Toda at the heart of Iga, a Facebook post by Sean Askew. This is important because our primary ninja school in the Bujinkan, the Togakure Ryu, which was part of the Iga region and one of the oldest ninja traditions of the region, was passed to Takamatsu Sensei from his grandfather Toda. This shows just how much the Toda family was involved in the ninja clans of Iga. This is important in establishing the martial arts history and validity of the Bujinkan.
Another Toda discovered that is a master of the Iga-Ryu….
戸田清太夫 Toda Seidayu, mentioned in the early Edo Period work titled “Kakan Shōsetsu” (可観小説).
Despite the term “Shōsetsu” in the title, this book is NOT a work of fiction. It is a type of document called Zuihitsu (随筆), a style of writing that is written freely in a casual format, such as what you saw and what you experienced. I think a collection of essays is the best translation for this word “Zuihitsu”.
The Kanazawa City archives classify this document as the following:
分類１ 藩制 (Classification 1 Domain related)
分類２ 藩史 (Classification 2 Domain history)
分類３ 見聞記・雑記 (Classification 3 Memoirs and miscellaneous notes)
Now, how do I know he is a master of the Iga Ryu???
In the above mentioned work the author states that Toda Seidayu was a master of the Iga-Ryu military sciences and was fond of studying the military sciences of other domains. It says that he lived in Edo and had been writing several works of his own on the topic.
In other sources, Toda Seidayu is mentioned as a “Kikiban” (聞番) for the Daimyo Lord, Akimoto Takatomo (秋元喬知), who was ALSO born as a Toda. He was born as the son of Toda Tadamasa (戸田忠昌) and the daughter of Akimoto Tomitomo (秋元富朝娘). Later he was later adopted by his mother’s father, Tomitomo who did not have a son of his own. Again, this just deepens my belief that Takamatsu Sensei and Akimoto Fumio Sensei were related. Possibly even cousins.
OK, now back to Toda Seidayu…I mentioned he was a “Kikiban” (聞番) for Lord Akimoto. A “Kikiban” was a job title during the Edo Period for a type of liaison. Their role was to communicate with the Shogunate on public affairs and to interact with other daimyos throughout the country on behalf of the Shogunate. It is said that this position often worked closely with the Onmitsu units (secret police, formed from the Iga men who helped support Tokugawa Ieyasu).
For more information on Akimoto Takatomo and Toda Seidayu please see the following links:
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.