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on 7 March 2001
A lot has been said and written about the "bushido" and most is without historical accuracy. Budoshoshinshu is one of the actual, rare original writings that really cover the subject. Written in time of relative peace, when the warrior class of Japan had to contemplate it's own values when their "trade", fighting in war, was a rare occurence. The book consists of short introduction of the original author and the time he lived and the translation of the original work. Mr. Wilson has done an excellent job translating the book and The Warrior's Prime is enjoyable reading for people interested in the ideals, morals, mindstate and the history of the bushi (samurai) class. The only one thing really bothers me are the illustrations, which are very inaccurate historically and don't really fit the serious issues in the text and the historical value of the book.
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on 24 July 2007
This is a really interesting & enlightening read. You get a real feel for the way the mind of the Samurai worked some 400 years ago. It's miraculous & very fortunate for us that copies of such books survived that various warring periods & times of great upheaval in Japan over this time.

This subject is still relatively new to me & there appear to be several different versions of the Bushido around (?). This one by Daidôji Yûzan appeared between 1639 - 1730, which is some years before the one that draws the main amount of interest and my question is who's copying who?

This one seems to be more complete & covers a wider range of subjects that the "other" version by Tsunetomo Yamamoto, sometimes referred to as the "Hagakure". Tsunetomo was born some 20 years after Daidôji & lived between 1659 - 1719.

This book is presented in 56 short treatises about the proper way a Samurai should live & conduct himself.

There is another & later copy of this book by Thomas Cleary called "The Code of the Samurai: A Modern Translation of the Bushido Shoshinshu of Taira Shigesuke in which he lists 44 such duties of a Samurai. Whether or not some of these duties have been grouped together I can't yet say, however, either copy of the book are fantastically insightful & interesting.

A great translation which must have been difficult for the authors & a fairly easy read. Although the subject is a little dry it's not at all heavy & would be enjoyed & very useful to anyone practicing any form of [traditional] martial art.
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