Musashi’s Final Battle

The last battle that Miyamoto Musashi ever fought was on April 13th, 1612, when he was twenty-nine years of age. This final duel was between Musashi and an equally renowned swordsman of the Edo era, Sasaki Kojiro 佐々木 小次郎, on Funashima Island, Funa-jima 船島. Known as Ganryu in battle, Sasaki Kojiro is recognised as the founder of the Ganryu 巌流 kenjutsu 剣術 school of traditional samurai Japanese swordsmanship. April 13th, 1612, was also …

Continue reading

The Journey Continues…

The journey to Kato Kiyomasa’s resting place continues as we ascend the steps that lead directly to his tomb, known as jochibyo. To reach Kato Kiyomasa’s grave requires the stepping of 176 stone staircases then 300 more since the tomb lies and his statue stands at the equivalent height of Kumamoto Castle. Numerous stone lanterns line the steps, built by the supporters, believers and devotees of Kato Kiyomasa who was a devoted practitioner of …

Continue reading

Journey of 2000 Steps

加藤 清正 Kato Kiyomasa (July 25, 1561 – August 2, 1611), the 大名 daimyo of 熊本 Kumamoto is enshrined at Jochibyo, part of 本妙寺 Honmyo-ji Temple in 熊本 Kumamoto. Honmyo-ji Temple is recognised as being the pre-eminent temple of Nichiren Buddhism throughout the entire island of Kyushu, west of Japan. 加藤 清正 Kato Kiyomasa was a devoted practitioner of Nichiren Buddhism and renowned for his skills in envisioning and building impenetrable fortresses. He was …

Continue reading

熊本城 in Black & White

 熊本城 Kumamoto Castle, Kumamoto city, Kumamoto prefecture, Kyushu, Japan. Lord 加藤 清正 Kato Kiyomasa (1561-1611) architect and deviser of Kumamoto Castle.  he arrived in Kumamoto in 1588 and remained 大名 daimyo of Higo-Kumamoto domain during the Azuchi-Momoyama period 安土桃山時代 (1573-1603) and Edo period 江戸時代 (1603-1868) until his passing.    

水前寺成趣園 Garden of Elegance

Suizenji Jojuen 水前寺成趣園 was originally envisioned by Hosokawa Tadatoshi, the third Lord of Hosokawa, who desired a quiet retreat to savour an excellent cup of tea in the Way of Tea. The design of Suizenji Jojuen Garden encompasses the Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido Road. The Tokaido Road dates back to the twelfth century and was a highway that connected Edo (present-day Tokyo) and Kyoto. Representation of Mount Fuji in the …

Continue reading

What is Harmony?

Harmony is a state of balance. For me, the circle is a symbol of perfect harmony.  A circle is infinite.  It represents endless continuity with no corners or sharp edges. All points are of equal distance from the centre within a circle. A circle is balanced in its very nature. Circles are replicated as symbols in human art and represented in our everyday living. 茶道, tea ceremony, trà đạo, la cérémonie …

Continue reading

なが塀 The Long Wall. Bức Tường Dài

熊本城 Kumamoto castle was built at the very beginning of the seventeenth century during the 江戸時代 Edo period when castle construction technology was developing at a rapid rate in Japan. Thành trì Kumamoto được xây dựng vào đầu thế kỷ XVII trong thời kỳ Edo khi công nghệ xây cất lâu đài đã được phát triển nhanh chóng tại Nhật Bản. Kumamoto citadelle a été construite au début du XVIIe …

Continue reading

The History of Kumamoto Castle

The present Kumamoto Castle 熊本城 was built by Lord Kato Kiyomasa 加藤 清正 , the 大名 daimyo of Northern Higo domain. Work on the current Kumamoto castle began in the year 1601, thirteen years after Kato Kiyomasa 加藤 清正 moved his residence to Kumamoto 熊本  in 1588. The arrival of Lord Kato Kiyomasa 加藤 清正 was such an important event for the region that 熊本城稲荷神社 Kumamoto-jo Inari Shrine was built to commemorate this …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading