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The Mystic Warrior

Tagagi Akifusa was a warrior of matchless valor and a dangerous swordsman. He turned against the Ryuzo clan , appealing to Maeda Iyo no Kami Lesada for shelter, which was given to him. Akifusa had two retainers, Ingazaemon and Fudozaemon , who never left his side day or night, stalwarts inferior in no way. Thus it came to pass that Lord Takanobu sent a request to Lesada to kill Akifusa . As it happened Akifusa was having his feet washed by Ingazaemon on the veranda. At one moment Lesada ran up behind him and struck off his head. Before his head fell he drew his short sword and turned to strike , but instead cut off the head of Ingazaemon, the two heads fell into the wash basin together. Akifusas head then rose into the midst of all present. This was the sort of magic technique that he had.

In the military writings of Yui Shosetsu , on “ The way of the three ultimates”, exists a passage on the way of Karma. A certain Samurai received these teachings, and about eighteen other verses on the greater and lesser bravery. He neither memorized them or wrote them down, but forgot them all together .Then when facing real situations he acted on impulse, and everything that he had learned became wisdom of his own. This is the mystical nature of Karma.

Mysticism is also contained within simple practical actions. Putting spittle on ones earlobe and exhaling through the nose one will overcome Anything at hand, and when feeling a strong rushing of blood to the head , put spittle on the upper part of the ear, and it will soon subside. The Yoshida school of archery’s secret principal was in swallowing ones spittle before shooting. To calm the mind, or when one becomes angry , swallowing your spittle is also effective. These are secret matters.

When a Samurai’s resolution and determination reach a certain level they become mystical in nature, and can move heaven and earth. The way of the Samurai and Zen Buddhism have long had a symbiotic relationship. The Samurai’s strength is imparted to the Buddhists , and the Buddhist’s compassion is likewise given to the Samurai. The priest Daigu of Sanshu was making a sick call to a certain person, and when he arrived he found that the man had already died. After admonishing the doctor present, the the doctor became angry and challenged the priest to bring the man back to life, otherwise the doctor said “ Buddhism is useless “. Put out by this and feeling that it would be unpardonable for a blemish to be put on Buddhism, he replied, “I will indeed show you how to bring his life back by prayer.” He then set his heart right by the Buddhist law, sharpened a short sword , and being resolved that if the man was not brought back to life, he would cut his stomach open and die embracing the corpse . He then sat in meditation next to the corpse. Soon the dead man began to breath, and then completely revived. He lived on for another half year.The famous priest Tannen knew of this. Resolution, determination , desperation to break right through to completion can create “Miracles .”

In the Kayagunkan, one warrior said to another “ When facing the enemy I feel as though I have entered darkness , because of this I get heavily wounded. Although you have fought with many famous men you have never been wounded, why is that? The other warrior answered, “ When I am facing the enemy, of course it is like being in the dark, but if at that time I tranquilize my , it becomes like a night lit by a pale moon. If I begin my attack from that point I feel as though I will not be wounded. This is the situación at the moment of truth. A warrior who simply wishes not to be struck by the weapons of the enemy, will have no devine protection , but rather a warrior who wishes only to be hit by a warrior of fame, not a common soldier, he will be protected. When determining the strength or weakness of the enemy or an adversary , if his head is cast down , he will appear black and is strong,if he is looking upward he will appear white and is weak.”

For a Samurai nothing must be considered as impossible. Moving heaven and earth without effort is simply a matter of concentration . To think that you cannot achieve greatness as the masters of old did, you will soon be on that path. Without absolute faith in oneself , one cannot be a Samurai. A Samurai’s mind must be pure and uncomplicated . Lord Sanenori said “ In the midst of a single breath where perversity can not be held, is the way.” This purity and simplicity of mind can only be attained by piling effort upon effort!

A certain swordsman noted: “ In ones life there are levels in the pursuit of study; In the first , one studies but nothing comes of it, and he sees himself and others as unskillful , at this point he is useless. In the middle stage he is aware of his and others uselessness. In the next level he has pride in his ability, accepts praise from others, and looks down on his fellows, he has some worth. In the next level, the warrior has the look of knowing nothing. In the highest and transcending level a Samurai is aware of the endlessness of entering into deeply a certain way, and never thinks of himself as having finished. Knowing his own insufficiencies he never feels that he has succeeded , by self a basement and no thought of pride he is one with the way. Throughout his whole life he advances daily, becoming more skillful than yesterday, more skillful than today,this is never ending . A part of a Samurai’s training is also a matter of not defeating others, rather in defeating oneself . The way of the Samurai is also within desperation. Common sense and discrimination will not accomplish great things. To break right through to completion requires that a Samurai is resolute, determined, and desperate. Lord Naoshige said.” Ten men or more cannot kill such a man.” The power and mystery within a true Samurai is incalculable .

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