Secrets of the Samurai Sword
Way of the Warrior
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Way of the Warrior

The samurai bible is an 18th-century book known as The Hagakure (Behind the Leaves). Scholars believe that a samurai-turned-Zen-monk named Yamamoto Tsunetomo dictated its contents to a disciple, who later compiled his teacher's sayings into 11 volumes. Here, savor words of wisdom from this honored tome, which enshrines the samurai's code of conduct—and has lessons for us today.


Editor's note: Excerpted from The Hagakure: A Code to the Way of the Samurai, by Yamamoto Tsunetomo (Hokuseido Press, 1980).

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