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#357486 - 11/14/07 02:03 AM Re: Buying an Iaito [Re: fatguy]
SanjuroSensei Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/17/07
Posts: 12
Loc: East Bay Cali
That is an excellent question.

Simply put, the headmaster Sawada-san died unexpectedly and no one else was formerly recognized to confer the licence as the next head master. I know of one of Shihan's simpai who was Yakuza, but I do not know if he formally teaches. I am also concerned when I return to Japan as to who my next shihan should be.

Anyway, to my understanding, he has reached Okuden (master level) but I will have to confer before stating this as fact. Either way, I do believe he is the highest level in the U.S. and trains several 8th & 9th dan in CA, NV and overseas.

Ossu!
_________________________
Ossu!

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#357487 - 11/14/07 02:40 AM Re: Buying an Iaito [Re: SanjuroSensei]
SanjuroSensei Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/17/07
Posts: 12
Loc: East Bay Cali
Psycho Dave: I noticed your comment for training at Traditional Martial Arts Academy in Tracy, CA under Sensei Albracht. I believe your Sensei was certified by Shihan Nishiuchi, so in effect, you should be studying Toei Ryu Iaido.
_________________________
Ossu!

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#357488 - 11/14/07 09:18 AM Re: Buying an Iaito [Re: SanjuroSensei]
A.J. Bryant Offline
Member

Registered: 02/28/03
Posts: 98
Loc: Indianapolis, IN USA
A split in the ryuha did occur with the 12th generation leading to the Tanimura-ha (Hayashi Masu) and Shimomura-ha (Matsuyoshi Sadasuke), but Eishin-ryu at that time was still an otome-ryu of the Tosa han and was therefore not taught to outsiders. It wasn’t until after Oe Masamichi sensei’s time that the ryu spread outside of Tosa (probably during his headmastership actually) in the early 1900s.

The Kendo master you refer to was likely Nakayama Hakudo who was denied direct instruction by Oe sensei and only allowed to observe and take notes. This was because Hakudo sensei was not from Tosa.

Oe sensei was also the 15th headmaster of the Shimomura-ha, but there were several former students of the previous headmaster (Shimomura Moichi) that didn’t recognize Oe sensei and went their own way. One of these was Hosokawa Yoshimasa, who taught Hakudo sensei the Shimomura-ha... It’s not difficult to read between the lines here as to why Hosokawa might have ended up taking on Hakudo sensei as a student.

So, my question to you would be who was Sawada Tomonobu’s teacher? Also, does your lineage connect back to Oe sensei or someone else?

Second, do you practice any of the paired kumitachi sets of Eishin-ryu, such as the Tachiuchi no Kurai or Tsume-ai no Kurai? If so, how many kata are in your Tachiuchi set?

Third, while I’m admittedly not the most skilled at translating Japanese kanji, I did research the kanji used for “Toei” from your renmei logo. They appear to be “earth” (do, to, or chi) and “splendid”/”English” (ei). The first kanji is the same used for Tosa, but the second (ei) is not an alternate reading of “so” in Tosa to my knowledge. Therefore, is “Toei” a renaming of Eishin-ryu by Mr. Sawada to somehow connect his teachings to Tosa?

Lastly, there are several errors and misconceptions in your layout of how gendai and koryu ranking is/was done, but I honestly don’t have time to comment on that now. I will say this however, while I’m not certain how things were done in Eishin-ryu prior to Oe sensei, I do know that the final license was Kongen no Maki (scroll of origin). The Yamauchi branch continues to award two lesser licenses, they are the Mokuroku (catalog) and the Shousho (certification). This may or may not be the original way Eishin-ryu was transmitted.

If Mr. Nishiuchi’s teacher did things differently and followed a Shoden-Kaiden structure, that would place him at roughly Sandan to Godan, assuming a Shodan-Judan equivalent. Does Mr. Nishiuchi award rank in Iai? If so, how is the system laid out?

So, in case you skimed through this, my questions are:

1. Who was Sawada Tomonobu’s teacher?
2. Does your lineage connect back to Oe sensei or someone else?
3. Do you practice any Tachiuchi no Kurai paired set? If so, how many kata are in it?
4. What is your translation of “Toei” and where/with whom did the name originate?
5. Does Mr. Nishiuchi award rank in Iai?
6. If so, how is the system laid out?

