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The Book of Five Rings (Shambhala Library) Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 137 customer reviews

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Length: 196 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Amazon Review

To learn a Japanese martial art is to learn Zen, and although you can't do so simply by reading a book, it sure does help--especially if that book is the Book of Five Rings. One of Japan's great samurai sword masters put down in decisive, unfaltering terms the certain path to victory, and like Sun Tzu's Art of War, it is applicable not only on the battlefield but in all forms of competition. Always observant, creating confusion, striking at vulnerabilities--these are some of the basic principles. Going deeper, we find suki, the interval of vulnerability, of indecisiveness, of rest, the briefest but most vital moment to strike. In succinct detail, Miyamoto records ideal postures, blows and psychological tactics to put the enemy off guard and open the way for attack. Most important of all is Miyamoto's concept of rhythm, how all things are in harmony, and by working with the rhythm of a situation, we can turn it to our advantage with little effort. But like Zen, this requires one thing above all else, putting the book down and going out to practice. --Brian Bruya

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 350 KB
  • Print Length: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications; 1 edition (22 July 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AITRIG2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 137 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #44,660 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had this book once before, lent it, and never got it back. bought for kindle, it is interesting, for all its a tactical book, it also serves as a useful reminder about life in general (once you get into the format)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It all depends how you look at it.. it's not only about the sword fight training.. it's a philosophy of every day life situations.
Simple but effective ways of approaching any obstacles (enemies)…
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this while going through a period of "what am I doing and where are am I going" it is an interesting book and gives some insights into strategy and working the long game, it will not be to everyones taste and a lot is down to your own interpretation of the writings but I found a lot of the reading interesting and it gave me a lot of thought for reflection.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Probably the best coaching manual ever devised. My handbook for sport and life. Not an 'easy read' for 'a quick fix', so if you just play games look for the 'elastoplast type' of book, THIS IS A BOOK FOR SERIOUS PEOPLE.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Unlike the dozens of other translations of The Book of Five Rings, this one also contains The Life-Giving Sword: Secret Teachings from the House of Shogun by Yagyu Munenori (A contemporary of Musashi). How's that for value for money?!

The Book of Five Rings (Go Rin No Sho) is a GREAT book! If you take time to properly absorb and understand ALL of its teachings. It's not a very long book and so would be easy to read a few times over so that you get a proper flavour of the important message being presented. Thomas Cleary is a prolific writer and well qualified to produce such a translation.

A better and easier to digest version (IMHO) of this small book is Samurai Strategies: 42 Martial Secrets from Musashi's Book of Five Rings by Boye De Lafayette Mente, who very cleverly summarises this book into 42 easy to digest and understand and apply chapters.

The ideas in this book are NOT dangerous to anyone in the least, IF you balance and apply ALL of the lessons within it - that's the idea that the great undefeated warrior Musashi was trying to put across. The life saving principles he expounds here are designed to help us all have a better, easier and more fulfilled life, Martial Artist or not. His strategies can be applied and used by anyone.
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Format: Paperback
This is by far the best english translation of Musashi and has more of a feel for the man through the book than any other translation. If you are used to having thought of this book through previous translations your eyes will be opened. Size is important! it fits into a shirt or coat pocket for those quiet moments when insight is elusive.
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Format: Hardcover
Based on my readings, Musashi's motive in writing his Book of Five Rings had been to correct misrepresentations of his views on swordsmanship by his contemporaries. Having become a legend in his own time, Musashi's reputation was being exploited by ambitious rivals claiming to have adopted the master's martial techniques and philosophies. Thus Book of Five Rings was intended by its author to establish his point of view for correcting misconceptions.

Those in America who've been advocating since 1974 to study Book of Five Rings to gain some business advantage over Japanese businessmen are barking up the wrong tree. Musashi's writings are poetic and thought provoking. Indeed, one can even learn something new and ancient about strategy from the master. It is, however, doubtful that Musashi's words can make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. So then those in the 1970s who had originally marketed the book as "the alternative to the Harvard MBA" were barking up the wrong tree.

In addition to the charming and useful writings, the original (1974 English translation) Book of Five Rings includes photos of the master swordsman's quite beautiful art work, now residing in Japan in a museum dedicated to Musashi works.
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Format: Paperback
Well, this is one of the greatest books ever written on strategy. But a great deal of it is highly technical and not easily understood by people without extensive background in the Japanese martial arts - I lived in Japan for 3 years, have studied over 10 year and make no claims to understand it. I used to ask my Sensei about it and he would just laugh - it was deliberately written to be obscure. I think you ought read it, enjoy it, know that most business managers (Japan or America) do not understand it and all the hype about it as a business text is BS.
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