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The Life-Giving Sword

Product code: BOM-9

£16.00 (3 in stock)

This is the long awaited, authoritative, English-language version of the classic text on the art of the No-Sword by seventeenth-century swordsman Yagyu Munenori.  Munenori's remarkable career began when he was just thirteen years old and culminated in his serving as sword instructor and political and military advisor to two successive Shogun.  Written by Yagyu Munenori, translated by William Scott Wilson.


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Average Rating (1 Reviews): 5 Stars

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  • The Book That Shaped A Nation
    Review left by:
    Douglas Tong
    Rating: 5 Stars

    This is a good translation of the Heiho Kadensho (A Hereditary Book on the Art of War) by Yagyu Munenori, sword instructor to the Shogun. It is an inside document, intended to be read by members of Yagyu Shinkage Ryu, to teach them the Way of the Sword according to their school. It was also written for Tokugawa Iemitsu (the 3rd Shogun), to instruct him on how to rule. Thus, it is a multi-layered text that speaks on a micro-level (how to fight with swords) and also on a macro-level (politics, administration, how to govern, strategic and tactical thinking). Since Munenori operated at the highest level in the government of the Tokugawa Shogunate and in Edo, the capital of the Empire, the danger of such a document falling into the wrong hands was great so there are many code words used and concepts couched in Zen parables and ideas. This makes it difficult to decipher for the average reader as it was meant to. But it is also a good look at Zen and its application to swordsmanship.

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