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Soul of the Samurai: Modern Translations of Three Classic Works of Zen Bushido

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  163 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Soul of the Samurai contains modern translations of three classic works of Zen & Bushido.

In Soul of the Samurai, bestselling author and respected translator Thomas Cleary reveals the true essence of the Bushido code or Zen warrior teachings according to 17th-century Japanese samurai master Yagyu Munenori and his Zen teacher Takuan Soho.

The three works of Zen & Bush
Paperback, 160 pages
Published March 11th 2014 by Tuttle Publishing (first published 2005)
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Danielle Tremblay
I won this book in GoodReads giveways. I admit that I don't know much about martial arts in general and Samurai in particular. But I've always been fascinated by Japan and Samurais. I read historical books on that subject. But maybe I should have begun with The Art of War by Sun Tzu and translated by Thomas Cleary, which seems more accessible for neophytes like me.

I can tell that people who think that this book is only on swordsmanship miss the point. Everything is tinged of Zen. I realized how
The Scrivener's Quill
This is another book that looked fun, but it turns out to be more about the study of war. I was looking more for the philosophy of the samurai and not the war strategy. It may show up later in the book, but I don't have the desire to wade through the other stuff to get there.
Dina Kaidir Elsouly
In Asian tradition, martial arts have always been associated with philosophical and religious tradition. My personal interest in this topic/genre cropped up at a time when I embarked on a 400 year old Javanese form of this ancient art. These esoteric studies of the "working of energy," is fascinating. That martial arts is, in this modern day and age, more entertainment, sport and the like is a loss indeed.

More potent when practiced in a religious/traditional framework.
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: martial-arts
Soul of the Samurai: Modern Translations of Three Classic Works of Zen is a much longer read then it appears. There are roughly 152 pages but you will want to the read the comentary by the author as he has done an excellent job of explaining some of the more esoteric concepts of Zen Buddhism. I found myself reading certain passages more than once as there are a fair number of Zen phrases and koans that require critical thinking.

On the surface, this book has extreme value for any martial artist/b
Rab Araujo
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Este es un libro pequeño pero con un contenido inmenso para el artista marcial. Y aquí quiero recalcar el "artista marcial" real y no solo el aficionado que practica por deporte, en ese caso encontrarás muchas palabras sin sentido y supercherías al por mayor.

Poder leer más enseñanzas de verdaderos maestros samurái así como su sistema de creencias en su actuar y en su ser es algo maravilloso y de cierta forma revelador.

Mi recomendación es la siguiente: lee este libro 2 veces, una poniendo toda tu
First off, I received this book free through the Goodreads First Reads program.

Samurai's have always been more interesting to me than the Ninja, so when I saw this, I thought it'd be interesting. It was definitely interesting for me, but at times extremely dry. It also wasn't what I expected, yet at the same time it was. I expected more on the samurai and less on the sword, but at the same time I was aware swordsmanship was very vital to that of the Samurai. Definitely wouldn't use the sword tec
Chimezie Ogbuji
Jan 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: military strategists
There are many books on philosophy of samurai, bushido, etc., but this is my favorite for several reasons. Thomas Cleary is a well established expert on translations of Buddhist-influenced philosophy as well as an expert linguist as his translations are from the originals (which I prefer). So, his understanding of Buddhist philosophy his technical skill in translating traditional chinese text (Kanji written form is traditional Chinese) contribute to making it a very authentic body of work coveri ...more
Apr 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I am biased because I like the Samurai Culture and their history. It was so great that I wrote down the major ideas of this book unto a single page that is framed at my office desk.

As far as reviewing goes, Thomas brilliantly translates and explains some of the difficult passages that exist in this book. Some of his interventions were absolutely necessary since they bring light to obscure references that are contextually depended on historical moments that the novice or interm
Neel Kuila
Aug 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Having studied martial arts for almost a third of my life, this book put into words concepts I only knew with my hands. It elucidates a few ways of how to master the act of mastery. A short read well worth your time.

The killing sword can probably be skimmed, it has a lot to do with practical martial arts techniques. Cool from a historical point of view though.
Apr 30, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm pretty sure my mind is not clear enough to truly understand the deeper meaning in this book. To me it was just...too obscure I guess. The one thing I did learn was to not let your mind linger on anything. Other than that, it was just too complicated and fullvof imagery etc that I just didn't understand.
I wouldn't necessarily say this was a bad book. It's actually quite good. It did however whet my appetite for more of a buddhist oriented text and I haven't found reason to pick it up again.

Very interesting. Maybe I'm just not quite ready for it yet.
Diogo Jesus
Jul 18, 2016 rated it liked it
An english render of japanese religious and ethic principles to be followed by a Samurai. Very complete and interesting. Made me recall the old european cavalry honor (a pagan one)
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