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The Book of Five Rings: The Real Art of Japanese Management PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: The Book of Five Rings: The Real Art of Japanese Management
Author: Miyamoto Musashi
Publisher: Published April 1st 1982 by Bantam (first published May 12th 1645)
ISBN: 9780553270969
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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Translated by V. Harris. Japan's answer to the Harvard MBA...Written over three centuries ago by a Samurai warrior, the book has been hailed as a limitless source of psychological insight for businessmen-or anyone who relies on strategy and tactics for outwitting the competition.

30 review for The Book of Five Rings: The Real Art of Japanese Management

  1. 5 out of 5

    Adil

    I read a translation by Ashikaga Yoshiharu and Rosemary Brant. This book puzzled me in that at first glance I seem to have learned nothing else from it than how to hold a sword and attack and enemy, and obvious things like never let your enemy have a chance to recover. I'm definitely missing something, either due to the translation or my inability to read between the lines. I guess I'm supposed to reflect on it and come back to it until I "get it" if there's any wisdom in here. The book is full I read a translation by Ashikaga Yoshiharu and Rosemary Brant. This book puzzled me in that at first glance I seem to have learned nothing else from it than how to hold a sword and attack and enemy, and obvious things like never let your enemy have a chance to recover. I'm definitely missing something, either due to the translation or my inability to read between the lines. I guess I'm supposed to reflect on it and come back to it until I "get it" if there's any wisdom in here. The book is full of lines such as "research this well," "study this thoroughly," "I cannot elaborate on this in writing" and I'm not sure how these are supposed to evoke any insight in me into anything. Furthermore, the topics are elaborated on very little in this book. I have a suspicion that all those people who rated this book highly have filled in the gap with their imagination. The edition I read presents the book as "the cornerstone of Japanese Culture" and I have absolutely no idea how this book played any significant role in Japanese culture; it baffles me. But I guess, as the book says, "these things are not explainable in detail." I can say one positive thing about my experience reading the book: It left me using sword battle as an analogy for human relations and that might be useful somehow.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    This is one of those books I've been "meaning to read" for years. There's a lot that could be said here, more than can be included in a "review". How can one review a book that has stood the test of 5+ centuries? I think there is much of value here, I think there is much that can be learned and then misapplied by those not wise enough to understand application as well as process. The book assumes that the one reading will have already spent much time in learning and study and plans to move on wit This is one of those books I've been "meaning to read" for years. There's a lot that could be said here, more than can be included in a "review". How can one review a book that has stood the test of 5+ centuries? I think there is much of value here, I think there is much that can be learned and then misapplied by those not wise enough to understand application as well as process. The book assumes that the one reading will have already spent much time in learning and study and plans to move on with the learning. The book's 5 rings can in many ways be looked at as "headings" or "reminders". These are in many ways outlines of much larger subjects. (1000 days of practice equals 10,000 days or instruction.) There are subjects and views that on the surface seem to to be contradictory. Musashi speaks of "venerating" the gods and the Buddhas he then speaks of total self reliance especially not appealing to or depending on the "gods or Buddhas". The most commonly used phrase (in translation) is "this should be investigated thoroughly". An interesting book that does not claim to supply truth but to help in your finding what is the truth (Musashi would probably add) "for you". A book to think about and approach with consideration and hopefully wisdom.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Florencia

    I do not know how I got here. I did not even know I had this book. But I am glad I read it. This book was written by Miyamoto Musashi, a Japanese swordsman that had his first duel when he was 13 years old. It is divided into five “rings” (earth, water, fire, wind, void) that describe strategies and principles of martial arts, with a touch of philosophy that kept me interested. Among all the tactics that can be used, he shared his insightful thoughts on several matters. Martial arts are not just a I do not know how I got here. I did not even know I had this book. But I am glad I read it. This book was written by Miyamoto Musashi, a Japanese swordsman that had his first duel when he was 13 years old. It is divided into five “rings” (earth, water, fire, wind, void) that describe strategies and principles of martial arts, with a touch of philosophy that kept me interested. Among all the tactics that can be used, he shared his insightful thoughts on several matters. Martial arts are not just about technique. There are some principles to follow; there is a clarity of mind to be reached. You have to be able to find a balance between a world of war and a world of peace. The last "ring", the Book of Void... what a way to finish a book. Outstanding. Nov 17, 13 * Also on my blog.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Greg

    I first read Miyamoto Musashi's The Book of Five Rings many years ago, while I was a Ph.D. candidate in California. I was intrigued by how his nine principles seemd to apply to life in general and leaders in particular, in addition to his intended audience of swordsmen. While it is not as in depth as Sun Tzu's The Art of War, he certainly added to my understanding. His nine principles, from the translation I prefer, are as follows: 1. Do not think dishonestly 2. The Way is in training 3. Become acq I first read Miyamoto Musashi's The Book of Five Rings many years ago, while I was a Ph.D. candidate in California. I was intrigued by how his nine principles seemd to apply to life in general and leaders in particular, in addition to his intended audience of swordsmen. While it is not as in depth as Sun Tzu's The Art of War, he certainly added to my understanding. His nine principles, from the translation I prefer, are as follows: 1. Do not think dishonestly 2. The Way is in training 3. Become acquainted with every art 4. Know the Ways of all professions 5. Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters 6. Develop intuitive judgment and understanding of everything 7. Perceive those things which cannot be seen 8. Pay attention even to trifles 9. Do nothing which is of no use As a set of core principles, these are not a bad way to lead one's life.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jokoloyo

    I have different expectation when l looked at the cover book. There was a modern-day white collar person mimicking ancient Japanese samurai pose. So, I have expectation there was some modern interpretation in business management based on Miyamoto Musashi's teachings. Then I found the book's content was basically translations of ancient text, without much interpretations into modern management style. That's why I rated it only 3 star. The philosophy value itself beyond my own judgment.

