From “The Way of Walking Alone” by Miyamoto Musashi

The “Dokkōdō” (Japanese: 独行道?) (“The Path of Aloneness”, “The Way to Go Forth Alone”, or “The Way of Walking Alone”), is a short work written by Miyamoto Musashi (宮本 武蔵) a week before he died in 1645. It consists of either nineteen or twenty-one precepts; precepts 4 and 20 are omitted from the former version. “Dokkodo” was largely composed on the occasion of Musashi giving away his possessions in preparation for death, and was dedicated to his favorite disciple, Terao Magonojō (to whom the earlier Go rin no sho [The Book of Five Rings] had also been dedicated), who took them to heart. “Dokkōdō” expresses a stringent, honest, and ascetic view of life.

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