Iga Hakuun Ryu Ninpo

Iga Hakuun Ryu Ninpo was founded in Jinpyo Heiji Era (1151-1160) by Hakuun Doshi who taught Kimon Heibei and Tozawa Hakuunsai (Tozawa Kaneuji who was retainer of Minamoto Tameto). Heibei and Hakuunsai were taught by Hachiryu Nyudo who was expert of Kosshijutsu. Hachiryu Nyudo was taught by Garyu Doshi. Garyu Doshi received transmission of this system from Gamon Doshi, who was taught by exiled Ikai Shogun from China, who lived in the Iga mountains. Tozawa Hakuunsai was one of the pioneers of Hakuun Ryu Ninpo, with its main focus on Genjutsu (illusionary techniques). It is especially famous for the Demon Waza known as: Inki, Doki, Fuki, and Kaki. This Ninjutsu equalling "mystical ways".

Hakuun Ryu Ninpo is the parent of Togakure Ryu Ninpo. Techniques found in Gyokko Ryu, Koto Ryu, Gikan Ryu, Kumogakure Ryu, Kasumi Ryu rely greatly on those from Hakuun Ryu Ninpo. It was by the order of Hakuunsai and Hakuun Doshi that use of the Ryu name was halted.

Heisei Year 1 (1989) June 19, 11:50 in the morning, flying across the American skies from Milwaukee to Los Angeles, I was ordered by a voice from Heaven to reinstate the name Hakuun Ryu Ninpo. The Heavenly guide instructed me in the high level miraculous points of the Ryu. So I had to be stand up as the 37th generation Grandmaster of Hakuun Ryu Ninpo.

In the Ohbo Era (1161-1163) descending from Hakuun Doshi, who in turn taught Kain Doshi, who transmitted on to Togakure Daisuke. Daisuke taught Shima Kosanta Minamoto No Kanesada, who later started to use his teacher's name thus becoming the 2nd generation head known as Togakure Daisuke. Kanesada (16 years old) was a retainer of Shogun Yoshinaka during a battle in July of 1161. Fighting bravely he became seriously injured and passed out. Reviving later he went into the Iga mountains where he was saved and taught Ninjutsu by Kain Doshi and the 1st Togakure Daisuke.

The second generation Togakure Daisuke (Kanesada) became famous as Togakure Ryu Ninja. It was after the battle between the North and South Emperors that many of the defeated soldiers took refuge in those same mountains and their input into the Iga and Koga revolutionized Ninjutsu.

From the legends of Ninjutsu and Ninpo: It was in 986 that the brilliant Chinese General Ikai lost a war, and chose to exile himself to Japan. He fled to live in a cave in the Iga mountains. He was an authority on Hichojutsu and Ongyojutsu. It was a recorded fact that by using a special Kiai he could jump to a height of 6 meters.

It is my honest opinion that Ninjutsu is deeply tied to the Amatsu Tatara line. This is the true fact of the matter, for example I know of 4 kind of old scrolls, held by the clans of Ohtomo, Mononobe, Abe, and Nakatomi. These scrolls are titled: Ohtomo Amatsu Tatara Kishin no Hibun, Mononobe Amatsu Tatara Hisshin Mokuroku, Abe (Ohhikonaga) Amatsu Tatara Rinpo Hiden No Maki and Kuki Amatsu Tatara Nakatomi Hibun. Gamon Doshi always used the expression: "For the Martial Artist a heart of spiritual harmony is most important! I refuse to teach one who has no harmony and peace in his soul."

The first sentence written in the Togakure scroll goes: "Do not kill people, either escape or disappear and must learn 'Flower heart and bamboo spirit', 'God's Heart and God's Eyes', 'Unification of mind, spirit, body' and the Ninpo virtues". Hakuunsai said: "Banpen Fugyo" (Be unshaken whatever happens). In the Hakuun Ryu Ninpo the main focus of training is on control of mind and spirit. In this there is a special Kuji Kiri used. Like the flowing river is the heart of Hakuun Ryu, Kumogakure Ryu's point is "Like a shadow behind the moon, appearing after the clouds". Gyokko Ryu's point is Tenmon Chimon and Shin Shin Shingan.

© Grandmaster Tanemura Tsunehisa Shoto Sensei (Bu-Fu Magazine)