35 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Some nice quotes, but generally just wacky.,
By A Customer
This review is from: Hagakure - Book of the Samurai (Paperback)
Anyone interested in Japanese feudalism and the arts
risen from it, not to mention WWII should read this
book, or at least read it on-line as it's available
in it's entirety on several sites.
Those who have seen the film Ghost Dog will have already
'read' the best quotes from the book, as there are some
delightfully quirky quotes in there.
Personally what I find most distasteful about hagakure
is that it is negatively Confucian. The Samurai's be all
and end-all is to serve and die. Not so glamorous !
Also an over-obsession with ritual suicide throughout.
Remember the author was a retired member of the Samurai
class, not a warrior. His only killings were performing
executions. This book is a lament about the decline of
true Bushido (from the author's perspective), and hence
it is a book that was used to foster self sacrifice during
WWII. Also interesting is the mentions of Shodo: initiation
into male homosexuality which most samurai practiced, and
is conveniently glossed over by the macho 'martial' folks.
All in all recommended as the most 'different' Samurai book.
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Initial post: 8 Jan 2011 20:31:28 GMT
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