The Martial Artist's "Book of Five Rings": The Definitive Interpretation of Miyamoto Musashi's Classic Book of Strategy by Stephen F. Kaufman
Miyamoto Musashi's The Book of Five Rings is well known as a book of strategy and has been used by many as a means to understand contemporary Japanese business. However, Musashi himself was not a business person but a martial artist - the greatest warrior Japan has ever known - and the Five Rings was his definitive treatise on mortal combat. The Martial Artist's Book of Five Rings interprets this classic book specifically for the martial artist as it was originally intended. It explains the truths necessary for a full understanding of Musashi's message in depth and undiluted by a businessman's bias. The result is an enthralling treatise on martial strategy that combines a warrior's instincts with the philosophies of Buddhism, Shintoism, Confucianism, and Taoism. Like the original, this new interpretation is divided into five sections. The Book of Earth lays the groundwork for the study; Water explains attitudes of warriorness through an understanding of strategy; Fire teaches fighting based on the Earth and Water principles; Wind describes the differences in Musashi's own style and the styles of other schools; and the Book of No-thing describes the "way" of nature as being understood through "unthinking" conceptions.