I have been won over by the convenience of ebooks, however, I expect that there will always be reasons to buy a book as an artifact. Case in point, is the beautiful Watkins Publishing version of Miyamoto Musashi's The Five Rings (2012) translated by David K. Groff. This wonderfully designed book is made from high quality materials and is adorned throughout by paintings, photographs, maps, scrolls, elaborate print designs including kanji, and includes intricate border designs on the pages throughout. Groff's informative introduction give important background knowledge in which to consider Musashi's philosophical task at hand and understand it in context of the times he lived through. I have not had a particular interest in martial arts or ancient Japanese history before. However, I must admit that I come to find interest in through viewings of samurai films from the likes of Kurosawa, Kobayashi, Shinoda, and others. This volume will serve as a gateway into further study of samurai and Japanese history.
Page 63: A kabuki depiction of of an afficer of the lawarmed with naganata, being overpowered, woodblock print. The paragraphs from this section, Ground, are separated by the kanji character 地 chi.
Page 109: A garden in Kyoto, Japan.
Page 212-213: Zen Garden.