Likes Likes:  2
Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 1 2 3
Results 31 to 41 of 41

Thread: Musashi was a thug

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Guelph Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    312
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    re:

    I am acquainted with a fair number of exponents of koryu sword arts in Japan and I donít know a single one who holds Musashi in any kind of special regard. The idea that he would be considered a ďsaintĒ is curious. Maybe in popular martial arts literature. But Iíve never heard his name even mentioned in a koryu dojo in the context of a role model or an expert on technique or strategy.Thatís why I said your inquiry was a priori flawed. It seems as though you have extrapolated that because Musashi has a following among the Japanese public (which he really doesnít), he is a revered figure among Japanese budoka (which he isnít).

    =============

    There's a transcription of a speach that Yagyu Nobuhara gave in NYC in TIN from 1995 at:

    http://listserv.uoguelph.ca/cgi-bin/...l&F=&S=&P=4243

    or if you can't get it from there go to the National Library of Canada at:

    http://collection.nlc-bnc.ca/100/202...995/tin62.html

    He seems to think enough of Musashi to mention him.

    And before anybody asks, yes the entire collection of TIN/JJSA is now bound and available, I just don't have it up on http://sdksupplies.netfirms.com/ yet but I'll get around to it eventually.

    Kim Taylor

  2. #32
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Davenport, FL, USA
    Posts
    298
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Just for the number and quality of posts and posters this thread has elicited it is hands down the best e-budo thread in months. Hearty thanks to all for the lively discussion above.

    The heart of the discussion seems to be polarized on an either-or perspective; Musashi was both. He was the uncouth thug who slaughtered all those enemies before he was 30, and he also was the master strategist who left us Go Rin No Sho. In addition, his surviving sumi-e paintings and wooden sculpture(s) are revered national treasures, even if not certified so in the peculiar way the Japanese have for bestowing that title.

    As a pure fighting swordsman and as a reflective elder warrior/philosopher his life is worthy of study; his legacy is deserved. In this regard the personage he recalls to me personally is Malcolm X. They both embody the truth that "it ain't where yer from, it's where ya go!" Malcolm Little was an admitted street criminal who became Malcolm X, who's legacy was to empower the dispossessed to the highroad both spiritually and socially (even though it took us white folks a little longer to get the joke).

    As to the lasting validity of Go Rin No Sho, its wide application is made possible by the same poetry that makes it confusing. This recalls Gerhard Hauptmann's timeless assessment that poetry's role is "to reveal The Word behind the words." This makes the constant rereading of Musashi over the years as the pleasurable process it is (and renders Cleary's and Kaufman's translations as misleading personal interpretation in the former and empty paraphrasing in the latter). Each reader's journey will establish the worth of his own process.

  3. #33
    stratcat Guest

    Default Of trolls and other demons...

    What a can of worms! Mr. Yamantaka, just for the record, you are absolutely right, everybody is subject to mistakes and such, lawyers sometimes even more than other, more technical professions! In any case, I didn't mean to say that I WILL HAVE learned to swim soon enough; I'm well aware that taking up any Art, Koryu or Gendai is a lifetime's study. What I meant to say is that will START (begin) learning kenjutsu in a few weeks (when our teacher starts up his classes again). This is my reason behind my interest in Musashi; in that same sense I've also become interested in Yagyu Munenori and Muso Gonnosuke. It's just that these historical characters are less "difficult" than Musashi.

    As for my reading on the subject, like I said, I have only been able to gather enough on Musashi for a first impression. I live in Costa Rica, thus direct research material is hard to come by. Undfortunately, the University of Costa Rica has no Japanese Culture Studies section to speak of, nor are there any schools of Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu to go to, nor are there any Kendo clubs; and as I don't speak japanese I have to rely on qualified western experts. Obviously I consulted my teacher, as well as some old martial arts encylopedias that we have at the dojo (I didn't write the author's name down, sorry; I'll post them later). I also read the Thomas Cleary version of Go Rin No Sho, as well as the Hagakure, Ratti and Westbrooks Secrets of the Samurai and Turnbull's Samurai Sourcebook for background info.

