View Full Version : Shinto Muso Ryu Jo lines?

7th March 2002, 10:27
This post is addressed primarily to the Skoss', but anyone with any info is more than welcome to contribute. I was reading about how Nishioka Tsuneo teaches Shinto Muso Ryu, Shimizu-Ha, and it made me wonder how many different lineages of Shinto Muso Ryu are in existance today?
Brendan Finn:wave:

7th March 2002, 23:17
There was an earlier thread (http://www.e-budo.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?threadid=9471) in which Kim Taylor listed a bunch of the different groups in North America.

I can't imagine how many more "lines" there are in Japan...

8th March 2002, 05:18
Shimizu-Ha? Ya know, it would be interesting to hear where this came from. Is this the official name? It's funny how big a can of worms would be opened by this innocent question if people voiced their actual opinions. Ah well, it seems all Koryu practitioners have their public and private voices and never the twain shall meet.Still that's probably a good thing--things would get nasty pretty quick around here if it were otherwise. ;-)

Jerry Chartier

10th March 2002, 09:12
Jerry: Shizumi-Ha refers to the teacher of Nishioka Tsuneo Sensei, who was taught Shinto Muso Ryu Jo by Shimizu Takaji, who "headed the Shinto Muso Ryu system in Tokyo". All this is taken from Wayne Muromoto's article "Nishioka Tsuneo and the Pure Flow of the Jo" on Koryu.com.
I don't exactly understand what you're getting at, but what I was wondering is, if Shimizu Takaji headed the system in Tokyo, this implies there were others in other areas, which would probably result in various lineages. All I was asking was were there other teachers from Shimizu's generation teaching? were their teachings continued like Shimizus was? etc.
I wasnt trying to start any bitching, if thats what you're implying.
Brendan Finn

10th March 2002, 22:11
Shimizu Takaji sensei was the soke of SMR jo. I don't think it's possible for there to have been another line of SMR jo, though I'm sure it was possible to be variations of SMR jo. Essentially, he was SMR jo. At least, that's how I'm given to understand the system. I don't *think* he chose a successor (someone to be the next soke), which is why I guess you could say there are different "lines" of SMR jo *now*. I think any divergent line while there was a soke would no longer be SMR jo, but an independent system (something-ha SMR, I think). But, again, that's just my take on it.


Eric Montes
11th March 2002, 01:12
SMR jo has a slightly different org structure than most other Koryu. It is my understanding that there is technically no "Soke" of the system. Those individuals who are awarded Menkyo Kaiden are recognized as independent entities. The most senior Menkyo Kaiden holder is seen as the "Head" of the system, but has no real authority in enforcing stylistic controls.

When Shimizu Sensei died, Otofuji Sensei in Fukuoka was the next senior Menkyo Kaiden. They studied under the same teacher in Fukuoka before Shimizu Sensei moved to Tokyo. Otofuji Sensei died a couple of years ago (at the age of 99) and I am not sure who is the next senior.

The two major lines of SMR are often referred to as Tokyo Style and Kyushu Style where Shimizu S. and Otofuji taught.

Each of these teachers issued Menkyo Kaiden to a number of students and those Menkyo Kaiden holders have also issued Menkyo Kaiden. Each of these will have idiosyncratic methods of performing a technique. NONE OF WHICH ARE WRONG! You may not agree with a particular method, but hey, they received Menkyo.

So, to make a long story short, there are as many 'lines' of SMR as there Menkyo Kaiden holders.

11th March 2002, 07:22
Hey Eric, coupla questions. So, are you saying that Shimizu sensei was not the "soke" of SMR jo, but pretty much the overall head of the system by seniority, not selection by a previous soke, or that the system ended with Shimizu sensei because he didn't designate a specific successor?. I was given to understand that Shimizu sensei was the "soke" of SMR, 25th in a line of headmasters, but very possibly I misunderstood (I don't pay that much attention to the koryu lineage thing, and not too sure how much to put into it). I've gotta plead a certain amount (make that "significant amount") of ignorance.


Eric Montes
11th March 2002, 15:08

Just a short reply before I go off to work.

The situation now is very different then when Shimizu Sensei received his Menkyo Kaiden. Then, probably 99% of the people in Japan that practiced SMR learned in the Fukuoka dojo. They probably all knew each other and the issue of seniority, could easily be determined and the progression from generation to generation was easily recognized.

Now SMR is probably one of the most widely practiced non-iai arts in Japan. Not even all of Shimizu Sensei's students studied with him at the same time in the same dojo.

My teacher used the phrase "hanke" to describe the situation. I may be wrong in my understanding, but I understood his explanation to mean that the Menkyo Holders basically acted as a committee to select a representative for the art. Who then is recognized as the "soke". In this instance I think 'headmaster' may be a more accurate term than soke. At least in translation.

For what it is worth.


11th March 2002, 16:57
Thanks Eric. That's interesting. I guess I'll file that with all the other "will not get me a raise at work" knowledge ;o) My apologies for spreading disinformation!


Earl Hartman
11th March 2002, 17:09

Sounds kind of like the situation with MJER.

What characters are used to write the term "hanke"? The term is not familiar to me.

Eric Montes
11th March 2002, 22:04

I wish I knew the characters. We just used the term in conversation and not in any correspondence or written notes. I may even be remembering wrong. But that is the term that I remember. I think the "han" is the same as in Hanshi.

I will try to ask my teacher the next time we speak.


Jeff Hamacher
12th March 2002, 00:58
i'm afraid that one good source of information i have, a photocopy of some jo textbooks i received from my teacher when i began training, is MIA. since i'm unable to confirm my suspicions, i'll put a few questions to the more knowledgeable folk here in the hope of provoking further discussion.

i don't remember what term was used, but i did read through the SMR headmasters' lineage chart in my above-mentioned source. each headmaster had a different family name, and recalling this i just reread the beginning of William Bodiford's excellent "Soke Thread" in the archives. it confirmed that the person who held the title of soke or iemoto was normally a direct descendant of the previous soke, and if no suitable male heir existed then a qualified member of the said tradition could be adopted by the family which controlled the it. since i don't see an obvious blood relationship between each headmaster in SMR and if my interpretation is correct, might we say that SMR jo has never had a soke as such but rather a hanke (to follow Mr. Montes' cue) or shihan? considering the current situation with TSKSR where soke and shihan are very separate roles, this may not be an altogether ridiculous suggestion.

as for the term hanke, i wonder if Mr. Hartman would hazard the same guess as i: han from shihan, ke from soke. if correct, this would make it sound awfully close to soke or iemoto. perhaps not surprisingly, there is no entry for hanke in the Kojien, so i don't have any way to offer immediate confirmation. looking forward to more comments and insights.

Stéphan Thériault
12th March 2002, 02:41
Hello all,

In Kashima Shin-ryu the technical heir is referred to as shihan-ke. For exemple both Prof.Bodiford and Dr.Friday have shihan licences, but obviously are not the head of Kashima Shin-ryu. So I am wondering, could your hanke be a mispronunciation of shihan-ke?

Eric Montes
12th March 2002, 03:10

You are sooo correct. It was not a mispronounciation, just a misremeberation (Don't you like my new word? :) )My brain unlocked half an hour ago, but I was not close to a computer.

It was shihan-ke. Not Hanke.

My apologies to everyone.



Earl Hartman
12th March 2002, 04:44
OK. That makes more sense. Thanks.

12th March 2002, 10:16
Thanks for all the great replies,
particularly Eric; that was very informative

:wave: Brendan Finn