Dokkōdō, Miyamoto Musashi

Miyamoto Musashi (宮本 武蔵, c. 1584 — June 13, 1645), also known as Shinmen Takezō, Miyamoto Bennosuke or, by his Buddhist name, Niten Dōraku. He was regarded as one of the most famous Japanese swordsman and rōnin of his era.

Musashi’s Tale of fighting a Whale

Musashi, became widely renowned through stories of his excellent swordsmanship in numerous duels, even from a very young age. He was the founder of the Hyōhō Niten Ichi-ryū or Niten-ryū style of swordsmanship and the author of The Book of Five Rings (五輪の書 Go Rin No Sho), a book on strategy, tactics, and philosophy that is still studied today.

In 1643 Musashi retired to a cave named Reigandō (Spirit Rock Cave) meditating and started writing his views on the world, which included The Book of Five Rings. He finished it in the second month of 1645.

The Tale of Musashi fighting against a Whale

The Dokkōdō (“The Way of Walking Alone”, or “The Way of Self-Reliance”) was written by Musashi in the final few days of his life, in dedication to where he was giving away his possessions in preparation for death. Musashi died of what is believed to be cancer. He died peacefully after finishing the Dokkōdō.

Masushi passed it on to Terao Magonojo, his most skilled disciple in Niten-Ichi-Ryu. After the Gorin-No-Sho, Dokkōdō is the summary of Musashi’s life, his will and his philosophy. It is 21 precepts on self-discipline to guide future generations.

Taken from

The Interpretations of this life Wisdom varies from different perspectives of different Individuals across different Cultures and how they relate to it. But the Core Idea is still the same over Centuries.

You are the decider of how you interpret it. Have fun Contemplating!