Sunday, January 22, 2017

'East' from SteveM: Miyamoto Musashi and Sasaki Kojiro

Scale : 28mm (1/56)
Mfg : Wargames Illustrated Moments in History Edo Japan
Product : WIM10 Miyamoto Musashi and Sasaki Kojiro
Material : metal
Paints: automotive primer, Vallejo Model Color, matt vanish
Details: 2 figures

This blister has been sitting on the lead pile for a few years now. With the East theme it was a good time to make a go of it.  The blister commemorates the battle between Musashi and Kojiro.  I didn't know anything about them before getting the blister but the short story is they were both legendary figures of Japanese folklore who battled and it ended with one of them dead. You can search for Musashi vs Kojiro on youtube to watch several re-enactments.

From the WI site
"The two warriors met on 13 April 1612, but historians agree on little beyond the date and the result. The venue was Funajima, a remote island north of Kokura. According to legend, Musashi carved himself a new wooden sword out of an oar while en-route to the island by boat. He was also three hours late, much to the annoyance of Kojiro’s supporters, but a tactic used commonly by Musashi to provoke his opponent. When he arrived at the island, Musashi further goaded Kojiro by taunting him until Kojiro could take it no more and launched his attack. Kojiro’s sword severed Musashi’s chonmage, a hairstyle decoration like a pony-tail or queue, but the master had maneuvered Kojiro into the sunlight where he was blinded. Musashi struck swiftly, smashing Kojiro on the head. Kojiro lay dead at his feet. Musashi jumped back into his boat and sailed away before Kojiro’s followers could catch and kill him. Mushasi’s last duel where he would kill an opponent was over.

Musashi went on to fight other duels and battles, most notably in the war between the Toyotomi and Tokugawa in 1615. Afterwards, Musashi taught martial arts, specializing in throwing weapons. He also became an architect and studied Buddhism before retiring to a hermit’s life where he wrote The Book of Five Rings, which he finished shortly before his death in 1645."

I had to stop painting on these in order to meet the deadline so they get a wargaming standard paint job for now.  Maybe I'll go back later and improve some different areas that I'm not happy with.



  1. Great work on the duellists - and a great story as well!

  2. I would have loved to use this vignette for the last bonus theme. One of my favorite movies is the Samurai Trilogy (starring Toshiro Mifune of "Seven Samurai" fame) which chronicles the story of Musashi. The duel between Musashi and Kojiro occurs at the end of the third film in the trilogy.

    1. I am going to have to watch these. Thanks for the info!

  3. Nice work on a great choice of figures!

  4. Very nice. I read the book "Musashi" by Eiji Yoshikawa many years ago. It fictionalizes a lot of interactions between Musashi and Sasaki over the years to that lead up to this duel.

  5. An absolutely classic duel, and you've captured it perfectly!

  6. The wargame standard looks really fine, Steve!
    I'm familiar with this tale and the book of 5 rings...notable as I haven't gamed it in video or tabltop, but ( gasp) actually read a book! ;)

  7. You have done a nice job on these figures and thanks for the background story.