Musô Jikiden Eishin Ryû iaijutsu Komei Jyuku es un koryû (escuela antigua) fundada entre la Era Eiroku (1558-1570), la Era Genki (1570-1573) y la Era Tenshô (1573-1592) por Hayashizaki Jinsuke no Shigenobu. Según la mayoría de los especialistas y estudiosos de la historia japonesa, fue la primera escuela en especializarse en el arte del iaijutsu (arte del desenvaine del sable japonés) , articulándolo y ordenándolo. Musô Jikiden Eishin Ryû procede del feudo de Tosa, de la familia Yamauchi en la línea de Tôkyô y está reconocida por la Nihon Kobudô Kyôkai bajo el liderazgo del 21º sucesor legítimo de la escuela Sekiguchi Takaaki Komei sensei. Las clases en los dôjô están dirigidas por el representante para España de esta escuela, Sekiguchi Kenryû, quien ha sido autorizado a enseñar y transmitir estas enseñanzas samurai del feudo de Tosa.

Ryôen Ryû naginatajutsu está liderada por Shimizu Nobuko sensei. Centrándose en el manejo de la naginata (alabarda japonesa) y el tantô (puñal) de Jikishinkage Ryû bajo los conocimientos adquiridos de la 17º sôke Toya Akiko sensei, que le concedió 8º Dan Hanshi a Shimizu sensei. También se estudian formas de etiqueta y protocolo derivadas de Ogasawara Ryû reihô y transmitidas por el 32º sôke Ogasawara Tadamune sensei, que le concedió a Shimizu sensei el Menkyô Kaiden así como el nombre de Ryôen. Las clases en los dôjô están dirigidas por el representante para España de esta escuela, Ryôen Ryûko, quien ha sido autorizado a enseñar y transmitir estas enseñanzas.

martes, 4 de febrero de 2014

Tale of a dream come true

    Tale of a dream realized: Hônô Enbukai in Yasukuni Jinja.

In 2001 I started my path  in budô with a short step to judô, entering a regular keiko in late 2001 on Kendô  and Iaidô  Zen Nihon Kendô Renmei, starting years later Shintô Musô Ryû Jodô and Okinawa Kobudô, many joys occurred all those years in all these disciplines, earned degrees, medals and trophies I earned plus many friends and great sensei met.


I started learning Musô Jikiden Eishin Ryû Iaijutsu Komei Jyuku directly from their leader, the 21st Sekiguchi Komei sensei to meet little later Shimizu Nobuko sensei led Ryôen Ryû naginatajutsu also turning into direct student. Of these joys, emphasized the responsibility that both 21st Sekiguchi Komei sensei and Shimizu Nobuko sensei chose me to represent their respective schools in Spain (honbuchô), and subsequently nominate me Sekiguchi Kenryū in iaijutsu and Ryôen Ryûko in naginatajutsu becoming almost like his child. I thought they were the greatest joys I might receive, but in my heart I had a dream for the future ...



I will not started on the study of budô for sports, not to make friends, earn trophies or having titles , my most direct reasons were related to the love I have for Japanese culture and history and art in general. I studied art history at the Complutense University of Madrid, and I specialized in it, besides focusing on Japanese art in PhD -doctoral studies. This same interest I’ll put in iaijutsu, naginatajutsu and the Reihô and traditional Japanese cultural traditions. I've always been a  defender of budôka should have  bunbu ryôdô (martial and culture) to feel complete . For all these reasons it is imaginable joy I felt when my teacher, 21st representative Musô Jikiden Eishin Ryû Iaijutsu, Sekiguchi Takaaki Komei sensei confirmed that allowed me to participate in the Oshogatsu Hônô Enbukai Yasukuni Jinja and my teacher of Ryôen Ryû naginatajutsu, Shimizu Nobuko sensei cede her place to me to assist Ôharai ceremony (ceremony scanning and protection from evil spirits) at the side of Sekiguchi sensei in the Oku no In or sanctum sanctorum of the temple, place usually reserved for Shintô priests  of this shrine.
Yasukuni Shrine was erected in 1869 in the end of the Edo Period -Tokugawa Bakufu and the beginning and the Meiji Restoration (1868). Its foundation was bound to honor the fallen in the Boshin Wars, becoming a sanctuary where the heroes of the country are honored. Despite the political problems of the sanctuary because of its involvement in World War II, remains today one of the most important Shintô shrines throughout Japan and closely associated with the Imperial House. The first day of the year and many celebrations are held in the beautiful setting of Nôhgakudô are held budô demonstrations, dance, music and traditional Japanese theater.
To make an abstract, my teachers allowed me to participate in the Japanese culture through one of the most sacred Shintô ceremonies in one of the most important Shintô shrines in Japan, and in this context a demonstration of budô. What better example of bunbu ryôdô can exist by combining Japanese culture and religión and budô? My dream had come true.


