The Demon's Sermon on the Martial Arts (The Way of the Warrior Series) Hardcover – September 15, 2006
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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, Taiko, 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.
- Item Weight : 11.5 ounces
- Hardcover : 221 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-4770030184
- ISBN-10 : 4770030185
- Publisher : Kodansha International; 1st Edition (September 15, 2006)
- Product Dimensions : 7.6 x 0.8 x 5.3 inches
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,171,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The Tengu is many things and comes in many forms. It is known as a mischievous and malevolent spirit that brought terror to the Japanese. The ninja made use of these legends and often impersonated Tengu to strike fear. But the Tengu is also a respected and revered symbol and is associated with Shugendo, or the Way of the Aesthetic. In this role the Tengu can be a teacher, and a protector of Buddhism who punsihed evil-doers.
Practitioners of Shugendo often live alone in the mountains and are known as Yamabushi (Shinto), meaning "Mountain (Yama) Warrior (Bushi) Aesthetic" in the deeper sense. They view nature as possessing powerful Qi; in the mountains, rocks, and streams. In the wilderness they train and cultivate their energy. Their ancient roots come from China and the Taoist traditions, which is very evident in this book:
"The Demon said, 'The Way cannot be seen or heard. What can be seen or heard are just traces of the Way.'
The Tengu, the Yamabushi, and the ninja are all connected. Togakushi is a small village high in the Japanese alps that claims a ninja heritage that is 900-years old. There are 3 shinto shrines in the valley, and countless sacred spots throughout the mountains, which have many small waterfalls and streams. The Tengu of Togakushi takes the form of a raven. Tengu are also common in many other ninja villages like Yagyu-zato.
What's incredible about this book is its really the only one on this subject in english. While sitting high on a precipice in the mountains above Togakushi, I watched a raven high above tuck its wings into a steep dive and it sounded like a katana slicing the air as it passed 15-feet away before continuing another 1000-feet down and leveling off just over the tree line. It was an odd display and there was something really powerful about it. That spirit is alive in this book, and it sheds light on where these ideas originated.
The Tengu are also high techers, but only to the select few. They often took a keen interest in people who retreated to the mountains for extended training. Morihei Ueshiba, the Aikido founder learned some of his martial arts from a Tengu in the 1920's. Sword master Yagyu Muneyoshi had an epic sword duel with a Tengu during a violent lightning storm in the mountains above the village. There is rock there where supposedly his sword cut through the stone after the Tengu dodged him that is now known as Itto Seki, or "one sword stroke rock".
This book deals a lot with the movement of a warrior, but perhaps a more powerful message relates to the Shugendo concepts or more specifically the cultivation of Qi. This was fundamental to the ancient Taoist masters who created powerful martial arts such as the highly advanced Ba Gua Zhang. Chozanshi is clearly advocating that we work endlessly to cultivate Qi, and through this process both our lives and our practices will excel.
This book is a rare treat. It offers some very advanced material, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is a serious practitioner of the arts. Be prepared to study.
The Japanese word Tengu would have sufficed and made the book better.
It gets frustrating to read due to this, but this is a good book as far as the story goes.
Top reviews from other countries
I would recommend this to others a good price too