Samurai Zen combines aspects of all three categories with the added caveat of stressing the practical. It is not a “pure” book in the sense that it makes no attempt to adhere to a strict philosophy and it eclectically uses many different sources and attempts to incorporate these wisdom’s into overlapping categories, chapters, and aphorisms while still attempting to be true to the proprieties of Zen Buddhism.
Since many of the expressions, statements and maxims throughout this book are gleaned from a myriad of difference sources, many appear in slightly divergence forms and variations on a theme. This book is also an amalgam of riddles and paradoxes that may transcend the illusions of logic, adages, proverbs, truisms, maxims, gongans, mottoes, aphorisms, self-evident truths, humor, Mondos (Zen tales,) opinions and advice, written emphatically, collected from the wisdom of many different sources, traditions, and cultures. Sometimes thoughts are repeated with only slight variations because this difference can make comprehension and retention significant.
Much of the information that is presented is not necessarily in sequential order. This is an intentional Zen method that forces you to think and perhaps alter your attitude.
Some truisms can be applied to very contrasted situations and applications are therefore repeated. This is intentional since you cannot get too much of a good thing.