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Takazawa Toyoshi: former head of the Toyama Inn and former student of the Shin-Shintakuma Ryu Jujutsu school. He was a father figure to Hakudo.


Saito Michinori: last known Shihan of Yamaguchi Ha Itto Ryu; he was Hakudo’s first sword instructor.  Unfortunately little information on him survived.


Hosoda Kenzo: Educator and influential sempai of Hakudo. Shindo Munen Ryu Kenjutsu Menkyo under Negishi Shingoro.


Negishi Shingoro: 6th Generation Shihan of Shindo Munen Ryu Kenjutsu and Hakudo’s most influential teacher.


Takano Sasaburo: Ono Ha Itto Ryu Kenjutsu Menkyo Kaiden, and a Hanshi in Kendo. He was one of Hakudo greatest sempai and confidants.


Uchida Ryogoro: A contemporary of Shirashi Hanjiro. Ryogoro received Menkyo Kaiden in Haruyoshi Ha (Haruyoshi branch) of Shinto Muso Ryu and Ikkaku Ryu Torite from Hirano Kichizo Yoshinobu. He also received Menkyo Kaiden in Ono Ha Itto Ryu (from Ikuoka Heitaro), Hozoin Ryu (via the Takeda Family), and Kushin Ryu. He was the founder of Uchida Ryu Tanjojutsu.


Takeda Kohachi: former Kuroda Clansmen, he was also a contemporary of Shirashi Hanjiro. He received Menkyo Kaiden in Haruyoshi branch of Shinto Muso Ryu. Kohachi died only a few years after Hakudo began training with him.


Itagaki Taisuke: famous Japanese statesmen from Kochi:


Oe Masamichi: former Shihan of Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu and Muso Shinden Eishin Ryu, he was a former samurai of the Tosa/Yamauchi clan.


Morimoto Tokumi: former samurai of the Tosa/Yamauchi clan. Tokumi received his Menkyo Kaiden in Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu from Goto Magobei Masasuke making him Oe Masamichi’s contemporary.


Hosokawa Yoshimasa: former samurai of the Yamauchi clan. He was a Shihan of Muso Shinden Eishin Ryu and teacher of Hakudo.


Noma Seiji:Kendo enthusiast and founder of Kodansha Publishing Ltd. He established Noma Dojo in 1925.


Sasamori Junzo: educator and Hanshi in Kendo and Iaido. He received Menkyo Kaiden in Tsuguru Den and Yamashika Den (collectively together they made up Hirosaki Han Den) Ono Ha Itto Ryu, Muraku Ryu, Hirosaki Han Den Shinmuso Hayashizaki Ryu, and Chokugen Ryu.


Kuroda Yasuji: famous swordsmen and Shihan of Kogagawa Kaishin Ryu, Tamiya Ryu, Shin-Shintakuma Daiken-Nichi Ryu, Tsubaki Kotengu Ryu, and Setama Oguri Ryu. He was an activist who fought for the right to practice Japanese martial arts while under American occupation.

Kunii Zenya: former Maniwa Nen Ryu Shihan and revisor (disputed creator) of Kashima Shin Ryu. He was recruited by Sasamori Junzo to participate in a bout against an American soldier armed with a rifle and live bayonet. He won the match without killing the soldier. Junzo used this as evidence that weapon based martial arts were as much about preserving life as they were about taking it. The ban on martial arts in Japan was soon after lifted.


Ryu-Ha or Schools Mentioned:


Toyama Han Den Yamaguchi Ha Itto Ryu ():

Founded by Yamaguchi Bokushinsai it was a synthesis of several styles. Most famously studied by Mugai Ryu founder Tsuji Gettan. It was a ryu or school that unfortunately fell into obscurity. Hakudo earned a Mokuroku in the style prior to leaving for Tokyo at eighteen. Upon receiving Menkyo, Inkyo in Shindo Munen Ryu Kenjutsu from Negishi Shingoro, Saito Michinori awarded Hakudo the Zukai Densho () the highest-level scroll in the school. The school died with Michinori.

