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Ting Chuan
7th January 2006, 01:09
Hello,

I was doing some research into the Matsumura Sokon Jigen Ryu connection and I came across an old thread here about it back in 2001;


Short quote from article about Matsumura Sokon (sorry for my bad English):
"Father of sensation was Nagamine Shoshin, okinawan karate master amd Matsubayashi-ryu founder. In august 1942 he visited Matsumura's grand grand daughter home in Naha to explore a genealogy of Matsumura's family. In buddist altar's box he found a menkejo - masters license - of Matsumura Sokon in Jigen-ryu kenjutsu and coloured peace of paper with verses. These papers were granted to matsumura by Jigen-ryu master from Satsuma Ishuin Yashichiro. <...> Nagamine made a copy of virses.

<...> [in 1834 Matsumura had to return to Okinawa.]Before his departure Ishuin Yashichiro decided to give him techniques of highest, fourth level (Unki - Light among clouds) of Jigen-ryu and grant him menkyo and verses by him.<...>
Matsumura studied in Kagoshima probably 2 years and 2 monthes.
But these documents were destroyes as a whole home during WW2. Nagamine also wrote that Matsumura was at Satsuma once more but there aren't any documents about it.

I was just wondering if it has been positively verified that Matsumura Sokon was indeed given Menkyo in Jigen-Ryu Kenjutsu?

I can't find much about it on the internet. Thanks in advance.


~ Rob Acox

Andrew S
7th January 2006, 06:33
Harry Cook Sensei could probably help you there.

If he doesn't post here in the next couple of days you could try PMing him.

Gibukai
8th January 2006, 09:50
Hello,

both, R. Fujiwara and K. Iwai, were able to made out that S. Matsumura reached the fourth level (yondan) in Jigen-Ryu.

Regards,

Henning Wittwer

ZealUK
17th January 2006, 15:41
Yondan in Jigen Ryu is very rare, as it is the highest level of the school. At present it takes about 20 years of practice to reach Shodan. Of course it isn't the Edo Jidai anymore, and people don't have the luxury of being able to train all day every day.

There are also two lines of Jigen Ryu present in Kagoshima (Satsuma). Jigen Ryu Heiho founded by Togo Chuui, and Yakumaru (Nodachi) Jigen Ryu, which seperated when Yakumaru Kanetaka modified the techniques of the school.

I don't know anything about Karate, so I can't comment, but I can certainly ask about Matsumura Sokon if you like. Do you know which line of Jigen Ryu he studied?

Andrew S
17th January 2006, 20:50
I think you'll find Matsumura studied the heiho version (Jigen Ryu) as opposed to the nodachi version (Yakumaru Jigen Ryu).

ZealUK
27th January 2006, 08:57
I asked at the heihosho today about Matsumara Sokon. He did indeed reach Yondan (Menkyo) in Jigen Ryu Hieho.

I was also told that several facets of Jigen Ryu were taken into Karate practice. The Pinan kata uses the same Kanji (minus one character) as one of the Sandan Jigen Ryu kata. Also the use of makiwara were perhaps an introduction influenced by Jigen Ryu.

I believe this year there is a large Kyokushin Karate Competition in Tokyo. I was told Kasari San and Togo Soke will be doing Embu there.

Gibukai
27th January 2006, 09:48
Hello,

there is an German article on this subject. On the following link you can see photos of Togo Shigenori (the upper one) and other members of his current.

http://www.culturamartialis.com/jigenryu.htm

May I ask you who gave you the informations?

Regards,

Henning Wittwer

ZealUK
29th January 2006, 12:12
May I ask you who gave you the informations?


Of course you may!

I asked Iwagawa San, who is the curator of the Jigen Ryu Heihosho museum in Kagoshima. We had a casual chat about it before I went to practice. If you would like me to ask about any more concrete information I can do so, but since I know nothing about Karate or Matsumara Sokon, I just mentioned it in passing.

Togo Soke was unavailable, so I couldn't ask him directly.

I believe quite a few Karateka visit the Heihosho each year in order to look at the museum.

I believe those pictures are form the Paris Taikai. I'm afraid I can't read German :( but very nice pictures nonetheless :).

