This year the Boise Japan Day celebration event was held virtually. Here are some videos from the virtual event. I am really looking forward to this being offered again in person, hopefully in 2022! There are all kinds of foods, martial arts demonstrations (Embu), dancing, music, and more that celebrate Japanese culture. This is put on each year by the Idaho Japanese Association. Please enjoy!
The rebellious ones…
Fujiwara Chitsune, Chiharu and Chikata
In part one we covered Fujiwara no Kamatari and how his lineage leads to Fujiwara no Chikata, the legendary infamous rebel General that led a campaign against the imperial court. In this second installment of three (possibly four or five) separate posts, I want to cover the details of how some of the Fujiwara family came to be seen as rebels by the imperial court and why Chikata is considered one of the early ancestral founders of ninjutsu in the Iga region.
To start let’s go back to his lineage chart and remember who the clan says his father was, Fujiwara no Chitsune. Keep in mind we are talking about things that happened just over 1,000 years ago. So, bear with me as much of this is now legend, complete with demons and wizards with superhuman powers.
Chitsune's father, Chikata’s grandfather, was Fujiwara no Hidesato, a "kuge" level imperial court bureaucrat, well known for his courage in many battles and is believed to be the common ancestor of several clans. Hidesato was what I call an "Imperial Tiger" because he fought for the Japanese emperor, Suzaku.
As I mentioned in the previous post, the Fujiwara clan highly respected the military text from mainland China known as the "Rikutō", especially the 4th chapter titled "Secret Teachings of the Tiger". This text along with another, the “Sanryaku”, came to be the basis of the teachings we in the Bujinkan label the Gyokko Ryū.
Gyokko is written with the kanji characters for "Jade" and "Tiger". In old China and Japan, Jade was the symbol of the imperial court, and tigers were often symbolic of warriors. So here we have a potential meaning of "imperial warriors", Gyokko, and the base of their teachings in Japan were contained in a scroll known as the "Tora no Maki". According to Takamatsu Sensei's writings, this was the same martial art that was taught to Minamoto no Yoshitsune at Kurama mountain by the yamabushi and shūgenja that were there under the guidance of Kiichi Hōgen. Takamatsu Sensei also notes that Yoshitsune's leaping skills known as "Hassōtobi" is the same as "hichōjutsu" from the Gyokko Ryū.
Ok, back to Chitsune's father Hidesato... he also fought alongside Taira no Sadamori in 940 CE to suppress the revolt of Taira no Masakado, a provincial magnate (gōzoku) and warrior that lived in eastern Japan. He was most well-known for leading the first ever recorded uprising against the imperial government in Kyōto. As a reward for his service Hidesato was appointed to the position of "Chinjufu-shōgun" or (Defender of the North) and Governor of Shimotsuke Province. So, to say that Chitsune came from a military family would be an understatement.
What I feel is important about Hidesato’s sons, Chitsune and Chiharu, is that they both rebelled in Shinano, the same province as Mt. Togakushi, homeland of the Togakure Ryū of ninjutsu. As a result of this rebellion, known as the Anwa Incident of 969 CE, an incident in which the legitimate branch of the Fujiwara Hokke clan ousted other clans, Chiharu was captured by a warrior of the opposing Seiwa Minamoto clan, Minamoto Mitsugi, and exiled to the small island province of Oki. His whereabouts after that have always been a complete mystery. The island was so remote that during the late Heian period it came to be well known as a place for political exile. Later in 1332 CE, Emperor Go-Daigo was sent into exile on the island but later managed to escape and regain control of the country. Maybe Chiharu managed to escape too. I may even have a clue as to what happened to him...we will talk about that later.
Chitsune, surviving unscathed, in the following New Year (970 CE), was appointed as the shogun of his township and later also served as a lieutenant and governor of Mino province. While Chiharu was caught and exiled Chitsune’s military might was strong enough for him to maintain official positions even after his insurrection.
And now for the interesting part….
Fujiwara no Chikata, the son of Chitsune, or was he?….
