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Japan during Musashi's lifetime

Miyamoto Musashi was born in 1584, in a Japan struggling to recover from more than four centuries of internal
strife. The traditional rule of the emperors had been overthrown in the twelfth century, and although each successive
emperor remained the figurehead of Japan, his powers were very much reduced. ince that time, Japan had seen
almost continuous civil war between the provincial lords, warrior mon!s and brigands, all fighting each other for
land and power. "n the fifteenth and si#teenth centuries the lords, called daimyo, built huge stone castles to protect
themselves and their lords and castle towns outside the walls began to grow up. These wars naturally restricted the
growth of trade and impoverished the whole country.
"n 15$%, however, one man, &da 'obunga, came to the fore in Japan. (e became the hogun, or military dictator,
and for nine years succeeded in gaining control of almost the whole of the country. )hen 'obunga was assassinated
in 158*, a commoner too! over the government. Toyotomi (ideyoshi continued the wor! of unifying Japan which
'obunaga had begun, ruthlessly putting down any traces of insurrection. (e revived the old gulf between the
warriors of Japan + the samurai + and the commoners by introducing restrictions on the wearing of swords.
,(ideyoshi-s sword+hunt,, as it was !nown, meant that only samurai were allowed to wear two swords, the short
one which everyone could wear and the long one which distinguished the samurai from the rest of the population.
.lthough (ideyoshi did much to settle Japan and increase trade with the outside world, by the time of his death in
15/8 internal disturbances still had not been completely eliminated. The real isolation and unification of Japan
began with the inauguration of the great To!ugawa rule. "n 101% To!ugawa "eyasu, a former associate of both
(ideyoshi and 'obunaga, formally became hogun of Japan, after defeating (ideyoshi-s son (ideyori at the battle
of e!i ga (ara.
"eyasu established his government at 2do, present+day To!yo, where he had a huge castle. (is was a stable, peaceful
government beginning a period of Japanese history which was to last until the "mperial 3estoration of 1808, for
although "eyasu himself died in 1010 members of his family succeeded each other and the title hogun became
virtually an hereditary one for the To!ugawas.
"eyasu was determined to ensure his and his family-s dictatorship. To this end, he paid lip+service to the emperor in
4yoto, who remained the titular head of Japan, while curtailing his duties and involvement in the government. The
real threat to "eyasu-s position could only come from the lords, and he effectively decreased their opportunities for
revolt by devising schemes whereby all lords had to live in 2do for alternate years and by placing great restrictions
on travelling. (e allotted land in e#change for oaths of allegiance, and gave the provincial castles around 2do to
members of his own family. (e also employed a networ! of secret police and assassins.
The To!ugawa period mar!s a great change in the social history of Japan. The bureaucracy of the To!ugawas was
all+pervading. 'ot only were education, law, government and class controlled, be even the costume and behavior of
each class. The traditional class consciousness of Japan hardened into a rigid class structure. There were basically
four classes of person5 samurai, farmers, artisans and merchants. The samurai were the highest + in esteem if not in
wealth + and included the lords, senior government officials, warriors, and minor officials and foot soldiers. 'e#t in
the hierarchy came the farmers, not because they were well thought of but because they provided the essential rice
crops. Their lot was a rather unhappy one, as they were forced to give most of their crops to the lords and were not
allowed to leave their farms. Then came the artisans and craftsmen, and last of all the merchants, who, though
loo!ed down upon, eventually rose to prominence because of the vast wealth they accumulated. 6ew people were
outside this rigid hierarchy.
Musashi belonged to the samurai class. )e find the origins of the samurai class in the 4ondei 7,talwart 8outh,9
system established in $/* .:, whereby the Japanese army + which had until then constituted mainly of spear+
wielding foot soldiers + was revived by stiffening the ran!s with permanent training officers recruited from among
the young sons of the high families. These officers were mounted, wore armour, and used the bow and sword. "n
$8* the emperor 4ammu started building 4yoto, and in 4yoto he built a training hall which e#ists to this day called
the ;uto!uden, meaning ,(all of the virtues of war,. )ithin a few years of this revival the fierce .inu, the
aboriginal inhabitants of Japan who had until then confounded the army-s attempts to move them from their wild
lodgings, were driven far off to the northern island, (o!!aido.
)hen the great provincial armies were gradually disbanded under (ideyoshi and "eyasu, many out+of+wor! samurai
roamed the country redundant in an era of peace. Musashi was one such samurai, a ,ronin, or ,wave man,. There
were still samurai retainers to the To!ugawas and provincial lords, but their numbers were few. The hordes of
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redundant samurai found themselves living in a society which was completely based on the old chivalry, but at the
same time they were apart from a society in which there was no place for men at arms. They became an inverted
class, !eeping the old chivalry alive by devotion to military arts with the fervour only the Japanese possess. This
was the time of the flowering of 4endo.
4endo, the )ay of the sword, had always been synonymous with nobility in Japan. ince the founding of the
samurai class in the eighth century, the military arts had become the highest form of study, inspired by the teachings
of <en and the feeling of hinto. chools of 4endo born in the early Muromachi period + appro#imately 1%/1 to
1011 + were continued through the upheavals of the formation of the peaceful To!ugawa hogunate, and survive to
this day. The education of the sons of the To!ugawa hoguns was by means of schooling in the =hinese classics and
fencing e#ercises. )here a )esterner might say ,The pen is mightier than the sword,, the Japanese would say
,;unbu "chi,, or ,>en ans sword in accord,. Today, prominent businessmen and political figures in Japan still
practise the old traditions of the 4endo schools, preserving the forms of several hundred years ago.
To sum up, Musashi was a ronin at the time when the samurai were formally considered to be the elite, but actually
had no means of livelihood unless they owned lands and castles. Many ronin put up their swords and became
artisans, but others, li!e Musashi, persued the ideal of the warrior searching for enlightenment through the perilous
paths of 4endo. :uels of revenge and tests of s!ill were commonplace, and fencing schools multiplied. Two schools
e#pecially, the "tto school and the 8agyu school, were sponsored by the To!ugawas. The "tto school provided an
unbro!en line of 4endo teachers, and the 8agyu school eventually became the secret police of the To!ugawa
bureaucracy.
Kendo
Traditionally, the fencing halls of Japan, called :o?o, were associated with shrines and temples, but during
Musashi-s lifetime numerous schools sprang up in the new castle towns. 2ach daimyo or lord sponsored a 4endo
school, where his retainers could be trained and his sons educated. The hope of every ronin was that he could defeat
the students and master of a :o?o in combat, thus increasing his fame and bringing his name to the ears of one who
might employ him.
The samurai wore two swords thrust through the belt with the cutting edge uppermost. The longer sword was
carried out of doors only, the shorter sword was worn at all times. 6or training, wooden swords and bamboo swords
were often used. :uelling and other tests of arms were common, with both real and practice swords. These too!
place in fencing halls and before shrines, in the streets and within castle walls. :uels were often fought to the death
or until one of the contestants was disabled, but a few generations after Musashi-s time the ,shinai,, a pliable
bamboo sword, and later padded fencing armour, came to be widely used, so the chances of in?ury were greatly
reduced. The samurai studied with all !inds of weapons5 halberds, stic!s, swords, chain and sic!le, and others.
Many schools using such weapons survive in traditional form in Japan today.
To train in 4endo one must sub?ugate the self, bear the pain of gruelling practise, and cultivate a level mind in the
face of peril. ;ut the )ay of the sword means not only fencing training but also living by the code of honour of the
samurai elite. )arfare was the spirit of the samurai-s everyday life, and he could face death as if it were a domestic
routine. The meaning of life and death by the sword was mirrored in the everyday conduct of the feudal Japanese,
and he wo realised the resolute acceptance of death at any moment in his everyday life was a master of the sword. "t
is in order to attain sucn an understanding that later men have followed the ancient tradition of the sword+fencing
styles, and even today give up their lives for 4endo practise.
Kendo and Zen
The )ay of the sword is the moral teaching of the samurai, fostered by the =onfucianist philosophy which shaped
the To!ugawa system, together with the native hinto religion of Japan. The warrior courts of Japan from the
4ama!ura period to the Muromachi period encouraged the austre <en study among the samurai, and <en went hand
in hand with the arts of war. "n <en the are no elaborations, it aims directly at the true nature of things. There are no
ceremonies, no teachings5 the pri@e of <en is essentially personal. 2nlightenment in <en does not mean a change in
behavior, but realisation of the nature of ordinary life. The end point is the beginning, and the great virtue is
simplicity. The secret teaching of the "tto 3yu school of 4endo, 4iriotoshi, is the first techniAue of some hundred or
so. The teaching is ,.i Bchi,, meaning to cut the opponent ?ust as he cuts you. This is the ultimate training... it is
lac! of anger. "t means to treat your enemy as an honoured guest. "t also means to abandon your life or throw away
fear.
*
The first techniAue is the last, the beginner and the master behave in the same way. 4nowledge is a full circle. The
first of Musashi-s chapter headings is Cround, for the basis of 4endo and <en, and the last boo! is Doid, for that
understanding which can only be e#pressed as nothingness. The teachings of 4endo are li!e the fierce verbal forays
to which the <en student is sub?ected. .ssailed with doubts and misery, his mind and spirit in a whirl, the student is
gradually guided to realisation and understanding by his teacher. The 4endo student practises furiously, thousands
of cuts morning and night, learning fierce techniAues of horrible war, until eventually sword becomes ,no sword,,
intention becomes ,no intention,, a spontaneous !nowledge of every situation. The first elementary teaching
becomes the highest !nowledge, and the master still continues to practise this simple training, his everyday prayer.
Concerning the life of Miyamoto Musashi
hinmen Musashi 'o 4ami 6u?iwara 'o Censhin, or as he is commonly !nown Miyamoto Musashi, was born in
the village called Miyamoto in the province Mimasa!a in 1584. ,Musashi, is the name of an area south+west of
To!yo, and the appellation ,'o 4ami, means noble person of the area, while ,6u?iwara, is the name of a noble
family foremost in Japan over a thousand years ago.
Musashi-s ancestors were a branch of the powerful (arima clan in 4yushu, the souther island of Japan. (irada
ho!an, his grandfather, was a retainer of hinmen "ga 'o 4ami udeshige, the lord of Ta!eyama castle. (irada
ho!an was highly thought of by his lord and eventually married his lord-s daughter.
)hen Musashi was seven, his father, Munisai, either died or abandoned the child. .s his mother had died, ;en 'o
u!e, as Musashi was !nown during his childhood, was left in the care of an uncle on his mother-s side, a priest. o
we find Musashi an orphan during (ideyoshi-s campaigns of unification, son of a samurai in a violent unhappy land.
(e was a boisterous youth, strong+willed and physically large for his age. )hether he was urged to persue 4endo
by his uncle, or whether his aggressive nature led him to it, we do not !now, but it is recorded that he slew a man in
single combat when he was ?ust thirteen. The opponent was .rima 4igei, a samurai of the hinto 3yu school of
military arts, s!illed with sword and spear. The boy threw the man to the ground, and beat him about the head with a
stic! when he tried to rise. 4ihei died vomiting blood
Musashi-s ne#t contest was when he was si#teen, when he defeated Tadashima .!iyama. .bout this time, he left
home to embar! on the ,)arrior >ilgimage, which saw him victor in scores of contests and which too! him to war
si# times, until he finally settled down at the age of fifty, having reached the end of his search for reason. There
must have been many ronin travelling the country on similar e#peditions, some alone li!e Musashi and some
en?oying sponsorship, though not on the scale of the pilgrimage of the famous swordman Tsu!ahara ;o!uden who
had travelled with a retinue of over one hundred men in the previous century.
This part of Musashi-s life was spent living apart from society while he devoted himself with a ferocious single+
mindedness to the search for enlightenment by the )ay of the sword. =oncerned only with perfecting his s!ill, he
lived as men need not live, wandering over Japan soa!ed by the cold winds of winter, not dressing his hair, nor
ta!ing a wife, nor following any profession save his study. "t is said he never entered a bathtub lest he was caught
unawares without a weapon, and that his appearance was uncouth and wretched.
"n the battle which resulted in "eyasu succeeding (ideyoshi as hogun of Japan, e!i ga (ara, Musashi ?oined the
ran!s of the .shi!aga army to fight against "eyasu. (e survived the terrible three days during which seventy
thousand people died, and also survived the hunting down and massacre of the vanAuished army.
(e went up to 4yoto, the capital, when he was twenty+one. This was the scene of his vendetta agains the 8oshio!a
family. The 8oshio!as had been fencing instructors to the .shi!aga house for generations. Eater forbidden to teach
4endo by lord To!ugawa, the family became dyers, and are dyers today. Munisai, Musashi-s father, had been invited
to 4yoto some years before by the hogun .shi!aga 8oshia!a. Munisai was a competent swordsman, and an e#pert
with the ,?itte,, a !ind of iron truncheon with a tongue for catching sword blades. The story has it that Munisai
fought three of the 8oshio!as, winning two of the duels, and perhaps this has some bearing on Musashi-s behavior
towards the family.
8oshio!a ei?iro, the head of the family, was the first to fight Musashi, on the moor outside the city. ei?iro was
armed with a real sword, and Musashi with a wooden sword. Musashi laid ei?iro out with a fierce attac! and beat
him savagely as he lay on the ground. The retainers carried their lord home on a rain+shutter, where for shame he cut
off his samurai top!not.
Musashi longered on in the capital, and his continued presence further ir!ed the 8oshio!as. The second brother,
:enshichiro, applied to Musashi for a duel. .s a military ploy, Musashi arrived late on the appointed day, and
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seconds after the start of the fight he bro!e his opponent-s s!ull with one blow of his wooden sword. :enshichiro
was dead. The house issued yet another challenge with (anshichiro, the young son of ei?iro, as champion.
(anshichiro was a mere boy, not yet in his teens. The contest was to be held by a pine tree ad?acent to ricefields.
Musashi arrived at the meeting place well before the appointed time and waited in hiding for his enemy to come.
The child arrived dressed formally in war gear, with a party of well+armed retainers, determined to do away with
Musashi. Musashi waited concealed in the shadows, and ?ust as they were thin!ing that he had thought better of it
and had decided to leave 4yoto, he suddenly appeared in the midst of them, and cut the boy down. Then, drawing
both swords, he cut a path through them and made his escape.
.fter that frightful episode Musashi wandered over Japan, becoming a legend in his own time. )e find mention of
his name and stories of his prowess in registers, diaries, on monuments, and in fol! memory from To!yo to 4yushu.
(e had more than si#ty contests before he was twenty+nine, and won them all. The earliest account of his contests
appears in Niten Ki, or ,Two (eavens =hronicle,, a record compiled by his pupils a generation after his death.
"n the year of the 8oshio!a affair, 1015, he visited the temple (o@oin in the south of the capital. (ere he had a
contest with &!u (o@oin, the 'ichiren sect pupil of the <en priest (oin "nei. The priest was a spearman, but no
match for Musashi who defeated him twice with his short wooden sword. Musashi stayed at the temple for some
time studying fighting techniAues and en?oying tal!s with the priests. There is still today a traditional spear fighting
form practised by the mon!s of (o@oin. "t is interesting that in ancient times the word ,&sho,, which now means
priest, used to mean ,spear teacher,. (oin "nei was pupil to "@umi Musashi no 4ami, a master of hinto 4endo. The
priest used spears with cross+shaped blades !ept outside the temple under the eaves and used in fire fighting.
)hen Musashi was in "ga province he met a s!illed chain and sic!le fighter named hishido ;ai!in. .s hishido
twirled his chain Musashi drew a dagger and pierced his breast, advancing to finish him off. The watching pupils
attac!ed Musashi but he frightened them away in four directions.
"n 2do, a fighter named Muso Conosu!e visited Musashi reAuesting a duel. Musashi was cutting wood to ma!e a
bow, and granting Conosu!e-s reAuest stood up intending to use the slender wand he was cutting as a sword.
Conosu!e made a fierce attac!, but Musashi stepped straight in and banged him on the head. Conosu!e went away.
>assing through "@umo province, Musashi visited lord Matsudaira and as!ed permission to fight with his strongest
4endo e#pert. There were many good strategists in "@umo. >ermission was granted against a man who used an eight
foot long he#agonal wooden pole. The contest was held in the lord-s library garden. Musashi used two wooden
swords. (e chased the samurai up the two wooden steps of the library veranda, thrust at his face on the second step,
and hit him on both arms as he flinched away. To the surprise of the assembled retainers, lord Matsudaira as!ed
Musashi to fight him. Musashi drove the lord up the library steps as before, and when he tried to ma!e a resolute
fencing attitude Musashi hit his sword with the ,6ire and tones =ut,, brea!ing it in two. The lord bowed in defeat,
and Musashi stayed for some time as his teacher.
Musashi-s most well+!nown duel was in the seventeenth year of 4eicho, 101*, when he was in &gura in ;un@en
province. (is opponent was asa!i 4o?iro, a young man who had developed a strong fencing techniAue !nown as
Tsubame+gaeshi, or ,swallow counter,, inspired by the motion of a swallow-s tail in flight. 4o?iro was retained by
the lord of the province, (oso!awa Tadao!i. Musashi applied to Tadao!i for permission to fight 4o?iro through the
offices of one of the (oso!awa retainers who had been a pupil of Musashi-s father, one 'agao!a ato &!inaga.
>ermission was granted for the contest to be held at eight o-cloc! the ne#t morning, and the place was to be an
island some few miles from &gura. That night Musashi left his lodging and moved to the house of 4obayashi Taro
<aemon. This inspired the rumor that awe of 4o?iro-s subtle techniAue had made Musashi run away afraid for his
life. The ne#t day at eight o-cloc! Musashi could not be wo!en until a prompter came from the officials assembled
on the island. (e got up, dran! the water they brought to him to wash with, and went straight down to the shore. .s
ato rowed across to the island Musashi fashioned a paper string to tie bac! the sleeves of his !imono, and cut a
wooden sword from the spare oar. )hen he had done this he lay down to rest.
The boat neared the place of combat and 4o?iro and the waiting officials were astounded to see the strange figure of
Musashi, with his un!empt hair tied up in a towel, leap from the boat brandishing the long wooden oar and rush
through the waves up the beach towards his enemy. 4o?iro drew his long sword, a fine blade made by 'agamitsu of
;i@en, and threw away his scabbard. ,8ou have no more need of that, said Musashi as he rushed forward with his
sword held to one side. 4o?iro was provo!ed into ma!ing the first cut and Musashi dashed upward at his blade,
bringing the oar down on 4o?iro-s head. .s 4o?iro fell, his sword, which had cut the towel from Musashi-s head, cut
across the hem of his divided s!irt. Musashi noted 4o?iro-s condition and bowed to the astounded officials before
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running bac! to his boat. ome sources have it that after he !illed 4o?iro Musashi threw down the oar and, nimbly
leaping bac! several paces, drew both his swords and flourished them with a shout at his fallen enemy.
"t was about this time that Musashi stopped ever using real swords in duels. (e was invincible, and from now on he
devoted himself to the search for perfect understanding by way of 4endo.
"n 1014 and again in 1015 he too! the opportunity of once more e#periencing warfare and siege. "eyasu laid siege to
&sa!a castle where the supporters of the .shi!aga family were gathered in insurrection. Musashi ?oined the
To!ugawa forces in both winter and summer campaigns, now fighting against those he had fought for as a youth at
e!i ga (ara.
.ccording to his own writing, he came to understand strategy when he was fifty or fifty+one in 10%4. (e and his
adopted son "ori, the waif whom he had met in :ewa province on his travels, settled in &gura in this year. Musashi
was never again to leave 4yushu island. The (oso!awa house had been entrusted with the command of the hot seat
of (igo province, 4umamoto castle, and the new lord of ;un@en was an &gasawara. "ori found employment under
&gasawara Tada@ane, and as a captain in Tada@ane-s army fought against the =hristians in the himawara uprising
of 10%8, when Musashi was about fifty+five. The lords of the southern provinces had always been antagonistic to
the To!ugawas and were the instigators of intrigue with foreign powers and the Japanese =hristians. Musashi was a
member of the field staff at himawara where the =hristians were massacred. .fter this, "eyasu closed the ports of
Japan to foreign intercourse, and they remained closed for over two hundred years.
.fter si# years in &gura, Musashi was invited to stay with =huri, the (oso!awa lord of 4umamoto castle, as a
guest. (e stayed a few years with lord =huri and spent his time teaching and painting. "n 104%, he retired to a life of
seclusion in a cave called ,3eigendo,. (ere he wrote Go Rin No Sho, addressed to his pupil Teruo 'obuyu!i, a few
wee!s before his death on the nineteenth of May, 1045.
Musashi is !nown to the Japanese as ,4insei,, that is, ,word aint,. Go Rin No Sho heads every 4endo
bibliography, being uniAue among boo!s of martial art in that it deals with both the strategy of warfare and the
methods of single combat in e#actly the same way. The boo! is not a thesis on strategy, it is in Musashi-s words ,a
guide for men who want to learn strategy, and, as a guide always leads, so the contents are always beyond the
student-s understanding. The more one reads the boo! the more one finds in its pages. "t is Musashi-s last will, the
!ey to the path he trod. )hen, at twenty+eight or twenty+nine, he had become such a strong fighter, he did not settle
down and build a school, replete with success, but became doubly engrossed with his study. "n his last days even, he
scorned the life of comfort with lord (oso!awa and lived two years alone in a mountain cave deep in
contemplation. The behavior of this cruel, headstrong man was evidently most humble and honest.
Musashi wrote ,)hen you have attained the )ay of strategy there will be not one thing that you cannot understand,
and ,8ou will see the )ay in everything,. (e did, in fact, become a master of arts and crafts. (e produced
masterpieces of in! painting, probably more highly valued by the Japanese than the in! paintings of any other. (is
wor!s include cormorants, herons, (otei the hinto Cod, dragons, birds with flowers, bird in a dead tree, :aruma
7;odhidharma9, and others. (e was a fine calligrapher, evidenced by his piece ,en!i, 7)arspirit9. There is a small
wood sculpture of the ;uddhist diety 6udo Myoo in private hands. . sculpture of 4wannon was lost recently. (e
made wor!s in metal, and founded the school of sword guard ma!ers who signed ,'iten,, after him 7see below9. (e
is said to have written poems and songs, but none of these survive. "t is said also that he was commissioned by the
hogun "emitsu to paint the sunrise over 2do castle.
(is paintings are sometimes impressed with his seal, ,Musashi,, or his nom de plume ,'iten,. 'iten means ,Two
(eavens,, said by some to allude to his fighting attitude with a sword in each haand held above his head. "n some
places he established schools !nown as ,'iten ryu,, and in other places called it ,2nmei ryu, 7clear circle9.
(e wrote ,tudy the )ays of all professions,. "t is evident that he did ?ust that. (e sought out not only great
swordsmen but also priests, strategists, artists and craftsmen, eager to broaden his !nowledge.
Musashi writes about the various aspects of 4endo in such a way that it is possible for the beginner to study at
beginner-s level, and for 4endo masters to study the same words on a higher level. This applies not ?ust to military
strategy, but to any situation where plans and tactics are used. Japanese businessmen have used Go Rin No Sho as a
guide for business practice, ma!ing sales campaigns li!e military operations, using the same energetic methods. "n
the same way that Musashi seems to have been a horribly cruel man, yet was following logically an honest ideal, so
successful business sems to most people to be without conscience.
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Musashi-s life study is thus as relevant in the twentieth century as it was on the medieval battleground, and applies
not ?ust to the Japanese race but to all nations. " suppose you could sum up his inspiration as ,humility and hard
wor!,.
Introduction
" have been many years training in the )ay of strategy, called 'i Ten "chi 3yu, and now " thin! " will e#plain it in
writing for the first time. "t is now during the first ten days of the tenth month in the twentieth year of 4anei 710459.
" have climbed mountain "wato of (igo in 4yushu to pay homage to heaven, pray to 4wannon, and !neel before
;uddha. " am a warrior of (arima province, hinmen Musashi 'o 4ami 6u?iwara 'o Ceshin, age si#ty years.
6rom youth my heart has been inclined toward the )ay of strategy. My first duel was when " was thirteen, " struc!
down a strategist of the hinto school, one .rima 4ihei. )hen " was si#teen " struc! down an able strategist,
Tadashima .!iyama. )hen " was twenty+one " went up to the capital and met all manner of strategists, never once
failing to win in many contests.
.fter that " went from province to province duelling with strategists of various schools, and not once failed to win
even though " had as many as si#ty encounters. This was between the ages of thirteen and twenty+eight or twenty+
nine.
)hen " reached thirty " loo!ed bac! on my past. The previous victories were not due to my having mastered
strategy. >erhaps it was natural ability, or the order of heaven, or that other schools- strategy was inferior. .fter that "
studied morning and evening searching for the principle, and came to realise the )ay of strategy when " was fifty.
ince then " have lived without following any particular )ay. Thus with the virtue of strategy " practise many arts
and abilities + all things with no teacher. To write this boo! " did not use the law of ;uddha or the teachings of
=onfucius, neither old war chronicles nor boo!s on martial tactics. " ta!e up my brush to e#plain the true spirit of
this "chi school as it is mirrored in the )ay of heaven and 4wannon. The time is the night of the tenth day of the
tenth month, at the hour of the tiger 7%+5 a.m.9
The Ground Book
tategy is the craft of the warrior. =ommanders must enact the craft, and troopers should !now this )ay. There is no
warrior in the world today who really understands the )ay of strategy.
There are various )ays. There is the )ay of salvation by the law of ;uddha, the )ay of =onfucius governing the
)ay of learning, the )ay of healing as a doctor, as a poet teaching the )ay of )a!a, tea, archery, and many arts
and s!ills. 2ach man practices as he feels inclined.
"t is said the warrior-s is the twofold )ay of pen and sword, and he should have a taste for both )ays. 2ven if a man
has no natural ability he can be a warrior by stic!ing assiduously to both divisions of the )ay. Cenerally spea!ing,
the )ay of the warrior is resolute acceptance of death. .lthough not only warriors but priests, women, peasants and
lowlier fol! have been !nown to die readily in the cause of duty or out of shame, this is a different thing. The
warrior is different in that studying the )ay of strategy is based on overcoming men. ;y victory gained in crossing
swords with individuals, or en?oining battle with large numbers, we can attain power and fame for ourselves or for
our lord. This is the virtue of strategy.
The Way of trategy
"n =hina and Japan practitioners of the )ay have been !nown as ,masters of strategy,. )arriors must learn this
)ay.
3ecently there have been people getting on in the world as strategists, but they are usually ?ust sword+fencers. The
attendants of the 4ashima 4antori shrines of the province (itachi received instruction from the gods, and made
schools based on this teaching, travelling from country to country instructing men. This is the recent meaning of
strategy.
"n olden times strategy was listed among the Ten .bilities and even .rts as a beneficial practice. "t was certainly
an art but as beneficial practice it was not limited to sword+fencing. The true value of sword+fencing cannot be seen
withing the confines of sword+fencing techniAue.
"f we loo! at the world we see arts for sale. Men use eAuipment to sell their own selves. .s if with the nut and the
flower, the nut has become less than the flower. "n this !ind of )ay of strategy, both those teaching and those
learning the way are concerned with colouring and showing off their techniAue, trying to hasten the bloom of the
0
flower. They spea! of ,This :o?o, and ,That :o?o,. They are loo!ing for profit. omeone once said ,"mmature
strategy is the cause of grief,. That was a true saying.
There are four )ays in which men pass through life5 as gentlemen, farmers, artisans and merchants.
The way of the farmer. Bsing agricultural instruments, he sees springs through to autumns with an eye on the
changes of season.
econd is the )ay of the merchant. The wine ma!er obtains his ingredients and puts them to use to ma!e his living.
The )ay of the merchant is always to live by ta!ing profit. This is the )ay of the merchant.
Thirdly the gentleman warrior, carrying the weaponry of his )ay. The )ay of the warrior is to master the virtue of
his weapons. "f a gentleman disli!es strategy he will not appreciate the benefit of weaponry, so must he not have a
little taste for thisF
6ourthly the )ay of the artisan. The )ay of the carpenter is to become proficient in the use of his tools, first to lay
his plans with a true measure and then perform his wor! according to plan. Thus he passes through life. These are
the four )ays of the gentleman, the farmer, the artisan and the merchant.
Comparing the Way of the carpenter to strategy
The comparison with carpentry is through the connection with houses. (ouses of the nobility, houses of warriors,
the 6our houses, ruin of houses, thriving of houses, the style of the house, the tradition of the house, and the name
of the house. The carpenter uses a master plan of the building, and the )ay of strategy is similar in that there is a
plan of campaign. "f you want to learn the craft of war, ponder over this boo!. The teacher is as a needle, the
disciple is as thread. 8ou must practice constantly.
Ei!e the foreman carpenter, the commander must !now natural rules, and the rules of the country, and the rules of
houses. This is the )ay of the foreman.
The foreman carpenter must !now the architectural theory of towers and temples, and the plans of palaces, and must
employ men to raise up houses. The )ay of the foreman carpenter is the same as the )ay of the commander of a
warrior house.
"n the contruction of houses, choice of woods is made. traight un+!notted timber of good appearance is used for
the revealed pillars, straight timber with small defects is used for the innter pillars. Timber of the finest appearance,
even if a little wea!, is used for the thresholds, lintels, doors, and sliding doors, and so on. Cood strong timber,
though it be gnarled and !notted, can always be used discreetly in construction. Timber which is wea! or !notted
throughout should be used as scaffolding, and later for firewood.
The foreman carpenter allots his men wor! according to their ability. 6loor layers, ma!ers of sliding doors,
thresholds and lintels, ceilings and so on. Those of poor ability lay the floor ?oist, and those of lesser ability carve
wedges and do such miscellaneous wor!. "f the foreman !nows and deploys his men well the finished wor! will be
good.
The foreman should ta!e into account the abilities and limitations of his men, circulating among them and as!ing
nothing unreasonable. (e should !now their morale and spirit, and encourage them when necessary. This is the
same as the principle of strategy.
The Way of trategy
Ei!e a trooper, the carpenter sharpens his own tools. (e carries his eAuipment in his tool bo#, and wor!s under the
direction of his foreman. (e ma!es culumns and girders with an a#e, shapes floorboards and shelves with a plane,
cuts fine openwor! and carvings accurately, giving as e#cellent a finish as his s!ill will allow. This is the craft of
carpenters. )hen the carpenter becomes s!illed and understands measures he can become a foreman
The carpenter-s attainment is, having tools which will cut well, to ma!e small shrines, writing shelves, tables, paper
lanterns, chopping boards and pot+lids. These are the specialities of the carpenter. Things are similar for the trooper.
8ou ought to thin! deeply about this.
The attainment of the carpenter is that his wor! is not warped, that the ?oints are not misaligned, and that the wor! is
truly planed so that it meets well and is not merely finished in sections. This is essential.
"f you want to learn this )ay, deeply consider the things written in this boo! one at a time. 8ou must do sufficient
research.
!utline of the "i#e Books of this Book of trategy
$
The )ay is shown in five boo!s concerning different aspects. These are Cround, )ater, 6ire, Tradition 7)ind9, and
Doid.
The body of the )ay of strategy from the viewpoint of my "chi school is e#plained in the Cround boo!. "t is
difficult to realise the true )ay ?ust through sword+fencing. 4now the smallest things and the biggest things, the
shallowest things and the deepest things. .s if it were a straight road mapped out on the ground, the first boo! is
called the Cround boo!.
econd is the )ater boo!. )ith water as the basis, the spirit becomes li!e water. )ater adopts the shape of its
receptacle, it is sometimes a tric!le and sometimes a wild sea. )ater has a clear blue colour. ;y the clarity, things of
"chi school are shown in this boo!.
"f you master the principles of sword+fencing, when you freely beat one man, you beat any man in the world. The
spirit of defeating a man is the same for ten million men. The strategist ma!es small things into big things, li!e
building a great ;uddha from one foot model. " cannot write in detail how this is done. The principle of strategy is
having one thing, to !now ten thousand things. Things of "chi school are written in this the )ater boo!.
Third is the 6ire boo!. This boo! is about fighting. The spirit of fire is fierce, whether the fire be small or bigG and
so it is with battles. The )ay of battles is the same for man to man fights and for ten thousand a side battles. 8ou
must appreciate that spirit can become big or small. )hat is big is easy to perceive5 what is small is difficult to
perceive. "n short, it is difficult for large numbers of men to change position, so their movements can be easily
predicted. .n individual can easily change his mind, so his movements are difficult to predict. 8ou must appreciate
this. The essence of this boo! is that you must train day and night in order to ma!e Auic! decisions. "n strategy it is
necessary to treat training as a part of normal life with your spirit unchanging. Thus combat in battle is described in
the 6ire boo!.
6ourthly the )ind boo!. This boo! is not concerned with my "chi school but with other schools of strategy. ;y
)ind " mean old traditions, present+day traditions, and family traditions of strategy. Thus " clearly e#plain the
strategies of the world. This is tradition. "t is difficult to !now yourself if you do not !now others. To all )ays there
are side+trac!s. "f you study a )ay daily, and your spirit diverges, you may thin! you are obeying a good way, but
ob?ectively it is not the true )ay. "f you are following the true )ay and diverge a little, this will later become a large
divergence. 8ou must realise this. &ther strategies have come to be thought of as mere sword+fencing, and it is not
unreasonable that this should be so. The benefit of my strategy, although it includes sword+fencing, lies in a separate
principle. " have e#plained what is commonly meant by strategy in other schools in the Tradition 7)ind9 boo!.
6ifthly, the boo! of the Doid. ;y Doid " mean that which has no beginning and no end. .ttaining this principle
means not attaining the principle. The )ay of strategy is the )ay of nature. )hen you appreciate the power of
nature, !nowing the rhythm of any situation, you will be able to hit the enemy naturally and stri!e naturally. .ll this
is the )ay of the Doid. " intend to show how to follow the true )ay according to nature in the boo! of the Doid.
The $ame Ichi %yu $i To &!ne school ' T(o s(ords)
)arriors, both commanders and troopers, carry two swords at their belt. "n olden times these were called the long
sword and the swordG nowadays they are !nown as the sword and the companion sword. Eet it suffice to say that in
our land, whatever the reason, a warrior carries two swords at his belt. "t is the )ay of the warrior.
,'ito "chi 3yu, shows the advantage of using both swords.
The spear and halberd are weapons that are carried out of doors.
tudents of the "chi school )ay of strategy should train from the start with the sword and long sword in either hand.
This is the truth5 when you sacrifice your life, you must ma!e fullest use of your weaponry. "t is false not to do so,
and to die with a weapon yet undrawn.
"f you hold a sword with both hands, it is difficult to wield it freely to left and right, so my method is to carry the
sword in one hand. This does not apply to large weapons such as the spear or halberd, but swords and companion
swords can be carried in one hand. "t is encumbering to hold a sword in both hands when you are on horsebac!,
when running on uneven roads, on swampy ground, muddy rice fields, stony ground, or in a crowd of people. To
hold the long sword in both hands is not the true )ay, for if you carry a bow or spear or other arms in your left hand
you have only one hand free for the long sword. (owever, when it is difficult to cut an enemy down eith one hand,
you must use both hands. "t is not difficult to wield a sword in one handG the )ay to learn this is to train with two
long swords, one in each hand. "t will seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first. ;ows are difficult to
8
draw, halberds are difficult to wieldG as you become accustomed to the bow so your pull will become stronger.
)hen you become used to wielding the long sword, you will gain the power of the )ay and wield the sword well.
.s " will e#plain in the second boo!, the )ater ;oo!, there is no fast way of wielding the long sword. The long
sword should be wielded broadly, and the companion sword closely. This is the first thing to realise.
.ccording to this "chi school, you can win with a long weapon, and yet you can also win with a short weapon. "n
short, the )ay of the "chi school is the spirit of winning, whatever the weapon and whatever its si@e.
"t is better to use two swords rather than one when you are fighting a crowd and especially if you want to ta!e a
prisoner.
These things cannot be e#plained in detail. 6rom one thing, !now ten thousand things. )hen you attain the )ay of
strategy there will not be one thing you cannot see. 8ou must study hard.
The Benefit of the T(o Characters reading *trategy*
Masters of the long sword are called strategists. .s for the other military arts, those who master the bow are called
archers, those who master the spear are called spearmen, those who master the gun are called mar!smen, those who
master the halberd are called halberdiers. ;ut we do not call masters of the )ay of the long sword
,longswordsmen,, nor do we spea! of ,companionswordsmen,. ;ecause bows, guns, spears and halberds are all
warriors- eAuipment they are certainly part of strategy. To master the virtue of the long sword is to govern the world
and oneself, thus the long sword is the basis of strategy. The principle is ,strategy by means of the long sword,. "f
he attains the virtue of the long sword, one man can beat ten men. Just as one man can beat ten, so a hundred men
can beat a thousand, and a thousand men can beat ten thousand. "n my strategy, one man is the same as ten
thousand, so this strategy is the complete warrior-s craft.
The )ay of the warrior does not include other )ays, such as =onfucianism, ;uddhism, certain traditions, artistic
accomplishments and dancing. ;ut even though these are not part of the )ay, if you !now the )ay broadly you will
see it in everything. Men must polish their particular )ay.
The Benefit of Weapons in trategy
There is a time and a place for use of weapons.
The best use of the companion sword is in a confined space, or when you are engaged closely with an opponent.
The long sword can be used effectively in all situations.
The halberd is inferior to the spear on the battlefield. )ith the spear you can ta!e the initiativeG the halberd is
defensive. "n the hands of one of two men of eAual ability, the spear gives a little e#tra strength. pear and halberd
both have their uses, but neither is very beneficial in confined spaces. They cannot be used for ta!ing a prisoner.
They are essentially weapons for the field.
.nyway, if you learn ,indoor, techniAues, you will thin! narrowly and forget the true )ay. Thus you will have
difficulty in actual encounters.
The bow is tactically strong at the commencement of battle, especially battles on a moor, as it is possible to shoot
Auic!ly from among the spearmen. (owever, it is unsatisfactory in sieges, or when the enemy is more than forty
yards away. 6or this reason there are nowadays few traditional schools of archery. There is little use nowadays for
this !ind of s!ill.
6rom inside fortifications, the gun has no eAual among weapons. "t is the supreme weapon on the field before the
ran!s clash, but once swords are crossed the gun becomes useless.
&ne of the virtues of the bow is that you can see the arrows in flight and correct your aim accordingly, whereas
gunshot cannot be seen. 8ou must appreciate the importance of this.
Just as a horse must have endurance and no defects, so it is with weapons. (orses should wal! strongly, and swords
and companion swords should cut strongly. pears and halberds must stand up to heavy use5 bows and guns must be
sturdy. )eapons should be hardy rather than decorative.
8ou should not have a favourite weapon. To become over+familiar with one weapon is as much a fault as not
!nowing it sufficiently well. 8ou should not copy others, but use weapons which you can handle properly. "t is bad
for commanders and troops to have li!es and disli!es. These are things you must learn thoroughly.
Timing in strategy
There is timing in everything. Timing in strategy cannot be mastered without a great deal of practice.
/
Timing is important in dancing and pipe or string music, for they are in rhythm only if timing is good. Timing and
rhythm are also involved in the military arts, shooting bows and guns, and riding horses. "n all s!ills and abilities
there is timing.
There is also timing in the Doid.
There is timing in the whole life of the warrior, in his thriving and declining, in his harmony and discord. imilarly,
there is timing in the )ay of the merchant, in the rise and fall of capital. .ll things entail rising and falling timing.
8ou must be able to discern this. "n strategy there are various timing considerations. 6rom the outset you must !now
the applicable timing and the inapplicable timing, and from among the large and small things and the fast and slow
timings find the relevant timing, first seeing the distance timing and the bac!ground timing. This is the main thing
in strategy. "t is especially important to !now the bac!ground timing, otherwise your strategy will become uncertain.
8ou win in battles with the timing in the Doid born of the timing of cunning by !nowing the enemies- timing, and
this using a timing which the enemy does not e#pect.
.ll the five boo!s are chiefly concerned with timing. 8ou must train sufficiently to appreciate all this.
"f you practise day and night in the above "chi school strategy, your spirit will naturally broaden. Thus is large scale
strategy and the strategy of hand to hand combat propagated in the world. This is recorded for the first time in the
five boo!s of Cround, )ater, 6ire, Tradition 7)ind9, and Doid. This is the )ay for men who want to learn my
strategy5
• :o not thin! dishonestly.
• The )ay is in training.
• ;ecome aAuainted with every art.
• 4now the )ays of all professions.
• :istinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters.
• :evelop intuitive ?udgement and understanding for everything.
• >erceive those things which cannot be seen.
• >ay attention even to trifles.
• :o nothing which is of no use.
"t is important to start by setting these broad principles in your heart, and train in the )ay of strategy. "f you do not
loo! at things on a large scale it will be difficult for you to master strategy. "f you learn and attain this strategy you
will never lose even to twenty or thirty enemies. More than anything to start with you must set your heart on
strategy and earnestly stic! to the )ay. 8ou will come to be able to actually beat men in fights, and to be able to win
with your eye. .lso by training you will be able to freely control your own body, conAuer men with your body, and
with sufficient training you will be able to beat ten men with your spirit. )hen you have reached this point, will it
not mean that you are invincibleF
Moreover, in large scale strategy the superior man will manage many subordinates de#trously, bear himself
correctly, govern the country and foster the people, thus preserving the ruler-s discipline. "f there is a )ay involving
the spirit of not being defeated, to help oneself and gain honour, it is the )ay of strategy.
The second year of hoho 710459, the fifth month, the twelfth day.
Teruo Magono?o for ("'M2' MB.("
The Water Book
The spirit of the 'i Ten "chi school of strategy is based on water, and this )ater ;oo! e#plains methods of victory
as the long+sword form of the "chi school. Eanguage does not e#tend to e#plaining the )ay in detail, but it can be
grasped intuitively. tudy this boo!G read a word then ponder on it. "f you interpret the meaning loosely you will
mista!e the )ay.
The principles of strategy are written down here in terms of single combat, but you must thin! broadly so that you
attain an understanding for ten+thousand+a+side battles.
trategy is different from other things in that if you mista!e the )ay even a little you will become bewildered and
fall into bad ways.
11
"f you merely read this boo! you will not reach the )ay of strategy. .bsorb the things written in this boo!. :o not
?ust read, memorise or imitate, but so that you realise the principle from within your own heart study hard to absorb
these things into your body.
piritual Bearing in trategy
"n strategy your spiritual bearing must not be any different from normal. ;oth in fighting and in everyday life you
should be determined though calm. Meet the situation without tenseness yet not rec!lessly, your spirit settled yet
unbiased. 2ven when your spirit is calm do not let your body rela#, and when your body is rela#ed do not let your
spirit slac!en. :o not let your spirit be influenced by your body, or your body influenced by your spirit. ;e neither
insufficiently spirited nor over spirited. .n elevated spirit is wea! and a low spirit is wea!. :o not let the enemy see
your spirit.
mall people must be completely familiar with the spirit of large people, and large people must be familiar with the
spirit of small people. )hatever your si@e, do not be misled by the reactions of your own body. )ith your spirit
open and unconstricted, loo! at things from a high point of view. 8ou must cultivate your wisdom and spirit. >olish
your wisdom5 learn public ?ustice, distinguish between good and evil, study the )ays of different arts one by one.
)hen you cannot be deceived by men you will have realised the wisdom of strategy.
The wisdom of strategy is different from other things. &n othe battlefield, even when you are hard+pressed, you
should ceaselessly research the principles of strategy so that you can develop a steady spirit.
tance in trategy
.dopt a stance with the head erect, neither hanging down, nor loo!ing up, nor twisted. 8our forehead and the space
between your eyes should not be wrin!led. :o not roll your eyes nor allow them to blin!, but slightly narrow them.
)ith your features composed, !eep the line of your nose straight with a feeling of slightly flaring your nostrils.
(old the line of the rear of the nec! straight5 instil vigour into your hairline, and in the same way from the shoulders
down through your entire body. Eower both shoulders and, without the buttoc!s ?utting out, put strength into your
legs from the !nees to the tops of your toes. ;race your abdomen so that you do not bend at the hips. )edge your
companion sword in your belt against your abdomen, so that your belt is not slac! + this is called ,wedging in,.
"n all forms of strategy, it is necessary to maintain the combat stance in everyday life and to ma!e your everyday
stance your combat stance. 8ou must research this well.
The Ga+e in trategy
The ga@e should be large and broad. This is the twofold ga@e ,>erception and ight,. >erception is strong and sight
wea!.
"n strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to ta!e a distanced view of close things. "t is
important in strategy to !now the enemy-s sword and not to be distracted by insignificant movements of his sword.
8ou must study this. The ga@e is the same for single combat and for large+scale combat.
"t is necessary in strategy to be able to loo! to both sides without moving the eyeballs. 8ou cannot master this
ability Auic!ly. Eearn what is written here5 use this ga@e in everyday life and do not vary it whatever happens.
,olding the -ong (ord
Crip the long sword with a rather floating feeling in your thumb and forefinger, with the middle finger neither tight
nor slac!, and with the last two fingers tight. "t is bad to have play in your hands.
)hen you ta!e up a sword, you must feel intent on cutting the enemy. .s you cut an enemy you must not change
your grip, and your hands must not ,cower,. )hen you dash the enemy-s sword aside, or ward it off, or force it
down, you must slightly change the feeling in your thumb and forefinger. .bove all, you must be intent on cutting
the enemy in the way you grip the sword.
The grip for combat and for sword+testing is the same. There is no such thing as a ,man+cutting grip,.
Cenerally, " disli!e fi#edness in both long swords and hands. 6i#edness means a dead hand. >liability is a living
hand. 8ou must bear this in mind.
"oot(ork
)ith the tips of your toes somewhat floating, tread firmly with your heels. )hether you move fast or slow, with
large or small steps, your feet must always move as in normal wal!ing. " disli!e the three wal!ing methods !nown
as ,?umping+foot,, ,floating+foot, and ,fi#ed+steps,.
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o+called ,8in+8ang foot, is important to the )ay. 8in+8ang foot means not moving only one foot. "t means
moving your feet left+right and right+left when cutting, withdrawing, or warding off a cut. 8ou should not move one
foot preferentially.
The "i#e .ttitudes
The five attitudes are5 Bpper, Middle, Eower, 3ight ide, and Eeft ide. These are the five. .lthough attitude has
these five dimensions, the one purpose of all of them is to cut the enemy. There are none but these five attitudes.
)hatever attitude you are in, do not be conscious of ma!ing the attitudeG thin! only of cutting.
8our attitude should be large or small according to the situation. Bpper, Eower and Middle attitudes are decisive.
Eeft ide and 3ight ide attitudes are fluid. Eeft and 3ight attitudes should be used if there is an obstruction
overhead or to one side. The decision to use Eeft or 3ight depends on the place.
The essence of the )ay is this. To understand attitude you must thoroughly understand the Middle attitude. The
Middle attitude is the heart of the attitudes. "f we loo! at strategy on a broad scale, the Middle attitude is the seat of
the commander, with the other four attitudes following the commander. 8ou must appreciate this.
The Way of the -ong (ord
4nowing the )ay of the long sword means we can wield with two fingers the sword that we usually carry. "f we
!now the path of the sword well, we can wield it easily.
"f you try to wield the long sword Auic!ly you will mista!e the )ay. To wield the long sword well you must wield it
calmly. "f you try to wield it Auic!ly, li!e a folding fan or a short sword, you will err by using ,short sword
chopping,. 8ou cannot cut a man with a long sword using this method.
)hen you have cut downwards with the long sword, lift it straight upwards, when you cut sideways, return the
sword along a sideways path. 3eturn the sword in a reasonable way, always stretching the elbows broadly. )ield the
sword strongly. This is the )ay of the long sword.
"f you learn to use the five approaches of my strategy, you will be able to wield a sword well. 8ou must train
constantly.
The "i#e .pproaches
• The first approach is the Middle attitude. =onfront the enemy with the point of your sword against his
face. )hen he attac!s, dash his sword to the right and ,ride, it. &r, when the enemy attac!s, deflect the point of
his sword by hitting downwards, !eep your long sword where it is, and as the enemy renews the attac! cut his
arms from below. This is the first method.
• The five approaches are this !ind of thing. 8ou must train repeatedly using a long sword in order to
learn them. )hen you master my )ay of the long sword, you will be able to control any attac! the enemy
ma!es. " assure you, there are no attitudes other than the five attitudes of the long sword of 'iTo.
• "n the second approach with the long sword, from the Bpper attitude cut the enemy ?ust as he attac!s.
"f the enemy evades the cut, !eep your sword where it is and, scooping from below, cut him as he renews the
attac!. "t is possible to repeat the cut from here.
• "n this method there are various changes in timing and spirit. 8ou will be able to understand this by
training in the "chi school. 8ou will always win with the five long sword methods. 8ou must train repeatedly.
• "n the third approach, adopt the Eower attitude, anticipating scooping up. )hen the enemy attac!es, hit
his hands from below. .s you do so, he may try to hit your sword down. "f this is the case, cut his upper arm7s9
hori@ontally with a feeling of ,crossing,. This means that from the Eower attitudes you hit the enemy at the
