Showing posts from December, 2020

December 2020 Book Survey: Miyamoto Musashi

  Introduction Daruma (Bodhidharma) Meditating, Eisei Bunko Museum/Foundation Are you a fan of Miyamoto Musashi (宮本 武蔵, 1582- 13 June 1645)? I wanted to know as much as historically possible about this famous samurai, which led me to reading and studying the books profiled in this post.  At Martial History Team we promote  martial arts history based on sound evidence and sourced research . This meant that fictional works like Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa (English edition, 1981) were out of scope for this review.  I focused on three sorts of books: 1. Translations of Musashi's best known book, the  The Book of Five Rings (五輪の書, Go Rin No Sho ) 2. Biographies 3. Supporting works Some of the books I read fit into more than one category, and will be noted below. As I am neither fluent in Japanese nor in the possession of the Japanese source material for this book, I cannot comment on the translation -- except when it is clear that the author is not actually translating anything. (I will

Did Miyamoto Musashi Say "There is more than one path to the top of the mountain."?

   Did Miyamoto Musashi Say "There is more than one path to the top of the mountain."? Introduction I came across this quote in one of my martial arts Facebook groups. I am completing a survey of books by and about Miyamoto Musashi (1582-1645), and I did not recall reading this phrase. The sentiment also appeared to be completely opposite to what Musashi thought, as he is very direct and precise about how to live. I decided to research this quote. The Source The Martial Artist's Book of Five Rings, 1994 The source of this saying is easy enough to find. It appears in the book first published by Tuttle in 1994 as  The Martial Artist's Book of Five Rings , by Steve Kaufman. The subtitle says "The definitive interpretation of Miyamoto Musashi's classic book of strategy." Since 2004, Tuttle has sold it as  Musashi's Book of Five Rings . I already described why this book has nothing to do with what Miyamoto Musashi actually said. Please see my post  Did Mi