According to the “Sonpi Bunmyaku”, a Japanese genealogical text originally written by Tōin Kinsada in the late 14th century, the genealogy of Hidesato, Chitsune, and Chikata is annotated as saying "the actual person (Chikata) is Chitsune's younger brother”, making him the “Chinjufu” or the Shogun of Mutsu Province. So according to this, it seems like it could very well be that Chikata is Chiharu after a potential escape from exile. This would be a very good reason to change your name, raise an army and attack the emperor. And do it in style, as did our good old Chikata of the legends…
Chikata in the Taiheiki
While the most referred to version of the story of Fujiwara no Chikata is found in the Taiheiki, written in the late 1300’s CE, it is obvious that there is an error, and we see somewhere, someone got it wrong. Most researchers have always pointed to our man Chikata, the son (or brother) of Chitsune as being the real person that the legends and stories from the Iga region are based on. This would place Chikata’s birth sometime in the late 900’s CE. But in the Taiheiki, he is placed much further back in time, by a few hundred years to the time of the emperor Tenchi (天智天皇). It could just be that the author did not know when Chikata actually lived and decided to “place” him in history where he thought fit, but there is no way to say for sure.
In another manuscript known as the “Kokinwakashū” written in 905 CE, but completed and edit several times afterwards, the story of Fujiwara no Chikata is also found mentioned along with his four “demons” or “Oni” and again placing him at the time of emperor Tenchi. It is likely that this is the source text for the mention of Chikata in the Taiheiki. So, the next question is, did the author of this text make the mistake of placing Chikata too far back in history? I think it is highly unlikely, because our Fujiwara no Chikata, according to the family’s lineage chart, was not born for about 80 years after the publication of this text.
To me it seems much more likely that Fujiwara no Chikata is a fictional character based on a historical model and the Fujiwara clan and the Iga region legends lay claim to him. This I find likely because there is not a single mention of Fujiwara no Chikata rebelling against the court in any of the imperial archives. If Chikata was historical and did indeed base himself out of Iga to fight against the imperial government with thousands of warriors (and 4 demons) I am sure there would be some evidence of this left behind by the imperial scribes and archivists. It is well known that they were meticulous. Historical or not, the Fujiwara clan and the people of Iga wanted to claim Chikata as their own.
It could even be that he was not Chitsune’s son or brother, but rather born a few generations earlier. Possibly even Fujiwara no Kamatari’s son or grandson, that would place him at the correct time.
So just what do the stories and legends say about this Fujiwara no Chikata and how does that tie in with the Hidden Lineage of the Bujinkan and the origins of ninjutsu in Iga???
Stay tuned for part three…
Sean Askew – 導冬 – Dōtō
September 27, 2021
Visit Sean Askew's website and blog: BKRBudo.com
Fantastic first part of a multi-part essay by Sean Askew. Click the link to see read the original and see the pictures he shared: https://www.facebook.com/sean.askew.9/posts/4169200283192822
"One dragon with nine heads…
Does the source of all the Bujinkan Ryū boil down to one original school of martial arts, the Gyokko Ryu?
Part 1 of 3 (Possibly 4)
The Kuki family has in their possession many old documents and scrolls related to their long samurai heritage and religious accomplishments. Among these are a distinct set of scrolls that are directly related to the martial arts of their clan. They detail the martial art known as Kukishin Ryū Tenshin Hyōhō, covering subjects such as Jūjutsu, Bōjutsu, Kenjutsu, Shurikenjutsu, etc. The final scroll of this set, known as “The Teachings of Lord Fujiwara no Kamatari”, is the scroll that I find most interesting for various reasons.
First is that according to the Kuki family archivist and Japanese historian, Mr. Miura Ichirō, this is a very unusual scroll when compared to the others in the set. To the expert, it seems that the words have been “rewritten in a modern style (by Takamatsu Sensei), but that the scroll’s contents do not seem to have been created in modern times”. In the first part of this scroll, Kamatari states that the contents were handed down from Amenokoyane no Mikoto to the Nakatomi family and that transmission to outsiders was strictly prohibited. Amenokoyane no Mikoto is a Shinto deity who appears in Japanese mythology. He is believed to be the ancestor of the Nakatomi-Fujiwara clan and is enshrined at the Kasuga Grand Shrine, as the ancestral deity of the Nakatomi-Fujiwara clan. As you may remember from some of my previous posts, the Kuki family is a direct bloodline branch of this Clan.
