I read this book quite some time ago, but the story is still with me now - a testiment to any great book. Eiji Yoshikawa is a master of story-telling and prose, and Charles Terry's translation is, as any good translation should be, undiscernible. The book could very well have been thought written in english, and beautifully so.
The 970 page (over-sized page) epic is difficult to sum-up in a few short sentences... but the basis of the book is the life of the greatest warrior (calling him a 'swordsman' would be like calling Shakespeare s 'scribe') of Feudal Japan.
Close your eyes... envision a full moon on a clear night in ancient Japan, a soft wind caresses your face and cherry blossoms float upon the wind. In the distance, a nightingale's golden voice penetrates the silence as easily as a pebble passes through the water of a pond... soon the soft snow of winter will be upon the fields and and trees... the seasons continue to flow, such is the way of nature... of life.
Musashi is the story of one man's remarkable seasons, of not 'finding', but rather 'making' his place in the world, told with the imagination, subtleness, humour and drama that is life.