Christopher John Ryall (aka, C.J. Ryall) is an Australian author living in Japan. Born in 1964 in Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia, his family moved to Darwin when he was four years old. At the age of seven, he moved with his family to the Gold Coast in Queensland. At this young age, he first saw Japanese ‘anime’ (cartoons) by the celebrated comic writer Osamu Tezuka, and an interest in Japan was born.
Later in high school, Chris watched Japanese samurai movies by acclaimed director Kurosawa Akira, including Shichinin no Samurai (The Seven Samurai). This had a large impact on him, and when he entered Griffith University on the Gold Coast, he chose to study Japanese language as his major within his Bachelor of Teaching. He later also received his Bachelor of Education.
During this time he wrote his first novel, some short stories, and had a couple of articles published in the local newspaper. He also began what would become a lifetime hobby of writing poetry. Three of his poems were later selected and published in a series of anthologies titled Collected Whispers, by the International Library of Poetry. Many of his poems have been published online.
When he graduated from university, he received a scholarship to study at Seikei University in Tokyo, and was an exchange student there for one year from 1992 to 1993. He returned to Australia to teach Japanese language in 1994. During this time he married his true love, Mandy, with whom he had spent time in Japan.
However, four years later Japan called to him again, and he returned there with his wife and they enjoyed many adventures together. These included climbing Mt Fuji, watching Sumo wrestling and professional baseball live, training in karate, traveling around Honshu, and participating in a traditional tea ceremony. It was at this time that he began to think about writing a book based in Japan. In 2004 he and his wife returned to Australia, and he began work on his novel.
Once again they returned to the Land of the Rising Sun, in 2005, where they worked in various junior high schools. During this time, Chris continued writing his novel, as well as short stories, articles on Japan, and poetry. He also enjoyed studying Japanese history, and reading the history of the Yakuza.
While Chris was raised in a Catholic family, and counts himself as a Christian, he took much interest in learning about Buddhism during his time in Japan. His father was a policeman, his mother a nurse, and he is the youngest of eight children. It was his father’s career in the police force that first inspired Chris to write about crime, or to involve some criminal elements within his story writing.
In 2007 he and his wife holidayed for ten days on Okinawa, but one of the main reasons they chose to visit these idyllic islands was so that Chris could do some research for the last part of his book, which takes place on the dazzling Yaeyama islands of Okinawa prefecture.
When he’s not writing, he loves to read books, and watch movies with his wife, Mandy. Chris and Mandy continue to live in Matsusaka, Mie Prefecture, Japan.