Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immensely readable book, 21 Jan. 2010
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This review is from: Bushido: The Soul of Japan. A Classic Essay on Samurai Ethics (Hardcover)
I really liked this book, finding it very, very readable. It gives a good insight into its subject matter the Japanese culture and national character or "soul", however, what really makes it a great book is the author's style of writing which allows the book to flows fairly well.

I've read a lot of martial arts and oriental culture books such as Angry White Pyjamas: An Oxford Poet Trains with the Tokyo Riot Police, Zen in the Martial Arts and Clearing Away Clouds: Nine Lessons for Life from the Martial Arts (in a popular sense) or The Book of Tea, Ideals of the East: The Spirit of Japanese Art, Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai and it compares well to these.

There is a good explanatory introduction which explains the book was composed by an oriental convert to Christianity, it is almost written with western or foreign/non-Japanese readers in mind and popularised during a war between Japan and Russia. I can understand how some it could appear dubious, or how Bushido could have been exploited by Japanese Fascist/Chauvinistic forces during the second world war, there is some talk of racial pride but I think it can be contextualised.

If you are interested in moral philosophy or strictures, guides to right conduct or history I would recommend this book to you, it begins with a discussion of the sources of Bushido, a kind of code of knightly conduct, and elaborates what Bushido is, including outlines on the development of individual character, equanimity of temper, honour, loyalty, self-control and other character traits. Enjoyed this book a lot and liked this particular format which has pictures of the author and a nice reproduction of a picture of blossoms on water before the book itself begins.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Jan 2010 13:16:55 GMT
I do not believe that you read all these books from cover to cover. Most of your book reviews go on about the contents and early chapters, but owing to the amount you review and the physical time available, you must just skim through the main chapters and codge together a plausible review based on other peoples viewpoints. I am not confident in your ability to completely absorb a book from skimming and salient points. Please read books completely before reviewing them.

Ramsey

Posted on 28 Jan 2010 19:08:23 GMT
Emensely? Is that some sort of ancient Japanese spelling of "Immensely"?

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jan 2010 09:59:42 GMT
Shakespeare couldn't spell well, mein jew, he couldn't review either. It may have been a very rare oversight on Lark's behalf, they are normally such a stickler and precise, especially when it comes to spelling, grammar and punctuation. Still, not everybody has had the luxury of an education.

Posted on 5 Jun 2010 18:27:11 BDT
Lark says:
The two of you make Amazon a little less of a pleasant place to visit and shop.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Sep 2010 16:51:31 BDT
And you almost put me off books...

Posted on 10 Jan 2011 18:09:45 GMT
E. Dyas says:
Lark,
I enjoyed your commentary on Bushido, The Soul of Japan. Nitobe by the way was a Quaker. Thank you for your description of this book and ignore those comments from people who don't understand.
sammyb8

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2011 19:05:59 GMT
I agree.
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5.0 out of 5 stars (3 customer reviews)
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Lark
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Location: North Coast of Ireland

Top Reviewer Ranking: 576