I first wrote the Shogun Scrolls in 1995 as a follow up to the Book of Five Rings and The Art of War. It was done with the knowledge and at the suggestion of the original publisher. It is a work of docu-fiction crafted with the intent of elucidating a fictional scenario as is done industry wide with many books of the various genres. The writing style is such that the reader may be lead to think that it is an actual work dating from the inception of Minamoto Yoritomo, the first shogun of Japan. Nonetheless, the truths expounded in the work are valid for any situation where they can be used as a guide for contemporary leadership development and motivation.
The Shogun Scrolls were written in the late twelfth century by Hidetomo Nakadai, a scholar and regent in the court fo Minamoto Yoritomo, the first shogun of Japan and one of the world’s most ruthless generals. Recently victorious over rival clans, the shogun required Nakadai to provide detailed advice on governing all aspects of the realm.
As a working philosopher and motivation lecturer, I am not interested in actual historical events that set the stage for the original writings. I am more concerned with the information and the understanding of it that provides answers for every man. These scrolls should be used as a guide for personal progress through life, although it should be understood by the reader that certain ideas presented to the shogun in the twelfth century do not pertain to contemporary life and society such as raping, looting, and revenge. I believe though, that the work is more important than the worker, until of course, both become the same, and I have endeavored to structure my life based on the majority of the principles presented in the Shogun Scrolls.
As with many works of profound philosophical value, the Shogun Scrolls has not had ample exposure. The reason, according to comtemporary scholars, is that it would have given the reader of Nakadai’s time a tremendous advantage in governing the realm. The severe penalties suggested by Nakadai for violators of the shogunate must have pleased Minamoto Yoritomo. He rewarded Nakadai with an entire fiefdom and elevated him to the position of “monchujo,” the equivalent of a seat on our own Supreme Court. Copies of the work that could be found were eventually destroyed with the exception of the four that exist today with the seal of Minamoto Yoritomo indicating that they were the only copies to be kept. All others were to be destroyed. Anyone who had a copy was also to be destroyed — Nakadai’s influence, undoubtedly. Such is the profound importance of the book. The attitudes expressed in the Shogun Scrolls far exceed any of those works of literature that appear to emulate it.
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