I arrived at 7:30 am at the Shrine to wait and receive the sensei. After introducing myself to each sensei who take part in the enbu I followed Sekiguchi sensei to the inside of Nôhgakudô. Before beginning the enbu, Sekiguchi sensei called not only members of Komei Jyuku but members of the other schools participating in the event to make a speech of encouragement, but on the other hand to raise awareness of the importance of the event, asking for a complete and total seriousness and delivered in the sacred enbu we were about to perform. As far my knowledge of japanese language I can understand that Sekiguchi sensei said that, no matter the school, but that all should come out with the thought that what we do in the beginning of this year will be the reflection of what we do throughout the year, we are seeing our friends and family outside, but we look from the sky our ancestors and the gods of Yasukuni so we had to make all of them were proud of us.

In the morning time of the Hônô Enbukai the schools who take part in the sacred enbu was:
-          Musô Jikiden Eishin Ryû iaijutsu Komei Jyuku.
-          Ryôen Ryû naginatajutsu.
-          Kôfu Ryû kenbujutsu.
-          Shin Musô Muraku Ryû hyôhô.
-          Tenshin Ryû hyôhô.
-          Kokusai Shintaijutsu Renmei.

Musô Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaijutsu Komei Jyuku is a koryû (old school) founded between Eiroku Era (1558-1570), the Genki Era (1570-1573) and Tenshô Era (1573-1592), by Hayashizaki Jinsuke no Shigenobu. According to most experts and scholars of Japanese history, was the first school to specialize in the art of iaijutsu. Musô Jikiden Eishin Ryû Komei Jyuku comes from the land of Tosa, from the Yamauchi line, and is recognized by the Nihon Kobudô Kyôkai under the leadership of 21st legitimate successor Sekiguchi Takaaki Komei Jyukuchô.
Ryôen Ryû naginatajutsu is led by Shimizu Nobuko sensei. Focusing on handling the naginata based on the teachings from the late 17th sôke Toya  Akiko sensei in Jikishinkage Ryû naginata, who granted 8th Dan Hanshi to Shimizu sensei. Forms of etiquette and protocol derived from Ogasawara Ryû reihô and transmitted by the 32º sôke Ogasawara Tadamune sensei, he granted Shimizu sensei Menkyô Kaiden and named her Ryôen. Uchidachi part is from Musô Jikiden Eishin Ryû iaijutsu as she is direct student of 21st Sekiguchi Komei Jyukuchô.


Kôfu Ryû is a school of kenbu or war dance led by shihan Noguchi Fukuko. It teaches dance without arms, with tessen (war fan), tessen with katanayari (spear) and tessen with yari. In the enbu, Noguchi sensei performed kenbu with katana.

Kokusai Renmei Shintaijutsu is a gendai budô studying different types of taijutsuzen and shugyô. In the enbu  they demonstrated similar to karate kata and bunkai techniques and throws, locks and also  jo work.
Tenshin Ryû hyôhô is a school founded in Kan-Ei Era (1624-1645) that depends on the 9th sôke Nakamura Tenshin who has already designated the 10th sôke  Kuwami Masakumo. The Yagyû Shinkage Ryû kenjutsu allowed the founder Tokizawa Hyahei create a separate line within the "Ura Yagyû" under the name Tenshin Ryû. The techniques demonstrated enbu was both kodachi  and odachi kata.

