You'll find a little of everything here. Genres covered in this blog include (so far) prehistorics, fantasy, old west, swashbucklers, pulp, Blood Bowl, Ghostbusters, gladiators, nautical, science fiction and samurai in 6mm, 15mm, 28mm, 40mm, 42mm and 54mm sizes. You'll also find terrain, scenery, basing, gaming, modeling, tutorials, repaints, conversions, art and thoughts in general about the hobby.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Finished reading "Musashi"

So yesterday, I finished reading (all 970 pages of) "Musashi" by Eiji Yoshikawa. Musashi is about the early life of (actual historical figure) Miyamoto Musashi, Japan's greatest folk hero/swordsman/ronin/etc.

He went through life as a vagabond (also the title of the manga series about Musashi) and fought many duels against a variety of weapons. Two of his more famous fights were against the entire student body of the Yoshioka sword school and against his most well-known rival, Sasaki Kojiro (who carried a nodachi which he named, The Drying Pole.)

But wow, what a ride that was. Before I bought the book, I had been looking for some samurai fiction to inspire some gaming and scenario ideas (for my 42mm samurai collection.) "Musashi" was the perfect choice.

Besides the many individual fighters in the book, there were also a few factions that could be easily gamed (especially using Osprey's upcoming Ronin rules.) Among those factions are the Yoshioka School, the Obata War school, the lance priests of Hozoin, the Mountain Devils (bandits), and the Hangawara construction gang.

I also (and predominantly) game smaller skirmishes (duels really) using Two Hour Wargames' Red Sand Black Moon rules, and "Musashi" has many individuals who would make great fighters for the game: Ronin, samurai, bandits, otokodate (early yakuza), priests, peasants, thugs -- armed with katana, wakizashi, nodachi, bokken, bows, muskets, lances, bo staff, kusamagiri -- even a blowgun makes an appearance.

And somewhere between all this action, Yoshikawa managed to put together a pretty good story. I recommend "Musashi" for sure. Don't let the high page count scare you; the book is an easy read and moves along quickly. There is very little down time.
I think I'll read it again soon. The next time, I'll put together a map so I can follow along with sort of a geographical journal of Musashi's travels.


  1. Carmen- Great review! I read Yoshikawa's Musashi book(I think part of a series)a long while ago. Is this a re publish of the older version, or a fully new piece?


    1. This book was published in 2012, but I saw mentioned somewhere that the story was originally in serialized form, so yes, it's probably the same story.

      Also, apparently, the English edition is abridged, so I hope I'm not missing too much.

  2. Oh that all sounds pretty badass. Looking forward to seeing more of your work.

  3. I read this book many years ago. I really enjoyed it at the time. I also have "Taiko" on my bookshelf, but still haven't gotten around to reading it.