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Thread: Shin Muso Hayashizaki Ryu

  1. #1
    m a s a m u n e Guest

    Question Shin Muso Hayashizaki Ryu

    Hello Everyone,

    With everyone posting on that thread about the origin of Iaido, I hope no one gets mad at me for posting another Iaido type thread! Gomen-nasai, but I am really curious about this subject.

    Okay, now that that's off my back, on to my question.

    I was looking at some sites that had pictures from what one could call a type of "koryu expo" (I forgot the name, I think it was Kobudo Embu or something) and it had an Iai Practicioner performing nukitsuke. The caption under the pic said "Shin Muso Hayashizaki Ryu" and I was stunned. If I'm not wrong, this is supposed to be the name for the original style of Iai from Hayashizaki (After his students changed it from Shimmei Muso Ryu). They actually still teach this? Is this the "main" line or branch of the style that is the bases for MJER and MSR? If it is, what is its cirriculum? Do they perform waza from seiza?

    Also, I might be going to Japan in the future, and I was wondering if anybody can give me information on how to find a school that teaches this. I've been told there is also an organization kinda like the ZNKR that organizes koryu. Is there a website I can be directed to?

    Domo Artigato Gozaimasu
    - Alex Guillermo

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    Koryu.com has a page on Shin Muso Hayashizaki ryu here which states they are based in Tokyo. While MJER and MSR are the most well known ryu to evolve from Hayashizaki Jinsuke's art, there are a few lesser known ones, such as this one in Tokyo and Hayashizaki Muso ryu in Yamagata. At this point you can't really call any one line the "main line" of the others. They are just separate traditions with a common link somewhere in their history.

    Rennis Buchner

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    Coincidentally, today I recieved the Nihon No Kobudo series tape on Hayashizaki Muso Ryu. I don't know about any similarities with SMHR,aside from HMR also using a VERY long sword. The majority of the forms demonstrated ( I don't know how they fit into the overall curriculum, or if the forms are representative of the ryu in general) had the 'enemy' in seiza, armed with wakizashi. Most of the forms had the shidachi walk towards uchidachi, get very close, and assume some type of tatehiza (obscured by hakama, I couldn't really tell) and then draw the sword with very little space between him and his uchidachi.
    Something that I noticed right away, was that they wore the sword the same way that we do now in MJER/MSR. Dan and others have said it to be across the front of the body, but this is innaccurate. It is angled inward, with the tsuba in front of your center. There have been some (like Draeger) that have said that the Bushi never wore his sword this way, but I think that the way a sword was worn could vary considerably from one ryu to another. I have noticed several photos in various books in my possession that show different ryu wearing thier swords very differently, at least in how the saya is inserted in the obi and hakama.

    Regards,
    Brian Dunham
    MSR SanShinKai

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    Much interesting stuff here, but I'll try to keep my comments to a minimum.

    Brian wrote:

    "There have been some (like Draeger) that have said that the Bushi never wore his sword this way, but I think that the way a sword was worn could vary considerably from one ryu to another."

    Far be it for me to argue with the likes of Draeger, I've also heard reasons for not wearing a sword that way, but I wouldn't go so far as to say "never", it not only seems very likely to vary from ryu to ryu - it apparently does.

    I've noticed groups wear them several different ways. One is more completely on the side of the hip, with the wakizashi and/or tanto slightly more in front (or at least allowing for it). The other is also on the side of the hip, but the sword is angled to the front with the tsuba out in front of the center as Brian described. Either of these seem reasonable to me, but I've also seen some iaido practitioners wear their iaito across their belly in front as opposed to on their hip. This (to my admittedly novice eyes) seems a more modern adaptation and does not appear to be very orthodox or practical, and perhaps is what Draeger and others have referred to as incorrect.

    The question in my mind (as it is on the previous iai thread about the addition of kata from seiza) is: What are the various reasons for doing it one, or the other ways, and/or then making a change from one way to another?

    I believe much of the criticism of iaido styles by koryu practitioners has to do with changes in techniques for aesthetic purposes rather than for strategic or combative advantages.

    Respectfully,

    Brently Keen
    Last edited by Brently Keen; 30th January 2002 at 01:02.

  6. #6
    Dan Harden Guest

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    Brian I am aware of the wearing style- even if I didn't "describe" it so you would get it. Everyone has seen enough MJER guys to get the picture. Not that I care what they do- have fun.I just don't buy hearing that Seiza and swords sticking out backwards IN SEIZA or while walking down narrow crowded streets was de-riguere.

