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To browse Academia. Skip to main content. By using our site, you agree to our collection of information through the use of cookies. To learn more, view our Privacy Policy. Log In Sign Up. Download Free PDF. Paul van Els. Frank Witkam. Download PDF. A short summary of this paper. IntroductionWritten over two thousand years ago, the Art of War or Sun Tzu is the most popular military-strategic treatise of all time.

While this ascription is questionable, the Art of War has unquestionably been popular for a long time. During the Edo Period , Chinese annotated editions were shipped in large quantities to Japan, where scholars wrote translations and commentaries.

Amiot published his Art militaire des Chinois , a collection of canonical Chinese military texts in French translation. The first English translations date from the beginning of the twentieth century, when E. Calthrop Calthrop , and Lionel Giles published their works, which were followed by a score of other English translations. In other words, even in translation the Art of War is a book on waging war. There are, however, works that take a more liberal approach, as they adapt the ancient military text to modern non-military contexts.

The earliest Art of War adaptations were published over half a century ago in the field of commerce, as 1 The ascription is questionable if only because Sun Wu's very existence is in doubt.

Mair , 10, argues that his name "has all the marks of being a made-up cognomen," and Galvany , , observes that the figure of Sun Wu "is cloaked in an impenetrable aura of mystery and dubiety to the point that, even today, the historical existence of this personage is still open to debate. This is merely for stylistic reasons and should not be taken as an acknowledgment of his historical existence or his authorship of the text. For more on the textual history of the Art of War, see Gawlikowski andLoewe Their comments are translated by Cleary and Minford English translations published since that year include Mair , which we use in this article because of its fine balance between accuracy, readability, and availability.

In the words of Henry Kissinger, Sunzi has "achieved a second career of sorts […], with popular editions of The Art of War recasting him as a modern business management guru. Sawyer puts it, resulting in what Juliana Pilon calls a "cottage industry of how-to books inspired by The Art of War. It is truly remarkable that a text on warfare, written in China over two thousand years ago, speaks to a diversity of readers around the world today. While the text's wide-ranging adaptability arguably played a major role in making it a household name, academic interest in Art of War adaptations is rare.

Given that adaptations are based on earlier works, they are inevitably judged in relation to those original works, and are therefore "often put down as secondary, derivative," as Linda Hutcheon observes.

Given the significant problems that may occur when people who do not know Classical Chinese work with texts written 7 Kissinger , Sell It! In this study, we define Art of War adaptations as self-help books that find inspiration in the ancient Chinese military text and apply it to a contemporary situation susceptible to improvement.

These books typically use a variant of the original title Art of War, Sun Tzu as part of their own title, as in the aforementioned examples. Factors contributing to the diversity include the version of the source text that was used, the degree to which the modern work draws on the ancient text, and the target readership of the modern work.

As a result, while one adaptation borrows nothing but the title words of the Art of War, another adapts the entire military text, word for word, to a non-military context, and while one adaptation is a dryish disquisition on applied strategies and tactics, another is a lively novel in which Sunzi's wisdom is imparted by one protagonist to another.

Through an analysis of over forty Art of War adaptations in multiple languages, this study explores when and where the tradition of adapting the ancient military text started, why people engage in this practice, how they adapt the text, and what the value of their work is.

It addresses these issues in four parts. Part 1 provides a brief history of Art of War adaptations, which our research traces back to s Japan. Part 2 describes the process of creating the adaptations. Part 3 is a case study of one particular adaptation. Part 4 theorizes the appeal of the military text to adapters. This outline shows that our article does not focus on China, the military, or history, but on what we may call an extension of Chinese military history.

It takes the most influential military-strategic text created in China over two millennia 13 Goldin However, the precise number of adaptations is not germane to our analysis, and the more than forty adaptations that we did find enable a representative analysis.

In a narrow sense, the goal of our article is to provide an in-depth analysis of Art of War adaptations. In a broader sense, we hope to shed light on the diverse ways in which texts such as the Art of War, written long ago in a different language and culture, are made relevant in our world as they are applied to issues facing readers today. This is understandable, as the military text was considered required reading in companies in Japan, where a large corporation even organized one-month courses to study Sunzi's work.

These early adaptations were published in a period of economic growth. However, as the economy slowed down, so did the practice of applying the insights of Sonshi, as the military strategist is known in Japan.

Accordingly, the s marked a lull in Sonshi activity. In the early s, China's recently initiated Open Door policy created the need for a theoretical foundation of the new economic reality. Ironically, part of the foundation of the new China came from ancient China and by way of Japan, which by then had become the world's second largest economy. Within two years, the first Chinese business adaptation was published.

It ended with the bursting of the Japanese economic bubble, shortly after the beginning of the s, only to be reinvigorated in Japan in recent years. As Japanese Sonshi creativity dwindled, other emerging markets in Asia picked up the baton. Nevertheless, it is revealing that a publisher in Hong Kong decided to publish the work in English, and the multiple editions that have been published over the years suggest a higher-than-expected interest in the English translation.

In , an original English adaptation was published in Singapore by the business consultant Chow-Hou Wee and colleagues. In that same period, the practice of adapting the text took root in the United States.

As a military text, the Art of War had been popular among corporate leaders in America for some time, a fact perhaps best epitomized by Oliver Stone's monumental movie Wall Street in which both leading characters quote from Sunzi's work. However, the practice of rendering the text into business American seems to date from the mids. Michaelson to son Steven W. With an average of at least two publications per year, the United States still reigns supreme as the undisputed market leader 20 Li et al.

Their initial emergence coincides with the s economic boom in the United States, but perhaps more importantly, it also coincides with a growing demand for self-help books. In Self-Help, Inc. From then onwards, they grew into the global phenomenon that they are today. This is because a they were published in other languages and b they targeted new audiences. At first, American-made adaptations were translated into other languages.

