Who is the sword saint? Some say Miyamoto Musashi is a sword saint. He was
born around 1584 in the village of Miyamoto in the Mimisaka province. Many people
know him only by the name of Musashi. His real name however is Shinmen Musashi no
Kami Fujiwara no Genshin. He took the name of Miyamoto to honor the village of his
birthplace. Musashi was a great warrior. No one could match him and no one really ever
got the better part of him. He never lost a duel. He was also an excellent writer and artist
The book Musashi written by Eiji Yoshikawa is an excellent book
portraying the life and time of Musashi. Yoshikawa provides well-developed characters
with the context needed for a modern reader (Raven Para.2).
It is a thorough and
interesting piece of writing. I have read it twice already and watched the movie based on
made from it about five times. Yoshikawa does a great job portraying the achievements
that Musashi accomplished and the feats he overcame as a youth in a warring period of
Japan. He follows his entire life from when he was a young teen until he was about forty-
five and then he goes into meditation.
Musashi was an intense type of warrior and very loyal to his art. He hardly ever
had a girlfriend while he was wandering the countryside and fighting in numerous duels.
He was always trying to improve his skill and create new styles. Therefore he never had
. It was though that the Hito-rei edict of 1876, banning the wearing of japanese sword by Samurai, would have stopped the production of japanese swords. But, through the Hito-rei edict and the ban of sword production by us forces during WWII the japanese sword still lives today. Though this was true very few swordsmiths could earn a solid living on just making swords. But those few, for example ...
much time to be involved in relationships.He created one of the most difficult sword
techniques of the time called two-swords . After he used that technique in combat and
the word got it around it put fear into all of his adversaries and opponents.
He killed his first opponent at the age of thirteen. He was being bullied by a
student of the Shinto-Ryu school of military arts and was tired of his harassment. He
finally just grabbed the guy and started beating him with his wooden training sword. At
the age of sixteen, Musashi decided to leave his home village to make a name for himself
as a warrior. He embarked on journeys seeking duels and contests. One such warrior he
defeated was Tadashima Akiyama. Around this time, he enlisted in Hideyoshi’s army. By
1600, Hideyoshi was dead, and Mitsunari Ishida succeeded his position ruling for
Hideyoshi’s son, Hideyori. Tokugawa forced Ishida in a decisive battle at Sekigahara,
where Tokugawa and his allies battled against Ishida and his allies for three days resulting
in 70,000 warrior lives lost. The survivors in Ishida’s routed force were hunted down by
Tokugawa. Musashi was able to escape by crawling among corpses for days hiding from
Tokugawa’s patrol. He would drink water from muddy puddles to survive.
Musashi, however, is not “just” an historical novel. The celebrated names of
Ishida Mitsunari, Itto Ittosai, Oda Nobunaga and the like do pop up from time to time, but
the book s true supporting characters are “the common folks”; craftsmen, innkeepers,
jobless samurai and fishermen who represent the real people living in Japan around 1600,
to whom the tidal waves of history come only as a muted, ebbing backwash (Ramusino
Musashi had fought in more than 60 duels by the age of 29 and was victorious in
all.On some occasions, he even fought whole kenjutsu schools.Sometimes, he received
requests for duels since his popularity had spread. Other times, it was just because he had
provoked or angered them. Traveling from province to province, Musashi made a name
for himself striking down his opponents using a wooden bokken (wooden sword) while his
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opponents used katanas(long sword), chain and sickle, and even spears. The name he
made for himself was not just as a skilled swordsman, but a rather strange oddball. His
appearance was wild and unkempt. He would often sleep in caves afraid of being
ambushed rather than staying in a comfortable inn. All this was for a purpose though, for
he was a master strategist. His bizarre behavior may have been planned to frighten and
confuse his rivals.
Miyamoto Musashi s most famous duel, and also his last one took place in 1612
on Ganryu Island, off the coast of Buzen Province. His opponent was Sasaki Kojiro, a
young man who had developed a strong fencing technique known as “swallow counter”,
inspired by the motion of a swallow’s tail in flight. Kojiro was a kenjutsu instructor for the
lord of the province, Hosokawa Tadaoki. The duel was set at 8:00 the next morning. That
next morning Musashi got up, and drank some water that the keepers of the house he was
staying in brought him. Then he sat off towards the beach to travel in boat to the remote
island he was to fight his duel at. As he was traveling towards the island Musashi
fashioned a paper string to tie back the sleeves of his kimono, and cut a wooden sword
from the spare oar. When he had done this he lay down to rest.
Yoshikawa says that At that moment, Musashi, his hakama hitched high on both
sides, jumped lightly into the sea, landing so lightly he made barely a splash. He strode
rapidly toward the waterline, his wooden sword cutting through the spray. (967).
details Yoshikawa gives in Musashi are excellent. They make you feel as if you are there
in the midst of it all.
As Musashi walked down along beach towards Kojiro , he was thinking of how to
position himself for the best fight. He put his back towards the sun and therefore blinded
Kojiro. When Kojiro attacked Musashi counter-attacked and struck Kojiro and killed him.
That was the last known duel that Musashi was to ever fight in. He finished his career with
60 known wins and no defeats. Miyamoto Musashi is a brave, intelligent, skillful, and
The following essay lays out the problem of the dispute over the Senkaku islands. It begins with a detailed background of the dispute, tracing back to the early 14th century up until modern times, and the three separate claims to the islands from China (People’s Republic of China), Taiwan (Republic of China) and Japan. This is then followed by four different policies on what the United States can ...
creative artist and warrior. He is remembered today as kenshi sword saint .