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Zen Bow, Zen Arrow: The Life and Teachings of Awa Kenzo, the Archery Master from Zen in the Art of Archery: The Life and Teachings of Awa Kenzo, ... Master from Zen in the Art of Archery [Kindle Edition]

John Stevens
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Here are the inspirational life and teachings of Awa Kenzo (1880–1939),the Zen and kyudo (archery) master who gained worldwide renown afterthe publication of Eugen Herrigel's cult classic Zen in the Art ofArchery in 1953. Kenzo lived and taught at a pivotal time in Japan'shistory, when martial arts were practiced primarily forself-cultivation, and his wise and penetrating instructions forpractice (and life)—including aphorisms, poetry, instructional lists,and calligraphy—are infused with the spirit of Zen. Kenzo uses themetaphor of the bow and arrow to challenge the practitioner to lookdeeply into his or her own true nature.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 296 KB
  • Print Length: 132 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 159030442X
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications; annotated edition edition (24 Sept. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009GN3FMW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #273,788 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zen Bow, Zen Arrow, 11 Nov. 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful book. It is essentially a biography of the Japanese archery master named Awa Kenzo (1880-1939). Awa Kenzo was the teacher of Eugene Herrigel, and has been made famous through Herrigel's account of his learning experience under Awa entitled 'Zen in the Art of Archery'. However, Herrigel's account focused primarily upon his technical and spiritual experience, with little background information offered regarding master Awa himself. John Stevens has remedied this by researching Awa's life and background extensively, reproducing not only important biographical information, but also compelling and powerful photographs of Awa drawing the bow.

John Stevens was born in the USa in 1947. He lives in Japan and teaches Eastern Philosophy at Tohoku Fukushi University. He has written many books on the subject of Aikido and Budo related subjects. He currently holds a 7th dan blackbelt grade in the art of Aikido, as well as being a Buddhist priest. When young, he briefly studied archery under students of Awa Kenzo and has produced a respectful biography of a great martial arts teacher. Such a teacher, as Stevens' work suggests, is both technically proficient as well as being compassionate abd humane. Not only could Awa draw and fire the bow as good as any archery master of his generation, but he is also known for providing his students with a meal after Friday training sessions. Interestingly, his wife - Fusa - was also renowned for her archery skills and often taught students in her own right. Awa Kenzo was a master of the 'yumi', or Japanese 'long bow', and once fired an arrow through a lightbulb, without shattering the glass bulb itself - the arrow made only an entry and exist hole in the round, glass structure.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hits the Mark 10 Nov. 2011
I enjoyed reading this especially as I have a great fondness for both Japanese Zen philosophy and also the unwritten and knightly code of the Samurai. The book gives some of those satisfying examples of zen thought very nicely woven within a lengthy and enjoyable narrative. After being slightly worried that it may instruct me in arts of violence the lesson became apparent after finishing the book when it hit me like an invisible arrow flying from a non existent bow.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting thoughts to master 30 July 2014
By Malcolm
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
After an interlude, I decided to return to target sports and am looking to return to something like my previous standards. At a coaching course recently, it was suggested that current thinking was being influenced by Japanese archery in various ways and three books were recommended. I bought all three and am working through them as and when I can; all three are easy to read and the principles are straightforward enough most of the time so the books have been worth the money. Unless you're into target sports though, I can't imagine why you would want to read books like this unless there are some esoteric reasons I've missed.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Almost zero content 5 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a short book.

The beginning, which is a biography of Awa Kenzo is interesting, as is the appendix refuting the allegations, which you can read on Wiki, that Herrigel misinterpreted it and Kenzo did not teach Archery.

You can see these in the Look Now feature.

Unfortunately, the bulk of the book is a series of short quotes from Kenzo's writing. I found one out of five worth highlighting.

Read the preview and skip the rest.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Very little content 24 May 2013
By Billb
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A short book which really didn't say much at all and focused on sayings of Japanese masters which became very tedious!
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