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    The Japanese entrepreneur, is not nurtured at an Asian equivalent of our Harvard Business School. Instead, he studies, lives and works according to an almost-mythic tome written in 1645 by the great Samurai, Miyamoto Musashi. Musashi was Japan's most renowned warrior. By age 30 he had fought and won over 60 duels by killing his opponents. The invincible Musashi eventually retired to a cave to record for future generations the lessons of his intense life. There he completed, a few weeks before his own death, the classic A Book of Five Rings.

    He wrote it not only as a thesis on battle strategy, but "for any situation where plans and tactics are used." Not surprisingly, business executives of 20th Century Japan revere Musashi's philosophy as a guide for their daily decisions. And they therefore view the running of a business like a military operation. I have some advice for American businessmen who are trying to figure out why the Japanese excel in business. Buy and study a copy Musashi's A Book of Five Rings(The Overlook Press, translated by Thomas Cleary).

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