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

24 thoughts on “The Legend Lives

  1. So interesting that he knew his time on earth was ending and he faced his death upright. He was ready. How many of us are like that?

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    • A very interesting question – how many of us are like that? In my readings I found that in within the code of the samurai there was a resolute acceptance of death. Perhaps that allowed them to pursue their destiny with more clarity.

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      • Older generations in our society used to think that 3 score years and ten was fairly much the maximum one could hope for. And any time after that was a bonus. Perhaps it is helpful to say “I want to do such and such before I am 70” and then set more goals for 80. Then there is the other option of taking each day as it comes.

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      • Isn’t it interesting that we set up bucket lists for big projects, but never give any credence to the small projects in our lives. I like your option of taking each day as it comes. It seems that we live bigger lives because we take pleasure in the ordinary – in doing so, these moments become extraordinary.

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      • Yes that is why I have pretty buckets for my laundry baskets. My laundry is always on my daily bucket list so I try to make it extraordinary. As part of the process I have recently realised that lavender and laundry are inter related words. So these days I lavender, instead of launder. Am I creating my own legend? Your story of Musashi has been inspirational.

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      • I Googled Lavender & Laundry and received a plethora of websites. I think that you are creating your own legend – I am now going to start using Lavender instead of laundry. Your idea is halfway around the world now!!

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  2. Hi Rebecca! 🙂 Awesome blog and wonderful post(s)… I’ve been to Japan 4 times, I do hope to return there some day, I could live in Kyoto… 🙂
    Have a great day and a serene week! Spring greetings from Toulouse, France & my very best!
    – – –
    P.S. I’ve been to Vancouver twice, I love it, too… I don’t mind the rain, as the sunshine always comes back… 🙂

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    • Thank you for stopping by for a visit! And thank you for your kind comments! I can only imagine all of the exciting travel adventures that you have been on! So glad that you enjoyed Vancouver. You are so right – the sun does return. Today, is one of those days of sunshine. Looking forward to our ongoing dialogue.

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  3. To choose a different path is sometimes very difficult–however many have found that path to be the correct one and rewarding beyond expectations.

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    • Yes! Absolutely!! I think that you will like this quote –

      “Do nothing that is of no use”
      ― Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings

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  4. what a beautiful post
    we must accept our life just the way it is, although he suffer he had the courage to write and create, a true hero

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    • Thank you so much! I agree – accepting what is brings a tranquility of spirit. Accepting our destiny is a process of becoming.

      “I dreamt of worldly success once.” Miyamoto Musashi

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  5. You’re starting to make my head hurt. You actually expect me to think every day? Just kidding Rebecca. Truly you are amazing in finding these truly inspirational people to share with us. I’ve learned so much with your posts.

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    • And I have learned so much from yours. Sometimes, I think that our four legged and winged friends have more to say than we know…

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