The history of jodo is a beautiful story. What is true and what is not can no longer be traced after roughly 400 years. There are also different versions of the story. We will briefly tell one here, but in all versions the protagonists are Muso Gonnosuke and Miyamoto Mushashi.

Version from Shimizu Takaji’s “JODO KYOHON” (Iodo textbook).

During the time that Muso Gonnosuke stayed in Edo (today’s Tokyo), he fought many duels with famous swordsmen and did not lose once. One day it came to a duel with Miyamoto Musashi. In that duel, he attacked Miyamoto Musashi’s jujidome (two swords crossed), but he could neither move forwards nor backwards and was defeated by Musashi.

Gonnosuke then traveled across the country to further his martial arts training (musashugyo) and his thoughts were filled with one thing only: “How can I defeat Musashi’s jujidome?”.

After a few years, he arrived in the current Fukuoka Prefecture, where he climbed a sacred mountain and retired in contemplation. After thirty-seven days, a child appeared in a dream and gave him an oracle: “Take a round wooden stick and think of suigetsu (solar plexus)”. On it he made a hardwood stick of four shaku, two sun and a bun (128cm) with a diameter of eight bun (26mm). With this weapon he combined the techniques of the kenjutsu (sword), sojutsu (spear) and naginata jutsu (halberd) and defeated Musashi’s jujidome.