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O'Neill
15th January 2003, 22:17
Have the aizu lost all of their martial traditions? I heard of an older ryu called koyama ryu that may have been practiced. It would be strange that none of the teachings remain.

Nathan Scott
26th June 2003, 21:37
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George Kohler
26th June 2003, 22:19
I heard there was a branch of Asayama Ichiden-ryu in Aizu-han, but there is no actual proof.

From the pamphlet Ueno Takashi Sensei 20th Anniversary Memorial Service. it states,


Our Asayama Ichiden Ry was sg bujutsu before the Meiji Era. The 12th generation Tanaka Tamotsu belonged to a family whose lineage came from an Aizu-han retainer, Tanaka Gensai (who founded the Aizuhan school Nisshin-kan), and Tanaka Tosa, who committed suicide by hara-kiri on behalf of the Lord Matsudaira [Katamori] at the time of the Boshin War. He is also a descendant of the family who succeeded to the 12th generation of Shin Mus Hayashizaki Ry Iaijutsu and the 9th generation of Muraku Ry Iaijutsu. Although Asayama Ichiden Ry seemed to be handed down to the Aizu-han retainer (the Tanaka Family), there is no actual proof because many of the traditions of the Aizu were lost during the Boshin War. Our Asayama Ichiden Ry was handed down together with Hayashizaki Ry Iai. Shin Mus Hayashizaki Ry Iaijutsu, which was handed down to Shinj-han, had no densho of its own and was handed down with Muraku Ry. Fifty-six forms still exist today.

[Fixed typo - "Katamoriko" to "Katamori". NS]

Nathan Scott
17th January 2007, 22:40
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Nathan Scott
4th June 2013, 03:31
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Cliff Judge
4th June 2013, 14:54
Hey,

I did some topical research while I was in Fukushima a few years ago, and walked out with a few notes. I didn't see any specific references to YSR in Aizu, but I did find an interesting anecdote involving Yagyu shinkage-ryu and Ono-ha itto-ryu. The only problem is, it is hard to tell where it took place, when, and who won the match. The book is about Aizu, but there are references to the Edo area as it pertained to instructors from Aizu visiting/teaching there. My guess from the context is this happened in Aizu though (my translation w/ notes in brackets):



They only list one Ono-ha itto-ryu dojo in Aizu (Yonedai near Aizu Wakamatsu-jo), and this story was right after the listing. So it sounds like Okada Sohaku was a senior in OIR from this dojo in Aizu - or was an Aizu clansmen who studied OIR in Edo under Ono Tadaaki, but I'm not sure if Yagyu Gyobu spent any time in Aizu. Can't find much on either one of them.

Regards,

That is AWESOME. I've always said that there is several dissertations' worth of research in who dueled whom, what they had trained in, who won, and how.

Anyway it sounds to me like the issue of ryu vs ryu was the secondary concern here. The YSR swordsman may or may not have been a valuable challenge because of the school he represented and his lineage and or personal history may have been what made him respectable. Okada was clearly fighting for the honor of his clan and not his ryu; the fact that he had trained in Ono-ha Itto ryu under Tadaaki was, however, possibly what gave him a chance.

Nathan Scott
4th June 2013, 17:40
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DDATFUS
4th June 2013, 18:43
Yagyū Gyōbu [柳生刑部; Real name = Yagyū Tomonori 柳生左門. He was a half-brother of Yagyū Jubei] and Okada Sohaku [岡田素伯] from Ono-ha Itto-ryu engaged in a sword bout. Okada had studied under Ono Jiroemon Tadaaki, and was ordered to challenge Yagyū by a superior. If Okada were to win it would raise the reputation of the Aizu clan [the outcome is not clear].



Very interesting story. I've been told by an exponent of the school that, in general, Yagyu instructors were forbidden to engage in duels, as any loss that they suffered would reflect poorly on the Shogunate. Clearly there are a few exceptions to that rule; Jigen Ryu has a story about a duel that their founder fought with certain Yagyu practitioners, and Jubei himself seems to have engaged in a few authorized matches.

Nathan Scott
5th June 2013, 03:06
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DDATFUS
5th June 2013, 15:38
Rumor is that Tadaaki informally played around with Yagyu Jubei on the sly and won, and that Jubei then trained a bit with Tadaaki in order to learn his strong points.


