- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Tuttle Publishing; Reprint edition (August 9, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 4805314044
- ISBN-13: 978-4805314043
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.5 x 0.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 24 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #252,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Ninja, The Secret History of Ninjutsu: Ancient Shadow Warriors of Japan Paperback – August 9, 2016
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"Dr. Zoughari's visionary work connects old ways with the new, breathing life and new meaning into an often controversial subject in a way that benefits all who will read these pages." —Shihan Christopher Davy, from his Foreword
"His translation of Takamatsu's autobiography, albeit short, was powerful to me...The art shown in the book is beautiful and adds context to the text." —MartialArtsPlanet.com blog
"This insightful book is filled with obscure and documented details about Ninjutsu, as well as Dr. Zoughari's thoughts and fascinating analysis on the subject. The later chapters, of the secrets texts of Ninjutsu were fascinating. For me, understanding how these warriors fit into the Japanese warfare model was an enlightening read. This book is for both history and martial arts lovers alike." —Zohar Laor, Man of la Book blog
About the Author
Kacem Zoughari is a researcher on Japanese studies and holds a Ph.D. in the history of Japanese classical martial arts. Zoughari is an internationally recognized authority on the Japanese martial arts and is also a licensed instructor of Ninjutsu. He conducts seminars in the United States, Canada and Europe.
Shihan Christopher Davy holds a tenth degree black belt under Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi Soke of Japan. He has been training in the martial arts for over 30 years.
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Top customer reviews
I do agree with the previous reviewer. We should see a second volume that has more focus on the Koga Ryu clans with the same detail and dedication to the Iga clan. I look forward to training with Mr. Zoughari again and hope to see more books in the future.
It is one of the most researched books on the ninja I have come across. The end notes take up almost a quarter of the book. Indeed, this work comes across as a dissertation. Dr. Zoughari demonstrates the depth of his scholarship.
The first four chapters are outstanding. He compares the histories of several arts in Japan, into the present day. He addresses some common misconceptions -
that ninjutsu came from foreigners, that it was solely the practice of the Iga and Koga regions, that it was primarily occupied with assassinations, etc. There is discussion of spiritual matters, yamabushi, warrior monks, weaponry, dress, and the ultimate fate of the ninja clans.
Dr. Zoughari can speak and read the language, which sets him apart from the author of another frequently read book on the subject. He had access to some privately owned scrolls which have not been touched upon previously, to my knowledge.
Now for the down side. The last two chapters are in-depth pieces on Takamatsu Toshitsugu and his student, Hatsumi Masaaki. There is some new light shed on Takamatsu's life. I feel, though, that these two chapters are the weakest. There isn't too much material that hasn't been covered elsewhere. The real flaw, in my humble opinion, is that Dr. Zoughari begins speculating on what may have happened.
The endnotes start to get further and further apart, and the reader drifts away from a solid foundation into the void. I understand that that author was probably given unprecedented access to Dr. Hatsumi's papers, and that Dr. Hatsumi maintains some continuity with the old traditions. Certainly this work does not follow the path of Stephen Hayes in that regard, and Dr. Zoughari deserves kudos for that. But I feel that he has compromised an otherwise profound work with supposition. For this reason I gave it four stars instead of five.
Otherwise I recommend this book to serious students. I urge you to compare it to other books on this subject, especially those of Anthony Cummins ( a critic of Dr. Zoughari's on Youtube ).
Most recent customer reviews
Contain a lot of pictures too.