Michael R. Zomber has turned his passion for history and its weapons into a successful, multi-faceted career as author, filmmaker, historian, consultant and dealer.
Zomber bought his first antique Japanese samurai sword over forty years ago. He’s now a recognized expert on both ancient swords and firearms. Like many collectors, he has financed his passion by becoming a dealer in antique arms. He’s now a recognized expert in arms and armor from the 16th through the 19th centuries. That includes European, American, Islamic and Japanese weaponry. He has owned weapons that once belonged to George Washington and Simon Bolivar.
He’s been a guest historian on the History Channel’s series Tales of the Gun, including Guns of the Famous, Guns of the Orient and Dueling Pistols. He’s also worked with the Arts and Entertainment channel.
That’s two novels about the Civil War, one about World War 2 and art collecting, and one about the adventures of two young samurai that readers who enjoyed James Clavell’s Shogun should also take a great deal of pleasure in reading.
Jesus and the Samurai tells the little-known story of how Christianity spread through Asia to Japan centuries before European missionaries voyaged to the country. The religion was so popular it threatened the power and domination of Buddhism, until it was persecuted and destroyed.
He’s also created a documentary about the samurai, Soul of the Samurai. To make the film, he worked closely with Reverend Kensho Furuya, a Buddhist Zen master. Furuya was famous around the world as an expert on Japanese swords, as well as on kendo and iato. That’s in addition to Zomber’s series of books.
He and his wife formed Renascent Films in 1998. One of their films, La Cucaracha, won Best Picture at the Austin Film Festival. He’s posted a fascinating excerpt from Soul of the Samurai on YouTube explaining how easy it was for samurai to give each other insults that could only be settled by blood.
Although a dealer and expert in antique arms, Zomber believes in love, compassion and the peaceful resolution of conflicts. Therefore, he and his wife support Antiwar.com and the Randolph Bourne Institute to provide voices for the anti-war movement. The other charities they help include Smile Train, Global Exchange and Amnesty International.