Unlike other samurai of his time, Kaibara Ekiken (1630-1714) was concerned less with swordsmanship than with how to maintain and nurture the healthy mind and body upon which martial techniques and philosophy depended. While serving as the chief medical doctor and healer to the Kuroda clan, he came to a holistic view of how the physical, mental, and spiritual lives of his patients were connected. Drawing from his medical practice, the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, and his life experience, Ekiken created Cultivating Ch'i as a guide to sustaining health and stamina from youth to old age. Ekiken's advice regarding moderation, foodand drink, sleep, sexual activity, bathing, and therapeutic practices is still amazingly intuitive and appropriate nearly three hundred years after this book was written.
William Scott Wilson is the foremost translator into English of traditional Japanese texts on samurai culture. He received BA degrees from Dartmouth College and the Monterey Institute of Foreign Studies, and an MA in Japanese literary studies from the University of Washington. His best-selling books include The Book of Five Rings, The Unfettered Mind, and The Lone Samurai, a biography of Miyamoto Musashi.