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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 8 February 2007
I can't better the other review below except to say that this translation of the Bushido is far easier to read, understand, digest and put into daily practice than the hoards of other versions of "Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai by Tsunetomo Yamamoto" which this book is based upon.

Despite a totally different translation, nothing is lost when you put the two books side by side and compare them to each other.

An earlier, and I think more reliable, version of the Bushi-do was written by Daidôji Yûzan called the "Budoshoshinshu: The Warrior's Primer". A translation of which can be seen by either William Scott Wilson or Thomas Cleary.

By the way, the title "Bushi-do" does not mean "Hidden behind the Leaves", that is the translation of the "Hagakure". You will easily recognise the two parts of the word: Bushi (Warrior) & do (the way) - The Way of the Warrior (or Samurai).
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on 19 October 2003
The title means "hidden leaves" and is great for people who are trying to learn Japanese culture. The book is great at expressing the arts of the Samurai in times of peace. It was written during the Edo period of Japan which was ruled by the Tokugawa shogunate. The idea of the book is not exactly rare, as there are many books written on the Bushido, the way of the Samurai. But it is still a great book, as most other bushido books are written during times of war. This makes Hagakure more useful than most other Bushido books, because people are more likely to relate to this book with their struggles, as it is often used metaphorically by shrewd businessmen and and even military figures in Japan to this day.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 November 2015
Ordered as a present for someone. Good quality original book (not a fake poor quality print as some can be). Very happy with purchase
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This is one of those basic tracts that is given to those who move to Japan, as a view into how things are supposed to work. While it sounds very good when you read it - there are indeed wonderful codes to live by that are elegantly expressed - once you have lived there for a few months you see that it has less (and more) to do with everyday life than meets the eye.

Afterall, there are two levels when dealing with Japan: Tatemae, the syrupy feel-good version of things that saves everyone's "face", and Honne, which is the way people really feel about things; the former gets pounded into your head at the office, the latter you elicit slowly when you go to the bars after work and get drunk. However, Tatemae is a useful tool for bureaucracies, as it is the official way things are supposed to appear to function, complete with a code for the behavior that one should simulate, no matter how differently (or alienated) one feels underneath. The "Bushido" is the purest Tatemae, an instrument of control that is wielded but has little personal meaning beyond that. In my opinion - and I witnessed this often while living in Japan - all the talk of honor and value and loyalty is just that: mere words to mask brutal authoritarianism and mindless obedience to one's place in the hierarchy. As such, there are very interesting things to learn here about how people choose (or submit to a compulsion from without) to behave, but it will not teach the reader about how they feel inside.

Recommended, but don't take it at face value. Indeed, if you accept this as reality, it is the same as believing that medieval knights lived strictly in accordance with chivalric codes and the Chritian ideal, I wish I could sound more inspired and interested about Japan, but having lived there, I know the ugliness underneath from experience.
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on 24 June 2013
I love the ancient ways of thinking and feel the book put many of those thoughts into quite a readable format.
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on 21 September 2013
As a student of Chinese Kung Fu, I found myself being drawn to practicing with
swords. As my practice progressed, along with guidance from my instructor, I was
advised to cover all angles of the sword play which interested me. This book,
was a part of that study. Need I say more?
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on 27 April 2015
I have an old paperback copy of Hagakure translated by William Scott Wilson , which shows this edition to be a very poor copy of the original .
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on 28 October 2014
A simple translation of a very complex philosophy makes for easy reading and inspires further research.
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on 10 February 2015
great book to read if you want to expand your point of view
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on 22 May 2011
Everything as expected, Excellent choice, great purchase.
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