Kaoko: We're going to learn about samurai this time, we'll meet one of renowned Japanese swordsmen. Kedo, toshookan ni ikanai desu yo (but we're not going to the library), we'll go to the year where the history takes place!
Tna: Sou, sou (You're right). We're going to 370 years ago by time machine ! Ikoo (let's go), Kaoko-chan!
Kaoko: Iku yoo~
Chiba Castle, Kumamoto Prefecture
Kaoko: Gyah~ what a tiring journey!
Tna: Guess so... but don't you realize, Kaoko-chan? The air is soooo refreshing!~
Kaoko: Yeah, your right... c'mon Tna-chan, we have to look for Musashi-san inside this castle promptly!
Tna: Are you sure he's here? Wait, wait, how can we go inside the castle without being discovered by the guards?
Kaoko: Shinpai shinai yo (don't worry)... Hirashin no Jutsu!
Tna: Where are we?
Kaoko: Inside the castle. Don't worry, I've found Musashi-san room. Ikoo, Tna-chan, hayaku~
Tna: Chotto, chotto (wait, wait)... saki ni nanka jutsu wo tsukatta no? (what kind of technique did you use before?)... Masaka, did you use 'Teleportation Jutsu?"
Kaoko: Sono toori desu!~ (exactly!)
Tna: Nande nande jutsu wo tsukatte ni dekiru na no? Ninja ja nai no ka anata? (Why why you could use such jutsu? You're not a ninja right?)
Kaoko: Ohoho~ Actually, I once entered the fourth hokage room and read one scroll about teleportation technique
Tna: Ah sou ka Let's go!
Kaoko: Sumimasen, Musashi-san... Watakushi wa Kaoko desu, nakama to koko ni kita. Watashitachi ga kuru kamo shirenai? (Excuse me, Musashi-san... I am Kaoko, I'm coming here with my friend. May we enter the room?)
Musashi: Hai, douzo. (Yes, go ahead.)
Tna: Watakushi wa Tna desu. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu
Kaoko: Musashi-san, jitsu wa... (actually...)
Tna: Chotto, Kaoko. I think we should use this translator device...
Kaoko: Oh sou ne~
*convert to English*
Kaoko: Musashi-san, actually we're coming from the future to ask you some assistance about our today's lesson in Japanese Classroom...
Tna: Nah, we're going to study about Japanese history, so we came here... everyone knows that you are one of those well-known swordsman in Japanese legend...
Musashi: You're coming from the future? What kind of non-sense were you talking about?
Kaoko: Gomen, Musashi-san... You may not believe, but we really need your help this time.
Tna: Yeah, onegaishimasu~
Musashi: Maa ii... What can I do to help you?
Tna: We want to know about your life stories until now... sorry for trouble you.
Kaoko: You don't need to tell specifically... pretty please?
Musashi: Well, well, okay. I'm not really good at sharing my life stories but I'll tell you anyway. I become famous under the name Miyamoto Musashi (宮本武蔵), taken from a warrior monk named Musashiro Benkei. But actually my real name is Shinmen Takezoo, which has the same kanji but different pronunciation. I was born in 1584 in Banshuu (Harima Province)...
Musashi: My childhood name is Bennosuke (弁之助). I'm the son of Shinmen Munisai who divorced my mother, Yoshiko, not too long after I was born. My father then remarried. When I was 7, I lived with my uncle, Dorin, in Shoreian temple, three kilometers (~1.8 mi.) from Hirafuku, as a Buddhist. I learnt about Buddhism and basic skill such as writing and reading...
Musashi: At the age of thirteen, I fought my first duel. My opponent was called Arima Kihei, a sword adept of the Shinto ryuu, I defeated him. Kihei attacked with a wakizashi (a traditional Japanese sword with a blade between 30 and 60 cm, with an average of 46 cm), but I threw him on the floor and when he tried to get up, I struck him between the eyes and beat him to death...
Tna: Wah, hidoi~ you already began your battle at the age of 13? Shinjirarenai~
Musashi: Yeah, because we're a Samurai, so we should prepare ourselves to enter the duel anytime, even at the very young age.
Kaoko: Then, what did you do after winning the battle back then?
Musashi: Three years later afterwards, I left the village. I spent time for travelling and engaging in duels, such as with an adept called Akiyama from Tajima Province. In 1600, a war began between Toyotomi and Tokugawa clans. I fought on the side of the Totoyomi's "Army of the West, as the Shinmen clan had allied with them. Specifically, I participated in the attempt to take Fushimi castle by assault in July 1600, in the defense of the besieged Gifu Castle in August of the same year, and finally in the Battle of Sekigahara. Unfortunately, Totoyomi side lost and I fled as well and spent some time training on Mount Hiko (between Fukuoka Prefecture and Ooita Prefecture in Kyushu)...
