In Soul of the Samurai
respected author and translator Thomas Cleary reveals the true essence of Bushido or Zen warrior teachings according to 17th-century Japanese sword master Yagyu Munenori and his Zen teacher Takuan Soho.
Yagyu was a renowned swordsman and chief of the Shogun's secret police, while Takuan was the Zen spiritual mentor to the Emperor. This book contains the first English translations of their seminal writings on Bushido. Cleary not only provides clear and readable translations but comprehensive notes introducing the social, political, and organizational principles that defined Samurai culture—their loyalty to family, their sense of service and duty, and their political strategies for dealing with allies and enemies.
These writings introduce the reader to the authentic world of Zen culture and the secrets behind the Samurai's success—being "in the moment" and freeing the mind from all distractions, allowing you to react instantaneously and instinctively without thinking. In these classic works we learn that Zen mental control and meditational training were as important to the Samurai as swordsmanship and fighting skills.
The three works of Zen Bushido translated in Soul of the Samurai
- The Book of the Sword by Yagyu Munenori
- The Inscrutable Subtlety of Immovable Wisdom by Takuan Soho
- The Peerless Sword by Takuan Soho
Thomas Cleary is one of the best known and most accomplished translators of the ancient wisdom of Asia. His work includes The Art of War, The Book of Five Rings, Code of the Samurai, Samurai Wisdom and Secrets of the Japanese Art of Warfare, as well as over 70 other books on Asian martial history and philosophy, Buddhism and Taoism.