“In keeping with his author's aims, William Scott Wilson, in his elegant and erudite translation, embeds the sermon between a kind of overture and a postlude comprising some of the charming animal allegories to be found in another Chozanshi book, the ‘Inaka Soshi
’ (here winningly rendered as ‘The Hayseed Taoist’). The centipede questions the snake, the sea gull and the mayfly discuss the ‘Tao,’ and the toad speaks of the way of the gods. Their message is very like that of the demon—get down to essentials, forget yourself, rely on nothing, search for the heart of the truth.”—Japan Times
--This text refers to the
About the Author
ISSAI CHOZANSHI (1659-1741) was the pen name of Niwa Jurozaemon Tadaaki, a samurai of the Sekiyado clan. Among his works, The Demon's Sermon on the Martial Arts
(1729) and "The Swordsman and the Cat"(1727) are his most famous.
WILLIAM SCOTT WILSON's first translation, Kodansha's bestselling edition of Hagakure
, was published in 1979, the same year he completed a Master's degree in Japanese language and literature at the University of Washington. Hagakure
was featured prominently in the Jim Jarmusch film, "Ghost Dog." Wilson's other translations include The Book of Five Rings
, The Life-Giving Sword
, The Unfettered Mind
, Ideals of the Samurai
and The Flowering Spirit
, published in June 2006. He is also the author of The Lone Samurai: he Life of Miyamoto Musashi
. In 2005, Wilson was awarded Japan's Foreign Minister Commendation. He lives in Miami, Florida.