Musashi: ... I disappeared from the records for a while. When I was 20, I arrived in Kyoto and began a series of duels against Yoshioka clans. First, I challenged Yoshioka Seijurō and agreed to a duel outside Rendaiji in Rakuhoku, in the northern part of Kyoto on March 1604. I defeated him, but then his brother, Yoshioka Denshichirō, challenged me for revenge. I defeated him as well. Another Yoshioka family, a 12-year-old Yoshioka Matashichiro, also challenged me to a duel outside the Kyoto, near the Ichijoji Temple. Usually, I had a bad habit of coming late when I was about to duel, but that time I broke it. I came to the temple hours early. Hidden, I assaulted the Yoshioka force, killing Matasachiro, and escaping.
Tna: Where did you leave that time?
Musashi: I traveled to Hōzōin in Nara, to duel with and learn from the monks there, widely known as experts with lance weapons. There I settled down at Enkoji Temple in Banshu and taught the head monk. From 1605 to 1612, I traveled extensively all over Japan in Musha Shugyo. I used bokken (Japanese wooden sword used for training, usually the size and shape of a katana, but sometimes shaped like other swords) in actual duels. Most of the engagements from these times did not try to take the opponent's life unless both agreed. I didn't care which weapon my foe used.
Various kinds of Bokken
Musashi: During that time, I fought and fought, got into one duel to another duel. In 1611, I began practicing Sasaki Kojirō, who was known as "The Demon of the Western Provinces" and who wielded a nodachi. As usual, I came late and unkempt to the appointed place — the island of Funajima, in the Kanmon Straits separating Honshu and Kyushu. The duel was short, I killed his opponent with a bokken. At the same year, I established a fencing school.
Kaoko: And then you still got in duel and duel?
Musashi: Of course. In 1614-1615, again I participated in the war between the Toyotomi and the Tokugawa. The war had broken out because Tokugawa Ieyasu saw the Toyotomi family as a threat to his rule of Japan. Still I fought on Totoyomi's side. Osaka Castle was the central place of battle. The first battle ended in truce, but the second resulted in the total defeat of Totoyomi. But in the end, I successfully defeated Ieyasu, yeah even he was in poor health already in his 70's...
Tna: I can't stop wondering why Totoyomi and Tokugawa clans always fought each other...
Kaoko: Sou... why didn't they take such a peaceful way instead of war?
Musashi: Maybe because you both are coming from the future, so you have no idea about the ancient people styles when solving the problem. We gained peace by war, indeed. Well, I'll continue. In 1615 to 1621, I came into the service of Ogasawara Tadano in Harima province as a construction supervisor. I helped construct Akashi Castle and in 1621 to lay out the organization of the town of Himeji. I also taught martial arts during my stay, specializing in instruction in the art of shuriken-throwing. During this period of service, I adopted a son named Miyamoto Mikinosuke. Then, in 1622, I set up temporary residence at the castle town of Himeji in Hyoogo Prefecture. A year later, I traveled to Edo and adopted a second son named Iori - Miyamoto Iori. Me and Iori then stopped at Osaka while Mikinosuke became a vassal to the Himeji domain...
Tna: Then what happened to Mikinosuke-san while he was separated from you and his step brother?
Musashi: My first adopted son commited seppuku (stomach cutting - a form of Japanese ritual suicide by disembowelment) in 1626 following the tradition of the retainer of the Hosokowa lords of Kumamoto in 1640 and lived in Chiba Castle, Kumamoto Prefecture until now. I'm currently writing Hyoho Sanju-go...
Musashi describes and advocates a two-sword style (nitōjutsu): that is, wielding both katana and wakizashi, contrary to the more traditional method of wielding the katana two-handed. However, he only explicitly describes wielding two swords in a section on fighting against many adversaries...
Tna: As for the further details of the book, we may explain later... Dou (how), Nga-chan?
Nga: Hai, hai, sukoshi na wakaru yo~ (Yeah, yeah, I understand a little bit)
Kaoko: Maa, that's our today's lesson. May we help you understand a little bit about Musashi's life story.
Tna, Kaoko, Nga: Ja minna, tsugi no jugyoo o sanshoo shite kudasai~ (well everyone, see you on the next lesson!)