View Full Version : Toda-ryu Naginatajutsu (Toda-ryu Naginata Taii)

Nathan Scott
27th November 2006, 22:38
The following is re-posted courtesy of Ellis Amdur, who posted it to an Aikido Journal Blog reply some time ago with the disclaimer "Just as a point of interest, these are portions of a school of naginata, long extinct, so I am not revealing any secrets". He informed me in email that the "sections omitted" were not omitted by himself, but rather were simply not available for translation.

The image included in the middle of both versions is my interpretation of the translated description of an illustration in the densho (see * below), and I have also corrected a few obvious mis-spellings, typos, and re-formatted the info into original and translated sections to make it easier to follow. Other than noted above, the following was originally translated by a friend of Ellis', Kevin Tsai, who is a Chinese language scholar.


天, 地, 人, 三才之中氣。


天有四時,地有四方,人如有四肢指節;因氣之清濁,而雖有聖賢愚不肖,以十字之徳而直之。只此心常備而術無不成也。蓋至其味深切則,其心無過無不及能。剛柔弱強,經此四之物而亦無跡更浩然,以為生生循環不息之運用 此高天正氣也,皆是有十體不可以其近忽之。









Essential Principles of Toda-ry Naginata[jutsu]

Heaven (ten), Earth (chi), Man (jin): the ki of these three natural treasures.

An ancient maxim says: For its roundness head takes after Heaven, for its squareness feet belong to Earth. Front to the south, back to the north, east on the left and west on the right this is indeed a gentlemans position.

Heaven has four seasons, Earth has four directions, just as Man, who has four limbs and finger joints. They turn pure or dirty through ki. Although there may be sages, wise men, fools, and wicked men, one may turn them upright with the potency of this jji (this is the ten character incantation of Mikkyo). When one is fortified with this mind (kokoro), there is no skill (jitsu) that he cannot perfect. Likewise, when one has drunk [of this mind] profoundly, there is no adversity his mind cannot overcome. Rigidity (g), pliancy (j), weakness (jaku), strength (kyo) after the mind has experienced these four things it becomes traceless and even more expansive. Those which employ this orthodox ki of high Heaven through the device of [lifes] continuous, imperishable cycle, all have ten bodies. One must not overlook them on account of their proximity.




To the right [of the page, i.e., the various graphs] is the enumerated essence of Heaven, Earth, and Man, as well as original body of this tradition (ry). Let this all be taught orally. Even so there will be many years before one may become proficient through practice.

Yamada Tokusabur
March, 1865 (Kei 2)

Sat Harumi

* The description of this illustration as posted in the translation is as follows:

"The following three items annotate a circle. At the top of the circle is 天, Heaven, at the bottom 地, Earth. From Earth to Heaven is an arrow, in the middle of which is written 太極, The Great Ultimate, 人, Man. The following was written as a caption to the circle above: 一形萬物始, One form is the beginning of all matter"