  6. 5 out of 5

    John Scott

    The Original Bad Ass MoFo ... in a Zen kinda way. Strategy Tactics Bad Assedness Violence YES!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kristi

    Despite Musashi's many admonitions to "investigate this thoroughly," I fear that I have not done so enough to truly understand or appreciate the profundity of The Book of Five Rings; however, it was interesting to read this work about swordsmanship and strategy and to think about the ways that it has been applied to business and perhaps other aspects of Japanese life. I'm not going to deny the fact that it was hard to see beyond the direct references to sword fighting and martial arts at times-- Despite Musashi's many admonitions to "investigate this thoroughly," I fear that I have not done so enough to truly understand or appreciate the profundity of The Book of Five Rings; however, it was interesting to read this work about swordsmanship and strategy and to think about the ways that it has been applied to business and perhaps other aspects of Japanese life. I'm not going to deny the fact that it was hard to see beyond the direct references to sword fighting and martial arts at times--fundamentally, that's what this book is about, although defeating one's opponent is a profoundly psychological and spiritual task as well for Musashi. But particularly in The Fire Chapter where he begins to delve into the art of defeating many foes, the application to the market was much easier to divine. The emphasis on initiative and rhythm and true observation are all very pertinent to many aspects of competition and negotiation. Still, I have a feeling I would need to read this book carefully a few more times in order to really grasp it. In that sense, it's different from Bushido The Soul of Japan, which is much easier to see as a guide to one's way of life. (Bushido The Soul of Japan was also written in English, which may aid its portability.) It was harder for me to jump from the literal battle strategy elements of The Book of Five Rings to larger themes. I'd recommend this to people interested in martial arts, the Japanese "way," Japanese history, "traditional" ideas of Japanese culture, and maybe business strategy. But those interested in the latter are going to have to wade through a lot of tall about stances and swords before you get your kernels of wisdom. This book was read for a session of the Nitobe Kokusai Juku.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    This book, written by a famous Japanese duelist, tells one of his relatives how to win with the sword. It is divided into five "Rings" based on five "Elements". He concentrates on Strategy and does not talk about the best guard to take or other technicalities. Many people find this book to be immoral as it espouses winning at all costs in a deadly pursuit. I regard it more as a-moral. Musashi simply never considers the question. He is simply putting down his concept of Strategy. Perhaps the mora This book, written by a famous Japanese duelist, tells one of his relatives how to win with the sword. It is divided into five "Rings" based on five "Elements". He concentrates on Strategy and does not talk about the best guard to take or other technicalities. Many people find this book to be immoral as it espouses winning at all costs in a deadly pursuit. I regard it more as a-moral. Musashi simply never considers the question. He is simply putting down his concept of Strategy. Perhaps the moral onus is on the reader of the book? Students of Zen would do well to read the book, particularly the final Ring - entitled The Void. Afterward the perceptive student would take up an individual sport - not necessarily fencing, tennis would do just as well - and give up trying to solve koans. After all, even the Masters say that the more you study Zen the further from enlightenment you get and there can be little doubt that Musashi was a master. This translation from the original Japanese also contains an insightful introduction.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ali Reda

