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Publisher's Summary

The Complete Book of Five Rings is an authoritative version of Musashi's classic The Book of Five Rings, translated and annotated by a modern martial arts master, Kenji Tokitsu. Tokitsu has spent most of his life researching the legendary samurai swordsman and his works, and in this book he illuminates this seminal text, along with several other works by Musashi. These include "The Mirror of the Way of Strategy", which Musashi wrote when he was in his 20s; "Thirty-five Instructions on Strategy", and "Forty-two Instructions on Strategy", which were precursors to The Book of Five Rings; and "The Way to Be Followed Alone", which Musashi wrote just days before his death.
Heard together, these five texts give listeners an unusually detailed, nuanced view of Musashi's ideas on swordsmanship, strategy, and self-cultivation. Tokitsu puts all these writings into historical and philosophical context and makes them accessible and relevant to today's listeners and martial arts students. Tokitsu understands Musashi's writings - and Musashi as a martial artist - unusually well and is able to provide a rare insight into the man and his historical contribution.
©2000 Kenji Tokitsu, English Translation 2004, 2010 by Shambhala Publications, Inc. (P)2014 Audible Inc.
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Customer Reviews

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By DW on 05-27-16

Best translation I have encountered.

I read Go Rin no Sho for the first time when I was just a lad of fifteen, and have read and reread it many times since then. It has informed and enriched my martial arts practice considerably. The translation I had was Thomas Cleary's, published by Shambala, but until listening to this translation I never knew what I had been missing all these years. The translator, of course being Japanese, imbues the text with a layer of nuance that, sorry to say, had been absent from other translations. His prose is at the same time elegant and concise, and I could really feel Musashi speaking through him, with very little if anything lost in the translation. What a pleasure as well to hear it narrated by a Japanese man with proper pronunciation of the language, something that bugged me incessantly when listening to the audiobook of James Clavell's Shogun: the fact that Clavell's grasp of Japanese was shaky at best was exacerbated by the Narrator's hideous pronunciation and diction. I will definitely seek out other titles by this translator and narrator.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful


By Jason P on 10-09-15

A Manual for a Martial Artist, Not a Strategist.

This book was an interesting listen. It gave me some insight and a better understanding of some of Japan’s history and culture. However, this was a manual to train swordsman in a particular school of swordsmanship. Most of the book is how to hold the sword, your body, attack and guard. There are some deeper meanings and philosophical ideas within the text, but they are few and far between. Not a good listen for the average reader. A martial artist or swordsman might love this book. For a strategist I recommend instead Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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By David Hellsing on 03-08-17

Truely enteraining and Instructive.

I have long since wanted to learn of Miyamoto Musashi, coming across plenty of sauces with a sense of unjust bias again the man. now that his very own tests are published in full. I can honestly say that this book. by far well worth my time.

I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking understand the mindset behind the man and Japanese culture.

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By ShaneG on 11-20-16

Get the shorter version

The extra content in this version is all repetitive useless fluff that is not a part of the actual book of five rings, don't waste the time just get the shorter version

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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Lachlan on 08-02-17

Great book and narration

An exellent interoperation of musashi's scrolls with a martialist take on it. Beautifully narrated and I like the comparative analysis between the different scrolls.

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By A on 08-03-16

Brilliantly narrated

I think this book would probably be better to have as a physical copy. The ability to go back and really look at Miyamoto's points and highlight certain bits I think is necessary to really get the most out of it

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