Saturday, 21 November 2015

History: Bujinkan part 1

Koto-ryu Koppojutsu (Tiger knocking-down bone-breaking technique)
   Bujinkan is not a single form of martial art. Rather it's a whole system of martial traditions based on teachings from 9 ryu-ha of budo and ninpó. Bujinkan is a collection of techniques from all these schools in an organization. Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu is the complete name for the system. It was founded by Hatsumi Masaaki (birth name: Yoshiaki) Soké so its history is directly linked to the life of Soké. The ryu-ha (old schools) themselves each have a distinct long history which complexly overlaps somewhere, so I can not discuss them in detail and then my knowledge ends at just Togakure-ryu. But first I want to write something about the life of Hatsumi Masaaki Soké and how he came to found Bujinkan.

   So, Hatsumi Yoshiaki (as the birth name) was born in Noda, Chiba Japan. He started training in martial arts at the age of 7. By the time he was in 20, he had already acquired a 4th dan in Karate and continued on to become a 5th dan. Besides he trained in Judo and acquired a 2nd dan. Along that he trained in Aikido and Kendo for some time. Such high achievements at such a young age are very rare. But he was still not satisfied because these arts were good most to the level of dojo and not to the true level of a warrior and natural life. Therefore, he started his journey to find a new teacher who can teach him some other way. He found a Kobudo teacher named Ueno Chosui, under which he trained for sometime and from whom he learned of his teacher Takamatsu Toshitugu. He met Takamatsu Toshitsugu Soke when he was 26, at which moment he thought he has now found the true path of his life. The Soké himself describes the experience as,
      "The very first time I met him, it was like a time slip. It was like being drawn in like a ship docking...I was completely squeezed in Takamatsu Sensei's focal point and glued to it. That's the best way to express it... Though I was absorbed in Takamatsu Sensei's very essence, I came out on the other side into the light... I briefly stated that I had many teachers. To me, my time with them was a total waste". "... He said to go ahead and sit down. The moment I sat down, I was completely wrapped up. I was shot straight through. It was like that feeling. It was a world I never tasted before... I was wrapped into the real world of budo. I became absorbed in it with a sudden bam...".

   This became a strong student-teacher relationship and Hatsumi Masaaki continued training under him for 15 years. Masaaki was the name given to him by Takamatsu Toshitsugu Soké. At the age of 83, Toshitsugu Soké deceased before which he had given the Menkyó Kaiden for all the nine schools and named him Soké of the nine traditions. The nine traditions that Hatsumi Soké had inherited from Takamatsu Soké are the following:

1. Togakure-ryu Ninpō
2. Gyokushin-ryu Ninpō
3. Kumogakure-ryu Ninpō
4. Shinden Fudo-ryu Dakentaijutsu
5. Koto-ryu Koppojutsu
6. Takagi Yoshin-ryu Jutaijutsu
7. Gyokko-ryu Koshijutsu
8. KukiShinden-ryu Happo Biken
9. Gikan-ryu Koppojutsu

   Besides these Hatsumi Soké recieved teachings in 4 volumes of Amatsu Tatara -the book of changes- and a few other scrolls of bujutsu and ninpó. Most of these scrolls were from Takamatsu Soké himself, which he had written down from the kuden he had received from his masters. One of these are the dojo rules followed by master Toda Shinryuken and originally from Momochi Sandayu, who was an Iga ninja and also a master of several martial arts including Iga-ryu karate. Takamatsu Soké died in 1972 after which Soké became very sad though he still feels a strong connection to his sensei as if he is talking to him from the grave. Up untill that time what he taught came under the banner of ninpo taijutsu, principally the techniques from togakure-ryu. After that, he started teaching other schools too in excess and in 1974 formed the Bujinkan system. This gave him a new path towards life.
   Now coming to the separate history of each school, sorry that I can not provide it but I will use some reference images and densho to give you some information of the lineage of each tradition. Let's begin:

1. Togakure-ryu Ninpō: Togakure generally means 'hidden door' and is a Ninpó school. Thus it consists majorly of teachings about shinobi tools and tactics. Togakure-ryu was formed after Togakure Daisuke escaped from battlefield to the mountain regions of Iga where he found and recieved training from a monk named Kain Doshi of Hakuun-ryu, to form Togakure-ryu. Nishina Daisuke changed his name to Togakure Daisuke for his strong attachment to his village Togakushi.

   The lineage given as per Densho is:

1. Togakure Daisuke 戸隠大 助 (oho era 1161)
2. Shima Minamoto no Kanesada 志摩源兼 定 (1180)
3. Togakure Goro 戸隠五 郎 (1200)
4. Togakure Kosanta 戸隠小三 太
5. Koga Kisanta 甲賀鬼三 太
6. Kaneko Tomoharu 金子友 春
7. Togakure Ryuho 戸隠龍 法
8. Togakure Gakuun 戸隠岳 雲
9. Kido Koseki 木戸小 石
10. Iga Tenryu 伊賀天 龍
11. Ueno Rihei 上野利 平
12. Ueno Senri 上野千 里
13. Ueno Manjiro 上野万二 郎
14. Iizuka Saburo 飯塚三 郎
15. Sawada Goro 沢田五 郎
16. Ozaru Ippei 大猿一 平
17. Kimata Hachiro十又八 郎
18. Kataoka Heizaemon 片岡平座衛 門
19. Mori Ugenta 森宇源 太
20. Toda Gogei 戸田五兵 衛
21. Kobe Seiun 神戸青 雲
22. Momochi Kobei 百地幸兵 衛
23. Tobari Tenzen 戸張典 善
24. Toda Seiryu Nobutsuna 戸田盛柳信 綱 (kwanyei era 1624-1644)
25. Toda Fudo Nobuchika 戸田不動信 近 (manji era 1658-1681)
26. Toda Kangoro Nobuyasu 戸田観五郎信 安 (tenna era 1681-1704)
27. Toda Eisaburo Nobumasa 戸田英三郎信 正 (hoyei era 1704-1711)
28. Toda Shinbei Masachika 戸田新兵衛正 近 (shotoku era 1711-1736)
29. Toda Shingoro Masayoshi 戸田新五郎正 良 (gembun era 1736-1764)
30. Toda Daigoro Chikahide 戸田大五郎近 秀 (meiwa era 1764-1804)
31. Toda Daisaburo Chikashige 戸田大三郎近 繁 (bunkwa era 1804)
32. Toda Shinryuken Masamitsu 戸田真竜軒正 光 (b. 1824 - d. 1909)
33. Takamatsu Toshitsugu Uoh 高松寿嗣翊 翁 (b. 1887 - d. 1972)
34. Hatsumi Masaaki 初見良 昭 (b. 1931 – present)

2. Gyokushin-ryu Ninpō: is another school of Ninpó. Gyokushin means 'Jeweled Heart'. The Soké lineage is as:


The post is getting longer so dividing it into 2 parts. >>Next Part


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