View Full Version : Jikishinkage-ryu naginatajutsu

12th April 2007, 04:30
I have been studying Jikishinkage ryu naginata for 2 years in Seki, Japan. The club focuses mainly on Atarashii Naginata, but I have only been learning the koryu, as that is where my interests lay. I have been trying to delve more deeply into the history on the ryu, but my teacher doesn`t seem to know much about it. I feel like I have read everything available on the internet in English (and some in Japanese). I have Ellis Amdur's book (which is the most detailed history I have been able to find), but I'm wondering if there is anything else out there. The official party line is that the history goes back 450 years to the founder of Kashima Shinden Shinkage Ryu, Matsumoto Bizen no Kami Naokatsu (1467-1524), at the end of the Muromachi era, but I can`t really see any similarities (especially after reading "Old School"). I know there are some very experienced naginataka on this forum (I`ve also searched here pretty extensively, and I think that I`ve read most of the posts that mention Jikishinkage ryu), and I would really appreciate any information they could offer.
Also, in "Old School" Mr. Amdur states that "In the 1860s, Satake Yoshinori, a student of the Jikishin and Yanagi Kage-ryu, developed a new naginata school with his wife, Satake Shigeo. She had studied martial arts since she was six years old and was famous for her strength with the naginata." Does anyone know what school(s) Satake Shigeo studied. I have seen several other naginata schools perform embu, and I have not noticed any glaring similarities to Jikishinkage ryu (but then again, I`m not very experienced).
Thank you in advance for your help!

Bruce Mitchell
13th April 2007, 00:08
Not reading Japanese, I would agree with you that Amdur sensei's book is the best thing in English. Just thought I'd add a quick comment that, according to my teacher, in the early days of atarashi naginata the players would have a strong regional "flavor" to their technique and you could tell who studied Jikishinkage ryu or Tendo ryu by watching their atarashi naginata movement. Much of that has been lost as atarashi naginata continues to be simplified and degenerate from it's roots.

Amdur sensei post here regularly, maybe he can tell us more.

Ellis Amdur
13th April 2007, 01:21
I don't have that much more to add than is in Old School. The most authoritative instructor when I was in Japan was Higashi Sensei in Tokyo. She was about seventy years old in 1980, when I met her. The "proof" of date of origin is if you look up in the Bugei Ryuha DaiJiten (BRDJ) for the date of origin of the "cognate" kusarigama school, this is the 1860 date that should be associated with the origin of the naginata ryu. It's a long time ago, but I believe I got the information regarding the "origins" of the art from the BRDJ, ie., Satake's previous training in Yanagi Kage-ryu and Jikishin Kage-ryu. One real problem is that in 1860, there were probably 100's of naginata schools - now your sampling is so small, it would be hard to find any similarities with the few that remain.
Were I researching this, I would find out Satake's ("Shigeo & Yoshinori) birthplace. As this is Bakumatsu period, there would still be feudal han, and there were records of what ryu were taught in each han. Once you've done that, I'd go to the prefectural library to inquire if they have any historical records regarding the ryu in question. They've often got makimono - in my case, several of the libraries were willing to xerox copies of the densho. Finally, the national library in Tokyo has a registry of who owns makimono (if you choose to submit your name). The book in question was HUGE. I found five people with Araki-ryu makimono who were willing to correspond with me.
I will wager, however, that at the end of all this, you may find that each trained in various ryu, that you may have densho that enumerate the names of kata, but this will probably not further illuminate Jikishin kage-ryu, as this is truly one of those innovative works of genius - a husband and wife developing a new type of naginata practice, adapted to shiai against shinai, and suitable, particularly to the developing and changing role of women in Meiji Japan.


13th April 2007, 04:48
Thank you for your replies! I`ll have to ask my teacher if she used to use Jikishin techniques when doing shiai back in the old days. I`ll also ask her some more specifics about the Satakes, especially where they were from. It'll be a while before I can get out to the Tokyo Library, but maybe I can get some more info to work with when I do get the chance.
Again, thank you for your thoughts and suggestions!

Bruce Mitchell
13th April 2007, 16:27
When visiting Japan in 2000 I had the pleasure of watching Toyo Akiko demonstrate. I had gone with my treacher to watch a senior women's tournament and she was one of the special guest.

I have heard that the current headmaster (sorry but his name escapes me) has really brought a lot of life and vigor into the practice. He impressed several of the senior Tendo Ryu teachers at one of the demos a few years ago.

17th April 2007, 03:28
The current (18th) head of the school's name is Sonobe Masami. I believe he's the grandson of Sonobe Hideo (but don't quote me on that). Before he became soke he was not the highest ranked member of the ryu, but I guess he was either very good (like you say) or that the powers that be wanted to make the soke a Sonobe again (the 15th and 16th sokes were Sonobe), or both.
I haven`t heard much about him, and unfortunately I have only seen him do the tachi part of the kata. I`m hoping to one day make it to the honbu and experience his technique first hand.

Nathan Scott
25th April 2007, 00:59
The official party line is that the history goes back 450 years to the founder of Kashima Shinden Shinkage Ryu, Matsumoto Bizen no Kami Naokatsu (1467-1524)

For the sake of those reading, I believe the author intended to write "Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage-ryu", a famous sword art. This school is quite different from Shinkage-ryu.


25th April 2007, 04:06
Mr. Scott,

I don`t mean to be argumentative, but on all the sources that I have seen, Jikishinkage (直心影) Ryu's history is traced back to "Kashima Shinden Shinkage (鹿島神伝神影) Ryu" . I believe that the "Jikishin" (直心) part was added by the 7th Soke, Yamada Heizaemon Mitsunori (1638-1718). I`m not saying that those sources are correct, just that that is what is written.
You`re right though, we wouldn`t want people to get the school confused with the Shinkage (新陰) Ryu , which is very different, and not just with regards to the kanji used.
For those who are interested, I have gotten a few good leads on the history of the school, and will be talking with my teacher about them in the next few weeks. I may have something interesting to post after that time.

25th April 2007, 04:31
we wouldn`t want people to get the school confused with the Shinkage (新陰) Ryu , which is very different, and not just with regards to the kanji used.

Well, that's true, but both Yagyu Shinkage Ryu and Jikishinkage Ryu trace their lines back to Kamiizumi, and the seventh headmaster of Jikishinkage, Yamada Heizaemon Mitsunori, was a longtime student of the Yagyu Shinkage Ryu (see Friday's Legacies of the Sword for more details). So while the two schools might be very different, I wouldn't be surprised if they had a few things in common, too.

4th October 2009, 14:45
Hi all,

I ran across 3 or 4 videos of Jikishinkage ryu naginatajutsu.
So does anyone know how many Kata they have?

Martin Lasser

k sato
12th November 2009, 06:24
The naginata/bokken kata curriculum totals 25.


Kent Sato