    For the Web search, I used the usual suspects- Yahoo, Lycos, Hotbot and Altavista, using "Miyamoto Musashi" ("Biography of" as well), "Ni Ten Ichi Ryu" ("Niten Ichi Ryu"), "Go Rin No Sho", "Book of Five Rings" as describers. I eliminated from my list the strictly commercial sites, as well as those that were just patently wrong, and I filtered the dojos, as those really don't have much information generally. Interestingly, a good site on Musashi can be found through the Usagi Yojimbo site (Miyamoto Usagi)! I also used www.koryubooks.com and www.samurai-archives.com for background info.

    Some of the better sites are:
    www.geocities.com/Collosseum/1705/musashi.hmtl
    www.samurai.com/5rings/transintro
    www.geocities.com/georgemccall/fhead.html
    www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Pagoda/8187/niten.htm
    www.leader-values.com/leader%20values/lead7htm

    And I recently found this other site, which is pretty good as it breaks down Musashi's life by years:
    http://www.crosswinds.net/~musashi15...ios1/bios1.htm

    As I searched, I found there are hundreds of pages that have Miyamoto Musashi in there somewhere, but not many with more in depth discussions of Musashi's life. In fact most are but a page or two, and always seem to repeat the same information, as if they're all getting it from the same source ...Oh well, as I said, just enough for a first impression.

    Mr. Charlesl, you're also very much right, trollish behaviour isn't always the best way to get info, but I felt it best to get a "rise" out of some people and not the standard "party line" on Musashi; y'know the whole socratic dialectic thang, y'dig? But seriously, I felt it best to get the info I needed. I knew some people would be offended, but I hoped the more mature and knowledgeable would pay heed to my entreaty of non- offense, and rather point me in the right direction.

    In fact, I regret that Mr. Hyakutake would take such personal offense at my approach, as it seems he has very direct access to resources that are quite valuable, and perhaps he could have shared them. I would rather he had pointed to me to his own web page, which is also very informative:
    www.bunbun.ne.jp/~sword/Hyoho2.html

    In any case, I feel (for me at least) that Musashi was very much an extremist in his pragmatism, but no less a man of and from his time (hence his artwork, which is indeed impressive and beautiful). Since the details of his life are very much sketchy, he has now become a "Robin Hood" figure through western comecialization (although I admit I am intrigued by the Malcolm X metaphor- what d'y'all think?). Like his writings, he is also now sufficiently ambiguous enough to have turned into a sort of historical Rohrshach test, where each one of us sees something different, like someone said earlier.

    Speaking of historical, are there any web pages on the Niten- ki, which is, I understand, an account of his deeds, written by his students, after he died?
    Last edited by stratcat; 19th January 2002 at 23:03.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,809
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default Thug?

    Hi all. Due to my crappy connection I haven't viewed all the replies to this thread, so please forgive any duplication of points already made or comments already spoken. I am only replying to the original post.

    I don't really understand how he could be considered a 'thug' or 'bully' based on the reasons presented. He was supposedly a brash fellow, unwashed and unkempt for the most part, however, this was apparently overlooked by at least one daimyo who had Musashi as his personal guest, and thought enough of him to ask Musashi to review his samurai. So if he could overlook Musashi's failings in etiquette and personal hygiene, I suppose I can as well.

    He was a lower ranking samurai, but I don't think this neccesarily makes one a thug. There were many great warriors that arose from very humble beginnings.

    As to the duel with Sasaki Kojiro, unless I'm mistaken the story goes that they struck simultaneously, but Sasaki's cut only sliced off Musashi's headband. I would think defeating a famous and extremely skillful swordsman with only a boat oar is quite honorable indeed! It's a moot point anyway, since there is no evidence that Sasaki ever even existed.

    His army was defeated at Sekigahara, if I remember right. Don't think you can really blame a soldier for their army's defeat-especially a topsy turvy mess like that one.

    Does being beaten by a person with a Jo, or having to freelance because you can no longer afford to pay retainers make you a thug?

    Why do you say he had "little use for personal Honor"?

