A North East graduate is returning to the region after travelling half the world, and is now bringing the myths and legends of Japan up to date with a trilogy of children’s books.

Jason Rohan is author of The Kurumori Adventures. Jason graduated from the University of Sunderland in 1990 with a BA English Studies degree – and next week returns to the region for a book signing of his trilogy of fantasy adventures at Waterstones in Durham.

After graduating Jason went on to work in Japan as a teacher and travelled extensively from Australia to Rajasthan in northern India. Now he has put all of his exotic experiences together in the children’s books, The Sword of KuromoriThe Stone or Kuromori and The Shield of Kuromori, with the aim to give readers a glimpse into a culture which is little known outside of Japan.

He said: “My main inspiration was to show young readers what it is like to live in such an exciting place as Japan. For a country that touches our lives in so many ways, Japan remains largely unknown to English audiences.”

The signing was organised by Fiona Sharp, who works in Waterstones in Durham, and runs the University of Sunderland’s Alumni Book Society.

The Society links Sunderland graduates online in a ‘virtual reading group’, suggesting different reads and inviting reviews. Fiona, who graduated from Sunderland with Msc Management of IT, has become a champion of Jason’s works since reading the The Kurumori Adventures.

She said: “Jason’s books are full of laughs and adventure. They are perfect reading for anyone aged nine to 99.

“I don’t see Jason’s books stocked in many bookshops, so I am trying to spread the word wherever possible.”

The trilogy follows the adventures of 15-year-old Kenny, a British boy who moves to Japan to be with his estranged father. He finds himself in the centre of a hidden war, and must negotiate modern and mythological Japan to save himself.

“Once I started delving into the rich trove of old tales, the plot fell into place and the story almost wrote itself,” says Jason.

He firmly believes that his time at the University of Sunderland gave him a solid grounding for a career as an author.

“My wife is American and finished top of her class – but she was surprised to find I knew more about Greek, Renaissance poetry and Shakespeare than she did!”

Jason Rohan will be signing books at Waterstones in Durham on Saturday 30 September from 11am to 2pm. https://www.waterstones.com/events/jason-rohan-kurumori-adventures/durham