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Autumn Lightning: The Education of an American Samurai (Anglais) Broché – 17 juillet 2001

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<p class="MsoNormal">Dave Lowry is an accomplished martial artist, calligrapher, and writer. He is the restaurant critic for St. Louis Magazine and writes regularly for a number of magazines on a wide variety of subjects, many of them related to Japan and the Japanese martial arts. He is the author of numerous books including  Autumn Lightning: The Education of an American Samurai, Sword & Brush: The Spirit of the Martial Arts, Clouds in the West: Lessons from the Martial Arts of Japan, and The Connoisseur's Guide to Sushi. <o:p />

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"Surrounded by the pines that closed in his yard, the swordsman crouched motionless." Lire la première page
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Quatrième de couverture
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 31 commentaires
22 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Should be MANDATORY reading for students of the martial arts 16 août 1996
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Out of print for nearly ten years, Shambhala Press makes this masterpiece available to another generation of martial arts students and Westerners who are interested in the Japanese "student-teacher" relationship.

As a young teenager, Lowry learned of a "Japanese swordsman" living in the same University town. In the tradition of old Japan when a student seeked an instructor, Lowry stopped by the house every day, asking the woman who answered the door
if there was an instructor who would take him as a student. Lowry's persistence paid off and he was "adopted" by Kotaro Sensei (teacher), a master of Yagyu Shinkage-ryu swordsmanship.

Lowry instruction was by no means limited to the physical techniques of the sword. As the subtitle implies, Kotaro Sensei transformed this wet-behind-the-ears teenager into an "American Samurai." Lessons learned within and without the dojo (training hall) taught Lowry that a "samurai" has to live ALL aspects of his or her life to a higher standard. While his schoolmates were busy experimenting with drugs and worrying about the Viet Nam war, Lowry's spare time was spent learning honor, respect, courage, virtue and justice through this sacred relationship between Sensei (teacher) and kohei (student).

Lowry takes an interesting and very effective approach to the assembly of the book, alternating chapters that chronologically detail his experience and historical anecdotes about the martial arts that reinforce the lessons he learned. Lowry is a true "master of the sword AND pen," his masterful re-telling of his experience almost allows the reader to experience the same struggles and joys he experienced, yet he keeps this writing accessable. This book would be equally valuable to a nine-year old beginning karate student as it is to a 80 year old master of the arts.

I have been involved in the martial arts for only ten years, but have read and collected more than 100 books on the subject. If I had only one book to recommend to students of the arts seeking the "definitive text" on what the "teacher-student" experience is SUPPOSED to be, this would be it.
17 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
An autobiography of great merit 8 août 2003
Par Joanna Daneman - Publié sur
Format: Broché
I met David Lowry quite a few years ago, appropriately at the St. Louis Japanese Festival held in Forest Park's lovely Japanese tea garden. It was a good thing I had a chance to meet him--otherwise I might think this story was fiction. It's not, though it reads like a novel, maybe titled "Karate Kid meets Yoda."
Lowry, a country boy living in Springfield, Missouri, went on a youthful quest to find his sensei, his teacher, after hearing rumors that there was a sword master living in town. Unlikely as that was (Springfield is better known for the Ozark Mountains and being near Laura Ingalls Wilder's homestead) it was true. In scenes that follow, Lowry gets training not only from the sensei but from his equally fierce consort. The Japanese couple become a second set of parents and teachers, and they make their indelible mark on David's life.
Not only is this an fascinating tale of coming-of-age and two cultures meeting, but it is written with great style. Lowry is a journalist and freelance writer with many, many bylines from top publications. His writing is crisp and visual, and above all, humorous. This is one of my favorite memoirs.
16 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A book about life, not just Japanese sword training 9 septembre 2001
Par Erehwon - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Having previously read the author's book, Moving Into Stillness, I expected this to be a fine book--I was not disappointed.
The book interweaves chapters on how the author, as a teenager in the Midwest, came to undertake the arduous study of kenjutsu with chapters concerning the lives of the masters of his art in feudal Japan. I was captivated by both threads.
The anecdote that explains the title, Autumn Lightning, is evocative of the essence of this book. The book is suffused with a subtle melancholly. The author is well aware that his art is nothing more than a museum piece, without any practicality and receiving little appreciation. Yet it is pursued because it is excellent, beautiful and transformative. In that way it is far more "real" than the ugly, debased "reality" of the modern world.
This book will delight natural aristocrats who are at odds with the spirit of the age.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
More than an interesting and inspiring autobiography 27 janvier 2002
Par Modern Viking - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Ostensibly the autobiography of an American bugeisha (practitioner of Japanese martial arts, in this case kenjutsu, "sword techniques"), this book is much more as it delves into an easily-read discussion of different bugei (Japanese martial arts), zanshin (the state of "continual mind"), special skills and hidden methods, the precursors of jujutsu, warrior monks, Zen Buddhism, seppuku and much more. Even if you do not practice a martial art, you are likely to find this a fascinating read, and if you do practice a martial art, this book will inspire you no matter what your own art is (I practice eskrima, which has no relation whatsoever to kenjutsu and yet I found many principles in this which I can apply to eskrima).
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The roots of the samurai 7 décembre 1999
Par Stephanie Jones - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Many books are written on the samurai or budo...often the stories of the master's master are left out. The budo has changed and apdapted to modern society, however the traditions remain. Autumn Lightning tells of the roots of the bushido. "The sword that gives life not takes life." A must read for not only studiers of budo but of the martial arts in general...two thumbs up, way up.
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