One of the most difficult things to ascertain is the exact location of Musashi’s first two duels with the members of the Yoshioka clan.

Tanji Hōkin, author of the Bushū denraiki, claims the first two duels between Musashi and the members of the Yoshioka clan were fought on the Rendaino, an arid stretch of land known for its many graveyards. The Rendaino inherited its name because it lay just north of the famous Jōbon Rendai temple, which in Musashi’s time was still situated on Kyoto’s northern outskirts. Interestingly, the author’s brother, Tanji Jitsuzan (1655–1708) was befriended with Manzan Dōhaku (1635–1715) the abbot of the Genkōan, a monastery of the Sōtō sect situated not far from the Rendai plains and known for its beautiful interiors.

The grounds of the Imamiya shrine, a few dozen yards east of the former Rendai plains

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