Shawn Ng

Miyamoto Musashi (宮本 武蔵)

 
Miyamoto Musashi
Image Credit: Miyamoto Musashi in his prime, wielding two bokken. Woodblock print by Utagawa Kuniyoshi

Miyamoto Musashi, also known as Shinmen Takezō, Miyamoto Bennosuke, or, by his Buddhist name, Niten Dōraku, was a Japanese swordsman, philosopher, strategist, writer, and rōnin.

Encounter

I first encounter Miyamoto via Japanese Manga: Vagabond (バガボンド), the work of Takehiko Inoue (井上 雄彦).

Vagabond is well-drawn and interesting. It sparks my interest to learn about Miyamoto, the most famous samurai.

I came across the trilogy film about Miyamoto recently:

  1. 1954 Samurai I Musashi Miyamoto
  2. 1955 Samurai II Duel At Ichijoji Temple
  3. 1956 Samurai III Duel At Ganryu Island

I am hesitant to watch them at first as they are too old. I think that old films are not as good as modern ones because:

  • Actor / Actress lack of training in both physical fitness and acting skills
  • Poor Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI)
  • Outdated film techniques

I am intrigued by how well Samurai I Musashi Miyamoto is filmed. Therefore, I finished the trilogy on the same day.

The Way of a Samurai

When I think about Samurai, the scene that I picture is a warrior committing Hara-Kiri.

A Harakiri scene of the Samurai - warriors overseeing the ritual suicide of one of their own (dressed in white)
A Harakiri scene of the Samurai - warriors overseeing the ritual suicide of one of their own (dressed in white)

My concept of honor as a citizen of the 21st century is different from that of a Samurai.

I believe in 留得青山在,不怕没柴烧 (Where there is life, there is hope).

I can accept failure. I will learn from it, trained harder and smarter, and succeed on the next encounter.

The Book of Five Rings

I might find time to read this book written by Miyamoto. I am interested to understand how he thinks.

2020-05-01

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