Dav's Reviews > A Book of Five Rings: The Classic Guide to Strategy

A Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi
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's review
Feb 16, 2012

it was ok
Read in February, 2012

Perhaps 450 years ago this was an impressive work, but other than for the value of reading a classic old world text, this book is mostly a waste of time. Luckily it's barely longer than a pamphlet, so not much time is wasted.

My main gripe is that the book was a quick effort and that even the author admits several times that most of the knowledge he professes to be able to teach you cannot be learned by reading his book! He dictated the thing in a single day apparently (the 12th day of 5th month 1645) to some lackey Teruo Magonojo. It appears to be mostly a cross between a brochure for his school and a frustrating exercise in talking in circles by a sixty year old know it all. You can just imagine Teruro's eye-rolling throughout.

I suppose the cliche of the martial arts master who can't give you a straight answer to anything comes directly from this guy.

Not that his advice is bad or anything. It's just incomplete and often either trite or incomprehensible. He should have put in more effort. Don't even get me started on the "Book of the Void"

He's an interesting character though. A full third of the book is a brief biography on him. That's probably the most interesting part.

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