Miyamoto Musashi's Book of Five Rings

Martial Arts
Current Stock:
Tuttle Publishing
Hardcover, Jacketed
Date Published:
color photos
Number of Pages:
Trim Size:
5 X 7 1/2

The culmination of 25 years of research, Alex Bennett's groundbreaking new English translation of The Book of Five Rings reveals the true meaning of the original. Written by the famous Samurai Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1645), The Book of Five Rings is the most influential work on Samurai swordsmanship ever written, offering insights into Samurai history, the Zen Buddhist state of "no-mind" that enables warriors to triumph and the philosophical meaning of Bushido—"the way of the warrior."

Until now, most English translations of The Book of Five Rings have been based on a single inaccurate copy of Musashi's long-lost original transcribed twenty-two years after his death. Bennett's translation is the first to be based on a careful reconstruction of the text by Japan's foremost Musashi scholar. By identifying discrepancies among the existing copies, adding missing text and correcting over 150 miscopied characters, this source is the closest representation of Musashi's original work possible. Utilizing this new source Bennett captures the subtle nuance of the classical Japanese text resulting in the most accurate English translation of The Book of Five Rings available.

Miyamoto Musashi's Book of Five Rings by Alex Bennett is richly annotated including an extensive introduction as well as translations of Musashi┬╣s other writings. A respected scholar, Bennett is also a skilled martial artist. His understanding of Musashi's methods provides a unique perspective. This book will be widely read by students of Japanese culture, Samurai history and martial arts setting a new standard against which all other translations will be measured.

About the Author:
Alex Bennett has two doctoral degrees in Japanese literature and history from Kyoto University and the University of Canterbury (NZ). He is Associate Professor at Kansai University where he teaches Japanese history, martial arts, and Budo theory. He is Vice President of the International Naginata Federation, International Committee Member of the All Japan Kendo Federation, Director of the Japanese Academy of Budo, and he is Head Coach of the NZ Kendo national team. He co-founded and edits Kendo World, the world's first English-language journal dedicated to Kendo. He holds the black belt grades of Kendo Kyoshi 7-dan, Iaido 5-dan and Naginata 5-dan. He has competed successfully in many international Naginata and Kendo competitions, taking second place in the World Naginata Championships in 2011, and best 8 in the team event at the World Kendo Championships in 2012. His published works include The Bushi Ethos and its Evolution: A Sociological Investigation of Bushido, Hagakure: The Secret Wisdom of the Samurai, Kendo: Culture of the Sword, and numerous translations of Japanese martial arts works.