The body of Miyamoto Musashi, the greatest swordsman of all times, rests just outside of Kumamoto city in a peaceful park in the town of Musashigaoka. It is a nice place to enjoy the momiji in the fall, and the sakura in the spring. Surprisingly, not too many people visit the park. It’s kind of sad, but most people know Musashi, not from reading “The Book of 5 Rings” or the book by Yoshikawa Eiji, but from the NHK television series or from the “Vagabond” manga.
I look at the words of Henry Cisneros, a former mayor of San Antonio, and am sad that he didn’t do his research or bother to write a better tribut to Musashi. Words that would almost guarantee anyone else an F on an elementary book report are cast into bronze for all to cringe at.
How do you take down a whole school of swordsmen bent on killing you to protect their honor? With a katana in one hand and a wakizashi in the other. This is when it helps to be ambidextrous.
Here is Musashi demonstrating several positions where he holds 2 swords. Before Musashi, Japanese swordsmen pretty much only used 1 sword at a time to fight with. Fast forward to present day swordsmanship and the arts of kendo and iaido. No one uses 2 swords! Oh well. Kendo is kind of disappointing to me anyways, as are the other martial arts that have been made into sports.
It is interesting to note that Miyamoto Musashi prefered to use a wooden swords in his bouts. According to some accounts he defeated Sasaki Kojiro, a prodigy of the nodachi (a long two handed sword), by carving a sword out of an oar that he found in the boat that he rode to the site of their duel.