The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~


Monday, June 03, 2013

Reviews of Books Having to do with Musashi

Christopher Hellman, author of The Samurai Mind, has an excellent blog named Ichijogi. A particular item of interest to Mr. Hellman is the life of the famous samurai, Miyamoto Mushashi.

He recently posted some book reviews which may be of some interest. An excerpt is below. The full post may be read here. Enjoy.

The Real Musashi: The Bukoden



I have been sitting on this book, waiting for the time to give it the review it deserves, and even so, I will have to skimp a little.
It is the second in the series by William Lange, the first being The Bushu Denraiki, which I reviewed here.
A complementary volume, "Miyamoto Musashi: a life in arms" which looks to go into the life of Musashi in more depth, from a variety of original sources is due out soon, so perhaps this is timely. 
Like The Bushu Denraiki, this volume consists of a translation of one of the main source documents concerned with the life of Miyamoto Musashi, together with copious notes and explanations.
Both the Bushu Denraiki (1727) and the Bukoden (1755) were later rewritten ­– as the Heiho Senshi Denki (1782) and the Nitenki (1776) respectively, by a former pupil (in the case of the former) and the son (for the latter) of the original authors. It is these 2nd generation works that tended to be drawn on by later generations of writers, especially the Nitenki. Both the Bushu Denraiki and the Bukoden were compiled from handed-down accounts of those who had known or had contact with Musashi, and thus provide a fascinating picture that goes beyond the well known anecdotes that many of us are already familiar with.
Both of them have strong connections with the followers of Musashi’s style of swordsmanship, and although they are not technical works, they are particularly recommended for those who are studying Niten Ichi-ryu, as examples of historical documents relating to their study.

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