Musashi became renowned through stories of his excellent swordsmanship in numerous duels, even from a very young age.
He is the author of The Book of Five Rings, a book on strategy, tactics, and philosophy.
The “Dokkōdō” [“The Path of Aloneness”, “The Way to Go Forth Alone”, or “The Way of Walking Alone”] is a short work written by Miyamoto Musashi a week before he died in 1645.
“Dokkodo” was largely composed on the occasion of Musashi giving away his possessions in preparation for death.
“Dokkōdō” expresses a stringent, honest, and ascetic view of life.
- Accept everything just the way it is.
- Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
- Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
- Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
- Be detached from desire your whole life.
- Do not regret what you have done.
- Never be jealous.
- Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
- Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor others.
- Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love.
- In all things, have no preferences.
- Be indifferent to where you live.
- Do not pursue the taste of good food.
- Do not hold on to possessions you no longer need.
- Do not act following customary beliefs.
- Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful.
- Do not fear death.
- Do not seek to possess either goods or fiefs for your old age.
- Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help.
- You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honor.
- Never stray from the way.