Books, Non-Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Hagakure by Yamamoto Tsunetomo

Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai by Yamamoto Tsunetomo

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.

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6 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Hagakure by Yamamoto Tsunetomo”

  1. One of my friends had this a few days ago, I flipped through it. It seems very interesting, even though I’m sure a lot of the advice will be dated.


  2. This is a very cool book. The movie Ghost Dog The Way of the Samurai made me want to find this book. I like how the book portrays the samurai culture and mentality. Its cool that the author was an ex-samurai who became Buddhist.


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