Miyamoto Musashi: A Life in Arms: A Biography of Japan's Greatest Swordsman

Miyamoto Musashi: A Life in Arms: A Biography of Japan's Greatest Swordsman

5.0 2
by William de Lange
     
 

Miyamoto Musashi is the most revered and celebrated swords-man in Japanese history. Yet few of the many works on the enigmatic warrior have hewn to the original sources. Fewer still have explored the emotional turmoil that drove him on to be the very best in his field. This is the first biography to fulfill those aims, and to take advantage of a wealth of neglected

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Overview

Miyamoto Musashi is the most revered and celebrated swords-man in Japanese history. Yet few of the many works on the enigmatic warrior have hewn to the original sources. Fewer still have explored the emotional turmoil that drove him on to be the very best in his field. This is the first biography to fulfill those aims, and to take advantage of a wealth of neglected or newly uncovered material. William de Lange has translated all Known extant texts on Musashi and draws on his research to illuminate controversial or even unknown events of the swordsman's life. These include the source of his troubled relationship with his father, his whereabouts during the Battle of Sekigahara, his unheralded heroism in the summer siege of Osaka castle, and his adventures over the years that followed. We learn of the hidden anger that impelled him to kill his first opponent in duel at age twelve, his single-minded destruction of the reigning Yoshioka sword clan, and his meticulously orchestrated showdown with the great Sasaki Kojiro on Ganryu Island. And finally we follow the remarkable gestation of his Book of Fire Rings, the summation of his martial philosophy. Surpassing his teachers and peers Musashi created a school of swordsmanship unprecedented in Japanese martial history, the art of fighting with two swords: Niten Ichi-ryu. Yet throughout his life a yearning for respect was overshadowed by his disdain of authority; an attraction to the mayhem of battle competed with a joy in the contemplation of beauty; and a ceaseless quest for perfection in his art denied him the emotional ties for which he longed. The complex portrait of Musashi that emerges here is a far cry front from the one-dimensional caricature in film and folklore.

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Editorial Reviews

January, 2015 - Kim Taylor
Highly recommended to my students of Niten Ichiryu, and to anyone who is interested in the biography of this most interesting fellow who has inspired generations of swordsmen and manga fans alike
Glen Dallas - San Francisco Book Review
"Miyamoto Musashi: A Life in Arms is an impressive work of scholarship, offering insanely detailed recounts of Musashi's battles and movements, some so richly rendered that you'd swear De Lange was present at the time, taking notes."
Jeff Broderick - Kendo World
"If anyone is qualified to fill in the missing details of Musashi's life, it is De lange, who has surely done more research on the subject than any other non-Japanese...He has painted a remarkably vibrant portrait of Musashi, one that reveals all the contradictions of a remarkable life full of triumphs and disappointments, thrilling victories as well as bitter losses...This book is unquestionably a must-read for any student of budo."
Paul O'Brian - Irish Fighter Magazine
"This is perhaps one of the most vital and important texts on the life of Miyamoto Musashi. De Lange has searched the original military records of the campaigns Musashi was involved with and other supporting documents to provide the first accurate assessment of Musashi's life in the English language."
Kim Taylor - Iaido Journal
"Miyamoto Musashi: A Life in Arms is highly recommended to anyone who is interested in the biography of this most interesting man who has inspired generations of swordsmen and manga fans alike."
San Francisco Book Review - Glen Dallas
Miyamoto Musashi: A Life in Arms is an impressive work of scholarship, offering insanely detailed recounts of Musashi's battles and movements, some so richly rendered that you'd swear De Lange was present at the time, taking notes.
Kendo World - Jeff Broderick
If anyone is qualified to fill in the missing details of Musashi's life, it is De lange, who has surely done more research on the subject than any other non-Japanese...He has painted a remarkably vibrant portrait of Musashi, one that reveals all the contradictions of a remarkable life full of triumphs and disappointments, thrilling victories as well as bitter losses...This book is unquestionably a must-read for any student of budo.
Irish Fighter Magazine - Paul O'Brian
This is perhaps one of the most vital and important texts on the life of Miyamoto Musashi. De Lange has searched the original military records of the campaigns Musashi was involved with and other supporting documents to provide the first accurate assessment of Musashi's life in the English language.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781891640629
Publisher:
Floating World Editions
Publication date:
12/21/2014
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
807,160
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

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Miyamoto Musashi: A Life in Arms: A Biography of Japan's Greatest Swordsman 5 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 2 reviews.
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