Gibukai
29th January 2006, 17:56
Hello,

thank you for the information. Regarding the German article, it is my hope that it will be published in English as well in 2 or 3 months.

Could you check your private messages please; there should be one from me, if everything is all right.

Regards,

Henning Wittwer

Andrew S
29th January 2006, 20:57
The Pinan kata uses the same Kanji (minus one character) as one of the Sandan Jigen Ryu kata.

This may just be coincidence; the Pinan kata were developed by Itosu, who, as far as I'm aware, did not practice Jigen Ryu. Had they been developed by Azato, that would be a different matter.
There are those who claim Jigen Ryu influence via the Matsumura-Azato-Funakoshi (Yoshitaka) line and those who believe it to be (wishful) speculation. Oh, for time machine...

cxt
30th January 2006, 21:38
Zeal

Pretty sure that the makiwara was being used prior to contact with the Satsuma.

(What Satsuma practice resembles the makiwara?)

I could be wrong of course

In any case the Pinan kata were almost certainly derived (at least in part) from the older Chanan kata.

So what connection other than coincidence could the kanji resemblence could there be?

Honestly just asking.


Chris Thomas

ZealUK
30th January 2006, 22:48
Hi,

I believe Pinan uses the following kanji 平安 whereas the Jigen Ryu waza in question uses this kanji 平安行. You are right that it could be merely coincidence.

Jigen Ryu uses Tategi to practice striking (a tree trunk stuck in the ground).

Sorry I don't really know about Karate, so I can only post what I hear. I'll definately try and ask for more solid information instead of relying on a 5 minute chat outside the dojo :D

There is an article from a Japanese Karate magazine with Togo Soke and one of the senior Kyokushin guys having a discussion about this I believe. I'll try and get some pictures of it tonight, and post them here for you. Japanese only I'm afraid.

cxt
30th January 2006, 23:05
Zeal

If you could that would be great!

The whole jigen ryu and karate discussion is one with very little hard info.

One source even suggests (with argueable logic) that many of the weapons and uses of "karate" weapons--such as kama, boat oar etc can be traced back to the weapons and techniques developed by a Jigen Ryu teacher of the Satsuma.
The story goes that the teacher (I don't remember his name) was tasked with developing some basic weapons skills for use by the fishermen, farmers, artisians and merchents of the Satsuma lands.
A kind of "home guard" if you will, that was trained to use items that they worked with as weapons.

Some of it was eventually passed down to the Okinwans.

Interesting line of reasoning--have no idea as to its level of correctness--but its fun to discuss. :)


Chris Thomas

shoshinkan
30th January 2006, 23:49
This is indeed a fascinating area of research, and agreed one that is open to alot of speculation due to the lack of hard evidence.

However I believe that the Jigen Ryu had a significant impact on the martial arts practised by Sokon Matsumura, he was a bodyguard to the Okinawan Kings and therefore surley would have recieved instruction from the Japanese, my thoughts are that swordsmanship and jujutsu would have been obvious skills.

The impact on shorin ryu is the bit that is really interesting and something I would greatly appriciate any information/assistance on.

Gibukai
31st January 2006, 09:02
Hello,

the practise of makiwara is at least influenced by the practise of Jigen-Ryu's tategi-uchi. If you think that the makiwara was in use before Satsuma invaded Ryukyu (1609) you should mention a source.

Regards,

Henning Wittwer

shoshinkan
31st January 2006, 10:12
It would be most interesting to know when the first makiwara were used, perhaps someone could contact the karate museum on Okinawa to find this out?

I would but I seriously do not know where to start with that? Any ideas?

Harry Cook
1st February 2006, 11:38
There is an early picture of a man training on a makiwara in the Nanto Zatsuwa; details are in my book Shotokan Karate A Precise History.
Harry Cook

shoshinkan
1st February 2006, 11:55
Any ideas on the date of that photo Mr Cook ?

Gibukai
1st February 2006, 12:40
Hello,

the two mentioned diagramms support the theory of the Tategi-Uchi influence, i.e. the above would be the vertical version and the second the horizontal version.