Extremely interesting story.

I think that an observation of Yagyu Shinkage and Ono-ha Itto yields some very interesting similarities (not the type of similarities you get from schools that have the same origin, but more like some cross-pollination has gone on).

Cliff Judge
5th June 2013, 17:12
Extremely interesting story.

I think that an observation of Yagyu Shinkage and Ono-ha Itto yields some very interesting similarities (not the type of similarities you get from schools that have the same origin, but more like some cross-pollination has gone on).

It is really hard to ignore the fact that both schools' primary teaching is that a good straight cut beats anything else.

Nathan Scott
6th June 2013, 03:41
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Cliff Judge
9th June 2013, 11:50
Oh yeah! I was just reminded of the fact that Ono Tadaaki was a generation older than Jubei. In that light, the fact the Jubei put his sword down before starting is a remarkable feat of restraint. :)

Cliff Judge
9th June 2013, 16:45
per Encyclopedia of Japanese Martial Arts by David A. Hall,

Ono Jiroemon Tadaaki - (? - 1628)
Yagyu Munenori (1571 - 1646)

Yagyu Jubei (1606-1650)

It was perhaps youthful impetuousness that led him to square off against Tadaaki in the first place. :)

Rennis
20th June 2013, 23:20
I don't know what level of confidence others give stories such as this, but the inclusion of specific details is usually a good sign that the story is based on actual events.

While I cannot say anything in regards to the Ono and Jubei story, I will say that my work with original Japanese source materials generally leads me to the opposite conclusion. In general if there is a highly detailed story concerning the meeting of two famous people who are not usually associated with each other, it usually means that someone, somewhere, probably fairly recently has made up or embellished the story. Before the war there were numerous fictional "historical" works written like this. I have one about Hayashizaki Jinsuke traveling around Japan and meeting all his famous supposed students, including what they worked on when they met and discussions they had. Fun reading, historically nonsense, but the book presents itself more like history.

Another somewhat well known example of this from my own tradition involves the story of Katayama Hoki-no-Kami Hisayasu and Takeuchi Hisamori being brothers as introduced in Watatani's "Nihon Kengo 100-sen". From memory it introduces a story of Katayama going to visit his older brother Takeuchi for the new year and a discussion starts concerning Hisayasu's use of a longer than average sword. It ends up with Katayama drawing and resheathing his sword on horseback and then Takeuchi attempting to do the same thing. While he could draw it, he could not resheath it and had to throw it into some grass and dismount while admitting defeat. The story sounds good, there are nice details and all, but it is almost certainly fiction. There was a rather large age-gap between Hisayasu and Hisamori making it extremely unlikely that they were brothers. The Katayama family documents clearly state that there is a connection between the two families, but it is more complex and distant than the two being brothers. In addition, in my experience, period historical documents in Japanese generally do not use a story telling narrative structure such as the ones you see here.

Again, I can't say anything about the Ono and Yagyu story, but whenever I see so much detail in one of these stories that one could shoot a scene for a TV show based off of it, warning lights tend to go off for me.

For what it is worth,
Rennis

Nathan Scott
21st June 2013, 00:39
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Rennis
21st June 2013, 00:59
Interesting point Rennis. In general, my training and experience professionally has taught me that people who lie or fabricate stories tend to keep things general, in hopes that they won't recount different details at a later date, and in hopes that the details won't be proven wrong with research.

This is true enough now for someone making "public" claims. I have found that, in my experience at least, most of the original source material you will find concerning these types of arts will generally be material that at the time it was written was intended to be private. More often than not details are not laid out in a clear narrative because they are just simply already known to the reader. Most of the narrative story type of things we come across generally come from outside of the ryu, and more often than not are just simply that, stories used either for educational purposes or simply entertainment. Especially when big names are involved you start to get all kinds of stories, take most of the b.s. about Musashi out there for example. The Yagyu family, and Jubei in particular have been free targets for many years for entertainment purposes and all kinds of stories have arisen. Now if source Itto-ryu documents or teachings and similar documentation in Shinkage-ryu exists then we are probably on to something here.

Random thoughts,
Rennis Buchner