The Book of Five Rings?




I know there are at least two versions of this book, and I've been warned against the version by Kaufman, but I can't recall the original author for which to look x_x I've been hunting about for it on a recommendation in local bookstores, but I can only seem to find the one by Kaufman

Does anyone know? Have the book? Know why the one by Kaufman is to be avoided? Disagree?

Oh, and this is my first post on these forums, hello and all that :)
The Book of Five Rings, or Go Rin no Sho(sp?) was written by Musashi Miyamoto, and has been translated into English by several different people.

The Kaufman translation, The Martial Artist's Book of Five Rings, is the one you've been warned about. Kaufman seems to have taken a lot of liberties with his translation. Indeed, his knowledge of the Japanese language is suspect, given the name of his school. I can't remember the exact wording because it's been awhile since I've talked about the fella, but his school is supposed to be 'The School of the Snake'. However, his Japanese rendition translates into 'The School's Snake'.

I was first made aware of the inaccuracies in Kaufman's translation from a professor of Japanese history, who was also a licensed instructor in a traditional Japanese bugei.

Kaufman claims to be a 10th dan Hanshi. In what? His own system? Convenient. And the title hanshi is one given to you and never something you refer to yourself as.

I prefer to stick to literal translations of the book, such as Cleary's. Basically, just stay away from Kaufman's translation, and you'll be alright.


Im afraid I cant help you with your question but welcome to the board. I hope you enjoy a long and pleasurable stay
William Scott Wilson translates a version of the Book of Five Rings which is rigourous and clear, and also includes Musashi's The Way of Walking Alone. U can find it at Amazon.

If u dont want to order online, grab the ISBN and ask a local bookstore to get it for u.


thanks for the welcome and the help, everyone!

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