My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Hagaukure or ‘In the Shadows of Leaves’ is a powerful book with powerful words arranged in a manner of short anecdotes collected over a period of years covering a wide variety of subjects mostly providing an insight on the behavior of a samurai (warrior). Though it is not considered as a philosophical book, as the main anecdotes are more in the form of teachings for a warrior, these basic teachings are still applicable today in different modes of life and to learn and apply these basic teachings, you are a warrior in the course of your life fighting the norms of society and one’s own confidently.There is much knowledge to be found here from how to conduct yourself while in public view, and perspective on self-discipline. The book’s functional philosophy also includes deep wisdom in the form of stories and sayings which makes it unique. This philosophy is refreshing because it has less to do with how one thinks, and everything to do with how one acts.
The book is deservedly a classic of Japanese philosophy, and emphasizes on other parts of samurai philosophy as it provides a glimpse of what a true Samurai should be like.