View Full Version : Asayama Ichiden ryu and Daito ryu

Jay Bell
16th January 2002, 22:22
I recently recieved the Ueno Takashi 20th Anniversary book from Buyubooks.com (plug)...something struck me as pretty interesting:

There are many common techniques between Daito ryu Aikijujutsu and Asayama Ichiden ryu Taijutsu, both of which are said to be the official ryu of Aizu-han. Takeda Sokaku, who is believed to be the founder of Daito ryu Aikijujutsu, was a very close relative of the Kurokochi family, and was in charge of teaching Aizu-han bujutsu and Shin Muso Hayashizaki ryu Iaijutsu (Muraku ryu). It seems he became the adopted son of Kurokochi-den Goro, who was renowed as a master of Aizu budo. Takeda was well educated by Kurokochi-den Goro and learned the martial arts of the Kurokochi family. The Tanaka family, who were the chief retainers of Aizu-han, and the Kurokochi family (who served the lord with Hayashizaki ryu Iai) were families that passed won the lineage of Hayashizaki ryu Iaijutsu (founded by Hayashizaki Jinsuke). Therefore, it is not surprising that Asayama Ichiden ryu was handed down to Takeda Sokaku. I assume that in the Kurokochi family Takeda Sokaku also learned Asayama Ichiden ryu Taijutsu, Bojutsu, and Tanbojutsu (short stick technique). These techniques are stil in the Daito ryu Aikijujutsu. This is the reason that the same kata are contained in both ryu (lineages). However, I assume that the reason why Aizu-han's chief retainers, the Tanaka family and the Kurokochi family, did not openly claim Asayama Ichiden ryu Heiho as their lineage is that Tsunoda-kaden was widely practiced among gamblers in Joshu.

Thoughts? My mouth hung open throughout reading it...

Nathan Scott
16th January 2002, 23:26
[Post deleted by user]

Neil Yamamoto
16th January 2002, 23:31
In a past issue of AJ magazine, sorry don't recall what issue # and I don't have my library handy, The bio of famous swordsmen had one on Kurokichi Dengoro, who was Takeda's uncle as I recall.

But keep in mind this was as a very young child that Takeda was adopted, and there is no way to verify what was taught, if anything, to Takeda while he was in the care of the Kurokichi family. Assuming as the text says is not exactly proof and not good research.

Guess I should order the book though.

Brian Dunham
16th January 2002, 23:58
I believe there are at least 3 branches of Asayama Ichiden Ryu. At least one is strictly taijutsu (and maybe Bo), and another includes Iai,ken,bo,and kamajutsu. Kenji Matsui (of Shindo Muso Ryu Jojutsu) is, I believe, menkyo kaiden in this latter branch. So, one of these branches may have been taught in Aizu. However, as Toby pointed out, AIR is associated with goshi. Also, the AJ article on Dengoro Kurokochi does mention his knowing Muraku Ryu Iai, but not that he taught it to Sokaku. The only one of the arts mentioned in Kurokochi's background that Sokaku is known to have studied is Hozoin Ryu Takada Ha Sojutsu. There is no mention of AIR.

BTW Jay, how long did it take to recieve your book from Buyu? I ask because I have been waiting 10 weeks for an order from them (all items were supposed to be instock or immediately availible) and they have not answered my 4 e-mails.

Brian Dunham

Brently Keen
17th January 2002, 00:04
I've been hearing for a number of years that there might be some sort of connection between Asayama Ichiden-ryu and Daito-ryu, however I have never been able to confirm anything of this sort.

There are two main points to this claim that I'm aware of:

1.) The location of both traditions in Aizu.

2.) A similarity between the mokuroku of Daito-ryu and Asayama Ichiden-ryu.

I'd heard that the organization of Daito-ryu's hiden mokuroku closely follows that of an Asayama Ichiden-ryu mokuroku - suggesting that Asayama Ichiden-ryu densho were used as a model or template for organizing Daito-ryu's techniques.

