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Hagakure: Secret Wisdom of the Samurai Paperback – 3 Jul 2014

5.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Tuttle Shokai Inc (3 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4805311983
  • ISBN-13: 978-4805311981
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 166,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"This is a great book for anyone looking for a more centered way of life, or just some good advice about living.""--Sacramento Book Review"

."..the most impressive part of the book for us was Bennett's introductory chapter...It puts the "Hagakure" into its proper historical and social setting as well as examining 'bushido' [...] with a critical eye and a look at how Jocho's life experiences and psychology is reflected in the work--and does so elegantly and brilliantly. This translation is well worth picking up just on the strength of this chapter."--TheShogunsHouse.com

..".the most impressive part of the book for us was Bennett's introductory chapter...It puts the "Hagakure" into its proper historical and social setting as well as examining 'bushido' [...] with a critical eye and a look at how Jocho's life experiences and psychology is reflected in the work--and does so elegantly and brilliantly. This translation is well worth picking up just on the strength of this chapter."--TheShogunsHouse.com

"Alex Bennett has produced the first truly authoritative translation and analysis of Hagakure perhaps the most famous text ever written about samurai honor to appear in any Western language. Simultaneously erudite and accessible, this volume belongs on the bookshelves of anyone scholar or hobbyist alike interested in samurai culture, or modern perceptions thereof." Dr. Karl F. Friday, author of Samurai, Warfare and the State in Early Medieval Japan and Japan Emerging: Premodern History to 1850"

"[Alex Bennett] is the very best writer on martial arts alive today and [his] work needs to be showcased to the general public." Don Warrener, President, Budo International"

"Dr. Bennett possesses a profound knowledge of, and deep insight into, the world of Japanese bushido. This expertise has been enhanced by his extensive practical experience of the traditional martial arts of Japan, and his proficiency in this domain is highly acclaimed." Tetsuo Yamaori, former Director of the International Research Center for Japanese Studies"

"[A] strong point is a scholarly and succinct introduction that grounds the work in historical and social context, equipping the reader with a cultural map of Yamamoto's world. Footnotes provide valuable background and add resonance throughout, keeping names and familial relations straight, highlighting pertinent cross-references and generally rendering the work accessible to contemporary readers." The Japan Times"

" the most impressive part of the book for us was Bennett's introductory chapter It puts the Hagakure into its proper historical and social setting as well as examining 'bushido' [ ] with a critical eye and a look at how Jocho's life experiences and psychology is reflected in the work and does so elegantly and brilliantly. This translation is well worth picking up just on the strength of this chapter." TheShogunsHouse.com blog"

Book Description

The Hagakure is one of the most influential of all Japanese texts—written nearly 300 years ago by Yamamoto Tsunetomo to summarize the very essence of the Japanese Samurai bushido ("warrior") spirit. its influence has been felt throughout the world and yet its existence is scarcely known to many Westerners. This is the first translation to include the complete first two books of the Hagakure and the most reliable and authentic passages contained within the third book; all other English translations published previously have been extremely fragmentary and incomplete.

Alex bennett's completely new and highly readable translation of this essential work includes extensive footnotes that serve to fill in many cultural and historical gaps in the previous translations. This unique combination of readability and scholarship gives Hagakure: The Secret Wisdom of the Samurai a distinct advantage over all previous English editions.

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Having studied kendo in Saga in the 1980s, Hagakure has always been of particular interest to me, so I have been looking forward to this latest translation/interpretation of samurai philosophy. Dr. Bennett's "Hagakure:The Secret Wisdom Of The Samurai" presents Books 1 & 2 of the original in full, along with pertinent selections from Books 3 - 11, thus creating the most complete version of Hagakure presently available in the English language. Dr. Bennett's take on the subject is unique in its awareness of the times in which the text was written and compiled, thereby presenting the reader with a translation not just literally "word for word" but taking into account the context in which the original authors presented their thoughts. This makes for a deeper and richer reading experience. There is much in this book to discover, either as a casual reader with an interest in Japan and its samurai history, or as a lifelong budo (martial arts) enthusiast looking for deeper philosophical insights.
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This book by Bennett is a really nice translation of the world famous Hagakure. You can sense that by having experience with budo through practicing Kendo and Naginata, Bennett was able to grasp certain concepts and translate them nicely into English.
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Excellent book. Very informative and enlightening. Well written and translated.
Definitely worth a read.
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I recommend this edition as It's translated by an experienced practitioner of Bushido and is more comprehensive than others apparently.
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