Finally, sorry for the length and I certainly don't mean to be offensive at all (if this post reads that way, I apologize). I think any answers that you could provide to the questions above would help us better understand your art and lineage to Tosa.
_________________________
Andrew Bryant Rishinkan Dojo Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryu Iaido Dentokan Aiki Jujutsu

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#357489 - 11/14/07 09:24 PM Re: Buying an Iaito [Re: A.J. Bryant]
SanjuroSensei Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/17/07
Posts: 12
Loc: East Bay Cali
Mr. Bryant:

First let me say that I am impressed with your knowledge and devotion to our art and it is highly refreshing both spiritually and academically to find others as engaged as yourself as well as others on this site.

1-2. Sawada, Tomonobu succeeded Yamamoto, Haruske who succeeded Masaoko, Kuzumitsu and thus Oe Masamichi Roshu. I hopefully will have a photo of the original Japanese book that details this when I return from LA.

3. Yes, the kumitachi set are the same.

4. To=Tosa (also known as Kochi Japan, the birth place of Iaido), Ei=Eishin Chikaranosuke Hasegawa, the 7th successor who changed the drawn blade position from facing down to facing up which greatly expanded the samurai's initial cut options. As far as which headmaster coined this name to maintain Tosa Iai, I will defer to Shihan. However, I suspect it may have occured during Oe Masamichi or Masaoko, Kuzumitsu to re-iterate the direct lineage from the then controversial off shoots that accepted outsiders.

5. Yes. Originally it was based on a dan/kyu system with 6 kyu level - 6th kyu being the lowest. Shihan is now restructuring the tests to break the material into 10 kyu to help students progress without having to wait 1.5 years for their first test.

The Kendo master was indeed Nakayama Hakudo. It is also a testament to Hakudo's skill to only take notes and faithfully reproduce such great detail.

My information on the original kobudo menkyo can be verified by a book written by Kobudo Grandmaster Fumon, Tanaka (a if not "the" leading authority on the traditional martial arts in Japan) "Samurai Fighting Arts - The Spirit and the Practice". ISBN 4-7700-2898-9 offered by www.kodansha-intl.com for 3500 Yen.

I look forward to learning and understanding yours as well.

Respectfully always,
_________________________
Ossu!

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#357490 - 11/15/07 12:09 AM Re: Buying an Iaito [Re: SanjuroSensei]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
I have to agree with AJ on this one. The highest old school license awarded in MJER is called Kongen no Maki. MJER has, at least to my knowledge, never used the Menkyo Kaiden license. It is my understanding that Kongen no Maki are still awarded in MJER, but are now by tradition only awarded from one Soke to the next, although I suppose there is nothing really stopping any current Kongen no Maki holder from passing their credentials on except perhaps ryuha fealty. Members of other ryuha, Yamanouchi for example, are clearly passing on their Kongen no Maki.

Nakayama Hakudo did not faithfully reproduce MJER teachings based on notes. While he was not allowed to train directly under Oe-sensei, he was introduced to some practitioners who were still practicing Shimomura-ha and he trained with them.

Sanjuro, I suspect the term Toei originates with either Nishiuchi-sensei or with Sawada-sensei. The lack of references to it online, and the fact that few of us have ever heard of it, lead me to suspect it is a fairly recently coined term. It also seems unlikely that a student of Oe Masamichi-sensei would change the name of the system which Oe-sensei had just gotten finished picking out, unless perhaps they were intentionally trying to distance themselves from Oe-sensei and his teachings.

One further point, the use of the Dan system is in no way indicative of an arts Koryu/Gendai status. The ranking/licensing system that the leadership of a particular art chooses to use, does not in any way reflect on the quality, or... for lack of a better word here... "koryuness" of a style. The MJER Seitokai organization is the organization that is led by Ikeda Takashi-soke, 22nd soke of MJER, with a clear lineage back to Oe-sensei, and through him back to Hayashizaki-sensei. There is no questioning that this is koryu MJER. It clearly fits the definition of the term. And yet Ikeda-soke issues dan ranks to his students. There are plenty of other koryu organizations which do likewise.

