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.

Masaaki Hatsumi

The definitive books on Bujinkan by Sōke Masaaki Hatsumi.

Essence

Essence of Ninjutsu

UFTS

Unarmed Fighting Techniques of the Samurai

JapSwordFight

Japanese Sword Fighting: Secrets of the Samurai

AdvStick

Advanced Stick Fighting

TheEssenceofBudo

The Essence of Budo

TheWayofTheNinja

The Way of the Ninja

TheCompleteNinja

The Complete Ninja: The Secret World Revealed

TheGrandmaster

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.

Encylopedia

Encyclopaedia of Japanese Martial Arts

koryubujutsu

Koryu Bujutsu: Classical Warrior Traditions of Japan

SwordAndSpirit

Sword and Spirit: Classical Warrior Traditions of Japan Volume 2

KeikoShokan

Keiko Shokon: Classical Warrior Traditions of Japan Volume 3

AutumnLight

Autumn Lightning: Education of an American Samurai

SwordandBrush

Sword and Brush: Spirit of the Martial Arts

MovingTowards

Moving Toward Stillness: Lessons in Daily Life from the Martial Ways of Japan

Trad

Traditions: Essays on the Japanese Martial Arts and Ways

IntheDojo

In the Dojo: A Guide to the Rituals and Etiquette of the Japanese Martial Arts

Essence2

The Essence of Budo: A Practitioner’s Guide to Understanding the Japanese Martial Ways

Classical

Classical Fighting Arts of Japan: A Complete Guide to Koryu Jujutsu

ClassicalWeaponry

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.

ArtofWar

The Art of War

LifeGivingSword

The Life-Giving Sword: Secret Teachings from the House of the Shogun

codeof

The Code of the Samurai: A Contemporary Translation of the Bushido Shoshinshu of Taira Shigesuke

5rings

The Book of Five Rings

tengu

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

Hired Swords: Rise of Private Warrior Power in Early Japan

Japan Emerging

Japan Emerging

Samuari, warfare

Samurai, Warfare and the State in Early Medieval Japan

TheFirst

The First Samurai: The Life and Legend of the Warrior Rebel, Taira Masakado

Teethandcllaw

The Teeth and Claws of the Buddha: Monastic Warriors and Sohei in Japanese History

Legend

Legends of the Samurai

Nihontō

Texts on the craft and appreciation of the Japanese sword, introducing the reader into this deep field of study.

TheSword

The Japanese Sword

TheArtofJapSword

Art of the Japanese Sword: the Craft of Swordmaking and Its Appreciation

ModernJap

Modern Japanese Swords and Swordsmiths

Polish2

Art of Japanese Sword Polishing

Conniss

The Connoisseur’s Book of Japanese Swords

TheCraft

The Craft of the Japanese Sword

Psychology of Violence

Three of the leading texts on the psychology of violence and its effects.

Meditat

Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training and Real World Violence 

Thegift

The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence

Onkill

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.

TheNew

The New Japan: Debunking Seven Cultural Stereotypes

TheJapHave

The Japanese Have a Word for it: The Complete Guide to Japanese Thought and Culture

Aset

Ascetic Practices in Japanese Religion

Shinto

The Essence of Shinto: Japan’s Spiritual Heart

JapBud

Japanese Buddhism: A Cultural History

Spon

Spontaneity in Japanese Art and Culture

Kata

Kata: The Key to Understanding and Dealing with the Japanese

Born

Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

GunsGerm

Guns, Germs and Steel: A Short History of Everbody for the Last 13000 Years

Japanese Language

Some introductory texts to the Japanese language.

BeginningJap

Tuttle Beginning Japanese: Listen, Speak, Read, Write, Learn

ReadJap

Read Japanese Today: The Easy Way to Learn 400 Practical Kanji

Easy

Easy Japanese: A Direct Learning Approach for Immediate Communication

Learning

Tuttle Learning Japanese Kanji: The Innovative Method for Learning the 500 Most Essential Japanese Kanji Characters

Various

Other texts which may be of interest to those studying classical Japanese martial arts.

Master

Mastery

War

The 33 Strategies of War

Talent

Talent is Overrated: What REALLY Separates World Class Performers from Everybody Else

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