    I am really uninterested in opinions on the subject. Mine as well as yours. We can postulate but there are men here who have made a serious study of such things-I bow to their wisdom.
    I would rather hear from the PHDs and many Koryu exponents who have written in on this subject in the past.They research these things.
    We have what? The teaching of a school?
    Are the teachings of a school a valid arguement against historical research or densho. It would seem that against that, the other view comes up decidedly short.

    I still love the arguement here a few years back
    Iai guys saying "We wear it this way cause our senior people tell us it is the tradition and our most learned Sensei has told us this is the way it was done.
    Koryu guy living in Japan says
    "I have trained with your senseis- sensei; the most learned man in your art.I walked into the Dojo wearing my sword vertical the way I was taught in a Koryu art.
    Your most learned top ranked guy says to the class
    "Ahh-old style. This is how they really wore them you know!"
    poof!!
    End of that discussion

    I just came in from training. A friend of mine who studies with me as well as in an Iai art had the following thoughts on this very topic.
    I reminded him yet again to wear the sword more vertical while training with me.
    He said that he had been thinking-perhaps at the the next Iai seminar all the guys should wear Daisho all the way there, all the while there and all the way back. Draw that way, with Daisho as well. He figured they, like he, love the sword so much, lets give them a taste of the "Bushi burden."
    Have the sword sticking out all over the place, banging into everybody and everything everywhere. Out eating, through hotel corridors, down the street. He figures in no time flat they will "get" what the Historians and Koryu exponents have been arguing for years THEY DIDN"T WEAR THEIR SWORDS LIKE THAT.
    It seems like the dumbest thing to argue about. Imagin walking around like the three stooges with a plank
    turning wump!!-oops sorry
    turn
    Wump -oops sorry.


    More vertical would have taken care of the problem rather well.



    Dan
    Last edited by Dan Harden; 30th January 2002 at 04:20.

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    Hi Dan,

    Let's pretend for a moment you don't have any idea about how I why certain koryu sword schools carry/wear, draw, cut and/or perform tandoku-renshu & sotai-renshu outside of the ryu that you train in! I know that I'm not telling you anything that you don't already know but the koryu arts of Japan don't share a common syllabus, curriculm or teaching/training methadology. Each respective ryu has their own particular reiho, waza & kata whether Don Draeger or Meik Skoss like it or not. I mean really it's starting to sound like US citizens are telling Japanese sensei how and why to wear their swords, seriously!

    When I first saw a Yagyu Shingan Ryu jujutsu kata (a one man kata BTW) I thought it was wierd (how can you practise jujutsu by yourself after all?), funny & not very effective, how they threw their arms around like a windmill, especially when performed against a partner. I thought no-one's going to just stand their while you go to town on them, anyway the Yagyu Shingan Ryu shibucho showed me the why, how and wherefore , now I don't ask stupid questions about ryu I don't know anything about.

    You quoted: "I still love the arguement here a few years back
    Iai guys saying "We wear it this way cause our senior people tell us it is the tradition and our most learned Sensei has told us this is the way it was done.
    Koryu guy living in Japan says
    "I have trained with your senseis- sensei; the most learned man in your art.I walked into the Dojo wearing my sword vertical the way I was taught in a Koryu art.
    Your most learned top ranked guy says to the class
    "Ahh-old style. This is how they really wore them you know!"
    poof!!" So What! What does that arguement prove? Does it prove that all MSR/MJER practitioners (including shihan & soke in Japan) are doing things wrong? What about progression, what about using the sword after the 'hattorei' (sp?). If all the koryu were to be 100% historically correct in the wearing and use of the sword, we wouldn't have koryu schools, we'd still be wearing contintinantal double edged bronze or iron ken/tsurugi hanging by two cords from our obi tachi style. Don't forget even the katana concept was laughed at and scoffed at when it was presented at the first ever 'Japanese sword show,' .

    Now normally I'd post the reasons why some MSR/MJER schools wear their katana at 45 deg or more across the body, but someone more knowledgeable and with more experience might come along and say: "oh Don Draeger used to demonstrate how MSR/MJER techniques don't work or can't beat TSKSR techniques," and then I'll say: "That's like saying the US Army's rifle barrel up carrying postion is a more superior carrying postion than the British Armys' barrel down carrying position," and we won't get anywhere.

    Regards,

    Paul Steadman
    Last edited by Paul Steadman; 30th January 2002 at 07:05.

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    Dan,
    The only thing I've ever heard historians and koryu exponents say about the vertical position of wearing swords (otoshizashi) is that it was used to denote status as ronin. Even the ryu that you claim to study doesn't do it that way. BTW, frequently, in my own practice, I do wear kodachi while doing Iai. It requires increased awareness, but no change in technique.
    Sorry you find this topic stupid, some of us are still learning.

    Brian

  9. #9
    Ben Bartlett Guest

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    Brently wrote:
    The question in my mind (as it is on the previous iai thread about the addition of kata from seiza) is: What are the various reasons for doing it one, or the other ways, and/or then making a change from one way to another?
    I'm going to leave how the sword was worn historically to someone else, because frankly I haven't done any research in that area. However, I can at least partially answer this question. In my school, we wear the sword at the hip, with tsuba in front of the center, as Brian described. The reason for this is that when we step forward or backward to draw, the sword ends up being perpendicular to our opponent. This makes it possible to attack or deflect on the draw more quickly than if one had to draw from a 45-degree angle (which is where the sword would end up relative to your opponent if you wore your sword perpendicular to yourself). Basically, it just shortens the distance you have to move the sword. If, on the other hand, you are a kenjutsu student, wearing the sword at that angle provides no benefit whatsoever, because you attack with the sword already drawn.
    Sorry, late addition here. I should say I don't think that's the only reason it's worn that way. I think it also makes it more difficult for your opponent to tell how fast you are drawing, and it makes it more difficult for your opponent to grab your sword. And there are probably other reasons that I haven't learned, yet. But that's at least part of the answer.

    Oh, I will say this in response to Mr. Harden, however. I often end up walking around my rather small and cluttered apartment while wearing my iaito, and I don't bang into things. So regardless of whether or not it was done historically, it's really not all that unwieldy. And I thought we covered the whole seiza thing in the last thread- no one was sitting in seiza wearing katana anyway, and no one in this thread is saying they were. If you are going to argue with something, argue with what people are saying. Building straw men just so you can knock them down wastes all of our time.
    Last edited by Ben Bartlett; 30th January 2002 at 16:37.

  10. #10
    Dan Harden Guest

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    Guys,

    My point is, always has been, and is in print that we all do as were taught. Its all good. You do what your sensei tells you in any given endeavor.
    To change topics we can discuss the lack of tempering that is spelled out in the heat treating process of old Japanese swords. Everyone can have, and offer, an opinion. But steel is steel and its behaviors are known, and it doesn’t matter what one School says to do or not. If your part of that tradition you do it- no problems. Start telling a metallurgist your right that the blades were not and did not need to be tempered-you got a problem on two fronts.
    Tell me you love Japavanese Kris because of the Parmor and that the silvery hue of those layers show the purity of the spirit, and I’m gonna stop you and say no Willy-that’s Nickel bearing iron layered with steel. But you can believe what you like.
    You do what you’re told by your sensei. That's it, and that's all.
    That pretty much covers all of the discussion about what to do with technique in a given ryu.

    Beyond your chosen ryu, beyond the “X ryu does it this way the Y ryu does it that way” are the pragmatic realities of everyday life. No one is critisizing or offering an opinion of what you do as Dojo technique. The topic is not your schools dojo ettiquate. It is a discussion of what is historically valid "outside" of a dojo.
    If the topic is troublesome because it involves your ryu discuss another.
    There are things I practice every week that I know are not cogent as technique-they are good training tools, most arts have them. They have no useful function on this earth, other then to train a principle into a person body. Never once would I let the training tools for the two arts I practice interfere with the knowledge of the realities of everyday life, or combat rationale. They are just training tools. I don’t have to buy into them to do them.I do them willingly as training-your opinion and mine are not required.
    No I am not of the opinion that all techniques are somehow secretly relevant. I am quite sure there are things both old and new that are inane Dojo techniques. The rose colored glasses came off long ago.

    You seem to think that westerners are telling Japanese how to wear their swords. That's not quite the point is it. There is a sort of inane racism to that comment. A more accurate statement would be that historians (race and country not required) have reviewed the available data and concluded the following ________________place your topic here).
    As such they are not telling anyone what to do. They are simply concluding- what a given culture DID do, and through evidence not opinion. If that flies in the face of modern practitioners of any cultures art anywhere- so be it.
    Please note in my Dojo example, the fellow didn’t tell the Japanese Sensei anything! All he did was walk in the door wearing it. It was the MJER Sensei who told HIM that he was wearing it the way they actually wore them.
    Neither the Historians role, nor the other Koryu Dojo example offer anything in support of your contention that “Westerners are telling Japanese how to wear their swords.” Again, it would appear your own arts Soke knew quite well how they wore them and had no problem disassociating real life from Dojo technique.


