“Yagyu Munenori was known to be a great rival of Miyamoto Musashi. Yagyu Munenori was the kendo teacher to the shogun, a great and gifted swordsman who was the founder of the “No Sword” school of kendo and just as famous as Musashi. Munenori was known to have favored using an early form of kendo bogu for the safe practicing of kendo. His mentor the the zen priest Takuan Soho was instrumental in forming his ideas for his kendo style and his book that he wrote for the shogun “The Life-Giving Sword”. It is unclear how much he knew or if Musashi read this great and insightful book “the life-giving sword”. But it was clearly on his mind since soon after the book was released the Musashi wrote his own book on kendo “a book of five rings” the most famous of all kendo books and unmatched in its wisdom. I am only speculating on what motivated Musashi to write his book but it is interesting to note that in the last chapter “the wind book” he criticizes by inference the kendo style of Munenori and other great swordsmen? This was very provocative in an age where one wrong word would mean a duel to the death. Great rivals? YES. We are fortunate that both of these great masters decided to write these treasures of kendo books, treasures for all time.”
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