hatsumi and koga ryu

Discussion in 'Koryu Corner' started by tenzen, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. tenzen

    tenzen Blue Belt

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    first let me start by saying that my statement here is an observation and is in no way fact al though it could very well be. also this is not meant to start an argue ment or to call out anyone. i am not trying to get on anyones bad side just thought this would be an interesting topic to discuss and find out your thoughts on it.

    as i was looking over the past soke listings for the various ryu ha i noticed that some of these arts have at one time or another been headed by people comming from koga, koka, kouka how ever you wanna spell it now days. the shinden fudo ryu was headed by people from koga for 200 years. not just because some of the last names are in fact koga, but the other names of families that are known to come from the koga region.

    not sure exactly which ones they all were, as i am not looking at the soke lists at this moment. i just used sfr as a reference because i remembered that one. now i am fully aware that only 3 of the nine schools are considered ninjutsu and only one of these has been taught. but lets not count out this possibility.

    also i would like to note that in koga there is not one style there are specialized schools from which they would learn each skill. ie before a mission an operative would train in katori shinto ryu for sword meifu shinkage for shuriken and so on and so forth. not saying these schools specifically just using them as an example.

    what are your thoughts on this and has anyone else noticed this before?
     
  2. Bruno@MT

    Bruno@MT Senior Master

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    Hi. It would be easier to start a discussion if you would have concrete question or topic to discuss. I've read the previous post a couple of times but it is not clear to me what your point is or which discussion you are trying to start.

    If you can be a bit more specific it would help.
     
  3. tenzen

    tenzen Blue Belt

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    by my post i was wondering if anyone else noticed this before and if not what do you think about it and its possibilities. everything we think we know about this subject could be turned upside down. i think but am not sure, that i counted a total of 5 of these bujinkan arts to at one time have been headed by somone of koga decent. the lineage lists are in paul richardsons book about the schools of the bujinkan.

    1. has anyone else noticed this?
    2. what are your opinions on this?
    3. and if they were koga at one time how did they come into their hands?
    4. how did they come back to iga families.
     
  4. Bruno@MT

    Bruno@MT Senior Master

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    Imo there is not much to wonder about. Arts get passed from soke to soke, or someone with menkyo kaiden starts their own off-shoot. I was told that one of the most complex lineages is kukishin ryu, of which the lineage resembles a tree that started at one point and then branched out in dozens of different places.

    There are also occurences of sokeships (or menkyo kaiden) being passed down to people who were not local to the founder's place. Take Takamatsu sensei for example. He traveled a lot, acquired different skills, and then passed them on to several of his students like Hatsumi sensei which was from a different part of Japan as well.

    And when Hatsumi sensei, Tanemura sensei and Manaka sensei pass down their ryuha (actually I don't know if Manaka sensei will do this) it could be that their successors will come from different parts of Japan. In the case of Tanemura sensei, some of his senior students are European. James Wright could return to scotland with his menkyo kaiden and pass his line to scotsmen.

    So all in all I don't think anything special about people acquiring ryu from different regions. It may have been rarer in feudal Japan (esp in ninjutsu ryu) but even then I imagine it happened (as proven by the kukishin lineage tree).
     
  5. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Hi,

    You know, all this is new to me. I have never heard of any connection between "Koga Ryu" of any variation and the lineages of Takamatsu Sensei, Hatsumi Sensei, Tanemura Sensei etc. So just to be sure, I pulled out my copy of Pauls book, and sure enough, none of the schools there are assosciated with Koga. In fact, there is a map on the first couple of pages which shows the locations of each of the various Ryuha, and it shows Gyokko Ryu, Gyokushin Ryu, Koto Ryu and Kumoagkure Ryu in Iga, with Gikan Ryu a bit further south west, just below Kobe, Kukishinden Ryu in Kumano, Togakure Ryu in Shinano (just north of Kiso), and Shinden Fudo Ryu and Takagi Ryu located in Hyogo and Akashi (a little west of Osaka and Himeji). So I don't follow the reasoning that just because there are some similar names (and I saw very few, to be honest) that any of these would be classed as "Koga Ryu".