instant that he attac!s.
• 8ou will encounter this method often, both as a beginner and in later strategy. 8ou must train holding a
long sword.
• "n this fourth approach, adopt the Eeft ide attitude. .s the enemy attac!s, hit his hands from below. "f
as you hit his hands he attempts to dash down your sword, with the feeling of hitting his hands, parry the path of
his long sword and cut across from above your shoulder.
• This is the )ay of the long sword. Through this method you win by parrying the line of the enemy-s
attac!. 8ou must study this.
1*
• "n the fifth approach, the sword is in the 3ight ide attitude. "n accordance with the enemy-s attac!,
cross your sword from below at the side to the Bpper attitude. Then cut straight from above.
• This method is essential for !nowing the )ay of the long sword well. "f you can use this method, you
can freely wield a heavy long sword.
" cannot describe in detail how to use these five approaches. 8ou must become well acAuainted with my ,in
harmony with the long sword, )ay, learn large+scale timing, understand the enemy-s long sword, and become used
to the five approaches from the outset. 8ou will always win by using these five methods, with various timing
considerations discerning the enemy-s spirit. 8ou must consider all this carefully.
The *.ttitude $o'.ttitude* Teaching
,.ttitude 'o+.ttitude, means that there is no need for what are !nown as long sword attitudes.
2ven so, attitudes e#ist as the five ways of holding the long sword. (owever you hold the sword it must be in such a
way that it is easy to cut the enemy well, in accordance with the situation, the place, and your relation to the enemy.
6rom the Bpper attitude as your spirit lessens you can adopt the Middle attitude, and from the Middle attitude you
can raise the sword a little in your techniAue and adopt the Bpper attitude. 6rom the Eower attitude you can raise the
sword a little and adopt the Middle attitudes as the occasion demands. .ccording to the situation, if you turn your
sword from either the Eeft ide or 3ight ide attitude towards the centre, the Middle or the Eower attitude results.
The principle of this is called ,2#isting .ttitude + 'one#isting .ttitude,.
The primary thing when you ta!e a sword in your hands is your intention to cut the enemy, whatever the means.
)henever you parry, hit, spring, stri!e or touch the enemy-s cutting sword, you must cut the enemy in the same
movement. "t is essential to attain this. "f you thin! only of hitting, springing, stri!ing or touching the enemy, you
will not be able actually to cut him. More than anything, you must be thin!ing of carrying your movement through
to cutting him. 8ou must thoroughly research this.
.ttitude in strategy on a larger scale is called ,;attle .rray,. uch attitudes are all for winning battles. 6i#ed
formation is bad. tudy this well.
To ,it the /nemy *In !ne Timing*
,"n &ne Timing, means, when you have closed with the enemy, to hit him as Auic!ly and directly as possible,
without moving your body or settling your spirit, while you see that he is still undecided. The timing of hitting
before the enemy decides to withdraw, brea! or hit, is this ,"n &ne Timing,.
8ou must train to achieve this timing, to be able to hit in the timing of an instant.
The *.0domen Timing of T(o*
)hen you attac! and the enemy Auic!ly retreats, as you see him tense you must feint a cut. Then, as he rela#es,
follow up and hit him. This is the ,.bdomen Timing of Two,.
"t is very difficult to attain this merely by reading this boo!, but you will soon understand with a little instruction.
$o 1esign2 $o Conception
"n this method, when the enemy attac!s and you decide to attac!, hit with your body, and hit with your spirit, and hit
from the Doid with your hands, accelerating strongly. This is the ,'o :esign, 'o =onception, cut.
This is the most important method of hitting. "t is often used. 8ou must train hard to understand it.
The "lo(ing Water Cut
The ,6lowing )ater =ut, is used when you are struggling blade to blade with the enemy. )hen he brea!s and
Auic!ly withdraws trying to spring with his long sword, e#pand your body and spirit and cut him as slowly as
possible with your long sword, following your body li!e stagnant water. 8ou can cut with certainty if you learn this.
8ou must discern the enemy-s grade.
The "ire and tones Cut
The 6ires and tones =ut means that when the enemy-s long sword and your long sword clash together you cut as
strongly as possible without raising the sword even a little. This means cutting Auic!ly with the hands, body and
legs + all three cutting strongly. "f you train well enough you will be able to stri!e strongly.
The %ed -ea#es Cut
1%
The 3ed Eeaves =ut means !noc!ing down the enemy-s long sword. The spirit should be getting control of his
sword. )hen the enemy is in a long sword attitude in front of you and intent on cutting, hitting and parrying, you
strongly hit the enemy-s sword with the 6ire and tones =ut, perhaps in the design of the ,'o :esign, 'o
=onception, =ut. "f you then beat down the point of his sword with a stic!y feeling, he will necessarily drop the
sword. "f you practise this cut it becomes easy to ma!e the enemy drop his sword. 8ou must train repetitively.
The Body in 3lace of the -ong (ord
.lso ,the long sword in place of the body,. Bsually we move the body and the sword at the same time to cut the
enemy. (owever, according to the enemy-s cutting method, you can dash against him with your body first, and
afterwards cut with the sword. "f his body is immoveable, you can cut first with the long sword, but generally you
hit first with the body and then cut with the long sword. 8ou must research this well and practise hitting.
Cut and lash
To cut and slash are two different things. =utting, whatever form of cutting it is, is decisive, with a resolute spirit.
lashing is nothing more than touching the enemy. 2ven if you slash strongly, and even if the enemy dies instantly,
it is slashing. )hen you cut, your spirit is resolved. 8ou must appreciate this. "f you first slash the enemy-s hands or
legs, you must then cut strongly. lashing is in spirit the same as touching. )hen you realise this, they become
indistinguishable. Eearn this well.
Chinese Monkey's Body
The =hinese Mon!ey-s ;ody is the spirit of not stretching out your arms. The spirit is to get in Auic!ly, without in
the least e#tending your arms, before the enemy cuts. "f you are intent upon not stretching out your arms you are
effectively far away, the spirit is to go in with your whole body. )hen you come to within arm-s reach it becomes
easy to move your body in. 8ou must research this well.
Glue and -ac4uer /mulsion Body
The spirit of ,Clue and EacAuer 2mulsion ;ody, is to stic! to the enemy and not separate from him. )hen you
approach the enemy, stic! firmly with your head, body and legs. >eople tend to advance their head and legs Auic!ly,
but their body lags behind. 8ou should stic! firmly so that there is not the slightest gap between the enemy-s body
and your body. 8ou must consider this carefully.
To tri#e for ,eight
;y ,to strive for height, is meant, when you close with the enemy, to strive with him for superior height without
cringing. tretch your legs, stretch your hips, and stretch your nec! face to face with him. )hen you thin! you have
won, and you are the higher, thrust in strongly. 8ou must learn this.
To .pply tickiness
)hen the enemy attac!s and you also attac! with the long sword, you should go in with a stic!y feeling and fi#
your long sword against the enemy-s as you receive his cut. The spirit of stic!iness is not hitting very strongly, but
hitting so that the long swords do not separate easily. "t is best to approach as calmly as possible when hitting the
enemy-s long sword with stic!iness. The difference between ,tic!iness, and ,2ntanglement, is that stic!iness is
firm and entanglement is wea!. 8ou must appreciate this.
The Body trike
The ;ody tri!e means to approach the enemy through a gap in his guard. The spirit is to stri!e him with your body.
Turn your face a little aside and stri!e the enemy-s breast with your left shoulder thrust out. .pproach with a spirit
of bouncing the enemy away, stri!ing as strongly as possible in time with your breathing. "f you achieve this method
of closing with the enemy, you will be able to !noc! him ten or twenty feet away. "t is possible to stri!e the enemy
until he is dead. Train well.
Three Ways to 3arry ,is .ttack
There are three methods to parry a cut5
6irst, by dashing the enemy-s long sword to your right, as if thrusting at his eyes, when he ma!es an attac!.
&r, to parry by thrusting the enemy-s long sword towards his right eye with the feeling of snipping his nec!.
&r, when you have a short ,long sword,, without worrying about parrying the enemy-s long sword, to close with
him Auic!ly, thrusting at his face with your left hand.
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These are the three ways of parrying. 8ou must bear in mind that you can always clench your left hand and thrust at
the enemy-s face with your fist. 6or this it is necessary to train well.
To ta0 at the "ace
To stab at the face means, when you are in controntation with the enemy, that your spirit is intent on stabbing at his
face, following the line of the blades with the point of your long sword. "f you are intent on stabbling at his face, his
face and body will become ridable. )hen the enemy becomes rideable, there are various opportunities for winning.
8ou must concentrate on this. )hen fighting and the enemy-s body becomes as if rideable, you can win Auic!ly, so
you ought not to forget to stab at the face. 8ou must persue the value of this techniAue through training.
To ta0 at the ,eart
To stab at the heart means, when fighting and there are obstructions above or to the sides, and whenever it is
difficult to cut, to thrust at the enemy. 8ou must stab the enemy-s breast without letting the point of your long sword
waver, showing the enemy the ridge of the blade sAuare+on, and with the spirit of deflecting his long sword. The
spirit of this principle is often useful when we become tired or for some reason our long sword will not cut. 8ou
must understand the application of this method.
To cold *Tut'T5T6*
,cold, means that, when the enemy tries to counter+cut as you attac!, you counter+cut again from below as if
thrusting at him, trying to hold him down. )ith very Auic! timing you cut, scolding the enemy. Thrust up, ,TutH,,
and cut ,TBTH, This timing is encountered time and time again in e#changes of blows. The way to scold Tut+TBT is
to time the cut simultaneously with raising your long sword as if to thrust the enemy. 8ou must learn this through
repetitive practice.
The macking 3arry
;y ,smac!ing parry, is meant that when you clash swords with the enemy, you meet his attac!ing cut on your long
sword with a tee-dum, tee-dum rhythm, smac!ing his sword and cutting him. The spirit of the smac!ing parry is not
parrying, or smac!ing strongly, but smac!ing the enemy-s long sword in accordance with his attac!ing cut,
primarily intent on Auic!ly cutting him. "f you understand the timing of smac!ing, however hard your long swords
clash together, your swordpoint will not be !noc!ed bac! even a little. 8ou must research sufficiently to realise this.
There are Many /nemies
,There are many enemies, applies when you are fighting one against many. :raw both sword and companion sword
and assume a wide+stretched left and right attitude. The spirit is to chase the enemies around from side to side, even
though they come from all four directions. &bserve their attac!ing order, and go to meet first those who attac! first.
weep your eyes around broadly, carefully e#amining the attac!ing order, and cut left and right alternately with
your swords. )aiting is bad. .lways Auic!ly re+assume your attitudes to both sides, cut the enemies down as they
advance, crushing them in the direction from which they attac!. )hatever you do, you must drive the enemy
together, as if tying a line of fishes, and when they are seen to be piled up, cut them down strongly without giving
them room to move.
The .d#antage (hen coming to Blo(s
8ou can !now how to win through strategy with the long sword, but it cannot be clearly e#plained in writing. 8ou
must practise diligently in order to understand how to win.
&ral tradition5,The true )ay of strategy is revealed in the long sword.,
!ne Cut
8ou can with with certainty with the spirit of ,one cut,. "t is difficult to attain this if you do not learn strategy well.
"f you train well in this )ay, strategy will come from your heart and you will be able to win at will. 8ou must train
diligently.
1irect Communication
The spirit of ,:irect =ommunication, is how the true )ay of the 'iTo "chi school is received and handed down.
&ral tradition5 ,Teach your body strategy.,
3ecorded in the above boo! is an outline of "chi school sword fighting.
15
To learn how to win with the long sword in strategy, first learn the five approaches and the five attitudes, and absorb
the )ay of the long sword naturally in your body. 8ou must understand spirit and timing, handle the long sword
naturally, and move body and legs in harmony with your spirit. )hether beating one man or two, you will then
!now values in strategy.
tudy the contents of this boo!, ta!ing one item at a time, and through fighting with enemies you will gradually
come to !now the principle of the )ay.
:eliberately, with a patient spirit, absorb the virtue of all this, from time to time raising your hand in combat.
Maintain this spirit whenever you cross swords with an enemy.
tep by step wal! the thousand+mile road.
tudy strategy over the years and achieve the spirit of the warrior. Today is victory over yourself of yesterdayG
tomorrow is your victory over lesser men. 'e#t, in order to beat more s!ilful men, train according to this boo!, not
allowing your heart to be swayed along a side+trac!. 2ven if you !ill an enemy, if it is not based on what you have
learned it is not the true )ay.
"f you attain this )ay of victory, then you will be able to beat several tens of men. )hat remains is sword+fighting
ability, which you can attain in battles and duels.
The econd 8ear of hoho, the twelfth day of the fifth month 710459
Teruo Magono?o for ("'M2' MB.("
The "ire Book
"n this the 6ire ;oo! of the 'iTo "chi school of strategy " describe fighting as fire.
"n the first place, people thin! narrowly about the benefit of strategy. ;y using only their fingertips, they only !now
the benefit of three of the five inches of the wrist. They let a contest be decided, as with the folding fan, merely be
the span of their forearms. They specialise in the small matter of de#terity, learning such trifles as hand and leg
movements with the bamboo practise sword.
"n my strategy, the training for !illing enemies is by way of many contests, fighting for survival, discovering the
meaning of life and death, learning the )ay of the sword, ?udging the strength of attac!s and understanding the )ay
of the ,edge and ridge, of the sword.
8ou cannot profit from small techniAues particularly when full armor is worn. My )ay of strategy is the sure
method to win when fighting for your life one man against five or ten. There is nothing wrong with the principle
,one man can beat ten, so a thousand men can beat ten thousand,. 8ou must research this. &f course you cannot
assemble a thousand or ten thousand men for everyday training. ;ut you can become a master of strategy by
training alone with a sword, so that you can understand the enemy-s strategies, his strength and resources, and come
to appreciate how to apply strategy to beat ten thousand enemies.
.ny man who wants to master the essence of my strategy must research diligently, training morning and evening.
Thus can he polish his s!ill, become free from self, and realise e#trordinary ability. (e will come to posess
miraculous power.
This is the practical result of strategy.
1epending on the 3lace
2#amine your environment
tand in the sunG that is, ta!e up an attitude with the sun behind you. "f the situation does not allow this, yo umust
try to !eep the sun on your right side. "n buildings, you must stand with the entrance behind you or to your right.
Ma!e sure that your rear is unobstructed, and that there is free space on your left, your right side being occupied
with your sword attitude. .t night, if the enemy can be seen, !eep the fire behind you and the entrance to your right,
and otherwise ta!e up your attitude as above. 8ou must loo! down on the enemy, and ta!e up your attitude on
slightly higher places. 6or e#ample, the 4ami@a in a house is thought of as a high place.
)hen the fight comes, always endeavour to chase the enemy around to your left side. =hase him towards aw!ward
places, and try to !eep him with his bac! to aw!ward places. )hen the enemy gets into an inconvenient position, do
not let him loo! around, but conscientiously chase him around and pin him down. "n houses, chase the enemy into
the thresholds, lintels, doors, verandas, pillars, and so on, again not letting him see his situation.
10
.lways chase the enemy into bad footholds, obstacles at the side, and so on, using the virtues of the place to
establish predominant positions from which to fight. 8ou must research and train diligently in this.
The Three Methods to "orestall the /nemy
The first is to forestall him by attac!ing. This is called Ken No Sen 7to set him up9.
.nother method is to forestall him as he attac!s. This is called Tai No Sen 7to wait for the initiative9.
The other method is when you and the enemy attac! together. This is called Tai Tai No Sen 7to accompany him and
forestall him9.
There are no methods of ta!ing the lead other than these three. ;ecause you can win Auic!ly by ta!ing the lead, it is
one of the most important things in strategy. There are several things involved in ta!ing the lead. 8ou must ma!e the
best of the situation, see through the enemy-s spirit so that you grasp his strategy and defeat him. "t is impossible to
write about this in detail.
The "irst ' Ken $o en
)hen you decide to attac!, !eep calm and dash in Auic!ly, forestalling the enemy. &r you can advance seemingly
strongly but with a reserved spirit, forestalling him with the reserve.
.lternately, advance with as strong a spirit as possible, and when you reach the enemy move with your feet a little
Auic!er than normal, unsettling him and overwhelming him sharply.
&r, with your spirit calm, attac! with a feeling of constantly crushing the enemy, from first to last. The spirit is to
win in the depths of the enemy.
These are all Ken No Sen.
The econd ' Tai $o en
)hen the enemy attac!s, remain undisturbed but feign wea!ness. .s the enemy reaches you, suddenly move away
indicating that you intend to ?ump aside, then dash in attac!ing strongly as soon as you see the enemy rela#. This is
one way.
&r, as the enemy attac!s, attac! more strongly, ta!ing advantage of the resulting disorder in his timing to win.
This is the Tai No Sen principle.
The Third ' Tai Tai $o en
)hen the enemy ma!es a Auic! attac!, you must attac! strongly and calmly, aim for his wea! point as he draws
near, and strongly defeat him.
&r, if the enemy attac!s calmly, you must observe his movement and, with your body rather floating, ?oin in with
his movements as he draws near. Move Auic!ly and cut him strongly.
This is Tai Tai No Sen
These things cannot be clearly e#plained in words. 8ou must research what is written here. "n these three ways of
forestalling, you must ?udge the situation. This does not mean that you always attac! firstG but if the enemy attac!s
first you can lead him around. "n strategy, you have effectively won when you forestall the enemy, so you must train
well to attain this.
To ,old 1o(n a 3illo(
To (old :own a >illow means not allowing the enemy-s head to rise.
"n contests of stategy it is bad to be led about by the enemy. 8ou must always be able to lead the enemy about.
&bviously the enemy will also be thin!ing of doing this, but he cannot forestall you if you do not allow him to come
out. "n strategy, you must stop the enemy as he attempts to cutG you must push down his thrust, and throw off his
hold when he tries to grapple. This is the meaning of ,to hold down a pillow,. )hen you have grasped this
principle, whatever the enemy tries to bring about in the fight you will see in advance and suppress it. The spirit is
to chec! his attac! at the syllable ,at...,, when he ?umps chec! his advance at the syllable ,?u...,, and chec! his cut at
,cu...,.
The important thing in strategy is to suppress the enemy-s useful actions but allow his useless actions. (owever,
doing this alone is defensive. 6irst, you must act according to the )ay, suppress the enemy-s techniAues, foiling his
plans, and thence command him directly. )hen you can do this you will be a master of strategy. 8ou must train well
and research ,holding down a pillow,.
1$
Crossing at a "ord
,=rossing at a ford, means, for e#ample, crossing the sea at a strait, or crossing over a hundred miles of broad sea at
a crossing place. " believe this ,crossing at a ford, occurs often in a man-s lifetime. "t means setting sail even though
your friends stay in harbour, !nowing the route, !nowing the soundness of your ship and the favour of the day.
)hen all the conditions are met, and there is perhaps a favourable wind, or a tailwind, then set sail. "f the wind
changes within a few miles of your destination, you must row across the remaining distance without sail.
"f you attain this spirit, it applies to everyday life. 8ou must always thin! of crossing at a ford.
"n strategy also it is important to ,cross at a ford,. :iscern the enemy-s capability and, !nowing your own strong
points, ,cross the ford, at the advantageous place, as a good captain crosses a sea route. "f you succeed in crossing
at the best place, you may ta!e your ease. To cross at a ford means to attac! the enemy-s wea! point, and to put
yourself in an advantageous position. This is how to win in large+scale strategy. The spirit of crossing at a ford is
necessary in both large+ and small+scale strategy.
8ou must research this well.
To Kno( the Times
,To !now the times, means to !now the enemy-s disposition in battle. "s is flourishing or waningF ;y observing the
spirit of the enemy-s men and getting the best position, you can wor! out the enemy-s disposition and move your
men accordingly. 8ou can win through this principle of strategy, fighting from a position of advantage.
)hen in a duel, you must forestall the enemy and attac! when you have first recognised his school of strategy,
perceived his Auality and his strong and wea! points. .ttac! in an unsuspected manner, !nowing his metre and
modulation and the appropriate timing.
4nowing the times means, if your ability is high, seeing right into things. "f you are thoroughly conversant with
strategy, you will recognise the enemy-s intentions and thus have many opportunities to win. 8ou must sufficiently
study this.
To Tread 1o(n the (ord
,To tread down the sword, is a principle often used in strategy. 6irst, in large+scale strategy, when the enemy first
discharges bows and guns and then attac!s, it is difficult for us to attac! if we are busy loading powder into our
guns or notching our arrows. The spirit is to attac! Auic!ly while the enemy is still shooting with bows or guns. The
spirit is to win by ,treading down, as we receive the enemy-s attac!.
"n single combat, we cannot get a decisive victory by cutting, with a ,tee+dum tee+dum, feeling, in the wa!e of the
enemy-s attac!ing long sword. )e must defeat him at the start of his attac!, in the spirit of treading him down with
the feet, so that he cannot rise again to the attac!.
,Treading, does not simply mean treading with the feet. Tread with the body, tread with the spirit, and, of course,
tread and cut with the long sword. 8ou must achieve the spirit of not allowing the enemy to attac! a second time.
This is the spirit of forestalling in every sense. &nce at the enemy, you should not aspire ?ust to stri!e him, but to
cling after the attac!. 8ou must study this deeply.
To Kno( *Collapse*
2verything can collapse. (ouses, bodies, and enemies collapse when their rhythm becomes deranged.
"n large+scale strategy, when the enemy starts to collapse you must persue him without letting the chance go. "f you
fail to ta!e advantage of your enemies- collapse, they may recover.
"n single combat, the enemy sometimes loses timing and collapses. "f you let this opportunity pass, he may recover
and not be so negligent thereafter. 6i# your eye on the enemy-s collapse, and chase him, attac!ing so that you do not
let him recover. 8ou must do this. The chasing attac! is with a strong spirit. 8ou must utterly cut the enemy down so
that he does not recover his position. 8ou must understand utterly how to cut down the enemy.
To Become the /nemy
,To become the enemy, means to thin! yourself into the enemy-s position. "n the world people tend to thin! of a
robber trapped in a house as a fortified enemy. (owever, if we thin! of ,becoming the enemy,, we feel that the
whole world is against us and that there is no escape. (e who is shut inside is a pheasant. (e who enters to arrest is
a haw!. 8ou must appreciate this.
18
"n large+scale strategy, people are always under the impression that the enemy is strong, and so tend to become
cautious. ;ut if you have good soldiers, and if you understand the principles of strategy, and if you !now how to
beat the enemy, there is nothing to worry about.
"n single combat also you must put yourself in the enemy-s position. "f you thin!, ,(ere is a master of the )ay, who
!nows the principles of strategy,, then you will surely lose. 8ou must consider this deeply.
To %elease "our ,ands
,To release four hands, is used when you and the enemy are contending with the same spirit, and the issue cannot
be decided. .bandon this spirit and win through an alternative resource.
"n large+scale strategy, when there is a ,four hands, spirit, do not give up + it is man-s e#istence. "mmediately throw
away this spirit and win with a rechniAue the enemy does not e#pect.
"n single combat also, when we thin! we have fallen into the ,four hands, situation, we must defeat the enemy by
changing our mind and applying a suitable techniAue according to his condition. 8ou must be able to ?udge this.
To Mo#e the hade
,To move the shade, is used when you cannot see the enemy-s spirit.
"n large+scale strategy, when you cannot see the enemy-s position, indicate that you are about to attac! strongly, to
discover his resources. "t is easy then to defeat hin with a different method once you see his resources.
"n single combat, if the enemy ta!es up a rear or side attitude of the long sword so that you cannot see his intention,
ma!e a feint attac!, and the enemy will show his long sword, thin!ing he sees your spirit. ;enefiting from what you
are shown, you can win with certainty. "f you are negligent you will miss the timing. 3esearch this well.
To ,old 1o(n a hado(
,(olding down a shadow, is used when can see the enemy-s attac!ing spirit.
"n large+scale strategy, when the enemy embar!s on an attac!, if you ma!e a show of strongly suppressing his
techniAue, he will change his mind. Then, altering your spirit, defeat him by forestalling him with a Doid spirit.
&r, in single combat, hold down the enemy-s strong intention with a suitable timing, and defeat him by forestalling
him with this timing. 8ou must study this well.
To 3ass !n
Many things are said to be passed on. leepiness can be passed on, and yawning canbe passed on. Time can be
passed on also.
"n large+scale strategy, when the enemy is agitated and shows an inclination to rush, do not mind in the least. Ma!e
a show of complete calmness, and the enemy will be ta!en by this and will become rela#ed. )hen you see that this
spirit has been passed on, you can bring about the enemy-s defeat by attac!ing strongly with a Doid spirit.
"n single combat, you can win by rela#ing your body and spirit and then, catching on the moment the enemy
rela#es, attac! strongly and Auic!ly, forestalling him.
)hat is !nown as ,getting someone drun!, is similar to this. 8ou can also infect the enemy with a bored, careless,
or wea! spirit. 8ou must study this well.
To Cause -oss of Balance
Many things can cause a loss of balance. &ne cause is danger, another is hardship, and another is surprise. 8ou must
research this.
"n large+scale strategy it is important to cause loss of balance. .ttac! without warning where the enemy is not
e#pecting it, and while his spirit is undecided follow up your advantage and, having the lead, defeat him.
&r, in single combat, start by ma!ing a show of being slow, then suddenly attac! strongly. )ithout allowing him
space for breath to recover from the fluctuation of spirit, you must grasp the opportunity to win. Cet the feel of this.
To "righten
6right often occurs, caused by the une#pected.
"n large+scale strategy you can frighten the enemy not by what you present to their eyes, but by shouting, ma!ing a
small force seem large, or by threatening them from the flan! without warning. These things all frighten. 8ou can
win by ma!ing best use of the enemy-s frightened rhythm.
1/
"n single combat, also, you must use the advantage of ta!ing the enemy unawares by frightening him with your
body, long sword, or voice, to defeat him. 8ou should research this well.
To oak In
)hen you have come to grips and are striving together with the enemy, and you realise that you cannot advance,
you ,soa! in, and become one with the enemy. 8ou can win by applying a suitable techniAue while you are
mutually entangled.
"n battles involving large numbers as well as in fights with small numbers, you can often win decisively with the
advantage of !nowing how to ,soa!, into the enemy, whereas, were you to draw apart, you would lise the chance to
win. 3esearch this well.
To In7ure the Corners
"t is difficult to move strong things by pushing directly, so you should ,in?ure the corners,.
"n large+scale strategy, it is beneficial to stri!e at the corners of the enemy-s force, "f the corners are overthrown, the
spirit of the whole body will be overthrown. To defeat the enemy you must follow up the attac! when the corners
have fallen.
"n single combat, it is easy to win once the enemy collapses. This happens when you in?ure the ,corners, of his
body, and this wea!en him. "t is important to !now how to do this, so you must research this deeply.
To Thro( into Confusion
This means ma!ing the enemy lose resolve.
"n large+scale strategy we can use our troops to confuse the enemy on the field. &bserving the enemy-s spirit, we can
ma!e him thin!, ,(ereF ThereF Ei!e thatF Ei!e thisF lowF 6astF, Dictory is certain when the enemy is caught up in
a rhythm that confuses his spirit.
"n single combat, we can confuse the enemy by attac!ing with varied techniAues when the chance arises. 6eint a
thrust or cut, or ma!e the enemy thing you are going close to him, and when he is confused you can easily win.
This is the essence of fighting, and you must research it deeply.
The Three houts
The three shouts are divided thus5 before, during and after. hout according to the situation. The voice is a thing of
life. )e shout against fires and so on, against the wind and the waves. The voice shows energy.
"n large+scale strategy, at the start of battle we shout as loudly as possible. :uring the fight, the voice is low+pitched,
shouting out as we attac!. .fter the contest, we shout in the wa!e of our victory. These are the three shouts.
"n single combat, we ma!e as if to cut and shout ,2iH, at the same time to disturb the enemy, then in the wa!e of our
shout we cut with the long sword. )e shout after we have cut down the enemy + this is to announce victory. This is
called ,sen go no koe, 7before and after voice9. )e do not shout simultaneously with flourishing the long sword. )e
shout during the fight to get into rhythm. 3esearch this deeply.
To Mingle
"n battles, when the armies are in confrontation, attac! the enemy-s strong points and, when you see that they are
beaten bac!, Auic!ly separate and attac! yet another strong point on the periphery of his force. The spirit of this is
li!e a winding mountain path.
This is an important fighting method for one man against many. tri!e down the enemies in one Auarter, or drive
them bac!, then grasp the timing and attac! further strong points to right and left, as if on a winding mountain path,
weighing up the enemies- disposition. )hen you !now the enemies- level, attac! strongly with no trace of retreating
spirit.
"n single combat, too, use this spirit with the enemy-s strong points.
)hat is meant by -mingling- is the spirit of advancing and becoming engaged with the enemy, and not withdrawing
even one step. 8ou must understand this.
To Crush
This means to crush the enemy regarding him as being wea!.
*1
"n large+scale strategy, when we see that the enemy has few men, or if he has many men but his spirit is wea! and
disordered, we !noc! the hat over his eyes, crushing him utterly. "f we crush lightly, he may recover. 8ou must learn
the spirit of crushing as if with a hand+grip.
"n single combat, if the enemy is less s!ilful than ourself, if his rhythm is disorgani@ed, or if he has fallen into
evasive or retreating attitudes, we must crush him straightaway, with no concern for his presence and without
allowing him space for breath. "t is essential to crush him all at once. The primary thing is not to let him recover his
position even a little. 8ou must research this deeply.
The Mountain'ea Change
The ,mountain+sea, spirit means that it is bad to repeat the same thing several times when fighting the enemy. There
may be no help but to do something twice, but do not try it a third time. "f you once ma!e an attac! and fail, there is
little chance of success if you use the same approach again. "f you attempt a techniAue which you have previously
tried unsucessfully and fail yet again, then you must change your attac!ing method.
"f the enemy thin!s of the mountains, attac! li!e the seaG and if he thin!s of the sea, attac! li!e the mountains. 8ou
must research this deeply.
To 3enetrate the 1epths
)hen we are fighting with the enemy, even when it can be seen that we can win on the surface with the benefit of
the )ay, if his spirit is not e#tinguished, he may be beaten superficially yet undefeated in spirit deep inside. )ith
this principle of ,penetrating the depths, we can destroy the enemy-s spirit in its depths, demoralising him by
Auic!ly changing our spirit. This often occurs.
>enetrating the depths means penetrating with the long sword, penetrating with the body, and penetrating with the
spirit. This cannot be understood in a generalisation.
&nce we have crushed the enemy in the depths, there is no need to remain spirited. ;ut otherwise we must remain
spirited. "f the enemy remains spirited it is difficult to crush him. 8ou must train in penetrating the depths for large+
scale strategy and also single combat.
To %ene(
,To renew, applies when we are fighting with the enemy, and an entangled spirit arises where there is no possible
resolution. )e must abandon our efforts, thin! of the situation in a fresh spirit then win in the new rhythm. To
renew, when we are deadloc!ed with the enemy, means that without changing our circumstance we change our spirit
and win through a different techniAue.
"t is necessary to consider how ,to renew, also applies in large+scale strategy. 3esearch this diligently.
%at's ,ead2 !8's $eck
,3at-s head and o#-s nec!, means that, when we are fighting with the enemy and both he and we have become
occupied with small points in an entangled spirit, we must always thin! of the )ay of strategy as being both a rat-s
head and an o#-s nec!. )henever we have become preoccupied with small details, we must suddenly change into a
large spirit, interchanging large with small.
This is one of the essences of strategy. "t is necessary that the warrior thin! in this spirit in everyday life. 8ou must
not depart from this spirit in large+scale strategy nor in single combat.
The Commander Kno(s the Troops
,The commander !nows the troops, applies everywhere in fights in my )ay of strategy.
Bsing the wisdom of strategy, thin! of the enemy as your own troops. )hen you thin! in this way you can move
him at will and be able to chase him around. 8ou become the general and the enemy becomes your troops. 8ou must
master this.
To -et Go the ,ilt
There are various !inds of spirit involved in letting go the hilt.
There is the spirit of winning without a sword. There is also the spirit of holding the long sword but not winning.
The various methods cannot be e#pressed in writing. 8ou must train well.
The Body of a %ock
*1
)hen you have mastered the )ay of strategy you can suddenly ma!e your body li!e a roc!, and ten thousand things
cannot touch you. This is the body of a roc!.
8ou will not be moved. &ral tradition.
)hat is recorded above is what has been constantly on my mind about "chi school sword fencing, written down as it
came to me. This is the first time " have written about my techniAue, and the order of things is a bit confused. "t is
difficult to e#press it clearly.
This boo! is a spiritual guide for the man who wishes to learn the )ay.
My heart has been inclined to the )ay of strategy from my youth onwards. " have devoted myself to training my
hand, tempering my body, and attaining the many spiritual attitudes of sword fencing. "f we watch men of other
schools discussing theory, and concentrating on techniAues with the hands, even though they seem s!ilful to watch,
they have not the slightest true spirit.
&f course, men who study in this way thin! they are training the body and spirit, but it is an obstacle to the true
)ay, and its bad influence remains for ever. Thus the true )ay of strategy is becoming decadent and dying out.
The true )ay of sword fencing is the craft of defeating the enemy in a fight, and nothing other than this. "f you
attain and adhere to the wisdom of my strategy, you need never doubt that you will win.
The second year of hoho, the fifth month, the twelfth day 710459
Teruo Magono?o for ("'M2' MB.("
The Wind Book
"n strategy you must !now the )ays of other schools, so " have written about various other traditions of strategy in
this the )ind ;oo!.
)ithout !nowledge of the )ays of other schools, it is difficult to understand the essence of my "chi school. Eoo!ing
at other schools we find some that specialise in techniAues of strength using e#tra+long swords. ome schools study
the )ay of the short sword, !nown as kodachi. ome schools teach de#terity in large numbers of sword techniAues,
teaching attitudes of the sword as the ,surface, and the )ay as the ,interior,.
That none of these are the true )ay " show clearly in the interior of this boo! + all the vices and virtues and rights
and wrongs. My "chi school is different. &ther schools ma!e accomplishments their means of livelihood, growing
flowers and decoratively colouring articles in order to sell them. This is definately not the )ay of strategy.
ome of the world-s strategists are concerned only with sword fencing, and limit their training to flourishing the
long sword and carriage of the body. ;ut is de#terity alone sufficient to winF This is not the essence of the )ay.
" have recorded the unsatisfactory points of other schools one by one in this boo!. 8ou must study these matters
deeply to appreciate the benefit of my 'i To "chi school.
!ther chools 5sing /8tra'-ong (ords
ome other schools have a li!ing for e#tra+long swords. 6rom the point of view of my strategy these must be seen
as wea! schools. This is because they do not appreciate the principle of cutting the enemy by any means. Their
preference is for the e#tra+long sword and, relying on the virtue of its length, they thin! to defeat the enemy from a
distance.
"n this world it is said, ,&ne inch gives the hand advantage,, but these are the idle words of one who does not !now
strategy. "t shows the inferior strategy of a wea! sprit that men should be dependant on the length of their sword,
fighting from a distance without the benefit of strategy.
" e#pect there is a case for the school in Auestion li!ing e#tra+long swords as part of it-s doctrine, but if we compare
this with real life it is unreasonable. urely we need not necessarily be defeated if we are using a short sword, and
have no long swordF
"t is difficult for these people to cut the enemy when at close Auarters because of the length of the long sword. The
blade path is large so the long sword is an encumbrance, and they are at a disadvantage compared to the man armed
with a short companion sword.
6rom olden times it has been said5 ,Creat and small go together., o do not unconditionally disli!e e#tra+long
swords. )hat " disli!e is the inclination towards the long sword. "f we consider large+scale strategy, we can thin! of
**
large forces in terms of long swords, and small forces as short swords. =annot few men give battle against manyF
There are many instances of few men overcoming many.
8our strategy is of no account if when called on to fight in a confined space your heart is inclined to the long sword,
or if you are in a house armed only with your companion sword. ;esides, some men have not the strength of others.
"n my doctrine, " disli!e preconceived, narrow spirit. 8ou must study this well.
The trong -ong (ord pirit in !ther chools
8ou should not spea! of strong and wea! long swords. "f you ?ust wield the long sword in a strong spirit your
cutting will become coarse, and if you use the sword coarsely you will have difficulty in winning.
"f you are concerned with the strength of your sword, you will try to cut unreasonably strongly, and will not be able
to cut at all. "t is also bad to try to cut strongly when testing the sword. )henever you cross swords with an enemy
you must not thin! of cutting him either strongly or wea!lyG ?ust thin! of cutting and !illing him. ;e intent solely on
!illing the enemy. :o not try to cut strongly and, of course, do not thin! of cutting wea!ly. 8ou should only be
concerned with !illing the enemy.
"f you rely on strength, when you hit the enemy-s sword you will inevitably hit too hard. "f you do this, your own
sword will be carried along as a result. Thus the saying, ,The strongest hand wins,, has no meaning.
"n large+scale strategy, if you have a strong army and are relying on strength to win, but the enemy also has a strong
army, the battle will be fierce. This is the same for both sides.
)ithout the correct principle the fight cannot be won.
The spirit of my school is to win through the wisdom of strategy, paying no attention to trifles. tudy this well.
5se of the horter -ong (ord in !ther chools
Bsing a shorter long sword is not the true )ay to win.
"n ancient times, tachi and katana meant long and short swords. Men of superior strength in the world can wield
even a long sword lightly, so there is no case for their li!ing the short sword. They also ma!e use of the length of
spears and halberds. ome men use a shorter long sword with the intention of ?umping in and stabbing the enemy at
the unguarded moment when he flourishes his sword. This inclination is bad.
To aim for the enemy-s unguarded moment is completely defensive, and undesirable at close Auarters with the
enemy. 6urthermore, you cannot use the method of ?umping inside his defense with a short sword if there are many
enemies. ome men thin! that if they go against many enemies with a shorter long sword they can unrestrictedly
fris! around cutting in sweeps, but they have to parry cuts continuously, and eventually become entangled with the
enemy. This is inconsistant with the true )ay of strategy.
The sure )ay to win thus is to chase the enemy around in a confusing manner, causing him to ?ump aside, with your
body held strongly and straight. The same principle applies to large+scale strategy. The essence of strategy is to fall
upon the enemy in large numbers and to bring about his speedy downfall. ;y their study of strategy, people of the
world get used to countering, evading and retreating as the normal thing. They become set in this habit, so can
easily be paraded around by the enemy. The )ay of strategy is straight and true. 8ou must chase the enemy around
and ma!e him obey your spirit.
!ther chools (ith many Methods of using the -ong (ord
" thin! it is held in other schools that there are many methods of using the long sword in order to gain the
admiration of beginners. This is selling the )ay. "t is a vile spirit in strategy.
The reason for this is that to deliberate over many ways of cutting down a man is an error. To start with, !illing is
not the )ay of man!ind. 4illing is the same for people who !now about fighting and for those who do not. "t is the
same for women or children, and there are not many different methods. )e can spea! of different tactics such as
stabbing and mowing down, but none other than these.
.nyway, cutting down the enemy is the )ay of strategy, and there is no need for many refinements of it.
2ven so, according to the place, your long sword may be obstructed above or to the sides, so you will need to hold
your sword in such manner that it can be used. There are five methods in five directions.
Methods apart from these five + hand twisting, body bending, ?umping out, and so on, to cut the enemy + are not the
true )ay of strategy. "n order to cut the enemy you must not ma!e twisting or bending cuts. This is completely
*%
useless. "n my strategy, " bear my spirit and body straight, and cause the enemy to twist and bend. The necessary
spirit is to win by attac!ing the enemy when his spirit is warped. 8ou must study this well.
5se of .ttitudes of the -ong (ord in !ther chools
>lacing a great deal of importance on the attitudes of the long sword is a mista!en way of thin!ing. )hat is !nown
in the world as ,attitude, applies when there is no enemy. The reason is that this has been a precedent since ancient
times, that there should be no such thing as ,This is the modern way to do it, duelling. 8ou must force the enemy
into inconvenient situations.
.ttitudes are for situations in which you are not to be moved. That is, for garrisoning castles, battle array, and so on,
showing the spirit of not being moved even by a strong assault. "n the )ay of duelling, however, you must always
be intent upon ta!ing the lead and attac!ing. .ttitude is the spirit of awaiting an attac!. 8ou must appreciate this.
"n duels of strategy you must move the opponent-s attitude. .ttac! where his spirit is la#, throw him into confusion,
irritate and terrify him. Ta!e advantage of the enemy-s rhythm when he is unsettled and you can win.
" disli!e the defensive spirit !nown as ,attitude,. Therefore, in my )ay, there is something called ,.ttitude+'o
.ttitude,.
"n large+scale strategy we deploy our troops for battle bearing in mind our strength, observing the enemy-s numbers,
and noting the details of the battlefield. This is at the start of the battle.
The spirit of attac!ing is completely different from the spirit of being attac!ed. ;earing an attac! well, with a strong
attitude, and parrying the enemy-s attac! well, is li!e ma!ing a wall of spears and halberds. )hen you attac! the
enemy, your spirit must go to the e#tent of pulling the sta!es out of a wall and using them as spears and halberds.
8ou must e#amine this well.
"i8ing the /yes in !ther chools
ome schools maintain that the eyes shoudl be fi#ed on the enemy-s long sword. ome schools fi# the eye on the
hands. ome fi# the eyes on the face, and some fi# the eyes on the feet, and so on. "f you fi# the eyes on these
places your spirit can become confused, and your strategy thwarted.
" will e#plain this in detail. 6ootballers do not fi# their eyes on the ball, but by good play on the field they can
perform well. )hen you become accustomed to something, you are not limited to the use of your eyes. >eople such
as master musicians have the music score in front of their nose, or flourish the sword in several ways when they
have mastered the )ay, but this does not mean that they fi# their eyes on these things specifically, or that they ma!e
pointless movements of the sword. "t means that they can see naturally.
"n the )ay of strategy, when you have fought many times you will easily be able to appraise the speed and position
of the enemy-s sword, and having mastery of the )ay you will see the weight of his spirit. "n strategy, fi#ing the
eyes means ga@ing at the man-s heart.
"n large+scale strategy the area to watch is the enemy-s strength. ,>erception, and ,sight, are the two methods of
seeing. >erception consists of concentrating strongly on the enemy-s spirit, ovserving the condition of the battle
field, fi#ing the ga@e strongly, seeing the progress of the fight and the changes of advantage. This is the sure way to
win.
"n single combat you must not fi# the eyes on details. .s " said before, if you fi# your eyes on details and neglect
important things, your spirit will become bewildered, and victory will escape you. 3esearch this principle well and
train diligently.
5se of the "eet in !ther chools
There are various methods of using the feet5 floating foot, ?umping foot, springing foot, treading foot, crow-s foot,
and such nible wal!ing methods. 6rom the point of view of my strategy, these are all unsatisfactory.
" disli!e floating foot because the feet always tend to float during the fight. The )ay must be trod firmly.
'either do " li!e ?umping foot, because it encourages the habit of ?umping, and a ?umpy spirit. (owever much you
?ump, there is no real ?ustification for it, so ?umping is bad.
pringing foot causes a springing spirit which is indecisive.
Treading foot is a ,waiting, method, and " especially disli!e it.
.part from these, there are various fast wal!ing methods, such as crow-s foot, and so on.
*4
ometimes, however, you may encounter the enemy on marshland, swampy ground, river valleys, stony ground, or
narrow roads, in which situations you cannot ?ump or move the feet Auic!ly.
"n my strategy, the footwor! does not change. " always wal! as " usually do in the street. 8ou must never lose
control of your feet. .ccording to the enemy-s rhythm, move fast or slowly, ad?usting your body not too much and
not too little.
=arrying the feet is important also in large+scale strategy. This is because, if you attac! Auic!ly and thoughtlessly
without !nowing the enemy-s spirit, your rhythm will become deranged and you will not be able to win. &r, if you
advance too slowly, you will not be able to ta!e advantage of the enemy-s disorder, the opportunity to win will
escape, and you will not be able to finish the fight Auic!ly. 8ou must win by sei@ing upon the enemy-s disorder and
derangement, and by not according him even a little hope of recovery. >ractise this well.
peed in !ther chools
pped is nor part of the true )ay of strategy. peed implies that things seem fast or slow, according to whether or
not they are in rhythm. )hatever the )ay, the master of strategy does not appear fast.
ome people can wal! as fast as a hundred or a hundred and twenty miles in a day, but this does not mean that they
run continuously from morning till night. Bnpractised runners may seem to have been running all day, but their
performance is poor.
"n the )ay of dance, accomplished performers can sing while dancing, but when beginners try this they slow down
and their spirit becomes busy. The ,old pine tree, melody beaten on a leather drum is tranAuil, but when beginners
try this they slow down and their spirit becomes busy. Dery s!ilful people can manage a fast rhythm, but it is bad to
beat hurredly. "f you try to beat too Auic!ly you will get out of time. &f course, slowness is bad. 3eally s!ilful
people never get out of time, and are always deliberate, and never appear busy. 6rom this e#ample, the principle can
be seen.
)hat is !nown as speed is especially bad in the )ay of strategy. The reason for this is that depending on the place,
marsh or swamp and so on, it may not be possible to move the body and legs together Auic!ly. till less will you be
able to cut Auic!ly if you have a long sword in this situation. "f you try to cut Auic!ly, as if using a fan or short
sword, you will not actually cut even a little. 8ou must appreciate this.
"n large+scale strategy also, a fast busy spirit is undesirable. The spirit must be that of holding down a pillow, then
you will not be even a little late.
)hen you opponent is hurrying rec!lessly, you must act contrarily, and !eep calm. 8ou must not be influenced by
the opponent. Train diligently to attain this spirit.
*Interior* and *urface* in !ther chools
There is no ,interior, nor ,surface, in strategy.
The artistic accomplishments usually claim inner meaning and secret tradition, and ,interior, and ,gate,, but in
combat there is no such thing as fighting on the surface, or cutting with the interior. )hen " teach my )ay, " first
teach by training in techniAues which are easy for the pupil to understand, a doctrine which is easy to understand. "
gradually endeavour to e#plain the deep principle, points which it is hardly possible to comprehend, according to
the pupil-s progress. "n any event, because the way to understanding is through e#perience, " do not spea! of
,interior, and ,gate,.
"n this world, if you go into the mountains, and decide to go deeper and yet deeper, instead you will emerge at the
gate. )hatever is the )ay, it has an interior, and it is sometimes a good thing to point out the gate. "n strategy, we
cannot say what is concealed and what is revealed.
.ccordingly " disli!e passing on my )ay through written pledges and regulations. >erceiving the ability of my
pupils, " teach the direct )ay, remove the bad influence of other schools, and gradually introduce them to the true
)ay of the warrior.
The method of teaching my strategy is with a trustworthy spirit. 8ou must train diligently.
" have tried to record an outline of the strategy of other schools in the above nine sections. " could now continue by
giving a specific account of these schools one by one, from the ,gate, to the ,interior,, but " have intentionally not
named the schools or their main points. The reason for this is that different branches of schools give different
interpretations of the doctrines. "n as much as men-s opinions differ, so there must be differing ideas on the same
matter. Thus no one man-s conception is valid for any school.
*5
" have shown the general tendencies of other schools on nine points. "f we loo! at them from an honest viewpoint,
we see that people always tend to li!e long swords or short swords, and become concerned with strength in both
large and small matters. 8ou can see why " do not deal with the ,gates, of other schools.
"n my "chi school of the long sword there is neither gate nor interior. There is no inner meaning in sword attitudes.
8ou must simply !eep your spirit true to realise the virtue of strategy.
Twelfth day of the fifth month, the second year of hoho 710459
Teruo Magono?o for ("'M2' MB.("
The Book of the 9oid
The 'i To "chi )ay of strategy is recorded in this the ;oo! of the Doid.
)hat is called the spirit of the void is where there is nothing. "t is not included in man-s !nowledge. &f course the
void is nothingness. ;y !nowing things that e#ist, you can !now that which does not e#ist. That is the void.
>eople in this world loo! at things mista!enly, and thin! that what they do not understand must be the void. This is
not the true void. "t is bewilderment.
"n the )ay of strategy, also, those who study as warriors thin! that whatever they cannot understand in their craft is
the void. This is not the true void.
To attain the )ay of strategy as a warrior you must study fully other martial arts and not deviate even a little from
the )ay of the warrior. )ith your spirit settled, accumulate practice day by day, and hour by hour. >olish the
twofold spirit heart and mind, and sharpen the twofold ga@e perception and sight. )hen your spirit is not in the least
clouded, when the clouds of bewilderment clear away, there is the true void.
Bntil you realise the true )ay, whether in ;uddhism or in common sense, you may thin! that things are correct and
in order. (owever, if we loo! at things ob?ectively, from the viewpoint of laws of the world, we see various
doctrines departing from the true )ay. 4now well this spirit, and with forthrightness as the foundation and the true
spirit as the )ay. 2nact strategy broadly, correctly and openly.
Then you will come to thin! of things in a wide sense and, ta!ing the void as the )ay, you will see the )ay as void.
"n the void is virtue, and no evil. )isdom has e#istence, principle has e#istence, the )ay has e#istence, spirit is
nothingness.
Twelfth day of the fifth month, second year of hoho 710459
Teruo Magono?o for ("'M2' MB.("
*0

