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Kokusai Bugei Kessha Disciplines


Toyama Ryu Morinaga ha Iaido


Toyama-ryū (戸山流?) established in 1925 by Nakamura Taisaburo, is a modern sword-drawing, test-cutting system, with little battlefield application. Nakamura Taisaburo called his swordsmanship battōjutsu in order to point out the central subject of his school.


The special school for training army personnel founded in 1873, called Rikugun Toyama Gakkō or "Toyama Army Academy" in Toyama, Tokyo, Japan, led to the establishment of Toyama-ryu.[1] Today, separate lines of Toyama-ryū are primarily located in the Kantō,Tokai and Kansai region of Japan.



After the Meiji Restoration, officers in the Japanese army were required to carry Western-style sabres. However, this caused problems during battles against rebels in Satsuma(now Kagoshima Prefecture), since soldiers equipped with single-shot rifles and sabres were frequently overwhelmed by samurai who knew Jigen-ryū (示現流)and could charge much faster than the non-Samurai soldiers could cope with.

During the Russo-Japanese war (1904-05), the Cossack cavalries frequently charged against the Japanese infantrymen and again it was extremely difficult for the Japanese to defend themselves using sabres once their enemy reached them.

The Japanese studied the First World War with great enthusiasm, hoping to learn more about fighting modern warfare. They discovered that much fighting was still occurring at close quarters in trench warfare, often with heavy swung weapons like entrenching tools. This likely prompted the Japanese to tighten up their close quarter combat training. The katana was therefore readopted as the Japanese could access domestic sword masters more easily than European ones. Jūkenjutsu (銃剣術?) was also developed at this time, being based on the use of sōjutsu (spear) techniques. This later became the rarely practiced sport of jūkendō, after the war ended.


Thus, Japanese army officers were later issued new swords shaped more like katana. However, not all officers had sufficient background in kenjutsu to deploy these weapons in combat. Consequently, in 1925, a simplified form of sword technique was devised that emphasized the most essential points of drawing and cutting. For instance, the army iai-battō kata differ from those of many koryū sword schools in that all techniques are practised from a standing position. (Koryū schools included a number of techniques executed from seiza.) Also, this modern ryū has a strong emphasis on tameshigiri, or "test-cutting.


At the end of World War II, the Toyama Military Academy became the U.S. Army's Camp Zama. Nonetheless, the military iai system was revived after 1952. By the 1970s, three separate organizations represented Toyama-ryū Iaido: in Hokkaidō, the Greater Japan Toyama Ryu Iaido Federation (established by Yamaguchi Yuuki); in Kansai (Kyoto-Osaka area), the Toyama Ryu Iaido Association (established by Morinaga Kiyoshi); and the All Japan Toyama Ryu Iaido Federation (established by Nakamura Taizaburo). Each of these organizations was autonomous and retained its own set of forms; the Hokkaido branch even included sword versus bayonet exercises. Today, there are also at least half a dozen active instructors of Toyama-ryū outside Japan, in California , Illinois and New York.

The adoption of the katana by the Westernised Japanese army was also part of a Nationalist trend in Japan. During the 1920s Japan went through a phase of Militant Nationalism that lasted until defeat in the Second World War. By adopting the katana, the traditional sword of the Samurai[3] the Japanese were allying themselves with the Samurai military tradition. Adopting the Katana also served to calm discontent among the more politicized sections of the army who had been outraged at mechanization (another lesson learned from World War I) which had de-emphasized the role of infantry and cavalry.  

Mugai Ryu

Mugai ryu (無外流 Mugai-ryū?) is a Japanese koryū martial art school founded by Tsuji Gettan Sukemochi (辻月丹資茂?) in 23 June 1680.




The founder of Mugai ryu, Tsuji Gettan Sukemochi 辻月丹資茂 was born to Tsuji Yadayū descendant of Sasaki Takadzuna, in the second year of Keihan (in 1649, in the early Edo period), in the Miya-mura-aza village area 宮村字 of Masugi 馬杉, in the Kōka-gun district 甲賀郡 of Ōmi 近江; what is now Shiga Prefecture. When he was 13 he went to Kyoto to study Yamaguchi-ryū swordsmanship under Sensei Yamaguchi Bokushinsai, and at the age of 26 he received kaiden (full transmission) and opened a school in Koishikawa 小石川 in Edo; what is now Tokyo. In order to cultivate, train and improve his spirit, mind and body, he went to study Zen and Classical Chinese literature under Zen monk Sekitan Ryouzen 石潭良全 at Kyūkōji temple 吸江寺 in Azabu Sakurada-cho 麻布桜田町. At the age of 32 he reached enlightenment and received from his Zen teacher a formal poem taken from the Buddhist scriptures as an acknowledgment and proof of his accomplishment. Tsuji Gettan Sukemochi used the word Mugai from this poem to represent his school of swordsmanship.


