Complete Musashi: The Book of Five Rings and Other Works
Musashi, Alexander Bennett
The culmination of 25 years of research, Alex Bennett’s groundbreaking English translation of Miyamoto Musashi’s The Book of Five Rings reveals the true meaning of the original work.
This piece of writing by famed samurai Musashi (1584-1645) is the single-most influential work on samurai swordsmanship, offering insights into samurai history, the Zen Buddhist state of “no-mind” that enables warriors to triumph and the philosophical meaning of Bushido-“the way of the warrior.”
Until now, English translations of The Book of Five Rings have been based on inaccurate copies of Musashi’s long-lost original manuscript. Bennett’s translation is the first to be based on a careful reconstruction of the original text by Japan’s foremost Musashi scholar. By identifying discrepancies among the existing copies, adding missing texts and correcting over 150 incorrect characters, this source is the closest representation of Musashi’s original work possible. Utilizing this new source, Bennett captures the subtle nuance of the classic Japanese text, resulting in the most accurate English translation of The Book of Five Rings available.
The texts are richly annotated by Bennett, who includes an extensive introduction on Musashi’s life and legacy. This paperback edition also includes a new introduction by Kendo Kyoshi 7th Dan Graham Sayer, who talks about the influence Musashi’s writings have had on him as a person and martial artist.
The Complete Musashi: The Book of Five Rings and Other Works will be widely read by those interested in Japanese culture, Samurai history and martial arts-setting a new standard against which all other translations will be measured.
"...artfully translated by Bennett...color illustrations enhance this superb new edition of a classic, an evident labor of love." - Publishers Weekly "Dr. Bennett possesses a profound knowledge of, and deep insight into, the world of Japanese bushido. This expertise has been enhanced by his extensive practical experience of the traditional martial arts of Japan, and his proficiency in this domain is highly acclaimed." - Tetsuo Yamaori, former Director of the International Research Center for Japanese Studies "This is a very good edition of this important document, made more valuable by the lengthy introduction and the inclusion of all six of the works currently attributed to Miyamoto Musashi, which allow us to see how his views developed, and places the famous Book of Five Rings into the context of his life." - History of War blog
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