Hagakure: The Secret Wisdom of the Samurai

Tuttle Publishing
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The comprehensive and accurate edition of the Hagakure is a must-have for serious martial artists or fans of samurai and the bushido code.

The Hagakure is one of the most influential of all Japanese texts—written nearly 300 years ago by Yamamoto Tsunetomo to summarize the very essence of the Japanese Samurai bushido ("warrior") spirit. Its influence has been felt throughout the world, and yet its existence is scarcely known to many Westerners. This is the first translation to include the complete first two books of the Hagakure and the most reliable and authentic passages contained within the third book; all other English translations published previously have been extremely fragmentary and incomplete.

Alex Bennett's completely new and highly readable translation of this essential work includes extensive footnotes that serve to fill in many cultural and historical gaps in the previous translations. This unique combination of readability and scholarship gives Hagakure: The Secret Wisdom of the Samurai a distinct advantage over all previous English editions.
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Un clásico de la cultura japonesa que ayuda a la introspección y la concentración en nuestro mundo cada vez más frenético.

Considerado como una de las fuentes de inspiración de Fernando Alonso, el piloto lo cita frecuentemente en sus intervenciones públicas y redes sociales.

«Cuando las cosas se hacen despacio,
salen mal siete veces de cada diez.
El guerrero hace las cosas deprisa.»

Hagakure significa «a la sombra de las hojas» y es una obra literaria japonesa escrita por Yamamoto Tsunetomo en el siglo XVIII. Su intención era transmitir a las generaciones venideras las reglas del bushido, es decir, el código guerrero de los samuráis.

Se trata de un breviario, un compendio de anécdotas y reflexiones de temática variada y sin un orden preestablecido, hecho con la intención de transmitir introspección y conocimiento filosófico al tiempo que promueve el espíritu del bushido. El texto solo iba dirigido a los guerreros y se mantuvo en secreto durante muchos años. Posteriormente llegó a convertirse en un clásico de la cultura japonesa.

Con una esencia que se contrapone al materialismo imperante en nuestra sociedad, este texto ha alcanzado gran notoriedad en nuestros días y ha llegado a convertirse en libro de cabecera de personajes tan admirados como Fernando Alonso, que ha llegado a tatuarse un samurái en su espalda. «¿Yo, en una palabra?», respondía recientemente en una entrevista: «Guerrero. [El samurái] es una manera de recordarme quién soy, de dónde vengo y la fuerza que tengo que tener cada día.»

Fernando Alonso ha dicho...
«Cierro el libro, respiro 7 veces y me voy a dormir.»

18 total

Additional Information

Tuttle Publishing
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Published on
May 27, 2014
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History / Asia / Japan
History / Military / Strategy
Philosophy / Eastern
Sports & Recreation / Martial Arts & Self-Defense
Sports & Recreation / Training
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The Art of War is a classic of military strategy. It is ascribed to Sun Tzu, also called Sunzi or Sun Wu, a quasi-legendary figure. The work has been dated from between the 6th to the 3rd century BCE. It is known worldwide and is considered required reading for students of political and military science.

As with other classics, many of its themes are timeless. Quotations from the work can be meaningful apart from the thousands of years which separate us from the time and place of its creation.

The Art of War is itself a brief work. However, it is generally packaged with extensive commentary and additional essays, so that it appears to be a book of around 200 pages or more. (This new modern edition is only 40 pages in length.)

Much of what is added to these editions is only interesting to academics or students of the minutiae of history. At the same time, the intentions of readers tends to be to find out what it is that makes this work such a classic, not learn about the history of its commentaries.

This new edition meant to address the needs of the modern reader. By honing the language down to clear formulations, The Art of War can be more readily understood, more enjoyable to read, and more relevant to today.

The English is based on the original translation by Lionel Giles. The 1910 English prose of Giles is awkward to our modern ears, and slows down our reading and appreciation of this classic.

The new modern edition of The Art of War is meant to communicate the authentic essence and meaning of this work in modern, accessible English prose. This version is an abridgement, a shortened form of a work which nevertheless retains the same meaning and upholds the unity of the original.

Abridgement is foremost a cutting away of the inessential parts, which ends up in condensing the work. The key to abridging is to ensure the prose is extremely clear and transparent in meaning, requiring little additional guidance or interpretation to reach understanding.
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