This book is a classic military studies book, over 500 years old, written by a master swordsman in the early 1600s Japan. His treatise, Book of Five Rings, has become a must read with those who study the art of war, and often can be found on the shelves next to The Art of War, by Sun Tsu. If the reader is expecting a modern treatise, filled with verbose language and hyperbole, the reader will be sorely disappointed. This book is a philosophical treatise on combat. It will not walk you through every facet of thrust and parry, but provides the reader with thought provoking contemplation on the art of personal combat. The Japanese used both books in their business ventures, as they consider all business to be a form of warfare. Enjoy the read, close your eyes and see the words come to life in your mind. A great classical read.
Although somewhat platitudinous, there are a few nuggets sprinkled throughout. I enjoyed it, though unfortunately the book is not terribly memorable. I tend to think the Western mind doesn't appreciate the kinds of ideas expressed in this book as much as we should, however.
I did not find this book of much value whatsoever. It appears to be a hastily written book, taking ancient Zen writings and trying to make them sound trendy. I don't see much translational value or practical application of much of anything within this book.
Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1645) was a renowned samurai warrior who, from age 13 to 30, fought and won over sixty duels. Between the ages of 30 and 50 he became known as a skilled craftsman and sculptor, as well as a calligrapher and a prolific painter. It was during this time that he formulated the ideas that later became A Book of Five Rings.