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Hardcover Musashi Book

ISBN: 156836427X

ISBN13: 9781568364278

Musashi

(Part of the Musashi Series)

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: New

$29.69
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Book Overview

The classic samurai novel about the real exploits of the most famous swordsman. Miyamoto Musashi was the child of an era when Japan was emerging from decades of civil strife. Lured to the great Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 by the hope of becoming a samurai--without really knowing what it meant--he regains consciousness after the battle to find himself lying defeated, dazed and wounded among thousands of the dead and dying. On his way home, he commits...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Not just a book, but a life lesson!

When I first saw this book on a bookstore shelf I thought with myself, "People must be crazy to read such a big book", well, two volumes, 1808 pages (Portuguese edition), it's not a weekend book. I don't know why but I bought it, when I finished reading the first 100 pages, I couldn't let the book go, If I went to the bathroom it was surely to be under my arm, compulsive reading it's what it is, I finished reading the first volume and I didn't wait a single day to buy the second one. And now that I finished it I spend long hours searching the net for information s about Musashi's life.This book is not just a martial arts book, nor an ordinary story, it's a great introdution to oriental values and virtues as well as to Zen Buddhism. Musashi is a book about life, about the search of a meaning to life itself. Every page, every sentence, every Musashi word is a lesson, a true lesson from a man that spent his life searching his goals, his perfection and spiritual fulfillness.I'd spend days recommending this book and it wouldn't be enough, so get your copy now!!

The Tale of Old Japan's Most Famous Swordsman

Written in the early twentieth century, this indigenous Japanese novel recounts the life and times of old Japan's greatest swordsman, Miyamoto Musashi -- a man who began life as an over-eager and rather brutish young lout but who, through the discipline of Japan's "way of the sword," turned himself into a master of his chosen weapon. But this tale is not only about a life spent in training to perfect the art of killing with a sharpened piece of steel. In the venerable Japanese tradition, it is also about a man's search to conquer himself, to become a better person. The Buddhist view cultivated by the Japanese warrior class allowed for a spiritual dimension to their very bloody enterprise of warfare and killing. And it is this aspect of his training that consumes Musashi, to the detriment of the people he encounters and who seek to attach themselves to him. Unable to settle down in the ordinary way, or to simply join a particular clan as a retainer to some noble lord, Musashi embarks on the life of a ronin (masterless samurai) as he wends his way through the feudal world of medieval Japan in his seemingly endless search for perfection. In the process he finds a young woman who loves him and many enemies who seek his destruction, at least in part in repayment for the damage he does them while on his quest. He also crosses swords with many other experts in Japan's martial arts, but it is his early encounter with a Buddhist priest that puts him on the path which will forever after guide his life. Musashi ultimately finds his grail in a duel to the death with a man called Kojiro, who will become his greatest opponent, a sword master famous for his "swallow cut" -- a stroke so fast and deadly that it can slice a swooping, looping bird out of the air in mid-flight. This alone is a challenge worthy of the master which Musashi has become -- and a match which even he may not be up to, for this opponent is surely the finest technician in his art in all Japan. But there is more to swordsmanship than technical skill, as Musashi has learned, and there is more to living one's life than merely preserving it. Musashi attains a sort of peace in preparation for his climactic bout, for he is willing to risk all and even die in order to win against the master of the swallow cut, while applying all the strategy he has learned throughout his tumultuous career to unsettle the man who will oppose him. In the end Musashi became a legend to his countrymen, composing the famous Book of Five Rings -- his contribution to the art of strategy. But what he and Kojiro must do when they finally face each other is a tale in itself -- and a denoument towards which everything else in this book ultimately leads. By the way, there are a whole slew of good books out there for those into good historical fiction, including a brand new one by Jeff Janoda called SAGA: A NOVEL OF MEDIEVAL ICELAND which details the events surrounding an intriguing episode i

A timeless classic

I first read this book back in 1982 while a student attending the American School in Japan in Tokyo. The thousand or so pages of text did seem daunting at first but I could not put the book down ater the first few pages. Not only did it provide me with a greater understanding of my own Japanese heritage (I am half Japanese) but it did offer a greater and fundamental insight into what all of us are searching for -- the understanding of the self, way to approach things seen and unseen around us and a calm awareness of life. I have worked and lived throughout the world (Latin America, West/East Europe, and Russia in addition to the US)since my first reading and find that I am able to identify with the local cultures and find that many of the "lessons" garnered from this epic are also interwoven into the ideals of each of culture. It is also interesting to note that "the way" is now commonly referenced in leading business publications and books (read some of the great recent stuff from Tom Peters and you will see what I mean). The search for such understanding goes back to the Iliad but it is possible to trace the development, maturation and blossom of one single person (in this case Musashi) and experience the continous challenges he must face in order to defeat his demons. The combat scene at the Spreading Pine rivals any such related written description of someone working in a difficult situation but under total self control. Whenever I find myself in a difficult situation, I take time and re-read that chapter. Read the "Book of Five Rings" from the pen of Musahi himself next. At the very least, anyone who wants to gain a deeper understanding into Japanese culture should read this book.

Better in Retrospect than I Had Thought!

Written in the early twentieth century, this indigenous Japanese novel recounts the life & times of old Japan's greatest swordsman, Miyamoto Musashi -- a man who began life as an over-eager and rather brutish young lout but who, through the discipline of Japan's "way of the sword," turned himself into a master of his chosen weapon. But this tale is not only one of a life spent in training to perfect the art of killing with a sharpened piece of steel. In the venerable Japanese tradition, it is also about a man's search to conquer himself, to become a better man. The Buddhist view cultivated by the Japanese warrior class allowed for a spiritual dimension to their very bloody enterprise of warfare and killing. And it is this aspect of his training that consumes Musashi, to the detriment of the people he encounters and who seek to attach themselves to him. Unable to settle down in the ordinary way, or to simply join a particular clan as a retainer to some noble lord, Musashi embarks on the life of a ronin (masterless samurai) as he wends his way through the feudal world of medieval Japan in his seemingly endless search for perfection. In the process he finds a young woman who loves him and many enemies who seek his destruction, at least in part in repayment for the damage he does them while on his quest. He also crosses swords with many other experts in Japan's martial arts, but it is his encounter with a Buddhist priest, early on,that ultimately puts him on the right path. In the end Musashi finds his grail in a duel to the death with his greatest opponent, the sword master, Kojiro, famous for his "swallow cut" -- a stroke so fast and deadly that it can slice a swooping, looping bird out of the air in mid-flight. This alone is a challenge worthy of the master which Musashi has become -- and a match which even he may not be up to, for this opponent is surely the finest technician in his art in all Japan. But there is more to swordsmanship than technical skill, as Musashi has learned, and more to living one's life than merely following rules. Musashi attains a sort of peace in preparation for his climactic bout, for he is willing to risk all and even die in order to win against the master of the swallow cut, while applying all the strategy he has learned throughout his tumultuous career to unsettle the man who will oppose him. In the end Musashi lived to a fairly ripe old age and, unlike many of his contemporaries, died in his bed after composing the famous Book of Five Rings -- his own contribution to the art of strategy. I had originally rated this book at four stars only but on re-thinking it I find it continues to live vividly in my mind so that, alone, suggests it had a more powerful resonance than I originally gave it credit for. Certainly there are many levels in any continuum of ranking and many ways of placing anything ranked on that continuum. But in one very serious way, this book deserves a five star
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