宮本武蔵 Musashi’s Final Years

IMG_1538

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.

IMG_2029

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.

IMG_1442

The time Musashi spent in Kumamoto would prove to be the final five years of his life.

IMG_1683

Kumamoto became Musashi’s final resting place once he completed his life’s works.

IMG_1552

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.

IMG_1527

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.

IMG_2032

Illustrated map of the Kumamoto castle and its surrounds during Musashi’s time.

IMG_2019

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.

IMG_2017

The actual well remains.  It is referred to as “Musashi’s well”.

IMG_2052

The location of the well is now part of the headquarters of the NHK television network.

IMG_2050

IMG_0337

Miyamoto Musashi’s dwelling as part of Chiba Castle no longer stands.

IMG_2059

This street marker indicates where Musashi’s home once was.

IMG_2065

The exact spot where Musashi lived is now on the bank of the Tsuboi river that runs through parts of Kumamoto.

IMG_2060

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.

IMG_3779

Musashi spent two years living in Reigando cave  in meditation and writing his treatise on warfare and The Book of Five Rings.

IMG_1846

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.

IMG_1754

According to Musashi’s will, he was buried in full armor with his swords in Kumamoto.

IMG_1723

IMG_1784

Musashi’s burial mound is now a tranquil park where his students from around world come to pay their respects.

IMG_1767

Next to Musashizuka-koen is also a dojo where Musashi’s teachings still flourish.

IMG_1706

IMG_1862

 

 

__________________

References:

Brief History of Kumamoto Castle.  Guide.

Miyamoto Musashi.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *