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Kokura hibun
( tratto dall'Honcho Bugei Shoden)
Il Kokura hibun è una stele funeraria dedicata a uno spadaccino giapponese vissuto
a cavallo tra il 1500 e il 1600. Il testo è compreso nell' Honcho Bugei Shoden ed
esattamente stiamo parlando del capitolo 6 intitolato ' Arts of war in time of peace'.
Questo capitolo, e non solo, fu tradotto da John M. Rogers nella Monumenta
Nipponica, Vol. 46, No. 2 (Summer, 1991), pp. 173-202(2) ed è accessibile previa registrazione su

Monument to the late Shinmen Musashi Genshin Niten, unparalleled master of
swordsmanship, descendant of the Akamatsu of Harima.
He died on the 19th day, Fifth month, Shoho 2 [1645], at Kumamoto in the province of Higo.
On the 19th day, Fourth month, Joo 3 [1654], this monument was respectfully erected by his
faithful son.
Seizing opportunities and adapting to circumstances are the hallmark of a great general.
Studying the martial arts and learning strategy are necessary for those who have embarked
on the path of the warrior. Who was he who walked the paths of learning and the military
arts? Who was he whose honor extended beyond the imagination? A hero from the province
of Harima, he called himself Musashi Genshin Niten, a proud descendant of the Niimi, a
branch of the Akamatsu. As I recall, blessed by nature by a magnanimous spirit, he worried
himself no with petty affairs, for this was no a ordinary man. He was the founder of
swordsmanship using the dual swords.
The personal name of his father was Muni and he was a jitte expert. Musashi learned his
father's art and practiced incessantly day and night. He pondered the principles of the
weapon and came to learn immeasurable things, such as the advantage of a jitte is an
expectedly many times greater than that of the sword. An yet the jitte is not a commonly
carried weapon, while the two swords are always worn at the side. Thus, using the two
swords can obtain the same advantage as that shown by the principles behind the jitte.
Musashi therefore gave up the jitte and used two swords. His skill was indeed as exquisite
as a sword dance. His steel swords flew; his wooden swords leaped. His opponent ran and
dogded, but were unable to escape. He was like an arrow shot by a mighty crossbow. He
never missed, and not even Young You was superior. His hands had mastered
swordsmanship and his entire appearance radiated his bravery.
Musashi first came from Harima when he was thirteen. He was eager to enter into combat
with one Arima Kihei of the Shinto-ryu to see who was the better and he easily won. In the
spring of sixteenth year, he went to Tajima province, where there was an eminent and
powerful warrior known as Akiyama. He once again called for a duel and struck him dead
with as little effort as it takes to turn one's hand. His name was constantly mentioned in the
Later, Musashi traveled to the capital. Yoshioka, the undisputable expert of swordsmanship,
lived there and Musashi challenged him to a match. Yoshioka Seijiro, the Yoshioka heir, met
Musashi on the outskirts of the capital at Rendaino, where the two strong men fought
fiercely like a dragon and a tiger. With a single blow of Musashi's wooden sword, Yoshioka