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Thread: Koryu Densho (scrolls & transmission documents)

  1. #46
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    Default Re: Densho and publicity..

    Originally posted by fifthchamber
    If scrolls like the two mentioned above were considered to be the 'Okuden' and 'secret principles' of the ryu that they were written for when and why were the scrolls allowed to be made 'public'?
    you'd have to ask someone training in Niten'ichi-ryu (the school of swordsmanship based on Musashi's teachings) to verify my comments, but i'll give you a possible answer.

    while the contents of Go Rin no Sho or Heiho Kadensho reveal a certain amount of important information about Musashi's martial art i don't think we can conclude that the ryu's "secrets" begin and end there. there is only so much to be gleaned from those writings and i think that the "true hiden" would only be available to those who are given permission to train in the ryu. in short, the two documents in question are not, as far as i would understand it, the hiden of the Niten'ichi-ryu.
    Jeff Hamacher
    Those who speak do not know,
    Those who know will not speak ...
    So I guess that means I don't know a thing!

  2. #47
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    Hi all,

    1st ->

    Go rin no sho = Musashi / Niten ichi ryu heiho
    Heiho Kadensho = Yagyu Sekishusai / Yagyu shinkage ryu heiho

    (ie they are not both Musashi's)

    2nd ->

    I think a lot of makimono/densho that were created were done in a manner whereby persons not initiated into the meanings would not understand them. The documentation themselves were simply a catalogue of techniques (maybe a symbolic item too?).

    Thus, though the documents may become public (or were stolen by the next door dojo) they would be, essentially, meaningless. Have you ever looked at the TSKSR Deity and the Sword books? Can you learn TSKSR from them?

    Cheers
    - George

    Edinburgh Kendo Club, Scotland
    http://www.edinburghkendo.co.uk/

  3. #48
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    Thumbs up Yeah...Makes sense.

    Hello all,
    Yes..Both of the points raised above make sense to me..In both Densho the phrase "This is transmitted orally" is used indicating a need for 'correct' instruction from a Sensei of the school who HAS been 'initiated' into the trust of the Shihan/Soke.
    I was just wondering if anyone had information on why the knowledge was allowed out to the public...I (obviously) don't know but it seems fairly certain that neither Yagyu Sekishusai nor Miyamoto Musashi intended to 'publish' their findings beyond their Ryu and I basically was asking whether anyone had knowledge on 'when, why, and who' actually decided to introduce the scrolls to the public... Maybe it requires someone who was alive during the time when the decisions were made!!! (oh well!)
    Thanks for the help so far though.
    Ben Sharples.
    智は知恵、仁は思いやり、勇は勇気と説いています。

  4. #49
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    I have no specific information on the two examples given above, but densho could be "made public" for any number of reasons. Sometimes it has to do with the ryu itself, sometimes it has no connection. One of the simpler reasons I don't see put forth much is the fact that over the course of the history of any given school, quite a few copies of various densho would have been made so you have alot of them floating around. The people these densho were given to eventually pass on and these scrolls just sort of sit around in the family with no real purpose or meaning to them and they might eventually be sold to collectors or given to people who have an interest in them and can make some use of them. This is not too uncommon and really has nothing to do with the ryu itself. It's sort of like going through grandpa's things after he dies. You keep the things that are important to you, but you can't keep everything so the things that don't have much value to you get handed on to someone else who is more interested in them.

    Sometimes there are very good reasons for making these documents available to the public. A good example I can give dates from World War Two. During the chaos of the war, the soke of one school was moving out of the area the school had traditionally be tramismitted in and he donated all the densho he had to a local preservation society in the event that something should happen to him during the war. This unfortunately turned out to be a very insightful move on his part as he relocated to Hiroshima to live with his son soon after and the entire family was killed in the bombing of Hiroshima. Thanks to him being willing to give up his densho to a public organization, these documents are still available for members of the various shihanke of that ryu to go and study.

    Densho become available to the public for many reasons, regardless of the intent of the original authors, much like people's dairies occasionally get published even though that was probably not their original intent. In every case, the reasons for it have to do with the individuals involved so it is hard to say there are any real common reasons for it. It usually is just chance and circumstance. Being what they are, densho tend to pop up occassionally in book collector circles. To the average Japanese densho are little more than old books so if they worry about anything, they would worry about making sure they are well taken care due to thier possible historical value and issues of maintaining the secrecy of the content is more often than not non-issues. Not mention most people can't really read them anyways.

