Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Greatest

Alright, so friends have been reading my blog and want my opinion on who is the greatest samurai who ever lived? Uh... I have no clue, most didn't live past their early twenties during the feudal wars. (Nice little fact there, *sorry guys*)

The greatest swordsman who ever lived, who happened to live past his twenties was Miyamoto Musashi, he started learning swordplay when he was very young, and beat his Sensei (teacher, or master) at the age of thirteen. (You see in that culture most don't go through a ceremonial christening of manhood until they are at the age of fifteen with their master or teacher.) So for him to beat his master is phenomenal. After which he started traveling from dojo to dojo, learning different Ryu's *look at last blog for references*, after learning the technique he would fight the master of the dojo. (Most fights would end in death, so he didn't die against masters of the Ryu's *pretty cool by my books*)   The very idea of a student challenging and defeating a Sensei was unthinkable, and the challenge often went into a real “life or death” battle on numerous occasions. Musashi never lost. He continued his training most of his life.

All together he fought 60 changelings over his life time and never lost one. (Pure Awesomeness in my book!) In one fight he even beat a Sensei with a blade with nothing more but a wood blade. Not an easy thing to do considering a katana can cut a block of wood in half. (I'm not kidding here, you can watch it on You-tube.) Not just that but by the end of his lifetime he had learned how to beat people without even using a sword!

In the last years of training, he developed a method of disarming his opponent by attacking with an imaginary sword and knocking the real sword out of the grip of the other swordsman. He had defeated every able bodied challenger in his nation without even the need of a sword. (Oh my word! *slapping hands on cheeks in amazement*) After that point he retired from sword play and even wrote a book. (It's called, The Book of Five Rings, which is still used today.)

In the end he came up with distinctive style of sword play called, Hyoto Niten Ichi-Ryu. (Don't ask me to say how to pronounce it.) Although he lived just beyond the feudal era, he was a man to be reckoned with, and lived to the ripe old age of sixty. (A feat back then.) He ended up being quite a philosopher in his old age, and I can't wait to start reading his book.

What is also an interesting fact about him is that there is a lot of confusion about his birth and death, according to his tomb stone, he dead in 1580, but according to his birth record he was born in 1584, and according to his family lineage he was born in 1582. So you figure it out?

So next time to you see a quiet person, don't assume to0 much, he might be a skilled fighter.


The Egg Wolfing, Exhausted Librarian.

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