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Musashi: An Epic Novel of the Samurai Era Hardcover – September 14, 2012
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"... A stirring saga ... not only for readers interested in Japan but also for those who simply want a rousing read." -Washington Post
Text: English, Japanese (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The second thing I thoroughly enjoyed about the book was the translation. The way the story flows, the vocabulary used as well as the dialogues are very well rendered to the point where I was actually believing the text to be written originally in English. There's also quite a lot of light-hearted, downright comical dialogues, which give the story a lighter tone despite the somber aspect and seriousness of the background story. I actually wonder if this is the work of the translator (by the mere fact that eastern languages are not always easy to transpose into western ones) or if Eiji Yoshikawa himself inserted those funny passages. In any case, this novel was a hidden gem that I would highly recommend to anyone looking for brilliant historical fiction or simply who wants to learn more about Japanese culture during the Edo period.
Musashi is more than just a novel, it is a winding serial of intertwined tales about characters during the early Tokugawa era of Japan in the early 1600s. Musashi, the protagonist is a young man who goes from wanting to be the best swordsman of all time into a person who aspires to true enlightenment. Along the way he is dogged by villains with vendettas, pursued by romantic interests and counseled by wise men of learning and experience. In this manner, the book is so much less about sword fighting as it is about Japanese history and culture. But more importantly the book is a profoundly spiritual one in which seemingly commonplace events teach significant lessons about the mind, the soul and self improvement.
The writing style is a bit circuitous at times but you have to consider that Yoshikawa, much like Charles Dickens first wrote this novel in a weekly serialized form for a popular Japanese newspaper. So each chapter is a self contained unit, full of chance encounters and recurring characters. Towards the end of the book, the characters feel like old friends.
Experience Musashi and set yourself upon the path of becoming a true samurai.
If the katana is the soul of the samurai, should he let it get tainted by blood? This book raise those kind of question and more. Truly an epic tale both inside and out, a book truly about romance, like in the old medieval romances, with a knight all to human and imperfect, striving for his betterment as a human being. Plus there own spark of romantic love.
Fight to remember and powerful phrases you might find if you dare to read this masterpiece