Togakure-ryū (戸隠流) is a historical tradition of ninjutsu known as the "School of the Hidden Door", allegedly founded during the Oho period (1161–1162) by Daisuke Nishina (仁科大助) (a.k.a.Daisuke Togakure (戸隠大助)), who learned his original fighting techniques from a Chinese monk named Kain Dōshi. However, the history and early lineage of Togakure-ryū may be impossible to verify due to the antiquity of the time period and its claimed historicity has been disputed by Watatani Kiyoshi, writer for the Bugei Ryūha Daijiten. After Togakure, the title of Sōke (head of school) was recorded by Toda Shinryuken Masamitsu to have been passed down through other practitioners that kept the style secret from the outside world.
Toshitsugu Takamatsu is the recorded 33rd Sōke of this school. According to Bujinkan sources he became well known throughout China and Japan for his martial arts prowess and his knowledge from studying ninjutsu that he then imparted on various Chinese nobles. Takamatsu passed the title of Sōke to Masaaki Hatsumi, the recorded 34th Sōke; it was Hatsumi who largely brought the style to public attention, and subsequently resulted in wide-scale media and public attention given to ninja and ninjutsu in the Western world. Hatsumi recently passed on the school to Takumi Tsutsui.
The style of Togakure-ryū has been described by its practitioners as having less-restrictive training regimens, which encourage individual personal training. One of the main goals of the training is to develop shin shin shingan (English: god's eyes or god's mind) so that they can learn to properly know their opponents and defend themselves.
The Bugei Ryūha Daijiten has claimed that embellishments were made to the history of the Togakure-ryu, changing the age of things to make the school appear older than it is. This was not uncommon in many Japanese lineages.
According to Bujinkan researcher Glenn Morris, Togakure-ryu originated in the Mie Prefecture with its creator, Daisuke Nishina. Morris explains that it was started in 1162, as a way of fighting in the war between the Genji and Heike (Taira) clans. The style itself would go on to be known as the origin of ninjutsu and its various fighting styles. Nishina was a samurai and a member of the Genji clan, which had been staging a revolt against the Heike clan because of their oppression of the Genji people. The revolt, however, was crushed and Nishina fled his home village of Togakure in Shinano Province to save his children.
Hatsumi Masaaki indicates that Nishina then changed his name to Togakure to reflect where he had come from and settled in the forests on the Kii Peninsula in the Iga Province. English: apprentice) called Shima, who would become the third master of the style after Rokosuke.This account claims that it was there that Nishina met Kain Dōshi, a warrior-monk who had been politically exiled from China. From Kain, Togakure learned the fighting styles of China and Tibet and put aside his samurai code ( bushidō ). Hatsumi has stated that Togakure's first successor was his son, Rokosuke, and that Togakure also trained a deshi (
According to Hatsumi, since historical times, the Togakure-ryū style was passed down through the years until mastership was granted to Shinryuken Toda, the 32nd Sōke of Togakure-ryū. He began teaching the style to his grandson, Toshitsugu Takamatsu, since Takamatsu was five in 1893. When he turned 19, Takamatsu was announced as the next successor of the Togakure-ryū style, becoming the 33rd Sōke. After this pronouncement, Takamatsu decided to spend a year meditating in the "mountains between Kyoto and Nara". Upon his return, he set out again, this time to China where he spent time in the courts of nobles as an important adviser because of his extensive knowledge from his ninja training. It is stated by Hatsumi that because of a series of incidents that occurred throughout China, Takamatsu became infamous throughout the region by the age of 25. When he turned 28, he was elected as the "Head of Japanese martial arts in China".
Bujinkan sources indicate that Takamatsu became known throughout China and Japan for his martial-arts abilities and from his ninjutsu knowledge that he imparted to various Chinese nobles. Passing on the title of Sōke to Masaaki Hatsumi (the stated 34th Sōke) it was Hatsumi who took the style public, which has resulted in the high amount of media and public attention on ninjas in the Western world.Masaaki also went on to found the Bujinkan, an international martial arts organization, in Noda, Chiba. The group combines modern Togakure-ryū and the eight other martial-arts styles.
As of 1986, there were 20 dojos for Togakure-ryū in Japan that housed 100 instructors and around 100,000 students. There were also around 50 international dojos teaching Togakure-ryū outside Japan.
As stated by the Bujinkan organization, the lineage in the line of Sōke (grand masters) of Togakure-ryū, beginning with Daisuke Togakure, is as follows:
As a ninjutsu tradition influenced by the samurai martial arts of the Sengoku period, the style of Togakure-ryū consists of a small number of physical escape and evasion techniques, called ninpo taijutsu, and a series of sword attack patterns, or biken kata. However, the majority of the art involves techniques of geography, meteorology, swimming, signaling, potion-making, fire-starting, concentration, disguise, impersonation, and other forms of knowledge suited for the unique information-gathering and infiltration roles of ninja.
