If you are interested in Samurai, Feudal Japan, the story of an underdog who goes from nothing, to becoming the best, then you must read this book. This book in Japan is the 'Gone with the Wind' of Japan. A sweeping epic based as close as possible on actual events and people. I warn you though, reading this novel will set a bar for you in Japanese literature that will never be matched point for point. Only Eiji Yoshikawas work "Taiko" will come close, but that is the story of a General, and not a sometime ronin like Miyamoto Musashi. Both of these works are phenomenal, and I would no more part with my hardcover copies than I would a good friend.