According to a legend from Iwakuni, Sasaki Kojiro, the samurai who fought Miyamoto Musashi in the most famous samurai duel, used ot meditate near the Kintai-kyo bridge, and his renowned sword technique was invented here, while he was observing the swallows flying around the bridge.
However, this is just a legend, because there is no historical evidence that during his life there even was a bridge here. But the place is not important, and what we know for sure is that Sasaki Kojiro was inspired by the flight of the swallows when he invented his sword strike Tsubame gaeshi, “Turning Swallow Cut". Here he is, immortalized in stone in the posture before the sword strike, with his long sword (over 90 centimeters) called Monohoshizao, the “Drying Pole".
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: