Book of Five Rings (Miyamoto Musashi)
The Book in a Nutshell
The Book of Five Rings is an ancient Japanese text (1645) written by master swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. Renowned as undefeated, Musashi was asked to write down the secrets to his success. The result was this text, which is still commonly read in the world today.
The text is split up into five "books", which represent the five elements of battle. These books are:
- The Book of Earth
- The Book of Water
- The Book of Fire
- The Book of Wind
- The Book of the Void
Musashi with 2 bokkens
For a great website detailing the book and its chapters, please see: http://www.bookoffiverings.com/
A classic for anyone who trains in or just loves Japanese martial arts. There are many translations available, some better than others, but if you find a half-decent version then we thoroughly recommend giving it a read.
Despite its age, it's not too difficult to understand and appreciate the teachings in the book. Musashi was obviously a master of his art (especially using 2 swords it would appear) and that comes across in his writing.
If understood correctly, Musashi's aim is that the reader will live a fuller and better life by taking the principles in the book and applying them to any part of your life, martial arts or otherwise. It's a noble aim, and one that we think Musashi does rather well.
Author: The Bear Martial Arts Team