Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1643) was a samurai master and a leading exponent of Kendo, the oldest of Japan's martial arts. In a career that lasted nearly half a century he was never defeated in combat. Musashi perfected a two-handed sword technique that is still taught today, and he was also a talented artist. He completed The Book of Five Rings, his classic text on samurai sword strategy, days before his death. About the Translator Ashikaga Yoshiharu teaches English at Tokyo University. A descendant of a samurai, he has translated many classic Japanese texts into English and has edited the books Zen Wisdom and Zen Teachings (both Astrolog).