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#184903 - 09/09/05 08:29 PM IYHO: What is the best version of Book of 5 Rings?
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
I believe I read somewhere that there were about five (English) translations of Musashi's 'Book of Five Rings'. I have read the Kaufman ( ) and V. Harris versions. Would appreciate recommendations on other versions, or best to read.

Thank you.

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#184904 - 09/10/05 08:22 AM Re: IYHO: What is the best version of Book of 5 Ri [Re: harlan]
paradoxbox Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
I've read a few versions of it and I've concluded that Victor Harris's version is probably the best one for me.

And of course Kauffmans is just a joke, I can't believe anyone would publish that.

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#184905 - 09/22/05 09:00 AM Re: IYHO: What is the best version of Book of 5 Ri [Re: paradoxbox]
Ktulu Offline
Member

Registered: 07/14/04
Posts: 97
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
The original copy written by musashi's hand would be the best.

but william scott wilson i think would be best translation. i have many of his books. hes a good author period.


Edited by Ktulu (09/22/05 09:01 AM)

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#184906 - 09/29/05 05:53 PM Re: IYHO: What is the best version of Book of 5 Rings? [Re: harlan]
Jack_Boot Offline
Stranger

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 1
Loc: Washington State
I've recently read Miyamoto Musashi: His Life and Writings, by Kenji Tokitsu, Shambhala Press 2004. It contains a complete translation of the Gorin no sho, along with complete or partial translations of Musashi's other extant writings. It also reproduces many of Musashi's known paintings, and includes a history of Musashi that attempts to be definitive. It also has essays on Budo, weapons and ethics in swordsmanship training, extensive notes by the author on his translations, etc.
The author, Kenji Tokitsu, is a Japanese born karate instructor who lives in Paris. He also holds doctoral degrees in sociology and Japanese language and civilization.
I enjoyed this book, and the amount of practical experience that the author brought to bear on this historical subject. I recommend it.
_________________________
If they get up eight times, knock them down nine times.

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#184907 - 11/04/05 12:28 PM Re: IYHO: What is the best version of Book of 5 Rings? [Re: harlan]
WuXing Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 481
Loc: Idaho, USA
Shambhala dragon edition, translated by Thomas Cleary, is a good version. That edition also has Yagyu Family Traditions on the Art of War, by Yagyu Munenori. That is a great exposition on zen and martial arts.

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#184908 - 11/04/05 01:03 PM Re: IYHO: What is the best version of Book of 5 Ri [Re: paradoxbox]
Zombie Zero Offline
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Registered: 06/17/05
Posts: 1987
Loc: Lorton, VA
paradoxbox,

Why is Kauffman's translation a joke? (I'm not being confrontational, I really want to know why you feel this way)

Thanks!
_________________________
In my walk in the martial way, my hope is that as long as I live, I will always be a beginner.

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#184909 - 11/04/05 01:08 PM Re: IYHO: What is the best version of Book of 5 Ri [Re: Zombie Zero]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
I bought Kaufman's version, and was happy at the time. But while I was reading, I found the way he used modern examples 'jarring'...out of context. I then read another version (I think V. Smith? V. French? not sure)...and it was less wordy...different. By comparing, I realized that translation/interpretation makes a BIG difference.

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#184910 - 11/18/05 07:30 PM Re: IYHO: What is the best version of Book of 5 Ri [Re: harlan]
traq Offline
Member

Registered: 11/16/05
Posts: 131
Loc: SoCal
I've only ever read Kaufman's version of the 5 Rings, but I have read some other books translated by Wilson - Hagakure, for one. His work seems very directly translated, while Kaufman's translating seems to use more modern language. This makes it easier for *most* people to read, but as you say, can make a big difference when it comes to interpretation.

I guess it all comes down to whether you like your Anime dubbed or subtitled
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#184911 - 01/04/06 10:03 PM Re: IYHO: What is the best version of Book of 5 Rings? [Re: harlan]
hyaku Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/04
Posts: 85
Loc: JAPAN
Musashi deliberately wrote the original in an ambiguous manner. Translate this into English and it becomes even more so. Unless one actually does HNIR the full meaning will never come across. Even then it needs to be read many many times. Musashi had asked for it to be destroyed but his students copied it feeling it to be valuable a there was little written at that period in history. But it was not handed down to promulgate the Ryu.

I would recommend reading the Thomas Cleary edition which also has Yagyu translations. In edition one can read the original and first translation by Victor Harris and the latest by Kenji Tokitsu which is also of historical reference about Musashi's life.

http://ejmas.com/tin/2004tin/tinart_watkin_2_1104.html

Of course Scott Wilson is also good

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#184912 - 01/14/06 06:59 PM Re: IYHO: What is the best version of Book of 5 Ri [Re: Ktulu]
funstick5000 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 07/16/05
Posts: 759
Loc: West Yorkshire, England
i have the william scott wilson version and haven't read any of the others. i like because it feels like a very direct translation so the experience and wisdom really comes across.
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