宮本武蔵 Musashi’s Final Years

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 …

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夏目礎石先生Natsume Soseki Sensei

Natsume Soseki had majored in English at Tokyo University, the foremost Imperial University of Japan and taught English language and composition at a time when Japan had only just opened up to the West. Natsume Soseki pictured with his students at the Fifth High School. Soseki taught at the Fifth High School in Kumamoto, one of the elite educational institutions during the Meiji Era, from 1896 until the turn of …

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夏目礎石Natsume Soseki at Home

Natsume Soseki’s home in which his daughter Fudeko was born on May 31, 1899, three years after Soseki had relocated to Kumamoto. Soseki and his wife Nakane Kyoko. Natsume Soseki lived with his wife and child in this home located by the Tsuboi river and surrounded by a lovely garden.  The property remains beautifully kept. Views of the house from the garden.  Standing in the garden.  Flowers in bloom in …

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Soseki’s Footsteps in Kumamoto

Natsume Soseki arrived in Kumamoto on April 13th, 1896, exactly one hundred and eighteen years ago this month.  A map of Kumamoto during the time Soseki lived  in this town.  Ikeda Station is where Soseki stepped off when he first set foot in Kumamoto.  It is now known as Kami-Kumamoto train station 上熊本駅.  There is a statue of Natsume Soseki in the vicinity of the station area. Soseki’s presence remains …

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宮本武蔵 Miyamoto Musashi In the Spirit Rock Cave

 It was in this cave in which Miyamoto Musashi wrote the Book of Five Rings 語輪書during the year 1645. Reigando霊巌洞, or Spirit Rock Cave, is located on Mount Iwatono in present-day Kumamoto prefecture, west of Kumamoto city. During Musashi’s time, it was known as mountain Iwato of Higo. Higo was the name of the  region that later became Kumamoto Prefecture. A temple later was established as part of the entrance …

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Trang, the Mynah Bird & Verse 33

Which books transformed you, stopped you midway in your steps, making you pause and see things differently, so that in the end they enabled you to understand in an altered light? For me, the books which marked distinct turning points in my life and which have sustained me include: * Le Meunier, Son Fils et l’Âne (The Miller, His Son and the Donkey) by Jean de la Fontaine; * Hoa …

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