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Thread: The Handa School of Jiujitsu in Osaka

  1. #16
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    On the whole Fusen Ryu newaza thing:

    My own personal belief (admittedly based on grappling experience, rather than historical research) is that that the focus and subsequent development of newaza is a function of the rules of competition, rather than an expression of codified techniques. In the famous Kodokan v. Fusen challenge match, it sounds like the Fusen competitors pulled guard and fought for a draw - a very sensible strategy when facing nagewaza experts, given that butt-scooting wasn't expressly forbidden.

    Moreover, wrestling on the ground is good fun and a pretty safe way of developing conditioning and drilling principles and techniques. I can quite believe that while there may not be codified ground techniques in the Fusen or Daito Ryu syllabus, that practitioners wrestled informally for fun and tried to apply the techniques of their art. And I certainly believe that competitors studied the rules of potential challenges and their opponents' styles to come up with unorthodox strategies to beat them. You wouldn't need to be Rickson Gracie to be able to submit an opponent who had never trained on the ground (whether a western wrestler or a kodokan nagewaza expert) - all you would need is a game plan, and a modicum of technique. I'm not denigrating Tani et. al. here - just suggesting that they came to the west with a clear plan of attack.

    "Handa" could well have been some kind of Fusen or Daito Ryu for all we know - to a western author of the time any techniques starting from kneeling would count as "starting on the mat", and a focus on kansetsu waza and pinning techniques would look more like catch-as-catch-can than the nagewaza of the Kodokan - especially in a randori situation.

    Just my rambling, non-scholarly, layman's p.o.v.
    Cheers,

    Mike
    No-Kan-Do

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    Hi Mike,

    thanks for the imput.

    The journalist who was "quoting" Miyake in 1915 seems to have confused the personal/school name (Handa) with the name of the style taught there, which my contact in Japan has tentatively identified as Daito-ryu, an offshoot of Sekiguchi-ryu. Either way, it does sound as if "Handa" was being described as ground-fighting, and contrasted with the Kodokan's standing style.

    I don't think that Miyake ever returned to Japan after he left for London in 1904, so by 1915 his impressions of the situation back home might have been skewed - for example, what he was reported as describing in the present tense might actually have been his reminiscences about the pre-1904 situation.

    Even allowing for vagaries, it's an intriguing lead.

    Cheers,

    Tony

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    Page 521 of the Bugei Ryuha Daijiten by Watatani & Yamada Tokyo Copy Shuppansha 1978.

    Besides Takeda Sokaku's Daito-ryu, there is another.

    Daito-ryu (大東流 ) Jujutsu. One of the offshoots of Sekiguchi-ryu jujutsu. The founder of Daito-ryu is the 9th soke of Sekiguchi Shinshin-ryu, Sekiguchi Jushin.

    Sekiguchi Jushin (関口柔心 )
    |
    Sekiguchi Hanbei (関口万平 )
    |
    Handa Yotaro (or Yataro) (半田弥太郎 )
    |
    Kamimura Yoshio (上村義雄 ) - Fushimi Tokisaburo (伏見良辰三郎 ) - Ikeda Yoshitada (池田為治 ) - Yamamoto Masami (山本精三 ) - Kasuga Nobutaka
    (雑賀寅応 )
    (N.B. The romanization of the names might not be accurate. Sorry about that.)

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    Maybe that's why Takeda's Daito-ryu jujutsu was later changed to Daito-ryu aikijujutsu; to distinguish it from the Sekiguchi-ryu branch.

    I did a search on some of the names you listed and found this paragraph.

