The Duel on Funashima Island

Samurai Fitness Maine

This statue commemorates a duel that took place on April 13, 1612, on Funashima Island, Japan between Sasaki Kojiro “Ganryu” and Miyamoto Musashi. Kojiro was a retainer to the Hosokawa clan, while Musashi was still a “Ronin” a masterless samurai. The duel had been arranged by another Hosokawa general, Nagaoka Sado, upon Musashi’s formal request. Hosokawa Tadaoki agreed and the choosen place was a little island in the Kamon strait, between Honshu and Kyushu. The Hosokawa found an isolated place suitable for the duel because, if Sasaki Kojiro won, they could avoid any possible revenge from Musashi’s followers. The day of the duel, Nagaoka Sado, lord Hosokawa Tadaoki himself and many men accompained Kojiro to Funashima, while Musashi traveled alone in a boat alone except for the boatman.

Kojiro was famous for his legendary speed with the sword. His favourite sword was a nodachi, a long sword (90 cm) he called…

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