The astounding transformation of tiny, resource-poor Japan into the world's second largest economy in the span of less than 30 years was due to the ongoing influence of an ancient samurai code of ethics-a code that once made the Japanese unbeatable warriors in hand-to-hand combat and which now makes them formidable strategists in business and other fields.
The most famous combat strategist in Japanese history was Musashi Miyamoto, a warrior who lived from 1584 to 1645. Musashi fought his first duel to the death when he was 13, killing a veteran warrior more than twice his age. By the time he was 29 he had killed over 60 other warriors in death duels and was a legend in his own time.
Just before he died, Musashi recorded his philosophy, strategies, and tactics in a short treatise entitled Go Rin Sho "The Book of Five Rings". Samurai Strategies has extracted the fundamentals of Musashi's tactics from this esoteric little book and explains them here in the modern context of business, politics, and war. Musashi's strategies for winning are as valid today as they were in seventeenth century Japan and provide valuable insights for anyone in any field of endeavor--from business, war, and sports to the fields of art, love, and politics.
Spotlight customer reviews:
Customer Rating: Summary: A Must Read! Comment: This book is definitely a must-read for everyone, martial artist or not. It reads fairly quickly, and is one you'll want to read again. Each of the '42...secrets' are life-lessons. They give you insight into the time when Samurai lived, and explains how the lesson applied then and how it applies now. We all have something to learn from their code of Honor, and this book can help everyone. Customer Rating: Summary: A Cracking Book and not just limited to Martial Artists!! Comment: THE BOOK of FIVE RINGS (Go Rin No Sho) - Summarised!!
I really can not emphasise enough how BRILLIANT this version of The Book of Five Rings is. Most other translations of "Miyamoto Musashi's" book are long and hard to understand, or more precisely, you can read it, understand the words easily enough, but the meaning and the important LIFE saving lessons don't come though very well......
......but this book by Boye De Lafayette Mente is just so well written and laid out. He breaks down all the lessons from "Musashi" into small chapters. Once you've read the book a couple of times all you need to do is just look at the chapter headings for a quick refresher & apply these skills to your life.
THIS IS NOT JUST A BOOK FOR BUDO or MARTIAL ARTISTS!! It's for everyone. Musashi devoted & sacrificed his whole life into discovering how we should live successfully & conduct ourselves. He was the very best swordsman in Japan of his time, never once was he defeated (or even cut). This was all down to his unique approach to his fighting, from the lessons he learnt during duals he was asked at the end of his life to summarise and tell the world how he became so successful.
This really is a cracking book. It takes the "The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi" and summarises it (in plain easy to read & understandable English) into 42 easy to follow and understandable chapters & steps.
It can be easily read in a day or two, but its best if it's RE-READ a couple of times at least 'though. It gets straight to the point. Each chapter is dealt with in just a page or three.
Apply these important principles to your life and work, as well as to your chosen Martial Art. Samurai Secrets may have been a better title perhaps?
Do look out for Boye Lafayette de Mente's other titles. His style of writing is very easy going and precise. He makes the subject matter easy to absorb and understand.
For example try "The Japanese Samurai Code" and Enjoy!! If you buy the actual translation of "The Book of Five Rings" then Thomas Cleary's version I think is the best. I say this as there are many translations of the same book and most are in the old classical direct translation style and not easy (for me anyway) to digest.
I really am so surprised that there are no other reviews raving about this translation of this version of the Book of Five Rings.
You really WON'T be disappointed!! Customer Rating: Summary: Highly recommended reading for corporate executives and entrepreneurs Comment: Musashi Miyamoto was a famous Japanese warrior who lived from 1584 to 1645 who recorded his philosophy, strategies and tactics in a short treatise just before his death. Samurai Strategies: Forty-Two Martial Secrets From Musashi's Book Of Five Rings by Boye Lafayette de Mente adapts Musashi's military precepts and martial arts ideals to the modern world of business. Swiftly carrying readers through the philosophical issues faced in business procedures and identifying the most effective premise from which to work, Samurai Strategies draws from Miyamoto's philosophy and is very highly recommended reading for corporate executives and entrepreneurs for it's conceptual approach to life lessons learned in ancient theaters of war and directly applicable to modern business practices.
Customer Rating: Summary: Very glad to have found this book...excellent work...also very easy to read! Comment: I am very glad to have found this book.
My first encounter with the life story of Miyamoto Musashi, Japan's most renowned combat strategist, was in the early 80's when I started to work for a large heavy & construction equipment conglomerate, which dealt primaily with Japanese principals & their products. For the first time in my life, I was introduced to Japanese management culture, & the first 'Japanese' book I read was 'The Book of Five Rings', translated by a Victor Harris, a mechanical engineer like me.
Coming back to today: The author of this particular book is quite right. Miyamoto Musashi's original work was written for samurai warriors who are steeped into Buddhlist & Shinto precepts, in the code of the samurai, in the long traditions of the samurai, & in allusions that were part of the culture of the times. Like Japanese artists who leave it up to readers to complete their work, Miyamoto Musashi left it up to readers of his work to fill in the details of his allusions & advice from their own store of knowledge.
Henceforth, it wasn't easy for me to read 'The Book of Five Rings.' It took me quite a while to figure out the essence, digest the work & eventually managed to distill about ten strategies which I could understand & apply in my own sphere of work.
In this particular book, the author has attempted to identify & explain, in plain English, the philosophy, the strategy, & the ways of winning that Miyamoto Musashi sought to pass on to his disciples. The original work is about how to fight duels to the death & win! The author has made the fighting principles equally applicable to winning in business, & in virtually all other endeavours. In fact, he has elegantly distilled them all down to 42 strategies (compared to my original ten strategies)!!!
The author's writing is almost straight-talk, & in easy-to-understand language. I would even recommend all teens to read it in order to achieve a quick headstart in life, as the 42 strategies are also applicable in studies & in sports.
Interestingly, the Book of Five Rings is, in Miyamoto Musashi's own words, "a guide for men who want to learn strategy."
In life, eveything is possible. It is just a question of strategy.
On the whole, this is excellent work. It therefore deserves a rating of 5 from me.