    So unfortunately, I don't see any answers to any of your questions. In order:
    1. Nothing to notice, I fear.
    2. Nothing to have an opinion on. The schools are Iga or Samurai from various locations.
    3. They don't appear to have been Koga at any time.
    4. See above.
     
  6. Bruno@MT

    Bruno@MT Senior Master

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    I interpreted the question as being about lineages diverting from one area to another, and that the 'koga' example was just that: an example.

    Although I seem to recall that the lineage chart in my back of Tanemura's ninpo essentials (*) has one or more lines tracing back to the koga region. i could be wrong, or this could be because Tanemura sensei has additional lineage not deriving from Takamatsu. I'll check in a couple of hours when I get home and post back here.

    In any case, that is why I thought it was unremarkable that lineages leave their geographical origin. Not having the book referred to, I have no way to judge the specific cases mentioned by Tenzen. Depending on the succession of the Tanemura lineages, those lines could even leave japan (highly unlikely though theoretically possible).
     
  7. JadecloudAlchemist

    JadecloudAlchemist Master of Arts

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    Well it is not impossible. I mean we are going over 500 years and in some case Iga and Kouga ninja worked together. Togakure ryu list the 5th soke as Kouga Kisanta,Ueno Rihei who was the 11th soke and his generation held it till 13th both Ueno and Kouga are listed as family names of Kouga. But it does not mean they were Kouga persay.
     
  8. tenzen

    tenzen Blue Belt

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    i was not stating this as a fact only a possibility. and the names i am reffering to are not "koga" but other family names common in the koga/shiga region. one such example is abe muga. who was from shiga. there are others i do not remember. i am away from home and will be back there tomorrow, if i get a chance i will pull out the book and post the names and the schools they came from then we can further this discussion. if you still feel the same which you probably will thats cool this is just a thread and this was just something i found to be interesting. thought you all would too.
     
  9. JadecloudAlchemist

    JadecloudAlchemist Master of Arts

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    Chris has already said that the schools come from Iga which he said come from Paul's book.

    Ueno and Kouga are both names of Kouga families who appear in the Tokagure line. But it does not mean that Kouga Kisanta and Ueno Rihei were Kouga ninja(they might have been)they may have been Kouga ninja worked with Iga ninja and thats how the transmission went who knows it was 500 years ago.

    Abe comes from Kouga area and became Soke of Shinden Fudo ryu. But the key word is came from. He may have left Kouga and lived in Iga during the time. But because the person chosen to be the next Soke happens to come from Kouga I don't think makes the school a Kouga school. It was founded in Iga thus IMO it is an Iga school and visa versa. Since the two areas worked together they shared similar techniques.

    I don't know if we can say the schools were in the hands of Iga and then Kouga and back and forth thru the ages. I think saying it was in the hands of a person who happen to come from a region is more accurate.
     
  10. tenzen

    tenzen Blue Belt

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    yes jade that is right and that is kind of what i am getting at. i am well aware of the fact that they came from iga originally but in the case of shinden fudo ryu it had sokes whos family name was from kouga region for 200 years. that was what i was pointing out. a few of the other bujinkan arts have this same thing going on only not as long maybe one or two generations then back again. thats all. just wanted to see what you all thought about this and how much of it do you think was changed ie has kouga elements to it. from my understanding there is more than one sfr. could this be becuase of it going back and forth? not sure at all but its a good topic for discussion.
     
  11. JadecloudAlchemist

    JadecloudAlchemist Master of Arts

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    I don't know if we will ever know. I mean for all we know down the line someone could have revamped the whole thing and kept only certain signature techniques. It may have changed and adapted to the times Toda Masamitsu Kamae may have looked different than say Hatsumi or Ueno Rihei(thats just speculation no picture of them) So maybe someone changed certain elements because thats what people do.

    I don't know if we will ever know who changed what when why and how.

    We can speculate and make a generalization that at some time some sort of exchange in ideas may have taken place which may have influenced the schools but how much who and so on is debatable I think.
     