Togakure-ryū's ninpo taijutsu is described as being "fundamentally different" from other styles of Japanese martial arts that are currently taught. This is largely because, unlike these other styles, Togakure-ryū does not have a "tightly regimated [sic] organizational structure." The Bujinkan teaches that while Togakure-ryū contains some "historical kata", which are similar to the training in judo and aikido in that they require an opponent to attack and initiate the movements.Much of the "formality" that other styles contain is not present in modern Togakure-ryū. Stephen K. Hayes explained that it is likely this "freer, more flexible structure" that makes it different, as the style has an atmosphere where "questions are encouraged, but there isn't one part answer for every question."
Modern Togakure-ryū resembles other martial-arts in the "footwork and dynamics" that all styles utilize because of the nature of human movement. Hayes stated that a main goal of the style is shin shin shin gan (English: god's eyes, god's mind), which refers to the "development of a broad vision or knowledge" to anticipate the moves that an opponent will make and to also be able to sense danger.
The Bujinkan organization teaches that the original Togakure-ryū utilized many special weapons. One was the shuko, which is a "spiked iron band worn around the hand". It enabled the wearer to use it as a defense against sword attacks and also to reach higher terrain, as it could be used to climb trees or walls, especially when worn with similar devices for the feet called ashiko. Additionally, the tetsubishi (a type of caltrop) was a "small spiked weapon used to slow pursuers or protect doorways".The third was the kyoketsu-shoge , a blade from a double-bladed spear that was tied to a length of rope with an iron ring at the other end for the wielder to hold. In addition to use as a weapon, it could be used to "wedge open a door, climb into a tree or over a wall, or tie up an opponent".
There are 18 training areas that modern Togakure-ryū focuses on. The areas are constantly updated to remain relevant to modern threats that practitioners will need to face.The Togakure ryu Ninjutsu Hidensho is a Japanese manuscript written by Takamatsu, in the possession of Masaaki Hatsumi, that documents modern Togakure-ryū. The document is purported to contain the origin of the "18 Skills of Ninjutsu". Modern Togakure-ryu is taught in the syllabi of the Bujinkan, Genbukan, Jinenkan, Gi Yu Kyo Kai, and To-Shin Do.
The training areas include:
Modern Togakure-ryu and various historical claims are taught by Masaaki Hatsumi (Takamatsu's successor) and the Bujinkan organization. Criticism regarding the historical accuracy of the Bujinkan's claims of lineage have arisen from several issues of the Bugei Ryūha Daijiten:
Ninjutsu (忍術), sometimes used interchangeably with the modern term ninpō (忍法), is the martial art strategy and tactics of unconventional warfare, guerrilla warfare, insurgency tactics and espionage purportedly practised by the ninja. Ninjutsu was a separate discipline in some traditional Japanese schools, which integrated study of more conventional martial arts (taijutsu) along with shurikenjutsu, kenjutsu, sōjutsu, bōjutsu and others.
The Bujinkan is an international martial arts organization based in Japan and headed by Masaaki Hatsumi. The combat system taught by this organization comprises nine separate ryūha, or schools, which are collectively referred to as Bujinkan Budō Taijutsu. The Bujinkan is most commonly associated with ninjutsu. However, Masaaki Hatsumi uses the term Budo as he says the ryūha are descended from historical samurai schools that teach samurai martial tactics and ninjutsu schools that teach ninja tactics.
Masaaki Hatsumi, formerly Yoshiaki Hatsumi, is the founder of the Bujinkan Organization and is the former Togakure-ryū soke (grandmaster). He no longer teaches, but currently resides in Noda, Chiba, Japan.
Kukishin-ryū (九鬼神流), originally "Nine Gods Divine School" is a Japanese martial art allegedly founded in the 14th century CE by Kuki Yakushimaru Ryūshin. It is a sōgō bujutsu, meaning that it teaches several different weapons/arts such as taijutsu, bōjutsu, naginatajutsu, kenpō, hanbōjutsu, sōjutsu and heiho. Kukishin-ryū and its founder are listed in the Bugei Ryūha Daijiten or "The Encyclopedia of Martial Art Schools", a record of modern (gendai) and old lineage (koryū) Japanese martial schools.
