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on 29 February 2000
The obvious appeal of Musashi's Go Rin No Sho (A book of five rings) is its teaching on the subject of martial Arts esp. Kendo. This book is easy to follow if you are a beginner, yet challanges the master in the way no other such texts can. Recommended for anyone seeking enlightenment into the ways of dominence over his/her peers in the field of martial arts or even business. A timeless peice, and general enough to cover the most appropriate issues while still leaving much room for your own thought. "You must research this deeply" being a running theme. Recommended.
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on 21 October 2012
This refers to the "Wilder publications LLC" paperback edition (2008). Pretty sad to see such a great book filled with distracting typos. There are annoying parentheses from someone called Slaegr (the translator? the editor?) where he briefly explains customs and meanings. But in the middle of the text? Footnotes would have been less disruptive. The layout is pretty basic in this version, looks like the font has been picked to fill up the book: if you are looking for a compact copy, look elsewhere. If you are looking for a nice edition to keep, look elsewhere.
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on 12 January 1998
Well, this is one of the greatest books ever written on strategy. But a great deal of it is highly technical and not easily understood by people without extensive background in the Japanese martial arts - I lived in Japan for 3 years, have studied over 10 year and make no claims to understand it. I used to ask my Sensei about it and he would just laugh - it was deliberately written to be obscure. I think you ought read it, enjoy it, know that most business managers (Japan or America) do not understand it and all the hype about it as a business text is BS.
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on 18 November 2001
The Book of Five Rings is an essential to serious martial artists and swordsmen everywhere, Master Miyamoto outlines his school of two skies, and breaks down other swordforms and why they failed against him, in his many years as a duelist and warrior, he never failed to down an opponent.
This book can be used for buisnessmen, however, you have to inference how yourself, there is a buisness version of this book,
written by Donald G. Krause, that directly relates Master Miyamoto's principles to buisness.
Whether you are martial artist, swordsmen, or buisnessman, this book is a usefull tool and represents a man who understood a great deal about the human psyche when the term was not even heard of.
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on 15 September 2000
This book is perfect for martial artists and writers alike. The descriptions of the techniques although sometimes limited with the phrase you need to train to understand properly, are perfect for picturing and acting upon. Not really the business manual the office jockies may be looking for, but perfect for those seeking greater insight into the mind of such a successful warrior.
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on 23 January 2017
I'd give it a 0 stars if I could, this print is an obvious fake that isn't from any sort of publisher. No numbering of the pages, no chapters or any sort of formatting to the book itself. It seems as though the seller printed out individual pages and glued them on. Do not buy this specific copy of this book.
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on 4 March 2010
Apart from anything else, this book is very interesting. As a tool, it is useful as far as you can apply mostly sword/battle-specific stratagems to a wider use.
For me, I believe the stratagies suggest a winning state of mind or feeling, alluded to as 'The Way'.
I enjoyed this book!
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on 1 October 2011
Arrived very quickly and in good condition, a very good translation of this authers writings and I have seen others that are no where near as good and the price is very good. If your really looking for a well written book then you will not go wrong with this publication.
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on 2 July 2002
The text provided by the 'Book of Five Rings' will not show you techniques that will defeat all attackers or show you how to develop killer kicks. What it will do is provide the doorway to the thinking behind the martial arts. Although the Book was originally intended for the swordsman, any martial artist will find this book enlightening. The views on tactics that should be employed is an aspect that is sorely missed from many other titles.
Speaking as a martial artist that trains in many different styles, the Book looks into how to turn a kick/punch/projection, into a force in its own right. Don't be misled however! As good as this book is, it is no substitute for actual training. Its use is better when the reader can sit an dthink how its lessons can be applied to both his/her training and fighting technique.
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on 1 July 2007
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.

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 (else ware) about this book not being 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.

Don't be put off by ANY of the negative criticisms (in other reviews), it's only because they've missed the point or just quickly scanned & glossed over the book.

Although we are not entirely certain of Musashi's religious bent, Musashi bases his book [loosely] on the Zen Buddhist philosophies of the Five Elements - Earth, Water, Fire, Wind & Emptiness. One of his close associates was Takuan Soho, author of "The Unfettered Mind".
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