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Sasaki Kojiro
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    (1585-April 14, 1612)
    Known as Ganryu (his fighting name)
    Miyamoto Musashi's greatest foe
    His only claim to fame was his famous duel with Miyamoto Musashi.
    According to legend (which is disputed due to how much it is based on fact), he was close to victory several times before being struck down by Miyamoto Musashi, due to being blinded by the sunset behind his opponent.
    A debate among historians still rages today as whether Miyamoto Musashi cheated or used the environment to his advantage.
    He was one of the greatest swordsmen in Feudal Japan.
    He wielded a nodachi (very long sword) dubbed 'The Drying Pole' or 'Clothes Red' (few swordsmen during his time could use a nodachi in combat).
    He was respected and feared for his trademark 'Swallow's Tail Strike,' which mimics the motion of a swallow's tail in flight.
    His 'Swallow's Tail Strike' was reputed to be quick, deadly, and accurate enough to cut down a bird in mid flight.
    Like Miyamoto Musashi, he's a pop culture icon in Japan.

Credit: Jeff

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