One of my seniors has said that Asayama Ichiden-ryu's system of cataloging techniques may have been borrowed by Sokaku's father or Tanomo Saigo as a way of organizing the Daito-ryu syllabus. I once asked Okamoto sensei about this, and he admitted it was a possibility, but as I recall, he seemed skeptical about whether there was any technical influence on the aikijujutsu that we practice.

It should be remembered that many of Daito-ryu's jujutsu techniques are very similar to the jujutsu techniques of other schools - jujutsu is jujutsu essentially, and should not be confused with aikijujutsu - which is what Daito-ryu is actually more famous for.

It's true that Sokaku was adopted into the Kurokochi household and that Sokaku studied bujutsu with his uncle, from whom he is said to have received a license in Takada-ha Hozoin-ryu sojutsu.

Dengoro Kurokochi was a well known and highly respected practitioner and teacher of a number of Aizu-han bujutsu systems. While perhaps most famous for his weapons prowess (iai as well as sojutsu), Dengoro was also a jujutsu expert and was known for his belief that taijutsu was the basis for all weapon systems. I personally don't remember if Asayama Ichiden-ryu was among the traditions he was known to have taught or practiced, I'll have to check my notes.

It would not be very difficult to compare mokuroku from these two schools. That would be a great place to start some further research into this matter. I would also be interested in knowing who it was that made the above quoted comments, and whether any of those statements could be verified or corroborated in any way.

To play the devil's advocate, with the popularity of any system there's always a tendency for other arts to "play up" their connections, affiliations, similarities and such with the current favorite. With the surging popularity of Daito-ryu, it's very fashionable to want to take hold of those coat-tails and bring some interest to one's own tradition.

Case in point - the popularity of Hatsumi's Togakure-ryu ninjutsu and more recently in koryu bujutsu has developed more interest in all the various ryu-ha within the Takamatsu-den and in some cases their more legitimate cousins in the koryu world. Hatsumi even renamed his arts "Budo Taijutsu" to emphasize the more in vogue "budo of the samurai" over the generally perceived "lower class" nature of ninjutsu. The popularity of Ueshiba's aikido likewise led to more interest in Daito-ryu. Now the popularity of Daito-ryu may simply be generating further interest in the traditions that Sokaku studied.

These are all legitimate and logical extensions of study and interest into the orgins of popular traditions, but there are also the shameless attempts by many to profit by association - just witness the countless schools today claiming to teach ninjitsu, aikijutsu, or even bjj. If the connections are legit, great, so be it - we who study these arts are interested in uncovering the truth. But before everybody jumps on any bandwagons, I just recommend that a healthy dose of skepticism should be maintained as we encourage more research and await the results.

Brently Keen

John Lindsey
17th January 2002, 01:53
First of all, I need to plug the work of buyubooks.com for providing this translation for sale (any chance for a free copy :)?).

Does the translation say who wrote it? I seem to recall that it was someone connected with the media. I known that my teacher, Tanemura Shoto, who did a demo at this embu did write the author to correct some mistakes he noted in the history sections. I think he provided documentation as well for this. But, I don't think anything was ever done because this booklet was produced for this event only and never reprinted?

Jay Bell
17th January 2002, 02:03
It says that it was written by Naganuma Yoshiyuki, the 15th Soke of Asayama Ichiden ryu.

Nathan Scott
22nd July 2003, 21:26
[Post deleted by user]

George Kohler
22nd July 2003, 23:22
Hi Nathan,

I believe Iwaki Hideo added some stuff to his version, like the sword take aways. Daniel Lee studied under Iwaki, so maybe he can verify.

George Kohler
22nd July 2003, 23:24
Originally posted by Nathan Scott
Also, the section quoted above in a previous post about the history of AIR does not appear in this book - are we talking about the same publication?

I believe they were talking about this pamphlet http://www.buyubooks.com/product_details.cfm?id=10276