The Thirteen Fingers
Musashi Iaijutsu Tournament
The Musashi Iaijutsu Tournament is an annual tournament held in Ichida. It brings together the best students, graduates, and civilian from around Tesaki at the Shinmichi Coliseum to compete in a series of Iaijutsu duels.
The MIT was founded in 1200 to commemorate the memory of Musashi Miyamoto. It has occurred ever year since. It is considered to be a great honor to win the tournament, and many winners go on to become Musashi.
The MIT is divided into separate categories for competition. Each dojo selects their best students to compete in each of the Title Categories:
Musashi (Supreme Master)
There is a limit to the total number of entries for each Title category:
Shōshinsha — 128
Shirōutō — 128
Shinmai — 128
Sasuga — 64
Taika — 64
Honshōku — 64
Sensei — 32
Kōchō — 16
Musashi* — 8
(Graduates or students who have left are permitted to enter this tournament to represent their dojo if accepted by their Musashi. Their Musashi will decide which Title category they will enter)
*Most years the Musashi duel has at most two entrants. There is very little interest amongst Musashi to give proof of their exceptional skill.
There are also civilian categories based on age group:
The Shinmichi Coliseum, built during the Ichijin reign to commemorate the 100th year of the Tournament, became the new permanent home of the Musashi Iaijutsu Tournament in 1300. It has seating capacity for 65,000, box seats for an additional 1,200, and standing room for an additional 10,000, for a total of 76,200. The most popular events are the Master Title categories (Honshōku, Sensei, Kōchō, and Musashi). The civilian events are done the week before the Title events to a half-filled stadium at best. The Emperor has attended every MIT since the Coliseum was finished.
Iaijutsu duels are all conducted using finely-crafted wooden katana. The basic of this weapon is used as a training tool, but these finely-crafted versions can injure more readily than the practice versions, particularly when wielded by more powerful Jinittou.
The Tournament is conducted over about two weeks starting on June 1st (starting with the Civilians, ending with the Title categories) with the finals of the Title categories all occurring on June 13th (Miyamoto Musashi’s birthday).