Shishido Baiken

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Shishido Baiken (宍戸梅軒, also 宍戸某 Shishido Bō) is the name of a Japanese swordsman believed to have been active in the early years of the Edo period (1603-1868). Legend has it that Baiken was a skilled practitioner of the kusarigama (a metal chain attached to a kama and a weight, also known as the chain and sickle), and around the year 1607 he fought a duel the swordsman Miyamoto Musashi in which he was killed.

It is debatable if Baiken actually existed or not.[1] The first record of Musashi's duel with Shishido Bō is in the Nitenki (二天記) written in 1776. The name Shishido Baiken appears to first appear in Eiji Yoshikawa's Musashi. If fictional, he may have been based on Shishido Ietoshi (宍戸家俊).

In fiction[edit]

In the manga Vagabond, the original Shishido Baiken was a bandit leader who did use the kusarigama only to be killed by Tsujikaze Kohei, who then took up the name and weapon and became the source for the kusarigama's notoriety. His duel with Musashi would be significant for Musashi's use of both the long and short swords, allowing him to simply strike back with the katana after his wakizashi was ensnared. Kohei/Baiken would be defeated but survived thanks to Musashi's medical assistance.

In the video game Ryū ga Gotoku Kenzan! he is an amnesiac Majima Gorohachi, who lost his left eye to an encounter with Sasaki Kojiro and therefore Baiken he wore a tsuba for an eyepatch.

Baiken, a character in the Guilty Gear video game series had her name inspired by the real life man

References[edit]