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The Book of Five Rings (with linked TOC) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
" If there is a way involving the spirit of not being defeated, to help oneself and gain honour, it is the way of strategy."
This starts with an introduction by the translator with a brief biography of Musashi and some info to the put the book into context.
You then move onto the book itself which offers up plenty of advice and knowledge about Musashi's strategy of sword fighting (called Kendo here, but also known as Iaido and other terms). The entries can be interpreted on a number of levels, be it the simple ideas taken at face value or the deeper philosophy behind them. This book can be read many times and you can gain something new each time. This is broken up into five sections (hence the title) which are Ground, Water, Fire, Wind and Void and these cover topics as diverse as stance, mindset, competing schools of martial arts and more besides.
This also has numerous pages of calligraphy and Japanese woodblock prints which greatly add to the aesthetics and overall feel of the book. If you have an interest in martial arts, Samurai or Japan in general then is worth a read at some point and it would quite happily sit alongside other Japanese martial arts classics like `Hagakure' and `Bushido' on your bookshelf.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
Quite apart from the content, the original edition is visually stunning. It includes plates of Musashi's art and art depicting Musashi, as well as calligraphy. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Hopeful Evangelist
Translated as directly as possible, by somebody who understands the historical period, as well as kenjutsu.Published 7 months ago by Speaker No.5
A classic but impenetrably dense reading. The symbolism I personally do not get. A very subtle mind at work here. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Splisbury
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