Matthew's Reviews > Musashi

Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa
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's review
Jul 19, 2011

liked it

Pulled this one back off the shelf to read again. I've been feeling a bit stagnant and unfocused in my life and, if nothing else, this book is about dramatic personal transformation.
This was a Great Slog of a book to get through with nearly 1000 pages, hundreds of characters and locations (all of them foreign to me), and a story that spans a decade or so. It took me about a year chipping away at the chapters bit by bit, returning to previous pasages to remember places and names that weren't mentioned in a while...I cannot say that it was light reading.
However, I was so overjoyed at how lyrical and beautiful this rousing story was. Even in this greatly-fictionalized form Miyamoto Musashi was a remarkable person who lived at a remarkable time and accomplished remarkable and lasting things. He was not a leader of men nor an empire builder. He sought neither wealth nor popularity. He rose from quite humble origins and tested his will aganst the will of the universe. He saw himself equal to no man and he proved this one duel at a time , learning with each encounter.
As a student of art as well as swordsmanship Musashi knew the importance of letting others know of his deeds and thoughts, and in addition to the numerous sculptures and paintings he left behind his book of strategy, "The Book of Five Rings".
I will probably read this book again, more quickly. I hope that I can glean more from it.

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