Part 2: CHAPTER 1: Miyamoto Musashi - [Part I]
In this update we learn to use our sword and find out some about Kiryuu's past. This is the first of several consecutive chapters of backstory, so say goodbye to Gion for awhile. The next full update will finish out Chapter 1, but you can expect a bonus video sooner than that.
Some historical notes:
Mimasaka Province is the home region of the historical Miyamoto Musashi according to his own writings in the "Book of Five Rings". It is not far from where the Battle of Sekigahara took place. The opening FMV puts the date of this chapter at four or five months prior to the Battle of Sekigahara, which was a time of high tension. The previous ruler, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, was newly dead and his heir was not yet seven years old. With various western regents jockeying for influence while the most powerful member of the Toyotomi Clan, Tokugawa Ieyasu, amassed his forces in the east, everyone knew that the struggle for control of Japan was about to heat up again. Vassals and retainers from both sides combed the regions under their control for skilled warriors and financial support.
Words to Know:
A wooden sword of tachi or katana length used in training and duels. Sometimes called bokken as well. When students of rival schools held tournaments to decide which style was superior or when rival swordsmen challenged each other most of the time they would use these rather than real weapons. While much less likely to kill or permanently maim the opponent, deaths in such fights were still common and expected. The real Miyamoto Musashi is said to have engaged in around 60 duels, almost all of which involved the use of bokutou.