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Thread: Itto ryu kenjutsu

  1. #1
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    hello list,

    i have recently become interested in the lineage of the various branches of the Itto-ryu during the Bakumatsu era and Meiji era. the famous kendo master Tesshu Yamaoka, seems to be smack dab in the middle of it all. from the book "The Sword of No-Sword" by John Stevens it seems Yamoaka first learned the Shinkage ryu of sword, as a boy (this doesn't have much bearing on my interest). after his family moved, he learned Ono-ha-Itto-ryu from Kiyotora Inoue . from there he moved to Tokyo and trained in the Kobukan, where i would assume he learned Jikishinkage-ryu. he then learned Nakanishi-ha-Itto-ryu from Yoshiaki Asari. in the book now, this is where it gets me confused/interested. it seems that Asari made Yamaoka, the 13th headmaster of the Nakanishi-ha-Itto-ryu. just a short time after that, he was designated as the 10th headmaster of the Ono-ha-Itto-ryu. because of both of these events, he created his own system he called Itto-Shoden-Muto-ryu, just prior to his mastery of Ono-ha, he simply called it Muto-ryu. what has me scrathing my head, is if Yamaoka was the head master of each of these schools, and he created his own school (i am assuming he taught only Muto-ryu) how is it that these schools, and their soke-ship, got passed on?!? the Muto-ryu it seems was passed on by one of his two menkyo-kaidens, but there is no mention of any of the other two schools. did he later resign from these schools, and give them to other students of these styles? i am assuming this Ono-ha and that of Takemi Sasamori are one in the same.

    as a related side note, it seems Toma Shibuya was the Ono-ha-Itto-ryu teacher of Sokaku Takeda. does anyone know if he is at all related to Tesshu Yamaoka? they would have been contemporaries, as Yamoaka didn't die until 1888, and Shibuya began training Takeda in 1870. could they both have been students of the (unknown to me) 9th headmaster of the art? i know that Daito-ryu practices a form of Ono-ha-Itto-ryu that is supposed to be slightly different then that of Mr. Sasamori's group. are there other branches of Ono-ha-Itto-ryu? i hope this isn't as complex as the whole Muso-Jikiden-Eishin-ryu situation .

    gambatte!!!
    Christopher Covington

    Daito-ryu aikijujutsu
    Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage-ryu heiho

    All views expressed here are my own and don't necessarily represent the views of the arts I practice, the teachers and people I train with or any dojo I train in.

  2. #2
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    I'd like to add to Chris' questions.

    What about Mizoguchi-ha Itto-ryu? It's often said that Sokaku's teacher Tanomo Saigo (Hoshina) was a practitioner of Mizoguchi-ha Itto-ryu? Is this true? Can anyone verify this?

    Also if my memory serves correctly (I can't find it right now), in Yoshinori Kono's fascinating article on Dengoro Kurokochi in Aikido Journal, I think he mentions that Kurokochi also practiced Mizoguchi-ha (something) ryu iaijutsu. Does anyone know or can anyone point me in a direction to find out more about Mizoguchi-ha, it's lineage, or it's technical characteristics, as perhaps compared to Onoha Itto-ryu? Sokaku was adopted into the Kurokochi home (his uncle's) for a time when he was younger and supposedly received a license from him in Takada-ha Hozoin-ryu sojutsu.

    Lastly a technical question: Onoha Itto-ryu is supposed to have five iai kata, are these the same as Hokushin Itto-ryu's five iai kata? Does Onoha Itto-ryu (or any of the other branches), have any more extensive or different iai kata?

    I realize these may be rather obscure questions, but I figure somebody out there has got to know more than I do. Are there any Itto-ryu practitioners lurking out there?

    Respectfully,

    Brently Keen

  3. #3
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    Chris & Brently,

    Here's what I can tell you, based on my limited knowledge.

    The Mizoguchi-ha and the Ono-ha basically represent two lineages. Ittosai's famous successor, Tadaaki died in 1628. Upon his death, the mainline split. Tadaaki's younger brother Tadanari received the Kamewari-ken and densho. His lineage was known as either the Ito-ha orthe Chuya-ha (this is considered the mainline and Tadanari, the yondai).

    Tadaaki's son, Tadatsune inherited his father's estate, etc. and his lineage is the famous Ono-ha. As we know, the Ono-ha influenced many of the famous branches. Such as the Kaji-ha, Nakanishi-ha, Tenshin Itto-ryu, Shirai-ryu, Hokushin Itto-ryu, Muto-ryu and who knows how many others.

