Sometimes there are times when you let guard down and people take an opportunity to hurt you...
The coolness of the wooden floor beneath my feet travel up through my body: a welcome relief to the ever present heat surrounding me. I close my eyes as a cool breeze gently pushes into me, trying to enter the dojo through the open shoji to the outside world. Sounds of the sea crashing and breaking onto the rocks fill my ears and the saltiness fragrance of the sea follows the breeze wherever it goes, hand-in-hand.
My eyes open and I find myself facing the dojo, a vast empty hall with silence being its only companion. The wooden flooring that I stand upon expands outwards, arranged neatly in rows upon rows.
At the end of the dojo, I see a shrine; simple in design with a black and white picture of an old man leaning against the white wall and to the left, a horizontal strip of white paper with kanji characters decorating it.
As my feet move across the wooden floor, the silk fabric of my hakama moves with me – delicate to the touch against my legs; the uwagi covering my torso feels light and gently rests on my shoulders. The harsh coolness of the metal tsuba flows through my thumb as I hold onto my katana.
Gradually approaching the shrine, a small orange dot stands out from the faded white background of the dojo wall. Once where the saltiness of the sea filled my nostrils, the sweet tantalizing scent of jasmine now surrounds me. Closer and closer I get to the shrine, I gaze upon the flowing black ink of the kanji characters which move in every direction: soft, fluid and smooth, dancing of their own accord. And yet the black and white photo of the old man remains where it is, static and stationary to the world passing it by.
I bow in respect to the shrine and quietly murmur words that escape my lips; slowly I pace backgrounds from the shrine before turning on my heel to face where I entered. Through the open shoji I see the bright blue sky meeting the rocky landscape of the sea shore; every still, the sound of crashing waves could be heard.
I draw my katana; the smooth gliding of the metal being pulled out of its saya brings little noise to my ears. It feels balanced in my grip, the blade thin in width looks fragile – yet I know that it can cut through any object, living or not, effortlessly in one swift motion.
Admiration floods my body as I look at the katana; a beautiful but deadly weapon, a weapon that can dance with a skilled kenshi with both precision and magnificence.
Move by move, step-by-step, the katana moves through the air – singing as it moves fluently in sync with my body movements.