    Swordsman Miyamoto Mausashi had written The Book of the Five Rings with a practical approach to swordsmanship, on how to use the sword, where to stand and use the sun or shadows. For him, the point of battle was not showmanship it was winning, That's why he never lost a duel. THE GROUND BOOK It is said the warrior's is the twofold Way of the pen and sword, and he should have a taste for both Ways. The Way of the warrior is resolute acceptance of death. In short, the Way of my school is the spirit o Swordsman Miyamoto Mausashi had written The Book of the Five Rings with a practical approach to swordsmanship, on how to use the sword, where to stand and use the sun or shadows. For him, the point of battle was not showmanship it was winning, That's why he never lost a duel. THE GROUND BOOK It is said the warrior's is the twofold Way of the pen and sword, and he should have a taste for both Ways. The Way of the warrior is resolute acceptance of death. In short, the Way of my school is the spirit of winning, whatever the weapon and whatever its size. This is the practical result of strategy. This is the Way for men who want to learn my strategy: 1.Do not think dishonestly. 2.The Way is in training. 3.Become acquainted with every art. 4.Know the Ways of professions. 5.Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters. 6.Develop intuitive judgement and understanding for everything. 7.Perceive those things which cannot be seen. 8.Pay attention even to trifles. 9.Do nothing which is of no use. THE WATER BOOK With water as the basis, the spirit becomes like water. Water adopts the shape of its receptacle, it is sometimes a trickle and sometimes a wild sea. Water has a clear blue color. Be neither insufficiently spirited nor over spirited. An elevated spirit is weak and a low spirit is weak. Do not let the enemy see your spirit. You should not have a favorite weapon. To become over-familiar with one weapon is as much a fault as not knowing it sufficiently well. You should not copy others, but use weapons which you can handily properly. Look at things from a high point of view. The commander must know natural rules, and the rules of the country, and the rules of houses. He should take into account the abilities and limitations of his men, circulating among them and asking nothing unreasonable. He should know their morale and spirit, and encourage them when necessary. You must cultivate your wisdom and spirit. Polish your wisdom: learn public justice, distinguish between good and evil, study the Ways of different arts one by one, so that you can understand the enemy's stratagems, his strength and resources, and come to appreciate how to apply strategy to beat ten thousand enemies. When you cannot be deceived by men you will have realized the wisdom of strategy. It is difficult to know yourself if you do not know others. THE FIRE BOOK If you are thoroughly conversant with strategy, you will recognize the enemy's intentions and thus have many opportunities to win. See through the enemy's spirit so that you grasp his strategy and perceive his quality and his strong and weak points to defeat him. This is because, if you attack quickly and thoughtlessly without knowing the enemy's spirit, your rhythm will become deranged and you will not be able to win. If you advance too slowly, you will not be able to take advantage of the enemy's disorder, the opportunity to win will escape, and you will not be able to finish the fight quickly. The important thing in strategy is to suppress the enemy's useful actions but allow his useless actions. It is bad to be led about by the enemy. You must always be able to lead the enemy about and make him obey your spirit. Attack in an unsuspecting manner, knowing his meter and modulation and the appropriate timing. Knowing the times means seeing right into things. You must force the enemy into inconvenient situations. Attack where his spirit is lax, throw him into confusion, irritate and terrify him. THE WIND BOOK Perception and sight are the two methods of seeing. Perception consists of concentrating strongly on the enemy's spirit, observing the condition of the battlefield, fixing the gaze strongly, seeing the progress of the fight and the changes of advantages. This is the sure way to win. THE EMPTINESS BOOK By Emptiness I mean that which has no beginning and no end. Attaining this principle means not attaining the principle. The Way of strategy is the Way of nature. When you appreciate the power of nature, knowing the rhythm of any situation, you will be able to hit the enemy naturally and strike naturally. All this is the Way of the Emptiness. There is no timing in the Emptiness. There is timing in the whole life of the warrior, in his thriving and declining, in his harmony and discord. You win battles with the timing in the Emptiness born of the timing of cunning by knowing the enemies' timing, and thus using a timing which the enemy does not expect. We shout during the fight to get into rhythm. When the enemy attacks and you also decide to attack, hit with your body, and hit with your spirit, and hit from the Emptiness with your hands, accelerating strongly. This is the No Design, No Conception cut. This is the most important method of hitting. In the Way of strategy as a warrior you must study fully other martial arts and not deviate even a little from the Way of the warrior. With your spirit settled, accumulate practice day by day, hour by hour. Polish the twofold spirit heart and mind, and sharpen the twofold gaze perception and sight. When your spirit is not in the least clouded and your self is free, when the clouds of bewilderment clear away, there is the true Emptiness.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Vik

    This book actually has two translations by Thomas Cleary of two books from Japanese martial artists. My thoughts on both and a short comparison are below. The Book of Five Rings is a pretty good insight into a disciplined mind and professional samurai from 17th century Japan. A lot of it is practical advice and there is some spiritual Zen leaning in there too but I would not go as far to say it is required leadership reading material in the same way as The Art of War by Sun Tzu but no martial art This book actually has two translations by Thomas Cleary of two books from Japanese martial artists. My thoughts on both and a short comparison are below. The Book of Five Rings is a pretty good insight into a disciplined mind and professional samurai from 17th century Japan. A lot of it is practical advice and there is some spiritual Zen leaning in there too but I would not go as far to say it is required leadership reading material in the same way as The Art of War by Sun Tzu but no martial artist should be without this book. The second translation in the book is The Book of Family Traditions on the Art of War by Yahyu Munenori is far more flowery and makes more sense if you have an understanding of buddhism otherwise the section on existance and non-existance may (or may not be ;-)) be tricky to grasp. In comparision the first book is plainly superior to the second in the manner in which it is written and executed. It's plain talkng and easy to grasp with none of the flowery language prevalent in the second.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Vaishali

