We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.co.uk/access.
The Book of Five Rings Audiobook

The Book of Five Rings

Regular Price:£6.39
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • £7.99/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

From youth my heart has been inclined toward the Way of strategy. My first duel was when I was thirteen, I struck down a strategist of the Shinto school, one Arima Kihei. When I was sixteen I struck down an able strategist, Tadashima Akiyama. When I was twenty-one I went up to the capital and met all manner of strategists, never once failing to win in many contests.

After that I went from province to province duelling with strategists of various schools, and not once failed to win even though I had as many as sixty encounters. This was between the ages of thirteen and twenty-eight or twenty-nine.

When I reached thirty I looked back on my past. The previous victories were not due to my having mastered strategy. Perhaps it was natural ability, or the order of heaven, or that other schools' strategy was inferior. After that I studied morning and evening searching for the principle, and came to realise the Way of strategy when I was fifty.

Public Domain (P)2016 Shane

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

5.0 (2 )
5 star
 (2)
4 star
 (0)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Overall
5.0 (1 )
5 star
 (1)
4 star
 (0)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.0 (1 )
5 star
 (0)
4 star
 (1)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Performance


There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Sort by:
  • paul
    11/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Move over ART OF WAR"

    This is a very technical how-to primer in the vein of Lao Tzu's Art of war. While the practical value is extremely limited to practitioners of this particular martial art, the delivery by Ron Welch was almost musical in his narration. I will be thinking of this book for some time to come. I was provided a copy of this audio book in exchange for an unbiased review.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Adam
    18/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Author implores you to study his work carefully!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Possibly... if a friend was aspiring to be a swordsman.


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator did an excellent job at bringing to life, what might have been a rather dry read. I suspect that a person might know that they will enjoy this book before even reading/listening to it, if you think you will, you most likely will be right, if you think you will not, you will likely be equally right. <br/><br/>I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Cameron F.
    18/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "You must appreciate this."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Musashi was a celebrated swordsman and Japanese cultural figure during his lifetime. He composed this text in a cave after retiring to live as a hermit in 1643. His purpose in writing was to describe the merits of Ni-Ten Ichi Ryu, his school of strategy and swordsmanship which is characterised by the use of two swords simultaneously. It is an important book that I'd recommend to any with an interest in history or martial arts. Musashi's musings on strategy and tactics are applied equally to situations where one is duelling with a single opponent, where one warrior is engaging twenty opponents, or even to the general bearing of a warrior in day-to-day life. He finished the book in 1645 and died a few months later during the same year.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The Book of Five Rings reveals some of this famous Japanese figure's philosophy. Musashi discusses the ways in which men pass through life and the characteristics which distinguish the way of the warrior from the others, such as farmers or merchants. In drawing these comparisons, the author hints of many and diverse accomplishments in other fields of life, hints which are corroborated in bios I have glanced at since I finished listening to Welch's performance. Most of all, The Book of Five Rings has left me with a wish to read some more biographical material on Miyamoto Musashi.


    What does Ron Welch bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Welch's performance of the audiobook imparts a tone of learned, erudite teaching on important matters of swordcraft. Musashi's oft-repeated refrain is delivered with stern authority. 'You must research this!' No foolin' around! The way in which Welch reads footnotes to explicate matters of translation and Japanese concepts might have one believe he was an authority on Japanese culture and/or martial arts, which he may well be! Thank you, Ron Welch. I really enjoyed your narration here.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I expected a greater amount of philosophical content and was somewhat surprised to learn that a good part of the book deals with the best ways to cut down enemies and kill them. But this is what I had ought to expect from a treatise on swordsmanship I suppose...


    Any additional comments?

    I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Kingsley
    Henely Brook, Australia
    17/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lost in Translation?"

    I was expecting something along the lines of "The Art of War" or Machiavelli's "The Prince". This book is not really like that.

    "The Book of Five Rings" is a martial arts 'classic' from the 17th century Japan, with a mix of strategy and philosophy. The 'five rings' are the five books it is broken into - Earth, Wind, Water, Fire and Void. It much more focuses on combat training for a single warrior, and not strategy for war or ruling (or business, the the former two books mentioned are now used).

    It may be a case of the translation (I'm not sure who the translator is or what version this is) but it uses 'strategy' heavily to talk about an individuals technique and approach to sword fighting. How to hold the sword, to use a long or short sword, how to strike etc. None of this is really 'strategy" to me, and thus the translation of the word seems off.

    The book also falls back onto "this cannot be explained" so often, basically making a statement then not backing it up or saying "I don't know how to write an explanation so i won't bother". Or it regularly gives an bland or basic description of something that needs a fuller description and says "this must be studied further" or "you must study hard".

    The philosophical statements may have once been profound, but due to translation or time they come off flat or trite. Some are not dissimilar to Yoda's "do or do not. there is no try.", and yet not even as interesting as that one.

    One of the five books (Wind?) is basically calling out other fighting styles saying "I don't like it because of x, y or z", but this mostly means nothing because other than a name (which may of may not be known now) it doesn't really give us details. "I don't like this footwork, it's too light" means little to the listener without an understanding of that style.

    If you are looking to learn a specific martial art this book might be great but to learn broader strategy (like you might from 'Art of war') then this is not the book to read.

    Narration by Ron Welch is fine. He is clear and well paced, easy enough to follow. There was one thing he did that really frustrated me and made me lose focus on the book, which was to pronounce 'attribute' incorrectly many many times throughout the book. He continually used the pronunciation for the verb attribute ("regard something as being caused by someone") when he should have used the noun ("a quality or feature regarded as a characteristic or inherent part of someone or something"). These are pronounced differently and the wrong one being used really drew me out of the book.

    I would probably listen to other work by him again.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.