The ninjatō (忍者刀), ninjaken (忍者剣), or shinobigatana (忍刀), are the preferred weapon that the shinobi of feudal Japan carried, usually carried on the person's back, specifically horizontally at a height of around that of the person's waist. It is portrayed by modern ninjutsu practitioners as the weapon of the ninja, and is prominently featured in popular culture. Replicas of this sword are displayed at the Ninja Museum of Igaryu, established in the mid-1960s., at the Koka Ninja Village Museum in Kōka, Shiga, and at the Gifu Castle Archives Museum in Gifu, Gifu Prefecture, Japan
Stephen K. Hayes is an American martial artist and writer.
Suijutsu (水術) or suieijutsu (水泳術) is the Japanese martial art of combative swimming.The Literal translation of the term from Japanese is "water skills".
Kōga-ryū is an umbrella term for a set of traditions of ninjutsu that originated from the region of Kōga. The samurai of Kōga-ryū were known as "Kōga-no-mono", and operated as shinobi throughout Japan's turbulent Sengoku period.
Toshitsugu Takamatsu was a Japanese martial artist and teacher of Bujinkan founder Masaaki Hatsumi. He has been called "The Last Shinobi" by Bujinkan instructor Wolfgang Ettig.
William Paul Durbin Jr. is a martial artist and Baptist minister, known for founding Kiyojute Ryu Kempo Bugei, meaning "spiritually positive gentle person system of martial arts", a form of Kempo, in 1982. It is a Gendai Budō martial art in the James Mitose lineage intended to provide for all aspects of self-defense. The Hombu Dojo, or headquarters, is located in Frankfort, Kentucky.
Sōsuishi-ryū (双水執流) is a traditional Japanese martial art founded in 1650 that focuses on Kumi Uchi (jujutsu) and Koshi no Mawari. The title of the school also appears in ancient densho as Sōsuishi-ryū Kumi Uchi Koshi No Mawari(双水執流組討腰之廻) and in the book Sekiryūkan No Chōsen, which was approved and published by the Shadanhōjin Sekiryūkan in 2003. In the Bugei Ryūha Daijiten, Sōsuishi-ryū is cross referenced and listed under the entry/title of "Futagami-ryū." It includes a brief categorization, history and description of the school.
Toda Shinryuken Masamitsu (戸田真竜軒正光) (1824–1909) is mentioned in the Bugei Ryuha Daijiten as being the head master of several styles of Japanese martial arts, including:
Modern schools of ninjutsu are schools which offer instruction in martial arts. To a larger or smaller degree, the curriculum is derived from the practice of ninjutsu, the arts of the Shinobi; covert agents of feudal Japan.
To-Shin Do is a martial art founded by Black Belt Hall of Fame instructor Stephen K. Hayes in 1997. It is a modernized version of ninjutsu, and differs from the traditional form taught by Masaaki Hatsumi’s Bujinkan organization. Instruction focuses on threats found in contemporary western society. In addition to hand-to-hand combat skills, students are exposed to: methods for survival in hostile environments, security protection for dignitaries, how to instruct classes and run a school, classical Japanese weapons, meditation mind science, and health restoration yoga. The headquarters school (hombu) is located in Dayton, Ohio, USA.
Seiko Fujita, born Isamu Fujita, was a Japanese martial artist, researcher and author. Regarded as the 14th and final heir to the Kōga-ryū Wada-ha Ninjutsu tradition, he was highly respected by his peers and a core member of Japan's classical martial arts community.
Gyokko-ryū (玉虎流) is a school of Japanese martial arts that specialises in kosshijutsu (骨指術), shitōjutsu (指頭術) and ninjutsu (忍法). Gyokko-ryū was founded by Tozawa Hakuunsai Hogen in the Heian period (794–1192). The sōke title is claimed to be passed down to Tetsuji Ishizuka from Masaaki Hatsumi (1931-) who in turn received it from Toshitsugu Takamatsu (1889-1972).
Kotō-ryū (虎倒流) is a school of Japanese martial arts that specialises in koppōjutsu (骨法術). Kotō-ryū was founded by Sakagami Tarō Kunishige (坂上太郎国重) in the Muromachi period (1392–1573), originating from Gyokko-ryū. The sōke title was claimed to be passed down to Yukio Noguchi from Masaaki Hatsumi (1931-) who received it from Toshitsugu Takamatsu (1889-1972).
Ryōi Shintō-ryū Jūjutsu 良移心当流 柔術, is a traditional school of Jujutsu (柔術), founded in the early 17th century by Fukuno Shichirouemon Masakatsu (福野七郎右衛門正勝).
Bugō are nicknames used in the Japanese martial arts. The word is composed of the symbols 武 and 号. In English, the term is sometimes translated as "martial name" or "warrior name" with similar equivalents in other languages.