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Don F draeger on Musashi

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  • Don F draeger on Musashi

    http://ejmas.com/jcs/jcsdraeger_musashi.htm

    check out the article there. What are you're thoughts?

    it seems to attempt to dispell alot of the mysticism surrounding the man..

  • #2
    So much of Musashi's life is shrouded in mystery anyways, it's kind of silly to try to disprove what may or may not be true. Especially considering his main point of contention is Yoshikawa's novel, "Musashi", which is clearly a work of fiction (although it does apparently try to stay true to what facts *are* known about Musashi's life). The problem, of course, is separating the truth from the fiction. And doing so 400 years after his death makes it a little difficult.

    *shrug*

    People will always argue over what was true and what wasn't. They've been arguing over what exactly happened at the Ichijo-ji fight for some time. Was it a draw? Did Musashi let Yoshioka Seijuro walk away?

    Hell, people still argue over what he looked like! Some claim he had a pigmentation issue in his face, or some disfigurement that helped frighten his enemies. Others claim he was unmarred and perfectly normal.

    It seems as though Draeger is beating a dead horse, and pointing out some facts (such as the one that Musashi didn't invent nito-ken, which is fairly well known - what he *did* do was make it famous), but then he mixes in some of his own opinions such as "Qualified authorities today regard the artifacts allegedly made by Musashi such as the tsuba, or sword guard, as not made by him, but possibly designed by him", and "As for his technical skills, today’s authorities in the classical martial traditions (koryu) make nothing special of him".
    My response to these arguments of Draeger is this : who are these "authorities" to whom he continually references, but never mentions their names? And if Musashi was "nothing special", why then is he still revered 400 years after his death, and is considered a kensei (sword saint)?

    Comment


    • #3
      i dont believe a damn word this guy says. Musashi would not still be written about today if this never happend. the only thing credible that this ass says is that musashi did not invent nito ken. he did just popularize it. if i keep writing im going to flip out.

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      • #4
        Well at the beginning of Gorin no Sho Musashi describes swordsmanship as a science and severely condemns the priests of Katori and Kashima for suggesting that their swordsmanship was something from the Gods and that its was money making ploy. So guess there was no love lost between them. With Mr Draeger's connection with them his reaction is not surprising.

        Musashi had ordered the original notes of Gorin no Sho to be destroyed that he had been asked to write by Hosakawa Tadatoshi . Tadatoshi had died earlier. But Hosokawa Mitsumasa ordered that written dated copies were made. One is held by the Hosokawa family to this day. The historical artifacts and letters are clear and concise right down to letters of apology from Musashi to the Lord Hosokawa apologizing for his illness.

        Might not all appear to be real on the net but this time yesterday I was in front of the "Hibun" erected in 1654 paying respect and practicing. His life is written in stone, not only on paper.

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        • #5
          I don't really like Musashi my self, he`s like a kind of martial super-hero brought out about 70 years ago probably to help back the idea that the sword is not for killing but bettering your personality or some thing like that.

          I heard somewhere that Musashi never actually used the two sword techniques. In kendo kata we have the tanto but who would actually choose the tanto over a katana to fight a strong opponent?
          I'm not sure what the two swords in Ni-ten-ichi ryu are used for but some one said they are not a main part of the art.

          I would suspect that the Musashi that opened the Ni-ten-ichi-ryu school and the Musashi from Yoshikawa Eijis book are very different people. Probably a very competent martial artist who came across some trouble with other schools. And a young hero that represents that perfect mentality for learning the sword like Rurouni Kenshin and Yoshitsune.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Musha
            I heard somewhere that Musashi never actually used the two sword techniques. In kendo kata we have the tanto but who would actually choose the tanto over a katana to fight a strong opponent?
            I'm not sure what the two swords in Ni-ten-ichi ryu are used for but some one said they are not a main part of the art.
            Spent yesterday doing Tanto/Kodachi against long sword. Yes it's damn hard and requires lots of confidence. I broke three last year.

            Fundamental's are with one weapon. Being good enough at this and able to generate power with hips/tanden we can progress to two, then Kodachi. Anyone thinking they can pick up two from the outset has delusions of grandeur but there are people out there that do it for other reasons

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            • #7
              hyaku,

              you practice niten (nito?) dont you? Do you know if the part about his students writing gorin no sho is true?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Twobitmage
                hyaku,

                you practice niten (nito?) dont you? Do you know if the part about his students writing gorin no sho is true?
                Well as I said the present Hosakawa Family has one copy the other one is in a museum. It's all stamped dated and authenticated work. The thing is Gorin no sho is not his major work although it is most popular in English. Dokkodo and Hyoho Sanju-go Kajo also need to be read to make sense of it all. The students themselves also left notes relating to the ryu and Musashi.