The following are just a few of the many titles of the topics covered in the scroll:
天地生三巻神法秘謡 Tenchisei Sanmaki Shinpo Hiutai
The Divine Method of the Secret Songs of Heaven Earth and Life
養心法 Yoshin no Ho
Method of Nourishment
神力法 Jinryoku no Ho
Method of Divine Power
呼吸法 Kokyu no Ho
Method of Breathing
靈電法 Reiden no Ho
Method of Spirit Lightning
統一法 Toitsu no Ho
Method of Unification
神醫法 Shinei no Ho
Method of Divine Healing
鎮魂八陣乃秘法 Chinkon Hachijindai no Hiho
Secret Method of the Repose of the Soul from the Eight Guardian Deities
狐霊法 Korei no Ho
Method of the Fox Spirit
蟇目乃秘法 Hikime no Hiho
Secret Method of “Toad Eye” (ancient archery ritual)
鳴弦乃法 Meigen no Ho
Method of warding off evil spirits by pulling the string of a bow
(It was widely performed when the emperor took a bath, or when a nobleman was born or sick)
As this scroll was noted as being unusual by Mr. Miura, I wanted to know more about it and investigate what its teachings are in more depth. I had been thinking in the back of my mind that I had seen the name Fujiwara no Kamatari before, but I just couldn’t remember where. I also remembered that his name was somehow related to another notable name in the history of Togakure Ryū ninjutsu and the origins of shinobinojutsu in the Iga region. But it just kept slipping off the edge of my memory, hanging in the back of my mind. So, I went back to the beginning and started with fresh look into who was this Fujiwara no Kamatari. And that’s when I found the second thing about this scroll that really piqued my interest.
I started to refresh my memory by going to Wikipedia. I know, it gets a bad rap by serious academics, but I find it an excellent place to get general information that I can dig into deeper and confirm. I figured from there I might find tidbits that I can investigate even further to find more information. And lo and behold I found a nugget right in the first paragraph. The Wikipedia entry for Fujiwara no Kamatari starts off like this...
(Edited from Wikipedia)
Fujiwara no Kamatari (藤原 鎌足, 614 – November 14, 669) was a Japanese statesman, courtier, and politician during the Asuka period (538–710). He is the founder of the Fujiwara clan, the most powerful aristocratic family in Japan during Nara and Heian periods. He, along with the Mononobe clan, was a supporter of Shinto and fought the introduction of Buddhism to Japan. Kamatari, along with Prince Naka no Ōe, later Emperor Tenji (626–672), launched the Taika Reform of 645, which centralized and strengthened the central government. Just before his death he received the surname Fujiwara and the rank Taishōkan from Emperor Tenji, thus establishing the Fujiwara clan.
(End Wikipedia passage)
With this first passage we learn that Kamatari was the founder of the Fujiwara clan. He was from the Nakatomi family and had been awarded the surname “Fujiwara” by the emperor. With this bit of information, I knew I could find a family lineage for him and see what else I can discover. Very quickly I contacted one of my research partners, Sensei Javier Morla, and he provided me the family lineage chart that started with Fujiwara no Kamatari. Within a few moments I had found what I was looking for. I remembered who Kamatari was and what his connection is to our martial arts. Kamatari is the 7th great grandfather of the legendary Fujiwara no Chikata and his specialty was the Chinese military science known as the “Rikutō”. A text that specializes in guerilla warfare and sabotage techniques. It is the only one of the Seven Military Classics of ancient China to be written from the perspective of trying to overthrow a government. As such, this text became one of the main sources of knowledge for both the Iga and Koka schools of ninjutsu. Mentions of it can be found in many historical documents related to ninjutsu. In several old texts it is recorded that Kamatari thought so highly of the Rikuto text that he memorized the whole thing by heart. He could repeat the whole text from memory alone, which is no easy task as it is over 50 pages in length. He is also accredited with applying the strategies within the text in real combat and assassinations he was involved in.
One note, I would like to make here is that according to Takamatsu Sensei, this text, the “Rikutō”, along with its usual partner, the “Sanryaku”, are the foundations of the Gyokko Ryū and is the same martial art that was taught to Minamoto no Yoshitsune by the Yamabushi/shugenja of Kurama mountain in his youth. Hatsumi Sensei even makes the statement in a few of his books that Yoshitsune’s martial art should be properly named Gyokko Ryū Happo Bikenjutsu. Of course, these are all legends, and we cannot say these things for sure but at least it shows the idea that most of the original Japanese martial arts all stem from this one source of knowledge, no matter what its name was at the time. Keep in mind that before the 14th century there was no “Ryū” or “Ryū-ha” in Japan. The concept of “Ryū” did not come into use until around the 1300’s. So, at the time, warriors simply studied military strategy texts that were secretly passed down within their families and commonly named them after the region they lived in, or came from, and called it “Heihō”.
So, with this first discovery we see the connection being made between the Gyokko Ryū (the Rikutō and Sanryaku) and Japan’s first schools of swordsmanship, the Kurama Hachi Ryū or Kyohachi Ryū and the Kanto Shichi Ryū.
