Guide Summer Of The Samurai, A Journey To Faith

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The Bakufu eventually yielded to the foreign demands, sparking the greatest upheaval in its history. Fifteen years of bloody turmoil ensued, with samurai faction pitted against samurai faction, culminating in the fall of the Edo regime and the establishment of Imperial rule. During those dangerous times Tesshu did not limit his practice to the training hall. He ate and slept with his bamboo sword, and even brought it with him to the privy. He was constantly challenging people to a match. It made no difference to Tesshu whether a man was an expert swordsman or had never before held a sword, because he believed that a warrior must always be prepared to face any adversary at any given moment in any given situation.

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But pity the unsuspecting visitor to the Yamaoka home. Even the merchants from local shops were not exempt from a sudden challenge by the unruly swordsman, who reportedly weighed more than pounds and stood over six feet tall. He would rush out of his house into the front yard to meet merchants as they arrived. The merchants were, more often than not, filled with the fear of death.

Tesshu would thrust a practice sword into their hands and demand that they attack him. He only ceased his violent behavior when local merchants threatened to withhold services to his family. Tesshu was a warrior first and last.

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His family was poor and often in debt, so that when the bill collectors came to his house he was obliged to turn them away. On one occasion a particularly persistent collector would not be turned away easily. He noticed that Tesshu had a sizable sum of money in his purse. In the spring of opposition to the foreign treaties had so intensified that Shogun Tokugawa Iemochi was compelled to travel to Kyoto to promise the xenophobic emperor that he would expel the foreigners. Tesshu was assigned the daunting task of leading the corps, precursor of the notorious Shinsengumi , on the mile overland journey to Kyoto.

After Tesshu returned to Edo that spring, having successfully completed his mission, he finally encountered an opponent he could not defeat. He sparred with his new master everyday, and everyday he continued to lose. He developed a mental block for his master.

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When he closed his eyes to sleep at night his mind was filled with the vision of an unbeatable Asari brandishing a sword. The vision haunted him for years. Even after Tesshu established a fencing school and had a following of his own, he was obsessed with finding a way to defeat Asari. The more he struggled the more unattainable his objective became, and he continued to be distressed by the vision.


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Years before, at age nineteen, Tesshu had begun the practice of Zen. He now took to heart the teaching of his first Zen master — that his ultimate objective must be nothing. After practicing with him each morning, I have numerous matches with other people in the afternoon. At night I sit alone and meditate, with my eyes closed and concentrating on my breathing. But once I start to think about Asari, he suddenly appears before me invincible. No matter how hard I try, I cannot strike him down.


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Early one morning, after meditating for five consecutive days, Tesshu took his sword in hand and waged a mental battle with Asari. At age forty-four, after training under Asari for seventeen years, Tesshu experienced an epiphany that changed his life. Read more Read less.

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Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a product review. Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon. Verified Purchase. A wild ride through the Old West. Freeman has done a fantastic job to bring readers into the intricacies of the early Chinese immigration. Throughout the book, the author slams us with emotional snapshots and action-filled scenes. A highly recommended read! This book is so kinetically charged that it is difficult not to turn pages as fast as you can read them.

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In a tale as old as the American West itself, T. Freeman gives us a rare glimpse into the unsavory practice of trafficking young women from China in the s. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Their arduous journey lasts four years, as they travel onward to Mexico then Rome, where they are persuaded that the success of their mission depends on their conversion to Christianity. In fact, the enterprise seems to have been futile from the start: the mission returns to Japan to find that the political tides have shifted. The authorities are now pursuing an isolationist policy and a ruthless stamping out of Western influences.

Product Details About the Author. About the Author Shusaku Endo — is widely regarded as one of the most important Japanese authors of the late twentieth century. Average Review. Write a Review. Related Searches. No writer offers such View Product. Across the Vapour Gulf. Poetics: flight across precipitous intransigence. Cinema Stories. Each of the thirty-nine tales of Alexander Kluge's Cinema Stories combines fact and fiction, and