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The Lone Samurai
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About the Author

William Scott Wilson is the foremost translator into English of traditional Japanese texts on samurai culture. He received BA degrees from Dartmouth College and the Monterey Institute of Foreign Studies, and an MA in Japanese literary studies from the University of Washington. His best-selling books include The Book of Five Rings, The Unfettered Mind, and The Lone Samurai, a biography of Miyamoto Musashi. Author Residence- Miami, Florida Author Hometown- Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Reviews

"Asked to name the best swordsman ever, most Japanese would pick Musashi, the famous 17th-century samurai turned artist who is the subject of more than 50 movies and dozens of books. But most of those focus on his superior warrior skills. This fascinating new biography by Wilson, an American translator of samurai literature, goes much deeper, seeking to explain what ultimately drove Musashi from sword-fighting to Zen teachings, ink paintings and writing. He literally embodies the adage 'the pen is mightier than the sword." -Newsweek International This is the perfect book to satiate your desire to experience the sacrifices and triumphs inherent to a life lived by the sword. Flaunt "While Miyamoto Musashi is one of the martial arts world's favorite warriors, relatively little is known about him. Thanks to historian William Scott Wilson, that's about to change. In The Lone Samurai: the Life of Miyamoto Musashi, Wilson presents a detailed account of the Japanese swordsman's "Asked to name the best swordsman ever, most Japanese would pick Musashi, the famous 17th-century samurai turned artist who is the subject of more than 50 movies and dozens of books. But most of those focus on his superior warrior skills. This fascinating new biography by Wilson, an American translator of samurai literature, goes much deeper, seeking to explain what ultimately drove Musashi from sword-fighting to Zen teachings, ink paintings and writing. He literally embodies the adage 'the pen is mightier than the sword." -Newsweek International This is the perfect book to satiate your desire to experience the sacrifices and triumphs inherent to a life lived by the sword. Flaunt "While Miyamoto Musashi is one of the martial arts world's favorite warriors, relatively little is known about him. Thanks to historian William Scott Wilson, that's about to change. In The Lone Samurai: the Life of Miyamoto Musashi, Wilson presents a detailed account of the Japanese swordsman's life and quest for truth, perfection and enlightenment." -Black Belt Magazine "It's a thoughtful, entertaining work written by a passionate scholar who avoids the pitfalls posed by a host of obscure Japanese names by using vivid descriptions and a fast-paced narrative. Sometimes dense but never dull, the prose is part history lesson, part detective story, as Wilson sifts thorough various conflicting accounts of the time." -The Post & Courier (Charleston, SC) "Wilson, a veteran translator and a longtime student of Japanese language and literature, shows clearly the influence of Zen on Musashi's thinking art, and writing. Appendices document Musashi's role as a Robin Hood-like folk hero in Japaneseliterature and film. Excellent notes and glossary provide context for the swordsman's life. A fascinating glimpse of a central figure in traditional Japanese culture." -Kirkus Reviews "Wilson turns his talents to Musashi's turbulent life as a swordsman and teacher, crisply retelling, with background for Western readers, the story known to so many Japanese. A particular contribution of this study is Wilson's account of how Miyamoto's life became legend in later centuries?in the last 100 years there have been 43 films about him! . . . Lively and balanced, it will please those looking for a readable but serious presentation of medieval Bushido and samurai culture." ?Library Journal "Wilson, having translated Musashi's book into English (The Book of Five Rings), turns for the first time to biography, with as complete a life of the man behind the sword as possible." -Publishers Weekly "The author combines many antidotes about Musashi with excerpts from his writings to imbue him with a vibrancy lacking from more sedate treatments of this complex individual. Wilson is as skilled with wordplay as Musashi was with the sword, and he has exhaustively researched his subject. The book is a compelling journey through seventeenth-century Japanese society, replete with numerous footnotes and a glossary to aid the reader with the referenced Japanese terms and locales. Anyone interested in the martial arts or Japanese history will enjoy this superb biography of the 'lone samurai' who owed allegiance to no man, but only to his adventurous spirit." -ForeWord Magazine "Wilson has scoured all available Japanese sources to create a highly readable account of this iconoclastic samurai, who notonly contributed to the practice and philosophy of swordsmanship but also make his mark