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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Inspirational & Motivational
on 24 July 2008
This is a very well written and entertaining account of Tesshu, one of the last samurai, a retainer in the Emperor's service who lived during the period of Japan's transition from feudalism to a modern, industrialized state.
Tesshu was a man of great martial skills and equally great compassion who was always poor because he gave away most of his considerable stipend to support his poor and starving relatives, friends, and innumerable homeless (human as well as animals) that he took in and fed, often saving them from almost certain starvation.
As a result, he often went without food one or two days a week, preferring to give it to those in even greater need. He was a devout Buddhist at a time when most Japanese had long since adopted Shinto. Tesshu was also an accomplished calligrapher and poet.
Overall, it's a very readable account of a great man who remained loyal to the old ways and traditions even as they were crumbling around him.