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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For the Quite Mind
I read this book when it was near/below freezing outside; I sat on a metal bench. I read with such intensity, that I needed the cold to dedicate my mind to the words I was reading. I was often confused by the writings, where I would think about them in great detail until the message became clear. Each paragraph is very important. It is a short book, but it should take...
Published on June 21 2004 by Travis Parks

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3.0 out of 5 stars Make Your One True Cut
In 1700 the credited author, Yamamoto Tsunetomo was granted permission to retire and became a Buddhist priest rather than disemboweling himself in sympathy with his master’s death. In 1710, a young samurai scribe, Tashiro Tsuramoto, had been released from his duties and he spent the next 7 years recording the utterances of Yamamoto. They were arranged as a book...
Published 19 months ago by Mitchell Rhodes


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For the Quite Mind, June 21 2004
By 
Travis Parks (Warrington, PA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I read this book when it was near/below freezing outside; I sat on a metal bench. I read with such intensity, that I needed the cold to dedicate my mind to the words I was reading. I was often confused by the writings, where I would think about them in great detail until the message became clear. Each paragraph is very important. It is a short book, but it should take longer to read than the Bible. I read it in two weeks, thanks to the cold, but, still, I missed more than I can imagine. Should your eyes miss one word, or a single thought take you away, you need read the passage again and again. This book will change your perspective... change how you view life. It is VERY philosophical, if you concentrate on the reading. I recommend it to those who need change in their lives, those who feel powerless but especially those who feel they cannot control their thoughts. This book is about concentration, dedication and loyalty. This is an important piece of literature!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, June 30 2014
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This review is from: Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai (Paperback)
Great book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking, Life Changing Classic!, June 13 2014
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HAGAKURE is an amazing book.
The teaching given in this classic can be applied to every aspect of our lives.
HAGAKURE has the inherent ability to change the lives of the readers who put these teachings into practice.

There is a reason that HAGAKURE is so relivent today as it was when it was written, maybe even more so in todays society. Hagakure will always remain a classic.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting, Jan. 24 2013
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I find it very interesting to see into the more deeply considered thoughts of a samurai. Tsunetomo covers several subjects in this book, ranging from the way to carry onesself in social circles, to how to regard dreams, to his thoughts on homosexuality, and so on. This colection of works should not be viewed as a linear path to follow, but rather as thoughtful musings on subjects that the author considered day-to-day for a samurai. Much of it has no real application to modern life, but there are some subjects that still relate to us today, such as lessons of bravery in the face of adversity. If nothing else, this is a great read when comparing contemporary western living to the life of a samurai in the late 1600's.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Make Your One True Cut, Dec 19 2012
This review is from: Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai (Paperback)
In 1700 the credited author, Yamamoto Tsunetomo was granted permission to retire and became a Buddhist priest rather than disemboweling himself in sympathy with his master’s death. In 1710, a young samurai scribe, Tashiro Tsuramoto, had been released from his duties and he spent the next 7 years recording the utterances of Yamamoto. They were arranged as a book title "Hagakure."

"The Book of the Samurai" contains 300 selections (from over 1,300) from "Hagakure," as translated by William Scott Wilson. It is a book of short selections and not a story. Its appeal is intuitive rather than rational and represents an attitude far removed from our Western materialism. For example a selection from the 7th Chapter:

“Yamamoto Kichizaemon was order by his father to cut down a dog at the age of five, and at the age of fifteen he was made to execute a criminal. Everyone, by the time they were fourteen or fifteen, was ordered to do a beheading without fail. It is said that at that time he was made to cut down more than ten men successively. A long time ago this practice was followed, especially in the upper classes, but today even the children of the lower classes perform no executions, and this is extreme negligence.”
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4.0 out of 5 stars A book by a samurai for a samurai, Aug. 27 2004
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ÿsvaldr (Blenheim, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
This book is great for the aspiring martial artist or even someone who just likes to learn about what feudal Japan was like through the eyes of one of it's warriors. Myself being a student of kenjutsu (Art of the Sword), could relate to a lot of what Yamamoto was saying, and apply it to my everyday life. This isn't a story with a beginning, middle, end and a plot, however it is more of an instructional book from a retired samurai to a younger samurai eager to learn. Yamamoto focuses on methods of how a samurai should act at all times and in different circumstances as well as recounting some stories of past samurai and daimyo (feudal lord). A good buy, definately.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mishima and Hagakure, Dec 17 2003
This review is from: Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai (Paperback)
The bulk of the reviews prior to my own do a great job of covering the books aspects. However, I wanted to make one point in regards to those who, after reading the book, were really impressed by it. If you enjoyed reading the book, also try and find a copy of "The Way of the Samurai Yukio Mishima on Hagakure in Modern Life" from a library or used book store. It is out of print for the time being, but if you can get ahold of a copy you will get even more out of Hagakure after reading this book. I was fortunate enough to obtain both books around the same time and this really fostered my interest in bushido and the samurai culture in a very profound way as well as lead me to discover Mishima's works and life in regards to the samurai ideals.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent collection of bushido axioms., Sept. 25 2003
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Hagakure offers an introduction to the much revered Samurai code of Bushido. Originally serving as a secret code of duty and honor, Bushido has become the cornerstone of the Japanese warrior spirit. The book is comprised of around 300 selected sayings of the seventeenth century Samurai turned monk, Yamamoto Tsunetomo. They vary in scope from social etiquette to dying with honor. Hagakure is a must own for anyone who truly wants to understand the history and motives of Samurai Bushido.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Powerful Message, June 3 2003
By A Customer
The Hagakure is a mixed bag for the average reader- some of the contents are life changing and pensive, while others seem very out of place. Overall, it provides an excellent view into the way of life that was the Samurai. It had a profound impact in my daily life, and I would like to absorb more after another time through it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Only for Samurai fetishists and Occidental Japanophiles!, Jan. 5 2003
This review is from: Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai (Paperback)
Deliberate before purchasing this book unless you are a hardcore Japan fetishist. I know that most of the reviews here are glowing and I am nonplussed by this because, frankly, this book is definitely way too esoteric for most.
Hagakure is a compilation of the selected musings of a 'retired' Samurai as recorded by a disciple or admirer who visited him in his post-retirement gig as a Buddhist monk. These selections pertain to the day to day comportment of a 'good' Samurai, sweeping statements about how things work, and examples of good 'Way.' As this was dictated during the late 1600's, you can imagine how otherworldly much of this information is, and frankly this is the book's main attraction: The total alterity of a supposed way of life of a discrete segment of the population of historical Japan.
If one reads enough books about subjects Japanese, one is bound to run into excerpts of this book being quoted say, or displayed as chapter headings. This is because the book has some really excellent 'sound bites' that beg to be used as such. Sadly, this nugget-like structure makes a linear reading of the book a bit of a bore.
Also, if one reads the text closely (assuming that the translator has done a good job, and I am not sure that I would concede this point), one is forced to realize that either the narrator is not a particularly deep-thinker or that the scribe to whom he spoke did only a fair job of capturing the essence of the narrator's speech. One needs only to have read, from Japan, Sei Shonagon's brilliant 'Pillow Book' or 'The Story of a Rogue,' as I believe it is called, for the contrast between these truly perceptive and insightful efforts and those found here to cast this book in a very poor light. I highly recommend an excellent book by Hiroaki Sato titled "Legends of the Samurai" where, incidentally, I believe that Yamamoto is quoted, as an alternative to this as a means of getting the Samurai perspective.
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Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai
Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai by Tsunetomo Yamamoto (Paperback - Feb. 19 1992)
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