Illuminated Spirit

Illuminated Spirit: Conversations with a Kyudo Master
By Dan & Jackie DeProspero.
Koryu Books, 2007.
US$19.95 (+shipping).
ISBN: 978-1-890536-11-4.
144 p. 6 x 9"; trade paperback.

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There's much more to learning any Japanese martial art than mere movement and combat strategy. Anyone who's ever been in a close relationship with a Japanese master teacher will know that most of the best consider the Japanese budo, first and foremost, to be a way of living. And many of the most important life lessons a teacher has to offer are provided in casual conversations, often outside the dojo. Dan and Jackie DeProspero were extraordinarily fortunate in their association with the late Onuma Hideharu, a master of kyudo. The wealth of Onuma Sensei's lessons has been so profound that they have been inspired to share them with the rest of us in this little book of conversations, Illuminated Spirit.

Ranging from "Inspiration," through "Everyday Life," "On Being Human," and "Work and Responsibility" to the "Mystery of Kyudo" the DeProspero's have recorded Onuma Sensei's reflections in graceful prose; it is the ultimate tribute to an extraordinary teacher. If you have not had the opportunity to partake in this sort of relationship, and you want to truly understand what the Japanese budo are all about, then you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy of this book. There are few substitutes for the real thing, but Illuminated Spirit comes awfully close.

Diane Skoss

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Classical Japanese Martial Arts
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Last modified on December 29, 2007
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Classical Japanese Martial Arts