Life[ edit ] Yoshikawa family. When he was 18, after a near-fatal accident working at the Yokohama docks, he moved to Tokyo and became an apprentice in a gold lacquer workshop. Around this time he became interested in comic haiku. He joined a poetry society and started writing comic haiku under the pseudonym "Kijiro". In , with The Tale of Enoshima , he won first prize in a novel-writing contest sponsored by the publisher Kodansha.
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Yoshikawa takes us on a mezmorizing voyage to a crossroads in Japanese history that changed all the rules and gave birth to a legend. The book opens in the year at the end of the infamous battle of Sekigahara, where the armies of east and western Japan met to decide who would govern: Toyotomi or Tokugawa.
In the end to Tokugawa emerged victorious and the year period of civil war came to an end. The young son of a country samurai, Shinmen Takezo, goes to fight for the Toyotomi at Sekigahara and opens the book prostrate on the ground with two bullets in his thigh. He escapes the carnage of the battle to his home province and emerges from this ordeal not as the noble warrior he intended, but rather as a savage bandit.
However, through the intervention of an old friend he is brought to justice and given a second chance and a new name. From this incarceration he emerged a new man. Musashi is offered a position as reatiner to the Tokugawa governor, but instead decides to journey across Japan to hone his swordsmanship. To do this Musashi does more than practice drawing and swinging a sword. To achieve this he studies calligraphy, painting, sculprture, agriculture, and music, all in the the pursuit of perfection as a swordsman.
Musashi evolves constantly as a character, as does his rival, Kojiro.
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