    Mizoguchi-ha was founded by Mizoguchi Masakatsu in the mid 17th century. He was a student of Tadanari. Kogen Itto-ryu is descended from the Mizoguchi-ha. Both these ryuha had a strong following among the Genji.

    Now, as far as Itto-ryu tachiaibatto. Nothing flashy. Performed bunkai similar to the Tachiuchi no Kurai of Eishin-ryu. I'm not certain if the Hokushin Itto-ryu versions are the same as the Ono-ha. However, the fact that the Hokushin Itto-ryu descended from the Ono-ha (actually
    Nakanishi-ha but then known as Ono-ha) makes me wonder.

    See my other post to Chris in the sword forum. First though, I would like to add something concerning Tesshu founding the Muto-ryu, while also being headmaster of both the Ono-ha and Nakanishi-ha. You have to remember that Tesshu named his branch the Itto Shoden... Muto-ryu for a reason. He considered his school, not a branch, but a revival of
    Ittosai's original teachings. Therefore, I doubt he gave too much thought to passing on the other two branches.

    I'd also like to say that much of this information could be faulty. Just something to chew on.

  4. #4
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    hhhmmmm... lots of food for thought here.

    <<<What about Mizoguchi-ha Itto-ryu? It's often said that Sokaku's teacher Tanomo Saigo (Hoshina) was a practitioner of Mizoguchi-ha Itto-ryu? Is this true? Can anyone verify this? >>>

    in Draegers book, Modern Budo and Bujutsu, he mentions in the aikido section on page 138 that a style called Mizuno Shinto-ryu was practiced by the Aizu bushi. perhaps this is the style that Saigo had learned? just an idea.

    <<<Does anyone know or can anyone point me in a direction to find out more about Mizoguchi-ha, it's lineage, or it's technical characteristics, as perhaps compared to Onoha Itto-ryu? >>>

    all i can give you is a reprint of something from Koryu Books.

    Mizoguchi-ha Itto-ryu
    Systems: kenjutsu (odachi, kodachi)
    Date founded: early Edo period (ca. 1630)
    Founded by: Mizoguchi Jingozaemon Masanori
    Present representative/headmaster: official representative is Naganuma ??
    Primarily located in: Fukushima Prefecture

    on their website they also have a nice picture of two men from the ryu.

    <<<He considered his school, not a branch, but a revival of
    Ittosai's original teachings. Therefore, I doubt he gave too much thought to passing on the other two branches. >>>

    interesting thought, about not wanting to pass on either school. i had never considered that. i will throw out a speculation to the contrary for your consideration. it seems Yamoaka was very interested in preserving the past, and old ways. so with that in mind, would he not have passed on the schools, if nothing else as a relic? at any rate he must have, because Sasamori sensei is now soke.

    this is a very large and interesting puzzle.

    gambatte!!!







    Christopher Covington

    Daito-ryu aikijujutsu
    Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage-ryu heiho

    All views expressed here are my own and don't necessarily represent the views of the arts I practice, the teachers and people I train with or any dojo I train in.

  5. #5
    Mokushin Guest

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    Chris,

    <<<interesting thought, about not wanting to pass on either school. i had never considered that. i will throw out a speculation to the contrary for your consideration. it seems
    Yamoaka was very interested in preserving the past, and old ways. so with that in mind, would he not have passed on the schools, if nothing else as a relic? at any rate he must
    have, because Sasamori sensei is now soke.>>>

    I didn't mean to imply that I felt Tesshu threw away both schools. I just feel passing them on wasn't his main
    concern.

    I also don't believe that Tesshu taught his three ryu separately. I might even argue that Tesshu felt he effectively brought the Ono-ha and Nakanishi-ha together within his Itto Shoden Muto-ryu. A telling factor is that upon assuming the position of Ono-ha judai, Tesshu renamed his Muto-ryu, Itto Shoden Muto-ryu. That is, the "Correct Transmission of Ittosai, No Sword School." Why would he do that if he felt his ryu was just a branch of the original? If Tesshu was so concerned about preserving these ryu, why would he, immediately after assuming headmastership of Nakanishi-ha, found the Muto-ryu. Why not simply continue on as 13th headmaster?

    These are some interesting questions but at any rate, there is strong evidence that he extracted both ryu and passed them on separately. It would be like the headmaster of Eishin-ryu (choose which one is politically correct for you) extracting Omori-ryu and passing it on.

    Interesting stuff,

    Ian

  6. #6
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    Hi all,

    A friend of mine just came across a group practicing "Enshin itto-ryu" in Northern California. I've never heard of this branch, and was wondering if anyone else had information on their background?

    Regards,
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

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