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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Of all the books i've ever read - this is the best!
This book is just fascinating. It tells a lot about the
nature of life in Japan during the age of the Samurai. It's
a documentary sometimes and a thriller some other times -
but mainly it's just a wonderful *very* long - and still to
short - story with heroes who need some time to become
heroic and villans, who at times are likeable human...
Published on 23 Oct 1996

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars A worthy book that can be hard work
This had the potential to be an excellent book, but at times the author often got sidetracked into following meaningless characters that no doubt had great purpose in showing the moral side of Musashi. Often you want the story just to move on, but the author diverts and meanders for hundreds of pages about the mental anguish of akemi, otsu, masakatsu, daigo, etc. Lots of...
Published 17 months ago by Shoto


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Of all the books i've ever read - this is the best!, 23 Oct 1996
By A Customer
This review is from: Musashi (Hardcover)
This book is just fascinating. It tells a lot about the
nature of life in Japan during the age of the Samurai. It's
a documentary sometimes and a thriller some other times -
but mainly it's just a wonderful *very* long - and still to
short - story with heroes who need some time to become
heroic and villans, who at times are likeable human
beeings too. As a lot of power of this book comes out of the
beautiful language, i should point out, that i read the german
translation. I`ve read thousands of books - but this one is
definetly the Best. I whish i spoke Japanese, so that i could
read all the other works of Yoshikawa, which haven't been
translated yet!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Catch up on sleep 1st - you won't want to put it down!, 16 Jan 2006
This review is from: Musashi (Hardcover)
I can add little to the other reviews other than to confirm that this is an excelent book. Those with an interest in fuedal Japan will be drawn to it, whilst those who shun it because of this, it's length or price are missing a gem. Despite it's length it is too short by half. You'll find yourself immersed in the world of Musashi and staying up late to read just a little more.
The characters are brought to life and are without the idolisation that might have been the case for such an historic figure in Japanese culture. It is so much more than a martial arts inspired book that it has a much broader appeal that it will ever realise. Charting the life, fortunes and falures of Musashi and those close to him it is a love story, action thriller and inspirational text all rolled into one.
Simply put this is the one of the best books I've read and would stand head and shouders above mainstream 'bestsllers'. I would recommend it without reservation to anyone.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!!!, 18 April 2003
This review is from: Musashi (Hardcover)
I read Eiji Yoshikawa's 'Taiko' before I read Mushahi. Although i was impressed by the book I felt the translation let it down a lot. So when I picked up this book I was suprised (like the other reviewers) how hard I found to put this book down.
It takes a lot for me to get gripped by a book and this one draws you in so well you don't even realise your hooked until your over half way through.
I really can't say much more as most of the reviewers have said it for me but I will add that if your looking for a beautifly written and very well translated epic novel then you really can't get much better than this.
Put it like this no-one who has reviewed this book has given it less than 5 stars, need I say more...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! What a great book for anyone who loves the old Japan..., 18 Oct 1996
By A Customer
This review is from: Musashi (Hardcover)
This is my all-time favorite book. I am not one to do anything twice unless I am truly impressed. This is a book that I have read more than once and which I will keep in my library for many years to come.

I first ran across the book in a used bookstore in Japan, just two months before I left the country where I was spent my childhood. I spent two days and nights reading the book. I could not put it down because it captured my imagination and my heart.

For anyone who has ever fallen in love with the old Japan, that delightful culture, the unique history of the people and their customs, this is a book to treasure.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Romantic, and Heroic. A Classic!, 7 May 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Musashi (Hardcover)
What a fabulous read! Having lived in Sagami Hara, Kujukuri, and other places on Honshu for over ten years, I could almost close my eyes and see the blood-tinged dust settling on the plains after a battle. I have read Lao Tsu's "The Art of War," and was a Buddhist for a while as well. Every part of this book was just fabulous, absorbing, and I heartily recommend it to anyone and everyone who is interested in old Japan.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best epic book I have ever read, 21 Jun 2001
By 
This review is from: Musashi (Hardcover)
As epic books go this one is the best. It has everything you could hope for : love, war... What makes it different is the focus Yoshikawa adopts. You are witnessing the spiritual growth and development of several people. These characters believe in something and they search and do their best in order to achieve their goals. It is also an exceptional insight into japanese culture. All the places described in the book are real places which makes it come alive for the reader who has been there. The characters are actually real characters. What was not my surprise when visiting Kyoto's Sanjusangendo temple to see a portrait of Musashi! Last but not least Yoshikawa's style is very addictive and once you have started the book, you will not be able to put it down.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Musashi - one of the best books I've ever read., 5 Aug 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Musashi (Hardcover)
I read this book quite some time ago, but the story is still with me now - a testiment to any great book. Eiji Yoshikawa is a master of story-telling and prose, and Charles Terry's translation is, as any good translation should be, undiscernible. The book could very well have been thought written in english, and beautifully so.
The 970 page (over-sized page) epic is difficult to sum-up in a few short sentences... but the basis of the book is the life of the greatest warrior (calling him a 'swordsman' would be like calling Shakespeare s 'scribe') of Feudal Japan.
Close your eyes... envision a full moon on a clear night in ancient Japan, a soft wind caresses your face and cherry blossoms float upon the wind. In the distance, a nightingale's golden voice penetrates the silence as easily as a pebble passes through the water of a pond... soon the soft snow of winter will be upon the fields and and trees... the seasons continue to flow, such is the way of nature... of life.
Musashi is the story of one man's remarkable seasons, of not 'finding', but rather 'making' his place in the world, told with the imagination, subtleness, humour and drama that is life.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 16 Feb 2004
This review is from: Musashi (Hardcover)
If you have any interest in Feudal Japan then you probably already own it. Buy this and the DVD trilogy (Musashi, Duel at Ganryu, Duel at Ichi??) as the book fills in those moments of thought and emotion from the main characters which is difficult to portray in the films, and the films bring the characters to life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Brilliant, 26 Aug 2010
This review is from: Musashi (Hardcover)
I took some time reading the book. I have read Clavells "Shogun", but Musashi outclassed it completely. The depth of the characters was well developed. Each realisation of his strength and weaknesses that Musashi has was extremely well covered and provides lessons of all of us even in the present day scenario. Otsu's character though quiet showed awesome strength and love for the man she had chosen. All in all an absolute winner. to be read again and again and easily to part of any collection!!!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I've ever read, by one heck of a long shot, 6 Dec 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Musashi (Hardcover)
This book is by far--and I can't stress the words "by far" enough--the best I've ever read. And I've read plenty. Not only will you learn Japanese history in addition to reading a gripping, page-turning book you can't put down, but the philosophy and depth of thought goes beyond anything I've ever read. This book is about a man who is misguided and ignorant, but soon learns the error of his ways, tries to perfect his skill in the sword, but then embarks upon a spiritual journey to attain perfection. This isn't a fairy tale, this isn't cheesy, mass-manufactured samurai garbage--this is Japanese literature at its best, and some of the best literature I've laid eyes upon. I would recommend it to everyone who wants to learn about Japan, is interested in Japan, or is interested in any of the philosophical ideas presented within. You don't have to be Japanese to like or appreciate or understand this book, and don't be scared at the size. There's no word in there that doesn't belong. I know I'm rambling--but I can't praise this book enough.
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Musashi: An Epic Novel of the Samurai Era
Musashi: An Epic Novel of the Samurai Era by Eiji Yoshikawa (Hardcover - 15 Oct 2012)
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