in all Zen-related arts: monochrome ink painting, calligraphy, poetry, sculpture, the tea ceremony, architecture, and Noh theater. . . . Highly recommended." -Choice "William Scott Wilson's newest book offers up the most expansive English-language biography of Musashi to date. This lively and informative treatment is the product of a careful sorting and weighing of earlier works, in search of, as Wilson puts it, 'the single, consistent life within.' Wilson unravels and reweaves his material into a sometimes surprising narrative that significantly enriches our knowledge of Musashi and the legends surrounding him." -Journal of Asian Martial Arts In The Lone Samurai: the Life of Miyamoto Musashi, William Scott Wilson draws upon his considerable expertise as a preeminent translator of classic samurai texts to write an original biography of the legendary Japanese swordsman who lived and fought in the 17th century feudal Japan . . . Enthusiastically recommended reading, The Lone Samurai is a superlatively written biography of a truly remarkable man. Midwest Book Review "Asked to name the best swordsman ever, most Japanese would pick Musashi, the famous 17th-century samurai turned artist who is the subject of more than 50 movies and dozens of books. But most of those focus on his superior warrior skills. This fascinating new biography by Wilson, an American translator of samurai literature, goes much deeper, seeking to explain what ultimately drove Musashi from sword-fighting to Zen teachings, ink paintings and writing. He literally embodies the adage 'the pen is mightier than the sword." -Newsweek International This is the perfect book to satiate your desire to experience the sacrifices and triumphs inherent to a life lived by the sword. Flaunt "While Miyamoto Musashi is one of the martial arts world's favorite warriors, relatively little is known about him. Thanks to historian William Scott Wilson, that's about to change. In The Lone Samurai: the Life of Miyamoto Musashi, Wilson presents a detailed account of the Japanese swordsman's life and quest for truth, perfection and enlightenment." -Black Belt Magazine "It's a thoughtful, entertaining work written by a passionate scholar who avoids the pitfalls posed by a host of obscure Japanese names by using vivid descriptions and a fast-paced narrative. Sometimes dense but never dull, the prose is part history lesson, part detective story, as Wilson sifts thorough various conflicting accounts of the time." -The Post & Courier (Charleston, SC) "Wilson, a veteran translator and a longtime student of Japanese language and literature, shows clearly the influence of Zen on Musashi's thinking art, and writing. Appendices documentMusashi's role as a Robin Hood-like folk hero in Japanese literature and film. Excellent notes and glossary provide context for the swordsman's life. A fascinating glimpse of a central figure in traditional Japanese culture." -Kirkus Reviews "Wilson turns his talents to Musashi's turbulent life as a swordsman and teacher, crisply retelling, with background for Western readers, the story known to so many Japanese. A particular contribution of this study is Wilson's account of how Miyamoto's life became legend in later centuries?in the last 100 years there have been 43 films about him! . . . Lively and balanced, it will please those looking for a readable but serious presentation of medieval Bushido and samurai culture." ?Library Journal "Wilson, having translated Musashi's book into English (The Book of Five Rings), turns for the first time to biography, with as complete a life of the man behind the sword as possible." -Publishers Weekly "The author combines many antidotes about Musashi with excerpts from his writings to imbue him with a vibrancy lacking from more sedate treatments of this complex individual. Wilson is as skilled with wordplay as Musashi was with the sword, and he has exhaustively researched his subject. The book is a compelling journey through seventeenth-century Japanese society, replete with numerous footnotes and a glossary to aid the reader with the referenced Japanese terms and locales. Anyone interested in the martial arts or Japanese history will enjoy this superb biography of the 'lone samurai' who owed allegiance to no man, but only to his adventurous spirit." -ForeWord Magazine "Wilson hasscoured all available Japanese sources to create a highly readable account of this iconoclastic samurai, who not only contributed to the practice and philosophy of swordsmanship but also make his mark in all Zen-related arts: monochrome ink painting, calligraphy, poetry, sculpture, the tea ceremony, architecture, and Noh theater. . . . Highly recommended." -Choice "William Scott Wilson's newest book offers up the most expansive English-language biography of Musashi to date. This lively and informative treatment is the product of a careful sorting and weighing of earlier works, in search of, as Wilson puts it, 'the single, consistent life within.' Wilson unravels and reweaves his material into a sometimes surprising narrative that significantly enriches our