    Not sure if this helps at all but...

    Rennis Buchner

  5. #50
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    Post

    Originally posted by Daigoro
    Go rin no sho = Musashi / Niten ichi ryu heiho
    Heiho Kadensho = Yagyu Sekishusai / Yagyu shinkage ryu heiho

    (ie they are not both Musashi's)
    thanks for the tip, George. i was thinking of Musashi's Heiho Sanjugo Kajo, which i obviously confused with Yagyu's document.
    Jeff Hamacher
    Those who speak do not know,
    Those who know will not speak ...
    So I guess that means I don't know a thing!

  6. #51
    meijin2k Guest

    Default Koryu licensing system(s)?

    After reading about all of these arts that are or are not koryu, I am wondering if anyone can expound on the licensing (menkyo) system that they used.

    I have heard of a license called mokoroku-sho ("written in the first half of the book" I believe it was translated as), mokoroku-go, just plain mokoroku, menkyo, menkyo kaiden, kaiden, etc.

    I know they cannot all be the same, but what are the guidelines to look for?

    Thanks!

    David

  7. #52
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    Cool Grades in Koryu...

    Hi.
    There are individual systems used in each Ryuha unfortunately. Each one will use a variation on a theme and often use completely different names for the certification..
    As an idea of what I mean here is a list from the 'Nihon Kobudo Soran' published by the Kobudo Kyokai and listing the Ryuha that they acknowledge as Koryu..

    Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu Kenjutsu: Nyumon, Mokuroku, Menkyo, Menkyo Kaiden.
    Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu: Mokuroku (Go-Dan), Menkyo (Shichi-hachi Dan), Kaiden.
    Shinto Munen Ryu Kenjutsu: Kirigami, Mokuroku, Jun-Menkyo, Menkyo, Kaiden.
    Shinto Muso Ryu Jojutsu: Oku-Irisho (Not too sure on pronounciation of this..), Sho-Mokuroku, Go-Mokuroku, Menkyo.
    Muhi Muteki Ryu Jojutsu: Hanburi, Mokuroku Menkyo, Kaiden.
    Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu: Hiden Mokuroku, Hiden Okugi, Hiogi no Koto, Kaiden no Koto.
    Saburi Ryu Sojutsu: Shoden, Menkyo, Kaiden, Shigoku.
    Kashima Shinto Ryu Kenjutsu: Mokuroku, Inka, Menkyo, Kaiden.
    Hokushin Itto Ryu Kenjutsu: Sho-Mokuroku, Chu-Mokuroku Menkyo, Dai-Mokuroku Kaiden.
    Yagyu Shinkage Ryu Kenjutsu: Omote, Oten (Daiten?), Shoten (Koten?), Tengusho, Tengusho-Oku, Mokuroku, and Inka....

    I am unsure of the correct pronounciation of many of the terms I have just listed but maybe someone here can correct me on them?
    As you can see it is not at all a clear and easy system and depends greatly upon the founder and their own take on the use of grades....(Probably one of the main reasons for the Kyu-Dan system I guess..).
    Many of the listed terms will come up as grades used in other Koryu but there may also be others so it is by no means an easy to follow system.
    There are more listed but that should help maybe...
    Yours.
    Ben Sharples.
    智は知恵、仁は思いやり、勇は勇気と説いています。

  8. #53
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    In the Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Seitokai, there are 10 dan grades and a several intermediate licensing. As I understand it, between 6th and 7th dan comes the rank Renshi, which is kinda like an associate teachers license. Between 7th and 8th is Kyoshi, which is kinda like a full teacher's license. Between 8th and 9th is, and I'm not certain on this one, hanshi, which is a kind of master teacher's rank. Then between 9th and 10th is I think, another license the name of which eludes me at the moment. Renshi is the first teaching license, but is not considered necessary to begin instructing. There are perfectly good instructors in the states that only hold 4th dan ranks. Usually they should have higher ranks, but do not get to Japan often enough to test when they are eligible.

    Hope this helps.

