Samurai Baby  

Japan Zone Review of "Way of the Baby: A Book of Five Grins"

Way of the Baby, A Book of Five Grins is essential reading for newborns who seek the "secrets of mastering the parent". Taking its inspiration from the natural elements and the wisdom of generations past, the book - actually five short books in one - guides the young "samurai" through the all-important early years of life. Its teachings, at first glance simplistic, carry within them many of the bushido principals that are essential elements of Japanese peace and harmony.

For new parents, any insight into the mysterious world of the infant mind is a welcome blessing. This little book is sure to not only raise a few smiles but also provide some new and inspiring ways of looking at your baby's development. It's only natural for a parent to fret over their baby's ever-changing moods, to fuss over their eating and sleeping habits, to fawn over every smile or frown. But this book offers a new way of looking at things, imagining it all from the baby's perspective, which can be refreshing amidst all the stress and sleepless nights. This is not a "by the numbers" baby manual (as a parent I've often wished they did come with a manual!), but rather can be dipped into and enjoyed during those rare and random moments when your child takes a break from their intensive training.

If you're wondering about the title, it is play on the famous "A Book of Five Rings" by the legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi, perhaps the most famous samurai of them all. All of the traditional Japanese arts have their own "way", such as the Way of Tea (sado), the Way of the Sword (kendo), even the Way of Softness (judo). The core teaching of all of them is not so much to "practice" or "perform" the way, but to do so until you reach a point where it simply flows from you. What better example could you have for how a baby lives from moment to moment - they "are" the way.

  - Mark McBennett
  President, Japan Zone

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