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Thread: Itto shoden Muto ryu kenpo

  1. #1


    It's me again!
    Another makimono that I got was entitled kenpo meiden no maki. The name of the school is Itto shoden Muto Ryu kenpo (sword that is). It lists a relationship to Yamaoka Tesshu and the drawings and descriptions look very much like kendo. Can anyone enlighten me on this a little further on this ryu and its development? Thanks once again.
    Todd Schweinhart
    Louisville Kentucky

  2. #2
    Yamantaka Guest


    Not much information I could access...Sorry!
    It's listed in the Bugei ryuha Daijiten, as a kenjutsu art and so it seems it's a "bona fide" MA, but that's all I could get. I found nothing about the other art.
    Perhaps some of this list's experts as Peter Boylan can help you.
    Best regards and best keiko

  3. #3
    Mokushin Guest


    Itto Shoden Muto-ryu was founded by Yamaoka Tesshu in the late Edo period. Tesshu was the headmaster of both the Nakanishi-ha Itto-ryu and the Ono-ha Itto-ryu. Tesshu was also one of the greatest swordsmen of the Tokugawa era. He had a direct hand in the transition between the shogunate and the new Meiji government. John Stevens has a book out about the life of Tesshu and Muto-ryu, "The sword Of No Sword." You can get it at any large book store. Also, check out the Ono-ha Itto-ryu thread in this forum.

    Where exactly did you obtain this makimono? I'm sure a lot of people would like to know more about its contents.

  4. #4


    Thanks for the input guys. I will try to find the John Stevens book for some additional info. I have a couple copies of the Daijiten and have thumbed through them already but didn't find much on these two ryu.
    I got them from a guy that I know in Japan. He has helped me attain a myriad of densho and makimono for various bujutsu ryu.
    As I said, the description and drawings sound very similar to kendo based kenjutsu. There are some interesting points but I am surprized that it is a kendo based ryu.
    Thanks again!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Tokyo, Japan
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    Hi Todd,

    There is a teacher of the school here in Kanazawa that teaches at the Kenritsu Budokan. FYI.

    Daniel Lee

  6. #6
    Mokushin Guest



    "There are some interesting points but I am surprized that it is a kendo based ryu."

    Actually, you have it the other way around. Muto-ryu is a branch of the Itto-ryu. Kendo flowed from the Itto-ryu (primarily the Ono-ha). Just about all of what we see today in modern Kendo is from the Itto-ryu.

    Most ryuha in the Tokugawa era practiced some form of "uchiaigeiko," which is a term for classical kendo with bogu and shinai. Nakanishi Chuta improved on earlier shinai and bogu designs to come up with what we have today. Eventually uchiaigeiko evolved into a separate budo form (kendo). Typically, Itto-ryu kenshi are closly associated with modern Kendo.

    Hope that helps,

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Likes (received)

    Default couldn't find much either, but

    - One school in Tokyo.
    -6th generation head master Murakami Yasumasa.
    -Last listing only fifteen recognized masters.
    -Strong ties to the Tesshu institute of higher thought? Ya got me, all I could find was a name.
    -Not many participants on the tournament scene, but I read a rumor " A RUMOR" that in 1975, some other kendo school or gang tried to burn their school down, to not much success. The following week or weekend three of fifteen masters showed up at a local tournament, started a free for all and defeated five other schools telling everyone to just leave them alone. Whether this true or not it's kinda cool.

    Shaun Lieb
    Shaun Lieb

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Colo Spgs, CO USA
    Likes (received)



    The rumour, if true still sounds exagerated - but 1975 is not too far in the past, can anyone shed more light on this story? What might've really happened?

    Brently Keen

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    St Albans, UK
    Likes (received)

    Default Itto Shoden Muto-ryu

    See the article in the link above by Meik Skoss, re: Itto ryu. Itto Shoden Muto-ryu is covered in there briefly as well.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Likes (received)


    Murakami-san lives up here in Kanazawa. He handed off the shihanke-ship to someone down in Yokohama a few years back. I haven't heard much from the school since. I know that there have only ever been a handful--as in less than the previously mentioned 15--of menkyo kaiden earned since the school's inception. I heard from a friend down in Yokohama that there are only a half dozen or so folks that train down at the Yokohama branch, and that they are all old and very high level.

    There is a library up here in Kanazawa that Murakami-san donated all his books and scrolls to when he called it quits. He directed me there when I was inquiring into the ryuha. Stevens' book about Tesshu might shed some light on Muto-ryu, but gives nothing up-to-date. You may even be able to contact him personally if you want to get more info, Murakami-san also directed me to him. If I'm not mistaken, Daniel Lee mentioned some HIDEN magazine articles or contact info for the crew down in Yokohama. Contact him and see if he remembers the issue...

    Good luck.
    Matthew Snowden
    -The only way to learn is be aware and hold on tight.

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