Shindo Munen Ryu():

Founded by Fukui Hyoemon Yoshihira was school of Kenjutsu and Iaijutsu. It became one of the most popular and wide spread martial arts schools in Japanese history. Shingoro and Hakudo’s particular version was Kanto Ha Shindo Munen Ryu:


Ono Ha Itto Ryu ():

Founded by Ono Tadaaki a student of legendary swordsmen Itto Ittosai, it was Ono’s version of Itto Ryu. The ryu or school was widely transmitted having countless branches all over Japan. The family line was transmitted through the ages until Yamaoka Tesshu received mastery of it. He then formed his Itto Shoden Muto Ryu, effectively ending the Ono family line.


Hokushin Itto Ryu ():

Founded by Chiba Shusaku Narimasa; Shusaku first learned Hokushin Muso ryu from his father and later Nakanishi Ha Itto Ryu from Asari Matashichiro Yoshinobu. He later combined the teachings by reducing the eight sets of Itto Ryu into three, while adding iaijutsu and later a naginata techniques. The style became one of the most popular styles in the country spreading across Japan.


Suifu Ryu():

Founded by Tokugawa Nariaki; a synthesis of the three main sword arts of the Mito Clan (Mito Han Den): Shindo Munen Ryu, Hokushin Itto Ryu, and Togun Ryu. It was one of Nariaki’s most ambitious projects. Sasaki Masanobu was the last shihan of the system. He trained at the Tobukan along with Ozawa Jiro. After his death, Jiro attempted to resurrect the style, but failed.


Shinto Muso Ryu (): Founded by Musō Gonnosuke Katsuyoshi; Gonnosuke integrated the spear, naginata, sword, and bo staff into a single versatile weapon. A Otome Ryu () of the Kuroda domain the art split into several factions. By the late Edo Period only two branches survived; the Haruyoshi and Jigyo. Both Uchida Ryogoro and Takeda Kohachi received Menkyo Kaiden in the Haruyoshi branch and taught their versions of Shinto Muso Ryu to the masses. Shirashi Hanjiro (another Kuroda retainer) received Menkyo Kaiden in the Haruyoshi branch and Mokuroku in the Jigyo branch. He later combined and re-codified the schools using the characters for divine (). His line was succeeded by Shimizu Takaji and under went even more revisions. Takaji’s Jodo() was passed to many individuals throughout the world. Uchida’s line unaffected by both Hanjiro and Takaji’s changes was passed on through his son Ryohei and student Nakayama Hakudo. Another line of the Haruyoshi branch survived though one of Hakudo’s students Matsuo Kenpu who received Menkyo Kaiden from Shirashi Tokugoro.


Tosa Eishin Ryu (): is a collective reference to Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu/Muso Shinden Eishin Ryu as taught within the Yamauchi Domain. It was one of several Otome Ryu () of the Yamauchi Domain and as such meant exclusively for Yamauchi clansmen.


Muso Shinden Eishin Ryu (): Founded by Hayashizaki Jinsuke Shigenobu and revised by Hasegawa Chikaranosuke Eishin. Shimomura Mōichi Sadamasa was licensed in Tosa Eishin Ryu by Yamakawa Kyūzō Yukikatsu. He (Mochi) was said to have devised several innovative changes in the school and passed them on to his students. Both Yoshimasa and (Oe) Masamichi received Menkyo Kaiden in the school and transmitted it to several people. Yoshimasa issued Menkyo Kaiden to Ueda Heitaro Chubu and Menkyo to Nakayama Hakudo. Ueda’s and a few other lines of Muso Shinden Eishin Ryu survive and are being taught today.

Goto Ha Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu (): Founded by Hayashizaki Jinsuke Shigenobu and revised by Hasegawa Chikaranosuke Eishin. The style was transmitted throughout the years to Tanimura Kamenojō Takakatsu. Kamenojō passed Menkyo Kaiden onto several students including Gotō Magobei Masasuke. One of many shihan of Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu, his line became known as Goto Ha or Goto version. He had several talented students and issued Menkyo Kaiden to a few of them. Among those awarded were Oe Masamichi and Morimoto Tokumi.


Toyama Ryu Gunto Soho (): was developed in 1925 was a military art devised for Japanese soldiers. It consisted of Kumitachi, Iaijutsu, Sojutsu (meant to represent a Bayonet), Happo Giri () or “Eight Methods of Cutting”, Shigeki () or Marksmanships, Tameshigiri () or “Test Cutting”, and Military Music (used for marching and cadence).