were still samurai retainers to the Tokugawas and provincial lords, but their numbers were few. The hordes of redundant samurai found themselves living in a society which was completely based on the old chivalry, but at the same time they were apart from a society in which there was no place for men at arms. They became an inverted class, keeping the old chivalry alive by devotion to military arts with the fervour only the Japanese possess. This was the time of the flowering of Kendo. Kendo, the Way of the sword, had always been synonymous with nobility in Japan. Since the founding of the samurai class in the eighth century, the military arts had become the highest form of study, inspired by the teachings of Zen and the feeling of Shinto. Schools of Kendo born in the early Muromachi period - approximately 1390 to 1600 - were continued through the upheavals of the formation of the peaceful Tokugawa Shogunate, and survive to this day. The education of the sons of the Tokugawa Shoguns was by means of schooling in the Chinese classics and fencing exercises. Where a Westerner might say "The pen is mightier than the sword", the Japanese would say "Bunbu Ichi", or "Pen ans sword in accord". Today, prominent businessmen and political figures in Japan still practise the old traditions of the Kendo schools, preserving the forms of several hundred years ago. To sum up, Musashi was a ronin at the time when the samurai were formally considered to be the elite, but actually had no means of livelihood unless they owned lands and castles. Many ronin put up their swords and became artisans, but others, like Musashi, persued the ideal of the warrior searching for enlightenment through the perilous paths of Kendo. Duels of revenge and tests of skill were commonplace, and fencing schools multiplied. Two schools expecially, the Itto school and the Yagyu school, were sponsored by the Tokugawas. The Itto school provided an unbroken line of Kendo teachers, and the Yagyu school eventually became the secret police of the Tokugawa bureaucracy.

