Before the author(Daidoji Yuzan) died at age 92, he wrote these essays on the proper conduct of the Japanese Samurai because he observed a lack of discipline among the younger samurai. This editon was translated by William Scott Wilson, who also translated two other Japanese (Hagakure: the book of the Samurai and Ideals of the Samurai)books. This book may have been the most read by the samurai in the 17th century. There are fifty six short essays outlining the proper conduct of the samurai. This book can also be considered as a lens to the past on the every day life of the ancient samurai.
An example of a few of these essays include: A samurai must constantly be thinking about death, always be prepared for battle, be devoted to one's parents, gossip and back talk are inexcusable, ability and dilgence, do not mix personal feelings with duties, rules for a guardian, the warrior who strikes his wife is a coward, the warrior's duty is to protect the farmer, craftsman and merchant, loyalty includes longevity, and much, much more. In conclusion, this is a book for anyone interested in how the samurai thought, made decisions and lived his life.
Rating: 5 stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Season of the Warrior: a poetic tribute to warriors)