the samurai wisdom of miyamoto musashi

Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1645) was a great Japanese swordsman who lived in the last age of traditional Japan before modernization. He was a ronin, a samurai warrior who did not serve a single feudal lord (a daimyo). Rather, he committed his life to becoming the best swordsman in Japan and invented a new style of swordsmanship. He fought over sixty individual duels and never lost.

Musashi also was a renaissance man who became known for his painting (like Winston Churchill) and his book, The Book of Five Rings. The book is ostensibly about swordsmanship but similar to Sun Tzu’s the Art of War, business thinkers and leaders have read it to derive useful lessons.

See how you can apply the following nine principles:

  1. Do not think dishonestly.
  2. The way is in training.
  3. Become acquainted with every art.
  4. Know the ways of all professions.
  5. Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters.
  6. Develop intuitive judgment and understanding of everything.
  7. Perceive those things that cannot be seen.
  8. Pay attention even to trifles.
  9. Do nothing which is of no use.

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