     ちなみに「大東流」と言う流名の名称は、大東流合気武道や大東流合気柔術や会津大東流柔術ばかりでなく、江戸時代、関口流柔術から出た「大東流柔術」(関口流柔術第九代の関口柔心氏胤から出て、関口万平氏柔に至 り、一方柔心氏胤から枝別れして、半田弥太郎に至り、門人の上村義雄、伏見辰五郎、池田為治、山本精三、松田栄太郎、雑賀寅応に至り、広島藩士の松田栄太郎は大東流柔術から真貫流柔術を創した)や、手裏剣術の「大 東流手裏剣術」、あるいは合気術ならびに導引術を技法を名称とする村上源氏(村上天皇の子孫から出た源氏。源師房(もろふさ)に始まる。清和源氏とともに著名で、院政期以後の朝廷に活躍し、久我(こが)・土御門( つちみかど)・六条・岩倉・北畠などの諸家に分れる)の伝承を標榜する「大東流合気術」がある。この村上源氏伝承の大東流は、堺市在住の大高坂清を宗家とし、茨城市在住の早島正雄がその後を継いだ形と なっている
    George Kohler

    Genbukan Kusakage dojo
    Dojo-cho

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    Quote Originally Posted by George Kohler
    Maybe that's why Takeda's Daito-ryu jujutsu was later changed to Daito-ryu aikijujutsu; to distinguish it from the Sekiguchi-ryu branch.

    I did a search on some of the names you listed and found this paragraph.
    George,

    Yes, it seems highly plausible.

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    Just to toss another iron in the fire, I've had an interesting message from my correspondent in Japan:
    -----------------------------------

    There is an entry in the 'Great Judo Dictionary' (Japanese) regarding an incident in 1881 in which Kano and some Kodokan students including Munakata go to Handa Yotarou's Tenshin Shinyo ryu jujutsu dojo in Osaka. The note continues that at that time the Handa dojo was not particularly skillful in newaza - an apparent reference to its later fame in newaza.  One of Handa's top students is Kimotsuji Souji, who sends the strong Munakata flying. (Kano later writes one of the earliest judo books with the same Munakata Itsuro in 1913 - I've found a first edition recently (am negotiating with the owner for a discount!).) Munakata's photo is on the wall of the Kodokan library. See http://www.kodokan.org/j_info/lib_photo02_j.html

    -----------------------------------

    So, we seem to have positive evidence connecting both Tenshin Shinyo Ryu and the Sekiguchi-ryu offshoot, Daito ryu to Mr. Handa's school in Osaka. The Tenshin reference dates to 1881 and the Daito-ryu reference to "the opening of the Handa school in 1897". Perhaps Handa originally had a Tenshin-ryu school and switched to Daito-ryu?

    Open question - what is to be made of this?

    Tony

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Wolf
    Just to toss another iron in the fire, I've had an interesting message from my correspondent in Japan:
    -----------------------------------

    There is an entry in the 'Great Judo Dictionary' (Japanese) regarding an incident in 1881 in which Kano and some Kodokan students including Munakata go to Handa Yotarou's Tenshin Shinyo ryu jujutsu dojo in Osaka. The note continues that at that time the Handa dojo was not particularly skillful in newaza - an apparent reference to its later fame in newaza.  One of Handa's top students is Kimotsuji Souji, who sends the strong Munakata flying. (Kano later writes one of the earliest judo books with the same Munakata Itsuro in 1913 - I've found a first edition recently (am negotiating with the owner for a discount!).) Munakata's photo is on the wall of the Kodokan library. See http://www.kodokan.org/j_info/lib_photo02_j.html

    -----------------------------------

    So, we seem to have positive evidence connecting both Tenshin Shinyo Ryu and the Sekiguchi-ryu offshoot, Daito ryu to Mr. Handa's school in Osaka. The Tenshin reference dates to 1881 and the Daito-ryu reference to "the opening of the Handa school in 1897". Perhaps Handa originally had a Tenshin-ryu school and switched to Daito-ryu?

    Open question - what is to be made of this?

    Tony
    It is possible, but unlikely.

    You're going to have to find a direct link to Tenjin Shinyo-ryu and Handa.

    The Keizu (Lineal chart) for Tenjin Shinyo-ryu does not have Handa's name listed. If he were a dojo-cho teaching Tenjin Shinyo-ryu formally, his name would be listed on one of the major branches of Tenjin Shinyo-ryu at the time (Iso line, Inoue line, Yoshida line, Tozawa line, or Yagi-line).

    Handa's name isn't listed in the Bugei Ryuha Daijiten neither.

