Hagakure: Selections: The Way of the Samurai
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Hagakure: Selections: The Way of the Samurai

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  5,586 ratings  ·  215 reviews
It is a collection of philosophical notes written by Yamamoto Tsunetomo that offers both instruction and insight to the way of the Samurai. The concepts explained are a unique blend of Zen and Confucianism that was prevalent during Edo Era. It consists of detailed description on Japanese culture. An informative read
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Published July 13th 2009 by ReadHowYouWant (first published October 1st 1979)
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Abby
I love the randomness of this book. One paragraph is a about how to wear your awesome samurai hat, and the next is about the proper way to decapitate someone.
Chance
It irks me that people don't know the history of this book.

A lot of people seem to read it assuming that it's some sort of rule book that the samurai class carried around in their kimonos so as to follow its writings without err.

This is not the case. The book was written after 100 years of peace in Japan, when the samurai class was transforming into an administrative class.

Yes, that's right -- the author was some pencil-pusher for the state.

This doesn't mean it isn't an interesting book. Thinki...more
Aaron
The definitive book of my adult life.

This book was popularized in the film Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, showing an assassin for the mob who lives according to the his interpretation of the principles of this book. That is how I first came across the book, and since then the book has been a central part of my life.

The book is some 300 excerpts from a total of about 1,300 dictated to Yamamoto's attendant over the course of 7 years, between 1710 and 1716. Yamamoto was a samurai born some 60...more
Chiara
Knowing nothing about Samurai's history and/or tradition, I can take only the "philosphy" from this book.
Death is considered the only very important thought, around which everything else must dance in one's life. Death is our ultimate destination, and everything must be done in view of that unavoidable event. I can agree, but I cannot wholly share the attitude of a Samurai about it, since I believe I can leave more seeds and fruits through my life than through my death. I can teach a lot with t...more
H
Jun 04, 2009 H added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: martial
"If one dedicates these four vows to the gods and Buddhas every morning, he will have the strength of two men and will never slip backward. One must edge forward like the inchworm, bit by bit. The gods and Buddhas, too, first started with a vow."

A samurai's journal of anecdotes and aphorisms I've been rereading for years. It means something different to me each time, though the lessons are often the same ones I've forgotten. It's amazing how these lessons apply themselves to whatever my life is...more
Jody Mena
This is a really powerful book, which I think people could take lessons from even still today. It's possible that someone would have to know something about Japanese history and culture to begin to appreciate this writing, even as it teaches more deeply about the Japanese way of thinking, but I still think everyone should read this and try to wrap their heads around it. I don't pretend to have understood the significance of everything I read in it, and there are other concepts that in literal te...more
Lucas Paige
I've grown to like this book so much that I have my copy in my backpack at all times on campus. Any free time between classes and I'll re-read a little story Tsunetomo put in to teach a certain value.
The ersatz way of the samurai can still touch you, with stories that make you laugh and impress you. Random pieces of philosophy also roam the pages, serving as a reminder that a time in which honor was something you had the right to protect is long gone. While not everyone may agree that the Hagaku...more
Sami
"Bushido: The way of the Samurai" by Yamamoto Tsunetomo is the words of a power samurai (Yamamoto Tsunetomo) in his final days. Most of the book entails battle tactics and stories of battles, but through this stories a message about how to live your life better is portrayed. Like most wise samurai, Yamamoto belived that aspects that are learned in the battle field are ones that can be used to everyday life. I found this book very interesting because i am very into the whole "war verus life" phil...more
Adam
There is much knowledge to be found here that is still applicable today in many different arenas, from how to conduct yourself while in public view, to perspective on self-discipline. While it is essentially a handbook for the code of the samurai, which would make it seem at first like a dated subject that would only interest historians and those interested in martial arts, it is similar to Miyamoto Musashi's "Book of Five Rings" in that a good amount of the views still hold true in the modern w...more
Barney
So, want to read a book written by a mid-level clerk about samurai that never existed in his own time? A book whose message was corrupted by the militaristic rulers of Japan following the Meiji Resotoration?

If so, you've found the book you are looking for. This is a steamy pile, so bring some fresh gloves. If your black belt instructor is making you read this, hit him (or her) in the knee with it and ask for your money back. This is a prime example of how something awful can be made uniquely te...more
TarasProkopyuk
"Хагакурэ" очень подобна работе Юдзана Дайдодзи "Будосёсинсю". Книга того же жанра и её целью является пропаганда полного подчинения и безукоризненного служения самураев своему господину. Кроме самого служения здесь как и в вышеуказанной книге есть призыв к воспитанию высоких морально-деловых качеств. Но так же как и в "Будосёсинсю" автор не раскрывает читателям более широкого и глубокого мировоззрения.

