Kurofune: The Black Ships 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.

You can purchase Kurofune: The Black Ships through Amazon. Link is at the bottom of this page.

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.

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.

Saipan Today:

Saipan - Wikipedia

Saipan - Ginen Marianas


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



22 thoughts on “KUROFUNE: THE BLACK SHIPS – A Novel of World War II”

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. “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.

  4. 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”.

  5. 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.

  6. Just finished reading Kurofuni, it starts off slowly as you have to get the backstory in order to understand the events leading up to the war. Not many people realize that Japan was given a lot of Germany’s colonial holdings in the Pacific for helping defeat them in the first World War. I learned a lot of history while enjoying a good war story and it places you back among the people who lived in the 1940s, their outlook, their beliefs, their limited worldview (compared to ours today) and the events that unfolded from both sides but primarily from the US.
    It doesn’t try to explain the grand strategy but concentrates on how it affected families on both sides of the conflict. It also points out how young men from a non militaristic background (young US Marines) had to adapt to being thrown into serious combat against an enemy who had already been fighting for years. If the High Command in Tokyo hadn’t made so many mistakes things might have turned out differently.
    Most of our information on World War II concentrates on the events in Europe while the Pacific front was, in many ways, much broader. This is a worth while book to read and I highly recommend it.

  7. I was very ignorant of the Pacific part of World War II before reading this novel. John’s descriptions bought it to light for me. There were times I thought I could be reading non fiction…that’s how realistic the narrative was. He also wove a story of what seemed like real characters into the book. I truly enjoyed the read and was crying near the end…always a sign I’ve felt immersed in a book.

  8. I have just finished reading Kurofune a novel that kept me captivated form beginning to end. The blending of powerful WWII action, with it’s historical basis, and an endearing love story provides the reader with a source of continuing interest. The author’s strong descriptive ability and character development are hallmarks of this book. One hopes he will write another.

  9. A wonderful journey of a read that educates and entertains you through a conflict, as well as the lives and families of men and women fighting through a deadly war, from the perspective of both sides. Recommended!

    P.S – agreed with the previous post about a movie

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