Living and dying with bravery and honor is at the heart of Hagakure, a series of texts written by an 18th-century samurai, Yamamoto Tsunetomo. It is a window into the samurai mind, illuminating the concept of bushido (the Way of the Warrior), which dictated how samurai were expected to behave, conduct themselves, live, and die. While Hagakure was for many years a secret text known only to the warrior vassals of the Nabeshima clan to which the author belonged, it later came to be recognized as a classic exposition of samurai thought. The original Hagakure consists of over 1,300 short texts that Tsunetomo dictated to a younger samurai over a seven-year period. William Scott Wilson has selected and translated here 300 of the most representative of those texts to create an accessible distillation of this guide for samurai. No other translator has so thoroughly and eruditely rendered this text into English.
For this edition, Wilson has added a new introduction that casts Hagakure in a different light than ever before. Tsunetomo refers to bushido as "the Way of death", a description that has held a morbid fascination for readers over the years. But in Tsunetomo's time, bushido was a nuanced concept that related heavily to the Zen concept of muga, the "death" of the ego. Wilson's revised introduction gives the historical and philosophical background for that more metaphorical reading of Hagakure, and through this lens, the classic takes on a fresh and nuanced appeal.
©1979, 2002, 2012 English translation by William Scott Wilson. Introduction by William Scott Wilson (P)2014 Audible Inc.
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I feel like this book is only good if you are already interested in feudal Japan. I enjoyed it though. Not really a story as much as a collection of thoughts. The narrator did a great job and was recorded well which definitely helps.
I have the written text and have read many times. I purchased this as I have not had time to read much lately and have not been disappointed by the narrators performance.
I loved this book! If one seeks to learn Samurai culture and history, this book is for you. It is simply beautifully crafted in its words and wisdom.
" fantastic and inspirational"
the narrator was clear,knowledgeable and had the perfect accent. fantastic introduction for samurai study. I listened to it many tines and still kesrn.new yhibgd and ways of thinking each time
for anyone and everyone who loves Bushido and the esoteric knowledge of the pure warriors, this is the book.
"An informative look into the samurai mind"
Found extremely useful as research material into the mindset of a samurai in feudal Japan.
"Good source of Samurai wisdom"
I enjoyed the material but was disappointed by the format. It is a collection of sayings rather than story format.
"Familiarity with terminology needed"
I admit to little knowledge of japanese terms. Some books are much harder to understand and follow in audio format. I have found that this book is one of those.
Thought provoking and enlightening read. Well translated and interpreted. Definitely recommend for anybody with an open mind!
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