Yagyū Munenori Yagyu Family Crest


Yagyū  Mataemon Munenori (柳生宗矩)


1571 to 1646

Yagyu-mura, Tajima, Japan

Where Trained



His father Yagyū "Sekishusai" Muneyoshi, Takuan Sōhō

One of the greatest and un-defeated samurai that lived in Japan around about 1600 responsible for writing the great philosophical treatise "Heiho Kadensho" or "The Life-Giving Sword" which is sometimes referred to as "The Book of Clan Traditions on the Martial Arts".

He developed many new & innovative ways in sword fighting, one of his famous ones was something called "Ichi no tachi". A dangerous manoeuvre that requires getting within striking range of an opponent to defeat them and therefore requires perfect timing & body language recognition skills as well as speed.

Not to be confused with Miyamoto Musashi who lived around the same time.

One of his most famous edicts was the following;-
The goal of training in the martial arts is to overcome six kinds of disease,
  1. the desire for victory,
  2. the desire to rely on technical cunning,
  3. the desire to show off,
  4. the desire to psychologically overwhelm the opponent,
  5. the desire to remain passive in order to wait for an opening, and
  6. the desire to become free of these diseases.

Life Giving Sword The Sword and the Mind The Way of the Living Sword:the Secret Teachings of Yagyu Munenori Soul of the Samurai: Modern Translations of Yagyu Munenori's "The Book of Family Traditions" & Takuan Soho's "Subtlety of Immovable Wisdom" & "Notes of the Peerless Sword"

click here to read more about him on Wikipedia

back to biography list of Masters.....

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page last updated on Tuesday 07 September 2010