Shin Musô Muraku Ryû hyôhô is a school that teaches the lessons that were derived from the techniques of Hayashizaki Jinsuke no Shigenobu , founder of Musô Jikiden Eishin Ryû and Tamiya Heibei Narimasa, 2º sôke Musô Jikiden Eishin Ryû through Nagano Muraku Nyôdô Kinrosai, 3º sôke Musô Jikiden Eishin Ryû.

In Ryôen Ryû naginatajutsu, Shimizu Nobuko sensei, Onoe Masato san and myself  (named Ryôen Ryûko in the official program) made the enbu. On the stage our singing began enbu  with a three voices Rôei poem. After that Shimizu sensei and Onoe san go out to leave me alone to do the kata Shiho Giri, Shiho Barai, a kata showing full tôrei in naginata at the same time takes a ritual for expelling evil spirits and to bring good luck, in this case, for the whole year. When done, Onoe san came and we performed together with the naginata, the first series of kata Shoden no Bu: Minamo, Dô Giri, Musô and Shingetsu sono ni, and the second series  Ryû no Bu , kata Namitsumi. Then Shimizu sensei came and give to me the honor of being her uchidachi for doing kumitachi. After reihô, we make the Shoden kata kumitachi:  Senpu sono Ni, Dô Giri and Fuji San. Also this was a double or triple test for me, since I had never done kumitachi naginata with metal weapons. But there was no doubt and no fear, with the words in mind ichi go ichi e, I performed enbu with Shimizu sensei.

To end the enbu, reentered Onoe san and  we perform the work of tantôjutsu. Usually the tantô work is included in the kata, being a secondary weapon in Ryôen Ryû for when you lose the naginata, however in this enbu we did the solo tantô waza. The work we do were: Naginata Hozuki (Tora no Bu) no tantôjutsu, Futae no Nagiri(Tora no Bu) no tantôjutsu and Kogarashi (Ryû no Bu) no tantôjutsuAt the end of all forms we bow to both the public (shomen) and naname to the main Yasukuni Shrine.


In Musô Jikiden Eishin Ryû Iaijutsu, Sekiguchi sensei placed us in pairs, I was lucky again  because my  couple was again Shimizu sensei. Actually, except Kaori san, all was sensei or sempai so it’s easy to get lucky. Because of this, I felt a big responsibility, first as only Western that year,  second, as the first Spanish  in history and third as kohai must overcome and surpass himself to be at the same level as the sempai and sensei.

The Musô Jikiden Eishin Ryû iaijutsu enbu was as follows:
-         -- Ogata Akio sensei  y Takeuchi Kaori san: Seiza no Bu: Mae, Yae Gaki, Ukenagashi, Tsukekomi, Tsukikage, Ôi Kaze and Nukiuchi.

-        -- Onoe Masato san and Yamazaki Hiroaki: Tate Hiza no Bu: Yokogumo. Oku Iai Iwaza: Kasumi, Sunegakoi, Tôzume, Tôwaki, Shiho Giri and Rôzume.
-          -- Noguchi Fukuko sensei: Oku Iai Tachiwaza: Yukizure, Tsuredachi, Sô Makuri, Sô Dome, Shinobu and Sodesurigaeshi.

-             -- Shimizu Nobuko sensei and Sekiguchi Kenryû san (myself): Bangai Sanbon: Hayanami, Raiden and Jinrai. Oku Iai Tachiwaza: Tsuredachi, Sô Dome, Shinobu and Kabezoe.