                Many letters relating to Musashi's life were sent here and there. The notes and correspondence between Musashi's son Iori and the Lord Nagaoka Shikibu and Nagaoka Kenmotsu have been preserved.

                Here is a little......

                During the last period of Musashi's illness. Lord Hosokawa Mitsumasa had the kindness to have been assisted by Terao Motomenosuke, who bled him. I thank you for the ceremony and erecting the tomb. I thanked Iwama Rokubei San from Edo by letter but would like to ask you to thank him again. I am sending you a package of peaches and dried fish as a small token of my appreciation.

                Miyamoto Iori
                Twenty-ninth of the fifth month (Signature)

                So as you can see from this a very close knit community heading more than a thousand of Musashi's followers.

                It continues to this day. I trained yesterday and spend a few hours in the afternoon gardening and clearing around a commemoration stone. In two weeks a few of us will do a demonstration and the present generation Musashi San from Moji will be there. I met the 31st generation Ogasawara Soke yesterday. He may come too.

                Comment


                • #9
                  what he said about the book printed by Nihon Services Corporation is quite true. i read it, and it was more or less made for the entrepreneurs or for the bussiness men/women. it clearly states it at the back too.

                  though i'm not too sure about the other info he wrote.

                  ~taganahan

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                  • #10
                    oh and to the people who got a little upset about what don said:

                    please dont get so defensive about it. Its just his opinion and as hyaku said, because he is a shinto ryu guy he probably felt a little bit negative about Musashi to begin with. His opinion doesnt have to threaten yours.

                    I just posted it because I thought it was interesting and it would stir some discussion. I'm glad that hyaku said some words though. I was kind of hoping to get his expert opinion

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Musha
                      I heard somewhere that Musashi never actually used the two sword techniques. In kendo kata we have the tanto but who would actually choose the tanto over a katana to fight a strong opponent?
                      I'm not sure what the two swords in Ni-ten-ichi ryu are used for but some one said they are not a main part of the art.

                      I would suspect that the Musashi that opened the Ni-ten-ichi-ryu school and the Musashi from Yoshikawa Eijis book are very different people. Probably a very competent martial artist who came across some trouble with other schools. And a young hero that represents that perfect mentality for learning the sword like Rurouni Kenshin and Yoshitsune.
                      Sorry but I dont go much on what I have heard or what I suspect. I never could figure out why people get a person who has left authentic records of what we should practice with a fantasy figure in a fictional book with a bit of fact thrown in to give it flavour.

                      As I said it's a living tradition we do here, not just something posted on the net or in a book.

                      Musashi's technique is up under the nose stuff. There was no aiuchi is those days and there were two good places to be to have the advantage. Either too far away or being able to get so close and slightly to the side so that the opponent could not cut.

                      Yes it does take a lot to deal with a Daito if you have Kodachi in your hand. It's a sound principle but doing it is something else. Soke's words immediately come to mind in that there was no one before Musashi and no one will follow him.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I was reading a large Japanese book on all the famouse koryu styles and it was insteresting that it said Musashi in his youth used a kind of jute like a chicken wish bone in one hand. This then I guess progressed into a shoto.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Musha
                          I was reading a large Japanese book on all the famouse koryu styles and it was insteresting that it said Musashi in his youth used a kind of jute like a chicken wish bone in one hand. This then I guess progressed into a shoto.
                          You have to quote your sources when you say things, especially relating to history. This backs up your argument and cuts out speculation.

                          Which book was it out of interest?

                          Nihon no Kenjutsu is a good one.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ZealUK
                            You have to quote your sources when you say things, especially relating to history. This backs up your argument and cuts out speculation.

                            Which book was it out of interest?

                            Nihon no Kenjutsu is a good one.
                            O_o he was arguing?

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                            • #15
                              The word "argue" doesn't necessarily imply some sort of hostility.

                              To argue is simply to express an opinion or idea - usually one of contradicting views of someone else. But hey, that's how the whole thought process evolves - by having our thoughts, views, and ideas questioned. Sometimes we come to see things in a different light, or sometimes we reinforce our own beliefs.

                              It's only in the last 100 or so years that it's become synonomous with "fighting", which is silly.


                              Fyi

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