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

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

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Newly translated by William Scott Wilson, The Living Sword is a captivating look into a master swordsman's thoughts on nonattachment and nonviolence. Munenori was a spiritual disciple to Zen priest Takuan Soho (author of The Unfettered Mind) and his spiritual foundation in Buddhism is clearly reflected in his central theory of the "life-giving sword"--the idea of controlling an opponent by spiritual readiness to fight, rather than actual fighting. Yagyu Munenori was widely renowned for his sword fighting, negotiation, political, and strategic skills. His mastery of restraint and diplomacy made him a trusted political and military advisor to the shoguns. He was appointed official sword instructor to the second shogun, Tokugawa Hidetada, and then to the third shogun, Tokugawa lemitsu. The sword style used by Munenori and his family, known as the Yagyu Shikage-ryu style, became for several centuries the official sword style of the shogun family for several centuries. He eventually became daimyo of his own domain--the only swordsman in Japanese history to do so. The Living Sword is a treasury of proven Zen wisdom that brings a whole new perspective to the writings of the samurai era. This timely new translation will not only be of interest to those studying the martial arts but will also make an important contribution to today's current military and political debates.

Synopsis:

This is a translation of an important classic on Zen swordfighting. Yagyu Munenori was so widely renowned that he was appointed official sword instructor to two Tokugawa shoguns. (The position was always coveted by Miyamoto Musashi, but he never succeeded in gaining the post). Yagyu's style is known as the Shinkage-ryu style, for centuries the official style of the Tokugawa dynasty. His spiritual mentor was Zen priest Takuan. Here, Yagyu's Buddhist spirituality is clearly reflected in his central idea of the "life-giving sword" - the notion of controlling an opponent by the spiritual readiness to fight, rather than during the fight. His mastery of restraint and diplomacy made him a trusted political and military advisor to the shoguns. This book is a look into a master swordsman's thoughts on nonattachment and even non-violence.

Synopsis:

This book is a treasury of proven Zen wisdom that takes a captivating look at a master swordsman's thoughts on nonattachment and nonviolence. The author was a spiritual disciple to Zen priest Takuan Soho (author of "The Unfettered Mind").

About the Author

YAGYU MUNENORI was so widely renowned that he was appointed official sword instructor to two Tokugawa shoguns. (The position was always coveted by Miyamoto Musashi, but he never succeeded in gaining the post). Yagyu's style is known as the Shinkage-ryu style, for centuries the official style of the Tokugawa dynasty. His spiritual mentor was Zen priest Takuan. Here, Yagyu's Buddhist spirituality is clearly reflected in his central idea of the "life-giving sword" - the notion of controlling an opponent by the spiritual readiness to fight, rather than during the fight. His mastery of restraint and diplomacy made him a trusted political and military advisor to the shoguns. This book is a look into a master swordsman's thoughts on nonattachment and even non-violence.

WILLIAM SCOTT WILSON, the translator, was born in 1944 and grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. As an undergraduate student at Dartmouth College in 1966, he was invited by a friend to join a three-month kayak trip up the coast of Japan from Shimonoseki to Tokyo. This eye-opening journey, beautifully documented in National Geographic, spurred Wilson's fascination with the culture and history of Japan.

After receiving a B.A. degree in political science from Dartmouth, Wilson earned a second B.A. in Japanese language and literature from the Monterey Institute of Foreign Studies in Monterey, California, then undertook extensive research on Edo-period (1603-1868) philosophy at the Aichi Prefectural University, in Nagoya, Japan.

Wilson completed his first translation, Hagakure, while living in an old farmhouse deep in the Japanese countryside. Hagakure saw publication in 1979, the same year Wilson completed an M.A. in Japanese language and literature at the University of Washington. Wilson's other translations include The Book of Five Rings, The Life-Giving Sword, The Unfettered Mind, the Eiji Yoshikawa novel Taiko, and Ideals of the Samurai, which has been used as a college textbook on Japanese history and thought. Two decades after its initial publication, Hagakure was prominently featured in the Jim Jarmusch film Ghost Dog.

Wilson currently lives in Miami, Florida.

Product Details

ISBN:
9784770029553
Subtitle:
The Secret Teachings From the House of the Shogun
Translator:
Wilson, William Scott
Translator:
Wilson, William Scott
Author:
Wilson, William Scott
Author:
null, William Scott
Author:
null, Yagyu
Author:
Munenori, Yagyu
Publisher:
Kodansha USA
Location:
London
Subject:
Philosophy
Subject:
Martial Arts & Self-Defense
Subject:
Eastern
Subject:
Martial arts
Subject:
Travel/Sports
Subject:
Recreation | Sports | Martial Arts
Subject:
Travel, Sports, and Recreation | Sports | Martial Arts
Subject:
Travel, Sports, & Recreation | Sports | Martial Arts
Subject:
Philosophy : General
Series Volume:
7
Publication Date:
20031218
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
3 bandw photos
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
7.60x5.50x.76 in. .76 lbs.

Related Subjects

Reference » Sale Books
Reference » Science Reference » General
Religion » Eastern Religions » Japanese Religion and Literature
Sports and Outdoors » Martial Arts » General
Sports and Outdoors » Martial Arts » Philosophy
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Martial Arts » General

The Life-Giving Sword: Secret Teachings from the House of the Shogun
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Product details 192 pages Kodansha International (JPN) - English 9784770029553 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , This is a translation of an important classic on Zen swordfighting. Yagyu Munenori was so widely renowned that he was appointed official sword instructor to two Tokugawa shoguns. (The position was always coveted by Miyamoto Musashi, but he never succeeded in gaining the post). Yagyu's style is known as the Shinkage-ryu style, for centuries the official style of the Tokugawa dynasty. His spiritual mentor was Zen priest Takuan. Here, Yagyu's Buddhist spirituality is clearly reflected in his central idea of the "life-giving sword" - the notion of controlling an opponent by the spiritual readiness to fight, rather than during the fight. His mastery of restraint and diplomacy made him a trusted political and military advisor to the shoguns. This book is a look into a master swordsman's thoughts on nonattachment and even non-violence.
"Synopsis" by , This book is a treasury of proven Zen wisdom that takes a captivating look at a master swordsman's thoughts on nonattachment and nonviolence. The author was a spiritual disciple to Zen priest Takuan Soho (author of "The Unfettered Mind").
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