Customer Reviews

6
4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
5
4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
1
1 star
0
The Sword of No-Sword: Life of the Master Warrior Tesshu
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:£21.99+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
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.
review image
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 27 August 2009
This book is a fascinating read, recalling a life that was both spiritually deep and light-hearted. Tesshu was clearly a true master of life, which translated into his swordmanship. I recommend this book for anyone, but especially sword practitioners seeking a greater spiritual understanding of themselves and the world, and how kendo or kenjutsu can guide you along that path. For those interested in the life of an enlightened Zen master, then this book is also bound to impart great insight. And for those interested in one of the key political figures in the turbulent times of early Meji-era Japan, then this is also an important read.
If you practice kendo or kenjutsu, this may well be the most important book on your art that you will ever read.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 July 2007
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.
review image
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 18 August 2001
No matter what impression you form of Tesshu through reading this book, it is impossible to deny that he was a remarkable man. A master swordsman, artist, poet, teacher and philosopher. He had a profound influence on the lives of many and we can all learn a lesson or two from what he had to say. He was clearly fallible like all humans, but his skill, dedication and humanity make for a compelling text.
Once again John Stevens has produced an excellent book, combining extensive research and just the right mix of text and graphics to bring Tesshu to life. I don't think anyone is going to learn any specific techniques from the book but it will certainly influence your approach to martial training, if you are open to the lessons contained. I come from an aikido background rather than kendo and it had a lot to offer me.
I would recommend this book to anyone broadening their reading of the history and practice of the martial arts, or calligraphy, zen, modern Japanese history, or just incredibly interesting biographical accounts.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 12 December 2003
I'm not particularly a fan of John Stevens. However I think this is the best book he has ever written, if not the best book for martial artists I have ever read.
Tesshu was a remarkable man; a zen buddhist, master swordsman and calligrapher. He also comes across as honest in his pursuit of understanding.
The book is beautifully presented, and will have you laughing in parts. Tesshu's message is maybe reflected by this famous zenrin
'to live one must destroy life completely, once destroyed one dwells for the first time in peace'.
Absolutely amazing - buy it.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 21 September 2014
An OK book, Master Tesshu is hard to understand and the book itself is a little disjointed in my opinion.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
The Truth of the Ancient Ways: A Critical Biography of the Swordsman Yamaoka Tesshu
£24.00


The Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei
The Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei by John Stevens (Paperback - 28 Feb. 2013)
£13.14
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.