    I'm sure the guy wasn't exactly a saint, but he was pretty remarkable. In addition to his martial skill, he also produced paintings, calligraphy, wood sculpture, and tsuba of excellent quality. He is rumored to have written a number of poems as well, although I'm not sure if any of these have survived.

    I think he is a popular figure because of the folklore and legends that surround him.

    Quote:
    Or how about guys from Kyudo, supposedly they acheve much the same sort of enlightenment Musashi did- why aren't people running out to study Kyudo?

    I don't think people are exactly 'running out' to be accepted into the Ni Ten Ryu either...are they?
    David F. Craik

  5. #35
    Yamantaka Guest

    Cool Re: Of trolls and other demons...

    Originally posted by stratcat
    I didn't mean to say that I WILL HAVE learned to swim soon enough; I'm well aware that taking up any Art, Koryu or Gendai is a lifetime's study. What I meant to say is that will START (begin) learning kenjutsu in a few weeks (when our teacher starts up his classes again).
    YAMANTAKA : And that means that you'll have to travel a long road until you may be able to criticize or pontificate on the points involved...

    Originally posted by stratcat
    As for my reading on the subject, like I said, I have only been able to gather enough on Musashi for a first impression. Undfortunately, the University of Costa Rica has no Japanese Culture Studies section to speak of, nor are there any schools of Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu to go to, nor are there any Kendo clubs; and as I don't speak japanese I have to rely on qualified western experts. I also read the Thomas Cleary version of Go Rin No Sho, as well as the Hagakure, Ratti and Westbrooks Secrets of the Samurai and Turnbull's Samurai Sourcebook for background info.
    For the Web search, I used the usual suspects- Yahoo, Lycos, Hotbot and Altavista, using "Miyamoto Musashi" ("Biography of" as well), "Ni Ten Ichi Ryu" ("Niten Ichi Ryu"), "Go Rin No Sho", "Book of Five Rings" as describers. I eliminated from my list the strictly commercial sites, as well as those that were just patently wrong, and I filtered the dojos, as those really don't have much information generally. Interestingly, a good site on Musashi can be found through the Usagi Yojimbo site (Miyamoto Usagi)! I also used www.koryubooks.com and www.samurai-archives.com for background info.
    YAMANTAKA : Again you confess to have little knowledge about the things you're talking about. The Internet is a dangerous place and much of the information therein is wrong. The correct name of the art is HYOHO NITEN ICHI RYU. Since you do not have any extensive knowledge, you should admit that your "elimination and filtering" were very poor.

    Originally posted by stratcat
    Mr. Charlesl, you're also very much right, trollish behaviour isn't always the best way to get info, but I felt it best to get a "rise" out of some people and not the standard "party line" on Musashi; y'know the whole socratic dialectic thang, y'dig? But seriously, I felt it best to get the info I needed. I knew some people would be offended, but I hoped the more mature and knowledgeable would pay heed to my entreaty of non- offense, and rather point me in the right direction.
    YAMANTAKA : On the contrary, the more mature and knowledgeable people will dislike strongly your bad manners and probably would not answer you.

    Originally posted by stratcat
    In fact, I regret that Mr. Hyakutake would take such personal offense at my approach, as it seems he has very direct access to resources that are quite valuable, and perhaps he could have shared them. I would rather he had pointed to me to his own web page, which is also very informative:
    www.bunbun.ne.jp/~sword/Hyoho2.html
    YAMANTAKA : It's not very informative, IT'S ONE OF THE VERY BEST ON MUSASHI AND HYOHO NITEN ICHI RYU, since Hyakutake Colin is an advanced student of MASAYUKI IMAI Sensei. He could have shared them with you as he did to me, if you haven't been so clumsy...
    I sincerely hope you behavior improves in the future.

