The following is a reading list of English language texts that should be helpful to Bujinkan students. There’s a number of seemingly disparate topics covered by these texts but they help to greatly add context to the study of Budō.
The definitive books on Bujinkan by Sōke Masaaki Hatsumi.
Essence of Ninjutsu
Unarmed Fighting Techniques of the Samurai
Japanese Sword Fighting: Secrets of the Samurai
Advanced Stick Fighting
The Essence of Budo
The Way of the Ninja
The Complete Ninja: The Secret World Revealed
The Grandmaster’s Book of Ninja Training
Koryū Bujutsu & General Texts on Budō Study
A selection of books on old style Japanese Martial Arts, and their study.
Encyclopaedia of Japanese Martial Arts
Koryu Bujutsu: Classical Warrior Traditions of Japan
Sword and Spirit: Classical Warrior Traditions of Japan Volume 2
Keiko Shokon: Classical Warrior Traditions of Japan Volume 3
Autumn Lightning: Education of an American Samurai
Sword and Brush: Spirit of the Martial Arts
Moving Toward Stillness: Lessons in Daily Life from the Martial Ways of Japan
Traditions: Essays on the Japanese Martial Arts and Ways
In the Dojo: A Guide to the Rituals and Etiquette of the Japanese Martial Arts
The Essence of Budo: A Practitioner’s Guide to Understanding the Japanese Martial Ways
Classical Fighting Arts of Japan: A Complete Guide to Koryu Jujutsu
Classical Weaponry of Japan: Special Weapons and Tactics of the Martial Arts
Classic Texts of Budō
A number of ancient texts on warfare and martial arts, translated into English.
The Art of War
The Life-Giving Sword: Secret Teachings from the House of the Shogun
The Code of the Samurai: A Contemporary Translation of the Bushido Shoshinshu of Taira Shigesuke
The Book of Five Rings
The Demon’s Sermon on the Martial Arts
Military History of Pre-Modern Japan
Various texts on the historical context which gave rise to Japanese Martial Arts as we know them today.
Hired Swords: Rise of Private Warrior Power in Early Japan
Samurai, Warfare and the State in Early Medieval Japan
The First Samurai: The Life and Legend of the Warrior Rebel, Taira Masakado
The Teeth and Claws of the Buddha: Monastic Warriors and Sohei in Japanese History
Legends of the Samurai
Texts on the craft and appreciation of the Japanese sword, introducing the reader into this deep field of study.
The Japanese Sword
Art of the Japanese Sword: the Craft of Swordmaking and Its Appreciation
Modern Japanese Swords and Swordsmiths
Art of Japanese Sword Polishing
The Connoisseur’s Book of Japanese Swords
The Craft of the Japanese Sword
Psychology of Violence
Three of the leading texts on the psychology of violence and its effects.
Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training and Real World Violence
The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence
On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society
Japanese Culture & General Anthropology
A number of texts on Japanese culture and the field of Anthropology in general, which Sōke has encouraged his students to cultivate an interest in.
The New Japan: Debunking Seven Cultural Stereotypes
The Japanese Have a Word for it: The Complete Guide to Japanese Thought and Culture
Ascetic Practices in Japanese Religion
The Essence of Shinto: Japan’s Spiritual Heart
Japanese Buddhism: A Cultural History
Spontaneity in Japanese Art and Culture
Kata: The Key to Understanding and Dealing with the Japanese
Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
Guns, Germs and Steel: A Short History of Everbody for the Last 13000 Years
Some introductory texts to the Japanese language.
Tuttle Beginning Japanese: Listen, Speak, Read, Write, Learn
Read Japanese Today: The Easy Way to Learn 400 Practical Kanji
Easy Japanese: A Direct Learning Approach for Immediate Communication
Tuttle Learning Japanese Kanji: The Innovative Method for Learning the 500 Most Essential Japanese Kanji Characters
Other texts which may be of interest to those studying classical Japanese martial arts.
The 33 Strategies of War
Talent is Overrated: What REALLY Separates World Class Performers from Everybody Else