1 - History of the traditions


Negishi-ryû shurikenjutsu originates in Ganritsu-ryû tradition. This one was founded by Matsubayashi Samanotsuke Nagayoshi, nicknamed "Henyasai" (the bat). He was a warrior of the Sendai lord land, Katori Shinkon-ryû shihan,an offspring of Katori Shintô-ryû in Sendai domain, as indicated by the change of shintô (divine way) in shinkon (divine soul). He created Ganritsu-ryû in 1644, also named Gan-ryû or Katôno-ryû (because it was taught in the Katôno family).

This sôgô bujutsu (comprehensive martial tradition) included iaijustu, tachi-jutsu (sword combat method), kodachi, , naginata, kumi-uchi (wrestling) and shurikenjutsu study.

Shurikenjutsu was taught to the women of the Sendai lord's house as a self-defense technique. Takako, daughter of the Mito domain's daimyô, Mito Rekkô (1800-1860)1, married Date Yoshikuni, feudal lord of the Sendai domain, and passed to her father informations and practice concerning Ganritsu-ryû shuriken. Mito Rekkô ordered Kaiho Hanpei, Hokushin Ittô-ryû (Mito domain martial tradition) shihan, to master the
thus revealed Ganritsu-ryû shuriken art. Passed on to the Mito domain, Ganritsu-ryû shuriken was there transmitted.


Son of Negishi Sentoku, a master of Araki-ryû style (Annaka domain, now Gunma prefecture), Negishi Shôrei was born in the Tempô era, in 1833. After receiving Ganritsu-ryû transmission from Kaiho Hanpei2, Negishi Shôrei created new shapes of shuriken adapted fromthe thick needle-shaped (hari) shuriken of Ganritsu-ryû. He changed it's shape, weight, thickness and filed it to give the shuriken an octagonal cross section. In the 4th year of the Ansei era (1857), returning from traveling the provinces seeking adventures (musha shugyô), he came back to the seignorial domain and became 4th generation headmaster (4th Dai) of Araki-ryû kenjutsu, taking over from his father. He thus taught Negishi-ryû (his own making), Araki-ryû (inherited from his father) and Hokushin Ittô-ryû (learned from Kaiho Hanpei) altogether. Very skilled at throwing shuriken with both hands, he was forbidden to engage into duels by the local daimyô and was nicknamed "Little Tengu of Jôshû (chinese name of the Kôzukê province, now Gunma prefecture). Shuriken negishi ryu v



Direct transmission lineage of Negishi-ryû tradition :


Negishi Shorei v

Negishi Shôrei (1833-1897) 
Tônegawa Magoroku (1851-1939)
Naruse Kanji (1888- 1948)
Shirakami Eizô (1921-2002) - Saitô Satoshi (born in 1922) - Maeda Isamu (1902-1988)



Shirai-ryû tradition was created at the end of Edo period by Shirai Tôru Yoshikane (1783-1843), 5th sôke of Tenshin Ittô-ryû and Hokushin Ittô-ryû, disciple of Nakanishi Chûta Shikei 3, Nakanishi-ha Ittô-ryû 4shodaime5, exponent of several martial traditions (Shin Musô Muraku-ryû iaijutsu // Shin Musô Ittô-ryû kenjutsu // Inagami Shinmyô-ryû jûjutsu // Shizuka-ryû naginatajutsu that became Anazawa-ryû naginatajutsu // Hôzôin-ryû Takada sôjutsu // Shirai-ryû tebôjutsu // Shirai-ryû shurikenjutsu // kusarigamajutsu // harifuki 6 ). After Kurokouchi Dengorô, because of the WWII (bombings, fire), lineage documents (denshô) went missing and it was possible neither to trace direct lineage nor to find the missing link between Kurokouchi Dengorô and Miyawaki Tôru7, Chuya-ha Ittô-ryû shihan, considered as the 4th generation sôke of Shirai-ryû : Miyawaki Torû's house had burnt and himself had disappeared in 1946.

