Books

BIOGRAFIES

Miyamoto Musashi: A Life in Arms

A Life in Arms reveals how events deeply buried in Musashi's past set him on the hard path to prove himself a "swordsman without equal" — a path that began with the brutal slaying of Arima Kihei, led to the fall of the illustrious Yoshioka clan, and culminated in his dramatic encounter with Sasaki Kojirō on Ganryū island.



Victory Through Endurance: The History of the Yagyū Clan

This is the true story of the eventful history of the famous Yagyū clan, whose resilience in the face of irresistible forces enabled them to outweather the raging storms of fortune and remain standing, alive and well, their spirit intact. In doing so, they gave birth to an art of fencing that has survived for more than a half a millennium: the Yagyū Shinkage-ryū.



TRANSLATIONS

The Real Musashi: The Bushū denraiki

This earliest and most reliable record of the life and exploits of Miyamoto Musashi (c. 1584–1645) — 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.



The Real Musashi: The Bukōden

Toyoda Masanaga's informative record completed in 1755 of the later life and exploits of Japan's greatest swordsman, Miyamoto Musashi (c. 1584–1645), —his adoption of Iori, his return to Kyushu in 1634, and the gestation of his great work on the philosophy and art of Japanese swordsmanship, the Book of Five Rings.



The real Musashi: A Miscellany

A collection of hitherto neglected sources including the Tomari jinja munefuda, the Kaijō monogatari, the Numata kaki, the Yoshioka-den, the Watanabe kōan taikiwa, the Honchō bugei shoden, the Korō usawa, the Kōkō zatsuroku, the Harima kagami, the Seiryūwa, the Gekken sōdan, the Tōsakushi, and the Mimasa ryakushi.



FORTHCOMING

Musashi: Fact & Fiction

Drawing on a large number of neglected original sources, A Life in Arms reveals how events deeply buried in Musashi's past set him on the hard path to prove himself a "swordsman without equal" — a path that began with the brutal slaying of Arima Kihei, led to the fall of the illustrious Yoshioka clan, and culminated in his dramatic encounter with Sasaki Kojirō on Ganryū island.




OTHER BOOKS ON SAMURAI

Samurai Battles: The Long Road to Unification

Samurai Battles is an epic account of a dramatic period in Japanese history—a period in which the whole country was consumed by the fire of civil strife that raged hardest on the field of battle. Quoting directly and at length from a wide range of contemporary sources, De Lange paints events and figures like no other, ‘so richly rendered,’ according to one critic, ‘that you’d swear he was present at the time, taking notes.’


Famous Samurai: The Two Courts Period

True stories of the two greatest sword heroes of the Two Courts Period (1333–92). This period was a turning point in Japan's medieval era, a time when an unbridgeable rift appeared in the fragile fabric of Japanese feudal society. On each side stood a separate imperial court, each with its own army and its own agenda.


Famous Samurai: The Warring States Period

True stories of the two greatest sword heroes of the Waring States Period (1469–1573). This was the most destructive period in Japan’s history. It was a time when thousands of warriors either perished or persevered on the strength of their martial skills.


Famous Samurai: The Period of Unification

True stories of the two greatest sword heroes of the Period of Unification (1573–1615). After more than two centuries of civil strife Japan finally found its way back to peace and order under three successive rulers: Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu.



RELATED TOPICS

The Namamugi Incident

The Namamugi Incident: The Murder that Sparked a War

On 14 September 1862, four Brits encountered the procession of the nobleman Shimazu Hisamitsu at a village called Namamugi along Japan's ancient Tōkaidō highroad. One of them, the Shanghai trader Charles Lenox Richardson, would not survive to tell the tale. 


Pars Japonica: The First Dutch Expedition to Reach Japan

Pars Japonica: The First Dutch Expedition to Reach Japan

This is the harrowing account of a voyage beset with treachery, betrayal, mutiny, and mayhem, but one that finally reached Japan the under command of William Adams, the real-life hero of James Clavell’s best-selling novel Shogun, and changed the course of history.



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