This story took place in feudal Japan in the 18th century. An ordinary servant put a noble guest into a rage. The offended said the host should teach his servant a good lesson, which back then certainly meant death for the servant. The host had no right to disobey this tradition.
The man found his dutiful servant and uttered, “I’m sorry, but I must fulfill the wish of our guest and punish you. I have no choice. All I can bitterly advise you to do is to take a sword and fight me – you might kill me during the joust and then throw yourself on mercy of the man you offended.”
“Is it not useless for me to draw a sword?”, the servant replied with astonishment. “You are a first-rate katana master and a fencing teacher, and my peasant hands have never held a sword before. How could I possibly win?”
The fencing teacher in his turn had been waiting long for a fight with someone past praying for, someone caught in a hopeless situation, but hadn’t had a chance so far. He said to his servant, “Take my katana and try your fate. Let’s see what happens – the Fortune might be on your side.”
When the master and the servant faced each other with their swords drawn, the master noticed that his position is much worse and decided he should change it. He made one step back, then a couple steps more, and soon found himself with his back against the wall. The master had to take the final decision as there was no more room left for backing up. It was no fun any more, no more thoughts of experimenting. Cornered, the master was not able to change for a more advantageous position, and with a loud cry he delivered a stroke slaying the unfortunate servant.
The master would tell his disciples after that , “That was an incredible battle! The servant was about to defeat his master, his attack was almost impossible to repel. So, even an old servant can become a strong rival in this kind of situation, let alone a skillful fencer.
The great warrior and commander Uesugi Kenshin (1530-1578 ) said, “A warrior has success in his head, armor on his chest, and his fate is in heaven. Go to fight with confidence and you’ll come back without a single wound. Rush into the battle ready to die. Should you leave home, remember that you shall never see it again, only then shall you come back. If you dream for a moment of returning home, it will most likely never happen. Life brings about constant changes, but samurai doesn’t think that way as his fate is predestined”.