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    IIRC, one of the arts studied by Takeda Motsuge (Fusen-ryu) was Sekiguchi-ryu.

    But I got that from Scott and Bushinjuku. Sekiguchiu-ryu seems to have some newaza stuff but not like Judo/BJJ newaza.

    And to muddy the waters further, Steve, didn't an uncle of Takeda Sokaku study Sosuishi-ryu?

    I think Steve is right - until someone interested enough and willing enough to explore the historical development on a scholarly (in other words, deeply immersed in Japanese language and culture) level, and provide the sources, I think this will remain an open question.

    Even one demonstration from Fusen-ryu will not show what the entirety of the art entails. And then again if it has been significantly altered/recreated from its roots, or if Tanabe altered his own practice/teachings ("Tanabe-ha Fusen-ryu," maybe???) even that may not tell the tale.

    One hopes that with the growing Japanese interest in BJJ, and the continued insistence of some BJJ practitioners that the art comes from classical jujutsu and not Judo, there might be among them a stalwart who chooses to pursue the route to truth - but seems to me the Japanese guys doing BJJ are prety much like the Brazilian and American guys doing it - probably aren't all that interested in koryu.

    Or maybe Steve will get so tired of this discussion that he will suddenly devote all his time and impose on his Japanese contacts to tracing the root of the Fusen-ryu newaza question.....
    Last edited by Hissho; 6th October 2007 at 05:31.
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hissho
    And to muddy the waters further, Steve, didn't an uncle of Takeda Sokaku study Sosuishi-ryu?
    Lets make the waters even muddier. During the Meiji-jidai, one of the menkyo kaiden practicioners of that ryuha, was also a menkyo kaiden in Jigo Tenshin-ryu. His nephew went on to learn from him and the 13th headmaster of Sosuishi-ryu, earned menkyo kaiden himself, opened a dojo in Tokyo and taught a large number of foreigners, including three British army officers and a lawyer.

    Then you've got Aoyagi Kibei, the 14th shihan of SSR who also studied Kodokan judo & Tenjin Shinyo-ryu under Yokoyama Sakujiro.

    Murky enough?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Delaney
    It is possible, but unlikely.

    You're going to have to find a direct link to Tenjin Shinyo-ryu and Handa.

    The Keizu (Lineal chart) for Tenjin Shinyo-ryu does not have Handa's name listed. If he were a dojo-cho teaching Tenjin Shinyo-ryu formally, his name would be listed on one of the major branches of Tenjin Shinyo-ryu at the time (Iso line, Inoue line, Yoshida line, Tozawa line, or Yagi-line).

    Handa's name isn't listed in the Bugei Ryuha Daijiten neither.
    Is the 'Great Judo Dictionary' a reliable source?

    Tony

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hissho
    IIRC, one of the arts studied by Takeda Motsuge (Fusen-ryu) was Sekiguchi-ryu.

    But I got that from Scott and Bushinjuku. Sekiguchiu-ryu seems to have some newaza stuff but not like Judo/BJJ newaza.

    And to muddy the waters further, Steve, didn't an uncle of Takeda Sokaku study Sosuishi-ryu?

    I think Steve is right - until someone interested enough and willing enough to explore the historical development on a scholarly (in other words, deeply immersed in Japanese language and culture) level, and provide the sources, I think this will remain an open question.
    That would be my contact in Japan ...

    I'm also still interested in the question of the inter-scholastic (as in, high school and technical college) judo/jiujitsu competitions, especially those that seem to have taken place pre-1914.

    Assuming that these competitions (and training therefor) established the format that Kano institutionalised in 1914, it seems to me that they would have been the most logical venue for men like Tani, Uyenishi and Miyake to develop their ne-waza skills.

    The key point I keep coming back to is that they were all very young men when they set out from Japan, and even though the odds were stacked in their favour (by requiring their opponents to fight according to jiujitsu rules), their overwhelming success suggests long experience in recreational/competitive ground fighting.

