Musashi

ISBN-10: 4770019572
ISBN-13: 9784770019578
Edition: 1981
List price: $35.00 Buy it from $17.69
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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  More...

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Book details

List price: $35.00
Copyright year: 1981
Publisher: Kodansha America, Incorporated
Publication date: 5/15/1995
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 984
Size: 6.50" wide x 8.50" long x 1.75" tall
Weight: 2.442
Language: English

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.

Edwin O. Reischauer was born in Japan in 1910, the son of Protestant educational-missionary parents, founders of Japan's first school for the deaf. After being educated in Japanese and American schools, he received his B.A. from Oberlin College in 1931 and his M.A. from Harvard in 1932. Four years later he received a Ph.D. in Far Eastern Languages from Harvard. In 1938 he joined the faculty at Harvard, where he rose to the position of professor and acted for an extensive period as director of the Harvard-Yenching Institute. His academic career was interrupted by World War II, during which he served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Army, and he held civilian posts first in the War Department and later in the Department of State. In 1961 he again took leave from Harvard to accept a position for which he had been hand-picked by President John F. Kennedy---ambassador to Japan. The Japanese accepted him as one of their own; one editorial writer welcomed him by writing that he was well informed about Japan, "having no equal among foreigners on that point." Another remarked how satisfying it would be to "write an editorial and know that the American Ambassador will actually be able to read it." Reischauer was a prolific writer and an energetic speaker who saw his role as introducing Japan to America. In his writings and in his activities in other media such as film, he was committed to reaching as broad an audience as possible. At Harvard he led in training the first generation of true American scholars of Japan. As U.S. ambassador to Japan, however, his role became reversed as he sought to educate Japanese about America and Americans. In the wake of the war in the Pacific, Reischauer hoped to show Americans and Japanese that the two countries could and should be close allies and friends. His assessment of Japan's history emphasized the nonrevolutionary character of its modern history and its outward-looking development. In his view Japanese war and aggression were aberrations in a long emerging liberal tradition. His positivist interpretation has been a leading influence in defining America's postwar vision of Japan.

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