Miyamoto Musashi (c. 1584-1645) is the most revered and celebrated swordsman in Japanese history; unfortunately, our modern portrait of this folk hero is derived mainly from popular books, comics, and film, with little heed paid to the early records by men who knew Musashi, practiced with Musashi, and went into battle with Musashi. This groundbreaking three-part series returns to these earliest of records to unravel the legend and thereby recapture the real character of this enigmatic medieval swordsman.
Part I, the Bushū denraiki, throws a new and refreshing light on many aspects of especially Musashi's early life--his troubled relations with his father, his first battle experience during Japan's period of unification, the sad death of his illegitimate child, and of course his legendary duel on Ganryū Island. For those interested in the sword culture of Japan, this true story of its most iconic figure is essential reading.
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"The first English translation of one of the oldest and most authoritative texts on Musashi--like the Bukoden, not just another retelling or reinterpretation, but a richly annotated rendition of a seminal text, till now available only in Japanese."About the Author:
William de Lange studied Japanese language and culture at the University of Leiden and at Waseda University in Japan. He is active as a translator and interpreter, and is a practitioner of the Shinkage school of swordsmanship. He is the author of The Real Musashi: Origins of a Legend, The Bukôden, the biographical series Famous Samurai, and Through the Eye of the Needle: The First Dutch Expedition to Reach Japan.
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