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Thread: MJER history 1: Nakayama Hakudo

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    Default MJER history 1: Nakayama Hakudo

    Hello everybody!

    I had a chance to read a book called "Muso Shinden Ryu: Chuden, Hasegawa Eishin Ryu" by Jean-Pierre Reniez (in French) and there was a passage in the history section that left me puzzled. Here is a rough translation (pp. 24-25):

    quote:
    "Once, after a demonstration of his [Nakayama Hakudo's] practice of the way of the sword in front of the famous Shindo Munen-ryu instructor Itagaki Taisuke (1837-1919), he was confided by the latter that without study, research and intensive practice in the province of Tosa his techniques would always be incomplete and open for further perfection. Under pressing insistence by Nakayama Hakudo, who wanted to penetrate the real iaido, Itagaki Taisuke agreed to introduce him to the sensei from Tosa. In this way he got recommended to Yukimune Sadayoshi, the real "grey eminence" of Tosa iaido. Quite as expected Yukimune Sadayoshi absolutely refused to take Nakayama Hakudo as deshi, since he wasn't originally from Tosa.

    "Dead in the soul", Nakayama was going to return to Tokyo "bredouille", when Oe Masamichi, the future 17-th soke of the Tanimura branch, confided to him: "starting tomorrow I will have four or five days of public demonstrations (an extremely rare event at that time) and even though our sempai refused and absolutely forbade us to you the real way of the sword, you can still come and watch my demonstrations, take notes and study by looking (kengaku)."

    Oe Masamichi obviously wanted to give Nakayama Hakudo material to think about his technique and his understanding of the practice of the way of the sword. The latter, of course, accepted [this offer] without doubt but with much gratitude. After this episode [Nakayama Hakudo] has worked hard and progressed a lot [parentheticals not understood], returned to Tosa and finally managed to become deshi to the famous master Hosokawa Yoshimasa (future 15th soke of the Shimomura branch). But [Hosokawa] respected, despite all, the spirit of Tosa and only awarded him the menkyo, and [Nakayama] had to wait for a few years after the death of the 15th soke before being awarded the menkyo kaiden by Morimoto Tokumi.

    Thus [Nakayama Hakudo] also studied under the direction of Morimoto Tokumi (the latter being from the Tanimura branch in parallel and between (?) Goto Magobei Seiryo and Oe Masamichi; some genealogists and historians of budo even suggest that he was the soke of a parallel line within the Tanimura branch). He also finally became a student of the prestigeous Yukimune Sadayoshi, who despite Nakayama Hakudo's not belonging to the Tosa clan gave in to his earnestness, his application (?), his tenacity and above all his (?) in the research and discovery of the real way of the sword."
    :end quote

    It seems to be widely accepted that Nakayama Hakudo's Muso Shinden-ryu is a continuation of the Shimomura-ha, however, judging from this source, he got his menkyo kaiden from Tanimura-ha (Morimoto Tokumi), and not Shimomura-ha. I wonder if anyone could provide any other sources of information to confirm/disprove this statement? I have no reason to suspect the source itself in disparaging the MSR, as the author himself practices this style (most likely from Danzaki Tomoaki).

    Thanks for your help,
    Andrei Arefiev

    -Moscow Eishinkai Dojo-
    www.eishinkai.ru

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrei Arefiev View Post
    Hello everybody!

    I had a chance to read a book called "Muso Shinden Ryu: Chuden, Hasegawa Eishin Ryu" by Jean-Pierre Reniez (in French) and there was a passage in the history section that left me puzzled. Here is a rough translation (pp. 24-25):

    quote:
    "Once, after a demonstration of his [Nakayama Hakudo's] practice of the way of the sword in front of the famous Shindo Munen-ryu instructor Itagaki Taisuke (1837-1919), he was confided by the latter that without study, research and intensive practice in the province of Tosa his techniques would always be incomplete and open for further perfection. Under pressing insistence by Nakayama Hakudo, who wanted to penetrate the real iaido, Itagaki Taisuke agreed to introduce him to the sensei from Tosa. In this way he got recommended to Yukimune Sadayoshi, the real "grey eminence" of Tosa iaido. Quite as expected Yukimune Sadayoshi absolutely refused to take Nakayama Hakudo as deshi, since he wasn't originally from Tosa.

    "Dead in the soul", Nakayama was going to return to Tokyo "bredouille", when Oe Masamichi, the future 17-th soke of the Tanimura branch, confided to him: "starting tomorrow I will have four or five days of public demonstrations (an extremely rare event at that time) and even though our sempai refused and absolutely forbade us to you the real way of the sword, you can still come and watch my demonstrations, take notes and study by looking (kengaku)."

    Oe Masamichi obviously wanted to give Nakayama Hakudo material to think about his technique and his understanding of the practice of the way of the sword. The latter, of course, accepted [this offer] without doubt but with much gratitude. After this episode [Nakayama Hakudo] has worked hard and progressed a lot [parentheticals not understood], returned to Tosa and finally managed to become deshi to the famous master Hosokawa Yoshimasa (future 15th soke of the Shimomura branch). But [Hosokawa] respected, despite all, the spirit of Tosa and only awarded him the menkyo, and [Nakayama] had to wait for a few years after the death of the 15th soke before being awarded the menkyo kaiden by Morimoto Tokumi.

