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What is Bikenshin Ryu ?
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I have a question.

We can find many Bujinkan articles which mention about Toda sensei, 32nd Grand Master of Togakure-ryu, was a master of Bikenshin Ryu Kenjutsu. I never heard about this history before. From my point of view, most of those articles have a same origin. And the origin seems to make problems.

Does someone have a correct information about this article ?

Posted on: 2005/7/7 16:49
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Re: What is Bikenshin Ryu ?
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Hi

I too have asked several people about this ryu.

It can not be found in the Bugei Ryuha Daijiten.

One assumption was that it could just be something created by Toda as a means of a generic form of teaching.

hatsumi sensei has said in articles that Toda sensei was a teacher at the kobusho. I have failed to find anyone who can find his name outside of the bujinkan connected with the kobusho.

One time I asked Paul Richardson and he said he didnt have a clue what it was, he had asked many people himself and had tried to find listings for teachers at the Kobusho but couldnt find such a list so it was not possible for him to check when Toda was supposed to have worked there.

Maybe it was a school that existed for only one generation and was not passed on.

Posted on: 2005/7/7 17:19
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Re: What is Bikenshin Ryu ?
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Quote:

Kotaro wrote:
hatsumi sensei has said in articles that Toda sensei was a teacher at the kobusho. I have failed to find anyone who can find his name outside of the bujinkan connected with the kobusho.


I once asked about it Hatsumi sensei. The answer is simple. Most person only know about famous Kobusho which was in Edo, old Tokyo. But, Toda-sensei related to the other Kobusho in west area of Japan. It is difficult to find information about it even for us Japanese, too. Anyway, I never heard about Bikenshin Ryu from Hatsumi sensei.

Posted on: 2005/7/7 17:37
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Re: What is Bikenshin Ryu ?
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I saw the story on Toda and Bikenshin ryu in some information circulated during the early 90's. Don't know the exact source, but a lot of the information that went around during that time was very very unreliable. Can we actually find out anything more about Toda that can be verified to other sources than Bujinkan-people that have heard something from that and that instructor in Bujinkan, who in his turn heard it from some unnamed shihan? Dates of birth and death, location of his dojo etc.? If the story about his teaching and retirement from the shogunate is true? For how long Takamatsu sensei trained with him?

One of the reasons to faulty information might be faulty translations. I almost went over my head to find out more about "Fujiwara no Chikado" that was mentioned in the "Essence of Ninjutsu" by Hatsumi sensei....couldn't find anything, except on internet, and all those sites where Bujinkan-sites....i.e. same source of information. I then went to a friend who is married to a japanese girl, and asked for help. It took some time, because they could not see "Chikado" as a Japanese name...until they realized the romanization was wrong....Fujiwara Tadamichi 藤原忠通 and it was suddenly possible to find some more information.

So, if it's a Bujinkan site with historic information, then I will nowdays be very wary of it, unless it's accompanied with kanji for japanese names etc. And then I will still be wary, because finding the correct kanji for names etc. is not something that can be done just by looking them up in a dictionary...many believes they can take whatever kanji that sounds correct, but that's certainly not the case. There should be some explanation about sources etc.

By the way....just looking for the kanji for Kagakure Doshi or Kain Doshi as he is somewhere named....the one who took care of Togakure Daisuke when he escaped to Iga and started to learn ninjutsu , can someone help, please!?

Best regards

Peter Carlsson
Malmö Taijutsuklubb - Bujinkan Dojo
Sweden

Posted on: 2005/7/7 19:33
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Re: What is Bikenshin Ryu ?
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At one point I had found in an edition of the Dai Nippon Bugei Ryu Ha Daijiten that Takamatsu Sensei had been born 4 years after Toda Sensei passed away.
I was very concerned about this and even started to doubt our Ryu-Ha's legitimacy when I found this information.
I took the book directly to Hatsumi Soke and asked him if this was true.
He told me that when Toda Sensei left his position as sword instructor for the Shogunate he was very upset that the Japanese were fighting against each other and he decided it was best if he quietly disappeared. Many officials and other people thought he had died while in actuality he had become somewhat of a recluse in the Akashi or Nara area.

