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The Art of the Samurai (Art of Series): Yamamoto Tsunetomo's Hagakure Hardcover – 15 Nov 2008

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Watkins Publishing LTD (15 Nov. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844835944
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844835942
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.9 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 416,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Barry D. Steben has a Ph.D. in East Asian languages and philosophy from the University of Toronto. He has lived in East Asia for nearly two decades and teaches at The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. G. W. Howes on 13 May 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In today's times, with it's plethora of quick-fix self help books, which for the most part seem to excell in non-directive, mundane advice, it is a pleasure to read a book that reaches back through the centuries to offer sound advice on how to live your life. It is this particular aspect that places it above Sun Tzu's 'Art of War' and Musashi's 'Book of Five Rings', all fine books, but more designed for group or individual warfare tactics. This book is more than a joy to read, it has wonderful photos within and it is obvious that the whole design is well thought out. It's so good that I have two copies, one for day-to-day reading and carrying around, and the other kept safely in storage - just in case! I urge anyone who enjoys the Hagakure to treat yourself and buy this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Blake on 18 Feb. 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book I discovered is wonderfully designed with beautiful classical samurai art and neat cover finish which can be a treasure on any bookshelf. Inside I find easily accessible translated text of the old samurai code which contains many pieces of wisdom from a forgotten age. I recommend this book to anyone interested in Japanese history of Samurai era, as it has a introduction into the text itself. As well as wisdom and thoughtful statements, there is history to be learnt about the ancient Japanese customs and traditions which made me morn a loss society full of virtue and honour. Self-discipline at its rawest is exemplary quality in these times.

Highly recommended.
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By C. New on 19 May 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very nice indeed.. Amazing illustrations and a much fuller translation than the smaller black paperback version.

I am so happy I Purchased this. I keep it in a protective covering :)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this book is woderfully illustrated with a silky cover - great content in a magnificient cover.
A real jewel in my book case.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
illustrated hagakure 23 Mar. 2009
By Mpez22 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
this is probably the finest english edition of the hagakure that i've ever seen. the full color illustrations are phenominal. this is one of my prized peices of my entire book collection. great for study, japanese literature collections, and would make a great gift to anyone interested in samarai code or japanese art.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
One of the best versions available 19 July 2009
By David Gordon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
After reading several versions of the Hagakure, I found this book to be the best version available today. The book itself is quite a high quality and the hardcover gold leafing is pleasing to look at.

The content has excellent references, both in the comparison of Musashi's life compared to Yamamoto Tsunetomo's life was well written and give the reader a reason for the different insights into the code of bushido. The pictures in the book are quite good and gives the person who has never read the Hagakure or seen too many Japanese history books a bit more of a culture view of the samurai. The conversion of the translation may leave some readers confused, but will ultimately give the reader "food for thought" and upon reading several more times will begin to make sense.

Would highly recommend this version of the Hagakure over any other version presently released and would make a good addition to anyone's library.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Not bad, could be better... 7 May 2009
By emc2isgod - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have read a previous version of this book but bought this version of the Hagakure because of the pictures it advertised. The Hagakure has always been a very special book to me, and I felt that this author really expanded on Yamamoto's proverbs of Samurai life. The author's translation might of expanded too much at times, because the previous version kept a raw sense in the translation from Japanese to english, while this version seems to always have been written in english and you couldn't tell it was translated. Because of this, I think it hurt in deciphering some of the proverbs which feed on that raw sense of wording in order to gain meaning from the proverbs. But besides this, its still a good read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great book 22 Sept. 2011
By JLiles - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a Fantastic read. It lends it self well to a daily bit of wisdom kind of read. You can pick it up and read a few pages and then spend hours pondering the depth of some of the statements. Really great.
My personal favorite 15 Jan. 2014
By R. Mutt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Wilson's version of the Hagakure is excellent, but this one contains a lot of very different passages and several of these passages are absolute gold. Some seem like passing thoughts without much weight to them, and this may be how they were intended. The Hagakure was a pretty substantial amount of text in its fullest form, so I understand why different English versions contain different passages and why not all passages will resonate with each reader.

My advice is to buy several versions and keep them all on hand. But if you have to pick one, pick this one. It's excellent beyond compare, at least for now.
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