    Thus [Nakayama Hakudo] also studied under the direction of Morimoto Tokumi (the latter being from the Tanimura branch in parallel and between (?) Goto Magobei Seiryo and Oe Masamichi; some genealogists and historians of budo even suggest that he was the soke of a parallel line within the Tanimura branch). He also finally became a student of the prestigeous Yukimune Sadayoshi, who despite Nakayama Hakudo's not belonging to the Tosa clan gave in to his earnestness, his application (?), his tenacity and above all his (?) in the research and discovery of the real way of the sword."
    :end quote

    It seems to be widely accepted that Nakayama Hakudo's Muso Shinden-ryu is a continuation of the Shimomura-ha, however, judging from this source, he got his menkyo kaiden from Tanimura-ha (Morimoto Tokumi), and not Shimomura-ha. I wonder if anyone could provide any other sources of information to confirm/disprove this statement? I have no reason to suspect the source itself in disparaging the MSR, as the author himself practices this style (most likely from Danzaki Tomoaki).

    Thanks for your help,


    sorry for the necro but as i borrowed the book for the laugh (i have the 1985 version, so pp. 26), i guess i can add another translation:

    note: i didn't mistake on the years


    The 15th soke (school headmaster) of the main branch, Shimomura Ha, Nakayama Hakudô (1869 - 1968), modern iaido (way of the japanese sword) true innovator and codificator [?], was born in the country of Ishikawa.

    Since his early years, Nakayama Hakudô, tireless perfectionist, was training relentlessly and had already trained and mastered Omori Ryű, muraku Ryű ryu ha (original schools), this is without talking about his studies on Batto Jutsu, Ken Jutsu and on Kendo (old way of the japanese sword, old and new art of the japanese fencing).

    [...]

    Nakayama Hakudo, when he decided to refine more his style and his study of the iaido (way of the japanese sword), thought automatically to go to the country of Tosa.

    It was Itagaki Taisuke (1837 - 1919) from the Shindo Munen (Shindo Munen Ryu) who introduced him to the Tosa Sensei (masters); but the sensei whom Nakayama Hakudo wanted absolutely train with, refused to take him as a student because he wasn't originated from Tosa and south clans...
    the rest is more or less the same. Shame isn't it, in many edition almost nothing was corrected.
    Last edited by durandal; 29th May 2011 at 09:49.

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    ouch i read 1968 instead 1958, my bad, ut it's still 1869 as birth date

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    Hakudo s. was one of the superstars of his day, heard Tosa was the place to go, and basically got told to clear off from what is still a conservative dojo.
    (I only got in because Takeshima s. was Iwata s' 'little brother' whilst he was training! Now they have both passed away, its back to the 'no visitors' policy)
    There was also a hidden 'political issue' as Hakudo s. was a high rank kendo guy who was higher up in the Butokukai than the Tosa guys... it would not be seen as correct for say a godan to teach a nanadan... even if the godan knew more. (I seem to remember he was head boy at the time in Tokyo? need my notes...)

    Oe Masaji s. was more open, hence why so many of us now practise outside Tosa, and wanted to spread it around before it died out as so many of the ryu extant at the time have done. After the rebirth in the 50's of all MA, there seems to be a lot more openness in passing on to foreigners. I got the impression from Iwata s. this occurred during the 30's also, as Butokukai promoted the budo ideals and there was a flowering of budo in general. Nishimoto s. tells me this openness is starting to disappear as people now try and hide their training practises in order to win at competitions, rather than try and promote the 'ideas culture' they were running with for so many years.
    Tim Hamilton

    Why are you reading this instead of being out training? No excuses accepted...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chidokan View Post
    Hakudo s. was one of the superstars of his day, heard Tosa was the place to go, and basically got told to clear off from what is still a conservative dojo.
    (I only got in because Takeshima s. was Iwata s' 'little brother' whilst he was training! Now they have both passed away, its back to the 'no visitors' policy)
    There was also a hidden 'political issue' as Hakudo s. was a high rank kendo guy who was higher up in the Butokukai than the Tosa guys... it would not be seen as correct for say a godan to teach a nanadan... even if the godan knew more. (I seem to remember he was head boy at the time in Tokyo? need my notes...)

    Oe Masaji s. was more open, hence why so many of us now practise outside Tosa, and wanted to spread it around before it died out as so many of the ryu extant at the time have done. After the rebirth in the 50's of all MA, there seems to be a lot more openness in passing on to foreigners. I got the impression from Iwata s. this occurred during the 30's also, as Butokukai promoted the budo ideals and there was a flowering of budo in general. Nishimoto s. tells me this openness is starting to disappear as people now try and hide their training practises in order to win at competitions, rather than try and promote the 'ideas culture' they were running with for so many years.
    If Oe didn't die that early, maybe he would have more spread Muso Jikiden? Who knows. But it's clear that whithout Oe, Eishin-ryu would be just a little pea int eh japanese map, drowned in the msuo shinden mass and maybe not so much people would be aware that such many koryu exists in japan (maybe the whole ZNKR would be MSR Ômori ryu?)

    here is a little map i made, based on renshi, kyoshi and hanshi participating in the 2009 kyoto taikai. So only ZNKR representatives, sorry


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