on 15 July 2008
In his truly inimitable and engaging style, Thomas presents us with an introduction and then a summary of twenty two of Japans greatest samurai, there thoughts, philosophies and life stories.
Covering a period of samurai from 1349 to 1865, we get right into the mind, spirit and true nature of what it was like to live their dangerous lives and how they ingeniously schemed to work out ways to survive and win battles with their enemies. There was rarely any quarter given in these harsh and brutal times.
It wasn't all bravery, wit and courage. These Japanese "knights" had to work out life saving strategies and tactics that would always win the day. If they survived the battle that they had lost, then they would probably have to up their lives to their lord and do the honourable thing by committing suicide to save face.
Beautifully & interestingly written by an expert in his field, you would expect nothing less from Thomas.
With over 600 years of experience all in one book, this has to be one of the best reference books for those seeking to understand what "The Way of the Warrior" is all about.
on 30 October 2009
This is a very intersting book, full of essays on philosophy, politics, war strategy and social issues by various samurai spanning a few hundred years. Some of them surely were mental, while others appear to have been very moral and just. To be honest this book will only be of interst to you if you are in to Japanese history and culture. If you're looking for a manual on martial arts, as some I know who got this did, you'll be most disapointed. I loved it though.
on 1 March 2011
A superlative collection of writings from some of the most outstanding figures of early Japanese society - warlords, samurai warriors and monks. This book can be viewed as a manual on honourable conduct, with such subjects as justice, truth, courage, civility and filial piety being discussed and promoted. To be a true warrior and knight meant combining martial skill with culture (pen and sword together), to protect the weak and innocent, respect the elderly and do the right thing - all virtues equally extolled by the ancient Celts and medieval chivalry and much needed in today's society.
on 24 October 2011
A brilliant book that explains bushido, ways of war, politics, philosophy,science, moral and psychological development, ethics, training and more taken from writings from people who lived in the fifteenth to nineteenth century. I was totally enthralled by it and have learnt some new life lessons.