A Book of Five Rings (Go Rin no Sho) by Miyamoto Musashi. Published by MobileReference (mobi).

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This is an electronic edition of the complete book complemented by author biography. This book features the table of contents linked to every chapter. The book was designed for optimal navigation on the Kindle, PDA, Smartphone, and other electronic readers. It is formatted to display on all electronic devices including the Kindle, Smartphones and other Mobile Devices with a small display.


The Book of Five Rings (Go Rin No Sho) is a text on kenjutsu and the martial arts in general, written by the samurai warrior Miyamoto Musashi circa 1645. It is considered a classic treatise on military strategy, much like Sun Tzu's The Art of War and Chanakya's Arthashastra. There have been various translations made over the years, and it enjoys an audience considerably broader than only that of martial artists: for instance, some business leaders find its discussion of conflict and taking the advantage to be relevant to their work. The modern-day Hyoho Niten Ichi-ryu employs it as a manual of technique and philosophy.

Musashi establishes a "no-nonsense" theme throughout the text. For instance, he repeatedly remarks that technical flourishes are excessive, and contrasts worrying about such things with the principle that all technique is simply a method of cutting down one's opponent. He also continually makes the point that the understandings expressed in the book are important for combat on any scale, whether a one-on-one duel or a massive battle. Descriptions of principles are often followed by admonitions to "investigate this thoroughly" through practice, rather than try to learn by merely reading.

- Excerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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Customer Reviews:

  • Awesome book
    Although, I haven't finished this book due to a busy school schedule, The Book of Five Rings has been a great read. ...more info
  • Business and Martial Arts

    The book written by the samurai warrior Miyamoto Musashi circa 1645 is considered a classic treatise on military strategy, and it enjoys an audience considerably broader than only that of martial artists: for instance, some business leaders find its discussion of conflict and taking the advantage to be relevant to their work.

    The term "Ichi School", which is referred to in the book, Go Rin No Sho, when referring to such books, refers to "Niten No Ichi Ryu", or "Ni Ten Ichi Ryu", which literally translated, means "Two Swords, one heaven".

    Throughout the book it is clear: what is primary for Musashi is The Goal, while the means of achieving the goal are secondary. He wrote "According to this Ichi school, you can win with a long weapon, and yet you can also win with a short weapon. In short, the Way of the Ichi school is the spirit of winning, whatever the weapon and whatever its size."

    The same is in business: the leaders who are attracted by the goal rather than by embellishments are the true leaders. For example, the dot-com bubble of 2000 was caused by the managers who forgot about the primary goal of the business: net income. Those who were obsessed by their stock prices regarding of massive losses and the lack of revenue became bankrupt. They put attention to the fancy office buildings and furniture rather than to the assets that generate earning. Musashi wrote about it: "Just as a horse must have endurance and no defects, so it is with weapons. Horses should walk strongly, and swords and companion swords should cut strongly. Spears and halberds must stand up to heavy use: bows and guns must be sturdy. Weapons should be hardy rather than decorative".

    Musashi also encourages to maintain a balance of your skills throughout your life. This balance could be thought of as Yin and Yang. The balance is to be neither over-familiar with something nor under-familiar. The over-familiarity or over-use of one weapon is not recommended by Musashi, as it would be seen to reveal your spirituality to your enemy, and thus your boisterousness, or over-calm. The over-familiarity makes you stick to a conviction. This is a very important for the business. Take, for example, mr. Warren Buffet.

    A quality standing out about Mr. Buffett is his ability to morph. If you read his materials from the 1960s, he said very different things than in the 1970s and early-1980s. Early on he was buying dirt-cheap stocks by simple statistical standards and typically smaller stocks (smallcap), later he bought "franchises", then he entered a period of buying great managements of big companies and being a long-term holder, then, amazingly, he was buying smaller things dirt cheap again just as value came back into play as the twenty-first century began. He tactically morphed steadily over the decades. Trying to freeze his tactics from any decade and replicate them in the next few would never have led you to his actual actions. Musashi wrote about that this way: "You should not have a favourite weapon. To become over-familiar with one weapon is as much a fault as not knowing it sufficiently well. You should not copy others, but use weapons which you can handle properly. It is bad for commanders and troops to have likes and dislikes."

    ...more info
    A Book of Five Rings (Go Rin no Sho) by Miyamoto Musashi. Published by MobileReference (mobi).

    This is a classic masterpiece that describes not only a style of swordsmanship, but a way of living. For those of you involved in the practice of martial arts, sports, or with an interest in historical strategy texts, I heartily recommend this ebook! ...more info
  • Great Book
    I received it in the time promised and a must read for military personel and historians. Great product and seller....more info
  • Classic Martial Arts Text Purchase
    Haven't read it yet, but looking forward to reading both of the books within the text as it is. Thanks...more info
  • Perhaps The Greatest Swordsman
    Miyamoto Musashi circa 1645, legend has it that he was defeated as a swordsman. Basic philosophy win, style was simplistic and direct. Bruce Lee taught much the same philosophy.

