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The Pocket Samurai
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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 the warrior”), chivalry, and honor in fighting to the death continues to capture the imagination of people today, inspiring authors, filmmakers, and artists. The Pocket Samurai contains the essential writings of the era by the most esteemed samurai and philosophers of the age, including the iconic Miyamoto Musashi, author of The Book of Five Rings; Yamamoto Tsunetomo, author of Hagakure, the best-known explication of the samurai code; Takuan Soho, a Zen priest and adviser to samurai; Yamaoka Tesshu, a master swordsman whose colorful life was devoted to martial arts and Zen; along with many others.