The Book of Five Rings
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The Book of Five Rings

By (author) Miyamoto Musashi , Translated by Thomas Cleary

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"The Book of Five Rings " is one of the most insightful texts on the subtle arts of confrontation and victory to emerge from Asian culture. Written not only for martial artists but for anyone who wants to apply the timeless principles of this text to their life, the book analyzes the process of struggle and mastery over conflict that underlies every level of human interaction. "The Book of Five Rings " was composed in 1643 by the famed duelist and undefeated samurai Miyamoto Musashi. Thomas Cleary's translation is immediately accessible, with an introduction that presents the spiritual background of the warrior tradition. Along with Musashi's text, Cleary translates here another important Japanese classic on leadership and strategy, "The Book of Family Traditions on the Art of War " by Yagyu Munenori, which highlights the ethical and spiritual insights of Taoism and Zen as they apply to the way of the warrior.

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  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 99.06 x 170.18 x 15.24mm | 90.72g
  • 11 Jan 2005
  • Shambhala Publications Inc
  • Boston
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 1590302486
  • 9781590302484
  • 3,666

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Author Information

Miyamoto Musashi, who lived in Japan in the 1600s, was an undefeated dueler, a masterless samurai, and an independent teacher. He spent the last decades of his life refining and teaching his military science.

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Review quote

" Embraced by many contemporary readers as a manual on how to succeed in life." — "Library Journal"

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Flap copy

"The Book of Five Rings is one of the most insightful texts on the subtle arts of confrontation and victory to emerge from Asian culture. Written not only for martial artists but for anyone who wants to apply the timeless principles of this text to their life, the book analyzes the process of struggle and mastery over conflict that underlies every level of human interaction. "The Book of Five Rings was composed in 1643 by the famed duelist and undefeated samurai Miyamoto Musashi. Thomas Cleary's translation is immediately accessible, with an introduction that presents the spiritual background of the warrior tradition. Along with Musashi's text, Cleary translates here another important Japanese classic on leadership and strategy," The Book of Family Traditions on the Art of War by Yagyu Munenori, which highlights the ethical and spiritual insights of Taoism and Zen as they apply to the way of the warrior.

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Customer reviews

A must for martial arts students

I recently started training in Kung Fu and I was looking for a book which would instruct me about the things you can't learn by just mimicking the forms and styles. I wasn't disappointed. While this book is written about swordsmanship in Japan, it covers much on psychology and basic stance which is generalisable to all martial arts. I can't recommend this book highly enough to other martial arts students.show more
by James Flynn