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The way of the samurai is found in death. These words, written 300 years ago by the samurai Yamamoto Tsunetomo, offer a seemingly grim introduction to a practice and philosophy that was in fact anything but morbid. Offering a fascinating glimpse into the secretive inner world of the samurai, the Hagakure remained closely guarded and was shown only to a chosen few for more than a century. This was a culture in which death was embraced, not as a morbid fascination, but as a method for eliminating fear. Yamamoto tells his readers how to foster courage, how to serve selflessly, how to become a skilled master of your own destiny, and how to infuse life with beauty while acknowledging its transience. Yamamotos penetrating insights and profound aphorisms reflect important moral principles that still apply to us today. This masterpiece, preserved for generations in northern Kyushu by warrior chiefs as moral and practical instruction for themselves and their samurai retainers, is now presented in this beautifully illustrated edition that will enlighten anyone with an interest in Japanese culture and world literature.