Book is based on 300 years old samurai "manual" with incredible hidden wisdom which you might apply in your day to day life. It's just slightly over 90 pages long so not a long read but the value hidden inside is endless. Highly highly recommend to anyone.
Hagakure may be familiar to anyone who has seen the film 'Ghost Dog'. It contains anecdotes relating to the way of the samurai, but can be (unfairly) summarised as follows: the way of the samurai lies in death, death must be contemplated on a daily basis, even the slightest example of disrespect should be met by immediate and fatal remedy. In particular, seppuku (hiri kiri) is the noble and glorious end to virtually all anecdotes. It is a remarkable book, and probably the most interesting of the Samurai guides (eg Book of Five Rings). However, it should be remembered that Hagakure was considered exceptionally fundamentalist when it was written (17th century) and was disapproved of due to its overemphasis on death. It was also a favourite text of Yukio Mishima, which if you know about Mishima, tells its own story.
As an Iaido practitioner I was first interested in this book for it's relation to the Samurai. However, the further I got into it the more I realised it can be of interest for anyone. Although the text is obviously rooted in the world of medieval Japan, it is easy to read between the lines and see the relevance it offers people today. That is not to say it is a philosophy as such, but that it offers a fascinating insight into a truly insightful and original mind.
I have been a martial artist for more than 50 years . The concepts expressed in this book are history , and to understand the martial arts in history is interesting , but not really relevant in a modern world . Life in a modern world is valued much more highly , we as martial artist should promote health , love and compassion , and learn to value our lives and others equally.