Like other classics, such as the Gospels of Jesus, and Lao Tze’s Tao Te Chung, there is much discussion of who actually wrote them and how.
What is important is how such books are used. Because only extremely useful books continue in demand at bookstores, especially over generations.
Wikipedia notes: The Art of War has been applied to many fields well outside of the military. Much of the text is about how to fight wars without actually having to do battle: it gives tips on how to outsmart one’s opponent so that physical battle is not necessary. As such, it has found application as a training guide for many competitive endeavors that do not involve actual combat.
There are business books applying its lessons to office politics and corporate strategy. Many Japanese companies make the book required reading for their key executives.
The book is also popular among Western business management, who have turned to it for inspiration and advice on how to succeed in competitive business situations. It has also been applied to the field of education. The Art of War has been the subject of law books and legal articles on the trial process, including negotiation tactics and trial strategy.
This book is entitled A Samurai Master Class, as two additional classics, “The Book of Five Rings” and “Bushido, the Soul of Japan” have been included. No study of this period would be complete without understanding the strategies, tactics, and ethics of the Samurai.
All of us have our journey to follow. For some, we could use this persona to make our decisions more wisely, to resolve conflicts as we move though life. In this, the Art of War can become the Way of Peace. In any day and age, having an ethical code to live by, while also utilizing a strategy and tactics tool-set which has been proved over centuries of application – these seem to point out a road many can travel on their own.
This is presented as the old Japanese proverb told, “There are many paths up the mountain.”
In that spirit, this book is humbly presented for your use.
(From the Forward)
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