Your information on kobudo menkyo as they relate to MJER is definitely suspect as it is coming from a book written by someone who does not practice MJER. The information on Gendai Budo ranks are also very narrowly defined. Dan ranks go as high as 15 dan in some gendai arts. Probably a good bit higher. Some don't use kyu ranks at all. Still others use the kaiden ranks you enumerated in an attempt to appear more authentic and old school than they really are.
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#357491 - 11/15/07 09:18 AM Re: Buying an Iaito [Re: SanjuroSensei]
A.J. Bryant Offline
Member

Registered: 02/28/03
Posts: 98
Loc: Indianapolis, IN USA
Thank you very much for getting back with me. I appreciate you taking the time to respond.

You are certainly correct in your translation of the kanji for “Toei”; I missed the connection to Eishin-ryu. Interesting, but I agree with Charles, I doubt Oe sensei or even Yamamoto sensei would have used the name.

Yamamoto Haruske was direct student of Oe sensei and received Kongen no Maki. His lineage is known as the Harusuke-ha and influenced a lot of iaidoka in the Tokyo area. His lineage is pretty widespread in the UK and Canada thanks to Haruna Matsuo sensei. Yamamoto sensei made quite a few changes to the style based upon experimenting and mixing of elements from Tanimura-ha and Shimomura-ha. It is not generally thought that his lineage was a return to a more original form of Eishin-ryu...

By “Masaoko Kuzumitsu” do you mean Masaoka Kazumi? If so, he was also a direct student of Oe sensei and not Yamamoto sensei to my knowledge and his lineage is separate from the Harusuke-ha and known as the Masaoka-ha and pretty well known today through the Nippon Kobudo Jikishin-kai of Miura Takeyuki and here in the US through Masayuki Shimabukuro sensei.

So, as to lineage, I’m not sure I quite understand things yet. If you could post a short reply when you find out for sure, that would help clarify things quite a bit.

While Nakayama Hakudo was not allowed to study in Oe sensei’s dojo, he did receive direct instruction under Hosokawa sensei and eventually succeeded him. This was how Muso Shinden-ryu was born.

As to Mr. Nishiuchi’s rank structure, I was more interested in how he’s handling yudansha ranks. Does he use them (I assume so since he has kyu ranks), and how far does he go?

I would not put much faith in Tanaka Fumon’s books. He’s not very well respected in the koryu community. I didn’t mean to imply that you were wrong, just that things are not that narrowly defined as Charles said, especially within MJER.

As to my lineage, it is:

Oe Masamichi
Yamamoto Takuji (also studied Shimomura-ha under Soda Torahiko)
Tsugiyoshi (Jikichi) Ota (also received Kongen no Maki from Nagao Kagefusa)
Katsuo Yamaguchi

We informally call our lineage the “Yamaguchi-ha” though we recognize the current Soke Ikeda Takashi of what’s considered the main line (Seitokai).
_________________________
Andrew Bryant Rishinkan Dojo Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryu Iaido Dentokan Aiki Jujutsu

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#357492 - 11/15/07 12:56 PM Re: Buying an Iaito [Re: A.J. Bryant]
fatguy Offline
Member

Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 146
Im getting alot of good info from this thread, Thanks! but as always I have yet another series of questions:

1.) A.J., you said that
Quote:

We informally call our lineage the “Yamaguchi-ha” though we recognize the current Soke Ikeda Takashi of what’s considered the main line (Seitokai).





I have been under the impression that this was called "hokiyama-ha" after a different succession line than what you stated leading to Ikeda Takashi Soke.

2.) From what I understand, the Tanimura-ha and Shimamura-ha forked from the death of the 12th soke, and was united again from the 17th soke, do different ryu-ha recognized different lineages for the 13th through 16th then? Or does everyone just follow the Tanimura-ha?

3.) Is Muso Shinden Ryu then based off of a combonation of the iaijutsu from Oe masamichi and the kenjutsu of Nakayama Hakudo? (This one is more of clarification than an actual question)


Edited by fatguy (11/15/07 12:59 PM)
_________________________
Saya no uchi de katsu

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#357493 - 11/16/07 08:25 AM Re: Buying an Iaito [Re: fatguy]
A.J. Bryant Offline
Member

Registered: 02/28/03
Posts: 98
Loc: Indianapolis, IN USA
The “main” line of MJER is sometimes called the Hokiyama-ha after Hokiyama Namio, who received the “official” MJER documents of succession. This line leads straight to the modern Seitokai (Charles can elaborate on this).