  12. rdonovan1

    rdonovan1 Blue Belt

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    I could be wrong about this, but from what I have studied there is no relation between Koga Ryu and the Ryu's that Hatsumi teaches.

    The closest that I know of anyone currently teaching anything related to Koga Ryu is Sho Kosugi the actor and martial artist. He is the only one that I know of that comes even close to Koga Ryu and that is legitimate.

    Everything that I know of that is legitimate is the stuff that Hatsumi sensei teaches. Everything else supposedly died out a long time ago or at least that is my understanding of it at the moment.
     
  13. JadecloudAlchemist

    JadecloudAlchemist Master of Arts

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    I did not know Sho Kosugi claimed to be a legit practicer of Kouga ryu. I have heard that he has met Tanemura I do not know if he has met Hatsumi. I have seen interviews of him he says his teacher is Yamamoto so how truthful Yamamoto was in teaching him ninjutsu well...
     
  14. tenzen

    tenzen Blue Belt

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    sho kosugi is a shodan in the bujinkan. didn't know he claimed to teach actual koga ryu. thought that was just his movies. ever heard of jinichi kawakami? what about the students of nawa and okuse. are you serious with all the people who fled japan you think they didnot bring theirmartial arts with them. you think none of this was ninjutsu. you must think that jujutsu didnt spread around the world this way too huh.
     
  15. JadecloudAlchemist

    JadecloudAlchemist Master of Arts

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    Kosugi has mentioned Yamamoto in many interviews. I don't think he ever said Kouga or any particular ryu he trained in.
    I heard he met Tanemura maybe an upper Genbukan person knows more.
    Mixed opinions about him. Threads on him here too.But again how legit is he well....
    I thought Nawa and Okuse were both historian/scholar and not Ninjutsu practicers.
     
  16. Bruno@MT

    Bruno@MT Senior Master

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    According to my ninpo fundamentals book, there is some koga ryu in Genbukan as well. However, there is a distinction to made.

    Suppose, for the sake of argument, that a koga ryu menkyo kaiden holder or soke fled Japan. He ends up somewhere and teaches a handful techniques to someone before dying. Can his student legitimately claim to 'know koga ryu'? No. As far as anyone of us knows (I am a newbie but people like Don Roley or Chris Parker are subject matter experts imo) there is not a single koga ryu menkyo kaiden holder left.

    The bankeshinobiden guys make claims, but so far have not shown proof. However, at least they are Japanese and their story could be true. The other frauds are just laughable. Some people may have learned a certain amount of techniques, or used whatever they read somewhere to try and rebuild the koga ryu curriculum. But there has not been a single proven full transmission of any koga line since Fujita Seiko. And from what I read by Don roley, there is no proof for that either, And fujita Seiko acknowledged that his training was incomplete.

    And -I think- that this is why my book mentions koga ryu in the beginning of the book, even though the lineage chart quite clearly shows that the koga lines end in dead ends. There may be elements or prinicples in Genbukan somewhere. I don't know enough to recognize them. However, koga ryu does not exist as a separate ryu in Genbukan as far as I am aware.
     
  17. tenzen

    tenzen Blue Belt

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    we should clear somethings up. first koga ryu does not exist as a system it is an umbrella that is like saying tokyo ryu. they are family names of the ryu ha such as saying for example saika ryu. it is very possible for these koga arts to still have survived, just because they are not mainstream does not mean they are real. and dont try to use the scrolls because even hatsumi's scrolls don't go past takamatsu. second the bankeshinobinoden guys did a seminar here in america at this seminar there were some very prominent figures there on a panel, one of these being meik skoss a former student of don dreager. if you know about him he is not that convinced of the ninjutsu scene in the world at all. this seminar was enough to change his mind about ninjutsu and being one of the leading budo authorities in the world that says alot. also there are schools which contain elements of ninjutsu but not complete systems. imho not even hatsumi was taught complete ninjutsu. further more the togakure ryu was created by takamatsu from a childs game. the other two systems are ninjutsu but we do not even know for sur if hatsumi knows them as he does not teach them. now im sure he will to his successor if he knows them but only time will tell. and please dont get fired up and think i am attacking anyone especiallly hatsumi. i love ninjutsu in all its forms... well maybe not all of them there are a few in texas and florida that are obviously not ninjutsu or anything related to it but they use the name. we wont discuss that issue as some of them will sue you for uttering their names because they are such brave ninjas. hopefully this adds more fuel to the discussion and maybe could take it in another direction.
     