Regards,

Henning Wittwer

cxt
1st February 2006, 23:34
Gibukai

With all respect I don't agree that evidence warrents that conclusion.

The idea would be that some okinwan saw the sword targets used by the ryu and decided to build a fist target instead.

That assumes that nobody in Okinawa ever made the cognitive leap from any types and methods of impact tools used in China.
I think that as far as the makiwara is concerned its more likely that its a Okinawan version of more or less common impact tools used in China.

You would also kinda need to know if the ryu was taught on Okinawa proper. And given that Matsumora went to Japan for possible study--it would seem that it was not.
And if it was not being taught, then how, when, why etc would an okinawan be able to witness training?

Not that its impossible of course--just another layer of "unlikely" to get thu.

In addition, my info on Jigen ryu being quite limited---does the ryu train its fist/foot skills with a makiwara?
Or just the sword?
I ask because if they don't--then why would the okinwans?

On the Jigen ryu side howver--Azato was supposed to be swordsman--perhaps Jigen ryu--I have read the claim as to just that.
And one of the guys he was supposed to have beaten was a "swordsmen" as well.

So there certainly seems to be something going on here.


Chris Thomas

Harry Cook
2nd February 2006, 00:11
The Nanto Zatsuwa was published in 1850, so the drawing must date at least from that date.
Actually I see the makiwara (along with the kake tebiki) as one of the kinds of wooden men or wooden dummies common to southern systems of Chinese boxing.
Harry Cook

Gibukai
2nd February 2006, 13:54
Hello,

Jigen-Ryu has been introduced to Ryukyu between 1700 and 1750. And those Okinawans who practised it surely trained the Tategi-Uchi of Jigen-Ryu and probably concluded that it would be a good idea to try the same method for their empty handed techniques. If you have a document or a picture or an other source that shows that makiwara were in use before the introduction of Jigen-Ryu, please let me know.

One can also assume that Chinese methodes led to the practice of the makiwara, but the Tategi-Uchi is more than similiar. By the way, while I am thinkig that it is logic, this idea is not mine, it came from R. Fujiwara 2 decades ago.

Regards,

Henning Wittwer

cxt
2nd February 2006, 22:15
Gibukai

Again with all respect.

What Okinwans practiced Jigen-ryu? I know of 2 that might/probably did.

Only 2, so from those 2 guys--many years apart, the use of the makiwara spread to include pretty much every style and teacher on the island?

Hard to belive that.

We don't even know that Jigen-Ryu was "introduced" to Okinawa--we only know that 2 people may have trained in it--and one of them was supposed to have done so in Japan proper--not Okinawa.

Also don't understand how the Tategi-Uchi is "more similar" the only Jigen Ryu hitting target I have ever seen looks nothing like an okinawan makiwara.

Again, my information on Jigen Ryu is VERY limited--so its VERY possible that I am simply ignorant.

Perhaos you could expand on how exactly the Tategi-Uchi is more like a makiwara than other things?

Just for the sake of clearity, I have no interest in "proveing" that the makiwara either is or is not derived from Jigen Ryu.
It would be cool if it was.

Just enjoying the discussion


Chris Thomas

desparoz
3rd February 2006, 01:11
I am enjoying this discussion very much, as I have for many years been interested in the **possible** connection between Jigenryu and Okinawan karate. I attended the 5th International Seminar of Budo Culture in Japan in 1993, and listened to the presentation from, and met, the current headmaster of Jigenryu. Previous to that, Patrick McCarthy sensei had encouraged me to look into the Jigenryu connection in relation to research I was doing on the history of karate.

I would love to see some real proof of a connection.


Jigen-Ryu has been introduced to Ryukyu between 1700 and 1750. And those Okinawans who practised it surely trained the Tategi-Uchi of Jigen-Ryu and probably concluded that it would be a good idea to try the same method for their empty handed techniques. If you have a document or a picture or an other source that shows that makiwara were in use before the introduction of Jigen-Ryu, please let me know.



This logic isn't logical. You're saying that unless someone can prove that the makiwara definitely existed before someone else MIGHT have introduced a vaguely related training methodology, then thats definite proof.