Present Negishi-ryû shurikenjutsu sôke is Saitô Satoshi sensei. In 1941, age 19, he becomes student of Naruse Kanji (1888-1948), 3rd generation sôke of Negishi-ryû, and practices Negishi-ryû and Shirai-ryû shurikenjutsu under his guidance. As for the folkloric record, Naruse Kanji rebuilt Shirai-ryû shurikenjutsu forms from documents and taught it, a teaching that beneficed to three of his most prominent students: Maeda Isamu, Shirakami Eizô et Saitô Satoshi. At this period, the last one is practicing Kuwana-handen Yamamoto-ryû iaijutsu with Naruse Kanji. In 1945, young officer on duty at Hamamtsu, he goes to Miyawaki Tôru, 4h sôke of Shirai-ryû, with a letter of recommendation from Naruse Kanji, and receives his teaching. In 1959, he receives the sokê title for Negisi-ryû Kuwana-handen Yamamoto-ryû iaijutsu from Maeda Isamu, 4rth sôke, and thus becomes the 5th Negishi-ryû sôke. After the war he studies Shigetsu-ryû shurikenjutsu with Fujita Seiko, 14th successor of Koga-ryû ninjutsu. In 2002, with the passing of Shirakami Eizô, Naruse Kanji's student specialized in Shirai-ryû (as reconstructed by Naruse Kanji), the defunct's sister gives to Saitô sensei the documents belonging to her brother, thus making Saitô sensei the only official Shirai-ryû representative.

His future successor for both traditions, appointed since 1985, is Tomabechi Yoshimi, Daitô-ryû aikijutsu shihan.

Saitô sensei is permanent member and Chairman of the Japan Traditional Martial Arts Association (Nihon Kôbudô Shinkôkai).

saito sensei


2 - Practice

The learning process of the throw goes through three basic methods, the kihon kata, encompassing different throwing rythms.

1. Manji, encompassing a 3 steps movement
2. Toji, 2 steps movement, then
3. Jikishi, which encompasses only a one step movement.

Moreover must be considered, depending on the shuriken trajectory :

  • Jikidahô, when the trajectory is straight
  • hantendahô, when the shuriken does a half flip.

Once the practitioner mastered those different throwing techniques, he goes through the shikake kata learning, or "sento kata" combat throwing method. Depending on combat situation, different methods can be used :

  • Kôsô, when facing the opponent
  • Ubu, while moving
  • Inyôsô, for rapid throws on front and back targets
  • Shichi, the four wisdoms

There are also methods for throwing while sitting or lying, combined with a sword , in the dark, hiding methods, close combat methods.

Below, picture of one display of Saitô sensei's collection, taken by Pierre SIMON. this picture is taken from the article "Shugendô, bouddhisme et arts martiaux traditionnels" that you may find on the blog.


Presentoir shuriken v


1- Descended from the eldest Tokugawa branch settled in Mito domain, Tokugawa Nariaki (1800-1860), also named Mito Rekkô, had an important role in the imperial restoration.
2- Died in 1863, aged 41.
3- Died 1824 (8th year of the Bunsei era: 1818-1830), aged 81.
4- Ittô-ryô branches are parts of many traditions such as, Tôgun-ryû, Ittô-ryû, Toda-ryû, offspring of the ancient family tradition Chûjô-ryû Heihô.
5- Died in 1868, at the age of 64. He made seppuku at the end of the Bôshin civil war between shôgun followers, who lost, and imperial restoration enthusiasts.
6- Needle throwing technique (ninjutsu)
7- Miyawaki Tôru, who died in 1946 at the age of 64/65, lived in Hamamatsu (Shizuoka prefecture).


1 – History of Shindô Musô-ryû


Shindô Musô-ryû was founded circa 1605 by Musô Gonnosuke Katsukichi, following a pilgrimage he went on through the country (shugyô). This pilgrimage was meant to be lived as a drastic asceticism, consequence of his defeat against the famous Miyamoto Musashi.

He had managed to get to the deepest of the Tenshi Shôden Katori Shintô-ryû tradition and practice (okugi). It was indeed because he had been defeated following a long series of victories in duels, that this warrior entered asceticism.

This latter lead him to the Kamado sanctuary
(竈門神社), on Mount Hôman (宝満山), in the current Fukuoka state where, after remaining confined for 37 nights and days, he reached illumination (satori). He then was able to create the jô techniques which allowed him to defeat Miyamoto Musashi during a new duel.

“maruki o motte suigetsu o shire”
“take a round stick, and find the solar plexus”

Then he became responsible for teaching the jôjutsu for the Kuroda clan. This tradition was jealously kept secret within the clan as its official secret tradition (otome bujutsu) until the Meiji restoration (1868), when the interdiction to teach this technique outside the clan was waived.