  6. #36
    Ben Bartlett Guest

    Default

    In fact, I regret that Mr. Hyakutake would take such personal offense at my approach, as it seems he has very direct access to resources that are quite valuable, and perhaps he could have shared them.
    [preaching mode: on]
    Studying a koryu takes a lot of work and a real lifetime devotion, both of which Mr. Hyakutake has obviously given towards Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu, and you've just started a thread by calling the founder of that school a thug. Insulting the founder of his school in turn insults him, so it's pretty natural that he'd be upset. If it was not your intention to offend, perhaps you might have wanted to word that differently. Something along the lines of, "What do we really know about Musashi?" or, "Musashi: what's myth and what isn't?" might have been better. I don't think anyone here minds discussing what Musashi was really like (or at least what little we know of him), but starting off by insulting him is not the way to foster open discussion... it's just likely to offend a lot of people and to put them on the defensive. Frankly, you're lucky you received so many reasonable replies. I realize it was not your intent to offend, but intention means little without proper action to achieve that intent. If you don't wish to offend, find less offensive ways of starting discussions. Attacking a man many people admire (or in some cases, follow the teachings of) is not a good way to do that.
    [preaching mode: off]

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    Posts
    3
    Likes (received)
    0

    Post

    Picking up Kim Taylor's point (above), I was skimming through my copy of Diane Skoss' Koryu Bujutsu last night and noticed the following extract from Liam Keeley's interview with Kato Takashi, the 21st headmaster of the Tatsumi-ryu:

    "Q: Are there any martial artists in history whom you particularly respect and admire?

    A: Tatsumi-ryu founder Tatsumi Sankyo would be one, of course. Also, Niten Ichi-ryu founder Miyamoto Musashi [1584-1645] and Muto-ryu founder Yamaoka Tesshu [1836-1888]. These three in particular I consider to have been great men who, despite the fact that they lived during three entirely different ages, were the highest caliber of human beings. They made some of the greatest strides of any historical figure towards the attainment of true wisdom and enlightenment."

    Certainly some strong words in rebuttal of stratcat's original post.

    Regards,

    Matt

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    24
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    It's been some time since this can of worms was opened.
    I'm curious what you have concluded at this point in time regarding Miyamoto Musashi ( ? ).

    Note - personally I don't understand why anyone got offended regarding your initial post,
    since you did put an immediate disclaimer that your intent was not to offend but to learn.....

    As to killing Sasaki Kojiro, it is my understanding that Musashi used a bokken which he carved from a boat oar while enroute to the place of battle which was an island some few miles from Ogura.

    Just my take, on an age old topic of wide interest.....

    Rog P



    Quote Originally Posted by stratcat View Post
    What a can of worms! Mr. Yamantaka, just for the record, you are absolutely right, everybody is subject to mistakes and such, lawyers sometimes even more than other, more technical professions! In any case, I didn't mean to say that I WILL HAVE learned to swim soon enough; I'm well aware that taking up any Art, Koryu or Gendai is a lifetime's study. What I meant to say is that will START (begin) learning kenjutsu in a few weeks (when our teacher starts up his classes again). This is my reason behind my interest in Musashi; in that same sense I've also become interested in Yagyu Munenori and Muso Gonnosuke. It's just that these historical characters are less "difficult" than Musashi.

    As for my reading on the subject, like I said, I have only been able to gather enough on Musashi for a first impression. I live in Costa Rica, thus direct research material is hard to come by. Undfortunately, the University of Costa Rica has no Japanese Culture Studies section to speak of, nor are there any schools of Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu to go to, nor are there any Kendo clubs; and as I don't speak japanese I have to rely on qualified western experts. Obviously I consulted my teacher, as well as some old martial arts encylopedias that we have at the dojo (I didn't write the author's name down, sorry; I'll post them later). I also read the Thomas Cleary version of Go Rin No Sho, as well as the Hagakure, Ratti and Westbrooks Secrets of the Samurai and Turnbull's Samurai Sourcebook for background info.

    For the Web search, I used the usual suspects- Yahoo, Lycos, Hotbot and Altavista, using "Miyamoto Musashi" ("Biography of" as well), "Ni Ten Ichi Ryu" ("Niten Ichi Ryu"), "Go Rin No Sho", "Book of Five Rings" as describers. I eliminated from my list the strictly commercial sites, as well as those that were just patently wrong, and I filtered the dojos, as those really don't have much information generally. Interestingly, a good site on Musashi can be found through the Usagi Yojimbo site (Miyamoto Usagi)! I also used www.koryubooks.com and www.samurai-archives.com for background info.

