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Musashi Miyamoto

Musashi Miyamoto

Musashi Miyamoto (1580-1615) was a Toyotomi swordsman who was best-known for writing the Book of Five Rings, about the moral beliefs of the samurai; he was also known for winning the Battle of Ganryujima. In 1615, he was slain in the Osaka Campaign.

Biography

Musashi

Musashi Miyamoto, 1598

Musashi Miyamoto was born in Harima Province, a common man. However, he became great with swordsmanship, and at the age of thirteen, he defeated the "greatest swordsman of the land" in a duel. He became a prodigy, and his skills as a swordsman grew. In 1598, he fought in the Battle of Buzen, fighting a band of Pirates as well as the Tokugawa Army of Ina. Here, he dueled Kojiro Sasaki after the battle ended, and was defeated by him, his first loss.

He decided to fight alongside the Western Army at the Battle of Sekigahara, but was wounded by Kojiro in a duel there, laying injured among the corpses of several Tokugawa and Ishida soldiers. After the death of Mitsunari Ishida in the battle, he cut himself an escape route, getting out of Sekigahara alive. However, he continued to fight for the Toyotomi, becoming a retainer to Hideyori Toyotomi. He joined the vagabond mercenaries that fought in the Battle of Nisho Castle, where Masanobu Honda and Kojiro Sasaki attempted to murder Hideyori to bring the land under Tokugawa control. He was injured twice there, but Kojiro insisted on a duel another time, and Musashi was let off again. He demanded a few years before he fought again, so that he could improve his skills.

In 1612, at the Battle of Ganryu, he nearly slew Kojiro, hitting him in the neck with an oar. Kojiro survived, although Musashi thought that he had died when he struck him. They would only fight again at the Osaka Campaign three years later.

Musashi sided with the Toyotomi Rebels when Hideyori rebelled in 1615, and he fought Kojiro one last time, after all of the Toyotomi officers and troops had been killed. As the last defender of Osaka, he fought with amazing valor. Kojiro cut him down with his katana, and Musashi fell dead, and Kojiro did not believe that he was really dead for a moment, as he was such a strong man and his greatest opponent.

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