But you don't have any proof of an actual influence, that I can see, except for verbal anecdotes.

To be honest, my experience with various Japanese (and western) individuals is that history can be changed to suit the politically correct story. I am not suggesting the following is the case, but it wouldn't surprise me that the story from Jigenryu you mentioned has recently been introduced.

There is no evidence to suggest that Jigenryu was ever introduced to Okinawa, as such. Certainly there would've been practitioners, and maybe a handful of trusted Okinawans may have been exposed to it. It is reasonably believed that Matsumura and Azato may have had such exposure.

Thinking about it, its MUCH more likely that Jigenryu practitioners may have obseved some Okinawans practicing te. And may they made the leap that such practice could be extended to sword practice. You never know.

This is just a thought that came to me as I've been writing this, and I acknowledge that theres no actual evidence to suggest it. But theres enough circumstantial stuff to at least consider it as a hypothesis.

Now if it were the case, I reckon that the official Jigenryu history is unlikely to mention it this way. They would never acknowledge that they acquired something of value from a rustic artform from a backwater....

Worth thinking about, as a hypothesis.



One can also assume that Chinese methodes led to the practice of the makiwara, but the Tategi-Uchi is more than similiar. By the way, while I am thinkig that it is logic, this idea is not mine, it came from R. Fujiwara 2 decades ago.

The direct connection from the Chinese empty hand arts to the Okinawan ones us undeniable. Surely their training methods came with them.

So without actual evidence, the hypothesis of a Chinese influence to the development of the makiwara is stronger, IMHO.

Cheers

Des

ZealUK
3rd February 2006, 10:01
Thinking about it, its MUCH more likely that Jigenryu practitioners may have obseved some Okinawans practicing te. And may they made the leap that such practice could be extended to sword practice. You never know.

This is just a thought that came to me as I've been writing this, and I acknowledge that theres no actual evidence to suggest it. But theres enough circumstantial stuff to at least consider it as a hypothesis.

Now if it were the case, I reckon that the official Jigenryu history is unlikely to mention it this way. They would never acknowledge that they acquired something of value from a rustic artform from a backwater....


Togo Chuui (1561-1643), the founder of Jigen Ryu, returned to Satsuma from Kyoto after studying under the monk Zenkichi. Chuui practiced alone by striking trees repeatedly for approximately 3 years. By 1604 he had engaged and defeated a Taisha Ryu instructor to be appointed instructor for the Satsuma domain. Thus to me it would make sense that the Tategi was either an invention of Togo Chuui or Zenkichi.

There is also a remote possibility that he saw striking targets from another art and introduced them. I simply don't know if he visited Okinawa. Since it was not under the control of Satsuma at this time I would imagine it is unlikely.

Whatever the origin it is certain to me that there is some degree of cross pollination between Okinawan traditions and those of Satsuma domain.

Patrick McCarthy
5th February 2006, 13:30
Hi Des san,

In volume 8 of NIHON BUDO TAIKEI, in the chapter on karate history, there is a provocative passage [p5]) which describes how Jigen Ryu founder Togo Bizen no Kami Chui (1563-1643) was instructed to teach the principles of self-defence to farmers, artisans, merchants and peasants so that they might take up the front lines in the event of an incursion and refers to Hideyoshi's campaign in Korea and that of Sekigahara.

Effectively disguised in a local folk dance the tradition became known as Jigen Ryu Bo Odori. It incorporates a jo against the sword, a 6' bo against the spear along with separate disciplines employing a boat oar, the sickle, `shakuhachi' flute and other cudgels of various lengths.

With the Satsuma occupying the Ryukyu Kingdom for nearly three centuries (from 1609-1879) it is believed Ryukyuan officials had the opportunity to study the Jigen tradition. However, there exists little historical information surrounding what affect Jigen ryu had upon the Okinawan civil fighting traditions. Two such Okinawan's who did learn these skills were Koura Tsuken (1776-1882) and Matsumura Sokon [1809-1998]. The later had received a Jigen menkyo from Ishuin Yashichiroh.

