Translated By V Harris Japan S Answer To The Harvard MBAWritten Over Three Centuries Ago By A Samurai Warrior, The Book Has Been Hailed As A Limitless Source Of Psychological Insight For Businessmen Or Anyone Who Relies On Strategy And Tactics For Outwitting The Competition 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. 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 It is divided into five rings earth, water, fire, wind, void that describe strategies and principles of martial arts, with a touch of philosophy that kept me interested Among all the tactics that can be used, he shared his insightful thoughts on several matters 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 what a way to finish a book Outstanding.Nov 17, 13 Also on my blog. I first read Miyamoto Musashi s The Book of Five Rings many years ago, while I was a Ph.D candidate in California 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 While it is not as in depth as Sun Tzu s The Art of War, he certainly added to my understanding His nine principles, from the translation I prefer, are as follows 1 Do not think dishonestly2 The Way is in training3 Become acquainted with every art4 Know the Ways of all professions 5 Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters6 Develop intuitive judgment and understanding of everything7 Perceive those things which cannot be seen8 Pay attention even to trifles9 Do nothing which is of no useAs a set of core principles, these are not a bad way to lead one s life. 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 I m not going to deny the fact that it was hard to see beyond the direct references to sword fighting and martial arts at times fundamentally, that s what this book is about, although defeating one s opponent is a profoundly psychological and spiritual task as well for Musashi But particularly in The Fire Chapter where he begins to delve into the art of defeating many foes, the application to the market was much easier to divine The emphasis on initiative and rhythm and true observation are all very pertinent to many aspects of competition and negotiation Still, I have a feeling I would need to read this book carefully a few times in order to really grasp it In that sense, it s different from Bushido The Soul of Japan, which is much easier to see as a guide to one s way of life Bushido The Soul of Japan was also written in English, which may aid its portability It was harder for me to jump from the literal battle strategy elements of The Book of Five Rings to larger themes.I d recommend this to people interested in martial arts, the Japanese way, Japanese history, traditional ideas of Japanese culture, and maybe business strategy But those interested in the latter are going to have to wade through a lot of tall about stances and swords before you get your kernels of wisdom.This book was read for a session of the Nitobe Kokusai Juku. The Original Bad Ass MoFo in a Zen kinda way.StrategyTacticsBad AssednessViolenceYES This book, written by a famous Japanese duelist, tells one of his relatives how to win with the sword It is divided into five Rings based on five Elements He concentrates on Strategy and does not talk about the best guard to take or other technicalities Many people find this book to be immoral as it espouses winning at all costs in a deadly pursuit I regard it as a moral Musashi simply never considers the question He is simply putting down his concept of Strategy Perhaps the moral onus is on the reader of the book Students of Zen would do well to read the book, particularly the final Ring entitled The Void Afterward the perceptive student would take up an individual sport not necessarily fencing, tennis would do just as well and give up trying to solve koans After all, even the Masters say that the you study Zen the further from enlightenment you get and there can be little doubt that Musashi was a master.This translation from the original Japanese also contains an insightful introduction. Swordsman Miyamoto Mausashi had written The Book of the Five Rings with a practical approach to swordsmanship, on how to use the sword, where to stand and use the sun or shadows For him, the point of battle was not showmanship it was winning, That s why he never lost a duel.THE GROUND BOOKIt is said the warrior s is the twofold Way of the pen and sword, and he should have a taste for both Ways The Way of the warrior is resolute acceptance of death.In short, the Way of my school is the spirit of winning, whatever the weapon and whatever its size This is the practical result of strategy This is the Way for men who want to learn my strategy 1.Do not think dishonestly.2.The Way is in training.3.Become acquainted with every art.4.Know the Ways of professions.5.Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters.6.Develop intuitive judgement and understanding for everything.7.Perceive those things which cannot be seen.8.Pay attention even to trifles.9.Do nothing which is of no use THE WATER BOOKWith water as the basis, the spirit becomes like water Water adopts the shape of its receptacle, it is sometimes a trickle and sometimes a wild sea Water has a clear blue color 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.You should not have a favorite weapon To become over familiar with one weapon is as much a fault as not knowing it sufficiently well You should not copy others, but use weapons which you can handily properly.Look at things from a high point of view The commander must know natural rules, and the rules of the country, and the rules of houses He should take into account the abilities and limitations of his men, circulating among them and asking nothing unreasonable He should know their morale and spirit, and encourage them when necessary You must cultivate your wisdom and spirit Polish your wisdom learn public justice, distinguish between good and evil, study the Ways of different arts one by one, so that you can understand the enemy s stratagems, his strength and resources, and come to appreciate how to apply strategy to beat ten thousand enemies When you cannot be deceived by men you will have realized the wisdom of strategy It is difficult to know yourself if you do not know others.THE FIRE BOOKIf you are thoroughly conversant with strategy, you will recognize the enemy s intentions and thus have many opportunities to win See through the enemy s spirit so that you grasp his strategy and perceive his quality and his strong and weak points to defeat him This is because, if you attack quickly and thoughtlessly without knowing the enemy s spirit, your rhythm will become deranged and you will not be able to win If you advance too slowly, you will not be able to take advantage of the enemy s disorder, the opportunity to win will escape, and you will not be able to finish the fight quickly.The important thing in strategy is to suppress the enemy s useful actions but allow his useless actions It is bad to be led about by the enemy You must always be able to lead the enemy about and make him obey your spirit Attack in an unsuspecting manner, knowing his meter and modulation and the appropriate timing Knowing the times means seeing right into things You must force the enemy into inconvenient situations Attack where his spirit is lax, throw him into confusion, irritate and terrify him.THE WIND BOOKPerception and sight are the two methods of seeing Perception consists of concentrating strongly on the enemy s spirit, observing the condition of the battlefield, fixing the gaze strongly, seeing the progress of the fight and the changes of advantages This is the sure way to win.THE EMPTINESS BOOKBy Emptiness I mean that which has no beginning and no end Attaining this principle means not attaining the principle The Way of strategy is the Way of nature When you appreciate the power of nature, knowing the rhythm of any situation, you will be able to hit the enemy naturally and strike naturally All this is the Way of the Emptiness There is no timing in the Emptiness.There is timing in the whole life of the warrior, in his thriving and declining, in his harmony and discord You win battles with the timing in the Emptiness born of the timing of cunning by knowing the enemies timing, and thus using a timing which the enemy does not expect We shout during the fight to get into rhythm.When the enemy attacks and you also decide to attack, hit with your body, and hit with your spirit, and hit from the Emptiness with your hands, accelerating strongly This is the No Design, No Conception cut This is the most important method of hitting.In the Way of strategy as a warrior you must study fully other martial arts and not deviate even a little from the Way of the warrior With your spirit settled, accumulate practice day by day, hour by hour Polish the twofold spirit heart and mind, and sharpen the twofold gaze perception and sight When your spirit is not in the least clouded and your self is free, when the clouds of bewilderment clear away, there is the true Emptiness. This is one of those books I ve been meaning to read for years There s a lot that could be said here, than can be included in a review How can one review a book that has stood the test of 5 centuries 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 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 1000 days of practice equals 10,000 days or instruction 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.A book to think about and approach with consideration and hopefully wisdom. This book actually has two translations by Thomas Cleary of two books from Japanese martial artists My thoughts on both and a short comparison are below.The Book of Five Rings is a pretty good insight into a disciplined mind and professional samurai from 17th century Japan A lot of it is practical advice and there is some spiritual Zen leaning in there too but I would not go as far to say it is required leadership reading material in the same way as The Art of War by Sun Tzu but no martial artist should be without this book.The second translation in the book is The Book of Family Traditions on the Art of War by Yahyu Munenori is far flowery and makes sense if you have an understanding of buddhism otherwise the section on existance and non existance may or may not be be tricky to grasp.In comparision the first book is plainly superior to the second in the manner in which it is written and executed It s plain talkng and easy to grasp with none of the flowery language prevalent in the second.
Miyamoto Musashi , c 1584 June 13, 1645 , also known as Shinmen Takez , Miyamoto Bennosuke or, by his Buddhist name, Niten D raku, was an expert Japanese swordsman and r nin Musashi, as he was often simply known, became renowned through stories of his excellent swordsmanship in numerous duels, even from a very young age He was the founder of the Hy h Niten Ichi ry or Niten ry style o
- 192 pages
- 五輪書 [Go Rin no Sho]
- Miyamoto Musashi
- 14 November 2017 Miyamoto Musashi