Hagakure: The Book of the wholesale new arrival Samurai online

Hagakure: The Book of the wholesale new arrival Samurai online

Hagakure: The Book of the wholesale new arrival Samurai online
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Description

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An accessible, thorough English translation of the eighteenth-century Japanese text that delves into the samurai mind
 
Living and dying with bravery and honor is at the heart of  Hagakure, a series of texts written by an eighteenth-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 three hundred 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.

Review

“This is a great book for anyone looking for a more centered way of life, or just some good advice about living.” —Sacramento Book Review

About the Author

William Scott Wilson is the foremost translator into English of traditional Japanese texts on samurai culture. He received BA degrees from Dartmouth College and the Monterey Institute of Foreign Studies, and an MA in Japanese literary studies from the University of Washington. His best-selling books include  The Book of Five RingsThe Unfettered Mind, and  The Lone Samurai, a biography of Miyamoto Musashi.

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4.5 out of 54.5 out of 5
743 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Gordon M.
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Steer clear of the Xist Classics Kindle version.
Reviewed in the United States on April 27, 2018
Do not buy the kindle version from X-ist Classics. It''s an un-edited scan. You get great gems like "It is said that what is called "the spirit of an ape'' '' is seine- thing to which one cannot return."
40 people found this helpful
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Click
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
s..oom spellering arows d''track frm bük.
Reviewed in the United States on June 23, 2015
Formatting and spelling errors abound in the Kindle version. I have a paperback copy that is error free, this ebook version would make and English teacher cry.

1 star for Kindle version, 5 for the hardcopy
30 people found this helpful
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shannon
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Culture learning indeed.
Reviewed in the United States on July 13, 2019
Hmm, I can imagine I would understand this book more if I was well-versed in Japanese culture and with little of historical background on this. From the beginning to the end was little back and forth plus with a lot of cutting down people and seppukus. At first, I thought... See more
Hmm, I can imagine I would understand this book more if I was well-versed in Japanese culture and with little of historical background on this. From the beginning to the end was little back and forth plus with a lot of cutting down people and seppukus. At first, I thought it was more of samurais’ notes or journal rather than ton pieces of stories. Some did catch my eyes so that counted for something.
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Baruch Pletner
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great read for anyone doing business with Japan
Reviewed in the United States on April 24, 2013
This is a book of reflections on life written by a rather unremarkable samurai just after Japan entered into an era of peace under the Tokugawa shogunate. This made the warrior class into a class of armed civil servants - not an easy transition, begging the question what to... See more
This is a book of reflections on life written by a rather unremarkable samurai just after Japan entered into an era of peace under the Tokugawa shogunate. This made the warrior class into a class of armed civil servants - not an easy transition, begging the question what to do with the two very sharp objects tucked into their belts every waking moment of their lives. The interesting thing about this book is that as someone who has been doing business in Japan for over 15 years, I wish I had read it much earlier. That is because the current Japanese business mentality is very much a product of the two and a half centuries in which the country was run by a class of people who were armed to the teeth and had to follow bushido as a way of life, but in reality had desk jobs and administered things like rice production.

Some parts of the book will sound exceedingly misogynistic and weird to our ears, but those are the parts you should pay attention to if you deal with the Japanese. Others are rather entertaining, and yet other are off the wall.

In summary, if you are interested in an unfiltered glimpse into the mind of a samurai turned clerk and in getting some insight into the way the Japanese view the world to this day, Hagakure is definitely worth your time!
15 people found this helpful
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Dennis M
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Wisdom of the ages in these pages
Reviewed in the United States on July 3, 2013
The author of this book had great wisdom to pass along with some interesting stories of his time. I have quoted him lately as I feel many things he said in the late 1600''s into the early 1700''s apply today as well as when first written. It can be viewed also as a guide to... See more
The author of this book had great wisdom to pass along with some interesting stories of his time. I have quoted him lately as I feel many things he said in the late 1600''s into the early 1700''s apply today as well as when first written. It can be viewed also as a guide to making oneself into a better person too. The remarks of pride and personal appearance combined with the strong sense of duty are a good role model. His references to changing times and the foolishness of youth are well expressed and they too apply to today''s world all to well.

