The Life-Giving Sword: Secret Teachings from the House of the Shogun

Overview

The legendary seventeenth-century swordsman Yagyu Munenori was the sword instructor and military and political adviser to two shoguns—and was a rival to the great Miyamoto Musashi. Despite his martial ability and his political power, Munenori spent his life immersed in Zen teachings and practice. These teachings formed the framework for his deeply spiritual approach to sword fighting; Munenori saw in the practice of the sword a way to transform the student into a total human being. The Life-Giving Sword is ...
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The Life-Giving Sword: Secret Teachings from the House of the Shogun

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Overview

The legendary seventeenth-century swordsman Yagyu Munenori was the sword instructor and military and political adviser to two shoguns—and was a rival to the great Miyamoto Musashi. Despite his martial ability and his political power, Munenori spent his life immersed in Zen teachings and practice. These teachings formed the framework for his deeply spiritual approach to sword fighting; Munenori saw in the practice of the sword a way to transform the student into a total human being. The Life-Giving Sword is Munenori’s manifesto on his approach. His central themes are the “Life-Giving Sword”—the idea of controlling one’s opponent by spiritual readiness to fight rather than by actual fighting—and “No Sword,” which is the idea that the mind must be free of everything, even the sword itself, in order to get to the place of complete mastery. Munenori’s ideas are essential reading for martial artists of all kinds and can be applied to business and human relations as well.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590309902
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/11/2012
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 530,262
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

William Scott Wilson is the foremost translator into English of traditional Japanese texts on samurai culture. His best-selling translations include Hagakure and The Book of Five Rings
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Table of Contents

Preface vii

Introduction xv

The Life-Giving Sword 1

The Shoe-Presenting Bridge 2

The Death-Dealing Sword 8

The Life-Giving Sword 37

Afterword 73

Illustrated Catalog of the Shinkage-Ryu Martial Arts 77

Sources Quoted in Text 103

Bibliography 104

Notes 106

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