The Book of Five Rings

Author: Miyamoto Musashi Written in 1643

  • Divided into 5 scrolls
    1. The Earth Scroll: The science of martial arts
    2. The Water Scroll: Authors school of martial arts, fluidity
    3. The Fire Scroll: Fire is synonymous with war/battle
    4. The Wind Scroll: Other schools of matrial arts
    5. The Scroll of Emptyness: The idea of emptyness

The Earth Scroll

  • 4 walks of life
    1. The way of the Farmer
    2. The way of the Artisan
    3. The way of the Knight
    4. The way of the Merchand
  • The way of the artisan is like the carpenter
  • A master martial artist is like a carpenter
  • The school of the author is called “Two Swords” or “Two Skies”

The Two Swords

  • A short one called wakizashi
  • Long one called Katana
  • “It (long sword) will seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first. Bows are difficult to draw, halberds are difficult to wield; as you become accustomed to the bow so your pull will become stronger. When you become used to wielding the long sword, you will gain the power of the Way and wield the sword well.”
  • There is a Rythem in everything
  • Rules for learning (different translations exist)
    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 judgement and understanding for everything.
    7. Perceive those things which cannot be seen.
    8. Pay attention even to trifles.
    9. Do nothing which is of no use

The Water Scroll

The Fire Scroll

The Wind Scroll

The Scroll of Emptyness

  • There are few principles and most things are adapted during the battle


  • Do nothing which is of no use. #Quotes