A Book of Five Rings Hardcover – 27 Aug 2012
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About the Author
Victor Harris, the translator of A Book of Five Rings, is Keeper Emeritus of Japanese Antiquities at the British Museum. As well as a translator he is also an editor and author, having co-written Japanese Decorative Arts, Swords of the Samurai, and Kamakura, The Renaissance of Japanese Sculpture, among others. Victor Harris is a previous President of the European Kendo Federation and Vice-President of the International Kendo Federation. In 2008 he was the recipient of the Japan Foreign Minister's Commendation.
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Top Customer Reviews
The Book of Five Rings (Go Rin No Sho) is a GREAT book! If you take time to properly absorb and understand ALL of its teachings. It's not a very long book and so would be easy to read a few times over so that you get a proper flavour of the important message being presented. Thomas Cleary is a prolific writer and well qualified to produce such a translation.
A better and easier to digest version (IMHO) of this small book is Samurai Strategies: 42 Martial Secrets from Musashi's Book of Five Rings by Boye De Lafayette Mente, who very cleverly summarises this book into 42 easy to digest and understand and apply chapters.
The ideas in this book are NOT dangerous to anyone in the least, IF you balance and apply ALL of the lessons within it - that's the idea that the great undefeated warrior Musashi was trying to put across. The life saving principles he expounds here are designed to help us all have a better, easier and more fulfilled life, Martial Artist or not. His strategies can be applied and used by anyone.Read more ›
This is at once admirable and frustrating. As a fencing coach, I know that only a part of my work is to explain attitudes, tactics and techniques. The greater part is to teach, train and coach the individual student, building on what they find comes naturally and developing what they find difficult. At the same time, the original School of Two Swords, as he styles it, is long in the past and although we can capture the modern tradition, we cannot learn from the master.
The Book of Five Rings is about much more than swordplay, though. We are led again and again from a principle derived in individual combat to large scale military strategy. Likewise, each of the five spheres is aimed at developing the correct attitude, with technique merely being secondary.
The underlying theme of this book is 'winning by all means possible'. This, and the other principles of the Way of Two Swords, have many applications to other ways of engaging an opponent in today's environment.
Nonetheless, I finished this book with one regret - 'if only I could have met him'.
A better and easier to digest version (IMHO) of this small book is "Samurai Strategies: 42 Martial Secrets" by by Boye De Lafayette Mente, who very cleverly summarises this book into 42 easy to digest and understand and apply chapters.
The ideas in this book are NOT dangerous to anyone in the least, IF you balance and apply ALL of the lessons within it - that's the idea that the great undefeated warrior Musashi was trying to put across. The life saving principles he expounds here are designed to help us all have a better, easier and more fulfilled life, Martial Artist or not. His strategies can be applied and used by anyone.
"A knife is dangerous for anyone - you just have to learn how to use is safely & intelligently"
We are all so lucky & truly blessed that, nearly 400 years ago, someone called Lord Hosokawa had the foresight to ask the ageing Musashi to write down his secrets of success. Musashi himself was not only extremely talented but must have been a very intelligent man for his time to write such a treatise.
The comment about this book not being for for beginners is misleading I think, it isn't that hard to understand and extrapolate the true meaning and intentions that Musashi was trying to put across.
I do believe William Scott Wilson's translation has to be one of the best of the various ones available. Although there are cheaper copies of this particular translation available, so look around for Willam's name.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
That is a secound most interesting book about the Japanese history and culture after Hagakure, if you read one of them you must read the other one.Published 4 days ago by Gergely
The content is very useful and I promise you, it is relevant to all types of leadership. I'm a teacher and the principles of distribution of leadership to the students, managing... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Mr Richard Corser
I've read "the book of five rings" twice now and even put some of the techniques in to action when sparing and I can honestly say it's one of the best books I've read That... Read morePublished 14 days ago by Amazon Customer
good product , arrived promptly, happy with purchasePublished 2 months ago by Kanishka Samarasinghe
Brilliant book very insightful and give you a real look at the life of Miyamoto as well as the Samurai class of the period. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Great book - changed how I looked at training, martial arts and history as well. Full review here: [...]Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer