Samurai Zen brings together 100 of the rare riddles which represent the core spiritual discipline of Japan's ancient Samurai tradition. Dating from thirteenth-century records of Japan's Kamakura temples, and traditionally guarded with a reverent secrecy, they reflect the earliest manifestation of pure Zen in Japan. Created by Zen Masters for their warrior pupils, the Japanese Koans use incidents from everyday life - a broken tea-cup, a water-jar, a cloth - to bring the warrior pupils of the Samurai to the Zen realization. Their aim is to enable a widening of consciouness beyond the illusions of the limited self, and a joyful inspiration in life - a state that has been compared to being free under a blue sky after imprisonment.
Trevor Leggett was the former head of Japanese Service of the BBC in the UK