Next, I would like to go back to the above-mentioned Fujiwara no Chikata, also known as Gamon Dōshi in the Iga-Togakure Ryū lineage of headmasters. He was the 7th generation grandson of Kamatari and therefore the Rikuto/Sanryaku (Gyokko Ryū) was passed down in his family to himself. It had already become a tradition in several of the Fujiwara clan branches by the time of Chikata’s lifetime.
But to start to talk about Fujiwara no Chikata now would turn into another several pages of material. So, I will end my post here and continue the story again in a day or two. It is quite long and complex so I feel it should be broken up in a few separate posts.
Sean Askew - 導冬 Doto"
This is a great video on Japan's largest ninja network, and it's still around today...
This is an older essay from Sean Askew Shidoshi, but I didn't post it yet and it is an important one for the Bujinkan given the connection to Togakushi Mountain and the connection to the Togakure Ryu ninja. To read the original article and see the photos he shared, visit: https://www.bkrbudo.com/the-legends-of-the-opening-of-togakushi-mountain/?fbclid=IwAR3hkE9jdvDEakb7wy-dHmOmpg805R-_UpTSjM0AdnmEYx8yCyJ28TJVlwM
"The legends of the opening of Togakushi Mountain in Shinshu (Nagano) originate with the myths of “Amano-Iwato”, translated as “The cave of the sun goddess” or “heavenly rock cave”. According to the Kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters), the devious actions of Susano’o, the Japanese god of storms, drove his sister Amaterasu, the sun goddess, into the Ame-no-Iwato cave and the world was cast into darkness.
To get the sun goddess out of the cave, the other gods called Yao-yorozu-no-kami threw a wild party outside of the cave. The goddess Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto performed a crude and sexual dance, making everyone laugh and excited. The sun goddess grew curious about the noise and decided to look out of the cave entrance. When she peeked out, she became fascinated by her own reflection in the Yata no Kagami mirror which the other gods had crafted and hung before the cave for that purpose. She stood there, like in a trance and then Ame-no-tajikarao forced the cave open and the world was full of light once again. As Amaterasu stepped out of the cave a holy seal was placed on it so that she could never go back into hiding.
Then later, the Izumo Achi-Zoku, Chinese/Baekje(Kudara) blood relatives of the legendary 8th Emperor of Japan, Kōgen-tennō (孝元天皇) are said to have enshrined the indigenous nine-headed dragon known as Kuzuryū there. The Achi-Zoku are the families descended from Achi no Omi, the gentleman from my previous post.
In addition, the legendary Gakumon Gyoja, a student of the founder of Shugendo, En no Gyoja entered the mountain in 849 CE and sealed the nine-headed dragon inside the Ame-no-Iwato cave as the guardian god of the mountain. It is said that he built Togakushi Temple there and became the administrator. Towards the end of the Heian Period (794-1185 CE) Togakushi had become a well know center of Shugendo activities.
What I find most interesting about this is that it was the descendants of Achi-no-Omi from Izumo that originally went to the mountain and enshrined a nine-headed dragon there. This makes some historical sense as one of the major families that populated the Shinano and Togakushi regions was the Inukai Clan, a clan with a direct blood connection to Achi no Omi and the Sakanoue Clan. All families that are tied to the history and lineage of both the Gyokko Ryu and Togakure Ryu.
Another point that I find compelling is that the tomb of Emperor Kogen is in Kashihara, Nara. Very near the areas that were settled by the descendants of Achi no Omi, the Sakanoue and the Inukai. The same place that Takamatsu Sensei lived out the last few decades of his life.
Sean Askew – 導冬 Dōtō
Bujinkan Kokusai Renkoumyo
References and sources for this post…
Ina. (1975). (n.p.): (n.p.). – Page 8
善光寺史. (2004). Japan: 東京美術 – Page 554
新訳日本神話: 出雲神話の原像. (1989). Japan: 西日本文化出版 – Page 173
信州の韓来文化. (1985). Japan: 銀河書房 – Page 73"
This is a different kind of post than usual. Not necessarily martial arts related, but I enjoy sharing Japanese culrtual things also from my trips to Japan. I love Udon, I jokingly call it life changing, but I'm not sure just how much of a joke it is... At least that is how I feel about Udon in Japan. Not what gets called Udon here in the states. In this Youtube video, you'll see how the Udon is made in one of my favorite Udon restaurants. It is a chain restaurant, but the level of perfection they strive for is incredible, and the noodles are always amazing. Enjoy!
