The samurai of Japan, who were the country’s military elite from medieval times to the end of the nineteenth century, were synonymous with valor, honor, and martial arts prowess. Their strict adherence to the code of bushido (“the way of… Read More
There is perhaps no more potent symbol of the samurai era than the sword. By the seventeenth century in Japan, the art of swordsmanship had begun to take on an almost cult-like popularity. Swordsmanship was more than a mastery of… Read More
Miyamoto Musashi (1584‒1645) was the legendary samurai known throughout the world as a master swordsman, spiritual seeker, and author of the classic book on strategy, the Book of Five Rings. Over 350 years after his death, Musashi and his legacy… Read More
This classic samurai-era text fused Japanese swordsmanship with Zen and influenced the direction that the art has taken ever since. Written by the seventeenth-century Zen master Takuan Soho (1573–1645), The Unfettered Mind is a book of advice on swordsmanship and… Read More
The Book of Five Rings is one of the most insightful texts on the subtle arts of confrontation and victory to emerge from Asian culture. Written not only for martial artists but for anyone who wants to apply the… Read More
Master swordsman, calligrapher, and Zen practitioner, Yamoaka Tesshu is a seminal figure in martial arts history. John Stevens's biography is a fascinating, detailed account of Tesshu's remarkable life. From Tesshu's superhuman feats of endurance and keen perception in life-threatening situations,… Read More
Dave Lowry juxtaposes his singular experience as an adept student of kenjutsu (the art of swordsmanship) under a Japanese teacher in St. Louis with a riveting account of the samurai tradition in Japan. Intertwining tales of the masters with… Read More
This moment of perfect clarity that is the force behind all the traditional Japanese arts—from archery to flower arranging—is celebrated here in Dave Lowry's exploration of the common principles shared by calligraphy and the martial arts.