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Thread: Masaki ryu

  1. #1
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    Default Masaki-ryu

    I was wondering if fumio nawa sensei is in good health? Does he teach jujutsu in additional to masaki ryu?
    Erin O'Neill

  2. #2
    Don Cunningham Guest

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    I think you mean Yumio Nawa sensei. He was in good health when I met with him this past March to discuss my research in jutte and Edo period arresting arts. He was quite active for someone in their 90s. I observed and participated briefly in one of his Masaki Ryu classes on jutte and manriki kusari. Although Nawa sensei wore a keikogi, he sat on the sidelines and mostly just commented on the practice session. He was not actually doing any instruction.

    Outside his residence, I noticed he walks with the aid of a cane. In fact, he presented me with a new cane just like his, sort of a lacquered bamboo weave over an oak core, suggesting it would be useful in case I needed to block a katana strike. He also predicted that I would probably need one in about 15 years or so. (I am nearly 50 years old.) Apparently the cane was made by one a Japanese craftsman and one of his peers. We also discussed how sad it is to see such traditional arts fading out as the last practitioners get too old.

    He has also responded to several letters with out mentioning any special problems or recent illnesses. Therefore, I would assume that he is still in pretty good health.

  3. #3
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    Default Thanks

    Yes, that is who I meant. I had just read a piece by Fumio Demura and mixed up the names. Does Yumio Nawa practice Jujutsu as well, I would think so.
    Erin O'Neill

  4. #4
    Don Cunningham Guest

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    Nawa sensei didn't mention any other classes or styles other than his Masaki ryu. They specialize in manriki-kusari and jutte (combined with hana-neji, tessen, etc.). I don't think he practices or teaches any other form of jujutsu. He describes himself as the "the last soke of Masaki Ryu manrikigusarijutsu and Edo machikata juttejutsu" ("founder or creator of Masaki ryu 10,000 power chain art and Edo city style jutte art") in his book, Jutte Torinawa Jiten.

    The really cool thing is that Nawa sensei doesn't make any false claims about inheriting any koryu martial art style. He is very upfront about how he created Masaki ryu from his own investigation and study of history and by recreating many of the techniques from researching old documents. He has become quite a celebrity for his technical advice in many jidai geki movies and television series. Many of our Western self-proclaimed "soke" could learn a lot from his example.
    Last edited by Don Cunningham; 15th January 2003 at 13:37.

  5. #5
    Hissho Guest

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    Originally posted by Don Cunningham
    The really cool thing is that Nawa sensei doesn't make any false claims about inheriting any koryu martial art style. He is very upfront about how he created Masaki ryu from his own investigation and study of history and by recreating many of the techniques from researching old documents. He has become quite a celebrity for his technical advice in many jidai geki movies and television series. Many of our Western self-proclaimed "soke" could learn a lot from his example.
    Don -

    Do you mean that he created the style based on older Masaki-ryu densho or that he created a new Masaki-ryu based on study of the densho of other older ryu?

    Dan, any thoughts?

    Kit LeBlanc

  6. #6
    Don Cunningham Guest

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    Obviously, it is always possible that I have misinterpreted some of the things told to me by Nawa sensei and his senior students. In our personal conversations, he told me specifically that much of his knowledge about jutte came from researching old documents, etc. I wasn't too concerned about the manriki-kusari, so I may have easily have misinterpreted his background in that.

    Nawa sensei and I did have some very specific conversations about jutte and their use during the Edo period. He admitted that some of his interpretations are based on educated speculation and personal observation. Certainly nothing wrong with that. It is what historians do all the time. It just confirmed what I had learned elsewhere, i.e., there is not a lot of specific information documented about jutte and jutte-jutsu. And yes, Nawa sensei seems to have quite an affinity for very obscure kanji characters, making it extremely difficult for an amateur like me.

    I also have a letter in which Nawa sensei discussed his early training with his grandfather, but I was unaware that this was specifically Masaki ryu. Frankly, I was not that interested in manriki-kusari, so we didn't discuss this too much.

    And yes, I am still trying to learn the chain return on my own. It is very, very difficult. If I didn't get it right every now and then, though, I would have given up. There must be some secret, but I just haven't found it yet. It reminds me of trying to get my first note out of the shakuhachi. Now I don't even think about it, but it nearly drove me crazy when I first tried to play.

  7. #7
    David A. Hall Guest

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    Originally posted by Don Cunningham
    I think you mean Yumio Nawa sensei. He was in good health when I met with him this past March to discuss my research in jutte and Edo period arresting arts. He was quite active for someone in their 90s. I observed and participated briefly in one of his Masaki Ryu classes on jutte and manriki kusari. Although Nawa sensei wore a keikogi, he sat on the sidelines and mostly just commented on the practice session. He was not actually doing any instruction.

