A Japanese swordsman extraordinaire... a samurai and author... Musashi is renowned for his excellent swordsmanship and numerous duels. He started fighting with swords—and winning—quite young, and he created and perfected a two-sword technique—using a large sword and a “companion sword” at the same time.
He was born around 1584 and died on this day in 1645.
Musashi is famous for his book Go Rin No Sho, in which he teaches the “way of the strategist.” He urged people to, not only learn strategy, but also earn virtue by learning the ways of life and various skills and areas knowledge of many different professions. He seemed to think that one could not gain strategy by confined to one particular style of sword fighting, for example. He wrote, “I practice many arts and abilities – all things with no teacher.”
- “Do nothing which is of no use.”
- “You win battles by knowing the enemy's timing, and using a timing which the enemy does not expect.”
- “Aspire to be like Mt. Fuji, with such a broad and solid foundation that the strongest earthquake cannot move you, and so tall that the greatest enterprises of common men seem insignificant from your lofty perspective. With your mind as high as Mt Fuji you can see all things clearly. And you can see all the forces that shape events; not just the things happening near to you.”
People still practice Japanese swordsmanship in martial arts classes and competitions, such as this one.