I saw this book referred to in two or three business publications and couldn't resist getting a hold of it to find the connection between samurai and capitalist warrior. Boy, was I surprised! The other day I was cornered in the food court by members of a rival firm, and used Musashi's techniques to defend myself with a foot long deli sandwich. Seriously, the parallels between the two worlds are difficult to draw. Call me myopic. This seems to be an excellent manual for a samurai. But if you insist on extrapolating business principles from it, I also recommend "Taming and Training Cockatoos" (the similarities between nesting and portfolio analysis are flagrant!) as well as "Please To The Table" which appears to be a Russian cookbook, but also serves up a delicious recipe for managing sycophants! Seriously, if you're looking for a thoughtful, educating management book, read Drucker, if you want corporate strategy, read Porter, for economics, try Krugman. This is an old warrior manual that doesn't offer any new insight for the budding capitalist. If you absolutely have to find a classic and derive insight into managing for success, then go ahead and read Niccolo Machiaveli's "The Prince".
Anne S. (retired72) reviewed The Book of Five Rings (Shambhala Dragon Editions) on
The New York Times said: "In an era when Japanese expertise is all the rage... now it's Musashi with a vengeance."
"In ancient times a great warrior named Musashi devoted his last years to the task of setting down the samurai secret that he alone knew. He formulated a winning strategy that transcends the clash of war, and speaks directly to everyone who wants to succeed in life. Here are laid down the timeless principles of craft, skill, timing and spirit which result in victory."