"Dr. Bennett possesses a profound knowledge of, and deep insight into, the world of Japanese bushido. This expertise has been enhanced by his extensive practical experience of the traditional martial arts of Japan, and his proficiency in this domain is highly acclaimed." —Tetsuo Yamaori, former Director of the International Research Center for Japanese Studies
"[Alex Bennett] is the very best writer on martial arts alive today and [his] work needs to be showcased to the general public." —Don Warrener, President, Budo International
"…the most impressive part of the book for us was Bennett's introductory chapter…It puts the Hagakure into its proper historical and social setting as well as examining 'bushido' […] with a critical eye and a look at how Jocho's life experiences and psychology is reflected in the work—and does so elegantly and brilliantly. This translation is well worth picking up just on the strength of this chapter." —TheShogunsHouse.com blog
"[A] strong point is a scholarly and succinct introduction that grounds the work in historical and social context, equipping the reader with a cultural map of Yamamoto's world. Footnotes provide valuable background and add resonance throughout, keeping names and familial relations straight, highlighting pertinent cross-references and generally rendering the work accessible to contemporary readers." —The Japan Times
The Hagakure is one of the most influential of all Japanese texts—written nearly 300 years ago by Tsunetomo Yamamoto to summarize the very essence of the Japanese Samurai bushido ("warrior") spirit. Its influence has been felt throughout the world and yet its existence is scarcely known to many Westerners. This is the first translation to include the complete first two books of the Hagakure and the most reliable and authentic passages contained within the third book. All other English translations published previously have been extremely fragmentary and incomplete.
Alex Bennett's completely new and highly readable translation of this essential work includes extensive footnotes that serve to fill in many cultural and historical gaps in the previous translations. This unique combination of readability and scholarship gives Bennett's translation a distinct advantage over all previous English editions.