Some years ago, I spoke with the 11th generation head master of Jigen Ryu, Togo Shigemasa, after his lecture at the Budo University, about the little-known connection between the Karate/Kobudo of Okinawa and Jigen Ryu. He said that "there can be no question that Jigen Ryu is connected to Okinawa's domestic fighting traditions, however, which influenced which, remains unknown!

Food for Thought:
Nearly a hundred years before the private ownership and stockpiling of swords and other weapons of war was ever contemplated on Japan's mainland, Sho-Shin-O, during the 30th year of his reign, ratified the act in the Ryukyu Kingdom. One hundred and fifty years before Tokugawa Ieyasu (Japan's first Shogun) ever compelled his own Daimyo (feudal lords) to come to Edo [Tokyo], Sho-Shin-O commanded his Aji (district chieftains) to withdraw from their fortresses and reside at his side in the castle district of Shuri, hence strengthening his control over them. Finally, a century before the Edo-Kasatsu (policemen of the Tokugawa Period 1603-1868) ever established the civil restraint practice of using the rokushaku-bo (six foot cudgel) and the jutte (iron truncheon), the Ryukyu Pechin Keimochi already cultivated their own indistinguishable method of self-defence employing nothing more than domestic implements used in everyday life.

BTW, best of luck with the Podcast.

Gibukai
6th February 2006, 09:54
Hello,

there were certainly not only two Okinawan adepts of Jigen-Ryu. There is a 1914 article edited by G. Funakoshi, which mentions the person responsible for introducing Jigen-Ryu to Ryukyu and names two of his students. This was long before the life of S. Matsumura.

I hope there will be an English version of the above mentioned German article which discusses exactly this subjects in little more detail than I am able to do here in the forum.

Regards,

Henning Wittwer

Patrick McCarthy
6th February 2006, 11:44
Dear friend,

Agreed, but Onaka-no-Nanpubara Oyakata and his student, Uchi-Aji, are not well remembered personalities in the same way that the Bujin Matsumura Sokon and Tsuken Koura are.

I am posting an excerp from the 1914 article [translated from Japanese to English by my wife and I and included in a compilation we published some years ago entitled "Tanpenshu" see here for more:

http://koryu-uchinadi.com/Funakoshi%20Short%20Stories.htm

-------------------------------
Regarded as a martial arts master, Onaka-no-Nanpubara Oyakata (Onaka is now where the present Kokoda residence stands) was the person believed to have established the practice of Jigen-ryu in Okinawa. One day Morishima-Oyakata (the father of Ginowan Choho), was watching one of Nanpubara’s students named Uchi-Aji train.

In a rather condescending tone, Morishima said something like, “Hey, even if you achieve a proficient level, of what use is that?” Well, it wasn’t long thereafter that Nanpubara sensei heard about this incident. If Morishima had insulted their ways, then sensei felt it important that he publicly defend their honor. Dressing up in his formal attire he arranged to meet the two men in the big hall of Koroku Udon. Facing each other, Nanpubara handed each of the men a live sword, which sent a cold chill of deadly anticipation through excited onlookers. In the end, it was Morishima-Oyakata who apologized to Uchi-Aji for his rude comments. I heard that Morishima joined Uchi the next day to begin studying directly under Nampubara sensei. People long ago understood & respected this kind law.