Evidently he had taught what he called Bikenshin to the Shogunate. I do not think this is a Ryu Ha per say, but rather it is a collection of what Toda Sensei thought to be the essence of all martial arts and sword schools.

Hatsumi Soke assured me that Takamatsu Sensei studied with his Grandfather for four years until his death. I was told Takamatsu Sensei was there at his death bed just like he was with Ishitani (Ishiya) Sensei when he died.

But at the same time I have also found evidence that Toda Sensei and the Ishitani (Ishiya) family were very close. In fact so close that Ishitani (Ishiya) Takeo (Masatsugu's father) was a menkyo kaiden holder in the Togakure Ryu under Toda Sensei and that the Ishitani family had it's own lineage of the Togakure Ryu. The two families evidently have a long history with each other.

Our Ninpo heritage will always be looked at with a raised eyebrow. It is the nature of the art we study.


Sean Askew
Bujinkan Kokusai Renkoumyo
www.onimenkai.org





Posted on: 2005/7/7 23:16
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Sean Askew
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Re: What is Bikenshin Ryu ?
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It is also helpful to remember that our tradition (Ninpo) is an oral one (Kuden) so verifying sources through history books is very difficult. If you truly want to find the answers you have to ask Sensei.

I would tend to believe that the Bikenshin Ryu was a collection of principles that Toda felt was important to teach from Togakure Ryu Bikenjutsu and Kukishin Ryu Bikenjutsu. It is possible that he included Shinden Fudo Ryu Kenjutsu in the system.

Posted on: 2005/7/8 0:16
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Re: What is Bikenshin Ryu ?
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One other thing I forgot to mention in my earlier post is that Hatsumi Soke also mentioned that essence behind the meaning of "Bikenshin" was that it was not just teachings on sword play. It was much larger than that on scale. His role in the Shogunate was as advisor and instructor. The meaning of Biken is the secret sword that cuts away evils spirits.

The Buddhist diety Fudo-Myo O holds the Biken in one hand and a rope in the other. It is said that the rope was used to catch the evil spirit and reel it in to be beheaded with the Biken. Soke then told me "biken wa ne...jya-aku wo datsu tame ni ne! ...or "The Biken is for cutting away evil"

I like to think that maybe Toda Soke was also guiding people as a spritual leader within the Shogunate.

Shikin Haramitsu Daikoumyo

Sean Askew
Bujinkan Kokusai Renkoumyo
www.onimenkai.org


Posted on: 2005/7/8 3:49
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Sean Askew
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Re: What is Bikenshin Ryu ?
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Please don't leave from my original question.

What is "Bikenshin Ryu" ?
Was Toda-sensi really a master of this school ?

I do have some kuden about Toda-sensei from Hatsumi-sensei. From this knowledge, I felt an original source of this information is mistranslation. And those who refer to this source did not verify themselves. Maybe they only cut and paste it.

But in case, I have to verify if my opinion is wrong. This is why I ask about it. Although, I can ask about it to Hatsumi sensei after I go back to Japan.


Posted on: 2005/7/8 7:20
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Re: What is Bikenshin Ryu ?
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Quote:

SeanAskew wrote:
But at the same time I have also found evidence that Toda Sensei and the Ishitani (Ishiya) family were very close. In fact so close that Ishitani (Ishiya) Takeo (Masatsugu's father) was a menkyo kaiden holder in the Togakure Ryu under Toda Sensei and that the Ishitani family had it's own lineage of the Togakure Ryu. The two families evidently have a long history with each other.

Sean Askew


Sean would you please be good enough to site some sources for these claims please.

You are saying that the Ishiya family have its own lineage so do you kow if that line still exists today outside of the bujinkan.

Posted on: 2005/7/8 16:53
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Re: What is Bikenshin Ryu ?
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Quote:

bufuikan wrote:
I would tend to believe that the Bikenshin Ryu was a collection of principles that Toda felt was important to teach from Togakure Ryu Bikenjutsu and Kukishin Ryu Bikenjutsu.


Hi Toda sensei was not a master of Kukishin Ryu so I doubt very much that he taught anything from this school. Ishitani sensie was the master of Kukishin Ryu

Posted on: 2005/7/8 16:54
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