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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zen Bow, Zen Arrow,
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...
Published on 11 Nov 2010 by ShiDaDao Ph.D

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Almost zero content
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...
Published 12 months ago by Mr. P. G. Chesters


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zen Bow, Zen Arrow,, 11 Nov 2010
By 
ShiDaDao Ph.D (London UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Zen Bow, Zen Arrow: The Life and Teachings of Awa Kenzo, the Archery Master from Zen in the Art of Archery (Paperback)
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.

The book has Preface and an Intorduction and is separated into three distinct parts:

1. The Life of Awa Kenzo.
2. The Teachings of Awa Kenzo.
3. Tales of the Bow.

In 1929, Awa Kenzo fell ill with kidney disease and was told that he would be dead within the year. He was advised to rest and give-up archery. Instead Awa would get-up at the height of his illness and fire at least one or two arrows a day. Awa believed that that deep breathing and concentration helped him to heal, he lived for another decade. A remarkable book about a remarkable human being.
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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
By 
K. R. Holliday (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Zen Bow, Zen Arrow: The Life and Teachings of Awa Kenzo, the Archery Master from Zen in the Art of Archery (Paperback)
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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2.0 out of 5 stars Almost zero content, 5 July 2013
By 
Mr. P. G. Chesters (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Zen Bow, Zen Arrow: The Life and Teachings of Awa Kenzo, the Archery Master from Zen in the Art of Archery (Paperback)
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
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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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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars wow, 25 July 2009
By 
H. Taubman "hannah" (Denmark) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Zen Bow, Zen Arrow: The Life and Teachings of Awa Kenzo, the Archery Master from Zen in the Art of Archery (Paperback)
I really cant imagine spending years and years learning how to learn archery, but I am totally facinated by the idea of it-
The book is not hard to read, but it doesent flow, like so many other books. it is very deep.
To my own surprice I really enjoyed it
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Japanese bow and arrow Psychology, 14 Mar 2013
By 
Gillian Fantazi (haslemere, surrey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Zen Bow, Zen Arrow: The Life and Teachings of Awa Kenzo, the Archery Master from Zen in the Art of Archery (Paperback)
Not much to say except this - When you fire an arrow from a bow,imagine the arrow coming back
to the string of the bow FROM the bulls eye - rather than concentrating on the the arrow reaching the bulls eye accurately.
In other words the bullseye has already been hit (in your mind) before you release, then the arrow travels back to the bow. A strange and fascinating concept but that's how it works for the master. You have to become completely and utterly 'at one' with the bow to be successful. Complete dedication and 5 hours a day practicing the psychology of release is neccessary.

A lovely book about the bow and arrow and the psychology of how to become a master bowman. Fascinating !
This is my interpretation of my understanding - yours may be different.
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