宮本武蔵 Miyamoto Musashi In the Spirit Rock Cave

IMG_3772 It was in this cave in which Miyamoto Musashi wrote the Book of Five Rings 語輪書during the year 1645.

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Reigando霊巌洞, or Spirit Rock Cave, is located on Mount Iwatono in present-day Kumamoto prefecture, west of Kumamoto city.

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During Musashi’s time, it was known as mountain Iwato of Higo. Higo was the name of the  region that later became Kumamoto Prefecture.

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A temple later was established as part of the entrance leading into the cave, known today as Reiganzenji 零巌善時.

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The energy of this area is reputed to be  special and its waters pure.

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This is the view from inside the cave yesterday, a quiet, peaceful early spring afternoon.

IMG_3773Miyamoto Musashi sat here in meditation, reflecting on his life and journey then sat down to inscribe the Book of Five Rings 語輪書 which comprises of five scrolls.

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地の巻.   Scroll of Earth.   Địa Thư.  Roue du Terre.

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水の巻.  Scroll of Water.  Thủy Thư.  Roue de l’Eau.

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火の巻.  Scroll of Fire.  Hỏa Thư.  Roue du Feu.

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風の巻.  Scroll of Wind.  Phong Thư.  Roue du Vent.

Moon in blue sky

空の巻.  Scroll of Emptiness.  Không Thư.  Roue du Vide.

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Inside Reigando today.

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Fresh flowers, food offerings, candles and incense at Musashi’s altar.

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The altar at which Musashi prayed remains locked inside this outer altar and cannot be viewed by the general public.

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 The cave has now become a monument to Musashi where people come to light candles and incense, inscribe their hopes and prayers and leave them hanging near the altar.

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Many people come just to visit, others to view, and a few to sit in his presence.

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The five years that Miyamoto Musashi spent in Kumamoto prior to his death were highly productive.

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Not only did he complete his treatise on strategic warfare and the art of the swordsmanship, he also produced numerous art works using the medium of black ink on rice paper as well as mastering carvings in wood.

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Numerous of Miyamoto Musashi’s calligraphy, art and writings are preserved in Kumamoto prefecture.

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As per Musashi’s will, he was buried in Kumamoto in full guard with his sword by his side facing the road through which his Lord Hoshikawa would pass through as an act of loyalty and devotion to the daimyo.

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