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Miyamoto Musashi: His Life and Writings Paperback – June 20, 2006
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About the Author
Kenji Tokitsu was born in Japan and began studying martial arts when he was a child. He has taught karate in Paris since 1971. In 1984 he founded the Shaolin-mon school, where he teaches a synthesis of the original combat arts of Japan and China. In 2001 he established the Tokitsuryu Academy to teach and promote his method. For more information, visit www.tokitsu.com. Tokitsu also holds doctorates in sociology and in Japanese language and civilization. He is the author of numerous books.
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Accept everything just the way it is.
Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
Do not give preference to anything among all things.
Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
Be detached from desire your whole life.
Do not regret what you have done.
Never be jealous.
Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor others.
Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love.
Do not seek elegance and beauty in all things.
Be indifferent to where you live.
Do not pursue the taste of good food.
Do not hold on to possessions you no longer need.
Do not act following customary beliefs.
Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful.
Do not fear death.
Do not seek to possess either goods or fiefs for your old age.
Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help.
You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honor.
Never stray from the way.
Detailed, well structured, excellent translation. It covers his whole life and includes details not found elsewhere about his style, techniques,genealogy and writings.
A must for any student of the martial arts.
The book covers Musashi's origins, his life as a warrior and an artist, and his impact on the evolution of swordsmanship and the modern martial art of kendo. The author also provides a complete analysis of Musashi's Book of Five Rings, as well as the legacy of his students and the impact that Musashi's work had on contemporary kendo masters.
This book is a must-read for anyone studying swordsmanship or martial arts.
I especially like this book because the author tries his best to show the different points of view and include sometimes contradicting documents. Also he included much needed (for me at least) background data that helped to better understand the realities of that time.
It definitely cured me from my "I know everything" attitude.
When I followed Musashi's travels in Japan, these were the two books I used to map my journey, and the understanding I was able to develop proved priceless as I traveled the old paths and visited villages, temples, castles, mansions, battlefields, and other locations largely forgotten. This book includes a very useful chronology at the beginning.
One thing I like about this book in particular is the inclusion of color plates of his art and calligraphy, of which he was a master of both. His art is accomplished using an economy of strokes to achieve an effect. He is also known to have held his brush like a sword rather than grasping it in the traditional style. Next to one of Musashi's Daruma works, the author states:
"We can follow every movement of Musashi's hand as he brought the gray line from center left up to the right, turned the brush swiftly at the shoulder and then pulled the line rapidly downward."
This is a very satisfying book that should please any Musashi fan, or that is certain to make a fan out of anyone who is unfamiliar with this incredible man. I can't recommend it enough.