    Further to that, what evidence is there for this type of ne-waza, of the sort that most people would associate with judo or BJJ today, extant in Japan (especially Tokyo and Osaka) between 1890 and 1900? Perhaps as an informal wrestling sport rather than as something codified within the syllabi of various ryu-ha?

    Thanks,

    Tony

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Wolf
    Is the 'Great Judo Dictionary' a reliable source?

    Tony
    It's a reliable source, but it's not enough, just mentioning a name of a ryuha in passing. Just not concrete enough.

    In Osaka, a student of Inoue Keitaro, Tobari Takisaburo hailing from Saitama-Ken, formed his own school based on Shin No Shindo-ryu & Tenjin Shinyo-ryu called Tobari-ryu (戸張流 ).

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    Tony,

    I think a lot (if not all) jujutsu ryu had sections that dealt specifically with techniques to defeat other jujutsu ryu (from memory I think this was called taryu waza or something like it). If at one time newaza was something in which Kodokan judo (Kano-ryu) was not strong maybe one of the Fusen-ryu sensei like Tanabe capitalized on that and started using these kind of techniques to defeat the Kodokan. Hence the Fusen-ryu - newaza confusion.
    It is speculation but it does sound plausible.

    Happy landings,

    Johan Smits

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    Miyake was back in Japan during 1928. Since you have a Japanese source, then here's what I know. There should be more out there, and if you get it, I'd like it for my pro wrestling collection.

    During the summer of 1928, Miyake took Winnipeg’s Bill Thornton and San Francisco’s Oscar Butler to Japan to try to popularize American-style professional wrestling in Kobe and Tokyo. The men reached Yokohama on Thursday, 31 Aug 1928 aboard the Arabama Maru. Japanese members of the show included Tokinogawa and Ayakawa. The latter was a sumotori, who wrestled as Wakahibiki. The promoter was an executive of the Japanese Sumo Association, a retired wrestler known as Chiganoura (Ayagawa).

    Although Japan Times did not devote much space to the wrestling (apparently Miyake spent most of his time in Osaka watching sumo matches), Butler and Thornton took part in a wrestling contest in Kobe in early November. Their opponents were a pair of judo 3-dans named Jiro Sato and Masaichi Yoshimitsu. The contest was without jackets, and to the surprise of the Japanese, the North Americans easily won.

    During that visit, Miyake also learned that judo had changed considerably over the years. Not only were “some of the fellows who were still learning the game when I was a young instructor … now top-notchers,” but the training methods and vocabulary themselves had been altered. As a result, he and Meiji University instructors had a difficult time discussing the subject using mutually familiar terms.

    Having failed to establish American-style professional wrestling in Japan, Miyake returned to the US. He went first to Hawaii, and that's where he first hooked up with Hawaiian wrestler Oki Shikina.

    In addition, in 1934, Miyake retired to Okayama, Japan, where he died the following year. Additional details of his death, etc., are desired.

    SOURCES: Japan Times, 14 Jan 1925, 4; Japan Times, 31 Aug 1928, 8; Japan Times, 8 Nov 1928, 10; Japanese-American Courier, 9 Mar 1929, 2; The Ring, Dec 1930, 44; Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 1 Nov 1931.

    I would guess that there should be additional references in the US Japanese-language papers, such as the Honolulu Hochi and LA's Rafu Shimpo. However, I don't read Japanese, so these don't help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johan smits
    Tony,

    I think a lot (if not all) jujutsu ryu had sections that dealt specifically with techniques to defeat other jujutsu ryu (from memory I think this was called taryu waza or something like it). If at one time newaza was something in which Kodokan judo (Kano-ryu) was not strong maybe one of the Fusen-ryu sensei like Tanabe capitalized on that and started using these kind of techniques to defeat the Kodokan. Hence the Fusen-ryu - newaza confusion.
    It is speculation but it does sound plausible.
    Johan,

    that would certainly help to explain why Fusen-ryu has picked up a reputation for having specialised in groundfighting during the late 1800s , despite the apparent lack of competitive ne-waza in modern Fusen-ryu. It might have been in the nature of a personal specialty of Mataemon Tanabe's, afterwards incorporated into the Kodokan curriculum.

    Tony

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