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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
69
4.8 out of 5 stars
Format: Hardcover|Change


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on 29 March 2017
Wonderful in places but be prepared for a long haul. After reading it on and off for years i think it really wouldn't have hurt it to be half as long.
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on 18 October 1996
This is my all-time favorite book. I am not one to do anything twice unless I am truly impressed. This is a book that I have read more than once and which I will keep in my library for many years to come.

I first ran across the book in a used bookstore in Japan, just two months before I left the country where I was spent my childhood. I spent two days and nights reading the book. I could not put it down because it captured my imagination and my heart.

For anyone who has ever fallen in love with the old Japan, that delightful culture, the unique history of the people and their customs, this is a book to treasure.
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on 4 March 2017
I came here from inoue takehiko's vagabond series/manga, im thoroughly impressed on how well the story is written. It missing the great artwork but makes up for it by the engaging and more indepth stroy line. I would recommend this book to anyone.
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on 23 October 1996
This book is just fascinating. It tells a lot about the
nature of life in Japan during the age of the Samurai. It's
a documentary sometimes and a thriller some other times -
but mainly it's just a wonderful *very* long - and still to
short - story with heroes who need some time to become
heroic and villans, who at times are likeable human
beeings too. As a lot of power of this book comes out of the
beautiful language, i should point out, that i read the german
translation. I`ve read thousands of books - but this one is
definetly the Best. I whish i spoke Japanese, so that i could
read all the other works of Yoshikawa, which haven't been
translated yet!
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on 26 August 2010
I took some time reading the book. I have read Clavells "Shogun", but Musashi outclassed it completely. The depth of the characters was well developed. Each realisation of his strength and weaknesses that Musashi has was extremely well covered and provides lessons of all of us even in the present day scenario. Otsu's character though quiet showed awesome strength and love for the man she had chosen. All in all an absolute winner. to be read again and again and easily to part of any collection!!!
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on 16 February 2004
If you have any interest in Feudal Japan then you probably already own it. Buy this and the DVD trilogy (Musashi, Duel at Ganryu, Duel at Ichi??) as the book fills in those moments of thought and emotion from the main characters which is difficult to portray in the films, and the films bring the characters to life.
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on 18 April 2003
I read Eiji Yoshikawa's 'Taiko' before I read Mushahi. Although i was impressed by the book I felt the translation let it down a lot. So when I picked up this book I was suprised (like the other reviewers) how hard I found to put this book down.
It takes a lot for me to get gripped by a book and this one draws you in so well you don't even realise your hooked until your over half way through.
I really can't say much more as most of the reviewers have said it for me but I will add that if your looking for a beautifly written and very well translated epic novel then you really can't get much better than this.
Put it like this no-one who has reviewed this book has given it less than 5 stars, need I say more...
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on 7 May 1997
What a fabulous read! Having lived in Sagami Hara, Kujukuri, and other places on Honshu for over ten years, I could almost close my eyes and see the blood-tinged dust settling on the plains after a battle. I have read Lao Tsu's "The Art of War," and was a Buddhist for a while as well. Every part of this book was just fabulous, absorbing, and I heartily recommend it to anyone and everyone who is interested in old Japan.
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on 16 January 2006
I can add little to the other reviews other than to confirm that this is an excelent book. Those with an interest in fuedal Japan will be drawn to it, whilst those who shun it because of this, it's length or price are missing a gem. Despite it's length it is too short by half. You'll find yourself immersed in the world of Musashi and staying up late to read just a little more.
The characters are brought to life and are without the idolisation that might have been the case for such an historic figure in Japanese culture. It is so much more than a martial arts inspired book that it has a much broader appeal that it will ever realise. Charting the life, fortunes and falures of Musashi and those close to him it is a love story, action thriller and inspirational text all rolled into one.
Simply put this is the one of the best books I've read and would stand head and shouders above mainstream 'bestsllers'. I would recommend it without reservation to anyone.
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on 21 June 2001
As epic books go this one is the best. It has everything you could hope for : love, war... What makes it different is the focus Yoshikawa adopts. You are witnessing the spiritual growth and development of several people. These characters believe in something and they search and do their best in order to achieve their goals. It is also an exceptional insight into japanese culture. All the places described in the book are real places which makes it come alive for the reader who has been there. The characters are actually real characters. What was not my surprise when visiting Kyoto's Sanjusangendo temple to see a portrait of Musashi! Last but not least Yoshikawa's style is very addictive and once you have started the book, you will not be able to put it down.
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