When I talk about my line, I’m talking about something completely different. We have a direct and unconnected lineage back to Oe Masamichi that is separate from the Seitokai through Kongen no Maki succession. We have always maintained a close relationship with the main line though. I have video of Ota sensei attending some of the first ZNIR events in the early 1960s even though he was the director of the Iaido section of the International Martial Arts Federation (Kokusai Budoin).

#2. No. The art split into the two branches after the 11th headmaster (Oguro) but “officially” merged again with Oe Masamichi, who became 15th headmaster of the Shimomura-ha and 17th of the Tanimura-ha. His appointment as the 15th head of Shimomura-ha was either contested by several former students of the 14th headmaster, or they had all received Kongen no Maki and just continued on outside of Oe sensei’s control or possibly with his blessing (similar to how things occurred with MJER after the death of Oe sensei himself). One of these former students was Hosokawa Yoshimasa, who went his separate way and eventually taught Nakayama Hakudo and awarded him full transmission. Meanwhile, Oe sensei took what he thought was best from Shimomura-ha and incorporated it into his reformed MJER. His line effectively died out at that point and those elements deemed important were incorporated into MJER.

The Shimomura-ha still exists separate of either MJER or MSR in former Tosa. I have some video of embu where Shimomura-ha is demonstrated. It’s quite distinct from either of these two schools.

#3. No. It appears Nakayama Hakudo essentially gave up trying to practice in Oe sensei’s dojo and began studying Shimomura-ha with Hosokawa Yoshimasa and Yokimune Sadayoshi and eventually received complete transmission of the art, from Hosokawa I believe. He made various changes that led to the birth of Muso Shinden-ryu after his death.

I know it’s very confusing, and I'm sure there are some errors someone with more knowledge would point out, but I hope some of this made sense. If not, let me know.
_________________________
Andrew Bryant Rishinkan Dojo Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryu Iaido Dentokan Aiki Jujutsu

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#357494 - 11/16/07 08:42 AM Re: Buying an Iaito [Re: A.J. Bryant]
fatguy Offline
Member

Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 146
If by "made sense" you mean me getting the impression that we are one big dysfunctional family then yes

That did clear a lot up though, but one more question: is the close-to-the-original-as-possible Tanimura-ha and Shimamura-ha still practiced as separate entities in (Kochi) Tosa today?


Edited by fatguy (11/16/07 08:43 AM)
_________________________
Saya no uchi de katsu

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#357495 - 11/16/07 10:06 AM Re: Buying an Iaito [Re: fatguy]
A.J. Bryant Offline
Member

Registered: 02/28/03
Posts: 98
Loc: Indianapolis, IN USA
Yes... The Shimomura-ha is still practiced by one or two groups in Kochi. Iwata sensei’s group still maintains some elements of Shimomura-ha as kaewaza (variations) to their MJER as well, and some other groups might too.

For all intents and purposes the Tanimura-ha was simply renamed MJER by Oe sensei. But, if you mean does a more “close to the original as possible” MJER exist, well that’s debatable and could ruffle some feathers. If you mean does the original dojo of Oe sensei still exist in Kochi and does this dojo still maintain a less altered version of the art, including the preservation of most, if not all the paired sets not practiced by many lines, then yes. This dojo was run by Takeshima Toshio sensei who recently passed away. He was a student of Fukui Harumasa and designated an “assistant” or “small” (bonkei) soke after MJER left Kochi with Kono Hyakuren sensei.

Takeshima sensei was letting a few foreigners in to train (both westerners and Japanese outside of Kochi), but his successor, Muranaga Hidekami, has promptly closed the doors to those outside of Kochi. The general impression I’ve gotten though some private correspondence is that those in Kochi were “not happy” with the way succession went in leaving Kochi. Some other lines share a similar sentiment. Aren’t budo politics fun!
_________________________
Andrew Bryant Rishinkan Dojo Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryu Iaido Dentokan Aiki Jujutsu

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