Book Review: Most probably the purest translation on Musashi’s writing

“Musashi’s Book of Five Rings: The Definitive Interpertation of Miyomoto Musashi’s Classic Book of Strategy” Stephen F. kaufman

Steve Kaufman does not mess around. He’s a Hanshi, a 10th Dan of Karate, and he has been practicing his craft for 40 years as well as studying Musashi for 10 years.

And right from the beginning he clearly state that his translation is not merely an intellectual exercise in translating Japanese to English, that this is not a book about a business strategy (“there is a significant difference between not getting a deal signed and having your head cut off”), and that the Book of Five Rings is a book for martialists, not martial “artists.”

Moreover, in his translation he is putting the utmost respect on the Samurai Warrior and giving the context of his era, where mortal combat was the way of life. As a result, this might just be the purest translation of Miyamoto Musashi’s masterpiece, with the focus on what it should be, a book of war.