Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai

Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai

Yamamoto Tsunetomo William Scott Wilson / Jun 19, 2019

Hagakure The Book of the Samurai Living and dying with bravery and honor is at the heart of Hagakure a series of texts written by an eighteenth century samurai Yamamoto Tsunetomo It is a window into the samurai mind illuminating t

  • Title: Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai
  • Author: Yamamoto Tsunetomo William Scott Wilson
  • ISBN: 9781590309858
  • Page: 406
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Living and dying with bravery and honor is at the heart of Hagakure, a series of texts written by an eighteenth century samurai, Yamamoto Tsunetomo It is a window into the samurai mind, illuminating the concept of bushido the Way of the Warrior , which dictated how samurai were expected to behave, conduct themselves, live, and die While Hagakure was for many years a secLiving and dying with bravery and honor is at the heart of Hagakure, a series of texts written by an eighteenth century samurai, Yamamoto Tsunetomo It is a window into the samurai mind, illuminating the concept of bushido the Way of the Warrior , which dictated how samurai were expected to behave, conduct themselves, live, and die While Hagakure was for many years a secret text known only to the warrior vassals of the Nabeshima clan to which the author belonged, it later came to be recognized as a classic exposition of samurai thought The original Hagakure consists of over 1,300 short texts that Tsunetomo dictated to a younger samurai over a seven year period William Scott Wilson has selected and translated here three hundred of the most representative of those texts to create an accessible distillation of this guide for samurai No other translator has so thoroughly and eruditely rendered this text into English For this edition, Wilson has added a new introduction that casts Hagakure in a different light than ever before Tsunetomo refers to bushido as the Way of death, a description that has held a morbid fascination for readers over the years But in Tsunetomo s time, bushido was a nuanced concept that related heavily to the Zen concept of muga, the death of the ego Wilson s revised introduction gives the historical and philosophical background for that metaphorical reading of Hagakure, and through this lens, the classic takes on a fresh and nuanced appeal.

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      • Yamamoto Tsunetomo William Scott Wilson

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    977 Comments

    1. I love the randomness of this book. One paragraph is a about how to wear your awesome samurai hat, and the next is about the proper way to decapitate someone.


    2. یاماموتو چونه توموياماموتو چونه تومو، يك سامورايى كهنه كار، پس از مردن اميرش، مى خواهد به سنت سامورايى ها، دست به سپوکه بزند و خود را همراه اميرش بكشد، اما پيش از اين، همين امير فرمان مؤكد بر لغو اين سنت داده. ياماموتو، بين تبعيت از سنت و تبعيت از امير فقيد، دومى را بر مى گزيند. [...]


    3. It irks me that people don't know the history of this book.A lot of people seem to read it assuming that it's some sort of rule book that the samurai class carried around in their kimonos so as to follow its writings without err. This is not the case. The book was written after 100 years of peace in Japan, when the samurai class was transforming into an administrative class.Yes, that's right -- the author was some pencil-pusher for the state.This doesn't mean it isn't an interesting book. Thinki [...]


    4. In Bushido "savoir vivre" equals "savoir mourir"I discovered this book thanks to Jim Jarmusch Arigato, sensei


    5. The definitive book of my adult life. This book was popularized in the film Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, showing an assassin for the mob who lives according to the his interpretation of the principles of this book. That is how I first came across the book, and since then the book has been a central part of my life. The book is some 300 excerpts from a total of about 1,300 dictated to Yamamoto's attendant over the course of 7 years, between 1710 and 1716. Yamamoto was a samurai born some 60 [...]


    6. The Way of the Samurai is in the death of his ego, so he selflessly lives a life that embraces death with honor. So deals with the transcendental area including both life and death. If man considers himself dead, he will live his life in complete peace.Accepting Death is the only way to be freeThe Way of the Samurai is found in death. When it comes to either/or, there is only the quick choice of death. It is not particularly difficult. Be determined and advance. To say that dying without reachin [...]


    7. ین کتاب آیین ها و سنت های سامورایی های اهل ژاپن از زبان یک سامورایی به نام چونه تومو هستش. این موضوعات در قالب متن های کوتاه و مینیمالیسیتی گنجونده شدن و درمورد موضوعات متفاوتی مثل مرگ، وفاداری، اطاعت بی چون و چرا از امیر، شجاعت و بی پروا بودن و هستن.اسم کتاب واسم خیلی خیلی وسو [...]