    Brian

    You suggest that my humor denotes arrogance yes? That you're still learning- the detractors are not.
    I just took the more humble road- I'm still learning too. But I have chosen to listen to PHDs in Japanese history, and multiple Koryu exponents and weigh them in the balance of the rather small conflicting opinion.
    I am not interested in my opinion or yours. I would rather look at the whole picture to find out what was real in any given culture-as such I look for evidence from my betters who have studied a history independent from affiliation.
    I design building everyday. In my work I cannot afford opinions on a variety of topics. I consult with a team of engineers conversant with a multiplicity of materials who have done the research. It’s much the same thing

    Dan
    Last edited by Dan Harden; 30th January 2002 at 13:21.

  11. #11
    m a s a m u n e Guest

    Default umm...thread drift?

    Hi Everyone,

    Thank you for your posts! They were very informative, especially the first couple of ones that answered some of my questions. However, before the topic of this thread is forgotten, I just want to ask another question.

    Mr. Dunham stated that there was another style that is related, the Hayashizaki Muso Ryu. And I assume that this is seperated from the Shin Muso Hayashizaki Ryu. I've also heard that there's a style calling themselves by the original name, Shimmei Muso Ryu. Just how many styles exist today that stay a little closer to the "main" line of lineage? (I know that probably hundreds of styles were based on Hayashizaki's battojutsu style, but you all get what I mean, right?)

    Respectfully,
    Alex Guillermo
    Last edited by m a s a m u n e; 30th January 2002 at 15:06.

  12. #12
    Ben Bartlett Guest

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    Sorry, Alex, I'm afraid I'm going to ignore the original topic of this thread for one more post, just so I can add this to the mix. Shitsurei shimasu.

    I found this on Colin Hyakutake's site; it's apparently from the Kiso Iai Koza, and this particular piece comes from the memoranda of the 20th headmaster of one of the branches of MJER, Kono Hyakuren.

    21 : CONCERNING THE OBI AND SAGEO OF THE BUSHI August 1936

    According to the old writings, the Bushi used to wear a Kaku-Obi (a stiff wide sash similar to an Iaido Obi) customarily worn under the Hakama. Daisho were worn in the following manner;

    a, The Shoto was worn between the body and the sash, the Tsuba centering in front of the body.

    b, The Daito was worn inside one layer of the Obi, The Tsuka-gashira centring in front of the body. Tying the Sageo is too complicated to explain in writing, especially the Shoto. It would be advisable to ask your Sensei, a senior or friend to show you in detail. However, tying the Sageo practically for the battlefield was entirely different to formal methods. Soldiers used to tie their Sageo very firmly regardless of style.
    Unfortunately, I have no idea what the "old writings" he refers to are, so I can't give you a first-hand source on the subject, but I'd say that's a fairly decent second-hand one.

    Anyway, just thought I'd throw that in there. Now maybe someone can answer poor Alex's question.

  13. #13
    m a s a m u n e Guest

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    It's alright, I don't mind this discussion on the proper place to wear a sword, it's actually very informative! I don't mind having that discussion on this thread. I just don't want the original purpose of this thread to be forgotten, just in case someone has information on it but forgets about posting it when they decide to join in this much heated topic about sword position.

    Respectfully,
    Alex Guillermo

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    Dan,
    Can you please provide some references for all of this historical evidence regarding the wearing of swords vertically? As I stated above, everything I have read or heard on this states that this was done to indicate that one was a ronin.
    BTW, I do not simply do everything just because "that's the way my sensei does it". I was not taught to learn that way. I know why the sword is worn the way it is in my system. I don't feel any need to discuss the reasons publicly, as I think that anyone who commits themselves to a study of the system will come to discover it through practice and sweat. Very much like your feelings on discussing technical matters of Daito Ryu, no?
    As for wearing the swords vertically, according to the rationale of MSR/MJER, this would be bad. It would take longer to strike the opponent from this position, the saya of the wakizashi would probably impede forward movement of the katana, and you would be exposing to much suki. However, I think it is possible that another system may have their own rationale for doing it that way. I've never seen a koryu that teaches this, but I will be open to whatever historical evidence can be presented.

    Brian

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    Gentlemen,

    Here are some pictures of samurai with their swords from the 1860's. Some have the katana in the obi so you can get an idea how these Samurai wore their swords.

    http://www.bugei.com/longtsuka.html#

    James
    Last edited by James Williams; 13th February 2002 at 23:09.
    James Willliams
    Kaicho
    Nami ryu

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