Miyamoto Musashi was the child of an era when Japan was emerging from decades of civil strife. Lured to the great Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 by the hope of becoming a samurai, he regains consciousness after the battle to find himself lying defeated. On his way home, he commits a rash act, becomes a fugitive, and brings life in his own village to a standstill-until he is captured by a weaponless Zen monk. The lovely Otsu frees him from his tortuous punishment, but he is recaptured and imprisoned. During three years of solitary confinement, he delves into the classics of Japan and China. When he is set free again, he pursues his goal relentlessly. Ever so slowly it dawns on him that following the Way of the Sword is not simply a matter of finding a target for his brute strength. Continually striving to perfect his technique, which leads him to a unique style of fighting with two swords simultaneously, he travels far and wide, challenging fighters of many disciplines. He becomes a reluctant hero to a host of people whose lives he has touched and been touched by. And, inevitably, he has to pit his skill against the naked blade of his greatest rival.Musashi is a novel in the best tradition of Japanese storytelling. Full of gusto and humor, it has an epic quality and universal appeal.