Miyamoto Musashi: His Life and Writings

Miyamoto Musashi: His Life and Writings

Miyamoto Musashi: His Life and Writings

Miyamoto Musashi: His Life and Writings


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A comprehensive study of the life, philosophies, fighting strategies, and works of the legendary samurai warrior who wrote The Book of Five Rings
Miyamoto Musashi, who lived in Japan in the fifteenth century, was a renowned samurai warrior. He has become a martial arts icon, known not just as an undefeated dueler, but also as a master of battlefield strategy. Kenji Tokitsu turns a critical eye on Musashi's life and writings, separating fact from fiction, and giving a clear picture of the man behind the myth.

Musashi's best-known work, The Book of Five Rings, provides timeless insight into the nature of conflict. Tokitsu translates and provides extensive commentary on that popular work, as well as three other short texts on strategy that were written before it, and a longer, later work entitled "The Way to Be Followed Alone." Tokitsu is a thoughtful and informed guide, putting the historical and philosophical aspects of the text into context, and illuminating the etymological nuances of particular Japanese words and phrases. As a modern martial artist and a scholar, Tokitsu provides a view of Musashi's life and ideas that is accessible and relevant to today's readers and martial arts students.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780834805675
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication date: 06/20/2006
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 464,029
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Kenji Tokitsu was born in Japan and began studying martial arts when he was a child. He has taught karate in Paris since 1971. In 1984 he founded the Shaolin-mon school, where he teaches a synthesis of the original combat arts of Japan and China. In 2001 he established the Tokitsuryu Academy to teach and promote his method. For more information, visit www.tokitsu.com. Tokitsu also holds doctorates in sociology and in Japanese language and civilization. He is the author of numerous books.

Table of Contents

A Legendary Figureix
The Main Periods in the History of Japanese Schools of Swordsmanshipxxiii
Chronology of Musashi's Lifexxix
Part 1The Life of Miyamoto Musashi
Introduction to the Life of Musashi3
1.Childhood and Training7
The Birth of Musashi7
Musashi's Childhood and His First Duel12
The Founding of the School of Two Swords22
The Two Sources of Musashi's Art26
The Schools of Two Swords41
2.Musashi's Duels46
Duels and Wars from Age Fifteen to Twenty47
Studying the Arts of Other Schools through Duels61
The Duel against Sasaki Kojiro70
Musashi at the Battle of Osaka89
3.Deepening the Way92
Musashi's Last Years112
Composition of the Gorin no sho and Musashi's Death128
Part 2Musashi's Writings
4."Writings on the Five Elements" (Gorin no sho)137
The Scroll of Earth137
The Scroll of Water150
The Scroll of Fire168
The Scroll of Wind185
The Scroll of Heaven195
5.The Texts Preceding the Gorin no sho197
"The Mirror of the Way of Strategy" (Hyodokyo)197
"Thirty-five Instructions on Strategy" (Hyoho sanju go kajo)199
"Forty-two Instructions on Strategy" (Hyoho shiju ni kajo)209
"The Way to Be Followed Alone" (Dokkodo)216
6.Notes of Musashi's Disciples on the Practice of His School227
Notes on Mind, Energy, and the Body in Strategy (Hyoho shin ki tai oboe gaki)228
Attitude toward Training231
The School of the Fighters of the Two Heavens (Senki niten ryu)232
The State of Mind of Those Devoted to the School of Musashi (Musashi ryu shugyo kokoroe no koto)233
Part 3Miyamoto Musashi and the Martial Arts
7.The School of Musashi (Hyoho niten ichi ryu)239
Branches of the School239
The School of Musashi Today242
8.The Transmission of Musashi's Art245
The Role of Musashi's Writings in the Transmission of His Art245
The Transmission of Musashi's Art through Practice254
9.Musashi Today: The Practice of a Contemporary Adept262
The Labyrinth Created by the Way of Holding the Sword263
The Nen ryu and Its Lineage274
10.Weapons and Ethics in Swordsmanship Training280
The Status of Warriors281
Technique and the Status of the Body286
Integration of the Religious Element into the Art of the Sword292
The Formation of Katas296
The Meiji Turning Point and the Modern Notion of Budo302
The Evolution of Budo in the Twentieth Century309
12.The Relationship between Adversaries315
The Complexity of Combat in Budo317
The Significance of the Quest for Kizeme323
Confrontation and Harmony326
13.One Life, One Art333
Appendix 1The Translation of the Gorin no sho337
Appendix 2Sen--Taking the Initiative348
Appendix 3External Influences on the Japanese Art of the Sword355
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