Kendo
Traditionally, the fencing halls of Japan, called Dojo, were associated with shrines and temples, but during Musashi's lifetime numerous schools sprang up in the new castle towns. Each daimyo or lord sponsored a Kendo school, where his retainers could be trained and his sons educated. The hope of every ronin was that he could defeat the students and master of a Dojo in combat, thus increasing his fame and bringing his name to the ears of one who might employ him. The samurai wore two swords thrust through the belt with the cutting edge uppermost. The longer sword was carried out of doors only, the shorter sword was worn at all times. For training, wooden swords and bamboo swords were often used. Duelling and other tests of arms were common, with both real and practice swords. These took place in fencing halls and before shrines, in the streets and within castle walls. Duels were often fought to the death or until one of the contestants was disabled, but a few generations after Musashi's time the "shinai", a pliable bamboo sword, and later padded fencing armour, came to be widely used, so the chances of injury were greatly reduced. The samurai studied with all kinds of weapons: halberds, sticks, swords, chain and sickle, and others. Many schools using such weapons survive in traditional form in Japan today. To train in Kendo one must subjugate the self, bear the pain of gruelling practise, and cultivate a level mind in the face of peril. But the Way of the sword means not only fencing training but also living by the code of honour of the samurai elite. Warfare was the spirit of the samurai's everyday life, and he could face death as if it were a domestic routine. The meaning of life and death by the sword was mirrored in the everyday conduct of the feudal Japanese, and he wo realised the resolute acceptance of death at any moment in his everyday life was a master of the sword. It is in order to attain sucn an understanding that later men have followed the ancient tradition of the sword-fencing styles, and even today give up their lives for Kendo practise.

Kendo and Zen
The Way of the sword is the moral teaching of the samurai, fostered by the Confucianist philosophy which shaped the Tokugawa system, together with the native Shinto religion of Japan. The warrior courts of Japan from the Kamakura period to the Muromachi period encouraged the austre Zen study among the samurai, and Zen went hand in hand with the arts of war. In Zen the are no elaborations, it aims directly at the true nature of things. There are no ceremonies, no teachings: the prize of Zen is essentially personal. Enlightenment in Zen does not mean a change in behavior, but realisation of the nature of ordinary life. The end point is the beginning, and the great virtue is simplicity. The secret teaching of the Itto Ryu school of Kendo, Kiriotoshi, is the first technique of some hundred or so. The teaching is "Ai Uchi", meaning to cut the opponent just as he cuts you. This is the ultimate training... it is

2

his grandfather. the student is gradually guided to realisation and understanding by his teacher. Hirada Shokan. was a retainer of Shinmen Iga No Kami Sudeshige. his everyday prayer. the beginner and the master behave in the same way. and Musashi with a wooden sword. The story has it that Munisai fought three of the Yoshiokas. Musashi laid Seijiro out with a fierce attack and beat him savagely as he lay on the ground. Kihei died vomiting blood Musashi's next contest was when he was sixteen. So we find Musashi an orphan during Hideyoshi's campaigns of unification. was the first to fight Musashi. the souther island of Japan. Knowledge is a full circle. wandering over Japan soaked by the cold winds of winter. where for shame he cut off his samurai topknot. Assailed with doubts and misery. In the battle which resulted in Ieyasu succeeding Hideyoshi as Shogun of Japan. Whether he was urged to persue Kendo by his uncle. Musashi joined the ranks of the Ashikaga army to fight against Ieyasu. "Musashi" is the name of an area south-west of Tokyo. 3 . There must have been many ronin travelling the country on similar expeditions. for the basis of Kendo and Zen. thousands of cuts morning and night. until he finally settled down at the age of fifty. The Yoshiokas had been fencing instructors to the Ashikaga house for generations. his father. a priest. having reached the end of his search for reason. The boy threw the man to the ground. the head of the family. and an expert with the "jitte". while "Fujiwara" is the name of a noble family foremost in Japan over a thousand years ago. and beat him about the head with a stick when he tried to rise. though not on the scale of the pilgrimage of the famous swordman Tsukahara Bokuden who had travelled with a retinue of over one hundred men in the previous century. a samurai of the Shinto Ryu school of military arts. but it is recorded that he slew a man in single combat when he was just thirteen. on the moor outside the city. and are dyers today. winning two of the duels. Musashi's ancestors were a branch of the powerful Harima clan in Kyushu. or as he is commonly known Miyamoto Musashi. Hirada Shokan was highly thought of by his lord and eventually married his lord's daughter. not dressing his hair. The first of Musashi's chapter headings is Ground. Concerned only with perfecting his skill. intention becomes "no intention". some alone like Musashi and some enjoying sponsorship. or whether his aggressive nature led him to it. and the last book is Void. he lived as men need not live. and the master still continues to practise this simple training. his mind and spirit in a whirl. either died or abandoned the child. son of a samurai in a violent unhappy land.lack of anger. he left home to embark on the "Warrior Pilgimage" which saw him victor in scores of contests and which took him to war six times. The opponent was Arima Kigei. the family became dyers. nor following any profession save his study. Seki ga Hara. a kind of iron truncheon with a tongue for catching sword blades. for that understanding which can only be expressed as nothingness. until eventually sword becomes "no sword". Seijiro was armed with a real sword. It means to treat your enemy as an honoured guest. the lord of Takeyama castle. He was a boisterous youth. The retainers carried their lord home on a rain-shutter. as Musashi was known during his childhood. The first technique is the last. Munisai. and also survived the hunting down and massacre of the vanquished army. It is said he never entered a bathtub lest he was caught unawares without a weapon. was left in the care of an uncle on his mother's side. learning fierce techniques of horrible war. Later forbidden to teach Kendo by lord Tokugawa. strong-willed and physically large for his age. About this time. The first elementary teaching becomes the highest knowledge. Munisai. and the appellation "No Kami" means noble person of the area. we do not know. This was the scene of his vendetta agains the Yoshioka family. had been invited to Kyoto some years before by the Shogun Ashikaga Yoshiaka. Ben No Suke. The teachings of Kendo are like the fierce verbal forays to which the Zen student is subjected. Concerning the life of Miyamoto Musashi Shinmen Musashi No Kami Fujiwara No Genshin. nor taking a wife. It also means to abandon your life or throw away fear. a spontaneous knowledge of every situation. was born in the village called Miyamoto in the province Mimasaka in 1584. Yoshioka Seijiro. when he was twenty-one. Munisai was a competent swordsman. He went up to Kyoto. when he defeated Tadashima Akiyama. and that his appearance was uncouth and wretched. Musashi's father. The Kendo student practises furiously. As his mother had died. the capital. and perhaps this has some bearing on Musashi's behavior towards the family. This part of Musashi's life was spent living apart from society while he devoted himself with a ferocious singlemindedness to the search for enlightenment by the Way of the sword. skilled with sword and spear. He survived the terrible three days during which seventy thousand people died. When Musashi was seven.

There were many good strategists in Izumo. Kojiro was provoked into making the first cut and Musashi dashed upward at his blade. Musashi visited lord Matsudaira and asked permission to fight with his strongest Kendo expert. Musashi used two wooden swords. used to mean "spear teacher". This inspired the rumor that awe of Kojiro's subtle technique had made Musashi run away afraid for his life. he suddenly appeared in the midst of them. lord Matsudaira asked Musashi to fight him. and Musashi stayed for some time as his teacher. determined to do away with Musashi. and cut the boy down. When he had done this he lay down to rest. Hoin Inei was pupil to Izumi Musashi no Kami. applied to Musashi for a duel. That night Musashi left his lodging and moved to the house of Kobayashi Taro Zaemon. When Musashi was in Iga province he met a skilled chain and sickle fighter named Shishido Baikin. and in folk memory from Tokyo to Kyushu. and just as they were thinking that he had thought better of it and had decided to leave Kyoto. The earliest account of his contests appears in Niten Ki. The boat neared the place of combat and Kojiro and the waiting officials were astounded to see the strange figure of Musashi. "You have no more need of that" said Musashi as he rushed forward with his sword held to one side. but no match for Musashi who defeated him twice with his short wooden sword. and threw away his scabbard. Kojiro drew his long sword. leap from the boat brandishing the long wooden oar and rush through the waves up the beach towards his enemy. There is still today a traditional spear fighting form practised by the monks of Hozoin. In Edo. Gonosuke made a fierce attack. The next day at eight o'clock Musashi could not be woken until a prompter came from the officials assembled on the island. and when he tried to make a resolute fencing attitude Musashi hit his sword with the "Fire and Stones Cut". a young man who had developed a strong fencing technique known as Tsubame-gaeshi. Musashi's most well-known duel was in the seventeenth year of Keicho. and seconds after the start of the fight he broke his opponent's skull with one blow of his wooden sword. 4 . when he was in Ogura in Bunzen province. He had more than sixty contests before he was twenty-nine. a fine blade made by Nagamitsu of Bizen. Permission was granted for the contest to be held at eight o'clock the next morning. Passing through Izumo province. Kojiro was retained by the lord of the province. a record compiled by his pupils a generation after his death. The priest was a spearman. one Nagaoka Sato Okinaga. as champion. and went straight down to the shore. on monuments. and won them all. and granting Gonosuke's request stood up intending to use the slender wand he was cutting as a sword. 1605. becoming a legend in his own time. Musashi stayed at the temple for some time studying fighting techniques and enjoying talks with the priests. inspired by the motion of a swallow's tail in flight. and the place was to be an island some few miles from Ogura. but Musashi stepped straight in and banged him on the head. the Nichiren sect pupil of the Zen priest Hoin Inei. Musashi waited concealed in the shadows. which now means priest. Musashi was cutting wood to make a bow. Permission was granted against a man who used an eight foot long hexagonal wooden pole. His opponent was Sasaki Kojiro. he cut a path through them and made his escape. or "Two Heavens Chronicle".Musashi longered on in the capital. Then. he visited the temple Hozoin in the south of the capital. He got up. drank the water they brought to him to wash with. advancing to finish him off. not yet in his teens. The contest was to be held by a pine tree adjacent to ricefields. Musashi arrived late on the appointed day. To the surprise of the assembled retainers. Here he had a contest with Oku Hozoin. The watching pupils attacked Musashi but he frightened them away in four directions. He chased the samurai up the two wooden steps of the library veranda. and cut a wooden sword from the spare oar. Musashi applied to Tadaoki for permission to fight Kojiro through the offices of one of the Hosokawa retainers who had been a pupil of Musashi's father. with his unkempt hair tied up in a towel. We find mention of his name and stories of his prowess in registers. and hit him on both arms as he flinched away. Denshichiro. Hosokawa Tadaoki. a fighter named Muso Gonosuke visited Musashi requesting a duel. drawing both swords. Gonosuke went away. diaries. Musashi drove the lord up the library steps as before. thrust at his face on the second step. The contest was held in the lord's library garden. Hanshichiro was a mere boy. In the year of the Yoshioka affair. Denshichiro was dead. the young son of Seijiro. The priest used spears with cross-shaped blades kept outside the temple under the eaves and used in fire fighting. a master of Shinto Kendo. As Sato rowed across to the island Musashi fashioned a paper string to tie back the sleeves of his kimono. or "swallow counter". The lord bowed in defeat. As Shishido twirled his chain Musashi drew a dagger and pierced his breast. The second brother. The house issued yet another challenge with Hanshichiro. breaking it in two. Musashi arrived at the meeting place well before the appointed time and waited in hiding for his enemy to come. with a party of well-armed retainers. As a military ploy. The child arrived dressed formally in war gear. After that frightful episode Musashi wandered over Japan. 1612. and his continued presence further irked the Yoshiokas. It is interesting that in ancient times the word "Osho".

He did. Niten means "Two Heavens". headstrong man was evidently most humble and honest. dragons. birds with flowers.bringing the oar down on Kojiro's head. and as a captain in Tadazane's army fought against the Christians in the Shimawara uprising of 1638. herons. probably more highly valued by the Japanese than the ink paintings of any other. but to any situation where plans and tactics are used. There is a small wood sculpture of the Buddhist diety Fudo Myoo in private hands. Japanese businessmen have used Go Rin No Sho as a guide for business practice. but became doubly engrossed with his study. he came to understand strategy when he was fifty or fifty-one in 1634. he had become such a strong fighter. The lords of the southern provinces had always been antagonistic to the Tokugawas and were the instigators of intrigue with foreign powers and the Japanese Christians. a few weeks before his death on the nineteenth of May. eager to broaden his knowledge. his sword. and the new lord of Bunzen was an Ogasawara. Here he wrote Go Rin No Sho. and for Kendo masters to study the same words on a higher level. addressed to his pupil Teruo Nobuyuki. after him (see below). it is in Musashi's words "a guide for men who want to learn strategy" and. The book is not a thesis on strategy. "Musashi". so the contents are always beyond the student's understanding. According to his own writing. As Kojiro fell. It is Musashi's last will. bird in a dead tree. now fighting against those he had fought for as a youth at Seki ga Hara. He was a fine calligrapher. the waif whom he had met in Dewa province on his travels. In his last days even. Musashi writes about the various aspects of Kendo in such a way that it is possible for the beginner to study at beginner's level. He and his adopted son Iori. making sales campaigns like military operations. Hotei the Shinto God. It is said also that he was commissioned by the Shogun Iemitsu to paint the sunrise over Edo castle. After this. His works include cormorants. The more one reads the book the more one finds in its pages. His paintings are sometimes impressed with his seal. and from now on he devoted himself to the search for perfect understanding by way of Kendo. Go Rin No Sho heads every Kendo bibliography. He sought out not only great swordsmen but also priests. which had cut the towel from Musashi's head. Musashi joined the Tokugawa forces in both winter and summer campaigns. he scorned the life of comfort with lord Hosokawa and lived two years alone in a mountain cave deep in contemplation. evidenced by his piece "Senki" (Warspirit). Musashi was never again to leave Kyushu island. settled in Ogura in this year. using the same energetic methods. In 1643. "Sword Saint". as a guide always leads. The Hosokawa house had been entrusted with the command of the hot seat of Higo province. being unique among books of martial art in that it deals with both the strategy of warfare and the methods of single combat in exactly the same way. 1645. Daruma (Bodhidharma). Some sources have it that after he killed Kojiro Musashi threw down the oar and. He produced masterpieces of ink painting. In 5 . become a master of arts and crafts. but none of these survive. He wrote "Study the Ways of all professions". and others. Musashi wrote "When you have attained the Way of strategy there will be not one thing that you cannot understand" and "You will see the Way in everything". strategists. He was invincible. said by some to allude to his fighting attitude with a sword in each haand held above his head. at twenty-eight or twenty-nine. He stayed a few years with lord Churi and spent his time teaching and painting. the Hosokawa lord of Kumamoto castle. he retired to a life of seclusion in a cave called "Reigendo". cut across the hem of his divided skirt. drew both his swords and flourished them with a shout at his fallen enemy. After six years in Ogura. that is. replete with success. When. in fact. as a guest. In some places he established schools known as "Niten ryu". This applies not just to military strategy. Musashi was invited to stay with Churi. It was about this time that Musashi stopped ever using real swords in duels. Kumamoto castle. Musashi was a member of the field staff at Shimawara where the Christians were massacred. Musashi noted Kojiro's condition and bowed to the astounded officials before running back to his boat. when Musashi was about fifty-five. Musashi is known to the Japanese as "Kinsei". Iori found employment under Ogasawara Tadazane. Ieyasu laid siege to Osaka castle where the supporters of the Ashikaga family were gathered in insurrection. In 1614 and again in 1615 he took the opportunity of once more experiencing warfare and siege. and in other places called it "Enmei ryu" (clear circle). The behavior of this cruel. nimbly leaping back several paces. He is said to have written poems and songs. and they remained closed for over two hundred years. artists and craftsmen. and founded the school of sword guard makers who signed "Niten". It is evident that he did just that. A sculpture of Kwannon was lost recently. Ieyasu closed the ports of Japan to foreign intercourse. He made works in metal. he did not settle down and build a school. the key to the path he trod. or his nom de plume "Niten".

and came to realise the Way of strategy when I was fifty. or the order of heaven. Thus with the virtue of strategy I practise many arts and abilities . Since then I have lived without following any particular Way. I take up my brush to explain the true spirit of this Ichi school as it is mirrored in the Way of heaven and Kwannon. travelling from country to country instructing men. or that other schools' strategy was inferior. To write this book I did not use the law of Buddha or the teachings of Confucius. and kneel before Buddha. the Way of healing as a doctor. women.all things with no teacher. There is the Way of salvation by the law of Buddha. neither old war chronicles nor books on martial tactics. When I was twenty-one I went up to the capital and met all manner of strategists. After that I went from province to province duelling with strategists of various schools. When I was sixteen I struck down an able strategist. This is the recent meaning of strategy. but they are usually just sword-fencers. There is no warrior in the world today who really understands the Way of strategy. There are various Ways. pray to Kwannon. By victory gained in crossing swords with individuals. Generally speaking. It is said the warrior's is the twofold Way of pen and sword. This is the virtue of strategy. From youth my heart has been inclined toward the Way of strategy. It was certainly an art but as beneficial practice it was not limited to sword-fencing. Musashi's life study is thus as relevant in the twentieth century as it was on the medieval battleground. peasants and lowlier folk have been known to die readily in the cause of duty or out of shame. I suppose you could sum up his inspiration as "humility and hard work". After that I studied morning and evening searching for the principle. I am a warrior of Harima province. Perhaps it was natural ability. This was between the ages of thirteen and twenty-eight or twentynine. The Way of Strategy In China and Japan practitioners of the Way have been known as "masters of strategy". this is a different thing. so successful business sems to most people to be without conscience. and now I think I will explain it in writing for the first time. When I reached thirty I looked back on my past. the Way of Confucius governing the Way of learning. yet was following logically an honest ideal. and applies not just to the Japanese race but to all nations. the Way of the warrior is resolute acceptance of death. The time is the night of the tenth day of the tenth month. and troopers should know this Way. The previous victories were not due to my having mastered strategy. The true value of sword-fencing cannot be seen withing the confines of sword-fencing technique. and many arts and skills. Although not only warriors but priests. tea.m. Introduction I have been many years training in the Way of strategy.) The Ground Book Stategy is the craft of the warrior. we can attain power and fame for ourselves or for our lord. The warrior is different in that studying the Way of strategy is based on overcoming men. archery. Warriors must learn this Way. and made schools based on this teaching. I struck down a strategist of the Shinto school. Each man practices as he feels inclined. It is now during the first ten days of the tenth month in the twentieth year of Kanei (1645). called Ni Ten Ichi Ryu. as a poet teaching the Way of Waka. My first duel was when I was thirteen.the same way that Musashi seems to have been a horribly cruel man. In olden times strategy was listed among the Ten Abilities and Seven Arts as a beneficial practice. one Arima Kihei. The attendants of the Kashima Kantori shrines of the province Hitachi received instruction from the gods. Commanders must enact the craft. and he should have a taste for both Ways. Shinmen Musashi No Kami Fujiwara No Geshin. and not once failed to win even though I had as many as sixty encounters. at the hour of the tiger (3-5 a. 6 . never once failing to win in many contests. age sixty years. Tadashima Akiyama. Even if a man has no natural ability he can be a warrior by sticking assiduously to both divisions of the Way. or enjoining battle with large numbers. I have climbed mountain Iwato of Higo in Kyushu to pay homage to heaven. Recently there have been people getting on in the world as strategists.

having tools which will cut well. Like the foreman carpenter. These are the four Ways of the gentleman. and the plans of palaces. and the rules of houses. Good strong timber. the carpenter sharpens his own tools. The attainment of the carpenter is that his work is not warped. cuts fine openwork and carvings accurately. and works under the direction of his foreman. They are looking for profit. is used for the thresholds. choice of woods is made. to make small shrines. makers of sliding doors.If we look at the world we see arts for sale. farmers. the disciple is as thread. The carpenter uses a master plan of the building. though it be gnarled and knotted. In this kind of Way of strategy. Things are similar for the trooper. artisans and merchants. ceilings and so on. lintels. and the Way of strategy is similar in that there is a plan of campaign. Thirdly the gentleman warrior. the artisan and the merchant. and that the work is truly planed so that it meets well and is not merely finished in sections. Floor layers. This is the same as the principle of strategy. tables. Timber of the finest appearance. and those of lesser ability carve wedges and do such miscellaneous work. thriving of houses. the Four houses. When the carpenter becomes skilled and understands measures he can become a foreman The carpenter's attainment is. doors. paper lanterns. The Way of the merchant is always to live by taking profit. writing shelves. There are four Ways in which men pass through life: as gentlemen. and later for firewood. and sliding doors. You must practice constantly. carrying the weaponry of his Way. both those teaching and those learning the way are concerned with colouring and showing off their technique. and the name of the house. the tradition of the house. chopping boards and pot-lids. 7 . circulating among them and asking nothing unreasonable. The wine maker obtains his ingredients and puts them to use to make his living. ruin of houses. The foreman carpenter must know the architectural theory of towers and temples. that the joints are not misaligned. The foreman should take into account the abilities and limitations of his men. and must employ men to raise up houses. ponder over this book. and encourage them when necessary. Someone once said "Immature strategy is the cause of grief". The Way of the foreman carpenter is the same as the Way of the commander of a warrior house. Second is the Way of the merchant. He makes culumns and girders with an axe. he sees springs through to autumns with an eye on the changes of season. giving as excellent a finish as his skill will allow. This is the craft of carpenters. The way of the farmer. As if with the nut and the flower. He carries his equipment in his tool box. shapes floorboards and shelves with a plane. The foreman carpenter allots his men work according to their ability. In the contruction of houses. the nut has become less than the flower. He should know their morale and spirit. If the foreman knows and deploys his men well the finished work will be good. Those of poor ability lay the floor joist. and the rules of the country. so must he not have a little taste for this? Fourthly the Way of the artisan. houses of warriors. Men use equipment to sell their own selves. Straight un-knotted timber of good appearance is used for the revealed pillars. The Way of Strategy Like a trooper. and so on. Houses of the nobility. That was a true saying. If you want to learn the craft of war. the style of the house. Timber which is weak or knotted throughout should be used as scaffolding. thresholds and lintels. If a gentleman dislikes strategy he will not appreciate the benefit of weaponry. Thus he passes through life. The Way of the carpenter is to become proficient in the use of his tools. These are the specialities of the carpenter. They speak of "This Dojo" and "That Dojo". can always be used discreetly in construction. even if a little weak. Using agricultural instruments. The teacher is as a needle. trying to hasten the bloom of the flower. the commander must know natural rules. This is the Way of the foreman. This is the Way of the merchant. The Way of the warrior is to master the virtue of his weapons. You ought to think deeply about this. This is essential. straight timber with small defects is used for the innter pillars. the farmer. Comparing the Way of the carpenter to strategy The comparison with carpentry is through the connection with houses. first to lay his plans with a true measure and then perform his work according to plan.

Other strategies have come to be thought of as mere sword-fencing. If you study a Way daily. Water. The principle of strategy is having one thing. and family traditions of strategy. you may think you are obeying a good way. The essence of this book is that you must train day and night in order to make quick decisions. The spirit of defeating a man is the same for ten million men. the shallowest things and the deepest things. By the clarity. on swampy ground. Know the smallest things and the biggest things. Fire. All this is the Way of the Void. You must do sufficient research. or in a crowd of people.Two swords) Warriors. when running on uneven roads. the book of the Void. This is the truth: when you sacrifice your life. I cannot write in detail how this is done. If you are following the true Way and diverge a little. so his movements are difficult to predict. I have explained what is commonly meant by strategy in other schools in the Tradition (Wind) book. you must make fullest use of your weaponry. muddy rice fields. When you appreciate the power of nature. Water adopts the shape of its receptacle. It is encumbering to hold a sword in both hands when you are on horseback. This book is not concerned with my Ichi school but with other schools of strategy. By Wind I mean old traditions. The body of the Way of strategy from the viewpoint of my Ichi school is explained in the Ground book. both commanders and troopers. An individual can easily change his mind. when you freely beat one man. but objectively it is not the true Way. Outline of the Five Books of this Book of Strategy The Way is shown in five books concerning different aspects. the spirit becomes like water. stony ground. to know ten thousand things. lies in a separate principle. Third is the Fire book. like building a great Buddha from one foot model. You must appreciate that spirit can become big or small. you beat any man in the world. What is big is easy to perceive: what is small is difficult to perceive. This book is about fighting. In strategy it is necessary to treat training as a part of normal life with your spirit unchanging. To 8 . the first book is called the Ground book. With water as the basis. and so it is with battles. whether the fire be small or big. The strategist makes small things into big things. Water has a clear blue colour. If you hold a sword with both hands. These are Ground. The spirit of fire is fierce. The Way of strategy is the Way of nature. You must appreciate this. The Name Ichi Ryu Ni To (One school . whatever the reason. It is difficult to realise the true Way just through sword-fencing. so my method is to carry the sword in one hand. Thus I clearly explain the strategies of the world. this will later become a large divergence. You must realise this. The Way of battles is the same for man to man fights and for ten thousand a side battles. Fourthly the Wind book. present-day traditions.If you want to learn this Way. nowadays they are known as the sword and the companion sword. it is difficult to wield it freely to left and right. Second is the Water book. but swords and companion swords can be carried in one hand. carry two swords at their belt. This is tradition. It is difficult to know yourself if you do not know others. To all Ways there are side-tracks. deeply consider the things written in this book one at a time. and Void. As if it were a straight road mapped out on the ground. and to die with a weapon yet undrawn. Things of Ichi school are written in this the Water book. "Nito Ichi Ryu" shows the advantage of using both swords. If you master the principles of sword-fencing. it is difficult for large numbers of men to change position. Fifthly. a warrior carries two swords at his belt. Students of the Ichi school Way of strategy should train from the start with the sword and long sword in either hand. and your spirit diverges. things of Ichi school are shown in this book. I intend to show how to follow the true Way according to nature in the book of the Void. This does not apply to large weapons such as the spear or halberd. and it is not unreasonable that this should be so. In olden times these were called the long sword and the sword. although it includes sword-fencing. Let it suffice to say that in our land. By Void I mean that which has no beginning and no end. Attaining this principle means not attaining the principle. knowing the rhythm of any situation. Tradition (Wind). so their movements can be easily predicted. In short. It is the Way of the warrior. The benefit of my strategy. it is sometimes a trickle and sometimes a wild sea. The spear and halberd are weapons that are carried out of doors. Thus combat in battle is described in the Fire book. It is false not to do so. you will be able to hit the enemy naturally and strike naturally.

there is no fast way of wielding the long sword. The principle is "strategy by means of the long sword". Buddhism. With the spear you can take the initiative. The long sword should be wielded broadly. The Benefit of Weapons in Strategy There is a time and a place for use of weapons. or when you are engaged closely with an opponent. so a hundred men can beat a thousand. In my strategy. Spear and halberd both have their uses. so this strategy is the complete warrior's craft. You must study hard. If he attains the virtue of the long sword. When you become used to wielding the long sword. the Water Book. The bow is tactically strong at the commencement of battle. From one thing. nor do we speak of "companionswordsmen". It is not difficult to wield a sword in one hand. especially battles on a moor. thus the long sword is the basis of strategy. and a thousand men can beat ten thousand. guns. Just as a horse must have endurance and no defects. and yet you can also win with a short weapon. Because bows. the halberd is defensive. you can win with a long weapon. For this reason there are nowadays few traditional schools of archery. Just as one man can beat ten. Men must polish their particular Way. The Way of the warrior does not include other Ways. as you become accustomed to the bow so your pull will become stronger. Spears and halberds must stand up to heavy use: bows and guns must be sturdy. To master the virtue of the long sword is to govern the world and oneself.hold the long sword in both hands is not the true Way. These things cannot be explained in detail. but once swords are crossed the gun becomes useless. They cannot be used for taking a prisoner. But even though these are not part of the Way. One of the virtues of the bow is that you can see the arrows in flight and correct your aim accordingly. those who master the gun are called marksmen. if you know the Way broadly you will see it in everything. You must appreciate the importance of this. when it is difficult to cut an enemy down eith one hand. you will think narrowly and forget the true Way. one man is the same as ten thousand. halberds are difficult to wield. and swords and companion swords should cut strongly. for if you carry a bow or spear or other arms in your left hand you have only one hand free for the long sword. whatever the weapon and whatever its size. 9 . but neither is very beneficial in confined spaces. if you learn "indoor" techniques. Horses should walk strongly. Thus you will have difficulty in actual encounters. There is little use nowadays for this kind of skill. whereas gunshot cannot be seen. From inside fortifications. or when the enemy is more than forty yards away. the spear gives a little extra strength. They are essentially weapons for the field. It is better to use two swords rather than one when you are fighting a crowd and especially if you want to take a prisoner. such as Confucianism. the gun has no equal among weapons. Bows are difficult to draw. the Way to learn this is to train with two long swords. artistic accomplishments and dancing. The long sword can be used effectively in all situations. According to this Ichi school. and the companion sword closely. As I will explain in the second book. know ten thousand things. those who master the spear are called spearmen. The halberd is inferior to the spear on the battlefield. one man can beat ten men. In the hands of one of two men of equal ability. This is the first thing to realise. However. spears and halberds are all warriors' equipment they are certainly part of strategy. those who master the halberd are called halberdiers. However. you must use both hands. The best use of the companion sword is in a confined space. you will gain the power of the Way and wield the sword well. It is the supreme weapon on the field before the ranks clash. certain traditions. Anyway. one in each hand. it is unsatisfactory in sieges. the Way of the Ichi school is the spirit of winning. When you attain the Way of strategy there will not be one thing you cannot see. as it is possible to shoot quickly from among the spearmen. In short. but everything is difficult at first. It will seem difficult at first. But we do not call masters of the Way of the long sword "longswordsmen". As for the other military arts. The Benefit of the Two Characters reading "Strategy" Masters of the long sword are called strategists. so it is with weapons. those who master the bow are called archers. Weapons should be hardy rather than decorative.

• Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters. your spirit will naturally broaden. conquer men with your body. and train in the Way of strategy. All things entail rising and falling timing. From the outset you must know the applicable timing and the inapplicable timing. This is recorded for the first time in the five books of Ground. in his harmony and discord. and riding horses. If you practise day and night in the above Ichi school strategy. These are things you must learn thoroughly. • Pay attention even to trifles. Fire. There is also timing in the Void. and from among the large and small things and the fast and slow timings find the relevant timing. • Know the Ways of all professions. This is the main thing in strategy. will it not mean that you are invincible? Moreover. All the five books are chiefly concerned with timing. In strategy there are various timing considerations. in the rise and fall of capital. If there is a Way involving the spirit of not being defeated. and this using a timing which the enemy does not expect. Teruo Magonojo for SHINMEN MUSASHI The Water Book The spirit of the Ni Ten Ichi school of strategy is based on water. The second year of Shoho (1645). You must be able to discern this. there is timing in the Way of the merchant. and this Water Book explains methods of victory as the long-sword form of the Ichi school. There is timing in the whole life of the warrior. and with sufficient training you will be able to beat ten men with your spirit.You should not have a favourite weapon. in his thriving and declining. To become over-familiar with one weapon is as much a fault as not knowing it sufficiently well. for they are in rhythm only if timing is good. If you do not look at things on a large scale it will be difficult for you to master strategy. it is the Way of strategy. In all skills and abilities there is timing. You should not copy others. Water. • The Way is in training. • Develop intuitive judgement and understanding for everything. and to be able to win with your eye. It is important to start by setting these broad principles in your heart. and Void. but it can be 10 . More than anything to start with you must set your heart on strategy and earnestly stick to the Way. You will come to be able to actually beat men in fights. govern the country and foster the people. shooting bows and guns. It is especially important to know the background timing. You must train sufficiently to appreciate all this. It is bad for commanders and troops to have likes and dislikes. • Become aquainted with every art. the twelfth day. thus preserving the ruler's discipline. Tradition (Wind). Similarly. If you learn and attain this strategy you will never lose even to twenty or thirty enemies. but use weapons which you can handle properly. Timing and rhythm are also involved in the military arts. • Do nothing which is of no use. Language does not extend to explaining the Way in detail. • Perceive those things which cannot be seen. Also by training you will be able to freely control your own body. Thus is large scale strategy and the strategy of hand to hand combat propagated in the world. bear himself correctly. Timing is important in dancing and pipe or string music. in large scale strategy the superior man will manage many subordinates dextrously. to help oneself and gain honour. otherwise your strategy will become uncertain. the fifth month. This is the Way for men who want to learn my strategy: • Do not think dishonestly. first seeing the distance timing and the background timing. You win in battles with the timing in the Void born of the timing of cunning by knowing the enemies' timing. Timing in strategy There is timing in everything. When you have reached this point. Timing in strategy cannot be mastered without a great deal of practice.

nor twisted. With your spirit open and unconstricted. The principles of strategy are written down here in terms of single combat. In all forms of strategy. It is bad to have play in your hands. look at things from a high point of view. you must be intent on cutting the enemy in the way you grip the sword. Holding the Long Sword Grip the long sword with a rather floating feeling in your thumb and forefinger. and large people must be familiar with the spirit of small people. Study this book. An elevated spirit is weak and a low spirit is weak. Spiritual Bearing in Strategy In strategy your spiritual bearing must not be any different from normal. but so that you realise the principle from within your own heart study hard to absorb these things into your body. you must feel intent on cutting the enemy. with the middle finger neither tight nor slack. Even when your spirit is calm do not let your body relax. nor looking up. Your forehead and the space between your eyes should not be wrinkled. Both in fighting and in everyday life you should be determined though calm. The Gaze in Strategy The gaze should be large and broad. and your hands must not "cower". This is the twofold gaze "Perception and Sight". You must research this well. Strategy is different from other things in that if you mistake the Way even a little you will become bewildered and fall into bad ways. without the buttocks jutting out. The gaze is the same for single combat and for large-scale combat. or ward it off. memorise or imitate. With your features composed. and with the last two fingers tight. or force it down. do not be misled by the reactions of your own body.this is called "wedging in". your spirit settled yet unbiased. There is no such thing as a "man-cutting grip". Be neither insufficiently spirited nor over spirited. Learn what is written here: use this gaze in everyday life and do not vary it whatever happens. Stance in Strategy Adopt a stance with the head erect. but slightly narrow them. but you must think broadly so that you attain an understanding for ten-thousand-a-side battles. Do not roll your eyes nor allow them to blink. Wedge your companion sword in your belt against your abdomen. and in the same way from the shoulders down through your entire body. Small people must be completely familiar with the spirit of large people. As you cut an enemy you must not change your grip.grasped intuitively. Meet the situation without tenseness yet not recklessly. When you take up a sword. study the Ways of different arts one by one. The grip for combat and for sword-testing is the same. When you dash the enemy's sword aside. you must slightly change the feeling in your thumb and forefinger. read a word then ponder on it. Perception is strong and sight weak. it is necessary to maintain the combat stance in everyday life and to make your everyday stance your combat stance. Absorb the things written in this book. If you interpret the meaning loosely you will mistake the Way. Brace your abdomen so that you do not bend at the hips. Polish your wisdom: learn public justice. You cannot master this ability quickly. When you cannot be deceived by men you will have realised the wisdom of strategy. The wisdom of strategy is different from other things. If you merely read this book you will not reach the Way of strategy. Do not just read. put strength into your legs from the knees to the tops of your toes. Do not let the enemy see your spirit. 11 . It is necessary in strategy to be able to look to both sides without moving the eyeballs. Whatever your size. Do not let your spirit be influenced by your body. even when you are hard-pressed. Above all. Lower both shoulders and. You must cultivate your wisdom and spirit. Hold the line of the rear of the neck straight: instil vigour into your hairline. and when your body is relaxed do not let your spirit slacken. or your body influenced by your spirit. On othe battlefield. you should ceaselessly research the principles of strategy so that you can develop a steady spirit. so that your belt is not slack . neither hanging down. keep the line of your nose straight with a feeling of slightly flaring your nostrils. distinguish between good and evil. It is important in strategy to know the enemy's sword and not to be distracted by insignificant movements of his sword. You must study this. In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things.

You must appreciate this. Whether you move fast or slow. I dislike fixedness in both long swords and hands. you will be able to wield a sword well. Footwork With the tips of your toes somewhat floating. and as the enemy renews the attack cut his arms from below. This is the Way of the long sword. Return the sword in a reasonable way. Upper. You should not move one foot preferentially. dash his sword to the right and "ride" it. when the enemy attacks. we can wield it easily. with the other four attitudes following the commander. with large or small steps. You must train repeatedly using a long sword in order to learn them. I dislike the three walking methods known as "jumping-foot". These are the five. Right Side. It is possible to repeat the cut from here.Generally. Left and Right attitudes should be used if there is an obstruction overhead or to one side. • In this method there are various changes in timing and spirit. Wield the sword strongly. If you try to wield it quickly. hit his hands from below. withdrawing. When you master my Way of the long sword. 12 . Pliability is a living hand. As you do so. The Five Approaches • The first approach is the Middle attitude. Left Side and Right Side attitudes are fluid. The essence of the Way is this. So-called "Yin-Yang foot" is important to the Way. You cannot cut a man with a long sword using this method. Fixedness means a dead hand. To wield the long sword well you must wield it calmly. Lower. keep your long sword where it is. You will always win with the five long sword methods. he may try to hit your sword down. I assure you. always stretching the elbows broadly. Lower and Middle attitudes are decisive. If this is the case. You must train holding a long sword. If you try to wield the long sword quickly you will mistake the Way. This is the first method. Yin-Yang foot means not moving only one foot. from the Upper attitude cut the enemy just as he attacks. Middle. The Five Attitudes The five attitudes are: Upper. lift it straight upwards. "floating-foot" and "fixed-steps". Your attitude should be large or small according to the situation. your feet must always move as in normal walking. The Way of the Long Sword Knowing the Way of the long sword means we can wield with two fingers the sword that we usually carry. If we know the path of the sword well. Although attitude has these five dimensions. This means that from the Lower attitudes you hit the enemy at the instant that he attacks. think only of cutting. • In the second approach with the long sword. the Middle attitude is the seat of the commander. • You will encounter this method often. You must train constantly. tread firmly with your heels. the one purpose of all of them is to cut the enemy. there are no attitudes other than the five attitudes of the long sword of NiTo. you will err by using "short sword chopping". adopt the Lower attitude. when you cut sideways. When he attacks. If we look at strategy on a broad scale. keep your sword where it is and. The Middle attitude is the heart of the attitudes. To understand attitude you must thoroughly understand the Middle attitude. anticipating scooping up. You will be able to understand this by training in the Ichi school. scooping from below. You must train repeatedly. If the enemy evades the cut. When the enemy attackes. and Left Side. It means moving your feet left-right and right-left when cutting. You must bear this in mind. return the sword along a sideways path. Whatever attitude you are in. deflect the point of his sword by hitting downwards. like a folding fan or a short sword. When you have cut downwards with the long sword. cut his upper arm(s) horizontally with a feeling of "crossing". or warding off a cut. • The five approaches are this kind of thing. The decision to use Left or Right depends on the place. • In the third approach. you will be able to control any attack the enemy makes. both as a beginner and in later strategy. If you learn to use the five approaches of my strategy. Confront the enemy with the point of your sword against his face. There are none but these five attitudes. Or. do not be conscious of making the attitude. cut him as he renews the attack.

Attitude in strategy on a larger scale is called "Battle Array". You must train hard to understand it. hit his hands from below. while you see that he is still undecided. Whenever you parry. Study this well. If as you hit his hands he attempts to dash down your sword. expand your body and spirit and cut him as slowly as possible with your long sword. cross your sword from below at the side to the Upper attitude. The timing of hitting before the enemy decides to withdraw. whatever the means. To Hit the Enemy "In One Timing" "In One Timing" means. the Middle or the Lower attitude results. The "Abdomen Timing of Two" When you attack and the enemy quickly retreats. You must train to achieve this timing. You must discern the enemy's grade. • This method is essential for knowing the Way of the long sword well. It is very difficult to attain this merely by reading this book. It is often used. spring. follow up and hit him. However you hold the sword it must be in such a way that it is easy to cut the enemy well. striking or touching the enemy. you will not be able actually to cut him. accelerating strongly. As the enemy attacks. with the feeling of hitting his hands. Such attitudes are all for winning battles. and from the Middle attitude you can raise the sword a little in your technique and adopt the Upper attitude. Through this method you win by parrying the line of the enemy's attack. to hit him as quickly and directly as possible. The Fire and Stones Cut 13 .• In this fourth approach. learn large-scale timing. According to the situation. and hit with your spirit. No Design. You must thoroughly research this. following your body like stagnant water. Fixed formation is bad. More than anything. you must be thinking of carrying your movement through to cutting him.Nonexisting Attitude". I cannot describe in detail how to use these five approaches. This is the "No Design. Then. • In the fifth approach. is this "In One Timing". understand the enemy's long sword. as he relaxes. If you can use this method. if you turn your sword from either the Left Side or Right Side attitude towards the centre. Then cut straight from above. The primary thing when you take a sword in your hands is your intention to cut the enemy. You must become well acquainted with my "in harmony with the long sword" Way. and hit from the Void with your hands. This is the most important method of hitting. hit. You must study this. This is the "Abdomen Timing of Two". attitudes exist as the five ways of holding the long sword. You must consider all this carefully. without moving your body or settling your spirit. hit with your body. The Flowing Water Cut The "Flowing Water Cut" is used when you are struggling blade to blade with the enemy. the sword is in the Right Side attitude. to be able to hit in the timing of an instant. It is essential to attain this. You will always win by using these five methods. and become used to the five approaches from the outset. When he breaks and quickly withdraws trying to spring with his long sword. springing. the place. you can freely wield a heavy long sword. but you will soon understand with a little instruction. when you have closed with the enemy. The "Attitude No-Attitude" Teaching "Attitude No-Attitude" means that there is no need for what are known as long sword attitudes. From the Upper attitude as your spirit lessens you can adopt the Middle attitude. parry the path of his long sword and cut across from above your shoulder. with various timing considerations discerning the enemy's spirit. If you think only of hitting. No Conception In this method. adopt the Left Side attitude. you must cut the enemy in the same movement. break or hit. The principle of this is called "Existing Attitude . You can cut with certainty if you learn this. as you see him tense you must feint a cut. In accordance with the enemy's attack. Even so. From the Lower attitude you can raise the sword a little and adopt the Middle attitudes as the occasion demands. • This is the Way of the long sword. No Conception" cut. when the enemy attacks and you decide to attack. and your relation to the enemy. strike or touch the enemy's cutting sword. in accordance with the situation.

Three Ways to Parry His Attack There are three methods to parry a cut: First. whatever form of cutting it is. No Conception" Cut. stretch your hips. and stretch your neck face to face with him. When you think you have won.all three cutting strongly. stick firmly with your head. before the enemy cuts. Slashing is in spirit the same as touching. You must train repetitively. without in the least extending your arms. hitting and parrying. perhaps in the design of the "No Design. your spirit is resolved. but their body lags behind. The Body in Place of the Long Sword Also "the long sword in place of the body". However. you can cut first with the long sword. If you train well enough you will be able to strike strongly. This means cutting quickly with the hands. striking as strongly as possible in time with your breathing. The spirit is to get in quickly. Stretch your legs. 14 . When you cut. you must then cut strongly. If you first slash the enemy's hands or legs. The spirit of stickiness is not hitting very strongly. If his body is immoveable. Approach with a spirit of bouncing the enemy away. People tend to advance their head and legs quickly. you strongly hit the enemy's sword with the Fire and Stones Cut. You must learn this. Turn your face a little aside and strike the enemy's breast with your left shoulder thrust out. to strive with him for superior height without cringing. If you then beat down the point of his sword with a sticky feeling. it is slashing. body and legs. You must consider this carefully. If you are intent upon not stretching out your arms you are effectively far away. When you come to within arm's reach it becomes easy to move your body in. and afterwards cut with the sword. The Red Leaves Cut The Red Leaves Cut means knocking down the enemy's long sword. To Strive for Height By "to strive for height" is meant. Train well. You must research this well and practise hitting. Cut and Slash To cut and slash are two different things. Glue and Lacquer Emulsion Body The spirit of "Glue and Lacquer Emulsion Body" is to stick to the enemy and not separate from him. Usually we move the body and the sword at the same time to cut the enemy. Chinese Monkey's Body The Chinese Monkey's Body is the spirit of not stretching out your arms. when he makes an attack. It is best to approach as calmly as possible when hitting the enemy's long sword with stickiness. If you achieve this method of closing with the enemy. you can dash against him with your body first. but hitting so that the long swords do not separate easily. is decisive. The difference between "Stickiness" and "Entanglement" is that stickiness is firm and entanglement is weak. you should go in with a sticky feeling and fix your long sword against the enemy's as you receive his cut. To Apply Stickiness When the enemy attacks and you also attack with the long sword. Slashing is nothing more than touching the enemy. by dashing the enemy's long sword to your right.The Fires and Stones Cut means that when the enemy's long sword and your long sword clash together you cut as strongly as possible without raising the sword even a little. but generally you hit first with the body and then cut with the long sword. you will be able to knock him ten or twenty feet away. when you close with the enemy. When you approach the enemy. according to the enemy's cutting method. You must appreciate this. You must appreciate this. Even if you slash strongly. he will necessarily drop the sword. body and legs . the spirit is to go in with your whole body. with a resolute spirit. If you practise this cut it becomes easy to make the enemy drop his sword. they become indistinguishable. You should stick firmly so that there is not the slightest gap between the enemy's body and your body. and even if the enemy dies instantly. as if thrusting at his eyes. The spirit should be getting control of his sword. thrust in strongly. and you are the higher. Cutting. The Body Strike The Body Strike means to approach the enemy through a gap in his guard. It is possible to strike the enemy until he is dead. When you realise this. When the enemy is in a long sword attitude in front of you and intent on cutting. Learn this well. The spirit is to strike him with your body. You must research this well.

when the enemy tries to counter-cut as you attack. and with the spirit of deflecting his long sword. Sweep your eyes around broadly. These are the three ways of parrying. to parry by thrusting the enemy's long sword towards his right eye with the feeling of snipping his neck. crushing them in the direction from which they attack. cut them down strongly without giving them room to move. Always quickly re-assume your attitudes to both sides. You must stab the enemy's breast without letting the point of your long sword waver. With very quick timing you cut. without worrying about parrying the enemy's long sword. You must research sufficiently to realise this. Draw both sword and companion sword and assume a wide-stretched left and right attitude. Oral tradition:"The true Way of strategy is revealed in the long sword. as if tying a line of fishes. To Scold "Tut-TUT!" "Scold" means that. you must drive the enemy together. but it cannot be clearly explained in writing. however hard your long swords clash together." 15 . When fighting and the enemy's body becomes as if rideable. Or. You must understand the application of this method. you counter-cut again from below as if thrusting at him. The spirit of the smacking parry is not parrying. It is difficult to attain this if you do not learn strategy well. The way to scold Tut-TUT is to time the cut simultaneously with raising your long sword as if to thrust the enemy. You must bear in mind that you can always clench your left hand and thrust at the enemy's face with your fist. You must train diligently. strategy will come from your heart and you will be able to win at will. For this it is necessary to train well. to close with him quickly. The spirit is to chase the enemies around from side to side. you meet his attacking cut on your long sword with a tee-dum. Oral tradition: "Teach your body strategy. You must learn this through repetitive practice. There are Many Enemies "There are many enemies" applies when you are fighting one against many. when you have a short "long sword". Observe their attacking order. smacking his sword and cutting him." One Cut You can with with certainty with the spirit of "one cut". and whenever it is difficult to cut. to thrust at the enemy. that your spirit is intent on stabbing at his face. when you are in controntation with the enemy. The spirit of this principle is often useful when we become tired or for some reason our long sword will not cut. cut the enemies down as they advance. When the enemy becomes rideable. showing the enemy the ridge of the blade square-on. your swordpoint will not be knocked back even a little. To Stab at the Face To stab at the face means. Direct Communication The spirit of "Direct Communication" is how the true Way of the NiTo Ichi school is received and handed down. even though they come from all four directions. Thrust up. You must practise diligently in order to understand how to win. If you train well in this Way. tee-dum rhythm. there are various opportunities for winning. following the line of the blades with the point of your long sword. thrusting at his face with your left hand. The Advantage when coming to Blows You can know how to win through strategy with the long sword. "Tut!". but smacking the enemy's long sword in accordance with his attacking cut. If you understand the timing of smacking. To Stab at the Heart To stab at the heart means. If you are intent on stabbling at his face. and go to meet first those who attack first. scolding the enemy. so you ought not to forget to stab at the face. carefully examining the attacking order. trying to hold him down. when fighting and there are obstructions above or to the sides.Or. You must concentrate on this. and cut left and right alternately with your swords. and cut "TUT!" This timing is encountered time and time again in exchanges of blows. Whatever you do. The Smacking Parry By "smacking parry" is meant that when you clash swords with the enemy. and when they are seen to be piled up. Waiting is bad. you can win quickly. his face and body will become ridable. or smacking strongly. primarily intent on quickly cutting him. You must persue the value of this technique through training.

At night. Step by step walk the thousand-mile road. Maintain this spirit whenever you cross swords with an enemy. train according to this book. Study the contents of this book. do 16 . taking one item at a time. the training for killing enemies is by way of many contests. that is. discovering the meaning of life and death. But you can become a master of strategy by training alone with a sword. merely be the span of their forearms. When the enemy gets into an inconvenient position. and try to keep him with his back to awkward places. and take up your attitude on slightly higher places. so a thousand men can beat ten thousand". then you will be able to beat several tens of men. You must look down on the enemy. You must research this. first learn the five approaches and the five attitudes. What remains is sword-fighting ability. and that there is free space on your left. Chase him towards awkward places. and otherwise take up your attitude as above. He will come to posess miraculous power. if the enemy can be seen. Even if you kill an enemy. If the situation does not allow this. and come to appreciate how to apply strategy to beat ten thousand enemies. as with the folding fan. not allowing your heart to be swayed along a side-track. judging the strength of attacks and understanding the Way of the "edge and ridge" of the sword. and absorb the Way of the long sword naturally in your body. For example. You must understand spirit and timing. Any man who wants to master the essence of my strategy must research diligently. To learn how to win with the long sword in strategy. Depending on the Place Examine your environment Stand in the sun. When the fight comes. fighting for survival. My Way of strategy is the sure method to win when fighting for your life one man against five or ten. if it is not based on what you have learned it is not the true Way.Recorded in the above book is an outline of Ichi school sword fighting. learning such trifles as hand and leg movements with the bamboo practise sword. tomorrow is your victory over lesser men. from time to time raising your hand in combat. you must stand with the entrance behind you or to your right. Of course you cannot assemble a thousand or ten thousand men for everyday training. In the first place. Today is victory over yourself of yesterday. and through fighting with enemies you will gradually come to know the principle of the Way. handle the long sword naturally. people think narrowly about the benefit of strategy. with a patient spirit. take up an attitude with the sun behind you. become free from self. Make sure that your rear is unobstructed. absorb the virtue of all this. so that you can understand the enemy's strategies. By using only their fingertips. his strength and resources. and move body and legs in harmony with your spirit. Study strategy over the years and achieve the spirit of the warrior. They let a contest be decided. the twelfth day of the fifth month (1645) Teruo Magonojo for SHINMEN MUSASHI The Fire Book In this the Fire Book of the NiTo Ichi school of strategy I describe fighting as fire. in order to beat more skilful men. you will then know values in strategy. Whether beating one man or two. your right side being occupied with your sword attitude. learning the Way of the sword. If you attain this Way of victory. they only know the benefit of three of the five inches of the wrist. Deliberately. They specialise in the small matter of dexterity. The Second Year of Shoho. In my strategy. which you can attain in battles and duels. and realise extrordinary ability. Next. Thus can he polish his skill. training morning and evening. This is the practical result of strategy. yo umust try to keep the sun on your right side. the Kamiza in a house is thought of as a high place. keep the fire behind you and the entrance to your right. There is nothing wrong with the principle "one man can beat ten. always endeavour to chase the enemy around to your left side. You cannot profit from small techniques particularly when full armor is worn. In buildings.

This is Tai Tai No Sen These things cannot be clearly explained in words. When you have grasped this principle. The Second . The important thing in strategy is to suppress the enemy's useful actions but allow his useless actions. but if the enemy attacks first you can lead him around. when he jumps check his advance at the syllable "ju. you must stop the enemy as he attempts to cut.". forestalling the enemy. you must push down his thrust. The Three Methods to Forestall the Enemy The first is to forestall him by attacking. This is called Tai Tai No Sen (to accompany him and forestall him). You must make the best of the situation.. There are no methods of taking the lead other than these three. You must research what is written here. You must research and train diligently in this. This is the meaning of "to hold down a pillow".. In these three ways of forestalling. Or. Another method is to forestall him as he attacks. There are several things involved in taking the lead. but conscientiously chase him around and pin him down. The Third .Tai Tai No Sen When the enemy makes a quick attack. if the enemy attacks calmly. again not letting him see his situation.". The spirit is to win in the depths of the enemy. using the virtues of the place to establish predominant positions from which to fight. and check his cut at "cu. As the enemy reaches you.. Because you can win quickly by taking the lead. However. you must judge the situation. Move quickly and cut him strongly.Tai No Sen When the enemy attacks. To Hold Down a Pillow To Hold Down a Pillow means not allowing the enemy's head to rise. and so on. In strategy. In contests of stategy it is bad to be led about by the enemy. Obviously the enemy will also be thinking of doing this. it is one of the most important things in strategy. and throw off his hold when he tries to grapple. aim for his weak point as he draws near. suddenly move away indicating that you intend to jump aside. This is called Ken No Sen (to set him up). with your body rather floating. The other method is when you and the enemy attack together. and so on. This does not mean that you always attack first. verandas. whatever the enemy tries to bring about in the fight you will see in advance and suppress it. and strongly defeat him. you must attack strongly and calmly.". This is called Tai No Sen (to wait for the initiative). Or.. pillars. In houses. In strategy. This is the Tai No Sen principle. advance with as strong a spirit as possible. Always chase the enemy into bad footholds. Or. doors. you have effectively won when you forestall the enemy. and when you reach the enemy move with your feet a little quicker than normal. First. join in with his movements as he draws near. then dash in attacking strongly as soon as you see the enemy relax.not let him look around. with your spirit calm. This is one way. foiling his 17 . see through the enemy's spirit so that you grasp his strategy and defeat him. chase the enemy into the thresholds.. These are all Ken No Sen. taking advantage of the resulting disorder in his timing to win. The spirit is to check his attack at the syllable "at. It is impossible to write about this in detail. you must observe his movement and. Or you can advance seemingly strongly but with a reserved spirit. keep calm and dash in quickly. The First .. from first to last. lintels. suppress the enemy's techniques. forestalling him with the reserve. You must always be able to lead the enemy about. doing this alone is defensive. so you must train well to attain this. unsettling him and overwhelming him sharply. but he cannot forestall you if you do not allow him to come out. obstacles at the side. Alternately.Ken No Sen When you decide to attack. remain undisturbed but feign weakness. as the enemy attacks. you must act according to the Way. attack more strongly. attack with a feeling of constantly crushing the enemy.

in the spirit of treading him down with the feet. tread with the spirit. for example. You can win through this principle of strategy. You must research this well. You must sufficiently study this. Is is flourishing or waning? By observing the spirit of the enemy's men and getting the best position. The spirit of crossing at a ford is necessary in both large. when the enemy starts to collapse you must persue him without letting the chance go. To cross at a ford means to attack the enemy's weak point. Once at the enemy. then set sail. knowing his metre and modulation and the appropriate timing. the enemy sometimes loses timing and collapses. if we think of "becoming the enemy". in large-scale strategy. in the wake of the enemy's attacking long sword. First. You must study this deeply. you should not aspire just to strike him. you will recognise the enemy's intentions and thus have many opportunities to win. fighting from a position of advantage. In single combat. knowing the soundness of your ship and the favour of the day. You must utterly cut the enemy down so that he does not recover his position. If the wind changes within a few miles of your destination. Tread with the body. and there is perhaps a favourable wind. If you let this opportunity pass. we feel that the 18 . crossing the sea at a strait. you may take your ease. I believe this "crossing at a ford" occurs often in a man's lifetime. as a good captain crosses a sea route. In the world people tend to think of a robber trapped in a house as a fortified enemy. seeing right into things. and to put yourself in an advantageous position. Crossing at a Ford "Crossing at a ford" means. You must achieve the spirit of not allowing the enemy to attack a second time. In large-scale strategy. or crossing over a hundred miles of broad sea at a crossing place. You must do this. It means setting sail even though your friends stay in harbour. If you are thoroughly conversant with strategy. You must train well and research "holding down a pillow". or a tailwind. it applies to everyday life. they may recover. When you can do this you will be a master of strategy. If you fail to take advantage of your enemies' collapse. bodies. This is how to win in large-scale strategy. it is difficult for us to attack if we are busy loading powder into our guns or notching our arrows. knowing the route. If you attain this spirit. when the enemy first discharges bows and guns and then attacks. and. attacking so that you do not let him recover. and thence command him directly. you can work out the enemy's disposition and move your men accordingly. and enemies collapse when their rhythm becomes deranged. To Know the Times "To know the times" means to know the enemy's disposition in battle. of course. If you succeed in crossing at the best place. tread and cut with the long sword. You must always think of crossing at a ford.and small-scale strategy. Houses. You must understand utterly how to cut down the enemy. if your ability is high. you must forestall the enemy and attack when you have first recognised his school of strategy. we cannot get a decisive victory by cutting. Attack in an unsuspected manner. and chase him. "Treading" does not simply mean treading with the feet. with a "tee-dum tee-dum" feeling. When in a duel. The chasing attack is with a strong spirit. knowing your own strong points. but to cling after the attack. The spirit is to win by "treading down" as we receive the enemy's attack. Fix your eye on the enemy's collapse. The spirit is to attack quickly while the enemy is still shooting with bows or guns.plans. "cross the ford" at the advantageous place. Knowing the times means. so that he cannot rise again to the attack. he may recover and not be so negligent thereafter. To Know "Collapse" Everything can collapse. To Tread Down the Sword "To tread down the sword" is a principle often used in strategy. you must row across the remaining distance without sail. When all the conditions are met. In single combat. Discern the enemy's capability and. However. perceived his quality and his strong and weak points. This is the spirit of forestalling in every sense. We must defeat him at the start of his attack. To Become the Enemy "To become the enemy" means to think yourself into the enemy's position. In strategy also it is important to "cross at a ford".

Time can be passed on also. It is easy then to defeat hin with a different method once you see his resources. in single combat. If you think. when there is a "four hands" spirit. having the lead. caused by the unexpected. defeat him by forestalling him with a Void spirit. thinking he sees your spirit. If you are negligent you will miss the timing. and the issue cannot be decided. when we think we have fallen into the "four hands" situation. to discover his resources. and defeat him by forestalling him with this timing. You must research this. You must appreciate this. In large-scale strategy. He who enters to arrest is a hawk. You must be able to judge this. and another is surprise. do not give up . people are always under the impression that the enemy is strong. To Hold Down a Shadow "Holding down a shadow" is used when can see the enemy's attacking spirit. In large-scale strategy. make a feint attack. Sleepiness can be passed on. To Pass On Many things are said to be passed on. Or. You must study this well. or weak spirit. One cause is danger. and the enemy will be taken by this and will become relaxed. then you will surely lose. you can win with certainty. when you cannot see the enemy's position. indicate that you are about to attack strongly. careless. catching on the moment the enemy relaxes. Abandon this spirit and win through an alternative resource. in single combat. In large-scale strategy. then suddenly attack strongly. But if you have good soldiers. and so tend to become cautious. defeat him. Then. if the enemy takes up a rear or side attitude of the long sword so that you cannot see his intention. In large-scale strategy. forestalling him. In single combat also. What is known as "getting someone drunk" is similar to this. start by making a show of being slow. and if you know how to beat the enemy. Research this well. To Move the Shade "To move the shade" is used when you cannot see the enemy's spirit. "Here is a master of the Way. and yawning canbe passed on. attack strongly and quickly. You must consider this deeply. there is nothing to worry about. When you see that this spirit has been passed on. To Cause Loss of Balance Many things can cause a loss of balance. Make a show of complete calmness. another is hardship. Attack without warning where the enemy is not expecting it. and the enemy will show his long sword. 19 . Benefiting from what you are shown. To Frighten Fright often occurs. who knows the principles of strategy". In single combat also you must put yourself in the enemy's position.whole world is against us and that there is no escape. and if you understand the principles of strategy. In large-scale strategy. you must grasp the opportunity to win. if you make a show of strongly suppressing his technique. In large-scale strategy it is important to cause loss of balance. Or. You must study this well. and while his spirit is undecided follow up your advantage and. He who is shut inside is a pheasant. Without allowing him space for breath to recover from the fluctuation of spirit. do not mind in the least.it is man's existence. You can also infect the enemy with a bored. In single combat. you can win by relaxing your body and spirit and then. hold down the enemy's strong intention with a suitable timing. he will change his mind. altering your spirit. Immediately throw away this spirit and win with a rechnique the enemy does not expect. To Release Four Hands "To release four hands" is used when you and the enemy are contending with the same spirit. you can bring about the enemy's defeat by attacking strongly with a Void spirit. when the enemy is agitated and shows an inclination to rush. we must defeat the enemy by changing our mind and applying a suitable technique according to his condition. In single combat. Get the feel of this. when the enemy embarks on an attack.

as if on a winding mountain path. In single combat. we can make him think. but by shouting. shouting out as we attack. You must understand this. To Injure the Corners It is difficult to move strong things by pushing directly. After the contest. In large-scale strategy we can use our troops to confuse the enemy on the field. These things all frighten. We shout during the fight to get into rhythm. when the armies are in confrontation. so you must research this deeply. to defeat him. The Three Shouts The three shouts are divided thus: before. or voice. the spirit of the whole body will be overthrown. or drive them back. during and after. against the wind and the waves. then grasp the timing and attack further strong points to right and left. attack the enemy's strong points and. we shout in the wake of our victory. when you see that they are beaten back. In large-scale strategy. To Crush 20 . To defeat the enemy you must follow up the attack when the corners have fallen. We shout after we have cut down the enemy . Research this well. and this weaken him. Research this deeply. It is important to know how to do this. You can win by applying a suitable technique while you are mutually entangled. and when he is confused you can easily win. making a small force seem large. In battles involving large numbers as well as in fights with small numbers. at the start of battle we shout as loudly as possible. In single combat. You should research this well. To Throw into Confusion This means making the enemy lose resolve. In single combat. we make as if to cut and shout "Ei!" at the same time to disturb the enemy. During the fight. This is called "sen go no koe" (before and after voice). In single combat. weighing up the enemies' disposition. or by threatening them from the flank without warning. These are the three shouts. If the corners are overthrown. Strike down the enemies in one quarter. The spirit of this is like a winding mountain path. When you know the enemies' level. you would lise the chance to win. also. use this spirit with the enemy's strong points. To Soak In When you have come to grips and are striving together with the enemy. We do not shout simultaneously with flourishing the long sword. quickly separate and attack yet another strong point on the periphery of his force. it is beneficial to strike at the corners of the enemy's force. Observing the enemy's spirit. You can win by making best use of the enemy's frightened rhythm. it is easy to win once the enemy collapses. Feint a thrust or cut. In large-scale strategy. and you realise that you cannot advance. In single combat. The voice shows energy. the voice is lowpitched. attack strongly with no trace of retreating spirit. you "soak in" and become one with the enemy. then in the wake of our shout we cut with the long sword. whereas. "Here? There? Like that? Like this? Slow? Fast?" Victory is certain when the enemy is caught up in a rhythm that confuses his spirit. you can often win decisively with the advantage of knowing how to "soak" into the enemy. What is meant by 'mingling' is the spirit of advancing and becoming engaged with the enemy. This happens when you injure the "corners" of his body. and you must research it deeply.this is to announce victory. To Mingle In battles. This is an important fighting method for one man against many. and not withdrawing even one step. We shout against fires and so on. This is the essence of fighting.In large-scale strategy you can frighten the enemy not by what you present to their eyes. were you to draw apart. long sword. or make the enemy thing you are going close to him. The voice is a thing of life. Shout according to the situation. we can confuse the enemy by attacking with varied techniques when the chance arises. so you should "injure the corners". you must use the advantage of taking the enemy unawares by frightening him with your body. too.

Penetrating the depths means penetrating with the long sword. interchanging large with small. If you attempt a technique which you have previously tried unsucessfully and fail yet again. we must suddenly change into a large spirit. and if he thinks of the sea. we knock the hat over his eyes. think of the enemy as your own troops. In large-scale strategy. means that without changing our circumstance we change our spirit and win through a different technique. penetrating with the body. and an entangled spirit arises where there is no possible resolution. The Commander Knows the Troops "The commander knows the troops" applies everywhere in fights in my Way of strategy. when we are deadlocked with the enemy. there is little chance of success if you use the same approach again. You must train well. It is necessary to consider how "to renew" also applies in large-scale strategy. In single combat. There is also the spirit of holding the long sword but not winning. think of the situation in a fresh spirit then win in the new rhythm. You must not depart from this spirit in large-scale strategy nor in single combat. there is no need to remain spirited. It is necessary that the warrior think in this spirit in everyday life. attack like the mountains. attack like the sea. crushing him utterly. Using the wisdom of strategy. It is essential to crush him all at once. we must always think of the Way of strategy as being both a rat's head and an ox's neck. or if he has many men but his spirit is weak and disordered. Rat's Head. There may be no help but to do something twice.This means to crush the enemy regarding him as being weak. he may be beaten superficially yet undefeated in spirit deep inside. If the enemy thinks of the mountains. with no concern for his presence and without allowing him space for breath. If you once make an attack and fail. If the enemy remains spirited it is difficult to crush him. To Renew "To renew" applies when we are fighting with the enemy. You must research this deeply. if the enemy is less skilful than ourself. Research this diligently. if his rhythm is disorganized. The Mountain-Sea Change The "mountain-sea" spirit means that it is bad to repeat the same thing several times when fighting the enemy. To Penetrate the Depths When we are fighting with the enemy. With this principle of "penetrating the depths" we can destroy the enemy's spirit in its depths. when we are fighting with the enemy and both he and we have become occupied with small points in an entangled spirit. You must research this deeply. The Body of a Rock 21 . The various methods cannot be expressed in writing. But otherwise we must remain spirited. This cannot be understood in a generalisation. This often occurs. You must train in penetrating the depths for largescale strategy and also single combat. You must learn the spirit of crushing as if with a hand-grip. but do not try it a third time. When you think in this way you can move him at will and be able to chase him around. To Let Go the Hilt There are various kinds of spirit involved in letting go the hilt. The primary thing is not to let him recover his position even a little. You must master this. Whenever we have become preoccupied with small details. if his spirit is not extinguished. To renew. demoralising him by quickly changing our spirit. when we see that the enemy has few men. Once we have crushed the enemy in the depths. then you must change your attacking method. We must abandon our efforts. he may recover. There is the spirit of winning without a sword. If we crush lightly. and penetrating with the spirit. This is one of the essences of strategy. or if he has fallen into evasive or retreating attitudes. Ox's Neck "Rat's head and ox's neck" means that. You become the general and the enemy becomes your troops. we must crush him straightaway. even when it can be seen that we can win on the surface with the benefit of the Way.

You must study these matters deeply to appreciate the benefit of my Ni To Ichi school. Oral tradition.When you have mastered the Way of strategy you can suddenly make your body like a rock. Some schools study the Way of the short sword. I expect there is a case for the school in question liking extra-long swords as part of it's doctrine. it is difficult to understand the essence of my Ichi school. You will not be moved. Some of the world's strategists are concerned only with sword fencing. and the order of things is a bit confused. If we watch men of other schools discussing theory. Other Schools Using Extra-Long Swords Some other schools have a liking for extra-long swords. Thus the true Way of strategy is becoming decadent and dying out. This is the body of a rock. But is dexterity alone sufficient to win? This is not the essence of the Way. If you attain and adhere to the wisdom of my strategy. relying on the virtue of its length. The blade path is large so the long sword is an encumbrance. In this world it is said. and ten thousand things cannot touch you. but if we compare this with real life it is unreasonable. and have no long sword? It is difficult for these people to cut the enemy when at close quarters because of the length of the long sword. I have recorded the unsatisfactory points of other schools one by one in this book. written down as it came to me. the fifth month. This is because they do not appreciate the principle of cutting the enemy by any means. we can think of 22 . The second year of Shoho. My Ichi school is different." So do not unconditionally dislike extra-long swords. so I have written about various other traditions of strategy in this the Wind Book. you need never doubt that you will win. Looking at other schools we find some that specialise in techniques of strength using extra-long swords. Of course. Some schools teach dexterity in large numbers of sword techniques. It shows the inferior strategy of a weak sprit that men should be dependant on the length of their sword. Other schools make accomplishments their means of livelihood. and its bad influence remains for ever. men who study in this way think they are training the body and spirit. fighting from a distance without the benefit of strategy. "One inch gives the hand advantage". If we consider large-scale strategy. and attaining the many spiritual attitudes of sword fencing. they have not the slightest true spirit. From the point of view of my strategy these must be seen as weak schools. and nothing other than this. It is difficult to express it clearly. That none of these are the true Way I show clearly in the interior of this book . What I dislike is the inclination towards the long sword. The true Way of sword fencing is the craft of defeating the enemy in a fight. I have devoted myself to training my hand. the twelfth day (1645) Teruo Magonojo for SHINMEN MUSASHI The Wind Book In strategy you must know the Ways of other schools. This book is a spiritual guide for the man who wishes to learn the Way. but these are the idle words of one who does not know strategy. Surely we need not necessarily be defeated if we are using a short sword. they think to defeat the enemy from a distance. and they are at a disadvantage compared to the man armed with a short companion sword. even though they seem skilful to watch. tempering my body. and limit their training to flourishing the long sword and carriage of the body. This is the first time I have written about my technique.all the vices and virtues and rights and wrongs. known as kodachi. My heart has been inclined to the Way of strategy from my youth onwards. teaching attitudes of the sword as the "surface" and the Way as the "interior". This is definately not the Way of strategy. Their preference is for the extra-long sword and. Without knowledge of the Ways of other schools. but it is an obstacle to the true Way. From olden times it has been said: "Great and small go together. What is recorded above is what has been constantly on my mind about Ichi school sword fencing. growing flowers and decoratively colouring articles in order to sell them. and concentrating on techniques with the hands.

and small forces as short swords. Do not try to cut strongly and. The sure Way to win thus is to chase the enemy around in a confusing manner. The same principle applies to large-scale strategy. Whenever you cross swords with an enemy you must not think of cutting him either strongly or weakly. narrow spirit. Without the correct principle the fight cannot be won. so you will need to hold your sword in such manner that it can be used. The spirit of my school is to win through the wisdom of strategy. You should only be concerned with killing the enemy. If you do this. body bending. Your strategy is of no account if when called on to fight in a confined space your heart is inclined to the long sword. but the enemy also has a strong army. I dislike preconceived. your own sword will be carried along as a result. you will try to cut unreasonably strongly. Study this well. This inclination is bad. so there is no case for their liking the short sword. and eventually become entangled with the enemy. It is the same for women or children. This is the same for both sides. to cut the enemy . The Way of strategy is straight and true. The essence of strategy is to fall upon the enemy in large numbers and to bring about his speedy downfall. but they have to parry cuts continuously. In order to cut the enemy you must not make twisting or bending cuts. Methods apart from these five . according to the place. or if you are in a house armed only with your companion sword. and undesirable at close quarters with the enemy. but none other than these. people of the world get used to countering.large forces in terms of long swords. the battle will be fierce. Killing is the same for people who know about fighting and for those who do not. Use of the Shorter Long Sword in Other Schools Using a shorter long sword is not the true Way to win. We can speak of different tactics such as stabbing and mowing down. and will not be able to cut at all. Even so. when you hit the enemy's sword you will inevitably hit too hard. Besides. If you rely on strength. This is completely 23 . just think of cutting and killing him. It is also bad to try to cut strongly when testing the sword. if you have a strong army and are relying on strength to win. You must study this well. To aim for the enemy's unguarded moment is completely defensive. and there is no need for many refinements of it. and there are not many different methods. Be intent solely on killing the enemy. Furthermore. By their study of strategy. In large-scale strategy. some men have not the strength of others. has no meaning. and so on. Some men use a shorter long sword with the intention of jumping in and stabbing the enemy at the unguarded moment when he flourishes his sword. with your body held strongly and straight. Other Schools with many Methods of using the Long Sword I think it is held in other schools that there are many methods of using the long sword in order to gain the admiration of beginners. evading and retreating as the normal thing. In my doctrine. Cannot few men give battle against many? There are many instances of few men overcoming many. your long sword may be obstructed above or to the sides. You must chase the enemy around and make him obey your spirit. so can easily be paraded around by the enemy. killing is not the Way of mankind. "The strongest hand wins". Anyway. This is inconsistant with the true Way of strategy. you cannot use the method of jumping inside his defense with a short sword if there are many enemies.are not the true Way of strategy. In ancient times. This is selling the Way. Thus the saying. They also make use of the length of spears and halberds. cutting down the enemy is the Way of strategy. It is a vile spirit in strategy. tachi and katana meant long and short swords. paying no attention to trifles. Men of superior strength in the world can wield even a long sword lightly. To start with. If you just wield the long sword in a strong spirit your cutting will become coarse. causing him to jump aside. If you are concerned with the strength of your sword. The reason for this is that to deliberate over many ways of cutting down a man is an error. do not think of cutting weakly. Some men think that if they go against many enemies with a shorter long sword they can unrestrictedly frisk around cutting in sweeps. They become set in this habit. jumping out. and if you use the sword coarsely you will have difficulty in winning. of course. There are five methods in five directions.hand twisting. The Strong Long Sword Spirit in Other Schools You should not speak of strong and weak long swords.

your spirit will become bewildered. 24 . The reason is that this has been a precedent since ancient times. Bearing an attack well. that there should be no such thing as "This is the modern way to do it" duelling. I dislike floating foot because the feet always tend to float during the fight. The necessary spirit is to win by attacking the enemy when his spirit is warped. If you fix the eyes on these places your spirit can become confused. but by good play on the field they can perform well. fixing the gaze strongly. Neither do I like jumping foot. Attack where his spirit is lax. treading foot. when you have fought many times you will easily be able to appraise the speed and position of the enemy's sword. You must appreciate this. When you attack the enemy. I will explain this in detail. showing the spirit of not being moved even by a strong assault. Attitudes are for situations in which you are not to be moved. Treading foot is a "waiting" method. I dislike the defensive spirit known as "attitude". Some fix the eyes on the face. fixing the eyes means gazing at the man's heart. because it encourages the habit of jumping. there is something called "Attitude-No Attitude". you must always be intent upon taking the lead and attacking. observing the enemy's numbers. you are not limited to the use of your eyes. The Way must be trod firmly. I bear my spirit and body straight. and so on. or flourish the sword in several ways when they have mastered the Way. Attitude is the spirit of awaiting an attack. In large-scale strategy we deploy our troops for battle bearing in mind our strength. This is the sure way to win. This is at the start of the battle. Therefore. battle array. your spirit must go to the extent of pulling the stakes out of a wall and using them as spears and halberds. In the Way of duelling. and so on. springing foot. What is known in the world as "attitude" applies when there is no enemy. In single combat you must not fix the eyes on details. People such as master musicians have the music score in front of their nose. Perception consists of concentrating strongly on the enemy's spirit. or that they make pointless movements of the sword. You must study this well. irritate and terrify him. Springing foot causes a springing spirit which is indecisive. Apart from these. crow's foot. these are all unsatisfactory. That is. and such nible walking methods. When you become accustomed to something. You must force the enemy into inconvenient situations. The spirit of attacking is completely different from the spirit of being attacked. Take advantage of the enemy's rhythm when he is unsettled and you can win. jumping foot. Use of Attitudes of the Long Sword in Other Schools Placing a great deal of importance on the attitudes of the long sword is a mistaken way of thinking. is like making a wall of spears and halberds. and noting the details of the battlefield. and a jumpy spirit. Research this principle well and train diligently. and victory will escape you. In strategy. It means that they can see naturally. but this does not mean that they fix their eyes on these things specifically. However much you jump. Some schools fix the eye on the hands. You must examine this well. with a strong attitude. "Perception" and "sight" are the two methods of seeing. seeing the progress of the fight and the changes of advantage. From the point of view of my strategy. In large-scale strategy the area to watch is the enemy's strength. however. and having mastery of the Way you will see the weight of his spirit. there are various fast walking methods. and I especially dislike it.useless. so jumping is bad. such as crow's foot. and cause the enemy to twist and bend. and parrying the enemy's attack well. and some fix the eyes on the feet. In my strategy. if you fix your eyes on details and neglect important things. throw him into confusion. there is no real justification for it. In the Way of strategy. in my Way. As I said before. ovserving the condition of the battle field. Footballers do not fix their eyes on the ball. for garrisoning castles. In duels of strategy you must move the opponent's attitude. and so on. Fixing the Eyes in Other Schools Some schools maintain that the eyes shoudl be fixed on the enemy's long sword. Use of the Feet in Other Schools There are various methods of using the feet: floating foot. and your strategy thwarted.

but when beginners try this they slow down and their spirit becomes busy. accomplished performers can sing while dancing. Perceiving the ability of my pupils. Train diligently to attain this spirit. When I teach my Way. points which it is hardly possible to comprehend. Some people can walk as fast as a hundred or a hundred and twenty miles in a day. The reason for this is that different branches of schools give different interpretations of the doctrines. In strategy. In large-scale strategy also. and you will not be able to finish the fight quickly. and by not according him even a little hope of recovery. According to the enemy's rhythm. This is because. You must appreciate this. a doctrine which is easy to understand. I first teach by training in techniques which are easy for the pupil to understand. and decide to go deeper and yet deeper. and it is sometimes a good thing to point out the gate. The "old pine tree" melody beaten on a leather drum is tranquil. you will not actually cut even a little. according to whether or not they are in rhythm. because the way to understanding is through experience. and gradually introduce them to the true Way of the warrior. You must train diligently. 25 . move fast or slowly. slowness is bad. according to the pupil's progress. or cutting with the interior. I gradually endeavour to explain the deep principle. the principle can be seen. Thus no one man's conception is valid for any school. adjusting your body not too much and not too little. you must act contrarily. Very skilful people can manage a fast rhythm. In any event. In my strategy. I could now continue by giving a specific account of these schools one by one. You must never lose control of your feet. if you advance too slowly. but this does not mean that they run continuously from morning till night. it may not be possible to move the body and legs together quickly. Still less will you be able to cut quickly if you have a long sword in this situation. What is known as speed is especially bad in the Way of strategy. Speed implies that things seem fast or slow. Carrying the feet is important also in large-scale strategy. Or. remove the bad influence of other schools. the opportunity to win will escape. From this example. Really skilful people never get out of time. then you will not be even a little late. but I have intentionally not named the schools or their main points. if you go into the mountains. instead you will emerge at the gate. I have tried to record an outline of the strategy of other schools in the above nine sections. I always walk as I usually do in the street. you will not be able to take advantage of the enemy's disorder. from the "gate" to the "interior". but it is bad to beat hurredly. we cannot say what is concealed and what is revealed. but in combat there is no such thing as fighting on the surface. as if using a fan or short sword. the master of strategy does not appear fast. "Interior" and "Surface" in Other Schools There is no "interior" nor "surface" in strategy. if you attack quickly and thoughtlessly without knowing the enemy's spirit. The method of teaching my strategy is with a trustworthy spirit. Accordingly I dislike passing on my Way through written pledges and regulations. If you try to cut quickly. so there must be differing ideas on the same matter. Whatever is the Way. You must win by seizing upon the enemy's disorder and derangement. a fast busy spirit is undesirable. and "interior" and "gate". Unpractised runners may seem to have been running all day. your rhythm will become deranged and you will not be able to win. Of course. it has an interior. When you opponent is hurrying recklessly. and never appear busy. In this world. I teach the direct Way. Whatever the Way. the footwork does not change. in which situations you cannot jump or move the feet quickly. or narrow roads. however. You must not be influenced by the opponent. but their performance is poor. In the Way of dance. In as much as men's opinions differ. but when beginners try this they slow down and their spirit becomes busy. marsh or swamp and so on. swampy ground. The spirit must be that of holding down a pillow. stony ground. river valleys. Practise this well. Speed in Other Schools Spped is nor part of the true Way of strategy. and are always deliberate. The reason for this is that depending on the place. you may encounter the enemy on marshland. and keep calm. The artistic accomplishments usually claim inner meaning and secret tradition. If you try to beat too quickly you will get out of time.Sometimes. I do not speak of "interior" and "gate".

Then you will come to think of things in a wide sense and. and become concerned with strength in both large and small matters. if we look at things objectively. It is bewilderment. and no evil. and sharpen the twofold gaze perception and sight. whether in Buddhism or in common sense. By knowing things that exist. there is the true void. It is not included in man's knowledge. when the clouds of bewilderment clear away. That is the void. Twelfth day of the fifth month. principle has existence. To attain the Way of strategy as a warrior you must study fully other martial arts and not deviate even a little from the Way of the warrior. Twelfth day of the fifth month. you will see the Way as void. Know well this spirit. the Way has existence. those who study as warriors think that whatever they cannot understand in their craft is the void. You must simply keep your spirit true to realise the virtue of strategy. In the Way of strategy. What is called the spirit of the void is where there is nothing. This is not the true void. from the viewpoint of laws of the world. second year of Shoho (1645) Teruo Magonojo for SHINMEN MUSASHI 26 . With your spirit settled. taking the void as the Way. accumulate practice day by day. also. and with forthrightness as the foundation and the true spirit as the Way. and think that what they do not understand must be the void. There is no inner meaning in sword attitudes. you can know that which does not exist. People in this world look at things mistakenly. However. we see that people always tend to like long swords or short swords. and hour by hour. Polish the twofold spirit heart and mind. Until you realise the true Way. correctly and openly. you may think that things are correct and in order. spirit is nothingness. This is not the true void.I have shown the general tendencies of other schools on nine points. In the void is virtue. the second year of Shoho (1645) Teruo Magonojo for SHINMEN MUSASHI The Book of the Void The Ni To Ichi Way of strategy is recorded in this the Book of the Void. Of course the void is nothingness. we see various doctrines departing from the true Way. Enact strategy broadly. Wisdom has existence. In my Ichi school of the long sword there is neither gate nor interior. If we look at them from an honest viewpoint. You can see why I do not deal with the "gates" of other schools. When your spirit is not in the least clouded.