    Outside his residence, I noticed he walks with the aid of a cane. In fact, he presented me with a new cane just like his, sort of a lacquered bamboo weave over an oak core, suggesting it would be useful in case I needed to block a katana strike. He also predicted that I would probably need one in about 15 years or so. (I am nearly 50 years old.) Apparently the cane was made by one a Japanese craftsman and one of his peers. We also discussed how sad it is to see such traditional arts fading out as the last practitioners get too old.

    He has also responded to several letters with out mentioning any special problems or recent illnesses. Therefore, I would assume that he is still in pretty good health.

  8. #8
    David A. Hall Guest

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    Don,

    If you are interested in Massaki Ryu, two of Nawa's top deshi are here in the U.S.: John Quinn and Bruce Brown. Both trained for many years with Nawa in Japan. John is still in close touch with Nawa Sensei.

    Dave Hall

    Originally posted by Don Cunningham
    I think you mean Yumio Nawa sensei. He was in good health when I met with him this past March to discuss my research in jutte and Edo period arresting arts. He was quite active for someone in their 90s. I observed and participated briefly in one of his Masaki Ryu classes on jutte and manriki kusari. Although Nawa sensei wore a keikogi, he sat on the sidelines and mostly just commented on the practice session. He was not actually doing any instruction.

    Outside his residence, I noticed he walks with the aid of a cane. In fact, he presented me with a new cane just like his, sort of a lacquered bamboo weave over an oak core, suggesting it would be useful in case I needed to block a katana strike. He also predicted that I would probably need one in about 15 years or so. (I am nearly 50 years old.) Apparently the cane was made by one a Japanese craftsman and one of his peers. We also discussed how sad it is to see such traditional arts fading out as the last practitioners get too old.

    He has also responded to several letters with out mentioning any special problems or recent illnesses. Therefore, I would assume that he is still in pretty good health.

  9. #9
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    Default out of print

    hello,
    the book by nawa sensei you all refer to seems to be more than out of print. i wasn´t even able to find it when i was in japan, driving every 2nd hand book dealer crazy...
    do you have any idea, where to get a copy of it ? i am thinking of writing my thesis about different weapons from the edo jidai.

    thank you very much
    karsten
    _______________________
    karsten helmholz
    bujinkan shinden dojo buchholz/hamburg

  10. #10
    Don Cunningham Guest

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    Hi David,

    I've talked and corresponded with Mr. Quinn. He is apparently still in touch with Nawa sensei as well. I don't Mr. Brown or how to contact him. He was not mentioned by Nawa sensei or any of his senior students.

    Hi Karsten,

    You should also keep an eye on eBay. I bought two used copies from their auctions. I also obtained a new copy from Sasuga Books in Cambridge. Last I heard, they can still order some copies from one of their distributors in Japan.

    My new copy is now autographed by Nawa sensei. I wouldn't be willing to sell it. I've already sold the other used copies at Japanese swordshows or I would be willing to offer one of them. Good luck in your search.

  11. #11
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    Default Masaki ryu

    Hi;

    Can anyone provide some additional insight into the Masakiryu? I have a copy of a Japanese language book written by Nawa sensei who has taught Masakiryu in Tokyo for many years.

    I am particularly interested in chain arts such as manriki-kusari and kusarigama. Are any of his students actively teaching Masakiryu or jutte-jutsu in the US?

    Please forgive my lack of knowledge about e-budo.com. I’m a new member and would welcome any help.

    Ed Harris

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    Don Cunningham Guest

  13. #13
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    Default

    HI

    this is a 5 year old thread I found.

    I was in Japan last year and visited Masaki Ryu. I trained with Nakajima Sensei in Tokyo. Little guy who was exceptionally friendly and welcoming. One of his students is a friend of mine who took me. Everyone there was very nice.

    Only a few people there when I went but had an excellent time.

    From what I gather Nawa sensei broke Masaki Ryu into 4 branches. I think the Masaki Ryu Nakajima-ha is the only one currently active as a training dojo., They said something about one other branch meeting occasionally but i may have got that bit wrong.

    Very interesting Ryu and was vbery grateful for the chance to train with them
    Paul Richardson - Shidoshi
    Bujinkan Lincoln Dojo

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by poryu View Post
    From what I gather Nawa sensei broke Masaki Ryu into 4 branches. I think the Masaki Ryu Nakajima-ha is the only one currently active as a training dojo., They said something about one other branch meeting occasionally but i may have got that bit wrong.
    If I recall correctly, Nawa Sensei set up all of his menkyo kaiden students to run their own independent lines. There is at least one legitimate line active in the US.
    David Sims

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    My opinion is, in all likelihood, worth exactly what you are paying for it.

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    Default

    [QUOTE=bakumatsu;178480]Hi;

    Can anyone provide some additional insight into the Masakiryu? I have a copy of a Japanese language book written by Nawa sensei who has taught Masakiryu in Tokyo for many years.

    Try and contact Daniel Lee. Daniel is a wealth of knowledge and may be able to assist you.

    Regards

    Philip Hinshelwood

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