    Eishin Ryu also uses Menkyo Kaiden and Kongen no Maki, although I have no idea what the criteria are for these, although they are only VERY rarely awarded.
    Charles Mahan

    Iaido - Breaking down bad habits,
    and building new ones.

  9. #54
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    The ranks in MJER Seitokai are 1-6 dan, renshi, 7 dan, kyoshi, 8 dan, jun-hanshi, 9 dan, hanshi, 10 dan. These are not classical menjo however, just teaching ranks inserted into the dan structure.

    I have read posts referring to menkyo kaiden but it may be synonymous with Kongen no Maki. The latter apparently implies complete transmission and is one of three items that validate the soke.
    Jack Bieler

    "The best things can't be told; the second best are misunderstood; the third best are what we talk about." - after Heinrich Zimmer

  10. #55
    meijin2k Guest

    Default

    Thanks all for the replies...it is interesting to see how many of the license titles are repeated amongst the different ryuha.

    A follow up question if I might...is there a correct term to use for a "time in rank" qualification? I saw it once somewhere and should have written it down then.

    Much thanks!

  11. #56
    rrbraxton Guest

    Default Menkyo grading system.

    What about this for a topic:

    Are their any or shall I say older...more traditional ryu ha that may still use the Menkyo Ranking system and would it fit more into the way of "jutsu" vs "do". Is this a system used strickly for the transmission of "densho".
    Was or is this it's structure? Do many Foreigners Have One?
    Shoden
    Chuden
    Okuden/Mokuroku
    Menkyo
    Menkyo Kaiden
    Was this reserved for only Deshi?
    How does all this relate to Renshi, kyoshi, and hanshi?

    Respecfully,

    rrbraxton

  12. #57
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    Wink Oh, some day...............

    One that comes to mind here in the states is John Viol Shihan.
    He holds Menkyu Kaiden in several Ryu if I'm not mistaken.
    He is the Chief instructor of the Sei Shin Kan.

    Link: www.seishinkan.com

    Hope this helps.

    R. Kite
    Budoka 34
    "Study hard and all things can be accomplished; give up and you will amount to nothing".

    -Yamaoka Tesshu

  13. #58
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    O'Sensei Richard Kim, late of the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai, (whether they ackowledge it or not), used to teach in the Menkyo system.

    One of his first students in North America, Sensei Castigliona sought out this training and has brought his Aoinagi Style into its precepts, see http://www.aoinagi.org/.

    It's a facinating journey...
    "Fear, not compassion, restrains the wicked."

  14. #59
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    Hello there rrbraxton

    There have been a few threads in the past on this.

    Your confused? So am I sometimes. I am pleased and proud that my Menkyo Kaiden was awarded by my ryu. My Dan grades are a seperate entity awarded by the association and I gave up the dan grade trail some years ago after experiencing the "Not what you can do, but its also who you know" attitude.

    I don't like to think of Menkyo, etc as a rank. More of as award for lifetimes achievement. I would hardy describe it as of the links says "Legitimate Menkyo Tecnologies" (their mis-spelling not mine lol).

    I think its fair to describe the Dan-i as rank. And Menkyo etc as Shogo.
    Two systems and two paths not to be confused with each other.

    Is it related to Renshi Kyoshi Hanshi? No. If i remember that's another Shogo system that was started by the original Butokukai. Not the newly formed one.

    I know some people are quite fond of linking up for example Nandan Kyoshi,
    Hachidan Hanshi. After all ZNKR does offer both rank and awards? But it sounds a bit silly and a mis-use of words saying 8th Dan Menkyo Kaiden.

    What I like most of all is simply being announced by my name. Then you can get into the area or dojo and show people who you really are regardless of all those bits of paper.

    Hyakutake Colin

    (I'm well Certified)
    Hyakutake Colin

    All the best techniques are taught by survivors.


    http://www.hyoho.com

  15. #60
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    Wink Some.....

    Hi.
    I listed a few of the full ranking orders of various Koryu on this thread
    Menkyo systems..
    ....These Ryuha were listed in a fairly recent book and although there are many others for sure, this list was a good basic start for me....
    Enjoy.
    Ben Sharples.
    智は知恵、仁は思いやり、勇は勇気と説いています。

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