This is the last post in what I’m calling the ‘set the stage’ week. All the post so far were to set the stage for what is to come in the following year. Starting next week, I get into meditation. I go to my first Kendo (Japanese sword fighting) class. I start really exploring the lessons to be learned in the bushido and how I can apply them to the modern day world. My world.
So in my final ‘set the stage’ week address, I want to give you the base of knowledge with which I started. I first saw a documentary on History International Channel about Miyamoto Musashi. That’s where this all began. Then I bought Musashi’s book, The Book of 5 Rings. I read that and I was hooked. Then I bought on a Kindle, Bushido: The Way of the Samurai. This was a strange read, in that I can wrap my head around a hard-cover book, but still have a hard time doing it electronically on the Kindle. But Bushido is a great book none the less. Then I went online and saw a documentary on the samurai on Netflix. And another about a Kendo training school in Japan on You Tube which I had to watch in 7 or 8 different parts. I don’t remember either title. Oh, and I just watched a Tivo’d version of The Last Samurai, which taught me absolutely nothing about the culture, except a voice-over phrase from Tom Cruise that says something like, ‘From the moment they wake up, they live their lives in absolute perfection.’ Which was cool.
The material is very rich.From these books/movies/etc., I jotted down thought starters for about 60 different blog posts. And I have barely scratched the surface on it. I was online yesterday, and found a site http://samurai-archives.com/ and that taught me more. There is so much for me to still learn about the culture and the Way.
I just got two books in the mail today, The Unfettered Mind and Hagakure. I’m going to start with The Unfettered Mind, because it looks more interesting to me. Hagakure, while the supposed ‘bible’ of the samurai, feels like it’s going to run into the other two books I’ve already read.
And as you can tell, I came from a Musashi background, so I lean towards a ronin style, rather than a traditional service of the lord style samurai. And because I am so new to this material, I’m probably not writing/using some of these words or phrases correctly. Maybe in six months I’ll look back on older posts and laugh at myself. We will see.
Either way, the real work starts Monday.