During my youth, I was extremely interested in Japanese culture, especially Akira Kurosawa films. (My favorite Kurosawa movie? Ran.) You have to hand it to Japan for being such a grand promoter of their country. When I compare Japan to Vietnam, where I was born, I find it sad there isn't such a push to promote Vietnam's culture. Let's face it: from their language to their samurai warriors, Japan is just plain cool.
What really made me register Sonshi.com is Gen. Samuel Griffith's Art of War book. He wrote a wonderful section on Sun Tzu's influence on Japan. Or, should I say the Japanese intellectuals' fascination with Sun Tzu -- or "Sonshi," as they referred to him. When I ran across the word "Sonshi" word, it was Eureka! And when you add in sensational characters like Takeda Shingen and Minamoto Yoshitsune, who were both fanatics of Sonshi, it was quite natural for me to choose Sonshi.com.
In fact, I don't think I even bothered to look to see whether SunTzu.com was available. I was quite happy that Sonshi.com was available.
It could be argued that Japan admired Sun Tzu just as much as China ever did. You can even say that Japan for a long time was fascinated with Chinese culture and all things Chinese. Yet Sun Tzu was special. They made Sun Tzu their own. He was Sonshi.
To me, the way Japan adopted Sonshi as their own is representative of Westerners like Americans adopting Sun Tzu as our own. Thus Sonshi.com is a perfect representation of Sun Tzu outside of China, and furthermore, Sun Tzu as a global phenomenon, not just a Chinese phenomenon.
I'll tell you a quick story before I go. Vanderbilt University Professor Peter Lorge in our Inaugural Sun Tzu's Art of War Conference chastised people for pronouncing Sun Tzu's name "Sun Sue" instead of "Schwen Zuh." He missed the part where I gave people license in the conference to call Sun Tzu as "Sun Sue" because that's how an average English speaking person would recognize Sun Tzu. If you say "Schwen Zuh," he or she would say "Huh?" An example I gave at the conference was how few people refer to Confucius as Kong Zi. Nobody except the Chinese would be able to recognize Kong Zi as Confucius. Even Prof. Lorge didn't call Confucius as Kong Zi. He referred to Confucius as Confucius. Hence, Sun Tzu will always be Sun Tzu. And Sun Tzu to his biggest fans will always be Sonshi.
Sonshi may be big in Japan but now he belongs to the world as well. Welcome home, Sonshi.