[Fuh-mi] Chikukan - Miyamoto Musashi's Heidokyo - First Teaching

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  • Artwork by Fuh-mi - Heidokyo (Mirror of the Way of Strategy) - First teaching

    Artist: Fuh-mi
    Size : 40 cm x 26 cm
    Material: Ink on Bamboo
    Year of production: 2022

    This is a Chikukan 竹簡 (bamboo writing strips) calligraphed with an extract of Miyamoto Musashi's Heidokyo.

    This is the first teaching of the Heidokyo (Mirror of the Way of Strategy), a book written by a young Miyamoto Musashi after he defeated the Yoshioka clan in Kyoto.

    (1) The Mindset of Strategy and Positioning
    With regards to mindset when you about to engage in a contest, be calmer than normal and try to see into your opponent’s mind. The enemy whose voice becomes higher in pitch, whose eyes widen, face reddens, muscles bulge and face grimaces is basically incompetent and will [clumsily] hit through to the ground. When faced with a [second-rate] adversary such as this, maintain serenity of mind and observe his face dispassionately so as not to provoke him. Then, taking hold of your sword, smile and assume a position lower than the upper stance (jōdan). Coolly evade his attack as he tries to attack you. When the enemy appears somewhat bewildered by your unusual attitude, this is the time to strike.

    Also, depending on the opponent you are fighting, if he is quiet, with his eyes narrowed and his body at ease, and he is holding his sword in a relaxed manner as if his fingers were floating on the hilt, assume that he is an expert. Do not saunter carelessly into his range. You must seize the initiative and assail him skillfully, driving him back and striking in quick succession. If you are nonchalant with such a competent opponent, he will corner you. It is crucial to ascertain how capable your enemy is.

    In terms of where you should position yourself, the same conditions apply whether you are in a spacious or cramped location. Step in so that walls will not impede your sword swings from either side. Take an approximate stance with the long sword and nimbly close in on your foe. If your sword should collide with some barrier, your emboldened enemy will hem you in. If your sword looks to scrape the ceiling, determine the actual height with its tip and be mindful thereafter. You can employ either sword for this, but make sure it is the one that cannot be used [in attack while you do this]. Keep the light behind you. With your usual training, be prepared to apply any kind of technique freely with a relaxed mind, but never forget to execute with urgency. It is important to adapt according to the circumstances. (from Alexander Bennett's translation)

    This Chikukan is signed with the artist's seal. Fuh-mi has studied calligraphy, poetry, and ikebana (Japanese floral art) since childhood. She is a Japanese calligrapher who mainly works in the field of contemporary art.

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[Fuh-mi] Chikukan - Miyamoto Musashi's Heidokyo - First Teaching: ¥38,000

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