    Called the Go Rin No Sho, this treatise is eye-opening, though at times gruesome. One of the great joys of experiencing older texts is the sheer regality of the narration, so it's overall enjoyable. There are sections which are decidedly male and archaic ... like Musashi's insistence on overwhelming an enemy rather than befriending him. (Quite different from Funakoshi's precept of nonviolence in shotokan karate.) I've included here some striking quotes, and some lists of Musashi's principles. Quot Called the Go Rin No Sho, this treatise is eye-opening, though at times gruesome. One of the great joys of experiencing older texts is the sheer regality of the narration, so it's overall enjoyable. There are sections which are decidedly male and archaic ... like Musashi's insistence on overwhelming an enemy rather than befriending him. (Quite different from Funakoshi's precept of nonviolence in shotokan karate.) I've included here some striking quotes, and some lists of Musashi's principles. Quotes: -------------------------------------- “The way of the warrior is resolute acceptance of death.” “Studying the way of strategy is based on overcoming men.” “Immature strategy is the cause of grief.” “The teacher is as needle, the disciple is as thread.” “It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first.” “You must study hard.” “You should not have a favorite weapon. To be overfamiliar with one weapon is as much a fault as not knowing it sufficiently well.” “You should not copy others, but use weapons which you can handle properly. It is bad for commanders and troopers to have likes and dislikes. These are things you must learn thoroughly.” "There is timing in everything. All things entail rising and falling timing. You must be able to discern this." "Develop a steady spirit." "The gaze should be large and broad. This is the two-fold gaze, perception and sight. Perception is strong and sight weak. In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things." "Generally, I dislike fixedness in both long swords and hands. Fixedness means a dead hand. Pliability is a living hand. You must bear this in mind." "Alternatively, advance with as strong a spirit as possible, and when you reach the enemy move with your feet a little quicker than normal, unsettling him and overwhelming him sharply." “Before you embark upon something - before you start - fix your intention on the 4 Oaths, and put selfishness behind you, and you cannot fail.” The 4 Oaths: 1. Never be late with respect to the way of the warrior. 2. Be useful to the lord. 3. Be respectful to your parents. 4. Get beyond love and grief; exist for the good of man. There are 4 ways in which men pass through life: 1. Gentlemen, who master various strategies 2. Farmers, who produce items from the change of the seasons 3. Artisans, who become proficient in tool use 4. Merchants, who live by taking profit Godai - 5 elements of universe 1. water 2. fire 3. wind 4. ground 5. void Godin - 5 wings of human body 1. head 2. left elbow 3. right elbow 4. left knee 5. right knee “The 9 Principles of The Way” ("It is important to start by setting these broad principles in your heart, and train in the Way of Strategy. If you do not look at things on a large scale it will be difficult for you to master strategy.") 1. Do not think dishonestly. 2. The Way is in training. 3. Become acquainted with every art. 4. Know the Ways of professions. 5. Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters. 6. Develop intuitive judgement and understanding for everything. 7. Perceive those things which cannot be seen. 8. Pay attention even to trifles. 9. Do nothing which is of no use. "In strategy your spiritual bearing must not be any different from normal. Both in fighting and in everyday life you should be determined though calm. Meet the situation without tenseness yet not recklessly, your spirit settled yet unbiased. Even when your spirit is calm do not let your body relax, and when your body is relaxed do not let your spirit slacken. Do not let your spirit be influenced by your body, or your body be influenced by your spirit. Be neither insufficiently spirited nor over spirited. An elevated spirit is weak and a low spirit is weak. Do not let the enemy see your spirit." "Small people must be completely familiar with the spirit of large people, and large people must be familiar with the spirit of small people. Whatever your size, do not be misled by the reactions of your own body. With your spirit open and unconstricted, look at things from a high point of view. You must cultivate your wisdom and spirit. Polish your wisdom: learn public justice, distinguish between good and evil, study the Ways of different arts one by one. When you cannot be deceived by men you will have realized the wisdom of strategy."

  12. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    I take online instructions in Wing Chun Kung Fu (https://wingchun.online) and participate in a group on Facebook. I had posted a quote I found from Miyamoto Musashi from a different Wing Chun site. Someone recommended this, The Book of Five Rings, by the author. I responded, “I’ve read The LORD of the Rings; does that count,” to which I found no response, most likely because a humorous response contrasts with the spirit of the work (I guess). The book, written in 1643, by the undefeated samurai, I take online instructions in Wing Chun Kung Fu (https://wingchun.online) and participate in a group on Facebook. I had posted a quote I found from Miyamoto Musashi from a different Wing Chun site. Someone recommended this, The Book of Five Rings, by the author. I responded, “I’ve read The LORD of the Rings; does that count,” to which I found no response, most likely because a humorous response contrasts with the spirit of the work (I guess). The book, written in 1643, by the undefeated samurai, divides into five scrolls: Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, and Emptiness. He goes into details about sword fighting, which I don’t study yet, but found his teachings inspirational in my studies, with practical advice and wisdom. I took away a few things from the reading. When you study a martial art, or anything for that matter (like writing), you should focus your mind into it so much that your mind in daily life becomes the way you do martial arts, and martial arts the way you go about daily life. I became more serious in my daily practice after this. I realized that the purpose could save my life, that the art becomes a mode of self-defense, for harming someone who intends to harm you, perhaps even to death. I now practice my “moves” and techniques imagining real people there. That’s not as good as being with a real person or a Wing Chun Dummy (Mook Jong, an advanced practice, with a form), but better than “playing” while watching the Matrix Trilogy again and again, and not getting my mind into the flow of the art. The author advises to focus on the peripheral, to see everything, and not to be distracted by one focus-point. When I’ve been out in questionable areas, I’ve remembered this, and have kept the panorama of my vision before me, to watch and be mindful of potential threats. He writes that when an enemy has a moment of shock or weakness, or stumbling, take them down, wail on them, don’t let up. This challenged me, provoking mercy in me, and helping me prepare in my heart for the real thing. If you fight, fight- finish it. Don’t hesitate because you may have a break of compassion in the heart. The feeling could cost your life. I learned that martial arts schools will add fancy spins and things that look great, but they do this to make the art marketable, and it has no practical use for the real thing. The “real thing” should be the aim. I’ve thought of that in my practice. When I “freestyle,” a form of “shadowboxing” but with kicks and random attacks against imagined enemy scenarios, I have a habit of dancing, and doing random fancy stuff that makes me feel inflated, like I know something “special.” I’m not blaming my Tae Kwon Do training by any means. I took that art in high school and didn’t take it seriously as I should have. To us (took it with my best friend), we wanted to look like the guys on the movies, even mimicking them, pulling our pants up like them, making our faces like they do at certain times, hopping like they did. The “real thing” narrows down to simplicity. Get the job done quickly. Survive. Be practical. Resist the urge to feel fancy or to inflate the ego. Get real. Musashi would say the martial arts come down to killing. That must be the focus – a serious matter.

  13. 5 out of 5

    George K.

    Ο Μιγιαμότο Μουσάσι ήταν ένας από τους καλύτερους Ιάπωνες ξιφομάχους της γενιάς του και ίσως ο θρυλικότερος σαμουράι στην ιστορία, πάντα νικητής στις τουλάχιστον εξήντα μονομαχίες που συμμετείχε, και δημιουργός μιας ιδιαίτερης σχολής ξιφομαχίας και πολεμικών τεχνών. Στο τέλος της ζωής του έκατσε και έγραψε το παρόν βιβλίο, έναν οδηγό για τις ξιφομαχίες και την τέχνη του σαμουράι, στο οποίο μπορεί να διαβάσει κανείς την στρατηγική σκέψη που πρέπει να έχει ένας ξιφομάχος ή σαμουράι ώστε να βγαίνει Ο Μιγιαμότο Μουσάσι ήταν ένας από τους καλύτερους Ιάπωνες ξιφομάχους της γενιάς του και ίσως ο θρυλικότερος σαμουράι στην ιστορία, πάντα νικητής στις τουλάχιστον εξήντα μονομαχίες που συμμετείχε, και δημιουργός μιας ιδιαίτερης σχολής ξιφομαχίας και πολεμικών τεχνών. Στο τέλος της ζωής του έκατσε και έγραψε το παρόν βιβλίο, έναν οδηγό για τις ξιφομαχίες και την τέχνη του σαμουράι, στο οποίο μπορεί να διαβάσει κανείς την στρατηγική σκέψη που πρέπει να έχει ένας ξιφομάχος ή σαμουράι ώστε να βγαίνει πάντα νικητής στις διάφορες μονομαχίες ή μάχες. Υπάρχουν διαφόρων ειδών συμβουλές, που έχουν να κάνουν τόσο με το τεχνικό κομμάτι της υπόθεσης, όσο φυσικά και με το πνευματικό. Η τέχνη του σαμουράι απαιτεί μυαλό, οξυδέρκεια, υπομονή, επιμονή, προσήλωση, αυτοσυγκέντρωση, κουράγιο και καθημερινή άσκηση. Δεν είναι για όλους. Θα μου πείτε, τώρα, τι νόημα έχει ένα τέτοιο βιβλίο στην εποχή μας. Πρώτα-πρώτα, τα κομμάτια που έχουν να κάνουν με το πνεύμα και το μυαλό, ταιριάζουν με όλων των ειδών τις πολεμικές τέχνες. Δεύτερον, κάποιες στρατηγικές και συμβουλές, με τις απαραίτητες αλλαγές, μπορούν να χρησιμεύσουν και σε άλλα πεδία. Επίσης, με αυτό το βιβλίο παίρνει κάποιος μια ιδέα για τον τρόπο ζωής και σκέψης ενός σαμουράι. Πάντως δεν μπορώ να πω ότι πρόκειται για φιλοσοφικό κείμενο ή ότι διαβάζοντάς το θα κατανοήσει κανείς τους λόγους για τους οποίους πολλοί Ιάπωνες έγιναν σαμουράι. Σίγουρα είναι ένα σημαντικό βιβλίο γι'αυτούς που γουστάρουν τους σαμουράι και την Ιαπωνική κουλτούρα. Κάποιες από τις συμβουλές/διδαχές θα τις ξαναδιαβάσω. Υ.Γ. Όσον αφορά τον Μιγιαμότο Μουσάσι, υπάρχει ταινία για την ζωή και το έργο του, σε σκηνοθεσία Hiroshi Inagaki και με πρωταγωνιστή τον αξεπέραστο Toshirô Mifune, ενώ έχει γραφτεί και ένα ολόκληρο μυθιστόρημα 900+ σελίδων για πάρτη του, από τον Eiji Yoshikawa (δυστυχώς δεν υπάρχει στα ελληνικά)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Helena Hubert

    Ok so "It was amazing" is not exactly the correct reaction but it was entrancing. I read this because I was told Sister Sable is either based or borrows heavily from it. It is clear after reading that the author of Sister Sable has read A Book of Five Rings more than once and probably five stars thinks it's a-amen-mazing. But a lot of this you have to intuit because Miyamooto Mushashi was no poet and seemed to have more intuition for the sword than lucid understanding of it. But well worth readi Ok so "It was amazing" is not exactly the correct reaction but it was entrancing. I read this because I was told Sister Sable is either based or borrows heavily from it. It is clear after reading that the author of Sister Sable has read A Book of Five Rings more than once and probably five stars thinks it's a-amen-mazing. But a lot of this you have to intuit because Miyamooto Mushashi was no poet and seemed to have more intuition for the sword than lucid understanding of it. But well worth reading. A life lesson from Musashi: "The purpose of picking up a blade is to cut the enemy." And as Sister Sable adds, "Scaring them is discretionary."