    8. اولین بار اسم هاگاکوره یا بوشیدو در اوایل سال ۲۰۰۰ در هنگام تماشای اثر تحسین برانگیز جیم جارموش بنام «گوست داگ: طریقت سامورایی» به گوشم خورد، شخصیت اصلی پس از انجام هر عملی بخش از این گزین گویی ها رو میخوند و چنان مجذوب شخصیت گوست داگ با بازی فارست ویتاکر شده بودم که خوندن کتاب [...]


    9. Knowing nothing about Samurai's history and/or tradition, I can take only the "philosphy" from this book. Death is considered the only very important thought, around which everything else must dance in one's life. Death is our ultimate destination, and everything must be done in view of that unavoidable event. I can agree, but I cannot wholly share the attitude of a Samurai about it, since I believe I can leave more seeds and fruits through my life than through my death. I can teach a lot with t [...]



    10. اين نوع نظام فكري و نظام رفتاري شون برام جذابيت فوق العاده زيادي داشت.


    11. این کتاب برای من نبوداحساس بدی دارم از اینکه آگاهانه وقت تلف کردم


    12. I read a selection of parts from Hagakure in the final year of high school for my end paper. Now, I picked up this illustrated hardcover copy in Dutch, which will make for a nice reference. It turns out its nearly 300 pages contain only a modest selection of the original work, so I wonder how many Hagakures are actually completely unabridged.The book is deservedly a classic of Japanese philosophy, and it gives a valuable contrast to works like Musashi's Book of Five Rings, who emphasises other p [...]


    13. So, want to read a book written by a mid-level clerk about samurai that never existed in his own time? A book whose message was corrupted by the militaristic rulers of Japan following the Meiji Resotoration? If so, you've found the book you are looking for. This is a steamy pile, so bring some fresh gloves. If your black belt instructor is making you read this, hit him (or her) in the knee with it and ask for your money back. This is a prime example of how something awful can be made uniquely te [...]


    14. "If one dedicates these four vows to the gods and Buddhas every morning, he will have the strength of two men and will never slip backward. One must edge forward like the inchworm, bit by bit. The gods and Buddhas, too, first started with a vow."A samurai's journal of anecdotes and aphorisms I've been rereading for years. It means something different to me each time, though the lessons are often the same ones I've forgotten. It's amazing how these lessons apply themselves to whatever my life is [...]


    15. To begin with it is not for everyone. It is disjointed and quite unreadable to a person who is unfamiliar with Japanese history and culture. With this understood, however, it is an excellent read. The Hagakure, or Book of the Samurai, lets the reader into the world of 17th and 18th century Japan. Written by Yamamoto Tsunetomo, well written is actually inacurate. It was passed on to a visitor of Yamamoto's, who then transcribed it. Unfortunately it comes to us incomplete. This no doubt has aided [...]


    16. Hagaukure or 'In the Shadows of Leaves' is a powerful book with powerful words arranged in a manner of short anecdotes collected over a period of years covering a wide variety of subjects mostly providing an insight on the behaviour of a samurai (warrior). Though it is not considered as a philosophical book, as the main anecdotes are more in the form of teachings for a warrior, these basic teachings are still applicable today in different modes of life and to learn and apply these basic teaching [...]


    17. “It is said that even after one’s head has been cut off, he can still perform some function.”The Hagakure, The book of the samurai, which is a kind of guidebook for Samurai, should be titled the book of the fanatic, exhorting as it does the “retainer” (a kind of Samurai personal servant) to behead as many men as possible, and to live as if one has already died. The book is full of contradictions and non sequiturs that make it seem a bit ludicrous at times, but there’s also a fair bit [...]


    18. I've grown to like this book so much that I have my copy in my backpack at all times on campus. Any free time between classes and I'll re-read a little story Tsunetomo put in to teach a certain value.The ersatz way of the samurai can still touch you, with stories that make you laugh and impress you. Random pieces of philosophy also roam the pages, serving as a reminder that a time in which honor was something you had the right to protect is long gone. While not everyone may agree that the Hagaku [...]


    19. This is a really powerful book, which I think people could take lessons from even still today. It's possible that someone would have to know something about Japanese history and culture to begin to appreciate this writing, even as it teaches more deeply about the Japanese way of thinking, but I still think everyone should read this and try to wrap their heads around it. I don't pretend to have understood the significance of everything I read in it, and there are other concepts that in literal te [...]


