1/13/2011

Miyamoto Musashi

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Miyamoto Musashi (宮本 武蔵)

(c. 1584 – June 13 (Japanese calendar: May 19), 1645),
also known as Shinmen Takezō, Miyamoto Bennosuke, or by his Buddhist name Niten Dōraku, was a Japanese swordsman and samurai famed for his duels and distinctive style.



Musashi became renowned through stories of his excellent swordsmanship in numerous duels, even from a very young age. He was the founder of the
Hyōhō Niten Ichi-ryū or Niten-ryū style of swordsmanship fighting with two swords and
the author of The Book of Five Rings (五輪書, Go Rin No Sho), a book on strategy, tactics, and philosophy that is still studied today.

He grew up in Miyamoto village, in the Yoshino district of Mimasaka Province, now Okayama prefecture.
In Kyoto he fought many duels against the Yoshioka school.

From 1605 to 1612, he travelled extensively all over Japan in Musha Shugyo 武者修行, a warrior pilgrimage during which he honed his skills with duels.

In 1611, Musashi began practicing zazen at the Myoshinji Temple 妙心寺.



On April 13, 1612, Musashi fought his most famous duel with Sasaki Kojiro 佐々木小次郎, on the island of Funajima, in the Kamon Straight.

In 1622, Musashi's adoptive son, Miyamoto Mikinosuke, became a vassal to the Himeji Domain. In Yamagata he adopted a second son, Miyamoto Iori.

In 1633, Musashi began staying with Hosokawa Tadatoshi, daimyo of Kumamoto Castle.

In 1643 he retired to a cave named Reigando 霊巌洞 as a hermit and died there.

Musashi created and perfected a two-sword kenjutsu technique called niten'ichi (二天一, "two heavens as one") or nitōichi (二刀一, "two swords as one") or "Ni-Ten Ichi Ryu" .

Musashi was hailed as an extraordinary sumi-e artist in the use of ink monochrome as depicted in two such famous paintings:

"Shrike Perched in a Dead Tree" (Koboku Meigekizu, 枯木鳴鵙図)
and "Wild Geese Among Reeds" (Rozanzu, 魯山図).
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

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The most famous hero fighting with two swords is maybe Miyamoto Musashi, who was subject of a yearlong TV series on NHK in 2003.

Musashi also painted Daruma san, see below.
Katana 日本刀 The Japanese Sword




. The Book of Five Rings (五輪書, Go Rin No Sho)   
Samurai Life in the Edo Period

The first book, Chi no Maki 地の巻 Book of the Earth

1.Do not think dishonestly and to adhere to the Way
よこしまになき事をおもふ所
2.The Way is to train
道の鍛錬する所

3.Have knowledge of every art
諸芸にさはる所
4.Know the Way of all professions
諸職の道を知る事

5.Know the difference between profit and loss in worldly matters
物毎の損得をわきまゆる事
6.Develop intuition and an understanding of all things
諸事目利を仕覚ゆる事

7.See that which cannot be seen
目に見えぬ所をさとつてしる事
8.Attend even to the seemingly insignificant
わづかなる事にも気を付くる事

(- - - and if you have mastered ALL of the above )

9.
Do nothing which is useless /  “Do nothing that is of no use”
役にたゝぬ事をせざる事


.......................................................................

kan no me ken no me 観の目 見の目 
- the way of "seeing" things
kan-no-me is strong, ken-no-me is weak
- reference -


ukoo mukoo 有構無構 uko muko no oshie
The guard without a guard
- reference -


.......................................................................
. Musashi and Takuan Soho 沢庵 宗彭  



. Hotei painted by Miyamoto Musashi  
布袋見闘鶏図


. 狸谷山不動院 Tanukidaniyama Fudo Temple .
Musashi no taki 武蔵の滝 Miyamoto Musashi Waterfall






枯木鳴鵙図 (こぼくめいげきず) koboku meigeki zu


枯朶に烏のとまりけり秋の暮
kara eda ni karasu no tomari keri aki no kure

Matsuo Basho

a crow is perched
on a barren branch -
this autumn evening
 
Tr. Gabi Greve  


Musashi actually painted a 鵙, mozu, a (bull-headed) shrike; a butcher-bird.
also you find this as the title:
“Kingfisher Perched on a Withered Branch”


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Reference

. Miyamoto Musashi .


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Haiku and Senryu

CLICK for more illustrations

宮本武蔵 蘆葉達磨図


wielding his sword
wielding his brush
wielding his life

Gabi Greve, August 2004


Musashi is really a good guide to Japanese Culture.
He was born in the old Sakushu province, close to my home now in Okayama prefecture !

And his lady-friend was called O-Tsu お津, like my cat.
Or should I say, my cat was called after her !

Last year NHK state television had a yearlong once a week program about Musashi and his times, and since my cat was born that year she got that name.
(we wanted a Takezoo, the boys name of Musashi, but the stray kitten turned out to be a SHE)
As you know, her son is HAIKU Kun.

Discussion about Musashi Paintings
cherrypoetryclub


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glimmering swords ...
the calligraphy of Musashi
in the setting sun

Don Baird



*****************************
Related words

***** . Musashibo Benkei 武蔵坊弁慶   


***** Personal Names used in Haiku
Introduction 



***** Introducing Japanese Haiku Poets 



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2 comments:

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Martial Arts 武道 Budo and Fudo Myo-O 不動明王
kenkaku 剣客 swordsman - bushidoo 武士道 Bushido

carvings by Musashi
Fudo like a swordsman (kenkaku 剣客) holding the sword in both hands.
.

Gabi Greve said...

Discovery Museum,
an exhibition on Miyamoto Musashi's Ink Paintings

(宮本武蔵--known for his swordsmanship, Suiboku-ga, 水墨画);
 剣豪として知られる宮本武蔵は、細川家に厚遇され、晩年を熊本で過ごしました。この地では、細川家当主に武芸の談義をするとともに、武蔵の剣に関する考え伝える『五輪書』や水墨画『面壁達磨』の制作などをしていました。宮本武蔵が武芸者としてだけではなく、「水墨の達人」でもあったことをたどります。 :
http://www.discovery-museum.com/exhibition18.html
.