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    I've always meant to go back and read another translation of Musashi's book. This one is, as you can tell by the title, geared towards martial artists, and this ties into the whole presentation. Perhaps I should give a little background: Musashi was a Japanese swordsman in the seventeenth century who fought in some ridiculous number of duels and won them all. He wrote a book of strategy called "The Book of the Five Rings" that is considered by many martial artists to be of a comparable worth wit I've always meant to go back and read another translation of Musashi's book. This one is, as you can tell by the title, geared towards martial artists, and this ties into the whole presentation. Perhaps I should give a little background: Musashi was a Japanese swordsman in the seventeenth century who fought in some ridiculous number of duels and won them all. He wrote a book of strategy called "The Book of the Five Rings" that is considered by many martial artists to be of a comparable worth with "The Art of War." So, Musashi was a martial fighter, but fought in a very different context than the modern martial arts: he fought in duels to the death, and fought with a sword. I've heard from multiple sources that the chance of surviving a single samurai duel was roughly 1 out of three. This is because a high number of duels resulted in both samurai killing each other. So, surviving a bunjillion duels and then dying from a disease in his 60's is quite a feat. What I liked about this was the practicality of the fighting philosophy. However, much of this knowledge is now intuitive to those who know anything about military tactics or martial arts: find high ground, be prepared for different types of terrains, etc. But, it gives one piece of advice that has helped me win (or sometimes just survive) in lots of sparring matches: always be on the offensive. It might sound counter-intuitive to someone who hasn't tried applying the philosophy; what if someone with a greater level of expertise is coming at you fast? But, this is actually the situation where this technique has served me the best. For a while, we sparred every friday night at a youth center in a little dojo ran by a second degree blackbelt, and most of the time he would join in the sparring rotation. He was a battering ram. He didn't know how to NOT move forward while fighting. I could never beat him, but I was the only person who could score points on him because he wasn't used to people moving forward to meet him. But, in martial arts philosophies like Aikido, the idea is to use your opponent's energy against them: redirect their force and use it to toss them away, or slam them down on the ground. Actual attacks are usually part of this kind of redirection. I think that the idea of being on the offense has more to do with space though, and doesn't necessarily mean you aren't parrying attacks. Even Aikido fighters can catch opponents by surprise more effectively when quickly moving toward them. And, in a case like my example above (where you really aren't as good as your opponent), surprising your opponent might be your only chance to win. Could also get you killed, though. But this advice has served me well. Most of the other strategies are good, but few are surprising. And, because it is modified to apply specifically to the martial arts, it can't be adapted all that well into non-combat aspects of life. For those interested in the martial arts, it is a very good read. For the rest of you, I'd give it a pass.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Patrick McCoy

    I have been won over by the convenience of ebooks, however, I expect that there will always be reasons to buy a book as an artifact. Case in point, is the beautiful Watkins Publishing version of Miyamoto Musashi's The Five Rings (2012) translated by David K. Groff. This wonderfully designed book is made from high quality materials and is adorned throughout by paintings, photographs, maps, scrolls, elaborate print designs including kanji, and includes intricate border designs on the pages through I have been won over by the convenience of ebooks, however, I expect that there will always be reasons to buy a book as an artifact. Case in point, is the beautiful Watkins Publishing version of Miyamoto Musashi's The Five Rings (2012) translated by David K. Groff. This wonderfully designed book is made from high quality materials and is adorned throughout by paintings, photographs, maps, scrolls, elaborate print designs including kanji, and includes intricate border designs on the pages throughout. Groff's informative introduction give important background knowledge in which to consider Musashi's philosophical task at hand and understand it in context of the times he lived through. I have not had a particular interest in martial arts or ancient Japanese history before. However, I must admit that I come to find interest in it through viewings of samurai films from the likes of Kurosawa, Kobayashi, Shinoda, and others. This volume will serve as a gateway into further study of samurai and Japanese history.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    A classic, which is about individual and tactical combat as well as spirit. It should be read in conjunction with The Art Of War. This book describes bushido, which is reflected in much manga/anime.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ken Moten

    "In Emptiness exists Good but no Evil. Wisdom is Existence. Principle is Existence. The Way is Existence. The Mind is Emptiness." If Sun Tzu's The Art of War is the "what," The Book of Five Rings is the "how." Miyamoto was possibly Japan's greatest swordsman, in one of its most turbulent eras. He finished this book in the last year of his life when Peace and reunification had been achieved, but despite his credentials as one of the great teachers of the sword, he was never a retainer. By the time he "In Emptiness exists Good but no Evil. Wisdom is Existence. Principle is Existence. The Way is Existence. The Mind is Emptiness." If Sun Tzu's The Art of War is the "what," The Book of Five Rings is the "how." Miyamoto was possibly Japan's greatest swordsman, in one of its most turbulent eras. He finished this book in the last year of his life when Peace and reunification had been achieved, but despite his credentials as one of the great teachers of the sword, he was never a retainer. By the time he had become renown, Japan's feudal Caste system had been restored and he would stay a ronin for much of his life, even with his kids becoming retainers and vassals. He was a very religious man, pious in the Way of the Buddha & the Way of the sword. This book is concerned primarily with Miyamoto's martial art, but he says it can be applied to any discipline. I was surprised how much detail he went into to explain his methods on his technique. The book is very plain and precise in what it is explaining and I'm pretty sure if I owned a pair of swords, I'd be an expert fighter in weeks.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Emelia

