For the first time in English, Stephen Earle tells the epic story of Nakamura Tempu, one of Japan’s most inspirational twentieth-century thinkers and teachers, whose mind-body approach to personal transformation influenced hundreds of thousands, including many of Japan’s most successful and powerful people. Earle chronicles Tempu’s origins in the Japanese samurai tradition, his genius for martial arts, and his work in Manchuria as a spy during the Russo-Japan War of 1904-1905. He relates how, after escaping a Russian firing squad, Tempu contracted tuberculosis, which sent him on a journey for a cure that led to the halls of Columbia University, the salons of Paris, and the foothills of the Himalayas, where Tempu practiced yoga under the tutelage of an Indian guru. There, Tempu not only regained his health but underwent a spiritual transformation. This transformation laid the groundwork for the secular and practical methodology for self-realization and the cultivation of will that Tempu developed and disseminated not only to princes and prime ministers, but also to the sick and socially disenfranchised. Over the course of nine decades, Tempu’s philosophy of mind-body unification charted a clear and accessible path to mastery over hardships and the ability to meet life’s challenges head-on. Yet, the man, his story, his teachings, and his legacy remain almost unknown outside of Japan--until now.
Drawing on more than 35 years of personal experience with Tempu’s teachings and many years of exhaustive research--including readings of Japanese source materials, conversations with people who knew and studied directly under Tempu, and travel to regions that figure prominently in his story--Earle brings that story to life for western readers. In addition to demonstrating how Tempu’s teachings were significant to Japan’s reconstruction and economic rise following the devastation of World War II, Heaven’s Wind is also an engaging historical narrative, an account of personal transformation, and a clear guide to the practical philosophy of mind-body unity.