do not under any circumstances look directly at her. Because a real danger exists that as she carries on with her feminist mumble jumble your eyes may glaze over while you are transfixed into that safe space of yours, you know, your happy place. They can pick up on that immediately. Usually what comes next is: ‘are you listening to a single word I am saying?’ Be careful of that.

“All you have to say is: “Yes dear.” But if you have the periodic ‘ummm hmmm’ down pat she will never detect your indifference.

“I am telling you Shakeyjay that this works wonders. She will admire you. She will tell all of her friends just how wonderful, how understanding you are. What a great listener you are and, and this is the best part, she will give you just about anything your heart desires.”

“Really, you mean, like beer?”

“Anything. And the second best part of all of this is that you will never be caught in a lie because you have absolutely no idea of what she was talking about in the first place. So you cannot lie about something you have no idea about.”

“Wow. And women think they know us but they don’t, really! We will always have the last word”

“I am going to try that. I’ll let ya know how it goes.”

“SHAKEYJAY!” my woman shrieked.

Yes dear.



PS: If you want your spouse to listen and pay strict attention to every word you say – talk in your sleep.

Have a great day.


Sorry! Again…

The Turd’s latest apology to the Inuits – and none coming to ordinary Canadians – got me to thinking:

I am a Canadian………………….Sorry

Canadian lawyers send an official letter to the Pope asking him for an official apology for the Canadian Residential Schools. Never mind that there are also Anglican, Presbyterian and other denominational schools….oops sorry. That they were also in the United States and other Commonwealth countries and that not all residential schools were bad….oops sorry!

Residential schools? The gift that keeps on giving to Canada’s First Nations, which is an oxymoronic thing to say in itself…sorry. Indigenous peoples were immigrants like the rest of us…sorry. They just got off the boat, or land bridge, a lot earlier than us Franco’s and Anglo’s….oops sorry, can’t say that.

If I was the Pope, and sorry, I’m not, I would tell these lawyers to go to hell…oops sorry. Can’t say that. Hell doesn’t exist anymore according to the Pope. Okay then, go to purgatory. Yup, that should do it..oops…sorry about that.

And the Pope’s response?

See the source image

“I just have two words to say to Canada. Unfortunately  I cannot say in them public!” Sorry! “This is Latin sign language meaning F%$K Off.”

On behalf of all Canadians, I just want to say sorry to:

  • Japanese Canadians;
  • Chinese Canadians;
  • Jewish Canadians…is there such a thing?;
  • Italian Canadians;
  • Greek Canadians;
  • French Canadians;
  • German Canadians;
  • All Canadians from Europe, Middle East, Mongolia, Southeast Asia;
  • American Canadians although I don’t know why they would want to be;
  • Aussie Canadians;
  • New Zealand Canadians
  • Antarctic Adele Penguin Canadians;
  • Skuas and screw yas Canadians;
  • Polar Bear Canadians;
  • Seal Canadians
  • Shit Hawk Canadians;
  • Scandinavian Canadians;
  • African Canadians;
  • Indian Canadians;
  • Oceana Canadians;
  • St Helena Canadians;
  • Elba Canadians;
  • Russia Canadians; and
  • Anyone left out Canadians?

And all other hyphenated and decaffeinated Canadians out there. Why can’t we all just be……….CANADIANS!…..Ooops sorry, identity politics rules the Canadian roost..er…oops sorry to PETA….well, not really sorry!

We are Canadians and we’re sorry that we screwed you all. Just lodge a complaint with our Dear Leader Justin Trudeau and he will issue you an apology, with tears to boot (he is an ex drama teacher after all) and, if you are really, really lucky, he’ll give you all a hockey sock full of money.

Oh and sorry to the Montreal Canadians for sucking as a hockey team. And the Leafs.

And the next time you wage a major war in Europe, don’t call us to come and help bail you out………………….Sorry!

I’m sorry!

Song of the day:

Have a great Navy day