The Book of Five Rings


The Book of Five Rings is a text on kenjutsu and the martial arts in general, written by the Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi around 1645.

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Key Takeaways

  1. The warrior must know literature, strategy, warfare, the way of death. This makes them strong and deadly
  2. The strategy of a general relies on applying on a large scale what they’ve studied on a small scale. The principle of strategy is knowing 10,000 things from a single thing. Knowing 1 thing deeply has compounding benefits
  3. If you master multiple weapons, you’ll know the right time for the right weapon. Each has its advantages and drawbacks. You should not become overly reliant on any one weapon and you should personalize each to your strengths and weaknesses. It is a negative to have marked preferences
  4. Learn to appreciate all things and to be able to judge the quality of it
  5. Do not perform useless acts
  6. Look powerfully. See gently

What I got out of it

  1. A beautiful and engaging book on military strategy that combines philosophy, zen buddhism, confucianism, taoism, and mastery

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