SWORD OF ZEN: Master Takuan and His Writings on Immovable Wisdom and the Sword Tale, by Peter Haskel. University of Hawaii, 2012, 182 pp., $23 (paperback)

"The one who kills is empty, his sword is empty, and the one who is attacked is empty, too. Thus the one who attacks is not a person. And the sword that strikes is not a sword. For the one who is attacked, it is just like cleaving in a lightning flash the breeze blowing in the spring sky."

That's how Master Takuan (1573-1645) talks in Peter Haskel's fresh translation of "Marvelous Power of Immovable Wisdom," a text well known to readers of D.T. Suzuki's "Zen and Japanese Culture" (1959).