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The Samurai Mind is a collection of five seminal Japanese texts that convey the essence of traditional samurai philosophy and ethic from very different, but complementary points of view.
These texts range from the ferocious to the esoteric—with their common thread being the importance of mastering one's own mind as the key to overcoming opponents. Written from the mid-18th to early 19th century, the authors were acknowledged master samurai warriors keen to address a broader audience beyond their circle of students and acolytes. Their aim was to explain their craft to the outside world, and they do so with great insight.
The classic Japanese texts are:
The Mysterious Skills of the Old Cat
A Treatise on the Sword
Joseishi's Discussions on the Sword
Ignorance in Swordsmanship
Four of the five texts presented here are translated into English for the first time making The Samurai Mind an important addition to the literature on Japanese martial arts and a valuable resource for all martial artists. This samurai philosophy book is an informative look at the samurai of Japan with particular emphasis on the warrior's relationship with his samurai sword—the most fabled weapon in history—and on his need to cultivate mental discipline to achieve his goals.
Christopher Hellman currently resides in Kyoto. He has studied and trained in Japanese swordsmanship for over two decades.