The translations of these works familiarized other parts of the world with the practice of adapting the Art of War. From the mids onwards, adaptations were created directly in those other languages.

The earliest of these works include a version aimed at martial artists by Stephen F. Kaufman, one of the "founding fathers" of American karate, and another version targeting lovers by psychologist Connell Cowan Adapting the Art of WarIs there an underlying "art" that unites the plethora of Art of War adaptations? The present section addresses this issue by analyzing the process of creating such works, which involves questions such as: What purpose does the adaptation serve?

How does it relate to the adapted text? How does it tailor the text to readers? By focusing on the underlying process, we demonstrate that adapters implicitly or explicitly ask themselves similar questions, even if their answers yield dissimilar adaptations.

At the core of each Art of War adaptation lies the awareness of a problem experienced by a certain demographic that forms the prospective readers. These readers include managers who strive to make their companies competitive, attorneys who seek ways for improving their competence, women who find themselves on the underside of the gender gap, writers who fail to get published, and men who fail to get a date.

They also include the average person, struggling with the challenges of daily life, for whom Sun Tzu: L'arte della guerra nella vita quotidiana was created. And they have for centuries. They are the Human Race-our nemesis. They seek to vanquish us. But we bite back. Still, every Zombie needs support. Hence this book. While translations endeavor to convey the source text's meaning, style, and tone from one language into another, and adaptations in general transmute a novel, movie, poem, and so on, into a new artistic form, Art of War adaptations fundamentally seek to help readers with the problem that they face.

Edition and SelectionHaving settled on the Art of War as a remedy for the prospective reader's problem, adapters face practical questions: What version of the source text should they use? How much of it should they incorporate into their adaptation? What aspects of the Art of War should they focus on? Some Art of War adapters master the language in which the text was written and base their adaptation directly on the Classical Chinese text.

This applies mainly to adapters in Asia, and occasionally to adapters elsewhere. The popularity of Giles' work appears to be motivated by practical considerations, rather than appreciation of the translation, as his book was first published over a century ago and is now available in the public domain.

As Catherine Huang and A. Rosenberg note after modifying Giles' translation for their Women and the Art of War: "Our intent is not to create a more literal translation but, rather, one that may be more accessible to our western audience. Some adaptations barely refer to the military text at all. For example, Spencer Michaels' The Art of War for Dating teaches romantically challenged readers "how to meet and attract any woman, anywhere, at any time" by adopting an "almost war-like mindset.

Another adaptation, The Art of War for Writers by suspense author and writing coach James Scott Bell, follows Sunzi's example of presenting ideas in compact chapters of just a few pages each.

The ironic result is that the writings ascribed to Sunzi are of little account in Bell's book on writing. It appears that for adaptations such as these, the military classic merely informed the overall tone or idea of the book, provided a few apposite quotations, and supplied the title words "Art of War. Other adaptations render the ancient military text in its entirety to modern non-military domains.

Art Of War Books

The Art of War is an ancient Chinese military treatise attributed to Sun Tzu, a high-ranking military general, strategist and tactician. The text is composed of 13 chapters, each of which is devoted to one aspect of warfare. It is commonly known to be the definitive work on military strategy and tactics of its time. It has been the most famous and influential of China's Seven Military Classics, and "for the last two thousand years it remained the most important military treatise in Asia, where even the common people knew it by name. The first annotated English language translation was completed and published by Lionel Giles in L'art de la guerre is a translation of this work.


The Japanese Art of War: Understanding the Culture of Strategy (Shambhala Classics) - Kindle edition by Cleary, Thomas. Download it once and read it on your.


Art Of War Books

There are two main reasons to teach The Tale of the Heike , one literary and the other historical. Its subject matter, the Genpei War — CE , marked a pivot in social, cultural, and political life in Japan. Buddhist aesthetic values of sensitivity and transience have become considered essentially Japanese both by Japanese themselves and by Americans.

The Japanese Art of War

Sun Tzu and the Art of Medieval Japanese Warfare

The work, which is attributed to the ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu "Master Sun", also spelled Sunzi , is composed of 13 chapters. Each one is devoted to an aspect of warfare and how it applies to military strategy and tactics. For almost 1, years it was the lead text in an anthology that was formalized as the Seven Military Classics by Emperor Shenzong of Song in

Military rule and the martial tradition of the samurai dominated Japanese culture for more than eight hundred years. According to Thomas Cleary—translator of more than thirty-five classics of Asian philosophy—the Japanese people have been so steeped in the way of the warrior that some of the manners and mentality of this outlook remain embedded in their individual and collective consciousness. Cleary shows how well-known attributes such as the reserve and mystery of formal Japanese behavior are deeply rooted in the ancient strategies of the traditional arts of war. Citing original Japanese sources that are popular among Japanese readers today, he reveals the hidden forces behind Japanese attitudes and conduct in political, business, social, and personal life. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. It doesn't involve technique, it assumes that you already know how to paint. It helps you tou make a lasting work.

Military rule and the martial tradition of the samurai dominated Japanese culture for more than eight hundred years. According to Thomas Cleary—translator of more than thirty-five classics of Asian philosophy—the Japanese people have been so steeped in the way of the warrior that some of the manners and mentality of this outlook remain embedded in their individual and collective consciousness. Cleary shows how well-known attributes such as the reserve and mystery of formal Japanese behavior are deeply rooted in the ancient strategies of the traditional arts of war. Citing original Japanese sources that are popular among Japanese readers today, he reveals the hidden forces behind Japanese attitudes and conduct in political, business, social, and personal life. An amazing achievement.


About The Japanese Art of War. Military rule and the martial tradition of the samurai dominated Japanese culture for more than eight hundred years. According to.


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