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Hagakure

by Yamamoto Tsunetomo

Other authors: Tsuramoto Tashiro (Transcriber)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,155156,479 (3.71)16
Living and dying with bravery and honor is at the heart of Hagakure, a series of texts written by an eighteenth-century samurai, Yamamoto Tsunetomo. It is a window into the samurai mind, illuminating the concept of bushido (the Way of the Warrior), which dictated how samurai were expected to behave, conduct themselves, live, and die. While Hagakure was for many years a secret text known only to the warrior vassals of the Nabeshima clan to which the author belonged, it later came to be recognized as a classic exposition of samurai thought. The original Hagakure consists of over 1,300 short texts that Tsunetomo dictated to a younger samurai over a seven-year period. William Scott Wilson has selected and translated here three hundred of the most representative of those texts to create an accessible distillation of this guide for samurai. No other translator has so thoroughly and eruditely rendered this text into English. For this edition, Wilson has added a new introduction that casts Hagakure in a different light than ever before. Tsunetomo refers to bushido as "the Way of death," a description that has held a morbid fascination for readers over the years. But in Tsunetomo's time, bushido was a nuanced concept that related heavily to the Zen concept of muga, the "death" of the ego. Wilson's revised introduction gives the historical and philosophical background for that more metaphorical reading of Hagakure, and through this lens, the classic takes on a fresh and nuanced appeal.… (more)
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» See also 16 mentions

English (13)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (15)
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Despite it's history (martial manual for Axis era Japan), the 'Hagakure' in it's originality is a striking text resplendent with one sole emphasis: carry out your duty.

It is not a Sun Tzu type 'Art of War' but rather a nostalgic yearning for times long gone. Profound yet spontaneous, I learnt the essentiality of forbearance from this book. ( )
  Amarj33t_5ingh | Jul 8, 2022 |
Is a practical and spiritual guide for a warrior, drawn from a collection of commentaries by the clerk Yamamoto Tsunetomo, former retainer to Nabeshima Mitsushige (July 10, 1632 – July 2, 1700), the third ruler of what is now Saga Prefecture in Japan. Tashiro Tsuramoto compiled these commentaries from his conversations with Tsunetomo from 1709 to 1716; however, it was not published until many years afterwards. Written during a time when there was no officially sanctioned samurai fighting, the book grapples with the dilemma of maintaining a warrior class in the absence of war and reflects the author's nostalgia for a world that had disappeared before he was born. Hagakure was largely forgotten for two centuries after its composition, but it came to be viewed as the definitive guide of the samurai during the Pacific War.

The book records Yamamoto's views on bushido, the warrior code of the samurai. Hagakure is sometimes said to assert that bushido is really the "Way of Dying" or living as though one was already dead, and that a samurai must be willing to die at any moment in order to be true to his lord. His saying "the way of the warrior is death" was a summation of the willingness to sacrifice that bushido codified. Hagakure's text is occasionally misinterpreted as meaning that bushido is a code of death. However, the true meaning is that by having a constant awareness of death, people can achieve a transcendent state of freedom, whereby “it is possible to perfectly fulfill one’s calling as a warrior.” ( )
  Marcos_Augusto | Sep 17, 2021 |
Some fascinating historical perspectives mixed with wisdom and what I can only describe as an alien mindset. I recommend this book not to those seeking a greater understanding of Zen, but rather to those who want to understand the spiritual underpinnings of samurai culture. ( )
  jamestomasino | Sep 11, 2021 |
This book has aphorisms and truisms and ideals and things. Some of the wisdom is kinda culturally specific and sexist. For instance, never have a daughter. "Daughters bring shame to the family," according to the book. Also, if you are a retainer to a samurai, you have to kill yourself when your master dies. It has other interesting ideas too, but those are the ones that stuck out in my mind.

According to the book, the translator selected two hundred excerpts from the works known collectively as the Hagakure and this distillation of knowledge is what resulted. It's not that long of a book and it is really fragmented, but all in all it is a pretty good volume of Eastern Wisdom. ( )
  Floyd3345 | Jun 15, 2019 |
Another one I read years ago. Note the biohazard kamon on the cover. ( )
  nicdevera | Mar 3, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Hagakure („U senci lišća”) je priručnik za samurajsku klasu sačinjen iz niza kratkih anegdota i razmišljanja koji istovremeno pružaju uvid i uputstva za način ponašanja koji iziskuje bušido - istinski duh i staza ratnika. Ovo nije filozofska knjiga u smislu u kome se ta reč uglavnom razume: to je zbirka misli i izreka prikupljenih u razdoblju od sedam godina, i kao takva pokriva široku lepezu predmeta, često bez posebnog reda.