This great article, written back in 2018 by Sean Askew, is pertinent for us this year since we are studying Kukishinden Ryu. Enjoy:
"Is the link between the Togakure Ryu and Kukishin Ryu deeper than we thought???
In the middle ages there was a very serious samurai practice to take written vows when undertaking the study of a military science, especially when the pupil is from outside of the family.
In the case of the Kukishin Ryu, the Kuki family to this day still preserves a document from 1532 CE that has been continuously added to until modern times. The document is the 2nd scroll in a set of two titled “Seiyakusho” (誓約書). It is a written oath that pupils sign upon formally entering the school or “Ryu”. It is a promise to uphold the true meaning and spirit of the martial arts (military arts) and that one promises to cultivate a great sense of justice. The signature is traditionally accompanied by a thumb print in blood, vowing they will never reveal what they have been taught to others without the master’s permission.
In the book Kukishinden Zensho by Ago Kiyotaka in 1983 he writes that he could hold in his own hands and examine this original 1532 CE document carefully. He notes that the more recent portion of the document leading up to the modern times was re-written by Kuki Takaharu in 1904.
This list is a veritable all-star list of Japanese military commanders and master swordsmen. Including Yamamoto Kansuke (Red Star on pic), known to have studied Togakure Ryu ninjutsu from Fujibayashi Nagato no Kami. The list also includes Sanada Masayuki (Green Star), the father of Sanada Yukimura. Both men are recorded as hiring local shugenja from the Togakure and Iizuna regions as shinobi and “Kamari” commandos in their forces.
Takamatsu Toshitsugu (Yellow star), our current Soke’s master also signed this list in 1899, vowing his allegiance to the emperor and the nation and to protect the teachings of the Kukishin Ryu. His “Kohai” or junior training partner Iwami Nangaku signed the list in 1922.
As Kuki Takahiro (隆博) died in WWII he was the last signature on the list as the Kuki family has taken vows of peace and no longer are involved in the martial arts. They now run several successful businesses and corporations all over the country and still administrate the Kumano Grand Shrine.
The original document list begins in 1532 with the vows and signatures/stamps of;
Kuki Yagoro, 1532 CE
Yamamoto Kansuke, 1534 CE
Kuki Moritaka, 1573 CE
Kuki Yoshitaka, 1574 CE (Formed the Kuki Navy from various bands of pirates from the Shima region)
1 name omitted
Sanada Masayuki, 1577 CE (Father of the famous Sanada Yukimura who used Shinobi from Togakure)
Bessho Nagaharu, 1576 CE
2 names omitted
Itō Ittōsai, 1573 CE (Famous master swordsman, 2nd to only Miyamoto Musashi, 33 matches, no losses)
Kuki Shigetaka, 1576 CE (Son of Kuki Yoshitaka)
Kuki Takasue, 1597 CE (Son of Kuki Moritaka)
Miyamoto Musashi (Black star), 1494 CE (Here we have an enigma, the date is exactly 100 years too early but it is for the famous swordsman, the Kuki family claims that it is the same Miyamoto Musashi who wrote the book of 5 Rings and fought over 60 duels with only one loss, I think the date may be a typo and should read 1594 putting Musashi at around 10 years old, the normal age of taking these vows)
Chōsokabe Motochika, 1595 (Daimyo of the Chōsokabe Clan)
Takagi Oriemon (Blue star), 1616 CE (Founder of the Takagi Yoshin Ryu)
Kuki Takayuki, 1648 CE (Daimyo of the Tanba Ayabe Domain)
1 name omitted
Kuki Takanao, 1662 CE (3rd Daimyo of the Tanba Ayabe Domain, brought Kito Ryu into the Kuki family)
Kuki Takahide, 1683 CE (Son of Kuki Takanao)
Shibukawa Bangoro, 1625 CE (Founder of Shibukawa Ryu Jujutsu)
Kimura Ittosai, 1649 CE (no information on him at this time)
Kuki Takashin, 1712 CE (Founder of the Shima branch of the Kuki family)
Kuki Taka??, 1743 CE (no information at this time)
Kuki Takanori, 1773 CE (8th Daimyo Lord of the Tanba Ayabe Domain)
3 names omitted
Ishitani Matsutaro, 1868 CE (Takamatsu Sensei’s 2nd master)
Takamatsu Toshitsugu, 1899 CE (Hatsumi Sensei’s master)
Iwami Nangaku, 1921 CE (Takamatsu Sensei’s Kohai under Ishitani Sensei)
9 names omitted
Shiozaki Katsuo, 1923 CE (Student of Iwami Nangaku)"
Essay by Sean Askew
Bujinkan Kokusai Renkoumyo
"It is easier to instill confidence than competence" -- Rory Miller
In the world of martial arts, this is particularly true. Many instructors and coaches will instill a sense of confidence in their students. That keeps them in the dojo longer, keeps them paying. They may not actually be competent, but their coach has made them feel confident, but the two are not the same. I don't instill false senses of confidence in my students. In fact, I don't ever let them feel complacent with where they are at. I always point out the next thing someone needs to work on to improve and get better. This is tough for new students because they want to be told they are good, but the reality is there is always more to learn, more to improve on no matter how long one has been training. If you come to train at the dojo, it will be a growing experience. But growth should be the goal always and not just having a false sense of confidence.