In 1940, Shimizu Takauji sensei (the current sôke) changed the name of the tradition from Shindô Musô-ryû jôjutsu to Shindô Musô-ryû jôdô, this latter reflecting better the change of the art, in full agreement with the new orientation of the modern society.

kaminoda sensei



2 – The Shindô Musô-ryû curriculum

During the part of his life that Musô Gonnosuke Katsukichi devoted to teach to the warriors of the Kuroda clan, he delivered teaching licenses to a dozen warriors. Either some of them, or their successors, were also masters in other martial traditions which were progressively integrated into the overall curriculum of Shindô Musô-ryû jôdô.

Even if these associated traditions kept their own technical specificities, they are taught as coherent parts of a unique curriculum.
Shindô Musô-ryû

Nowadays, the complete martial education of a member of Shindô Musô-ryû comprehends the mastery of the 6 following traditions :

  • Shindô Musô-ryû jôdô (stick)
  • Uchida-ryû tanjôjutsu (short stick)
  • Kasumi Shintô-ryû kenjutsu (sword)
  • Isshin-ryû kusarigamajutsu (sickle with a chain)
  • Ikkaku-ryû juttejutsu (metallic club)
  • Ittatsu-ryû hojôjutsu (restricting rope)



Pierre SIMON Iwao sensei   

This website is dedicated to enlarge people's awareness, understanding and respect, of both martial and cultural Japanese tradition, with the view to thanking my masters for their generous and patient teaching, in memory of their predecessors' long lineage.

SIMON Pierre Iwao
disciple of Japanese martial arts traditions
founder of the Oshinkan Dojo




1 – History of Tatsumi-ryû heihô

Tatsumi-ryû heihô was founded more than 400 years ago by Tatsumi Sankyô in the state of Ehime, on Shikoku island.

Born in the Eishô period (1504-1521), Tatsumi Sankyô involved himself at a very young age to serious martial practice, like all the warriors’ sons (bushi) of that time. He became a war lord. Simply studying to develop a technical competence leading to win a combat was not satisfying for him. He devoted himself to the god Tsumayama Daimyôjin and underwent some intense physical and spiritual asceticism which allowed him to reach illumination (satori). Following this experience, he founded the martial tradition Tatsumi-ryû which has been perpetuated until today.

In 1670, Tatsumi-ryû was recognized by the Sakura clan (today in the Chiba state) as its official style (otome-ryû).

Nowadays, Tatsumi-ryû has been designated intangible cultural treasure (mukei bunkazai) of the Chiba state. This martial tradition is still transmitted within the city of Sakura. The head of this martial tradition, holder of the title and warrantor of its transmission, was awarded with the same award. During this event, Kato Takashi sensei (1913-2003), who had lead Tatsumi-ryû for numerous years, was publically cited as a person who achieved outstanding support in the field of education, culture and arts. His son and successor, Kato Hiroshi sensei, is the current sôke of this long-lasting tradition.

Kato Takashi sensei Tatsumi-ryû heihô (立身流兵法) -Kato sensei père et fils, et Pierre SIMON Iwao - Démonstration à Shiramine-jinja, Kyôto







Announcement relating to rankings in Tatsumi-ryû.

The only person who can issue ranking in Tatsumi-ryû is the present Headmaster, Kato Hiroshi, 22nd sôke of Tatsumi-ryû. Rankings in Tatsumi-ryû issued by any other teachers or organisations are invalid and will not be recognised by the Headmaster. All ranking must come directly from the Headmaster.




2 – The Tatsumi-ryû heihô curriculum

The Tatsumi-ryû curriculum includes the study of the practice of numerous weapons and martial techniques. However, the sword is the main weapon of this school, and learning its usage within mortal combats (jissen) constitutes most of the curriculum of this tradition. This activity, which is called tôjutsu, can be divided in two parts: iai and kenjutsu.

2-1- Iai

Tatsumi-ryû heihô (立身流兵法) - Iaijutsu - Démonstration à Boso no mura (Japon) Practicing Iai, a sword-handling method (tôhô), allows the learner to control and beat his opponent when this latter draws his own sword (battô) from its case/sheath. The technique can be displayed either while kneeling (igumi), or standing (tachi-ai).


Iai includes 3 levels:

1. Omote level : Jo, Ha and Kyû series 
Kage level : Shoden, Honden and Betsuden series 
Zengo Sayû level

2-2- Kenjutsu

One of Tatsumi-ryû characteristics is to show at the same time a very high degree of integration of both iai and kenjutsu, and a rather low number of techniques which may have a large span of applications. The necessary qualities to make a fighting system effective and efficient are the consequence of this synergy.