    Some of the better sites are:
    www.geocities.com/Collosseum/1705/musashi.hmtl
    www.samurai.com/5rings/transintro
    www.geocities.com/georgemccall/fhead.html
    www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Pagoda/8187/niten.htm
    www.leader-values.com/leader%20values/lead7htm

    And I recently found this other site, which is pretty good as it breaks down Musashi's life by years:
    http://www.crosswinds.net/~musashi15...ios1/bios1.htm

    As I searched, I found there are hundreds of pages that have Miyamoto Musashi in there somewhere, but not many with more in depth discussions of Musashi's life. In fact most are but a page or two, and always seem to repeat the same information, as if they're all getting it from the same source ...Oh well, as I said, just enough for a first impression.

    Mr. Charlesl, you're also very much right, trollish behaviour isn't always the best way to get info, but I felt it best to get a "rise" out of some people and not the standard "party line" on Musashi; y'know the whole socratic dialectic thang, y'dig? But seriously, I felt it best to get the info I needed. I knew some people would be offended, but I hoped the more mature and knowledgeable would pay heed to my entreaty of non- offense, and rather point me in the right direction.

    In fact, I regret that Mr. Hyakutake would take such personal offense at my approach, as it seems he has very direct access to resources that are quite valuable, and perhaps he could have shared them. I would rather he had pointed to me to his own web page, which is also very informative:
    www.bunbun.ne.jp/~sword/Hyoho2.html

    In any case, I feel (for me at least) that Musashi was very much an extremist in his pragmatism, but no less a man of and from his time (hence his artwork, which is indeed impressive and beautiful). Since the details of his life are very much sketchy, he has now become a "Robin Hood" figure through western comecialization (although I admit I am intrigued by the Malcolm X metaphor- what d'y'all think?). Like his writings, he is also now sufficiently ambiguous enough to have turned into a sort of historical Rohrshach test, where each one of us sees something different, like someone said earlier.

    Speaking of historical, are there any web pages on the Niten- ki, which is, I understand, an account of his deeds, written by his students, after he died?
    Roger Palmer

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Tokorozawa, Japan
    Posts
    1,275
    Likes (received)
    18

    Default

    Wow, resurrecting a 12 year old thread!

    The problem with Musashi is separating fact (we have a few of these) from speculation and fiction and folklore.
    For example, it is believed that Kojiro was in fact quite older than Musashi, although the pair are commonly depicted as being the same age.
    We don't know if Kojiro was killed outright, or if in fact he was dispatched of after the fact.

    What we are left with is essentially a book which is not easily understood (some sources even suggest he asked for it to be destroyed upon his death), some art work and a fighting system.

    I'll let the experts correct me if I'm wrong.
    Andrew Smallacombe

    Aikido Kenshinkai

    JKA Tokorozawa

    Now trotting over a bridge near you!

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Wollongong, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    54
    Likes (received)
    1

    Default

    "We don't know if Kojiro was killed outright, or if in fact he was dispatched of after the fact."

    One thing since the original thread 12 years ago was the 2010 article by Hosokawa Morihiro saying his family archive records it as dispatched after the fact by Musashi's students.
    Aden Steinke
    University of Wollongong Kendo club
    http://www.kendo-wollongong.com/

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Tokorozawa, Japan
    Posts
    1,275
    Likes (received)
    18

    Default

    Thanks, Aden.

Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 1 2 3

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 36
    Last Post: 12th February 2007, 05:20
  2. LIGHTNING IN THE VOID: The Authentic History of Miyamoto Musashi
    By Ron Beaubien in forum Media and the Martial Arts
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 7th July 2006, 03:08
  3. miyamoto musashi sword
    By hiroyuki in forum Sword Arts
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 14th September 2004, 21:24
  4. happy Musashi!
    By malahayati in forum Member's Lounge
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 22nd May 2004, 09:43
  5. Musashi and the adrenal stress
    By coyote in forum Close Quarter Combatives
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 1st August 2003, 22:59

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •