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qwallath

Qwallath

Hi, I'm Oscar, a historical linguist from the Netherlands who also likes to write about music, games, and history. Check out my longer blog posts and other writings on Sub Specie.

Currently reading

Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo
Mary Douglas
Signs: an Introduction to Semiotics
Thomas A. Sebeok, Marcel Danesi
Language and Space
Lynn Nadel, Mary A. Peterson, Paul Bloom

De Weg van de Samoerai: Yamamoto Tsunetomo's Hagakure

De Weg van de Samoerai: Yamamoto Tsunetomo's Hagakure - Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Barry D. Steben, Wilma Paalman, Dirk de Rijk I read a selection of parts from Hagakure in the final year of high school for my end paper. Now, I picked up this illustrated hardcover copy in Dutch, which will make for a nice reference. It turns out its nearly 300 pages contain only a modest selection of the original work, so I wonder how many Hagakures are actually completely unabridged.

The book is deservedly a classic of Japanese philosophy, and it gives a valuable contrast to works like Musashi's Book of Five Rings, who emphasises other parts of samurai philosophy. To put it briefly, Musashi is all about victory, while Tsunetomo's all about death.

I found this a very worthwhile version, though it would probably better to purchase the English original translation, which has the same layout. My version is translated two times, something which is rarely if ever an ideal situation. Regardless, it gets across the general messages of Hagakure quite well, and the aforementioned layour is pure bliss. A heavy hardcover, pages adorned with coloured natural patterns, and loads of beautiful japanese art and photography.