The Unencumbered Spirit: Reflections of a Chinese Sage

The Unencumbered Spirit: Reflections of a Chinese Sage

We know almost nothing of Hung Ying-ming, except that he lived around the end of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) and that he was extraordinarily well-read and cultured. The Unencumbered Spirit is his classic work, a tour de force offering wise words distilled through the fundamental teachings of Taoism, Confucianism and Zen Buddhism. Hung's poetic prose embodies the infinite transformations of the world's opposites, what the Chinese called yin and yang--good and evil, honesty and deception, wisdom and foolishness, heaven and hell.

Yojokun: Life Lessons from a Samurai (The Way of the Warrior Series)

Yojokun: Life Lessons from a Samurai

The dawn of the 17th century saw peace descend on Japan. With the value of their martial skills on the decline, the samurai sought new spiritual, moral, psychological, and physical moorings. Tsunetomo Yamamoto, author of the now-classic Hagakure, combined a Confucian sense of justice with a Zen-influenced abandonment of the ego to espouse loyalty and death as paramount qualities of the samurai's calling.

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The Lone Samurai: The Life of Miyamoto Musashi

The Lone Samurai is a landmark biography of Miyamoto Musashi, the legendary Japanese figure known throughout the world as a master swordsman, spiritual seeker, and author of The Book of Five Rings. With a compassionate yet critical eye, William Scott Wilson delves into the workings of Musashi's mind as the iconoclastic samurai wrestled with philosophical and spiritual ideas that are as relevant today as they were in his times.

The 36 Secret Strategies of the Martial Arts: The Classic Chinese Guide for Success in War, Business, and Life

The 36 Secret Strategies of the Martial Arts is a collection of ancient Chinese maxims that encapsulate some of the Far East's most cunning tactics for battle and deception—and as such offer invaluable insights into facets of the Oriental mind.

The Demon's Sermon on the Martial Arts

Woven deeply into the martial traditions and folklore of Japan, the fearsome Tengu dwell in the country's mountain forest. Mythical half-man, half-bird creatures with long noses, Tengu have always inspired dread and awe, inhabiting a liminal world between the human and the demonic, and guarding the most hidden secrets of swordsmanship. In The Demon's Sermon on the Martial Arts, a translation of the 18th-century samurai classic by Issai Chozanshi, an anonymous swordsman journeys to the heart of Mt. Kurama, the traditional domain of these formidable beings.

The Flowering Spirit: Classic Teachings on the Art of Nō

"In the Fūshikaden are reflected the primordial religious sentiments of the Japanese, the poetic standards of the aristocracy, Zen Buddhist philosophy, and the warrior class ideals from one of the most creative periods in Japanese history."

—from the Introduction

The Life-Giving Sword: Secret Teachings from the House of the Shogun

This is a translation of an important classic on Zen swordfighting. Yagyu Munenori was so widely renowned that he was appointed official sword instructor to two Tokugawa shoguns. (The position was always coveted by Miyamoto Musashi, but he never succeeded in gaining the post). Yagyu's style is known as the Shinkage-ryu style, for centuries the official style of the Tokugawa dynasty. His spiritual mentor was Zen priest Takuan.

Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai (first edition)

Hagakure ("In the Shadow of Leaves"'), in its second printing, is a manual for the samurai classes consisting of a series of short anecdotes and reflections that give both insight and instruction-in the philosophy and code of behavior that foster the true spirit of Bushido-the Way of the Warrior. It is not a book of philosophy as most would understand the word: it is a collection of thoughts and sayings recorded over a period of seven years, and as such covers a wide variety of subjects, often in no particular sequence.

The Book of Five Rings

Setting down his thoughts on swordplay, on winning, and on spirituality, legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi intended this modest work as a guide for his immediate disciples and future generations of samurai. He had little idea he was penning a masterpiece that would be eagerly devoured by people in all walks of life centuries after his death.

Taiko

In the tempestuous closing decades of the sixteenth century, the Empire of Japan writhes in chaos as the shogunate crumbles and rival warlords battle for supremacy. Warrior monks in their armed citadels block the road to the capital; castles are destroyed, villages plundered, fields put to the torch.

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