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The Book of Five Ringsby Miyamoto Musashi
Synopses & Reviews
Setting down his thoughts on swordplay, on winning, and on spirituality, legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi intended this modest work as a guide for his immediate disciples and future generations of samurai. He had little idea he was penning a masterpiece that would be eagerly devoured by people in all walks of life centuries after his death.
Along with The Art of War by Sun Tzu, The Book of Five Rings has long been regarded as an invaluable treatise on the strategy of winning. Musashi's timeless advice on defeating an adversary, throwing an opponent off-guard, creating confusion, and other techniques for overpowering an assailant was addressed to the readers of earlier times on the battlefield, and now serves the modern reader in the battle of life.
In this new rendering by the translator of Hagakure and The Unfettered Mind, William Scott Wilson adheres rigorously to the seventeenth-century Japanese text and clarifies points of ambiguity in earlier translations. In addition, he offers an extensive introduction and a translation of Musashi's rarely published The Way of Walking Alone. This gift-book edition also features original art by Musashi himself as well as new calligraphy by Japanese artist Shiro Tsujimura.
Written by one of Japan's greatest Samurai swordsmen, this classic 17th-century text explains fighting strategies and tactics. It also contains a biographical and critical introduction by the translator.
In 1807, an Irish ship's surgeon recognized a slave at a Mississippi produce market as the son of an African king who had saved his life many years earlier. "The Prince," as he had become known to local Natchez, Mississippi, residents, had been captured by warring tribesmen when he was 26
years old, sold to slavetraders, and shipped to America. An educated, aristocratic slave, Abd Rahman Ibrahima was made overseer of the large cotton and tobacco plantation of his master, who refused to sell him to the doctor for any price. After 25 years of petitioning, Dr. Cox finally gained
Ibrahima his freedom, through the intercession of U.S. Secretary of State Henry Clay. Sixty-six-year-old Ibrahima sailed for Africa the following year, with his wife, two sons, and several grandchildren, and died there of fever just five months after his arrival. Prince Among Slaves is the first
full account of Ibrahima's life, pieced together from first-person accounts and historical documents. It is not only a remarkable story, but the story of a remarkable man, who endured the humiliation of slavery without ever losing his dignity or his hope for freedom.
About the Author
MIYAMOTO MUSASHI (1584-1645) was a renowned swordsman and painter. A masterless samurai, he developed the two-sword style of fighting and emerged victorious in more than 60 sword fights in his travels throughout Japan. The author of The Book of Five Rings, he is also the subject of the novel Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa.
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.
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