Я не считаю что данные древние учения помогут воспитать великих людей, так как эти учения очен...more
Paul Tshagharyan
Իմ ամենասիրելի գրքերից է, որ կարողանում է կտրել իրականությունից ու տեղափոխել սամուրայների ժամանակաշրջանը, ուր հպարտությունն ու արժանապատվությունը, երդումն ու հավատարմությունը ոչ միայն դատարկ ու վերամբարձ խոսքեր չէին, այլև կյանքից թանկ էին: Ամենահետաքրքրականը, թերևս, մոտեցումն է մահվան նկատմամբ, ինչը թեմայից դուրս գտնվողներին թվում է հիվանդագնորեն թեթևամիտ ու անլուրջ... Որոշ հատվածներ՝ սամուրայների սկզբունքների և վարքի նկարագրությամբ կարող են դաժան ու անմարդկային թվալ, բայց իրենց գեղեցկությունը չ...more
Filip
How did the samurai live? What was the ultimate purpose of their life?

This book answers to all of these questions and more.

I managed to extract tons of great quotes out of this one, most of which have retained their relevance throughout all of these years. However, it IS impossible to keep up with the names (even in the same story), especially in the later, anecdote filled chapters derived from the writer's memory and circulating rumors and stories.

Also, this book might not appeal to the faint-...more
Miroku Nemeth
An interesting vision into the thoughts and reflections of a member of the samurai class from the 17th-18th century. Some real wisdom, some real insights, but also much that I found personally reprehensible from a social justice point-of-view (absolute obedience to one's lord to the point that one should breathe in and out the name of one's master is a sick form of idolatry and cannot be excused, nor can the class-based structure of the society). I believe in the warrior's code, and there was mu...more
Oscar
I read a selection of parts from Hagakure in the final year of high school for my end paper. Now, I picked up this illustrated hardcover copy in Dutch, which will make for a nice reference. It turns out its nearly 300 pages contain only a modest selection of the original work, so I wonder how many Hagakures are actually completely unabridged.

The book is deservedly a classic of Japanese philosophy, and it gives a valuable contrast to works like Musashi's Book of Five Rings, who emphasises other p...more
Graham
Some nice quotes, but generally just wacky.: Anyone interested in Japanese feudalism and the arts
risen from it, not to mention WWII should read this
book, or at least read it on-line as it's available
in it's entirety on several sites.
Those who have seen the film Ghost Dog will have already
'read' the best quotes from the book, as there are some
delightfully quirky quotes in there.
Personally what I find most distasteful about hagakure
is that it is negatively Confucian. The Samurai's be all
and end-...more
Allen
The ability to discern the true meaning of a worthy commitment can be a difficult journey for the True Warrior. His life is surrounded by violence and although having the sharpest reflexes mentally, he can lack clarity. Master Samurai Yamamoto Tsunetomo gives depth and understanding to the poignant life of a Samurai who's only real commitment in life is to die honorably. "This is not a phrase that the weak mind can comprehend..." I see expressions of films & web series being thrown around by...more
Peiman Meghrazchi





«هاگاکوره کتاب سامورایی» نوشته «یاماموتو چونه تومو» با ترجمه «سید رضا حسینی» از روی ترجمه انگلیسی آن، توسط انتشارات چشمه به چاپ رسیده است، چاپ اول در بهار 1389 و چاپ دوم در بهار1390 انجام شده که استقبال خوبی را به همراه داشته است.



به گزارش هنرنیوز، «هاگاکوره» به معنای «پوشیده با برگها» و یا «برگ های پوشیده»، عنوان کتابی است که در 1716 از نگارش گفته های «چونه تومو» پدید آمد و شامل آیین ها و طریقت سامورایی های ژاپن است.



بعد از مرگ «نابشیما میتسوشیگه» امیر منطقه ای در ژاپن، به دلیل اینکه خودکشی آیی

...more
Joshua
To begin with it is not for everyone. It is disjointed and quite unreadable to a person who is unfamiliar with Japanese history and culture. With this understood, however, it is an excellent read. The Hagakure, or Book of the Samurai, lets the reader into the world of 17th and 18th century Japan. Written by Yamamoto Tsunetomo, well written is actually inacurate. It was passed on to a visitor of Yamamoto's, who then transcribed it. Unfortunately it comes to us incomplete. This no doubt has aided...more
Mitchell
In 1700 the credited author, Yamamoto Tsunetomo was granted permission to retire and became a Buddist 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 Wils...more
Nathalie Andrews
It would be wrong to assume that this is a book of rules and etiquette for the samurai classes. It reads more like a collection of short stories or morality tales, interspersed at times with axioms. Many of the anecdotes offer lessons in virtue that might be universally applied. The meaning of others is less transparent. It would be very possible to dip in and out of this book and take a great deal of pleasure in reading it as something of a curiosity, offering a glimpse into another culture. A...more
Felonious
Hagakure: Book of the Samurai was written by Yamamoto Tsunetomo, a samurai who lived from 1659-1719. The version that I read was translated by William Scott Wilson.

