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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Domo Arigato Harris San
This was one of my first reads in martial arts and eastern philosophy. It blew me away then and continues to drive me forward. Occasionally the text seems overly simple. Yet it reverberates. I suspect it may be truer to the origional than more recent, and more prosaic, translations...
Published on 5 Sep 2001 by MacIntosh

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars When Musashi talked about economising effort, he didn't mean no effort at all
This is a dreadful edition of this classic text. What a waste of money. Absolutely no effort or thought has gone into this. It is questionable if the publishers have actually read the text. None of the section heads within the chapters are distinguished from the text and it is terribly formatted. One of the greatest samurai of all time deserves a better treatment than...
Published 17 months ago by John Hughes


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Domo Arigato Harris San, 5 Sep 2001
This review is from: A Book of Five Rings (Paperback)
This was one of my first reads in martial arts and eastern philosophy. It blew me away then and continues to drive me forward. Occasionally the text seems overly simple. Yet it reverberates. I suspect it may be truer to the origional than more recent, and more prosaic, translations...
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If your into deeper martial arts this is it in a nutshell!, 21 Sep 2006
By 
Mr. Tommy I. Opray (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Book of Five Rings (Paperback)
I first borrowed this book from my Sensei about ten years ago and his copy was an old copy (hardback tenth printing 1970's) and it fascinated me. It is a philosophical book, written by Miyamoto Musashi, one of the most feared Samurai of his time. This undefeated warrior who killed his first man when he was just 12 years old shares his thoughts and feelings in great depth on the strategy of not only martial arts and kendo but on the strategy of life. The lessons in this book can be used not only in every day life but taken to a business perspecive. I would say of all the martial arts books I have came across this one has the most meaning for me. I would also recommend trying to get an older copy as there are slight variations in the newer texts and some paintings Musashi did are omited but start with a new one if its all you can get. This book is deep and not an easy read unless you have time and a real passion for the Martial arts but anyone who starts it will never forget it.

" If there is a way involving the spirit of not being defeated, to help oneself and gain honour, it is the way of strategy."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Five Rings Interpretation, 2 Jun 2012
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I bought this while going through a period of "what am I doing and where are am I going" it is an interesting book and gives some insights into strategy and working the long game, it will not be to everyones taste and a lot is down to your own interpretation of the writings but I found a lot of the reading interesting and it gave me a lot of thought for reflection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent depiction, 15 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: A Book of Five Rings (Paperback)
This book is perfect for martial artists and writers alike. The descriptions of the techniques although sometimes limited with the phrase you need to train to understand properly, are perfect for picturing and acting upon. Not really the business manual the office jockies may be looking for, but perfect for those seeking greater insight into the mind of such a successful warrior.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The original 'Self-Help' book, offers somthing for everyone., 29 Feb 2000
This review is from: A Book of Five Rings (Paperback)
The obvious appeal of Musashi's Go Rin No Sho (A book of five rings) is its teaching on the subject of martial Arts esp. Kendo. This book is easy to follow if you are a beginner, yet challanges the master in the way no other such texts can. Recommended for anyone seeking enlightenment into the ways of dominence over his/her peers in the field of martial arts or even business. A timeless peice, and general enough to cover the most appropriate issues while still leaving much room for your own thought. "You must research this deeply" being a running theme. Recommended.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars When Musashi talked about economising effort, he didn't mean no effort at all, 14 Nov 2012
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This is a dreadful edition of this classic text. What a waste of money. Absolutely no effort or thought has gone into this. It is questionable if the publishers have actually read the text. None of the section heads within the chapters are distinguished from the text and it is terribly formatted. One of the greatest samurai of all time deserves a better treatment than this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Badly produced edition, 21 Oct 2012
By 
Andy A (Edinburgh, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Book of Five Rings (Paperback)
This refers to the "Wilder publications LLC" paperback edition (2008). Pretty sad to see such a great book filled with distracting typos. There are annoying parentheses from someone called Slaegr (the translator? the editor?) where he briefly explains customs and meanings. But in the middle of the text? Footnotes would have been less disruptive. The layout is pretty basic in this version, looks like the font has been picked to fill up the book: if you are looking for a compact copy, look elsewhere. If you are looking for a nice edition to keep, look elsewhere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Book of Five Rings, 7 April 2011
By 
Spider Monkey (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: A Book of Five Rings (Paperback)
`A Book of Five Rings' (aka The Book of Five Rings) is Musashi's book of martial arts strategy and it has now become a classic for martial arts practitioners and also businessmen over the years.

This starts with an introduction by the translator with a brief biography of Musashi and some info to the put the book into context.

You then move onto the book itself which offers up plenty of advice and knowledge about Musashi's strategy of sword fighting (called Kendo here, but also known as Iaido and other terms). The entries can be interpreted on a number of levels, be it the simple ideas taken at face value or the deeper philosophy behind them. This book can be read many times and you can gain something new each time. This is broken up into five sections (hence the title) which are Ground, Water, Fire, Wind and Void and these cover topics as diverse as stance, mindset, competing schools of martial arts and more besides.

This also has numerous pages of calligraphy and Japanese woodblock prints which greatly add to the aesthetics and overall feel of the book. If you have an interest in martial arts, Samurai or Japan in general then is worth a read at some point and it would quite happily sit alongside other Japanese martial arts classics like `Hagakure' and `Bushido' on your bookshelf.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT 17th CENTURAY SAMURAI SWORDSMAN'S ADVICE ON STRATEGY, 12 Nov 2008
By 
F. Sweet (Midwestern USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Book of Five Rings (Hardcover)
Based on my readings, Musashi's motive in writing his Book of Five Rings had been to correct misrepresentations of his views on swordsmanship by his contemporaries. Having become a legend in his own time, Musashi's reputation was being exploited by ambitious rivals claiming to have adopted the master's martial techniques and philosophies. Thus Book of Five Rings was intended by its author to establish his point of view for correcting misconceptions.

Those in America who've been advocating since 1974 to study Book of Five Rings to gain some business advantage over Japanese businessmen are barking up the wrong tree. Musashi's writings are poetic and thought provoking. Indeed, one can even learn something new and ancient about strategy from the master. It is, however, doubtful that Musashi's words can make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. So then those in the 1970s who had originally marketed the book as "the alternative to the Harvard MBA" were barking up the wrong tree.

In addition to the charming and useful writings, the original (1974 English translation) Book of Five Rings includes photos of the master swordsman's quite beautiful art work, now residing in Japan in a museum dedicated to Musashi works.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The original samurai philosophy Bible, 24 Nov 2002
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This review is from: A Book of Five Rings (Paperback)
What can be said of Gorin No Sho except that it can't be missed. Deceptively thin, one must read this book extremely slowly, covering the important parts two or three times over. While not directly linked to every life in the way a westerner would understand at first sight, the key is taking principles and concepts from the path of the warrior and applying them to your own path, whatever it may be. This is the kind of book that harvests respect when seen on a bookshelf, buy it and read it to your children when they come of age.
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