Musashi for the Moment

Zen & the Art of the Samurai

imperial seal musashi

Miyamoto Musashi (c.1584 – 1645), was a Japanese swordsman, artist, poet and samurai, famed for both his duels and his personal philosophy. 'Musashi', as he was often simply known, is renowned through stories of his remarkable skill in swordsmanship, surviving as many as sixty duels from the age of thirteen.

 

Strongly influenced by Zen philosophy, Musashi was the founder of the Hyōhō Niten Ichi-ryū or Niten-ryū style of swordsmanship and the author of The Book of Five Rings (五輪書 Go Rin No Sho), a book on strategy, tactics, and philosophy that is still studied widely today.

 

In his book, still followed extensively for its timeless advice by Japanese businessmen, Musashi presents the "Way of the Strategist" (Heihō 兵法) and explores skill, and tactical ability in both personal endeavour and  the field of battle.

Simon Moores is a 3rd Dan practitioner in Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu, a koryū sword art which has been taught since the sixteenth century. A member of the Kaigan Dojo, his presentation, 'Musashi for the Modern Moment', compares and contrasts  the intuitive and practical aspects of IaiJutsu with an exploration of  the modern relevance of Musashi's timeless, strategic philosophy as a practical lesson for managing 21st century business stresses

"I have been many years training in the Way of strategy, called Ni Ten Ichi Ryu, and now I think I will explain it in writing for the first time. It is now during the first ten days of the tenth month in the twentieth year of Kanei (1645). I have climbed mountain Iwato of Higo in Kyushu to pay homage to heaven, pray to Kwannon, and kneel before Buddha. I am a warrior of Harima province.

 

Shinmen Musashi No Kami Fujiwara No Geshin, age sixty years."

"If the enemy thinks of the mountains, attack like the sea; and if he thinks of the sea, attack like the mountains."

 (Musashi)

Iaido crop