Hatsumi-sensei's writings are filled to the brim with a word-play that takes full advantage of the idiosyncracies of the Japanese language. As with many of his previous books, the English text suffers from attempting to feature these idiosyncracies as part of the English language. The result is an English text that is heavily laden with Japanese kanji characters which can make for cumbersome reading.
Fortunately, as with his previous works, the original Japanese text is included. This may not be of much help to those who cannot read Japanese but such is life. The fact of the matter is that it is impossible to translate art, it can only be expressed and the author's decision to include the original Japanese ought to be seen as proof of this.
Beyond that though, this book is the clearest expression yet of budo's essence. There is none of the cliched morality and attempts at high-sounding ethics that many martial artists fall victim to in their often patterned expressions of martial arts 'philosophy'. Like his other writings, this book goes beyond the cliche and is expressed through beautiful anecdotes featuring the author's teacher as well as the author's own realisations as to the nature of his art. Creative license has been granted free reign and, at least in the Japanese text, it shows clearly.
This book may seem puzzling to some who will no doubt be turned off by the apparent lack of narration. Others will naturally fall into the trap of thinking that the so-called 'techniques' section is a martial arts treasure chest. Still others will overlay the words and numerous photos with what they imagine budo to be.
All of this is right and proper but if one takes to heart the admonishment by the author that holding on to the horses tail while it travels a thousand miles is impossible, then one will have indeed travelled far in understanding that there is nothing in this beautiful book that cannot be found on one's own.