The first translation of this classic Japanese text - a companion to the best-selling Hagakure, revealing the wisdom of a samurai's Way of Life. The dawn of the 17th century saw peace descend on Japan. With the value of their martial skills on the decline, the samurai sought new spiritual, moral, psychological and physical moorings. Tsunetomo Yamamoto, author of the now-classic Hagakure, combined a Confucian sense of justice with a Zen-influenced abandonment of the ego to espouse loyalty and death as paramount qualities of the samurai's calling. Kaibara Ekiken, a samurai physician with philosophical and Buddhist leanings, took the opposite tact. He sought ways for a healthier, more rewarding life. In Yojokun: Life Lessons from a Samurai, Ekiken collected six decades of study and observation to compile one of the most remarkable commentaries of his age. He combined his knowledge of holistic health, the principles of ch'i (the material force that pervades all things) and jin ('human heartedness'), Buddhism, Confucianism and the art of living he addressed concerns that ran from mental and physical health to spiritual matters. Yojokun offers startlingly profound and fresh insights into many of the same problems that concern most of us today. William Scott Wilson notes Ekiken's relevance for the 21st Century: 'The Yojokun, then, is not just a vestige of quaint Orientalia, but rather a living guide to a traditional Way of life and balanced health. If we do not immediately understand some of its more exotic prescripts, it may be wiser not to dismiss them outright, but to approach the work as Ekiken himself might have: with humility, curiosity, respect and imagination.'