The book was written in short thoughts and anecdotes, this combination gives the reader a look into not only the mind of the samurai but it also helps the reader understand the times and the culture of the samurai.

As one would expect there are many thoughts and stories about what death and honor meant to the samurai. But it also c...more
Randy Daugherty
Written after decades of peace, we are given a glimpse of what a true Samurai should be like.Though written about an age gone by the insights are for any person and are relevant even today. To awake everyday and live it as if you had already dies, Life is to short to be wasted, spend it doing things you enjoy, be careful of who you seek counsel, these are a few of the subjects touched on.
This is not a rule book but the thoughts of Yamamoto after he had been given permission to retire from the l...more
Paul
For someone who respects and admires the Old Way of warriorhood, this is a fun read. The book contains plenty of anecdotes, teachings from the author on the code of Bushido (the samurai code of honor) and how to live by the code and apply the virtues to one's life. This book is a look into the life of a samurai retainer during the feudal era of Japan, and is actually quite interesting to read his thoughts and the events that transpired during the time period. I enjoyed reading Hagakure, not only...more
Ben
Outdated, irrelevant in many ways, and very disjointed, Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai should still be a fun read for anyone interested in Japanese history and Samurai. There are some applicable philosophical ideas contained in these pages, but it's nowhere near as influential or thorough as other dedicated philosophical works of the time.

Worth the read if you're looking for fun facts and snippets of a Samurai's way of life, but not quite the handbook I was expecting. It feels very medieval...more
Nicolas Garcia
May 20, 2008 Nicolas Garcia rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: spiritual-diy
I will warn you that this is a sexist book, however one must take into account that it was written at the Dawn of the Tokugawa Shogunate. When you separate the distraction of sexism from it and apply it equally to men and women it is a book on how to never back down or surrender. How to live with honor and pride. How to be loyal to your master (and think abstractly, my master is the dream of a better world). The importance of family. It is versatile in its application from business to school to...more
Cormac Zoso
This is a very good book for those interested in both the ancient Way of the Samurai and Eastern Philosophy. While some might complain about the 'technical' aspect of Samurai life or stories concerning feudal life and relationships, it is still chock-full of those great little messages that make you stop and think during the reading. This translation seems very good to me but I can't say I'm any kind of expert on the subject.

If you're looking for a place to start with Samurai, this is a good one...more
Ian Mathers
A pretty fascinating series of excerpts from a pretty fascinating guy - Yamamoto was forbidding by his master from committing suicide upon said master's death, so he became a Buddhist priest and spent some of the next seven years grumbling about proper Samurai conduct and kids today to a younger warrior. Given his emphasis on fanaticism (translator's words) and dying for one's lord, I take him with a grain of salt, but there's some good stuff in here - and it's always entertaining, in any case.
Felipe Guerrero
Me gustó mucho este libro. Ademas de conocer a los samuráis me ha hecho respetarlos.

Uno creé conocerlos por lo que vemos en las películas pero la verdad es que la vida de un Samurái es admirable, este libro esta escrito por un alumno dictado por a su vez por su maestro, ambos fueron samuráis. Gracias a este libro ahora conozco lo que significa ser samurái, directamente de la mano de uno.

Trataré de aplicar algunas lecciones de este libro en mi vida diaria.
F.J. Nanic
This is not just a "manual for the samurai classes." The wisdom of it is pure and rarely found nowadays. Hardly anywhere else one could come across something like this:
"When faced with a crisis, if one puts some spittle on his earlobe and exhales deeply through his nose, he will overcome anything at hand. This is a secret matter. Furthermore, when experiencing a rush of blood to the head, if one puts spittle on the upper part of one's ear, it will soon go away."
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“There is surely nothing other than the single purpose of the present moment. A man's whole life is a succession of moment after moment. There will be nothing else to do, and nothing else to pursue. Live being true to the single purpose of the moment.” 111 likes
“There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road. But doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses, you still get wet. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be perplexed, though you will still get the same soaking. This understanding extends to everything.” 84 likes
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