The principal pillars of Bushido--the Samurai warrior's code--are loyalty, filial piety, bravery and mercy. Tsunetomo Yamamoto, the author of the Hagakure, lived his life based on these principles and was willing to sacrifice his own life for them when his liege and master died. However, Shogunate law forbade Samurai retainers from taking their lives in this way, so Yamamoto became a monk instead--spending the last years of his life in seclusion recording his wisdom and insights in the "Hagakure" for the teaching and training of future Samurai warriors in the essence of Bushido. Written nearly 300 years ago, the Hagakure is one of the most influential of all Japanese texts. Its power has been felt throughout the world, and yet its existence is barely known to Westerners. Alexander Bennett's completely new and highly readable translation of this essential work is the most complete version of the Hagakure published to date.