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Posted October 30, 2012
It's great to see this work updated in 2011. I read an earlier version of this text in the late 90's. Both are equally powerful in that the one expands further on the backstory, but not in its message. The docu-fiction account of the writing of the scrolls by Hidetomo Nakadai takes the reader through 23 chapters of how to conquer, how to create, how to manage, and how to wield the power necessary to not only acquire an empire, but to control it. The point of the work is not to focus on individual historical events, but moreso on the motivations behind Japanese historical figures and the mentality that caused them to be feared in feudal Japan and remembered in the 21st Century.
Where we certainly aren't going to employ tactics such as raping, pillaging, and plundering today, understanding the distinctions made between evil and cruelty can yield the "emperor of his contemporary dynasty" a take-no-prisoners approach to goal setting and goal achieving.
Hanshi Kaufman's experience with interpreting Sun Tzu's Art of War and Miyamoto Musashi's Book of Five Rings combined with his over 50 years in the martial arts allows him to come at the material, and in turn at us, from a warrior's vantage point. It's this perspective that perhaps above all is the best source of inspiration for, and the main motivator for our appreciation of, this first rate piece of literature.
As such, this book is required reading for my martial arts students, as they quest toward their own personal dynasties.
Sifu Mark Liverio
Willow-Oak Martial Arts
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