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Samurai Wisdom: Lessons from Japan's Warrior Culture (Five Classic Texts on Bushido) Hardcover – April 10, 2009

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Frequently Bought Together

Samurai Wisdom: Lessons from Japan's Warrior Culture (Five Classic Texts on Bushido) + The Code of the Samurai: A Modern Translation of the Bushido Shoshinshu of Taira Shigesuke + Training the Samurai Mind: A Bushido Sourcebook
Price for all three: $48.20

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Samurai Wisdom is absolutely excellent. Not only does this book provide the reader with a deep understanding of the samurai mind and their values, but if studied and applied, it also provides the reader with many valuable principles to live by in today's world. [T]his is one of Thomas Cleary's best books."—Bodhi Sanders, author of Warrior Wisdom: The Warrior's Path

"[A] refreshing look at the life of the samurai, his history, his way of thinking, the reason & benefits for living the way they did & a deep insight into their minds."—Terry Tozer, Traditional Japanese Shotokan Karate Academy (TJSKA)

About the Author

Thomas Cleary is one of the best known and most accomplished translators of the ancient wisdom of Asia. His work includes The Art of War, The Book of Five Rings, Code of the Samurai, Soul of the Samurai and Secrets of the Japanese Art of Warfare, as well as over 70 other books on Asian martial history and philosophy, Buddhism and Taoism.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing; Hardcover with Jacket edition (April 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804840083
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804840088
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #518,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author


Thomas Cleary is the preeminent translator of classic Eastern texts, including The Essential Tao, The Essential Confucius, The Secret of the Golden Flower, and the bestselling The Art of War.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bohdi Sanders, Ph.D. VINE VOICE on April 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Samurai Wisdom is absolutely excellent. Not only does this book provide the reader with a deep understanding of the samurai mind and their values, but if studied and applied, it also provides the reader with many valuable principles to live by in today's world. This book is a good translation of five literary works concerning Bushido from Yamaga Soko (1622-1685). In my opinion, this is one of Thomas Cleary's best books (and I have enjoyed many of his books).

I highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in Samurai history, Bushido, or the warrior lifestyle, or who just plain wants to develop his or her character in a world becoming more and more void of character and integrity. This book is excellent. Don't just read it, but apply it to your life. 5 Stars!

Bohdi Sanders, author of the award-winning bestseller, Modern Bushido: Living a Life of Excellence
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm not a fan of Thomas Cleary. I much prefer the translations done by William Scott Wilson and Ralph D. Sawyer particularly when the subject of war or warrior hood comes into play. Mr. Cleary's work tends to be aimed at the Scholar or Businessman not the Professional Warrior or Martial Artist. Mr. Cleary did an excellent job with these works making them come to life for the 21st century reader. Having read other English translations in academic sources (like Monumentia Nipponica) not available to the average Joe, I believe he out did himself.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Terry Tozer on May 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is another massive (256 pages) title from Mr Cleary, one of the best known & accomplished translators of Asian Wisdom, particularly in the field of martial arts & all things samurai. This is a totally new & refreshing look at the life of the samurai, his history, his way of thinking, the reasons & benefits for living the way they did & a deep insight into their minds. I'm sure this will turn out to be another successful book on how to live successfully.

This work is unique as it's the first translation of a series of five books by Yamaga Soko (1622-85). A somewhat contentious writer of his time & a bit of a philosopher on the side.

These writings positively add to the wisdom series of books on Bushido (The Way of the Warrior) of ancient Japan. It deals with its principles & practices & the way that they lived, worked, fought & died for. A sincere study of this type of military science, which if applied to everyday living now, is as relevant today as it was more than 300 years ago.
They offer an in-depth practical guide to building character.

If you are new to Mr Cleary, let me reassure you that his latest work is just as riveting, interesting & colourful as all his previous titles. He has a very clear, easy to read & logical style. Unlike some other similar titles around, you won't be bombarded with unpronounceable & unmemorable Japanese names on every line.

Each of the chapters of the five books are broken down further into more manageable headed sub-chapters, making it one of those useful books that one can just randomly dip & delve into.

I'm confident that this book will also become a classic in time along with others like Bushido by Nitobe, the Hagakure by Yamamoto Tsunetomo, The Book of Five Rings by Mushashi & The Lone Samurai by Yagu Munenori.
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