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About Miyamoto Musashi
Bio from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Photo by User Alkivar on en.wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo by User Alkivar on en.wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
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It explains the underlying truths necessary for a full understanding of Musashi's message for warriors. The result is an enthralling book on martial strategy that combines the instincts of the warrior with the philosophies of Zen Buddhism, Shintoism, Confucianism and Taoism. It is a crucial book for every martial artist to read and understand.
Like the original, this classic book of strategy is divided into five sections. The Book of Earth lays the groundwork for anyone wishing to understand Musashi's teachings; the Book of Water explains the warrior's approach to strategy; the Book of Fire teaches fundamental fighting techniques based on the Earth and Water principles; the Book of Wind describes differences between Musashi's own martial style and the styles of other fighting schools; while the Book of No-thing describes the "way of nature" as understood through an "unthinking" existing preconception.
Famed martial artist and bestselling author Stephen Kaufman has translated this classic without the usual academic or commercial bias, driving straight into the heart of Musashi's martial teachings and interpreting them for his fellow martial artists. The result is an enthralling combination of warrior wisdom and philosophical truths that Musashi offered to other warriors who wished to master the martial way of bushido.
Tokitsu puts all these writings into historical and philosophical context and makes them accessible and relevant to today’s readers and martial arts students. Tokitsu understands Musashi’s writings—and Musashi as a martial artist—unusually well and is able to provide a rare insight into the man and his historical contribution.
There are various Ways. There is the Way of salvation by the law of Buddha, the Way of Confucius governing the Way of learning, the Way of healing as a doctor, as a poet teaching the Way of Waka, tea, archery, and many arts and skills. Each man practises as he feels inclined. It is said the warrior's is the twofold Way of pen and sword, and he should have a taste for both Ways. Even if a man has no natural ability he can be a warrior by sticking assiduously to both divisions of the Way. Generally speaking, the Way of the warrior is resolute acceptance of death. This new edition has been lavishly illustrated with 12 original illustrations by Lew Hartman.
'When you attain the Way of strategy, there will not be one thing you cannot see.'
Miyamoto Musashi, Book of Five Rings
Shortly before his death in 1645, the undefeated swordsman Miyamoto Musashi retreated to a cave to live as a hermit. There he wrote five scrolls describing the "true principles" required for victory in the martial arts and on the battlefield. Instead of relying on religion or theory, Musashi based his writings on his own experience, observation, and reason.
The scrolls, published as The Book of Five Rings, have recently gained an international reputation in the business world as a means of resolving differences and achieving success. But their delineation of the psychological strength, rigorous self-control, and practical application necessary for dealing with physical and mental conflict also has a wider relevance and can be usefully applied to all our lives.