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Musahi by Eiji Yoshikawa

The epic novel was written about the story of Miyamoto Musashi, a famous Japanese samurai that became a legend his time. The story started after the famous Battle at Sekigahara in the year 1600 when Musashi was merely a foot soldier with aspirations to become a samurai. Facing humiliation and shame for supporting the losing side, he tried to make his way home. His brashness and arrogance led him to end up murdering some people. From there, he became an outlaw until he finally submitted himself to the famous monk, Takuan Soho. The story revolves around his search for spirituality and meaning through the "Way of the Sword," and how he transformed himself into a better person. The book was written almost like a parable of how to achieve enlightenment. Mr. Yoshikawa wove such a brilliant tale; it had many subtle life lessons intertwined in the characters that Musashi would meet on his travels.

My favorite part was when Musashi went to the dungeon to study for three years. Musashi viewed his time there as a time of learning and restoration — very similar to the way I am trying to approach my daily life in here. Musashi emerged from the depths of the castle a changed man. And that was only where the journey began for him.

Musashi had to travel throughout Japan to figure out his true purpose in life. He had to face and vanquish many demons from his past, as well as overcome some unforeseen obstacles and difficulties. He came to understand that life was about following your inner voice, and not just shaping yourself to what the world deemed as important. I would like to think that I am trying to have a journey of transformation similar to Musashi's. There were many demons from my past that I have had to slay, and still many more to uncover and put to rest. I look forward to the challenges that I may face in this journey ahead of me, and through the inspiring themes of discipline, purpose, and search for spirituality in Musashi’s adventure, I am content to continue on my path. 

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