Tatsumi-ryû heihô (立身流兵法) - Kato sensei - Gogo serie - tsume ai

2-3- Yawara

Tatsumi-ryû Yawara includes 45 techniques and instructions, among which some weaponless close combat techniques (sude), and methods of control of both long and short swords. Most of the techniques display several variations for combats with and without armour. Tatsumi-ryû heihô (立身流兵法) - Yawara

These 45 techniques are divided into 3 parts, subject to the posture of the potential opponents:

  • Both practitioners are kneeling (igumi) ;
  • Both practitioners are standing (tachi-ai) ;
  • One is kneeling, and the other one is standing (kumi-ai).

These techniques include immobilisations (gyaku), kicks and punches (ate), projections (nage) and strangulations (shime).

Yawara also includes resuscitation techniques (katsu), as well as techniques to restrict the opponent’s movement by the use of binding methods (hojôjutsu).

2-4- Secondary weapons


If the sword is the main weapon of this school, some other weapons are also used in the practice. They are not practiced as main specialities, but rather as if they were used by potential opponents, so that the Tatsumi learner may understand their techniques and beat them. In the kata, the sword holder always wins.

1. Spear techniques (yari): sôjutsu

  • yari awase : yari vs yari (6 techniques)
  • tachi awase : yari vs tachi (4 techniques)
  • kodachi awase : yari vs kosachi (4 techniques)

2. Stick techniques (, circa 1.8m-long and hanbô, circa 1.28m-long) : bôjutsu and hanbôjutsu

  • bôjutsu : bô vs tachi (5 techniques)
  • hanbôjutsu : hanbô vs tachi (3 techniques)

3. Halberd techniques (naginata)

  • naginata vs tachi (3 techniques, each of them featuring 1 kage technique)

4. Shuriken, mankiri kusari, tessen, jutte techniques

  • No kata exist, yet some best use instructions are provided

3 – Practicing the Tatsumi-ryû heihô tradition

3-1- Iai practice

On top of the repetition of the kata, Tatsumi-ryû iai offers case studies matching varied informal responses corresponding to special situations.

  • Kazunuki


During this special practice, the practitioner of an advanced level executes several thousands of mukô and marui techniques, in the sôke’s (Dean of the school) presence. This practice requires a good stamina as its first step takes 8 hours to be completed.

  • Tameshigiri


This practice of real cut intends to test not only the sharp edge (kire aji) and the resistance (kyôjin) of a real blade, but also the ability to cut (udedameshi) of the advanced practitioner.

3-2- Kenjutsu practice

Kenjutsu is practiced through the following exercises and kata :

Tatsumi-ryû heihô (立身流兵法) - Kenjutsu kage
  • kihon keiko (basic practice) : keta uchi, mawashi uchi, mawari uchi
  • kenjutsu omote no kata tachi : tachi vs tachi
  • kenjutsu kage : kodachi vs ôdachi (short sword vs long sword) kodachi wins.
  • kenjutsu : gogo no kata

Kenjutsu curriculum includes a side practice through the following series:

  • seiganzume ;
  • teitô ;
  • yoroi dôshi.


1- History of Toda-ha Bukô-ryû

The Toda-ha Bukô-ryû martial tradition is deeply rooted into Toda-ryû, sogobujutsu, (martial tradition including the whole weaponry range), which was created by Toda Seigen during the intense times of civil wars also called Sengoku jidai (1490-1600). Before he created his own school and tradition, Toda Seigen had studied Chûjô-ryû (kenjutsu martial tradition founded in the 15th Century by Chûjô Hyôgo no Kami; its specialty was the short sword called kodachi). An eye disease turned him blind. As a consequence, he transmitted Toda-ryû, a family tradition, to his younger brother and became a monk.

During the Edo era (1600-1868), the Bukô-ryû branch got separated from the main core tradition. Under the lead of the thirteenth sôke Suneya Ryôsuke Takeyuki (1795-1875), it left the prefecture of Fukui (formerly called Echizen) and settled on the Bukô Mount (prefecture of Saitama) where it will specialize into the art of naginata (halberd). Despite this specialization, Toda-ha Bukô-ryû kept in its curricula other pieces of weaponry such as the tachi (sword), the yari (spear), the kusarigama (sickle with chain and weight) and the (stick).