    This is an excellent book. Have two hard back and this Kindle version now. The Five Books contained in his writings are a summation of the teachings of the Master Miyamoto Musashi.
    From Wikipedia

    * The Book of Earth chapter serves as an introduction, and metaphorically discusses martial arts, leadership, and training as building a house.
    * The Book of Water chapter describes Musashi's style, Ni-ten ichi-ryu, or "Two Heavens, One Style". It describes some basic technique and fundamental principles.
    * The Book of Fire chapter refers to the heat of battle, and discusses matters such as different types of timing.
    * The Book of Wind chapter is something of a pun, since the Japanese character can mean both "wind" and "style" (e.g., of martial arts). It discusses what Musashi considers to be the failings of various contemporary schools of swordfighting.
    * The Book of No-thing chapter is a short epilogue, describing, in more esoteric terms, Musashi's probably Zen-influenced thoughts on consciousness and the correct mindset.
    ...more info
  • A Life Metaphor
    This advice from a 17th century samurai will teach you self-discipline and strategy for life. Learn how to navigate any conflict life hands you....more info
  • 2 for 1
    The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi (Japan 1643) is a must read for those who would study Japan, Bushido, samurai, Japanese sword fighting, etc. Also has modern business applications. Translated by Thomas Cleary which always means a great product.
    I already have two (2) other translations of this work and was pleasantly surprised. What sold me was, in the back is another work, "The Book of Family Traditions on the Art of War" by Yagyu Munenori (1632), also tranlated by Thomas Cleary. Two great works by two of Japans most famous (or infamous) samurai. pick it up!...more info
  • Great book!
    This book is a must for any martial artist or Japanese historian. Gives a in depth look at life during the age of the Samurai when training meant life or death. ...more info
  • Great value
    I won't waste anyone's time or space on reviewing the book itself; there are plenty of great references and articles on the value of its contents. Instead I'll focus on the format itself and this particular printing; for starters, it's a lot smaller and more compact than I expected, but still easy to read. The book itself isn't terribly long, so they managed to keep it small without having to shrink the text too much. It still has all of the add on material by Thomas Cleary, so nothing is lost in the transfer. All in all, a very worthwhile buy if you're looking for an affordable, pocket-sized version of the book, or just need to replace it. ...more info
    Musashi, like every great warrior, knew that strategy was as important as tactics and techniques in combat. This book will teach you things that were learned in combat and will enhance your survival potential on the battlefield, street and life.

    It is not the easiest book to interpret and understand, but that hardly matters, as for the information in this book is worth your time and effort. One good book is worth a hundred crummy ones, and this book is one outstanding book. This book is divided into various distinct sections, and the serious and professional warrior should extract as much information as possible from each section. Every time I pick this book up I learn something new. This is the warrior's bible.

    I highly recommend this book to all readers.
    ...more info
  • There is no second place
    I have read this short series of essays a few times now.
    They can be summed up as follows.

    A: In a fight for your life, there is no second place.

    B: The way to win a fight for your life is as follows.
    1: Be smarter than your enemy
    2: Be better prepared than your enemy
    3: Have more talent than your enemy
    4: Don't be predictable to your enemy
    5: Be more determined than your enemy

    These things may seem obvious, but if they are, why don't we execute and win?
    This translation is clear and easily understood, especially for those who have spent some time in the martial arts, and those who have played sports or engage in competitive business. You may also enjoy The Art of War which was a lot of the inspiration for this man's life, and Musashi which is a fun story of his dueling days.
    ...more info
  • A Great Book!
    This really is a great book. It contains a philosophical outlook on dealing with people and sword fighting/combat from hundreds of years ago, but it really translates very well into today's modern business world. Everyone could learn something from this old samurai who lived in 18th century. I highly recommend this book and the book Understanding: Train of Thought to everyone. ...more info
  • Strategy from the Japanese Warrior
    The Book of Five Rings is similar to Sun Tzu Art of War in that is discusses strategy, fighting, and competition from a combat perspective. The book is small in size and easy for reading while traveling. While references can found that comment this is as a book for management, it is still very much a book about combat and the samurai warrior. Interesting nontheless. ...more info
  • VERY great book, however...
    I'm not sure I like the translator for it because being someone who loves and studies Japanese history and Kendo, I can't get over the fact he makes references to modern sports like football or basketball, to make a point. If it were written in a time when these sports existed, then it would be fine, however this is not the case. Overall I like the book. I think the translator isn't all bad and I like the way he explains things, other than what I mentioned. I recommend this book for anyone studying martial arts, bussiness, history, or just want a good read. ...more info


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