Book help needed

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by fatninja, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. fatninja

    fatninja Yellow Belt

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    I ordered Antony Cummin 's" Book of Ninja" Bansenshukai, Did I just waste my money? After seeing all the negatives I see about him, I think I may have wasted my 30 bucks.
     
  2. frank raud

    frank raud Master Black Belt

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    Long form answer.......yes.
     
  3. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Hmm... I have absolutely no love, respect, or positive thoughts about Antony at all, and have had a number of run-ins with him over the years... it is not a book I would recommend, and one I tell my students to avoid if looking for such texts (there are better versions around of quite a bit of his publications), however...

    No, you potentially haven't wasted your $30... depending on how you want to look at it... Yes, it's a flawed work, yes, Antony is rather clueless about the surrounding context, the language, the ideas, and the concepts... but, if you can sift through it, at it's core, it is largely based on the Bansenshukai itself (just an English translation he didn't do, based on a modern Japanese rendering he couldn't read, itself based on an old Japanese text he wouldn't be able to understand in any regard), so there will be some parts that will have some value in one way or another. Additionally, it could be used as an alternate interpretation to contrast with more reputable versions...

    My biggest concern is that you have, at this point, had two classes. Books like this, while interesting, are really almost completely irrelevant to you at this stage in your journey. They are more something that are far more accessible when you have a much more thorough grounding in the contexts of the arts and culture surrounding them... in other words, this is like a Japanese person having had two lessons in English, and wanting to buy the complete works of Shakespeare in order to understand the way words are used.

    For now, read such books for interest only... much of it won't be of any importance to you whatsoever... so, if you're just reading it for fun, cool. The way this would be a complete waste of your money is if you were looking at it as accurate, authentic, well researched, and informative. That, it is not.
     
  4. fatninja

    fatninja Yellow Belt

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    Thanks Chris!, Yeah I just ordered it for curiosity reasons , I think my next book will probably be the one my instructor authored, " Fujita Seiko, The last Koga Ninja" as it would be more interesting.
     
  5. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Cool... yeah, Dons translations are eminently more accurate and insightful... with regard to Fujita, bear in mind that it's a good look at one of the personalities associated with the idea/concept of Ninjutsu from the 20th Century... so read it for interest and entertainment... but hopefully you'll get something more out of it as well!
     
  6. Aiki Lee

    Aiki Lee Master of Arts

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    Doesn't Don Roley have a translation of bansenshukai ? I thought he translated it along with shoniki?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  7. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Yes. It's in a single volume called "The Tomes of Ninjutsu" with the Shoninki and the Ninpiden.
     
  8. BujinBos

    BujinBos Yellow Belt

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    Looks like Chris already set you on the right path. You always have terrific posts Chris.

    I like Don's translations very much, though these books are more for fun and interest than anything else in our practice.

    As for Antony, I have zero respect for him based on his history and behavior.

    Good luck.
     
  9. emerald_ninja

    emerald_ninja White Belt

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    I think that to better understand the History of Ninjutsu, you should give many sources a read and so far I have 3 Hatsumi books as well as 3 of Anthony's books.
     
  10. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Hmm... to better understand the history, no... those are not the authors I'd look to... I do agree with the idea of getting many disparate sources and comparing and contrasting them, absolutely... but I'd start with a general understanding of Japanese history, then of Japanese military history (samurai culture and so forth), before you can really start to focus on (or get a handle on) shinobi history... as much of that is simply not that well recorded, and what we have is hearsay, rumour, myth, legend, and flat out falsehoods. It also doesn't help when one author is not really interested in the historical reality, and the other is deeply flawed as a historian and researcher...
     

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