A few months ago my Japan enthusiast brother emailed me asking me about Ganryujima. He described a famous duel that took place there about 400 years ago. He said that, if I ever visited the island, he would like a bottle of sand from the island, as he loves the story of the duel and the legends surrounding it. Below are some pictures of the island and a statue erected in honor of the famous battle.

Here's what Wikipedia (the source of all knowledge) has to say about the duel:

In April 13, 1612, Musashi (aged approximately 30) had his most famous duel with Sasaki Kojirō who wielded a nodachi. Musashi came late and unkempt to the appointed place — the remote island of Funajima, north of Kokura. The duel was short and Musashi killed his opponent with a bokken that he had carved from an oar while traveling to the island.

Musashi's late arrival is controversial. Sasaki's outraged supporters thought it was dishonorable and disrespectful while many others thought it was a fair way to unnerve his opponent. Another theory is that Musashi timed the hour of his arrival to match the turning of the tide. The tide carried him to the island then it turned by the time the fight ended. After his victory, Musashi immediately jumped back in his boat and his flight from Sasaki's vengeful allies was thus helped by the turning tide. He briefly established a fencing school that same year.


written by Ruthie @ 7:46 AM  
1 thoughts:
  • At 4/10/2008 6:09 PM, Blogger CLU said…

    I'm surprised you just didn't copy the story from the boards up on the island, girl. It was much more poetic. Hee Hee.

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Name: Ruthie
Home: Japan
About Me: I want to know who God is and what his truth is. I love getting lost in beautiful music and cloudless star-filled skies, especially in the fall. I hate being bored. I like big cities. I want to travel the world.
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