The Legend Lives

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The Way

“You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honour.” 

Miyamoto Musashi, A Book of Five Rings: The Classic Guide to Strategy

Musashi’s physical strength and prowess waned in the year 1642 when he suffered attacks of neuralgia, a painful condition affecting the function of nerves.  He chose to live his remaining years as a hermit in the cave Reigandō, where he took up the brush to write The Book of Five Rings.  In the second month of 1645, he rested from his labour, his life-work complete.  His time on this earth was drawing to a close.  Musashi died on June 13, 1645 and was buried with his armour, a final act of loyalty to his Daimyo.

The Hyoho Senshi Denki (anecdotes of the deceased master) described his passing:

At the moment of his death, he had himself raised up. He had his belt tightened and his wakizashi put in it. He seated himself with one knee vertically raised, holding the sword with his left hand and a cane in his right hand. He died in this posture, at the age of sixty-two. The principal vassals of Lord Hosokawa and the other officers gathered, and they painstakingly carried out the ceremony. Then they set up a tomb on Mount Iwato on the order of the lord.”

Miyamoto Musashi passed through this world during a time of turbulence and upheaval.  He chose a difficult path, a perilous journey.  His words continue to resonate in our complex world.  May we have the courage to continue with the same unwavering determination.

“Do not regret what you have done.”

“Never stray from the Way.”

Miyamoto Musashi, A Book of Five Rings: The Classic Guide to Strategy