Since that time there were several Bushi who became quite well known. Let me list them as I remember them. 1. Akata-no-Okuda, 2. Yamakawa-no-Matsugen (living where Ohachimine once resided), 3. Sadoyama-Oyakata Aza Tanmei, & his brothers 4. Meiguwa-Matsumura Pechin, & 5. Matsumura-Tozo-no-Omura, 6 Akahira-no-Ishimine, 7. Gibo-no-Ishimine, 8. Kanagusuku (Kinjo), 9. Tokumine Nakijin-Guwa, 10. Kanagusuku-no-Ota, 11. Hokama Pechin, 12. Tomigusuku (Tomishiro) Oyakata, 13. Kubagawa-no-Ogusuku, 14. Oyadomari, 15. Nakasone Urasaki, 16. Torikobori-no-Tekken (iron-fist) Kanagusuku, 17. Tawada, 18. Onaka-no-Kanna, 19. Tomiyama-mawashi-no-Uehara Ko-Guwa, 20. Uchishiraji-No-Yabiku-Guwa Soishi, 21. Izumisaki-no-Sakiyama, (Uchishiraji Magyokubashi) 22. Gushi Pechin (teacher of Tomigusuku (Tomishiro) Oyakata), 23. Uezato, 24. Awaren, 25. Miyazato-Guwa, 26. Higashi-no-uemon-dono no Shimabukuro, 27. Kunen Boya-no-Higa, 28. Kuwae-Guwa, 29. Nishi-no-Nagahama, 30. Kume-no-Kojo-Guwa, 31. Maezato, 32. Tomari no Gusukuma & 33. Kanagusuku, 34. Yamazato, 35. Nakazato, 36. Iha, 37. Oyadomari, 38. Matsumora, 39. Maekawa, 40. Yamada, 41. Chinenshikiyanaka, 41. Tsuken Hanta-Guwa, 42. Kohazo Miyahaira and 43. Sashiki no Yabikunushi (the lord of manor) etc. In addition to these well-known Bujutsu-ka, Shokei-O and Shoko-O were among the bravest Kings to rule our land.

Tekken (Iron fist) Miyagusuku (Miyagi) was an attendant of King Shokei and Matsumura Pechin worked for King Shoko. One day, while speaking to Koja Aji (grandfather of the present Misato Aji) King Shoko asked if he knew anyone who might be equal to Kamejia (Kamejia was Matsumura's childhood name and one which the king favoured calling him)? Without delay, Koja-Aji responded by saying that he didn’t think that his skills were much different than that of Matsumura. However, and quite respectfully he maintained, in the end it would be the most loyal person that would win. Impressed with his response, the king praised Koja Aji. Mabuji Aji and Koroku Aji were also well known Bushi from aristocracy during that era.

Among those still active right now are, Itosu Pechin (Karate teacher at the Shihan-Chugakko), Nishi (West) no Higaonnna-Guwa (Karate teacher at the Marine & Commercial School), Higashi (East) no Higaonna, Wakita no Ajama no Shimabukuro, Kumoji-no-Arakaki-Guwa, Tomari no Azato no Yamada, Onaka no Kiyuna Tomiyama, Momohara no Higashikazahira Oyakata, Torikobori no Kuwae, Kanagusuku (Kinjo) no Yamaguchi (his penname & presently resides in Kakihana), Yamane no Chinen (presently residing in Kakihana), Yabu (Martial Arts teacher at Shihan Ko) and Hanashiro (Martial Arts teacher at the 1st Secondary School). Because Yabu and Hanashiro are the first to systematize their study in an academic setting they will most likely become the future authorities of the karate world.

Andrew S
20th February 2006, 14:24
I recently purchased a book on Karate kata, and the author, Royama, claims that Jigen Ryu gave karate a harder training approach and also influenced the breathing methods used. He also seems to imply that the makiwara was also a product of Jigen Ryu influence, although I would take this last point with a grain of salt (mainland Japanese superiority vis. Ryukyu Kingdom).
I've lent the book to my instructor, but once I get it back I'll try to translate the relevant passages.

CEB
20th February 2006, 14:43
....
One source even suggests (with argueable logic) that many of the weapons and uses of "karate" weapons--such as kama, boat oar etc can be traced back to the weapons and techniques developed by a Jigen Ryu teacher of the Satsuma.
The story goes that the teacher (I don't remember his name) was tasked with developing some basic weapons skills for use by the fishermen, farmers, artisians and merchents of the Satsuma lands.
A kind of "home guard" if you will, that was trained to use items that they worked with as weapons.

....

Yes, the peasants were trained via odori, a dance format. Supposedly this was a origin source for Sakugawa no Kun. Also we do a bo kata simply called KoBo. A teacher told me that KoBo and not Sakugawa is the oldest bo form I run. I was told it comes from a 17th century naganata exercise. When looked upon in that light it certainly changes the feel of the form, especially the 270 degree 'cutting' sequences.

Is any of this really true? I don't know but it makes sense when you look at some of the movements and what little history we can verify.