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The Book of Five Rings: A Graphic Novel
     

The Book of Five Rings: A Graphic Novel

4.0 1
by Miyamoto Musashi, Sean Michael Wilson, William Scott Wilson (Translator), Chie Kutsuwada (Illustrator)
 
This graphic novel version of The Book of Five Rings, the iconic book of confrontation and victory by the famed seventeenth-century duelist and undefeated samurai Miyamoto Musashi, illuminates this brilliant manifesto, which has long inspired martial artists and anyone interested in cultivating a strategic mind. With evocative drawings and a distilled but

Overview

This graphic novel version of The Book of Five Rings, the iconic book of confrontation and victory by the famed seventeenth-century duelist and undefeated samurai Miyamoto Musashi, illuminates this brilliant manifesto, which has long inspired martial artists and anyone interested in cultivating a strategic mind. With evocative drawings and a distilled but faithful text adapted by acclaimed manga writer Sean Michael Wilson, The Book of Five Rings comes alive both as a guide to swordsmanship and strategy, and as a view into Musashi’s world.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This graphic adaptation of Musashi’s 17th-centurytreatise on the martial arts makes careful, effective use of imagery to emphasize both the narrative and instructional aspects of the original text. Musashi’s work is divided into five books, which address each aspect of battle: “Earth,” “Fire,” “Water,” “Wind,” and “Emptiness.” That structure is retained here, with scripter Wilson and artist Kutsuwada finding terrific visual and dramatic hooks as background for Musashi’s alternately anecdotal and didactic text. Musashi takes a rational, pragmatic approach to his subject. In discussing his two-sword fighting style, he advocates practice, not mere reading. As a practical guide, the book has limited usefulness today, but Musashi’s lessons, in their focus on preparation and mindfulness, can easily be applied to most areas of life. The final chapter, “Emptiness,” is particularly intriguing, with its Zen-like call for awareness of what we do not know as a way to avoid detrimental confusion. Kutsuwada’s art is delicate and clean, balancing the physiological dynamics of swordplay with a clear-eyed appreciation of Musashi’s natural environment. An engaging, thoughtful update of what could be esoteric. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
“Truly a tribute to the original [classic]. There is a tremendous amount of depth and insight into this work, an exploration of the five elements of life (the ‘five rings’ of the title) that represent the cosmic Buddha. Readers get complex but eminently readable explorations of each ring and are led to see them all together as an overriding philosophy that enriches and broadens the life of any reader.”—Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin
 
“This graphic adaptation of Musashi’s seventeenth-century treatise on the martial arts makes careful, effective use of imagery to emphasize both the narrative and instructional aspects of the original text. . . . Musashi’s lessons, in their focus on preparation and mindfulness, can easily be applied to most areas of life. Kutsuwada’s art is delicate and clean, balancing the physiological dynamics of swordplay with a clear-eyed appreciation of Musashi’s natural environment. An engaging, thoughtful update of what could be esoteric.”—Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611800128
Publisher:
Shambhala Publications, Inc.
Publication date:
11/13/2012
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
321,526
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author

Sean Michael Wilson is a comic book writer who lives in Japan. He has had more than a dozen books published by a variety of US, UK, and Japanese publishers, and he often works with Japanese and Chinese artists on manga-style books, such as Hagakure and Yakuza Moon.

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The Book of Five Rings: A Graphic Novel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous 20 days ago
"Sean Michael Wilson is the writer responsible for adapting Musashi’s work into graphic novel form (based on William Scott Wilson’s translation). Displaying a great deal of respect for and knowledge of the original work, he has managed to boil it down to its essentials. Some concepts just don’t lend themselves to visual form, but here the text is greatly enriched by the illustrations. It would be interesting to find out how closely Wilson worked with the artist and how much of the symbolism and visualizations came from him. We’re guessing it was the majority. The finished work is multilayered and will yield greater insights with each reading. In fact, it DEMANDS to be reread. Make no mistake, this is no simple comic that can easily be blown through in a few minutes and then forgotten." - The Shoguns House "This graphic adaptation of Musashi’s 17th-centurytreatise on the martial arts makes careful, effective use of imagery to emphasize both the narrative and instructional aspects of the original text... scripter Wilson and artist Kutsuwada finding terrific visual and dramatic hooks as background for Musashi’s alternately anecdotal and didactic text...The final chapter, “Emptiness,” is particularly intriguing, with its Zen-like call for awareness of what we do not know as a way to avoid detrimental confusion. Kutsuwada’s art is delicate and clean, balancing the physiological dynamics of swordplay with a clear-eyed appreciation of Musashi’s natural environment. An engaging, thoughtful update of what could be esoteric." - Publishers Weekly "Writer Sean Michael Wilson and artist Chie Kitsuwada deliver a stately and respectful adaptation of this classic work that is a truly a tribute to the original... complex themes to be conveyed in fascinating ways...Kitsuwada's style is wonderfully resonant of Japanese art and design, and is often tremendously creative. That's particularly true in the end section that discusses the theme of nothingness in a cleverly symbolic and oblique way that made me smile hard at its matter-of-fact cleverness... Interesting, almost playful scenes like those show that this book isn't dry" - Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin.