宮本武蔵 Miyamoto Musashi had been invited by Lord Hosokawa Tadatoshi 細川 忠利(December 21, 1586 – April 26, 1641) to visit and stay in Kumamoto 熊本 as his guest in the year 1640.
Kumamoto was a flourishing town at the time Musashi arrived to take up his post as retainer and guest of Tadatoshi Hosokawa, daimyo ruler of Kumamoto.
The time Musashi spent in Kumamoto would prove to be the final five years of his life.
Kumamoto became Musashi’s final resting place once he completed his life’s works.
In addition to Musashi’s writings on the strategy of warfare and The Book of Five Rings, numerous original works of art and calligraphy by Musashi remain preserved and kept in the city of Kumamoto.
Musashi lived on the grounds of Chiba Castle, as Kumamoto Castle had previously been known as. His home was located on the eastern side of the citadel.
Illustrated map of the Kumamoto castle and its surrounds during Musashi’s time.
In Kumamoto today, the place of the well that Musashi once drew water from and which he used in his daily life, has become a landmark.
The actual well remains. It is referred to as “Musashi’s well”.
The location of the well is now part of the headquarters of the NHK television network.
Miyamoto Musashi’s dwelling as part of Chiba Castle no longer stands.
This street marker indicates where Musashi’s home once was.
The exact spot where Musashi lived is now on the bank of the Tsuboi river that runs through parts of Kumamoto.
It was at this very location that Musashi passed on, exactly seven days after he had completed The Book of Five Rings 語輪書.
Musashi spent two years living in Reigando cave in meditation and writing his treatise on warfare and The Book of Five Rings.
It was at the insistence of his students and disciples that Musashi returned to his home in Chiba Castle when illness had beset him. It is reported that Musashi died of a type of stomach cancer . It was Musashi’s disciples who cared for him during his final days.
According to Musashi’s will, he was buried in full armor with his swords in Kumamoto.
Musashi’s burial mound is now a tranquil park where his students from around world come to pay their respects.
Next to Musashizuka-koen is also a dojo where Musashi’s teachings still flourish.
Brief History of Kumamoto Castle. Guide.