Originally published in Japan in 1935, Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa is an inspiring, epic historical fiction novel. The English version of the book was translated by Charles S. Terry and released in 1981. The book chronicles the fictionalized story of Miyamoto Musashi, legendary Japanese swordsman (samurai), philosopher, and writer. In Yoshikawa’s prolific writing, Musashi’s life journey turns into an amazing Japanese story of audacious adventure and a subtle romance.
The story begins with Takezo hit the lowest point in his life. As a soldier, his side lost in the decisive battle in Sekigahara. Living in the shadow as a fugitive, he turned into brutal ronin—wild wandering samurai with no lord. However, the presence of zen monk Takuan Soho and the tender but determined girl Otsu, brought drastic change in his life. He transformed into an enlightened samurai and changed his name into Miyamoto Musashi. Under his new identity, he embarked in a deadly adventure to reach perfection as a swordsman (samurai) and a person. He dedicated every part of his life to master the path of the sword.
Cover and Details of Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa (PDF)
- Title: Musashi
- Author: Eiji Yoshikawa
- Publisher: Kodansha International
- Date Published: July 14, 1995
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 4770019572
- ISBN-13: 9784770019578
Summary of the Book
The classic samurai novel about the real exploits of the most famous swordsman. Musashi is a novel in the best tradition of Japanese story telling. It is a living story, subtle and imaginative, teeming with memorable characters, many of them historical. Interweaving themes of unrequited love, misguided revenge, filial piety and absolute dedication to the Way of the Samurai, it depicts vividly a world Westerners know only vaguely.
Reviews of Musashi
I’ve read this long volume twice now & have hated it ending both times. What can I say that other reviewers didn’t? An action-adventure story for those who love such. A love story that isn’t cliché. The application and mindset of martial arts that goes far beyond its movements. Historical fiction at its best. Yoshikawa had a talent for writing fine literature combined with an exciting story. I found myself highlighting numerous well-structured passages to return to & study their composition. “Starting off with a rumble, the wheels of the wagon seemed to be laughing at him.” Anyone wanting to become a writer can learn lessons from this master. My thanks also to Mr. Charles Terry for his fine work in the translation. To sum up: buy it, read it, you will not be sorry. (by G. Alvin Simons, amazon.com)
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