Non-Fiction Books:

Zen and the Way of the Sword

Arming the Samurai Psyche



Customer rating

Click to share your rating 0 ratings (0.0/5.0 average) Thanks for your vote!

Share this product

Zen and the Way of the Sword by Winston L. King

or 4 payments of $38.00 with . Learn more

In stock with supplier

The item is brand new and in-stock in with one of our preferred suppliers. The item will ship from the Mighty Ape warehouse within the timeframe shown below.

Usually ships within 8-12 days


Delivering to:

Estimated arrival:

  • Around 1-6 November using standard courier delivery


Zen and the Way of the Swod goes to the heart of the samurai ethos by examining the traditional cult of the sword and its relationship to the beliefs and practices of Zen Buddhism. The sword, King demonstrates, was seen as the soul of the samurai, and swordmanship was both a fine art and a spiritual discipline, the practice of which could lead to superhuman concentration of mental and physical energy and absolute indifference in the face of death. King here presents a detailed analysis of how Zen meditation techniques helped the samurai achieve iron discipline of mind, body and emotion and how the Zen doctrine of the "Great Death" of the self harmonized with the warrior's need to be ready for death at every moment. Surveying the origins and history of the warrior class and the ancient traditions of the sword and sword-making, King reveals how the surprising alliance between Zen and the Samurai came about, and how Zen rationalized its disregard of the ancient Buddhist tradition of non-violence. His conclusions raise important questions about the ethical status of Zen and its relation to society and shed new light on the values of Japanese culture.

Author Biography

Winston L. King is Professor Emeritus of Vanderbilt University. He has had extended firsthand contact with Buddhism in Burma and Japan and is the author of a number of books on religion as a cultural phenomenon and Buddhism in particular.
Release date NZ
March 1st, 1993
Country of Publication
United States
line drawings
Oxford University Press Inc
Product ID

Customer reviews

Nobody has reviewed this product yet. You could be the first!

Write a Review

Marketplace listings

There are no Marketplace listings available for this product currently.
Already own it? Create a free listing and pay just 9% commission when it sells!

Sell Yours Here

Help & options

  • If you think we've made a mistake or omitted details, please send us your feedback. Send Feedback
  • If you have a question or problem with this product, visit our Help section. Get Help
  • Seen a lower price for this product elsewhere? We'll do our best to beat it. Request a better price
Filed under...