Yamaoka Tesshu is a remarkable figure from the turbulent era that marked the beginning of modern Japan. He attained profound enlightenment at the age of forty-five and became aware of the hidden laws of martial arts with sword, zen, and calligraphy. Yamaoka Tesshu is an extremely versatile and prolific master: an incomparable sword fighter who founded the Swordless School; a wise and compassionate Zen teacher in the Tekisui tradition; an unsurpassed calligrapher who connects everything earthly and divine in his brush. Even today, nearly a century after his death, Tesshu’s incredible vitality can be seen in his works. If observed carefully, the remarkable transformation associated with Tesshu’s enlightenment, as well as its deepening during the last eight years of his life, is clearly seen in his calligraphy. Musashi – the most prominent samurai – is perhaps the only other practitioner who has similarly managed to get into the essence of so many Paths. Unlike Musashi, whose true history is difficult to establish, there is much more information available about Tesshu. Thanks to it, one can get an accurate idea of ​​this person and his teachings.

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