Just how badass was the Togakure Ryū???
Today I received an email asking me “I don’t see much historical information available regarding the Togakure Ryū, in your opinion just how badass do you think they really were???”
This is a great question; it requires a lot of explanation.
First, keep in mind that the actions of the shinobi were never meant to be made public, so it is likely that 95% of the ninja’s history will never be known. But we can get good glimpses from reliable source texts as to the types of missions they were involved in.
In the case of the Togakure Ryū, during the 1500’s the headmasters of the lineage were of the Momochi family.
According to Toda Shinryuken’s oral traditions, there were no less than ten Momochi family members that acted as Grandmasters of the Togakure Ryū. They were considered, along with the Hattori family and the Fujibayashi family, to be the supreme commanders of the Iga-shu shinobi. Today we often refer to these families as Jōnin (上忍). Therefore, in my humble opinion, any actions that were carried out by the Momochi family and their supporters would have been executed by Togakure Ryū shinobi.
On top of this there is plenty of evidence to show that the Fujibayashi family were from Togakure village and that their ninjutsu was of Togakure origins.
For one final nail, we also know that the Hattori family, Momochi family and the Fujibayashi family had extremely close family connections, including intermarrying, adopting each other’s children, etc.
So, it is likely that the differences between these three families’ styles of ninjutsu would not be that different. Rather, it is likely they shared many similarities.
With keeping all of this in mind I would like to introduce an entry in a historical record that shows just how extremely effective these ninja families were.
In the chronicles of Ozuki Tokimotoki (小槻時元記), there is an entry for February 15, 1502, that says when the local rulers of Iga tried to secure their control over the peasants of the region for their idleness, the peasants asked for help from the yamabushi in Kyoto on Atago Mountain. Soon after, dozens of yamabushi (mountain priests) from Atago, accompanied by about 400 men, invaded Iga Province.
However, the Iga-shu 伊賀衆 (the shinobi) rushed into the Yamabushi camp at night and defeated them without having a single formal battle, leaving only a dozen or so people to return to Kyoto. This was described as an extremely "strange occurrence” because the Iga people must have been well-trained and used guerrilla warfare methods such as surprise attacks and distractions. It must be so as they easily defeated the Yamabushi, who were known to have been skilled in battle, with less than 20 men.
So, in summary, I believe that as this was 1502, the Momochi family were most likely directly involved in these actions. Being that the attack was coming from Kyoto it would have been the Momochi and the Kami-Hattori clans that they would encounter first. So, if the Momochi family was involved, I think it is safe to say that it was the Togakure Ryū.
To answer his question…the Togakure Ryū were more badass than 400 battle hardened men from Atago Mountain, where the men there were known to be masters of the martial arts. This is probably why they were even able to defeat Oda Nobuo's army during the early part of the Tensho-Iga War.
Sean Askew – 導冬 - Dōtō
PS - Don't forget to register for the Noguchi Taikai by October 7th and save $55. Spaces are filling up quick so act now!!!
Words cannot express how much I love training in Japan. It is an amazing experience to say the least of it. COVID-19 has put a damper on things regarding travelling to Japan for martial arts training, but next year hopefully things will be open again and travel allowed. Interested in martial arts training, particularly in a dojo that has ties to Japan with the opportunity to travel with us as well, use our contact page to reach out about joining our local Bujinkan Dojo here in Meridian, ID.
Shane Sensei is a licensed Shidoshi in the Bujinkan and member of the Shidoshi-Kai. He has trained in the Bujinkan since 1998 and regularly travels to Japan for training.