Even when your spirit is calm do not let your body relax, and when your body is relaxed do not let your spirit slacken. Do not let your spirit be influenced by your body, or your body be influenced by your spirit. Be neither insufficiently spirited nor over spirited. An elevated spirit is weak and a low spirit is weak.
Do not let the enemy see your spirit. Combat is life, you cannot keep them separate: " In all forms of strategy, it is necessary to maintain the combat stance in everyday life and to make your everyday stance your combat stance. You must research this well. Maintain your ability to zoom out and zoom in, don't be lost in the trees or the forest: " In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things. Focus on victory over yourself first: "Study strategy over the years and achieve the spirit of the warrior. Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men.
In strategy it is necessary to treat training as part of normal life with your spirit unchanging. Maintain control of your position, don't be led about: "In contests of strategy it is bad to be led about by the enemy. You must always be able to lead the enemy about. It is easy then to defeat him with a different method once you see his resources.
By Wind I mean old traditions, present-day traditions, and family traditions of strategy. In my Ichi school of the long sword there is neither gate nor interior. The spirit of fire is fierce, whether the fire be small or big; And so it is with battles.
The Way of battles is the same for man to man fights and for ten thousand a side Battles. You must appreciate that spirit can become big or small. What is big is easy to perceive: what is small Is difficult to perceive. In short, it is difficult for large numbers of men to change position, so their Movements can easily be predicted.
An individual can easily change his mind, so his movements are difficult To predict. You must appreciate this. The essence of this book is that you must train day and night in order to Make quick decisions. In strategy it is necessary to treat training as a part of normal life with your spirit Unchanging. Thus combat in battle is described in the Fire book Fourthly the Wind book. Thus I clearly Explain the strategies of the world.
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The translation by Harris is from the perspective of a kendo master …more This book was written by a man who never was defeated in his life as a warrior. The translation by Harris is from the perspective of a kendo master and shows a deep understanding of the principles of the fight. Businessmen often use this book to help them figure out correct strategy, and it can be applied to the Book, but the Master was a warrior and it's essence is armed combat. It takes a person familiar with sword play to understand the meaning of the metaphors offered by Musashi. See 1 question about A Book of Five Rings….
Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Aug 19, Adil rated it it was ok. I read a translation by Ashikaga Yoshiharu and Rosemary Brant. This book puzzled me in that at first glance I seem to have learned nothing else from it than how to hold a sword and attack and enemy, and obvious things like never let your enemy have a chance to recover.
I'm definitely missing something, either due to the translation or my inability to read between the lines. I guess I'm supposed to reflect on it and come back to it until I "get it" if there's any wisdom in here. The book is full of lines such as "research this well," "study this thoroughly," "I cannot elaborate on this in writing" and I'm not sure how these are supposed to evoke any insight in me into anything. Furthermore, the topics are elaborated on very little in this book. I have a suspicion that all those people who rated this book highly have filled in the gap with their imagination.
The edition I read presents the book as "the cornerstone of Japanese Culture" and I have absolutely no idea how this book played any significant role in Japanese culture; it baffles me. But I guess, as the book says, "these things are not explainable in detail.
View all 13 comments. This is one of those books I've been "meaning to read" for years. There's a lot that could be said here, more than can be included in a "review". I think there is much of value here, I think there is much that can be learned and then misapplied by those not wise enough to understand application as well as process. The book assumes that the one reading will have already spent much time in learning and study and plans to This is one of those books I've been "meaning to read" for years.
The book assumes that the one reading will have already spent much time in learning and study and plans to move on with the learning. The book's 5 rings can in many ways be looked at as "headings" or "reminders". These are in many ways outlines of much larger subjects. There are subjects and views that on the surface seem to to be contradictory. Musashi speaks of "venerating" the gods and the Buddhas he then speaks of total self reliance especially not appealing to or depending on the "gods or Buddhas". The most commonly used phrase in translation is "this should be investigated thoroughly".
An interesting book that does not claim to supply truth but to help in your finding what is the truth Musashi would probably add "for you".
The Book of Five Rings
A book to think about and approach with consideration and hopefully wisdom. View all 6 comments. Nov 16, Florencia rated it really liked it Shelves: philosophyland , non-fiction , japanese. I do not know how I got here. I did not even know I had this book. But I am glad I read it. This book was written by Miyamoto Musashi, a Japanese swordsman that had his first duel when he was 13 years old.
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Among all the tactics that can be used, he shared his insightful thoughts on several matters. Martial arts are not I do not know how I got here. Martial arts are not just about technique. There are some principles to follow; there is a clarity of mind to be reached. You have to be able to find a balance between a world of war and a world of peace. The last "ring", the Book of Void View 2 comments.
Feb 19, Greg rated it really liked it Shelves: history-biography-and-memoir , professional-development , personal-development. I was intrigued by how his nine principles seemd to apply to life in general and leaders in particular, in addition to his intended audience of swordsmen.
His nine principles, from the translation I prefer, are as follows: 1. Do not think dishonestly 2.
The Way is in training 3. Become acquainted with every art 4. Know the Ways of all professions 5. Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters 6. Develop intuitive judgment and understanding of everything 7. Perceive those things which cannot be seen 8. Pay attention even to trifles 9.
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Do nothing which is of no use As a set of core principles, these are not a bad way to lead one's life. I have different expectation when l looked at the cover book.
There was a modern-day white collar person mimicking ancient Japanese samurai pose. So, I have expectation there was some modern interpretation in business management based on Miyamoto Musashi's teachings. Then I found the book's content was basically translations of ancient text, without much interpretations into modern management style. That's why I rated it only 3 star. The philosophy value itself beyond my own judgment.
View all 4 comments. View 1 comment. Nov 01, Kristi rated it liked it Shelves: reading-challenge Despite Musashi's many admonitions to "investigate this thoroughly," I fear that I have not done so enough to truly understand or appreciate the profundity of The Book of Five Rings ; however, it was interesting to read this work about swordsmanship and strategy and to think about the ways that it has been applied to business and perhaps other aspects of Japanese life.