-       -- Obiki Ritsuko sensei and Kojima Keiko sensei: Oku Iai Tachiwaza: Sô Dome, Shinobu. Bangai Gohon: Mae, Aranami, Kesa Guruma, Takiguruma and Tatsumaki. Tachi Unchi no Kurai Nanahon no Kata: De Ai, Kobushidori, Zetsumyôken, Dokumyôken, Tsuba Dome, Ukenagashi and Mappô. All the enbu was impressing, all the sensei does really well, but I was really impressed by the iaijutsu enbu and especially Tachi Uchi no Kurai Nanahon no Kata, Obiki and Kojima sensei performed. It's impressive to see a enbu kumitachi when you see the sundome of sensei  and kime running each technique.

-      -- 21º Sekiguchi Takaaki Komei Jyukuchô: Musô Jikiden Eishin Ryû iaijutsu Waza. When the demonstrations of other schools and members of Musô Jikiden Eishin Ryû Iaijutsu Komei Jyuku finalized, it was the turn of the 21st Sekiguchi Takaaki Komei Jyukuchô. All other deshi we wait in seiza in the hashigakari with head down to make a way to escort Jyukuchô who performed the reihô-tôrei to finish the Yasukuni enbu with a henka-waza which really shows his technique and the whole tradition of Eishin Ryû. Returning by hashigakari, all deshi followed him, and so concluded Oshogatsu Hônô Enbukai Yasukuni Jinja 2014. I want to say that the organization of the event by volunteers and Yasukuni Shintô priests was exquisite, all well organized, chairs for the public, and all the support. They also had to give us the gift for each of us involved in the enbu a hamaya (arrow to exorcise evil spirits), used as a charm and Horse tablet of wood corresponding to this year.

However, despite the enbu ended, my dream continued, as it was with the participation in the event Ôharai, where evil spirits are driven away and a good luck for next year is prepared. Yasukuni Jinja volunteers kindly accompanied us to the covered hall of the temple where they offered a ôcha (green tea) and exquisite wafuru Fugetsudô (wafer with cream) while we waited to be called.

They called us to enter the Komei  Jyuku members and walked within the enclosure of the temple, in a room where they were exposed mochi, sake offerings and the calligraphy of the organizations participating in this year Ôharai ceremony. There, the priest explained to us what it was we were about to perform, a sacred ritual that we would receive the grace of the gods, so please, we should sit in seiza and bow our head, and meanwhile echoed the voice of another priest who recited a series of Shintô prayers.

Then we were told we could lift their heads to access the Oku no In. Already in front of the mirror and divinity they asked again that we sit down in seiza. At this point the priest proceeded to deliver nihon sakaki branches to perform the ceremony of Tamagushi  (Tamagushi o sasageru). This ritual consists in Ôharai circling the branch and then place it on the altar of divinity, so only those in the front row could access this honor. This ritual dates back to Japanese mythology, when as stated in Nihon Shôki, Amaterasu no Ômikami was angry with his brother Susanô–wo no Kami and the other gods decorated a sakaki tree for make the sun come out and bring light against the darkness. Normally Shimizu sensei sits beside Jyukuchô to perform this ceremony, but this year wanted to let me have their place, a great honor, to perform this ritual. Sekiguchi sensei told me that this is something special which not everyone has access, especially Westerners. My faith in his words reinforced the step when the priest gave me the branch and he wondered if I understood what it meant, and I answered yes, and while performing the rite, I could hear the people sitting behind me, and were amazed that a "gaijin" was taking part in this ceremony. Once finished the Tamagushi, we performed the two bows, two claps and final bow in Shintô usual tradition and prepared to leave the building. In the hallway leaving the Oku no In, some miko wait for us (Shintô priestess) with bowls of red urushi was served hot and sweet sake. This sake should be drunk watching the Oku no In, so that the building is reflected in the glass, and terminating this ceremony Oharai of Yasukuni Jinja in Oshogatsu.

Leaving the Yasukuni Jinja,  Sekiguchi sensei invited me to attend his Shinnenkai (New Year food), an honor, because as I said they were all sensei: Sekiguchi sensei, Noguchi sensei, Shimizu sensei, Nakamura Tenshin sensei, Obiki sensei, Kojima sensei and Ogata sensei. I want to say  that we had a great time and the food was of the highest quality, we were in a private room where we were served by a perfect kimono -clad hostesses. A great experience that Sekiguchi sensei gave me and what I am eternally grateful.

