Last weekend I watched Samurai I (Miyamoto Musashi 宮本武蔵) a film by Inagaki Hiroshi with Toshiro Mifune playing the character of Miyamoto Musashi, one of Japan's most famous samurai swordsman. Samurai I is the first of three and I plan to watch Samurai II and III this weekend. Samurai I was pretty entertaining. It followed the young Musashi, at that time known as Shinmen Takezo, as he fought for the losing side at the battle of Sekigahara and later how he tried to elude the authorities who were searching for him. Eventually he was befriended by a monk and taken to Himeji castle where he is locked up in a room to contemplate himself. He is eventually released and is then given the samurai name Miyamoto Musashi.
Musashi is probably most famous for his book "The Book of Five Rings" a book on strategy, tactics and philosophy that is still studied today. I have not yet read the book but I just picked it up at the Little Tokyo Library here in downtown Los Angeles. I will start reading it this weekend since I just finished reading the book called "Samurai William" which follows the adventures of William Adams, the first Englishmen in Japan who became a retainer to Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu.