David Mitchell on the historical setting of Jacob de Zoet:
Did you watch a lot of Kurosawa films?
Some, yes. Actually, it would be manga, though. There’s an absolutely wonderful series of stories called Lone Wolf and Cub. It’s about 100 years earlier than my period. Visually, you get the interiors that no amount of scholarly research can give. What authenticity my book might be able to boast owes a great debt to Lone Wolf and Cub. You really should check them out. They really are special—though there’s a necessary quota of what we might think of as something close to soft-core porn.