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Musashi [Hardcover]

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Item description for Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa & Charles Sanford Terry...

When a Zen priest saves Musashi after the Battle of Sekigahara and confines him in solitude to train and discipline his mind and spirit, Musashi attempts to become the greatest samurai in Japan

Publishers Description
The classic samurai novel about the real exploits of the most famous swordsman.
Miyamoto Musashi was the child of an era when Japan was emerging from decades of civil strife. Lured to the great Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 by the hope of becoming a samurai-without really knowing what it meant-he regains consciousness after the battle to find himself lying defeated, dazed and wounded among thousands of the dead and dying. On his way home, he commits a rash act, becomes a fugitive and brings life in his own village to a standstill-until he is captured by a weaponless Zen monk.
The lovely Otsu, seeing in Musashi her ideal of manliness, frees him from his tortuous punishment, but he is recaptured and imprisoned. During three years of solitary confinement, he delves into the classics of Japan and China. When he is set free again, he rejects the position of samurai and for the next several years pursues his goal relentlessly, looking neither to left nor to right.
Ever so slowly it dawns on him that following the Way of the Sword is not simply a matter of finding a target for his brute strength. Continually striving to perfect his technique, which leads him to a unique style of fighting with two swords simultaneously, he travels far and wide, challenging fighters of many disciplines, taking nature to be his ultimate and severest teacher and undergoing the rigorous training of those who follow the Way. He is supremely successful in his encounters, but in the Art of War he perceives the way of peaceful and prosperous governance and disciplines himself to be a real human being.
He becomes a reluctant hero to a host of people whose lives he has touched and been touched by. And, inevitably, he has to pit his skill against the naked blade of his greatest rival.
Musashi is a novel in the best tradition of Japanese story telling. It is a living story, subtle and imaginative, teeming with memorable characters, many of them historical. Interweaving themes of unrequited love, misguided revenge, filial piety and absolute dedication to the Way of the Samurai, it depicts vividly a world Westerners know only vaguely. Full of gusto and humor, it has an epic quality and universal appeal.
The novel was made into a three-part movie by Director Hiroshi Inagai. For more information, visit the Shopping area.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   970
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.75" Width: 6.5" Height: 8.5"
Weight:   2.45 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jul 14, 1995
Publisher   Kodansha International
ISBN  4770019572  
ISBN13  9784770019578  

Availability  0 units.

More About Eiji Yoshikawa & Charles Sanford Terry

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EIJI YOSHIKAWA was born in 1892 near Tokyo. Beginning his literary career at the age of twenty-two, he continued to work as a journalist while writing novels that reached a large and appreciative readership. At the time of his death in 1962, he was one of Japan's most popular novelists. His memoirs have been translated as Fragments of a Past.

WILLIAM SCOTT WILSON, the translator, was born in 1944 and grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. As an undergraduate student at Dartmouth College in 1966, he was invited by a friend to join a three-month kayak trip up the coast of Japan from Shimonoseki to Tokyo. This eye-opening journey, beautifully documented in National Geographic, spurred Wilson's fascination with the culture and history of Japan.

After receiving a B.A. degree in political science from Dartmouth, Wilson earned a second B.A. in Japanese language and literature from the Monterey Institute of Foreign Studies in Monterey, California, then undertook extensive research on Edo-period (1603-1868) philosophy at the Aichi Prefectural University, in Nagoya, Japan.

Wilson completed his first translation, Hagakure, while living in an old farmhouse deep in the Japanese countryside. Hagakure saw publication in 1979, the same year Wilson completed an M.A. in Japanese language and literature at the University of Washington. Wilson's other translations include The Book of Five Rings, The Life-Giving Sword, The Unfettered Mind, the Eiji Yoshikawa novel Taiko, and Ideals of the Samurai, which has been used as a college textbook on Japanese history and thought. Two decades after its initial publication, Hagakure was prominently featured in the Jim Jarmusch film Ghost Dog.

Eiji Yoshikawa was born in 1892 and died in 1962.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Historical
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > Japanese

Reviews - What do customers think about Musashi?

ultimate swordsman  Apr 10, 2008
As a high school student, I first encountered this character in a series made up of five books. At the time, each book was released weeks or even months apart. I was so enamored with the story that I finished each book before the next one was released. But I eagerly anticipated each installment. It was like being hooked on a daytime soap. But mind you, this is no soap opera. This is perhaps the most captivating story I have ever encountered. I am pleased to find this edition contains the whole set in one book. If you are a fan of sword fights that begin with but an intent in the mind of the combatant coming to an end in the deceptively tranquil plains of feudal Japan, look no further. This story reminds you that however perfect the sword is as a tool for killing, the deadliest weapon remains the swordsman and not the sword. Musashi is the ultimate swordsman and his story has all the elements of an engaging epic containing betrayal, honor, struggle, unrequited love, death and much more. The duels of the sword depicted here are like nothing I have ever read or seen or heard about before back then as a high school student and now as an adult. Printing quality and paper quality is excellent as befits a treasure of literature.
Musashi  Feb 17, 2008
Great story!! Full of action and wonderful details so you really feel like you are part of the story. My son who does not like to read cannot help but enjoy this one. Just when he seems a little bored the author has something exciting. A great read for boys or men.
This book is a master piece!  Oct 19, 2007
I read this books while I was in the senior high school, approximately twenty years ago, but until now the story is still clinging in my mind and it refused to forget it because this is a best novel I've ever know.Extremely worthy to own it. It seems that Eiji Yoshikawa did a great deal of works to perfecting it.
A wondrous and highly satisfying novel  Oct 17, 2007
I read Musashi 15 years ago, and I remember it vividly. It's such a sweeping, wondrous novel, I'm surprised it's not more famous than it is. I became a bit of a Yoshikawa fan from this, and visited his home, preserved as a museum, outside Tokyo. A beautiful serene place. Musashi, in retrospect, was highly inspirational to me as a writer, in terms of pacing, character development, and raw storytelling. I recently bought a copy for a fellow writer, who has samurai themes in his works, and I'm sure I will continue to gift this novel to my friends. Enjoy!
Yahoo for Musashi.  Aug 10, 2007
I remember reading this years ago... now I'm reading the Vagabond comics based on it. So much fun.

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