Obviously my experience with sensei in budô resulted not only from the enbu, as far I wish to train intensively with many teachers I had ever trained and they gave to me many points, corrcetions and work materials for my keiko. So, I had the chance to train Musô Jikiden Eishin Ryû iaijutsu at the  Honbu dôjô in Shinagawa (Tôkyô) with Fujii Katsuko sensei and naginatajutsu with Shimizu Nobuko sensei. In the  Kenshinkan Hasuda dôjô (Saitama) also in a private keiko with Fujii sensei and Obiki Ritsuko sensei.  Also iaijutsu in Meguro Noguchi sensei’s dòjô (Tôkyô) with Obiki sensei, and also Shimizu sensei, Mochizuki sensei and Kanô san. I also had the opportunity to train Ryôen Ryû naginatajutsu privately with Shimizu sensei in the Honbu dôjô in Yoshikawa (Saitama).

I want to thank again to Sekiguchi sensei Jyukuchô to allow me to train in this private keiko in Japan, and Fujii sensei for all her corrections, and also Obiki sensei for her warmness in the Kenshinkan dôjô, and at least to Noguchi sensei for inviting me to the Meguro dôjô keiko. Also I want to thank very much my mother of budô, Shimizu sensei, for teaching me and always taking care of me all the time I spent with her and his family. In this travel I felt I have many sensei but also many parents in Japan, like we, Komei Jyuku are a big family, so thank you all.


But the dream did not end just here, I want to tell you an special trip that had always dreamed of do. A trip to Kôchi (Shikoku), the heart of the old Han of Tosa, home of the Yamauchi family since, after the battle of Sekigahara, got support Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa so Yamauchi’s get the support to expel the Chosokabe family. Home of Musô Jikiden Eishin Ryû since the seventeenth century when the 8th sôke Arai Seitetsu Kiyonobu introduced in the feud and the 9th sôke Hayashi Rokudayu Morimasa made ​​it official under Toyomasa Yamauchi lord service. Here was also where the last daimyô of Tosa, Yamauchi Toyoshige Yôdô support his grandson Yamauchi Toyotake in their study of koryû so he become 18th sôke of Musô Jikiden Eishin Ryû Iaijutsu and initiator of the Yamauchi line, which comes my school and my teacher Sekiguchi sensei, as 21st. There I delight to visit Kôchi-jô (Kôchi castle) or Yamauchi castle. I also visited the Museum of Yamauchi family, full of incunabula national treasures in literature, as some originals Kokin Wakashū or series of tachi , katana and kabuto that belonged to the Yamauchi family, among many other handwritten letters and treasures. I also had the opportunity to visit the ancient ruins of the ancient Chidôkan dôjô




The perfect end to the trip was to visit Yamauchi Jinja, the temple built for the gods of Kumano who Yamauchi family prayed to get victories, and therefore all members of the feudal family. In this sanctuary  I make an offering and prayed introducing myself to the kami and ancestors of my school as the delegate (Hombuchô) of Spain for the once who sponsored and, in the case of Yamauchi Toyotake sôke ruled up my koryû.


In this trip to Japan, also I get my chance to buy many books for my PhD doctor degree in tsuba and kodôgu, also I visited many museum and did research about my studies, because there are many tôsogu masterpieces in Spain and nobody studied yet, so it's my challenge. 

This is the story of a dream (or more) come true, but does not represent the end of a road, but the beginning of new challenges, as promised both kami in Yasukuni Jinja, the Yamauchi family in Kôchi, and of course the sensei of iaijutsu and naginatajutsu in Japan, that the next time they observe me my level have grown exponentially, so that they could be proud of me both in heaven and on earth.


Sekiguchi Kenryû - Musô Jikiden Eishin Ryû iaijutsu Komei Jyuku.
Ryôen Ryûko - Ryôen Ryû naginatajutsu.
Spain Honbuchô.