knowledge of Musashi and the legends surrounding him." -Journal of Asian Martial Arts In The Lone Samurai: the Life of Miyamoto Musashi, William Scott Wilson draws upon his considerable expertise as a preeminent translator of classic samurai texts to write an original biography of the legendary Japanese swordsman who lived and fought in the 17th century feudal Japan . . . Enthusiastically recommended reading, The Lone Samurai is a superlatively written biography of a truly remarkable man. Midwest Book Review "Asked to name the best swordsman ever, most Japanese would pick Musashi, the famous 17th-century samurai turned artist who is the subject of more than 50 movies and dozens of books. But most of those focus on his superior warrior skills. This fascinating new biography by Wilson, an American translator of samurai literature, goes much deeper, seeking to explain what ultimately drove Musashi from sword-fighting to Zen teachings, ink paintings and writing. He literally embodies the adage 'the pen is mightier than the sword." -Newsweek International This is the perfect book to satiate your desire to experience the sacrifices and triumphs inherent to a life lived by the sword. Flaunt "While Miyamoto Musashi is one of the martial arts world's favorite warriors, relatively little is known about him. Thanks to historian William Scott Wilson, that's about to change. In The Lone Samurai: the Life of Miyamoto Musashi, Wilson presents a detailed account of the Japanese swordsman's life and quest for truth, perfection and enlightenment." -Black Belt Magazine "It's a thoughtful, entertaining work written by a passionate scholar who avoids the pitfalls posed by a host of obscure Japanese names by using vivid descriptions and a fast-paced narrative. Sometimes dense but never dull, the prose is part history lesson, part detective story, as Wilson sifts thorough various conflicting accounts of the time." -The Post & Courier (Charleston, SC) "Wilson, a veteran translator and a longtime student of Japanese language and literature, shows clearly the influence of Zen on Musashi's thinking art, and writing. Appendices document Musashi's role as a Robin Hood-like folk hero in Japaneseliterature and film. Excellent notes and glossary provide context for the swordsman's life. A fascinating glimpse of a central figure in traditional Japanese culture." -Kirkus Reviews "Wilson turns his talents to Musashi's turbulent life as a swordsman and teacher, crisply retelling, with background for Western readers, the story known to so many Japanese. A particular contribution of this study is Wilson's account of how Miyamoto's life became legend in later centuries?in the last 100 years there have been 43 films about him! . . . Lively and balanced, it will please those looking for a readable but serious presentation of medieval Bushido and samurai culture." ?Library Journal "Wilson, having translated Musashi's book into English (The Book of Five Rings), turns for the first time to biography, with as complete a life of the man behind the sword as possible." -Publishers Weekly "The author combines many antidotes about Musashi with excerpts from his writings to imbue him with a vibrancy lacking from more sedate treatments of this complex individual. Wilson is as skilled with wordplay as Musashi was with the sword, and he has exhaustively researched his subject. The book is a compelling journey through seventeenth-century Japanese society, replete with numerous footnotes and a glossary to aid the reader with the referenced Japanese terms and locales. Anyone interested in the martial arts or Japanese history will enjoy this superb biography of the 'lone samurai' who owed allegiance to no man, but only to his adventurous spirit." -ForeWord Magazine "Wilson has scoured all available Japanese sources to create a highly readable account of this iconoclastic samurai, who not only contributed to the practice and philosophy of swordsmanship but also make his mark in all Zen-related arts: monochrome ink painting, calligraphy, poetry, sculpture, the tea ceremony, architecture, and Noh theater. . . . Highly recommended." -Choice "William Scott Wilson's newest book offers up the most expansive English-language biography of Musashi to date. This lively and informative treatment is the product of a careful sorting and weighing of earlier works, in search of, as Wilson puts it, 'the single, consistent life within.' Wilson unravels and reweaves his material into a sometimes surprising narrative that significantly enriches our knowledge of Musashi and the legends surrounding him." -Journal of Asian Martial Arts In The Lone Samurai: the Life of Miyamoto Musashi, William Scott Wilson draws upon his considerable expertise as a preeminent translator of classic samurai texts to write an original biography of the legendary Japanese swordsman who lived and fought in the 17th century feudal Japan . . . Enthusiastically recommended reading, The Lone Samurai is a superlatively written biography of a truly remarkable man. Midwest Book Review

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