Katori Shinto ryu


In 1960 Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu was designated as an intangible cultural property in Japan.

More than 500 years have elapsed since Iizasa Choisai Ienao founded the Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu, a forerunner of the classical Japanese martial arts. In the days when the warrior government ruled Japan, the Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu was highly valued for its technical excellence and cultural quality.

It provided a manditory training course for warriors of those times. After World War II, however, the time-honoured martial arts waned. Now the doors to the classical martial arts are open to the public and swordsmanship is being carried on. However, it seems to me that swordsmanship today lacks substance. A similar deficiency is noted in the spirit with which to orient swordsmanship in the right direction.

Never before has there been a greater need to hand down to posterity the classical martial arts as a cultural asset of the Japanese people. I strongly wish that the classical martial arts will make a spiritual contribution of their own in one way or another to the modern world which is dominated by material considerations.

Iizasa Shuri-no-suke Yasusada 20th Headmaster,

Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu

Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu includes in its martial curriculum: iaijutsu, kenjutsu, bojutsu, naginatajutsu, jujutsu, shurikenjutsu, ninjutsu, sojutsu, senjutsu (tactics), and chikujojutsu (field fortification art).

Genuine classical martial studies (bujutsu and budo) go hand-in-hand with humane conduct, and encompasse a deeply developed moral sense in their exponents. It is not the physical victory that must be fought and won. The true vistory is that one is able to obtain his aim without resorting to combat; here lies the concept of wa - peace - the ultimate goal embodied in heiho.

The Deity and the Sword by Risuke Otake

Keishinkan is associated with Sugino Dojo in

Kawasaki, Japan.

Yoshio Sugino was born in 1904 into a farming family which was the head household of Naruto village, Chiba Prefecture. He entered Keio University in 1918 and joined judo, kendo, sumo and kyudo clubs. At Keio Kunisaburo Iizuka 8th dan, was Sugino's judo instructor, Tadatsu Shingai (4th dan) taught him kendo.

Yoshio Sugino devoted much time and energy to his judo training and let kendo go. On 15th October 1927, at 22 years old, Sugino opened his own dojo in Kawasaki. At the recommendation of Kano sensei, Sugino began studying sword. Kano introduced Sugino to Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu.

Katori Shinto Ryu, founded by Iizasa Choisai Ienao, had been handed down through the generations for over 500 years in the Katori area of Shimousa (now Chiba Prefecture). Considered one of the fountainheads of Japanese martial tradition, Katori Shinto Ryu had never been taught outside the Chiba region. Kano, however, asked whether some arrangement could be made to have the style taught in Tokyo as well.

Sugino's grounding in judo and aikido stood him in good stead to apply taijutsu principles in his Katori Shinto Ryu practice. He believed that "taijutsu forms the basis for everything. From there you can do anything, like naginata, bojutsu, ryoto or kotachi .... and when you use the sword or the bo the tip must be alive".

In his later days, Yoshio Sugino was classified as a national living treasure. Just before he passed away in 1998, his son Yukihiro took on the mantel of dojocho.

Sources: Aikido Journal Aikido Masters

Keishinkan members practice at Sugino dojo in Japan