It is recorded that among his pupils were Ogasawara Sado-no-kami* Nagashige, a very powerful feudal lord, Sakai Kangeyu* Tadataka, a feudal lord of a castle in Maebashi, Yama-no-uchi Toyomasa, a powerful feudal lord of the Tosa area, as well as 50 daishōmyō, high level samurai having a status slightly lower than that of a feudal lord level with stipends above 10 000 koku, 150 jikisan-no-shi, the Shōgun's direct vassals with stipends below 10 000 koku, and 932 baishin, the vassals of feudal lords. (* These names were given to these feudal lords by the emperor and are symbols of their very high status.)


Tsuji Gettan Sukemochi was unmarried and it is assumed that he had no offspring as he took the eldest son of Head priest Sawatari Bungo-no-kami 神官 猿渡豊後守, of Ōkunitama 大国魂神社 Shrine in what is now known as the Tokyo provincial government area, as his successor. Shinkan Sawatari (Bungo-no-kami)'s eldest son took the name **Tsuji Kimata Sukehide 都治記摩多資英 after Tsuji Gettan Sukemochi and thus became Nidai, Tsuji the II. Kimata opened the dojo in Kojimachi 麹町 (** Although the kanji for 都治 is different from the original 辻 the pronunciation is the same and represents a succession.)





Tsuji Gettan Sukemochi was known not just as a master of the sword, but as an enlightened philosopher and scholar, and his writings Mugai Shinden Kempō Ketsu 無外真伝剣訣 is recognized as a superb and unique book in Japan's martial arts literature for its depth, flowing style and elegant composition.

Tsuji Gettan Sukemochi died on June 23 in the 12th year of Kyō-hō 享保 (1725) at the age of 79. The tombs of Tsuji Gettan Sukemochi's successors are kept at the Buddhist priest's cemetery for Nyoraiji temple 如来寺, which is in the town of Nishiōi 西大井町 in the Shinagawa 品川区 area.


The school retains both iaijutsu and kenjutsu in its curriculum, and has a strong connection with Zen due to Gettan's belief that the "sword and Zen are the way of the same Truth". The name "Mugai" comes from the following poem:



Ippou jitsu mugaiKenkon toku itteiSuimo hou nomitsuDouchaku soku kousei

"There is nothing other than the One True WayHeaven and Earth profit from this single VirtueThe fluttering feather knows this secretTo be settled during confusion is to be enlightened and pure"


Today Mugai-ryu has splintered into several lines and there is no one sōke.[2] Nakagawa Shiryo Shinichi is generally considered the last soke. He did not appoint a successor, but awarded several menkyo kaiden, and his students continue to teach the school and several new lines have been established, each with their own soke. 




  Shindo Munen Ryu                                 

Shintō Munen-ryū & The Edo Period

Shintō Munen-ryū, sometimes referred to as Shindō Munen-ryū was founded by Fukui Hyōemon Yoshihira at the Izuna Gongen Shrine around 1730. Fukui Hyōemon was originally a very skilled practitioner of Shin Shinkage Ichiden Ryū before he created what was to be called Shintō Munen Ryū 神道無念流.

The name of Shintō Munen-ryū roughly translates as the way of the god's school of no-thought. It is one of Edo period's ryu-ha for kenjutsu and iaijutsu.

Togasaki Kumataro Teruyoshi as a teenager joined Fukui Hyōemon's dojo in Edo (Tōkyō). He taught for a few years in Edo at his own dojo until giving management of the school, Gekikenkan, to Okada Jumatsu Yoshitoshi.

Saito Yakuro Yoshimichi was another student at the Gekikenkan. He took over the dojo when Togasaki Sensei became ill and passed away. Yakuro decided to move to a new dojo in the Kudanshita area of Tokyo. He opened the Renpeikan in 1885, and it was to become one of the three famed dojo of the Edo period 江戸三大道場. The three famous dojo with their three famous teachers were Saito Yakuro of Shintō Munen-ryū, Momonoi Shunzo of Kyōshin Meichi-ryū, and Chiba Shusaku of Hokushin Ittō-ryū.


Saito Yakuro

Negishi Shingoro, a student of the Renpeikan became Shindō Munen Ryū 神道無念流 successor in Edo. He eventually closed the Renpeikan and re-opened his school as the Yushinkan. It is there that the famous swordmaster of twentieth-century Nakayama Hakudo began his study in Shindo Munen Ryu 神道無念流. Nakayama Hakudo is one of the more famous names in modern Kendō and budō. He inherited Shintō Munen Ryu from Negishi Shingoro, however, World War II caused many hardships in Japan for everyone. For those wanting to continue kendo and kenjutsu practice, it became harder for martial artists due to the restrictions placed upon the Japanese by the occupying United States Armed Forces.

Shinto Munen Ryu 神道無念流 was passed down to his son, Nakayama Zendo and then passed officially to the last head of the system, Saeki Soichiro sensei. Although by then the Yushinkan had closed its doors and practice was kept as best it could be without a dedicated training hall such as the Yushinkan had been.

The Togasaki family (sometimes referred to as Togasaki-ryū 戸賀崎流) maintained the longest family generations of teaching Shindō Munen Ryū. The dojo still remains in Saitama today where the iaijutsu portion of the curriculum is taught.































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