Hayashizaki Hon Ryu (): Founded by Hayashizaki Jinsuke Shigenobu; it was a style passed down to Nakayama Hakudo via Hosokawa Yoshimasa.  The only remaining teacher of the style is Ogawa Takeshi (current headmaster of the Yushinkan Dojo).



Glossary of Terms:


Shiai Geiko ()- lit: “Contest”, “practice”; it is used to express the idea of a sparing match.

Kumitachi ()- lit: “Grouped swords”; is a type of paired form usually found in Japanese weapon arts.

Gekiken ()- lit: “Conquering the Sword” or “Fencing“; it was the pre-cursor to modern Kendo. Often ryuor school specific, it was a practice that allowed swordsmen of particular schools to apply learned techniques or concepts in a relatively controlled environment. Unlike modern Kendo; it contained the use of several or multiple weapons, grappling, striking, and physical duress that brought students to a new level of endurance and understanding.

Otome Ryu ()- lit: that “which flows but remains at home” was a ryu-ha or school that was either sponsored by or kept secret by a feudal clan.

Densho ()- lit: “Written Teachings” are scrolls normally awarded to students of Japanese koryu or “Old Japanese Martial Arts”. Densho act as a both a text on martial arts and certification (having the names of the author, recipient, and date issued).

Mokuroku ()- lit: “Catalog” is a type of scroll usually awarded to students after several years of dedication. The details differ from school to school, but a mokuroku consists of a (partial or complete) list of kata, fighting strategy, military strategy, esoteric or religious teachings, philosophy, or other facets of learning.

Jun-Menkyo () lit: “Orderly License”; it is a scroll issued by several ryu or schools, usually prior to the Menkyo scroll.

Menkyo ()- lit: “License/Permit”; differs from school to school, but is normally a scroll of high level awarded to those who have attained a profound level of skill or understanding in their respective school.

Menkyo Kaiden ()- lit: License of Full-Transmission; it is a scroll that normally denotes that the receiver has attained a superior command or even mastery of their ryu or school.

Inkyo ()- lit: “Certificate of Proficiency”; is a license given to those who have either finished their training or have been given permission to establish their own dojo.

Inka ()- lit: “Certificate of Proficiency”; is a license given to those who have either finished their training or have been given permission to establish their own dojo. (Same as Inkyo)

Shihan ()- lit: “Instructor”; is a term often misused today. A Shihan is a person who was fully licensed in their respective ryuor school and by the grace of their teachers, allowed to run or operate their own dojo or training hall.

Soke ()- lit: “Head of Family”; it is a term that has been widely misused and misunderstood (especially within the last eighty years). Soke or Patriarch is the head of a family house hold. Japanese families were traditionally extremely hierarchical. Families following Confucian doctrine were divided into households based solely on ones age or importance in the family. The patriarch of the family (normally belonging to the highest house of the family) had the power to make final decisions on behalf of the entire family, issue or cut off financial support to lower households, or in extreme cases hamon () or excommunicate a family relative. It was a very powerful position. Though the principle has existed in Japanese martial systems for sometime, but it has became more or less exaggerated in the 20th and 21st century. It has become a way for a Shihan to consolidate power as well as preserve the integrity of his/her martial art.

Hanshi ()- lit: “Instructor of Warriors”; it is an honorary title issued by a number of organizations in Japan.

San-Dou-no-Hanshi (): was a honorary title given to those that received Hanshi in Kendo, Iaido, and Jodo from Nippon Butokukai or Zen Nippon Kendo Renmei (All Japan Kendo Federation).

Dai Nippon Teikoku Kendo Kata ()- lit: “The Greater Kendo Kata of Imperial Japan” was the pre-cursor to the Nippon Kendo Kata ().

Tenranjiai ()- lit: match [game] held while in the presence of the Emperor; a Tenranjiai is not just related to a martial art contest, but in any contest where the Emperor is watching. The martial art related Tenranjiai(s) occurred in 1895 and 1940. Nakayama Hakudo and Takano Sasaburo demonstrated at the Showa Tenranjiai () or the Tenranjiai of the Showa Emperor. Since that time the Tenranjiai have occurred in modern sports like baseball and more traditional sport like Sumo.

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