The Sword of Taia – the unfettered mind.

The Unfettered Mind (不動智神妙録, Fudōchi Shinmyōroku) is a three-part treatise on Buddhist philosophy and martial arts written in the 17th century by Takuan Sōhō, a Japanese monk of the Rinzai sect. The title translates roughly to “The Mysterious Records of Immovable Wisdom“. The book is a series of three discourses addressed to samurai but applicable to everyone who desires an introduction to Zen philosophy, the book makes little use of Buddhist terminology and instead focuses on describing situations followed by an interpretation. Its contents make an effort to apply Zen Buddhism to martial arts.

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Takuan died in Edo in 1645. In the moments before his death, he wrote the kanji 夢 for (“dream”), and laid down his brush. He also left behind a will stating that a “tombstone must not be built” and that he should be buried without any ceremony in an unmarked grave. His disciples promptly erected gravestones at the temple of Tōkai-ji (東海寺) and also at the temple of Sukyō-ji (宗鏡寺) in Izushi. His grave at Tōkai-ji was proclaimed a National Historic Site in 1926.

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