Though there were a few words that were badly misspelled and somewhat confusing at first ( ie. "pot" in place of "got" "gut" for "cut") it was still easy to follow once you got past the misspelled words and worked out their true meaning. However, the content of the book was what I sought. I have read it in a matter of a couple of weeks, though it could be read in a day without interruption. But to read it quickly would be unwise. You''d miss much of what is really being said. I will read this book again in a month''s time and try to absorb more of it''s wisdom from the a true mast of his age.
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J. Meuschke
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Valid life instructions even in today''s time
Reviewed in the United States on October 24, 2018
Full of useful anecdotes and life advice for people interested in strengthening their resolve, looking for direction, or (surprisingly) confidence building. Also some good etiquette lessons but I’d recommend against cutting someone down with your short sword if they’ve... See more
Full of useful anecdotes and life advice for people interested in strengthening their resolve, looking for direction, or (surprisingly) confidence building. Also some good etiquette lessons but I’d recommend against cutting someone down with your short sword if they’ve offended you.
2 people found this helpful
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Kindle Customer
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Some good, some useless
Reviewed in the United States on December 30, 2019
The thing that comes to mind with this book is context. There are parts where context is clear. Then there are parts where there is no context at all. There is some guessing that would happen if you only went by this book. But to do so would bring up the problem of context.... See more
The thing that comes to mind with this book is context. There are parts where context is clear. Then there are parts where there is no context at all. There is some guessing that would happen if you only went by this book. But to do so would bring up the problem of context. So you have to cherry pick what you find useful. Discard the best and there you have it. But even going that requires great context. That is why this book was a guide to the Way of the Samurai.
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BMR
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Bushido: The Way of the Warrior is the Way of Death
Reviewed in the United States on November 22, 2012
Review: Hagakure Yamamoto Tsunetomo Bushido: The Way of the Warrior is the Way of Death I could see this book becoming easily misunderstood. It brims with warrior energy--especially beneficial for someone going through a particularly low or... See more
Review: Hagakure
Yamamoto Tsunetomo

Bushido: The Way of the Warrior is the Way of Death

I could see this book becoming easily misunderstood. It brims with warrior energy--especially beneficial for someone going through a particularly low or troubling period of their life where they need some motivation and can vicariously appreciate the struggles of others.

The simple message of the book is this: in order to master yourself you need to kill your self.

What does that mean? It doesn''t mean suicide. Far from it--in fact it is the opposite: it is a birth or a rebirthing. What we are killing is that part of ourselves which confuses our values, which puts us in tension with ourselves: the ego. In the words of Guru Prem, Tsunetomo is asking that the EGO become an AMIGO. It is TAMING THE WILD HORSE--and, subsequently, breaking her.

The style is aphoristic. That means its EASY to digest and SIMPLE to navigate. You an really pick it up anywhere and read it from that point. It is not a linear and progressing narrative. You could read it completely out of order. This is great because Tsunetomo gets right to the point.

Check my blog post about it for a full detail of the points the book makes:

[...]
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Top reviews from other countries

