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The Book of Five Rings: A Classic Text on the Japanese Way of the Sword (Shambhala Library) Mass Market Paperback – January 11, 2005
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"The Book of Five Rings was composed in 1643 by the famed duelist and undefeated samurai Miyamoto Musashi. Thomas Cleary's translation is immediately accessible, with an introduction that presents the spiritual background of the warrior tradition. Along with Musashi's text, Cleary translates here another important Japanese classic on leadership and strategy," The Book of Family Traditions on the Art of War by Yagyu Munenori, which highlights the ethical and spiritual insights of Taoism and Zen as they apply to the way of the warrior.
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That said, he excelled in killing people, not writing books, and this reads exactly how you would expect a world-renowned killer would write. The passages and subjects are scattered and disjointed, and at times make very little sense. Sometimes hes describing precise sword movements and battle tactics, next hes talking about extremely esoteric ideas in a rambling, stream-of-consciousness sort of way.
I'd say what you get out of the book is entirely subjective. It's been said that this is the Japanese version of Sun Tzu's "The Art of War." All Japanese executives have read it. Martial arts masters have read it. Historical scholars and enthusiasts as well. If you have the ability to take 18th century martial arts tactics and apply it to modern day situations, you could gain a great deal from this book. If you read it literally... well you may just have a laugh and write it off as the crazy mutterings of an old man.
Either way its a cheaply priced, reasonably-sized book, and this is one of the better translations out there. Definitely add it to your collection and give it a go. Plus you'll be able to brag that you've read Musashi, a man who died undefeated with over 60 confirmed kills in martial combat! Total badassery!
I don't think I'm all that bad at synthesizing different topics, but I had a difficult time reading about anything other than sword fighting in this book. More specifically it is not about any kind of dueling or practice fighting. This book is about how to win real battles by killing the opponent.
I'm not calling the book bad, because I feel like it hit the mark it was aiming for, which is teaching the reader how to kill people with a sword. I'm just suggesting that this may not have as much deeper meaning as prospective readers will hope for.
However this book comes with a warning, all the strategy Musashi sensei is talking about happens during the "Tame" in a sword fight. To fully profit from it's knowledge either as a sword fighter or a strategist, you must first practice kendo or at least any other form of sword combat.
Nevertheless this book is clearly an amazing aid to understand many kendo techniques and a solid base for modern business strategy.
Top international reviews
In short; what it teaches, you don't need in this day and age, and it isn't really transferable. By all means, buy for historical interest, but that's the only interest to be found here.
can apply the knowledge of one of the Greatest Samurai Miyamoto Musashi
to his business world !
Contains Musashi's philosophy on the martial way.
Dont know if it can be related to be business tactics as some have tried, but great reading for a martial artist.
Even tells you how to hold the sword and how to position your feet etc, he's the expert so take notice !!!
For me, I believe the stratagies suggest a winning state of mind or feeling, alluded to as 'The Way'.
I enjoyed this book!
Not only useful martial artists, but useful for all people as it is a way of life and a way of acting and interacting with other people.
Not only do you get the book of five rings but you also get another book along with it, value you for money.
A must read.