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Miyamoto Musashi: A Life in Arms

Miyamoto Musashi: A Life in Arms

A Biography of Japan's Greatest Swordsman

By (author) William de Lange


A full biography of Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi
Full Description

First to translate two of the oldest accounts of Musashi’s career – the Bushû denraiki and the Bukôden – William de Lange presents a full biography of the most famous yet enigmatic of swordsmen. In doing so, he draws extensively on a wealth of additional and often neglected sources to reconstruct the meandering course of Musashi’s eventful life: his dramatic encounter with Sasaki Kojirô on Ganryû island, his multiple bouts with the famed Yoshioka brothers, and the remarkable gestation of his life’s influential work: The Book of Five Rings. In the course of this highly readable account, many of the convenient myths that have arisen around Musashi are debunked. The more controversial incidents of the warrior’s life that have been left hidden, perhaps deliberately, are uncovered: his troubled relationship with his father, his whereabouts during the battle of Sekigahara, the siege of Osaka castle, and the birth and death of an illegitimate child, which was an event that deeply influenced his art. The biography reveals how Musashi’s path through life was shaped by strong personal traits: his reckless valor in the face of danger, his sensitive intelligence in the fields of art and architecture, his generosity toward peers and pupils, and his defiant stubbornness in old age. The complex yet human portrait that arises is a far cry from the accepted one-dimensional caricature of this medieval swordsman.

Floating World Editions
12th Nov 2014
Paperback / softback
USA & Canada
6.11 in x 8.89 in
288 Pages
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