L5R - Great Stone Bridge
Kakita's The Sword
he Sword was the book of philosophy concerning swordsmanship and discipline written by Kakita, the founder of the Kakita family of the Crane Clan and one of the earliest and strongest proponents of iaijutsu, the art of the duel, in the Empire. This treatise also served as the foundation for dueling in Rokugan and included Kakita’s thoughts on the theory and technique of kenjutsu, the art of sword fighting.
The essence of Kakita’s technique was that an enemy could be defeated with a single strike and that it could only take that single strike to end any conflict. The key to the technique was that of perfection: the strike had to be of perfect form, with perfect speed, and perfect accuracy. Kakita summarized this philosophy with the following: “One man, one sword, one strike.”
The final manuscript of this great work was held in Kakita’s Dojo in the Crane lands.
“Honor is your sword-keep it untarnished, and it’s edge will cut through your enemies as swiftly as the final steel.”
“Strengthen the spirit as well as the body, and depths of the soul will become the steel of the blade.”
“The secret of swordplay is not the swift defeat, not the prolonged strike and block. A pure stroke will defeat technique.”
“Fear can kill the uncertain mind as swiftly as a sword can cut an uncertain foe.”
“The sword is the soul. The sword is all. So is there honor in killing from afar? Perhaps, but only if the bow has its own honor, its own spirit that lends grace to the shot.”
“Do not fear sanity, for samurai will not risk what they fear to lose. Fear samurai who have lost their minds; they have nothing left to gain.”
“Men will lie to you. Your eyes will deceive you. Steel never lies, nor deceives, not hides bitter reality. In the sword, you can find truth.”
“If your opponent expects you to stand, move. If he believes you will move, stand very still. Do not allow your enemy to rule your mind: rules his.”
“Focus upon your opponent’s destiny. Bring it to them on the end of one perfect cut.”
“The sword must live within you. The stances are its walk, and the rhythm of the swing the speech of the warrior.”