Togakure Ryu: Wikis


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According to Togakure ryu Ninjutsu Hidensho (a Japanese manuscript, currently in the possession of sōke Masaaki Hatsumi, Togakure-ryū (戸隠流?) ("School of the Hidden Door") was founded about eight hundred years ago by Daisuke Nishina (Togakure), who learned shugendo practices as well as Hakuun ryu ninjutsu from Kagakure Doshi. Although the existence of Daisuke Nishina has been verified, in that a person by that name was found by Koyama Ryutaro in a period work[citation needed], the history of the system has not been independently verified. It must, however be noted that the Bugei Ryuha Daijiten recognises Togakure-ryū as a legitimate koryu bujutsu school.

According to the Bujinkan[citation needed], the school contained Yon-po Hiden (Four Secrets): Senban Shuriken (four-pointed throwing star), Shuko and sokko (spiked bands worn on hands (shuko) and sometimes feet (sokko), for climbing), Shinodake (a tube used as a snorkel or blowgun) and Kyoketsu shoge, an unusual blade attached to cord which is in turn attached to a heavy ring, and taijutsu or arts of the whole body.[1]


History According to Togakure ryu Ninjutsu Hidensho

In 1182, during the Japanese Genpei War, at the end of the Heian Period, Minamoto no Yoshinaka, a general from the mountainous Nagano region of Japan, captured the capital city of Kyoto. After this victory, he found himself under attack by his cousin Yoshitsune. When Yoshitsune's troops successfully crossed the Uji river, a key strategic defense for the capital, Yoshinaka withdrew, only to be killed as his horse fell through the ice of a frozen rice paddy.[2]

After Yoshinaka's defeat, one of his samurai retainers, Daisuke Nishina of Togakure Village escaped to the mountains of Iga in south central Japan. Nishina's native village of Togakure is now known as Togakushi, Nagano, and was an early center of Shugendo training. It may be that Nishina engaged in such training, but the records of the Togakure ryu do not mention it. The mountains provided an easy place to hide from the enemy troops, who still searched for Yoshinaka's forces. Daisuke Nishina, who subsequently changed his name to Daisuke Togakure, later became known as the first Sōke (family head) of Togakure-ryu ninjutsu.[2]

Ironically, Yoshitsune was later overthrown by his brother Yoritomo. After escaping capture by Yoritomo's forces, he founded the Yoshitsune-ryu of ninjutsu. The Yoshitsune-ryu later died out, along with many other famous ninjutsu ryu.[2]

The ninja families of Iga grew to become a great part of Japan's military history. Lending their support to Tokugawa Ieyasu, they were able to aid in the establishment of the Tokugawa Shogunate and were recruited to many government posts, including police, bodyguards, and intelligence agents.[2]

Denkei 傳系 (A succession list of previous Sōke)

  1. 戸隠大助 Togakure Daisuke (Oho era 1161)
  2. 志摩小三太源兼定 Shima Kosanta Minamoto no Kanesada (1180)
  3. 戸隠五郎 Togakure Goro (1200)
  4. 戸隠小三太 Togakure Kosanta
  5. 甲賀鬼三太 Koga Kisanta
  6. 金子友春 Kaneko Tomoharu
  7. 戸隠龍法 Togakure Ryuho
  8. 戸隠岳雲 Togakure Gakuun
  9. 木戸小石 Kido Koseki
  10. 伊賀天龍 Iga Tenryu
  11. 上野利平 Ueno Rihei
  12. 上野千里 Ueno Senri
  13. 上野万二郎 Ueno Manjiro
  14. 飯塚三郎 Iizuka Saburo
  15. 沢田五郎 Sawada Goro
  16. 大猿一平 Ozaru Ippei
  17. 十又八郎 Kimata Hachiro
  18. 片岡平座衛門 Kataoka Heizaemon
  19. 森宇源太 Mori Ugenta
  20. 戸田五兵衛 Toda Gogei
  21. 神戸青雲 Kobe Seiun
  22. 百地幸兵衛 Momochi Kobei
  23. 戸張典善 Tobari Tenzen
  24. 戸田盛柳信綱 Toda Seiryu Nobutsuna (Kwanyei era 1624-1644)
  25. 戸田不動信近 Toda Fudo Nobuchika (Manji era 1658-1681)
  26. 戸田観五郎信安 Toda Kangoro Nobuyasu (Tenna era 1681-1704)
  27. 戸田英三郎信正 Toda Eisaburo Nobumasa (Hoyei era 1704-1711)
  28. 戸田新兵衛正近 Toda Shinbei Masachika (Shotoku era 1711-1736)
  29. 戸田新五郎正良 Toda Shingoro Masayoshi (Gembun era 1736-1764)
  30. 戸田大五郎近秀 Toda Daigoro Chikahide (Meiwa era 1764-1804)
  31. 戸田大三郎近繁 Toda Daisaburo Chikashige (Bunkwa era 1804)
  32. 戸田真竜軒正光 Toda Shinryuken Masamitsu (b. 1824 - d. 1909)
  33. 高松寿嗣翊翁 Takamatsu Toshitsugu Uoh (b. 1887 - d. 1972)
  34. 初見良昭 Masaaki Hatsumi (b. 1931 – present) [1]

