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Hagakure : Secret Wisdom of the Samurai - Yamamoto Tsunetomo


Secret Wisdom of the Samurai

Paperback Published: 1st June 2014
ISBN: 9784805311981
Number Of Pages: 288

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The principal pillars of Bushido--the Samurai warrior's code--are loyalty, filial piety, bravery and mercy. Tsunetomo Yamamoto, the author of the "Hagakure," lived his life based on these principles and was willing to sacrifice his own life for them when his liege and master died. However, Shogunate law forbade Samurai retainers from taking their lives in this way, so Yamamoto became a monk instead--spending the last years of his life in seclusion recording his wisdom and insights in the "Hagakure" for the teaching and training of future Samurai warriors in the essence of Bushido. Written nearly 300 years ago, the "Hagakure" is one of the most influential of all Japanese texts. Its power has been felt throughout the world, and yet its existence is barely known to Westerners. Alexander Bennett's completely new and highly readable translation of this essential work is the most complete version of the "Hagakure" published to date. This is the first translation to include the entire first two books of the "Hagakure," and the most authentic passages of the third book. It contains extensive footnotes that fill in many cultural and historical gaps found in previous translations. The combination of readability and scholarship gives Bennett's translation a distinct advantage over all earlier English editions of this work. Reading this compendium of tales by a faithful and devoted Samurai provides unique insights into the nature of Samurai service and the warrior's role in Japanese history and society.

Industry Reviews

"[Alex Bennett] is the very best writer on martial arts alive today and [his] work needs to be showcased to the general public." --Don Warrener, President, Budo International
"Dr. Bennett possesses a profound knowledge of, and deep insight into, the world of Japanese bushido. This expertise has been enhanced by his extensive practical experience of the traditional martial arts of Japan, and his proficiency in this domain is highly acclaimed." --Tetsuo Yamaori, former Director of the International Research Center for Japanese Studies
..".the most impressive part of the book for us was Bennett's introductory chapter...It puts the Hagakure into its proper historical and social setting as well as examining 'bushido' [...] with a critical eye and a look at how Jocho's life experiences and psychology is reflected in the work--and does so elegantly and brilliantly. This translation is well worth picking up just on the strength of this chapter." --TheShogunsHouse.com blog
"Alex Bennett has produced the first truly authoritative translation and analysis of Hagakure--perhaps the most famous text ever written about samurai honor--to appear in any Western language. Simultaneously erudite and accessible, this volume belongs on the bookshelves of anyone--scholar or hobbyist alike--interested in samurai culture, or modern perceptions thereof." --Dr. Karl F. Friday, author of Samurai, Warfare and the State in Early Medieval Japan and Japan Emerging: Premodern History to 1850
"[A] strong point is a scholarly and succinct introduction that grounds the work in historical and social context, equipping the reader with a cultural map of Yamamoto's world. Footnotes provide valuable background and add resonance throughout, keeping names and familial relations straight, highlighting pertinent cross-references and generally rendering the work accessible to contemporary readers." --The Japan Times

ISBN: 9784805311981
ISBN-10: 4805311983
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 1st June 2014
Publisher: Tuttle Shokai Inc
Country of Publication: JP
Dimensions (cm): 13.0 x 20.3  x 2.3
Weight (kg): 0.32

Earn 38 Qantas Points
on this Book