A thorough exploration of samurai culture and values and their impact on Japanese history— informative and invigorating,...

The Courage of a Samurai

SEVEN SWORD-SHARP PRINCIPLES FOR SUCCESS

A combination moral guidebook and Japanese history resource illustrates the code of samurai warriors, explaining its importance and how it can be incorporated into everyday life.

Third-generation Japanese-American Whaley shares elements of her heritage with the aim of enlightening and inspiring readers to adopt some samurai practices. The debut book highlights the historical significance of the Bushido code among Japanese warriors and, consequently, its effect on Japanese society as a whole. The Bushido code emphasizes the following principles: courage, integrity, benevolence, respect, honesty, honor, loyalty, and ganbaru (a Japanese word meaning “to persist”). The book is separated into eight chapters: one dedicated to each concept. Each chapter begins with a thorough description of what the principle meant to Japanese warriors, what it conveys today, and how it can be successfully applied to everyday life. This is followed by stories of Japanese or Japanese-American figures who embodied the principle discussed in that chapter (“Integrity” features the Asian-American politician Daniel K. Inouye, who enlisted in the Army during World War II—receiving several accolades, including the Bronze Star and the Medal of Honor—and served as a U.S. senator from Hawaii). In addition, well-known quotations are inserted throughout the book, when relevant to the particular chapter (for example, “Courage” offers the Japanese proverb “Even a hunter cannot kill a bird that comes to him for refuge”). Whaley’s passion for Japanese culture and heritage is evident in each page, as she includes patient explanations and well-researched details. The stories included in each chapter are the heart of the book. They effectively provide historical background, as well as a reference of how each principle can be upheld to the highest degree. These tales would be just as powerful—or perhaps more so—if presented separate from the motivational aspect of the work. In attempting to accomplish too much, the volume becomes scattered and distracting at times. The introduction of each chapter is reasonable, but is followed by a forceful encouragement for readers to adopt each principle in order to find success in their own lives, which eventually becomes repetitive. Additionally, the inspirational quotations break the flow of the writing, which serves as inspiration enough.

A thorough exploration of samurai culture and values and their impact on Japanese history— informative and invigorating, though laden with heavy-handed motivational mantras.

Pub Date: Jan. 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-938686-82-5

Page Count: 264

Publisher: Aviva Publishing

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2016

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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