Footprints in the Sands of Time

Front book cover

Back book cover-page

Chapter one

THE TANAKAMINOMOTO FAMILY
APRIL 1498
JAPAN – KAMAKURA
A BIG STEP BACK IN TIME
 
  • The bamboo grove
  • The Tengu tests the spirit of Lord Tanakaminomoto
  • Lord Tanakaminomoto’s new sword is tested
  • He has much to think about
  • The Bladeless sword!

Ryu Kyu KobujutsuIt was a pleasant day in Kamakura and the midday sun was shining down on a little group of six horsemen and their two attendants.

Just ahead of them the road curved sharply to the right, down the side of a hill and Lord Tanakaminomoto could see the very big grove of bamboo that grew on the hill on the right side of the road.

He made his decision and dismounted from his horse.  Two men walked in front of him with the other three behind him.

The Tengu quickly positioned himself at the midpoint down the path.  The Tengu leapt out of his hiding place in front of the Lord.  He immediately held up his left hand “Tomeru!” – Stop!

The Tengu spoke again “I challenge you to a duel.  Lord Tanakaminomoto understood instantly and the sword seemed to vibrate in his hand.

The Tengu suddenly jumped forward.  He drew his sword in a blur of movement and struck down at the Lord.  The centuries old folded steel of the Tengu’s sword was parried by the folded steel of the new Yasukuni blade.

His “empty mind” took over and he immediately slashed down at the Tengu’s left shoulder.  He felt the blade cut through the armour close to the Tengu’s neck.  He saw blood spurt from the cut artery.

His men helped Lord Tanakaminomoto remove the sword from the rock.  The Kami had watched the whole duel.  Indeed, Lord Tanakaminomoto had proved himself totally worthy for the life that still lay ahead of him and he had used the sword properly and honourably.

A saying formed in their collective minds “When a bladeless sword is struck with a mindless hand – it will surely penetrate the rock!”

There was just a visage of a smile on the face of his Father, Lord Kimura no Miyomoto, as he returned the bow of his son and ushered him into their ancestral home in the eternal land of the great warriors.

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