There has been many translations of the classic book by Miyamoto Mushashi,”The Book Of Five Rings”. Personally, I like the translation or rendition of Thomas Clearly. To obtain a better understanding and appreciation of this book, you would need to be aware of original author- Miyamoto Musashi and also the context on why and how he authored this book.
Miyamoto Mushashi would be a samurai swordsman. He fought against many battles and won every one. Swordsman from parts of Japan challenged him to duel. Miyamoto Mushashi never lost. There needs to be a victor along with a loser (the one that is wiped out) during these sword duels. He wasn’t wealthy at all. He appeared as if a vagabond. His legend increased as his numerous eccentricities emerged.
The great point concerning the translation and rendition of Thomas Clearly is the fact that he provides a background spiritual background of the warrior tradition in Japan in those times. A Ronin would be a samurai without any master. Miyamoto Mushashi was a lot more like a Ronin than the usual traditional samurai.
The book, “the book of five rings“, is definitely an insightful and pertinent perspective around the art of any confrontation and struggle. There are lots of subtle components with this particular art that the book highlights at length. While you browse the book, you are able to put it on any interaction or struggle whether it’s running a business, politics, fighting techinques, or other relationships. The book is frequently used and quoted running a business interactions especially when confronted with confrontations. It analyzes this interaction and struggle as being a samurai sword fight. The concepts are timeless. Whenever we master these concepts, it’s about self-mastery and never mastering your attacker who you’ve got no control of.
One note of caution with this particular book. It ought to be read gradually and digested completely. You don’t want to hurry within the text because its concepts are subtle and must be absorbed. That’s the beauty of this book. Though it was written in 1643, still it does apply to the present occasions much more. There are other confrontations and interactions now because we tend to be more inter-dependent with others. This inter-dependence occurs since there are more and more people and much more way to communicate with anybody on the planet (e.g. internet, phone, video, etc.).
You need to consider your master swordsman in each and every interaction. Most of the battles are won even before you draw your sword. This is exactly what the “The Book of Five Rings” is all about.