of a hundred dead warriors
are heard when a Samurai
draws his katana.
Hear the hiss as it
comes free, listen
to the cries
in the mirror
of the blade
give rise to
his skill in
full of only
Samurai must forever follow
the voices into nine directions
— Josh Brown
Josh Brown is a writer with works appearing in Mithila Review, Star*Line, Beechwood Review, Scifaikuest, SpeckLit, Fantasy Scroll Magazine, and more.
Editor’s Notes: Simon Graham [narrating]: They say Japan was made by a sword. They say the old gods dipped a coral blade into the ocean, and when they pulled it out four perfect drops fell back into the sea, and those drops became the islands of Japan. I say, Japan was made by a handful of brave men. Warriors, willing to give their lives for what seems to have become a forgotten word, “honor.”
The Last Samurai (2003)
Bushido Code: 8 virtues of a Samurai: http://www.artofmanliness.com/2008/09/14/the-bushido-code-the-eight-virtues-of-the-samurai/
Image: Bushidō written in Chinese characters. On the left, the so-called seven virtues, Bushido Calligraphy
The authors says, “I have studied Japanese martial arts for many years, specifically bujinkan and aikido, and my teachers have always universally taught there is great significance in the number 9.
Nine is often seen as both the beginning and the end, right before ten. There are 9 possible directions of attack, a student typically goes through 9 ranks before black belt, a perfect training space is considered 9 blocks of training mats. The are 9 original mudra for Kuji-in (“ku” is Japanese for “nine”).
Certain Buddhist rituals use 9 monks, Ramadan is in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.
There are nine planets in the solar system (or at least there used to be), nine stars in the big dipper, there are nine months of pregnancy before a child is born…”