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Budoshoshinshu: The Warrior's Primer (Literary Links to the Orient) Paperback – April 1, 1984


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Paperback, April 1, 1984
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Product Details

  • Series: Literary Links to the Orient (Book 433)
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Black Belt Communications; 2nd printing edition (April 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0897500962
  • ISBN-13: 978-0897500968
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #702,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

William Scott Wilson holds a master’s degree in Japanese language and literature from the University of Washington–Seattle. His other translations include The Book of Five Rings, Budoshoshinshu: The Warrior’s Primer, The Flowering Spirit: Classic Teachings on the Art of No, The Life-Giving Sword: Secret Teachings from the House of the Shogun, and The Lone Samurai: The Life of Miyamoto Musashi.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Terry Tozer on July 23, 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" ISBN: 0804831904 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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I am a huge fan of everything translated by William Scott Wilson, and have been since his first release of "Ideals of the Samurai". Wilson offers 3-reasons why the Budoshoshinshu material is important. It is his 3rd reason that resonates with me:

"Third, and most important I suspect, is that the tendency in many of us to feel that within the world of the Japanese warrior there was an approach to life which, if not superior to our own, had something that ours is definitely lacking. But is it translatable? I think it is: and with some thought we may be able to see that there are parallels in our spiritual if not our temporal situations, and that these men may have something to say to us as well.....Are we really satisfied with our life as "consumers"? Can we not do something better with ourselves than just make money? These were men who knew something of values, and implicit in their values is the idea that life is worth more than just serving our own materialism and greed."

The author, Daidoji Yuzan compiled this collection of ideals at age 92. This is an outstanding collection of the tenants of Bushido, and is a must read for anyone interested in martial philosophy. If you are new to this subject, you will not find this book to be an easy or entertaining read. For the rest, dig in and enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nathan Brown on January 4, 2011
As always, Wilson has done an excellent job translating this text. His translations are always a joy to read, and this book is no exception.
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