Miyamoto Musashi is perhaps the most famous swordsman in Japanese history. He is still revered as a master of martial arts. Musashi wrote “The Book of Five Rings,” a classic text on kenjutsu, martial arts, strategy, and philosophy, which is still in print over 400 years later.
Born in 1584, Musashi showed a talent for sword fighting from a young age. He won his first duel at the age of 13. Over the years, Musashi fought in countless battles and at least 61 duels, developing a reputation as a skilled and ruthless warrior.
Unfortunately, one man’s skill rarely determines the course of history. In 1600, he was on the losing side of the Battle of Sekigahara. This left him as a masterless ronin. He spent the following years learning more from his father Munisai and traveling to different regions, honing his skills. He became famous for his unique double-bladed style of swordsmanship.
In 1612, Musashi faced his nemesis Sasaki Kojiro, a swordsman who was said to be as highly skilled as he was. The duel occurred on a small island off the coast of Japan. While sailing to the battle’s location, Musashi was said to have crafted a wooden sword from an oar. When they finally faced each other on the beach, Musashi defeated Kojirō with a precise and lucky blow to the head using his improvised wooden sword.
It is believed that Musashi felt this was the pinnacle of his career as a swordsman. He subsequently pulled back from dueling to instead focus on training, painting, and other pursuits. Despite this retirement, he continued to train students and assisted in quelling the Shimabara Rebellion in 1637.
In Tale of Ronin, Miyamoto Musashi lives and exists within the world. Many ronin respect and look up to the legendary fighter, while others judge his past decisions or wish to defeat him in a duel. Do you think you have what it takes to face off against an undefeated swordsman?