    20. How did the samurai live? What was the ultimate purpose of their life?This book answers to all of these questions and more.I managed to extract tons of great quotes out of this one, most of which have retained their relevance throughout all of these years. However, it IS impossible to keep up with the names (even in the same story), especially in the later, anecdote filled chapters derived from the writer's memory and circulating rumors and stories. Also, this book might not appeal to the faint- [...]


    21. "Bushido: The way of the Samurai" by Yamamoto Tsunetomo is the words of a power samurai (Yamamoto Tsunetomo) in his final days. Most of the book entails battle tactics and stories of battles, but through this stories a message about how to live your life better is portrayed. Like most wise samurai, Yamamoto belived that aspects that are learned in the battle field are ones that can be used to everyday life. I found this book very interesting because i am very into the whole "war verus life" phil [...]


    22. It would be wrong to assume that this is a book of rules and etiquette for the samurai classes. It reads more like a collection of short stories or morality tales, interspersed at times with axioms. Many of the anecdotes offer lessons in virtue that might be universally applied. The meaning of others is less transparent. It would be very possible to dip in and out of this book and take a great deal of pleasure in reading it as something of a curiosity, offering a glimpse into another culture. A [...]


    23. There is much knowledge to be found here that is still applicable today in many different arenas, from how to conduct yourself while in public view, to perspective on self-discipline. While it is essentially a handbook for the code of the samurai, which would make it seem at first like a dated subject that would only interest historians and those interested in martial arts, it is similar to Miyamoto Musashi's "Book of Five Rings" in that a good amount of the views still hold true in the modern w [...]


    24. من هم مثل بیشتر خوانندگان این کتاب از فیلم گوست داگ _جیم جارموش_ با این کتاب اشنا شدم .میتونم بگم که اگه فقط فیلم رو ببینید و این کتاب رو مطالعه نکنید هم چیز زیادی از دست نمیدین چون جوهره ی اندیشه سامورایی در فیلم به تصویر کشیده شده از جمله تبعیت مطلق از امیر ، مرگ اندیشی و خودکشی [...]


    25. Real rating: 5/10The Prince or either Art of War, the Hagakure is not. There is no brilliant strategist lying behind these words, this is of the author's own admission. All he has is fealty and he goes out of his way to prove that is all that matters. He bemoans skills and wit, cleverness and intelligence, art and cunning. He condemns any notion of thought or planning as is shown when he derides the still celebrated 47 ronin, for not attempting their attack sooner. As Yamamoto is the type of ind [...]


    26. Hagakure: Book of the Samurai was written by Yamamoto Tsunetomo, a samurai who lived from 1659-1719. The version that I read was translated by William Scott Wilson. The book was written in short thoughts and anecdotes, this combination gives the reader a look into not only the mind of the samurai but it also helps the reader understand the times and the culture of the samurai. As one would expect there are many thoughts and stories about what death and honor meant to the samurai. But it also c [...]


    27. The ability to discern the true meaning of a worthy commitment can be a difficult journey for the True Warrior. His life is surrounded by violence and although having the sharpest reflexes mentally, he can lack clarity. Master Samurai Yamamoto Tsunetomo gives depth and understanding to the poignant life of a Samurai who's only real commitment in life is to die honorably. "This is not a phrase that the weak mind can comprehend" I see expressions of films & web series being thrown around by to [...]


    28. Իմ ամենասիրելի գրքերից է, որ կարողանում է կտրել իրականությունից ու տեղափոխել սամուրայների ժամանակաշրջանը, ուր հպարտությունն ու արժանապատվությունը, երդումն ու հավատարմությունը ոչ միայն դատարկ ու վերամբարձ խոսքեր չէին, այլև կյանքից թանկ էին: Ամենահետաքրքրականը, թերևս, մոտ [...]


    29. Sexist and obsessed with suicide-as-respect. The hypocrisy of having a life vow of 'compassion' while supporting domestic violence.There were a few good passages, which I wrote down, but even most of those are just quotes from other people. The guy is a hack, taking credit for samurai culture and history without really knowing much about it, and thus teaching me very little.I also just have a significant problem with total devotion to a single person in a hierarchal position. Woops.But the begin [...]


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