The current sôke (or dai, head of tradition) of Toda-ha Bukô-ryû is Nakamura Yoichi sensei, twentieth sôke and first male head of tradition since the fourteenth dai Suneya Satô, both wife and successor of Suneya Ryôsuke. On the 19th of October 2008, Nakamura sensei replaced Nitta Suzuô sensei, who had died on the 1st of June 2008. The nineteenth dai, Nitta sensei was the master of Simon Pierre Iwao sensei.

Nitta sensei
Nitta Suzuô sensei

Toda-ha Buko-ryu is currently under the direction of sôke-dairi, Kent Sorensen, also head of Toda-ha Buko-ryu's core dojo, the Nakano Dojo in Tokyo Japan.

Sorensen sensei is supported by a number of shihan (fully licensed instructors) throughout the world.


Simon Pierre Iwao 2011Pierre SIMON Iwao 2011 

2- Toda-ha Bukô-ryû’s curriculum

The Toda-ha Bukô-ryû curriculum divides into 2 distinct parts: the hon mokuroku and the betsu mokuroku.

First to be studied, the hon mokuroku makes the main part of the school and emphasizes the development of the necessary dexterity to handle a naginata, the speciality of this school. Composed of 36 kata focusing on either naginata, or kagitsuki naginata (a naginata with a metallic buttoir fixed across its blade, used to either stop, or smash down the opponent’s blade), it splits into 3 proficiency levels:

1. shoden, or basic transmission
Such level includes the practice of the following series of kata:

  • Tachi awase no koto: naginata versus sword (5 kata)
  • Ai naginata no koto: naginata versus naginata (11 kata)

2.chûden, or intermediary transmission
Such level includes the practice of the following series of kata:

  • Yari irimi no koto : naginata versus yari (5 kata)
  • Kusarigama aiki no koto : naginata versus Kusarigama (5 kata)

3. okuden, or deep transmission
Such level includes the practice of the following series of kata:

  • Kagitsuki naginata Tachi awase no koto: "special" naginata versus sword (5 kata)
  • Kagitsuki naginata Yari awase no koto : "special" naginata versus yari (5 kata)


Studied as a minor series aside the main practice, the betsu mokuroku is a separate curriculum within which the student practices either the sword, main weapon for the classic Japanese warrior, or any other piece of weaponry which could be used against him. Considered a research path, it is only taught to the best students. Betsu mokuroku is made of 3 series of kata:

  1. Bojutsu Goten Bunrei : bô versus sword
  2. Kusarigama Tachi Goten Bunrei : kusarigama versus sword
  3. Nagamaki Gokui Goten Bunrei : nagamaki versus sword

3- Practice in the Toda-ha Bukô-ryû tradition

The early practice is meant to train the student into focusing on simple moves called kihon, repeated and learned for a certain while. Once the student has become more familiar with the handling techniques of the naginata, he may develop and improve through the indefatigable repetition of the kata which are part of the school's curriculum.

Whatever his proficiency, a student must keep on practicing the kihon throughout his whole existence.


Kata-forms oppose two partners who practice as shidachi and ukedachi.

  • Shidachi, either "the sword which does", or "the blade which does", verbatim. In this role lies the novice, the ones who executes the techniques taught in the school, and learns how to handle a naginata.
  • Ukedachi, "the sword which receives", verbatim. In this role lies the initiate –the insider-, the one who helps the shidachi, leading him along the long and rigorous learning path.


Toda-ha Bukô-ryû (戸田派武甲流) - Kagitsuki naginata Tachi awase no koto

To the external observer, while a kata is being executed, shidachi wins, while ukedachi loses. The intent is obvious and clear: ukedachi loses on purpose, with the view to developing the moral and physical qualities of his shidachi, acting there in an essential role. Indeed, thanks to his ukedachi, shidachi will, on top of developing technical, weapon-handling qualities, grow qualities such as engagement, stamina, persistence, pugnacity ; understanding of the notions of pace ; fighting, entry and opening distance ; opponent control ; breathing control ; focus control, ...


In order to attract shidachi up to his own proficiency level, and even beyond, ukedachi must possess proven both technical and mental qualities, as well as a humble and large "heart". It is only under such conditions that shidachi will meet all the required opportunities to become in turns a good ukedachi.

Hence, more than a strictly speaking opposition, shidachi and ukedachi work together in a complementary manner.