The Book of Five Rings

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Trade Book
  • Copyright: 2005-01-11
  • Publisher: Shambhala

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"The Book of Five Rings" is one of the most insightful texts on the subtle arts of confrontation and victory to emerge from Asian culture. Written not only for martial artists but for anyone who wants to apply the timeless principles of this text to their life, the book analyzes the process of struggle and mastery over conflict that underlies every level of human interaction. "The Book of Five Rings" was composed in 1643 by the famed duelist and undefeated samurai Miyamoto Musashi. Thomas Cleary's translation is immediately accessible, with an introduction that presents the spiritual background of the warrior tradition. Along with Musashi's text, Cleary translates here another important Japanese classic on leadership and strategy, "The Book of Family Traditions on the Art of War" by Yagyu Munenori, which highlights the ethical and spiritual insights of Taoism and Zen as they apply to the way of the warrior.

Author Biography

Miyamoto Musashi, who lived in Japan in the 1600s, was an undefeated dueler, a masterless samurai, and an independent teacher. He spent the last decades of his life refining and teaching his military science.

Table of Contents

Translator's Prefacep. xi
Translator's Introductionp. xiii
The Book of Five Rings
Prefacep. 3
The Earth Scrollp. 5
On the Science of Martial Artsp. 6
Likening the Science of Martial Arts to Carpentryp. 9
The Science of Martial Artsp. 10
On the Composition of This Book in Five Scrollsp. 11
On Naming This Individual School "Two Swords"p. 15
On Knowing the Principles of the Words Martial Artsp. 17
On Knowing the Advantages of Weapons in Martial Artsp. 19
On Rhythm in Martial Artsp. 21
The Water Scrollp. 24
State of Mind in Martial Artsp. 25
Physical Rearing in Martial Artsp. 26
Focus of the Eyes in Martial Artsp. 27
Gripping the Long Swordp. 28
On Footworkp. 28
Five Kinds of Guardp. 29
The Way of the Long Swordp. 30
Procedures of Five Formal Techniquesp. 31
On the Teaching of Having a Position without a Positionp. 34
Striking Down an Opponent in a Single Beatp. 35
The Rhythm of the Second Springp. 35
Striking without Thought and without Formp. 36
The Flowing Water Strokep. 36
The Chance Hitp. 37
The Spark Hitp. 37
The Crimson Foliage Hitp. 37
The Body Instead of the Swordp. 38
Striking and Hittingp. 38
The Body of the Short-Armed Monkeyp. 39
The Sticky Bodyp. 39
Comparing Heightp. 40
Gluingp. 40
The Body Blowp. 41
Three Parriesp. 41
Stabbing the Facep. 42
Stabbing the Heartp. 42
The Cryp. 43
The Slapping Parryp. 43
A Stand against Many Opponentsp. 44
Advantage in Duelingp. 45
The Single Strokep. 45
The State of Direct Penetrationp. 46
Epiloguep. 46
The Fire Scrollp. 48
The Physical Situationp. 49
Three Preemptionsp. 51
Holding Down the Pillowp. 53
Crossing a Fordp. 54
Knowing the State of Affairsp. 56
Stomping a Swordp. 56
Knowing Disintegrationp. 58
Becoming the Opponentp. 58
Letting Go Four Handsp. 59
Moving Shadowsp. 60
Arresting Shadowsp. 60
Infectionp. 61
Upsetp. 62
Threatp. 62
Sticking Tightp. 63
Coming up against Cornersp. 64
Flusteringp. 64
Three Shoutsp. 65
Mixingp. 66
Crushingp. 67
Mountain and Sea Changingp. 68
Knocking the Heart Outp. 68
Becoming Newp. 69
Small and Largep. 69
A Commander Knowing Soldiersp. 70
Letting Go of the Hiltp. 70
Being Like a Rock Wallp. 71
Epiloguep. 71
The Wind Scrollp. 73
On Wielding Extra-long Swords in Other Schoolsp. 74
Powerful Sword Blows in Other Schoolsp. 76
The Use of Schorter Long Swords in Other Schoolsp. 77
Numerous Sword Strokes in Other Schoolsp. 78
Positions of the Sword in Other Schoolsp. 80
The Focus of the Eyes in Other Schoolsp. 81
Footwork in Other Schoolsp. 83
The Use of Speed in Other Schoolsp. 84
The Esoteric and Exoteric in Other Schoolsp. 86
Epiloguep. 87
The Scroll of Emptinessp. 89
Notesp. 91
The Book of Family Traditions on the Art of War
The Killing Swordp. 95
Prefacep. 95
The Great Learningp. 100
Mood and Willp. 102
Appearance and Intentionp. 103
Beating the Grass to Scare the Snakesp. 104
The Vanguard of the Momentp. 105
Aggressive and Passive Modesp. 105
Logical Principles of Aggressive and Passive Attitudes of Body and Swordp. 106
Mental and Physical Aggressive and Passive Modesp. 106
Things to Learn When You Face an Aggressive Opponentp. 107
Things Learned for Facing Off in a Contest of Adversariesp. 108
The Mental Postures of Three Ways of Feintingp. 109
Addressing and Adapting to Changes of Mindp. 109
Double Looksp. 109
Hit and Be Hit At: The Sense of Winning by Letting Yourself Be Hit Atp. 110
Three Rhythmsp. 111
A Small Rhythm to a Large Rhythm, a Large Rhythm to a Small Rhythmp. 112
Noting the Tempop. 113
Techniquesp. 113
Techniques IIp. 115
Hearing the Sound of Wind and Waterp. 115
Sicknessp. 117
The Sense of Elementary and Advanced Levels of Removal of Sicknessp. 118
The Normal Mindp. 120
Like a Wooden Man Facing Flowers and Birdsp. 122
The Free Mindp. 123
The Life-Giving Swordp. 127
Perceiving Abilities and Intentionsp. 127
The Rhythm of Existence and Nonexistencep. 127
The Moon in the Waterp. 130
The Quiescent Swordp. 130
Explanation of the Characters Used for "Quiescent"p. 131
Stridep. 132
The First Principlep. 133
The One-Foot Margin on Both Sidesp. 134
"This Is the Ultimate"/The First Swordp. 134
Analysis of the Moon in the Water; the Quiescent Sword; Sickness; Body, Hands, and Feetp. 136
Movesp. 136
The Margin of Safetyp. 137
Maneuveringp. 137
Seeing the Quiescent Sword: Distinction of Three Levelsp. 137
"The Mind Is Like the Moon in Water, the Body Is Like an Image in a Mirror."p. 138
Hasty Attackp. 140
Bringing Back the Mindp. 140
The Sense of Total Removal, the Sense of the Void, the Sense of Presenting the Mindp. 142
True and False Mindp. 146
No Swordp. 150
Great Potential and Great Functionp. 152
Mind and Objectsp. 156
Martial Arts and Buddhismp. 158
Yes and Nop. 159
Truth and Untruthp. 160
Notesp. 163
Bibliographyp. 167
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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