The Demon's Sermon opens with The discourses, a collection of whimsical fables concerned with the theme of transformation--for Chozanshi a core phenomenon to the martial artist. Though ostensibly light and fanciful, these stories offer the attentive reader ideas that subvert perceived notions of conflict and the individual's relationship to the outside world. In the main body of work, The Sermon, Chozanshi demonstrates how transformation is fostered and nurtured through ch'i -- the vital and fundamental energy that flows through all things, animate and inanimate, and the very bedrock of Chozanshi's themes and the martial arts themselves. This he does using the voice of the Tengu, as the reader is invited to eavesdrop with the swordsman on the demon's revelations of the deepest truths concerning ch'i, the principles of yin and yang, and how these forces shape our existence. In The Dispatch, the themes are brought to an elegant conclusion using the parable of an old and toothless cat who, like the demon, has mastered the art of acting by relying on nothing, and in so doing can defeat even the wiliest and most vicious of rats despite his advanced years.
Chozanshi's deep understanding of Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Shinto, as well as his insight into the central role of ch'i in the universe, are all given thoughtful treatment in Wilson's introduction and extensive endnotes. A provocative book for the general reader, The Demon's Sermon will also prove an invaluable addition to the libraries of all those interested in the fundamental principles of the martial arts, and how those principles relate to our existence.
It has been said that even Morihei Ueshiba was trained by a Tengu in the mountains of Mt. Hongu.
ISSAI CHOZANSHI (1659-1741) was the pen name of Niwa Jurozaemonn Tadaaki, a samurai of the Sekiyado clan. Among his works, The Demon's Sermon on the Martial Arts (1729) and The Swordsman and the Cat (1727) are his most famous.
> Read part 3 'The Swordsman and the Cat' online (shortened version in English, 4p.)
> Read Book @ Google books