Matsuyama castle

t was in the spring of 1633, Musashi visited Matsuyama castle and was the guest of he was the guest of Matsudaira Katsutaka. Only five years younger than Musashi, Katsutaka was known for his great love of swordsmanship. He was the son of one of Ieyasu’s most senior vassals and had held a string of important positions within the Bakufu. That same spring he had moved down to the province of Iyo, on the island of Shikoku, to take up temporary residence on the grounds of Matsuyama castle. The former lord of Matsuyama castle had passed away and the Bakufu decided that henceforth the Matsuyama domain was to be governed by a member of the Matsudaira, the clan from which the Tokugawa descended. It was Katsutaka’s duty to prepare the hikiwatashi, the castle’s smooth transfer from one clan to another.

Given his function, Matsutaka did not live at Matsuyama castle as its lord. And thus the Bushū denraiki describes that, rather than staying at the castle:

寛永比、武州、松平出雲守殿の家にあり。雲州の家頼に多力の兵法者あり。出雲、彼と武蔵との勝負を望まる。

In the era of Kan’ei [1624–44], Musashi stayed at the house of Lord Matsudaira Katsutaka. Among the retainers of Lord Katsutaka there were a great number of heihōsha, and his lordship wished to see them match themselves with Musashi.

Following the contest, Musashi remained at Matsuyama castle for more than half a year until, in the fall of 1634, he traveled down along the Inland Sea toward Kokura to to join his son Iori who was in the service of Ogasawara Tadazane, the new lord of Kokura castle.

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