Miyamoto Musashi: His Life and Writings

Miyamoto Musashi: His Life and Writings

by Kenji Tokitsu, Sherab Chodzin Kohn
     
 

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Miyamoto Musashi, who lived in Japan in the fifteenth century, was a renowned samurai warrior. He has become a martial arts icon, known not just as an undefeated dueler, but also as a master of battlefield strategy. Kenji Tokitsu turns a critical eye on Musashi's life and writings, separating fact from fiction, and giving a clear picture of the man behind the myth.

Overview

Miyamoto Musashi, who lived in Japan in the fifteenth century, was a renowned samurai warrior. He has become a martial arts icon, known not just as an undefeated dueler, but also as a master of battlefield strategy. Kenji Tokitsu turns a critical eye on Musashi's life and writings, separating fact from fiction, and giving a clear picture of the man behind the myth.

Musashi's best-known work, The Book of Five Rings, provides timeless insight into the nature of conflict. Tokitsu translates and provides extensive commentary on that popular work, as well as three other short texts on strategy that were written before it, and a longer, later work entitled "The Way to Be Followed Alone." Tokitsu is a thoughtful and informed guide, putting the historical and philosophical aspects of the text into context, and illuminating the etymological nuances of particular Japanese words and phrases. As a modern martial artist and a scholar, Tokitsu provides a view of Musashi's life and ideas that is accessible and relevant to today's readers and martial arts students.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1645), the most famous of all samurai, fought and won 60 duels during his lifetime and was a master military strategist and a skilled artist. In the latter part of his life, he formed a martial arts school and trained many disciples. Tokitsu, an expert in martial arts with a doctorate in sociology, here provides a new translation and commentary of Musashi's major work, The Book of Five Rings, which gives his teachings on sword technique, military strategy, martial arts training, and general philosophy. Tokitsu also offers a biography of Musashi, which helps give context for understanding his thought. Beyond this, the work includes chapters discussing key topics in Japanese martial arts, such as budo, as well as a substantial glossary. The recent Tom Cruise film The Last Samurai may have heightened interest in Japanese martial arts. This excellent book might well capture the interest of a significant audience. Recommended for both public and academic libraries.--John Jaeger, Dallas Baptist Univ. Lib. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780834824881
Publisher:
Shambhala Publications, Inc.
Publication date:
04/23/2012
Sold by:
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
979,721
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Kenji Tokitsu was born in Japan and began studying martial arts when he was a child. He has taught karate in Paris since 1971. In 1984 he founded the Shaolin-mon school, where he teaches a synthesis of the original combat arts of Japan and China. In 2001 he established the Tokitsuryu Academy to teach and promote his method. For more information, visit tokitsu.com. Tokitsu also holds doctorates in sociology and in Japanese language and civilization. He is the author of numerous books.

Sherab Chödzin Kohn is coeditor of the best-selling anthology The Buddha and His Teachings. He has been teaching Buddhism and meditation for more than thirty years, and he has edited a number of the books of his teacher, the Tibetan meditation master Chögyam Trungpa. He has also published numerous translations, including an acclaimed version of Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha. He lives in Boulder, Colorado.

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