Yoshioka Seijūrō Naotsuna

Both the Bushū denraiki and the Bukōden agree that the first member of the Yoshioka clan to duel with Musashi on the grounds of the Jōbon Rendai temple in Kyoto was Yoshioka Seijūrō.

The Bushū denraiki claims that:

武州、其日に至り病臥、起居不安の由にて、斷に及ぶ。清十郎、頻に可致勝負旨、數度使を走らしむ。武州竹輿に乘り、大夜着を着し、場所へ至らる。

When the day came Musashi excused himself as he was ill in bed. Seijūrō now sent round messengers several times, strongly urging Musashi that he should fight. And thus Musashi mounted a palanquin and arrived at the appointed place wrapped in a futon.

It is widely assumed that Musashi’s tardiness was not so much induced by any serious illness, but part of his strategy to unsettle his opponent. Yet according to the Koro usawa:

従者「いかに」といふに、「かちを考ふるに、いまだ気不満。おしつけ出ん」とて、はかまかたきぬにて北野に至る。

When asked by his attendant Musashi replied: “I am trying to think by what strategy I can gain victory, but I am not yet satisfied. I’ll go presently.” 

The Bukōden claims that:

初吉岡兼法ガ嫡嗣清十良と、洛外蓮臺野に於て勝負を決す。吉岡は眞劔也。武公木刀を以一度撃之。吉岡斃て息絶ふ。豫め一撃の約あるに依て命根を輔弼す。彼門生等板の上に助乘て家に帰、藥治浴湯して本復す。

Seijūrō fought with a shinken. Musashi was armed with a bokutō, and struck out once. Seijūrō collapsed and lost consciousness. He was saved in that they had agreed only to attack once. The Yoshioka deshi placed him on a stretcher and took him home where they nursed him back to health.

Perhaps not surprisingly, this version of events is contradicted by the Yoshioka-den, which claims that:

於是直綱先出、兩方相支、互竭心力、暫移時剋、武藏遂被撃眉間、血出最甚。直綱却後、皆言、「直綱之勝也」。他言、「相撃也」。直綱怒云、「然則明白一決」。武藏言、「與直綱已決了。所願與直重宜相撃」。

Naotsuna was the first to step forward and match his skill with Musashi. Both men exerted their mental powers agains each other, but already shortly into the bout Musashi was hit on the forehead and lost a lot of blood. When Naotsuna stepped back the crowd cried out that it had been Natsuna’s victory. Yet others said that it had been a draw. Angered, Naotsuna said: “In that case, let us men again in contest to make clear who is the winner.” At this Musashi said: “My contest with Naotsuna is done. Now I want to fight with Mataichi Naoshige.”

Though the Honchō bugei shoden does not mention the Yoshioka swordsman by name, it does give an interesting, more evenhanded, account of the duel:

武藏吉岡と仕相の事、武藏は柿手拭にて鉢巻す。吉岡は白手拭にて鉢巻したり。吉岡が太刀武藏がひたいに當る。武藏が太刀も又吉岡がひたひにあたるに、吉岡は白手拭故血はやくみえ、武藏は柿てのごひ故しばらくして血見ゆるとなり。吉岡大木刀を以て武藏を打。武藏是を受るといへ共、鉢巻きれて落たり。武藏しづんで拂、木刀にて吉岡がきたる皮ばかまをきる。吉岡は武藏が鉢巻を切て落し、武藏は吉岡が袴を切る。何れも勝劣あるまじき達人と、見物の耳目を驚かすと也。

During his duel with the Yoshioka Musashi wore a crimson hand cloth as hachimaki. The Yoshioka swordsman wore a hachimaki from a white hand cloth. Yoshioka hit Musashi on the brow with his tachi. And when Musashi, too, struck Yoshioka on the forehead, it was immediately visible, as he was wearing a white hachimaki, whereas on Musashi, because his hachimaki was crimson, it took some time before the blood on his forehead could be seen. Now Yoshioka struck musashi with a long bokutō. Musashi parried the blow, but his hachimaki was torn and fell to the ground. Musashi now advanced on Yoshioka and cut through the leather hakama the latter was wearing. Thus Yoshioka cut through Musashi’s hachimaki, and Musashi did the same with Yoshioka’s hakama. It was a sight to behold, both dazzling to the eye and to the ear, and it was hard to say which of the two adepts had come out on top.

The Kokura hibun, finally, sheds more light on the exact place where the duel took place: the Rendaino, an arid plain just north of the Jōbon Rendai temple:

最初に吉岡家の当主である吉岡清十郎と洛外蓮台野で戦った。武蔵は木刀の一撃で清十郎を破った。予め一撃で勝負を決する約束だったので命を奪わなかった。清十郎の弟子は彼を板にのせて帰り、治療の後、清十郎は回復したが、兵術をやめ出家した。

Musashi first fought with the Yoshioka clan leader by the name of Seijūrō on the grounds of the Rendai temple. Musashi floored Seijūrō with a single blow of his bokutō, causing the latter to pass out. And because it was agreed beforehand that they would only exchange a single blow Musashi did not take Seijūrō's life. The latter’s deshi came to his aid, lifted him on a stretcher, and took him home. There he was given various medical treatments and eventually recovered. In the end, he abandoned the martial life and took the tonsure.

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