    Written by the legendary swordsman Musashi Miyamoto, The Five Rings (c.1645) is more than just a manual on sword-fighting techniques: its Zen philosophy offers tactics and strategies as relevant to personal success today as they were to 17th-century samurai. The Five Rings speaks to every age about the essential roles of harmony and self-mastery in our lives. Miyamoto Musashi is known in Japan as a kensi, or a "sword saint". One who has perfected the art of the sword so completely that they also Written by the legendary swordsman Musashi Miyamoto, The Five Rings (c.1645) is more than just a manual on sword-fighting techniques: its Zen philosophy offers tactics and strategies as relevant to personal success today as they were to 17th-century samurai. The Five Rings speaks to every age about the essential roles of harmony and self-mastery in our lives. Miyamoto Musashi is known in Japan as a kensi, or a "sword saint". One who has perfected the art of the sword so completely that they also achieve spiritual enlightenment through it. Spiritual peace. A peace that comes with the way of Samurai - "one who serves". Miyamoto's teachings tell us of how we must not only serve the sword, but others, as well as the world around us. How we must serve Nature and become at peace with it, how we must fight for the preservation of Nature and not against it. The Five Rings is also filled with breathtaking illustrations which, by themselves, offer the reader not only a spiritual peace but a visual one as well. A visual journey that I found extraordinary. In addition to The Five Rings, this beautiful volume includes two additional short texts by Miyamoto: Thirty-Five Articles on Strategy and The Path Walked Alone and is a must read for anyone who is not only interested in martial arts, strategy, and swordsmanship, but those who seek inner peace and enlightenment.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Gordan Karlić

    Amazing book - if you are 16 the century samurai, otherwise limited use for its applications into a modern world. Thought this was japanese The Art of war, kinda it is but not as good.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cristian Morales

    El libro en sí es puro taoísmo, pero estas nociones fueron las que me gustaron un montón! "By Void I mean that which has no beginning and no end. Attaining this principle means not attaining the principle. The Way of strategy is the Way of nature. When you appreciate the power of nature, knowing the rhythm of any situation, you will be able to hit the enemy naturally and strike naturally. All this is the Way of the Void. " It will seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first. Bows El libro en sí es puro taoísmo, pero estas nociones fueron las que me gustaron un montón! "By Void I mean that which has no beginning and no end. Attaining this principle means not attaining the principle. The Way of strategy is the Way of nature. When you appreciate the power of nature, knowing the rhythm of any situation, you will be able to hit the enemy naturally and strike naturally. All this is the Way of the Void. " It will seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first. Bows are difficult to draw, halberds are difficult to wield; as you become accustomed to the bow so your pull will become stronger. When you become used to wielding the long sword, you will gain the power of the Way and wield the sword well. Y esta es mi favorita, o sea, es un libro de filosofía para el arte marcial, pero son conceptos super aplicables a la vida de cualquiera: 1. Do not think dishonestly. 2. The Way is in training. 3. Become acquainted with every art. 4. Know the Ways of all professions. 5. Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters. 6. Develop intuitive judgement and understanding for everything. 7. Perceive those things which cannot be seen. 8. Pay attention even to trifles. 9. Do nothing which is of no use.

  22. 5 out of 5

    S.N. Arly

    This is a work in translation. The original was written sometime in the 1600's, yet it could have easily been written this year. There are many translations of Musashi's work, some reinterpreted for other arenas such as business. This version keeps the focus on strategy for the student of the Way of the warrior. It is applicable to martial artists who utilize weapons as well as those who do not. I will recommend it to advanced students, because on the whole it is a bit much for beginners. As a f This is a work in translation. The original was written sometime in the 1600's, yet it could have easily been written this year. There are many translations of Musashi's work, some reinterpreted for other arenas such as business. This version keeps the focus on strategy for the student of the Way of the warrior. It is applicable to martial artists who utilize weapons as well as those who do not. I will recommend it to advanced students, because on the whole it is a bit much for beginners. As a fifth degree black belt in Shorin-Ryu Karate, I found the Book of Water and the Book of Fire most useful. One should note that Musashi lived in a era and culture in which it was acceptable for him to kill his enemies, and thus the book focuses on embracing the mentality and willingness to kill your opponent. In our modern world, we do have to keep in mind that there are times and places where deadly force is acceptable and times when it will get you locked up. It may be useful to substitute "defeat" for "kill," in many instances because one can defeat others in a fight as surely as killing them, and the essential strategy is the same.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Donovan

    OK, this is not a novel. It is a training manual for the budding swordsman written my the greatest Japanese swordsman in their history - Miyamoto Musashi. There are so many levels to this man's teachings that it is difficult to summarise. His life in itself is amazing and the subject of many written works. For me, there are two key elements to this work: 1. How to be a swords man. The practical aspects required for you to be able to handle a sword and to attain a level where you can spar with som OK, this is not a novel. It is a training manual for the budding swordsman written my the greatest Japanese swordsman in their history - Miyamoto Musashi. There are so many levels to this man's teachings that it is difficult to summarise. His life in itself is amazing and the subject of many written works. For me, there are two key elements to this work: 1. How to be a swords man. The practical aspects required for you to be able to handle a sword and to attain a level where you can spar with someone with a bokken (wooden sword) or a steel sword such as a katana. 2. Philosophy and psychology. There is a very pragmatic approach to life that is as valid today as it was in the era in which the book was written. As a manager working in the Government, I found many of the lessons in the 5 rings to hold true - even down to facial expressions when having to face an aggressive client. *All my sword skills I have learnt has come from this book* For a summary, check the wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Book...

  24. 5 out of 5

    P.E.

    Here is an edition littered with relevant subtext on the times Miyamoto Musashi has been living, and on his legacy. This makes for a highly entertaining and rewarding read! This is leisure at its best. Complementary reading : 36 Stratagems: Secret Art of War Matching Soundtrack : Water Buddha - Zen Bamboo Relaxation Music ------------------ Une édition truffée de commentaires précieux sur le contexte du contemporain de Miyamoto Musashi et sur sa postérité. Une lecture tout à la fois renseignée et extr Here is an edition littered with relevant subtext on the times Miyamoto Musashi has been living, and on his legacy. This makes for a highly entertaining and rewarding read! This is leisure at its best. Complementary reading : 36 Stratagems: Secret Art of War Matching Soundtrack : Water Buddha - Zen Bamboo Relaxation Music ------------------ Une édition truffée de commentaires précieux sur le contexte du contemporain de Miyamoto Musashi et sur sa postérité. Une lecture tout à la fois renseignée et extrêmement divertissante. Le loisir dans ce qu'il offre de mieux ! Lecture complémentaire : Les 36 Stratagèmes : Manuel secret de l'art de la guerre Musique dans le ton : Water Buddha - Zen Bamboo Relaxation Music

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jeph

    Pay no attention to my rating, as this is not a judgement on Musashi's book, but rather the audio version of the book. For me, Musashi's Book of Five Rings is a book that, after listening to it, I learned that I could only truly understand his writings by reading it and then, rereading it. The Book of Five Rings is similar to Sun Tsu's Art of War, in that it was a book written in a different time for a different situation, but even so, it is timeless in it's applications to life, business, martia Pay no attention to my rating, as this is not a judgement on Musashi's book, but rather the audio version of the book. For me, Musashi's Book of Five Rings is a book that, after listening to it, I learned that I could only truly understand his writings by reading it and then, rereading it. The Book of Five Rings is similar to Sun Tsu's Art of War, in that it was a book written in a different time for a different situation, but even so, it is timeless in it's applications to life, business, martial arts and other areas. Five Rings seperates itself into Five Books : Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Void. Each of these books deals with a seperate aspect of the whole Way that Musashi teaches. This book, especially the audio version, is not meant to be understood, let alone applied or mastered upon first venture. This is a study material to return to and reflect upon time and time again. Because of this, for Miyamoto Musashi's Book of Five Rings I cannot truly give a rating.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mikekite

    If you don't know how to use a sword, don't bother. This book is often tauted by business leaders as a strategy book, in much the same way that Sun Tzu's book 'The Art of War' is tauted. The comparison is impractical. Sun-Tzu was far more a philosopher than Musashi. I took Iaido for 3 years before I could read this book. It IS good for strategy, but you don't get the metaphors without learning the sword first.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Edward Rathke

    Not as interesting as I hoped, which maybe isn't surprising since violence and combat don't interest me a lot. So it goes. I suppose I was looking for something with a deeper worldview.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    Creo que es el libro más explícito de técnicas de pelea para vencer al enemigo que he leído. Por supuesto, muchas de ellas suenan completamente extrañas dado que no puedo imaginarlas, y él mismo menciona que leer las técnicas nunca será lo mismo a ponerlas en practica hasta dominarlas. Pero después de ver algunos dramas de samurais, y con un poco de conocimiento de artes marciales, algunas si tienen mucho sentido. Definitivamente es un manual para el guerrero, pero sirve mucho para saber cómo er Creo que es el libro más explícito de técnicas de pelea para vencer al enemigo que he leído. Por supuesto, muchas de ellas suenan completamente extrañas dado que no puedo imaginarlas, y él mismo menciona que leer las técnicas nunca será lo mismo a ponerlas en practica hasta dominarlas. Pero después de ver algunos dramas de samurais, y con un poco de conocimiento de artes marciales, algunas si tienen mucho sentido. Definitivamente es un manual para el guerrero, pero sirve mucho para saber cómo eran los samurais y cuál era su manera de pelear. Me gustó mucho, me dan ganas de leer un poco más sobre el tema.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tam G

    My rating does not reflect the quality of this book. It reflects my enjoyment and understanding. This book speaks more to martial arts (including weapons use) than anything I'm into. It was interesting to port some of the advice over to chess play or other competitions. It was also interesting to think about how people break down specified physical knowledge into general theory. "You should investigate this thoroughly."

  30. 5 out of 5

    Joselyn Moreno Burke

    I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Well I can say I did understood some concepts and all, however not all of them, if I have to be truly honest with myself it was a little hard for me to try and make sense of this book it was very cryptic. Now I don't think it is a bad book, just that you need to have some good understanding of metaphors to really understand some things or that was my point of view. I would recommend it for truly scholars.

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