When an priest of the Ise-jingu shrine in Ise, Japan is found dead in his room, Kokugakuin University Shinto professor William Sandwell is taken by police from his work upon the finding of his name on the death poem, written by the priest. A symbol, carved onto the body leads to a robbery of Japan’s most important myth-surrounded Imperial relic.
Joining him in his adventure through Japan is a gifted half Japanese, half English archeoligist, Catherine Yamazaki. Together, they discover a trail of evidence, hidden in the Inner Sanctuary of the shrine that leads to the theft of the relic that leads to the unveiling of Japan’s best secret.
Ben Midland (pseudonym), born as Jacobus.Franciskus M. “Bas” van Weelde, The Hague, The Netherlands (8 september 1954) is a writer of fact-fiction novels.
Ben Midland was born to Jeanne Bleijs, a telephone operator, and Louis van Weelde, an asbestos worker. His grandfather Jacobus Wilhelmus Bleijs (12 october 1892 – April 1 1979) was a painter and decorator, member of the Bleijs family, a line of artistic persons. He was named after his grandfather.
His parents divorced when Ben was three and his father has two children from another relationship. His mother later married Petrus Adrianus Johannes van Gils, an official of the Dutch Dept. of Defense who did not adopted him.
Midland never met his birth father.
After the divorce Midland left the house to be placed at strict Catholic homes in the cities of Wassenaar (St. Franciscus van Padua), Scheveningen (De Vluchtheuvel) Rotterdam (Heemraadsingel) and Santpoort-Noord (St. Rafael).
Midland met Lourdes Nudo Juson, a Filipina in July 1985. They married on October 16, 1986 and had 1 child: Sebastian van Weelde, born June 1997.
The pregnancy was possible through artificial insemination after his wife became the only victim of a unilateral traffic accident in Manila on December 14 in 1994. There, in MMC hospital in Makati, Manila she stayed three month’s in coma.
After her recovery Ben ‘kidnapped’ his wife from the hospital, facing charges against him after he refused to pay for her hospital bills instead of the causer. After trial, three years later the Court of Appeal in Manila convicted the driver, a reckless truck driver from the shanties to pay 100.000.00 pesos fine.
In January 1998 Ben fled out of The Philippines together with his heavily physically and mentally damaged wife and son.
In December 2007, his wife died of a cardiac arrest.
In 2010 Ben Midland remarried again, to Angelique Loef. After dating Angelique, Midland and his son moved in with her and her two kids after a long period wherein she was threatened and beaten up by her violent husband. After their marriage Midland accepted her two kids, Jeffrey and Dave as his own kids.
Raised, away from his elderly home Midland developed his independency which definitely appeared to be the run for a life outside the Netherlands. This became reality after he finished elementary, junior, high school and college. Prior to his decision to start a life outside the Netherlands, he took up Japanese studies, a pre-bachelor study Japanology in Leiden, The Netherlands. On his 20th he gave up his apartment in the city of Zoetermeer in the Netherlands for a four-year stay in Japan, studying Japanese and working as a assistant teacher English.
In subsequent years he set up a consultancy (JTC, Japan Trade Consultancy) to assist Dutch entrepreneurs, approaching the Japanese market. During that period, Ben travelled back and forth to Kyoto, Japan for business and study purposes.
BEN MIDLAND ACCORDING TO BEN MIDLAND
As a person, Ben Midland prefers to call himself a fine example of “Dutch white trash”. Born in poverty, without knowing or ever met his biological father and raised in Catholic homes away from his family, he felt being forced to face his personal boundaries. As a result of that, Midland did not compromise with what life has to offer for him. It was not enough.
Midland refused to accept these limitations set up to him and swore to himself to become successful in whatever he picked up. No matter what, study, sports, a working career, he needs to win, continuously proving to his environment but more specific to himself that he is capable doing whatever he picks up.
After his fled from the Philippines, Midland studied computer science, took up Unix courses and started a career as a Unix system engineer, working for a number of government organizations and private companies.
In 2010 Midland started writing his first novel, “The Sacred Mirror” (Dutch: De Spiegel van Ise) after a burn-out that forced him to take a step back. Working, driving, taking care for his family (numerous members of Midland’s family are handicapped) and study became too much all together. Since his study of Japanese, Midland’s attention was caught by the mystique of Japan, it’s culture, folklore and more specific Japanese mythology.
On August 18 2012 Ben Midland’s first novel “The Sacred Mirror” was released, (free and English translation of the Dutch title) the first of a series of more to come, all with one aspect in common Japan related