Miyamoto Musashi and Sasaki Kojiro, both of them are well-known great swordsmen, fought a duel.

Hosokawa Tadaoki, the feudal lord of the Kokura domain in Kyushu, hired Sasaki Kojiro as the kendo instructor in his domain at the beginning of the 17th century. Kojiro, who is thought to be from the vicinity of Kokura, was a well-known great swordsman featuring a long sword. On the other hand, Musashi featuring two swords, long and short, was also as famous as Kojiro. Musashi came to Kokura suddenly to establish a kendo school for local samurais. The two greatest swordsmen in Japan at that time co-existed in Kokura by chance. The argument between the trainees on both sides happened not long after Musashi came. They were very excited with each other...which is the stronger of the two, Kojiro or Musashi? The two masters were finally obliged to fight a duel to settle this argument. Ganryu-jima, a small island on the Kanmon Strait, was selected as the venue for the duel in order to avoid a crowd of curious onlookers. The duel was decisively carried out on April 13, 1612, when Musashi was about 30 years old and Kojiro 50 years old or so. Kojiro used a long sword with a one-meter blade as usual, and Musashi, one thick wooden sword, because he didn't want to kill his respectable opponent. As soon as the duel started, no later than the the moment Musashi dodged Kojiro's sharp slash with the long sword, he fiercely hit Kojiro's forehead with his heavy wooden sword to conclude the duel.

After this duel, Musashi became the new kendo instructor of the Kokura domain ruled by Hosokawa Tadaoki.

Hosokawa Tadaoki, thereafter, was ordered to move to the Kumamoto domain in 1632, and Musashi followed him to spend the rest of his life there.

He wrote "Book of Five Rings", a world's famous military strategy book, in Kumamoto.


Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,

Masahisa Takaki.

全国通訳案内士 高木聖久。



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