Upon reading the first perhaps 30 pages of this book, I was astounded. I thought that I was merely purchasing an introductory guide to Muso Jikiden Eishin-Ryu Iaijutsu. I was thrilled to find that it was so much more.
After having studied and informally taught martial arts (Hap Ki Do) for over 13 years, I have consistently emphasized a melding of the Eastern philosophy and the technique of the art. This book achieves the same in a marvelously eloquent, yet concise, manner.
What is presented in the first 50 pages or so includes a beautifully written treatise on Bushido, the way of the samurai, including wonderful parables and stories about famous warriors, such as Miyamoto Musashi and Takeda Shingen. This includes the practical attitude toward how to live one's life that the samurai maintained. It is written in such a way as to be easily understood by all, Easterner and Westerner alike. This way of thought (reminiscent of the Art of War or A Book of Five Rings) can greatly benefit anyone's life, whether they are interested in the Asian fighting arts, or not.
Of course, in addition to this remarkable exposition is about 200 pages of well-explained, well-illustrated (with plenty of clear photos) instruction of Eishin-Ryu iaijutsu. Included with the waza (technique), is full documentation of sword and samurai traditions, customs, and ettiquette. The style itself is very diffucult, as iaijutsu is the art of drawing the sword, destroying your enemy, and resheathing in one rapid, fluid motion. The book is quite clear, however, and provides a model introduction, or supplement, to formal dojo training in this art.