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Hagakure: The Secret Wisdom of the Samurai

Paperback - 27 May 2014
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The comprehensive and accurate edition of the Hagakure is a must-have for serious martial artists or fans of samurai and the bushido code.

The Hagakure is one of the most influential of all Japanese texts--written nearly 300 years ago by Yamamoto Tsunetomo to summarize the very essence of the Japanese Samurai bushido ("warrior") spirit. Its influence has been felt throughout the world, and yet its existence is scarcely known to many Westerners. This is the first translation to include the complete first two books of the Hagakure and the most reliable and authentic passages contained within the third book; all other English translations published previously have been fragmentary and incomplete.

Alex Bennett's wholly new and highly readable translation of this essential work includes extensive footnotes that serve to fill in many cultural and historical gaps in the previous translations. This unique combination of readability and scholarship gives Hagakure: The Secret Wisdom of the Samurai a distinct advantage over all previous English editions.

Customer Reviews

5 customer reviews Between 4−5 stars rating, 11 September 2014
By: Don Warrener, President, Budo International

Alex Bennett is the very best writer on martial arts alive today and [his] work needs to be showcased to the general public.

5 customer reviews Between 4−5 stars rating, 11 September 2014
By: Tetsuo Yamaori, Director of the International Research...

Dr. Bennett possesses a profound knowledge of, and deep insight into, the world of Japanese bushido. This expertise has been enhanced by his extensive practical experience of the traditional martial arts of Japan, and his proficiency in this domain is highly acclaimed.

5 customer reviews Between 4−5 stars rating, 11 September 2014
By: Dr. Karl F. Friday, author of Samurai, Warfare...

Alex Bennett has produced the first truly authoritative translation and analysis of Hagakure—perhaps the most famous text ever written about samurai honor—to appear in any Western language. Simultaneously erudite and accessible, this volume belongs on the bookshelves of anyone—scholar or hobbyist alike—interested in samurai culture, or modern perceptions thereof.

5 customer reviews Between 4−5 stars rating, 11 September 2014
By: The Japan Times

A strong point is a scholarly and succinct introduction that grounds the work in historical and social context, equipping the reader with a cultural map of Yamamoto’s world. Footnotes provide valuable background and add resonance throughout, keeping names and familial relations straight, highlighting pertinent cross-references and generally rendering the work accessible to contemporary readers.

5 customer reviews Between 4−5 stars rating, 11 September 2014
By: Black Belt

The classic budo book by Yamamoto Tsunetomo has received a fresh translation by Alexander Bennett. The author of three other books on Japanese martial arts, Bennett also lectures on Japanese martial culture. In this work, he provides an English version of all three volumes of the 300-year-old Hagakure.

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