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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars

on 17 May 2009
There are about a handful of translations of the Hagakure & it appears to me that they are all pretty much as good as one another. The ones in print today all seem to contain the same amount & type of information that is they all report upon the same 300 or so verses from the original that contained some 3,000.

This version doesn't contain a source bibliography & so I don't know whether Mr Traver has just studied the other translations & summarised them into this one?

None the less & this I think is important, Mr Travers translation is refreshingly different from all the others in that each verse has a very useful heading. This simple & yet bright innovation makes reading the Hagakure a pleasure to read & makes its contents easier to digest & remember. By doing this Mr Traver has been able to make an index at the front of the book, of the 168 verses, which makes the whole treatise more accessible & useable.

The Hagakure is like a "handbook" on how to live right. It's been put together & built upon the sayings & experiences of the ancient sages, warriors & past samurai. Jam packed with useful gems of wisdom that if read thoughtfully, absorbed & taken to heart & internalised fully, will help one live a happier, more fruitful, healthier & more successful life. It's all about what's truly important in life & in dealing with people we come into contact with. A `code of conduct' that can help you perfect ones character. As pertinent today, as it was when it was first dictated over 300 years ago.

It can be read in small chunks or dipped into at random; it must be one of the best "Self Help" books on the market. You'll find no `airy fairy' synchronicity here!

The original authors' last dying wish (Yamamoto Tsunemoto) was that the whole book, which took him seven years to dictate, should be scrapped & burned. We all must be truly thankful that his last dying command was not carried out.
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on 1 July 2013
Read a lot of similar material but this translation takes nothing away from the original text. The author goes out of his way to stay true to the heart of the matter. I would very much recommend.
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