PumpActionPonds
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I am now Ghost Dog
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 7, 2019
Turns out this was all I needed to vanquish my enemies. Running headlong into battle, the Yakuza are no longer an issue for this small village... I may however need to explain the dead boatman I cut down and beat to death for daring to not address me as "sire" as I passed...See more
Turns out this was all I needed to vanquish my enemies. Running headlong into battle, the Yakuza are no longer an issue for this small village... I may however need to explain the dead boatman I cut down and beat to death for daring to not address me as "sire" as I passed him at the docks. :3
10 people found this helpful
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Mr. S. Sanderson
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Not for casual reading.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 21, 2018
I got this having watched Ghost Dog with Forest Whitaker. Perhaps it is down to my preconception but the book doesn’t flow, jumping from passage to passage on disparate subjects. I have no idea if it is a faithful rendition of the original text. I am sure for those with a...See more
I got this having watched Ghost Dog with Forest Whitaker. Perhaps it is down to my preconception but the book doesn’t flow, jumping from passage to passage on disparate subjects. I have no idea if it is a faithful rendition of the original text. I am sure for those with a more in-depth or academic interest in the subject might be better placed to give a more appropriate and useful review.
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AK
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Brilliant in parts but I prefered the ''Book of Five Rings''
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 6, 2010
The book is one of the samurai treatises but as opposed to some others in the same area, works a bit differently - it is a collection of thoughts, rather than a concise guide. The translator selected 300 out of the original 1300 and while most work well, it is hard to say...See more
The book is one of the samurai treatises but as opposed to some others in the same area, works a bit differently - it is a collection of thoughts, rather than a concise guide. The translator selected 300 out of the original 1300 and while most work well, it is hard to say if the complete set would make more sense. In terms of content, a lot of the thoughts are very insightful, timeless and still relevant. His thoughts on event randomness looks a bit like a 300 year older Taleb (Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets). On the other hand some of the other thoughts appear somewhat random, short, almost haiku-like. Unlike the other samurai treatises I have read, Hagakure touches on more topics but brushes them more lightly - so yo will have thoughts on the role of the wife, upbringing of offspring and homosexuality. While you can pick it up, open on a random page and read, like mentioned by other reviewers and therefore makes it good as a gift, I still much prefer Musashi Miyamoto''s The Book of Five Rings. It might be more accessible to a Western audience, or it might be that the completeness and structure just works much better. I suppose if you have not read much samurai writing, The Book of Five Rings might be an easier initiation to the topic, too.
6 people found this helpful
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Scott Baker
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great insight
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 1, 2014
Hagakure relates the essence of the Samurai code through anecdotes and collected wisdom rather than as set scriptures to follow. From the chapter headings it is clear that this edition is not a complete and comprehensive version. Not that it matters. There is enough here to...See more
Hagakure relates the essence of the Samurai code through anecdotes and collected wisdom rather than as set scriptures to follow. From the chapter headings it is clear that this edition is not a complete and comprehensive version. Not that it matters. There is enough here to feed the interest and imagination, with enough detail to highlight a fascinating period of Japanese history and the warrior code in general. Some of the short accounts are like whole novels in themselves with the emotive contents hinted it. I can see budding story writers and young film makers having a field day with some of the material. A very satisfying purchase.
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Alex Brown
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Thought provoking!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 5, 2018
More, words of advice and etiquette for the Samuri, small wisdoms and observations, rather than a continuous read, it jumps about. Not a big read, would do for a holiday!
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Hagakure: The Book of the wholesale new arrival Samurai online

Hagakure: The Book of the wholesale new arrival Samurai online

Hagakure: The Book of the wholesale new arrival Samurai online

Hagakure: The Book of the wholesale new arrival Samurai online

Hagakure: The Book of the wholesale new arrival Samurai online

Hagakure: The Book of the wholesale new arrival Samurai online

Hagakure: The Book of the wholesale new arrival Samurai online

Hagakure: The Book of the wholesale new arrival Samurai online

Hagakure: The Book of the wholesale new arrival Samurai online

Hagakure: The Book of the wholesale new arrival Samurai online

Hagakure: The Book of the wholesale new arrival Samurai online

Hagakure: The Book of the wholesale new arrival Samurai online

Hagakure: The Book of the wholesale new arrival Samurai online

Hagakure: The Book of the wholesale new arrival Samurai online

Hagakure: The Book of the wholesale new arrival Samurai online

Hagakure: The Book of the wholesale new arrival Samurai online

Hagakure: The Book of the wholesale new arrival Samurai online

Hagakure: The Book of the wholesale new arrival Samurai online

Hagakure: The Book of the wholesale new arrival Samurai online

Hagakure: The Book of the wholesale new arrival Samurai online

Hagakure: The Book of the wholesale new arrival Samurai online

Hagakure: The Book of the wholesale new arrival Samurai online

Hagakure: The Book of the wholesale new arrival Samurai online

Hagakure: The Book of the wholesale new arrival Samurai online

Hagakure: The Book of the wholesale new arrival Samurai online

Hagakure: The Book of the wholesale new arrival Samurai online

Hagakure: The Book of the wholesale new arrival Samurai online

Hagakure: The Book of the wholesale new arrival Samurai online