The 18 forms of Togakure Bujutsu

  1. Taijutsu
  2. Ninja Ken
  3. Bajutsu
  4. Shurikenjutsu
  5. Kusarigama
  6. Yari
  7. Naginata
  8. Bojutsu
  9. Suiren
  10. Kayakujutsu
  11. Bo Ryaku
  12. Choho
  13. Shinobi-Iri
  14. Intonjutsu
  15. Hensojutsu
  16. Tenmon
  17. Chimon
  18. Seishin Teki Kyoyo

Current Sōke

Togakure Ryu has currently two grandmasters. One is Masaaki Hatsumi of the Bujinkan and the other is Shoto Tanemura of the Genbukan. Hatsumi received sokeship directly from Toshitsugu Takamatsu (the previous soke) and was appointed "Omote Soke." (Main or visible grandmaster) However, Takamatsu also appointed Yoshio Fukumoto as an "Ura Soke." (Hidden Grandmaster) This is not an uncommon practice in Japan; many sokes did so to protect the Ryu-has should something happen to the Omote Soke and render him incapable of passing on the Ryu for whatever reason. Both Hatsumi and Fukumoto were students of Takamatsu and trained together. Interesting to note is the fact that both men resided in Noda City, Japan. Shoto Tanemura trained with both men and received Menkyo Kaiden and confirmation as the next Soke from Hatsumi, but left the Bujinkan. Later, he trained with Fukumoto and received Sokeship from him as well as special kuden given only to Fukumoto from Takamatsu. Both men are legitimate Sokes of Togakure Ryu, and both teach it within their respective organizations.

Formal Techniques

Kurai Dori – the postures, unarmed or with shuko.
Example, Hachimonji no kamae: a posture that has the Ninja prepared to throw blinding powder.
Ukemi Gata - falling techniques.
Example, Zenpo Kaiten: forward roll.
Shinobi Gaeshi – includes methods of moving undetected, and of escaping in the case of discovery.
Example, Shige gaeshi: while lying on top of a van (or any raised horizontal surface) the Ninja is spotted, he throws blinding powder and maybe shuriken, then rolls (in a particular way) to the side opposite the enemy and runs off or finds a better hiding place.
Santo Tonko no Kata – vanishing forms: uses blinding powder, shuriken and other devices. These are also used in the case of discovery but this time the opponent attacks.
Example, "Happo kiri gakure gata": surrounded by swordsmen, the Ninja throws shuriken at the front attackers and blinding powder to the rear, then when surrounded by "fog", runs off.
  • Ninja Bikenjutsu – methods of using the Ninja sword, which was shorter and straighter than the Katana.
Kurai Dori – sword "postures", as well as five methods of attaching the sword to the body.
Example, Totoku hyoshi: posture for deflecting projectiles.
Iaijutsu - sword drawing.
Example, Katate nuki: drawing the sword with one hand in a particular way.
Biken Kata – sword forms. (The Ninja method of using the sword is unusual and distinct.)
Example, Itto ryu dan: The sword is thrown at the enemy or enemies, the Ninja would either retrieve the sword or just run off.
  • Sakkijutsu – developing the ability to sense intentions. This isn't an entire sub-discipline, however, but is developed through training in the other disciplines.
  • Kyoketsu shoge – a special blade on a long "lead," had no formal techniques.

Manuscript Tradition

The oldest copy of the makimono of Togakure-ryu (which is in the possession of Hatsumi Masaaki) is written on the same physical scroll as the makimono of Gyokko-ryu. Four copies of this set of Togakure-ryu makimono and densho are known to have been made. The first copy was issued to Fukumoto Yoshio by Takamatsu Toshitsugu on the occasion of the former's attainment of menkyo kaiden. This copy is currently in the possession of Shoto Tanemura. The next copy was issued to Manaka Fumio by Hatsumi Masaaki on the occasion of the former's attainment of menkyo kaiden. A copy was issued to Tanemura Shoto by Hatsumi Masaaki on the occasion of the former's attainment of menkyo kaiden. The fourth copy was issued by Fukumoto Yoshio to Tanemura Shoto on the occasion of the former's attainment of menkyo kaiden under the latter and is a copy of Fukumoto's copy.


Togakure-ryu is taught in the syllabi of the Bujinkan, Genbukan, Jinenkan, To-Shin Do and the Budo Ryu Ninjutsu Dojo [1]. Many other related/off-shoot organisations also teach the togakure ryu methods of ninjutsu. According to members of these systems, these schools also encompass other samurai & ninja arts that make up the various collection of "ryuha'. The collection of the "ryuha" (family / military old martial art) is different within different schools.





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