Delo predstavlja model življenja koji je veoma udaljen od našeg pragmatizma i materijalizma, upućujući intuitivan, pre nego racionalan poziv, u svojoj tvrdnji da je bušido staza smrti, i da je samo onaj samuraj koji je spreman i voljan da umre u bilo kom trenutku potpuno iskren prema svom gospodaru. Mada je Hagakure godinama bio tekst držan u strogoj tajnosti i poznat jedino ratnicima vazalima provincije Hizen kojima je i sam autor pripadao, kasnije je on došao na glas kao klasično delo o samurajskoj filozofiji, vršeći tako snažan uticaj na mnoge naredne naraštaje i stičući brojne poklonike, među kojima se našao i Jukio Mišima.
Jamamoto Cunetomo (1659-1719) je bio samuraj-sluga iz klana Nabešima, koji je gospodario provincijom Hizen. Postao je budistički monah 1700. godine, nakon što je Šogunska vlada zabranila praksu cufiku - samoubistvo sluge nakon smrti svog gospodara. Knjiga je posvećena jednom mlađem samuraju tokom autorove izolacije u periodu od sedam godina.
added by Sensei-CRS | editknjigainfo.com
 
Hagakure („U senci lišća”) je priručnik za samurajsku klasu sačinjen iz niza kratkih anegdota i razmišljanja koji istovremeno pružaju uvid i uputstva za način ponašanja koji iziskuje bušido - istinski duh i staza ratnika. Ovo nije filozofska knjiga u smislu u kome se ta reč uglavnom razume: to je zbirka misli i izreka prikupljenih u razdoblju od sedam godina, i kao takva pokriva široku lepezu predmeta, često bez posebnog reda.

Delo predstavlja model življenja koji je veoma udaljen od našeg pragmatizma i materijalizma, upućujući intuitivan, pre nego racionalan poziv, u svojoj tvrdnji da je bušido staza smrti, i da je samo onaj samuraj koji je spreman i voljan da umre u bilo kom trenutku potpuno iskren prema svom gospodaru. Mada je Hagakure godinama bio tekst držan u strogoj tajnosti i poznat jedino ratnicima vazalima provincije Hizen kojima je i sam autor pripadao, kasnije je on došao na glas kao klasično delo o samurajskoj filozofiji, vršeći tako snažan uticaj na mnoge naredne naraštaje i stičući brojne poklonike, među kojima se našao i Jukio Mišima.
Jamamoto Cunetomo (1659-1719) je bio samuraj-sluga iz klana Nabešima, koji je gospodario provincijom Hizen. Postao je budistički monah 1700. godine, nakon što je Šogunska vlada zabranila praksu cufiku - samoubistvo sluge nakon smrti svog gospodara. Knjiga je posvećena jednom mlađem samuraju tokom autorove izolacije u periodu od sedam godina.
added by Sensei-CRS | editknjigainfo.com
 

» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Yamamoto Tsunetomoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tashiro, TsuramotoTranscribersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Keller, GuidoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maarschalkerweerd-Ba… M.J. vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mukoh, TakaoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, William ScottTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Although it stands to reason that a samuraia should be mindful of the Way of the Samurai, it would seem that we are all negligent.
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"Even if it seems certain that you will lose, retaliate. Neither wisdom nor technique has a place in this. A real man does not think of victory or defeat. He plunges recklessly towards an irrational death. By doing this, you will awaken from your dreams."
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Living and dying with bravery and honor is at the heart of Hagakure, a series of texts written by an eighteenth-century samurai, Yamamoto Tsunetomo. It is a window into the samurai mind, illuminating the concept of bushido (the Way of the Warrior), which dictated how samurai were expected to behave, conduct themselves, live, and die. While Hagakure was for many years a secret text known only to the warrior vassals of the Nabeshima clan to which the author belonged, it later came to be recognized as a classic exposition of samurai thought. The original Hagakure consists of over 1,300 short texts that Tsunetomo dictated to a younger samurai over a seven-year period. William Scott Wilson has selected and translated here three hundred of the most representative of those texts to create an accessible distillation of this guide for samurai. No other translator has so thoroughly and eruditely rendered this text into English. For this edition, Wilson has added a new introduction that casts Hagakure in a different light than ever before. Tsunetomo refers to bushido as "the Way of death," a description that has held a morbid fascination for readers over the years. But in Tsunetomo's time, bushido was a nuanced concept that related heavily to the Zen concept of muga, the "death" of the ego. Wilson's revised introduction gives the historical and philosophical background for that more metaphorical reading of Hagakure, and through this lens, the classic takes on a fresh and nuanced appeal.

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|Hagakure ("In the Shadow of Leaves"') 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 work represents an attitude far removed from our modern pragmatism and materialism, and possesses an intuitive rather than rational appeal in its assertion that Bushido is a Way of Dying, and that only a samurai retainer prepared and willing to die at any moment can be totally true to his lord. While Hagakure was for many years a secret text known only to the warrior vassals of the Hizen fief to which the author belonged, it later came to be recognized as a classic exposition of samurai thought and came to influence many subsequent generations, including Yukio Mishima.

This translation offers 300 selections that constitute the core texts of the 1,300 present in the original.
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