  18. Bruno@MT

    Bruno@MT Senior Master

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    Uhm... yeah I know Meik Skoss. I've emailed with him a couple of times on the topic of koryu and ninjutsu, and his opinions on that matter. I've also read the interview you mentioned. It is quite a bit more nuanced than 'changing his mind on ninjutsu'.

    And afaik not even Meik thinks that Togakure ryu was created from a child's game. He has many objections, but this is not one of them. I have never seen anything indicating that Togakure ryu was a fabrication from Takamatsu. On the contrary, I have read a very well thought out essay describing the reasons for deducing that Togakure is a genuine system.

    I am also aware of the fact that koga ryu was family oriented and organized a bit differently from the common ryu system (not one common koga ryu etc). I wrote a small book review on a biogaphy of Seiko Fujita which explain a lot of this in detail. That does not change the fact that there is no public proof of any koga ryu xxx-ha line still in existence.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2009
  19. JadecloudAlchemist

    JadecloudAlchemist Master of Arts

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    I wrote this huge reply. But then I thought why? What for?

    Tenzen wants to believe that Kawakami is a real Kouga master well I guess that his choice.

    Tenzen wishes to dismiss Hatsumi well I guess that his choice to believe as well.

    I am tired of this conversation Believe what you want Tenzen...
     
  20. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    You know, I'm with JCA here, and it appears that one person wants their fantasies, and that's all fine. But one or two things I would like to address, just for my own piece of mind, I guess.

    First, Tenzen, you say that Sho has a Shodan in the Bujinkan? Where did you get that from? I haven't seen any account of that from any Bujinkan or Sho Kosugi reference at all. In fact the only reference I have seen for Kosugi and Ninjutsu is what appears to be as fantasy based as many other claims, and was probably developed as part of his spiel for getting cast in roles. Essentially, he says he was taught by a "mysterious meighbour" named Yamamoto, who he called Uncle Yamamoto. This "Uncle", he claims, taught him some basic tricks over a few years when he was a child, then just as mysteriously disappeared... not really convincing me, I'm afraid. So where does this Bujinkan claim come from?

    As for Meik and his assessment of the Bankeshinobinoden group, he doesn't really have the sway you are giving him here. Basically, what Meik said was that in the question and answer portion of the lecture, the answers given lead Meik to believe that Kawakami had a true Japanese transmission, or a very good approximation of one. Bear in mind that this in no way is the same as Meik saying that Kawakami is teaching Ninjutsu, legit or otherwise, just that he had a good understanding of the way such an art would be transmitted. But Meik also states that he himself would not be considered an authentic seal of approval, as he has very limited knowledge in this field.

    Also remember that Meik was only present at one part of the entire seminar (the question panel), the questions were pre-determined, and one of the answers that most impressed Meik was that Kawakami claimed his art was not Koryu as he considers Ninjutsu separate from the Koryu groups. So Meik gave his "approval" for it as a system based on the fact that the guy said it wasn't, and therefore doesn't threaten Meik's take on what exactly a Koryu is? And as for Meik himself, I have a tremendous amount of respect for him, but he is an expert on things such as Shindo Muso Ryu, Toda-ha Buko Ryu, and an interested observer of a number of others, none of which are Ninjutsu.

    There is no one Koga Ryu. Well, to take us back a bit in history, groups that we would now call Iga Ryu or Koga Ryu came form specific regions in Japan. The Iga group were thought to be headed by members of three families, the Fujibayashi, the Momochi, and the Hattori. The Koga groups were made up of many more. There was no Ryu known as Iga Ryu (although there are currently bogus groups using this name), but there were/may have been groups known as Koga Ryu. Fujita Seiko claimed to be the last head of Wada-ha Koga Ryu, amongst others. So, yes, there were specific schools known as Koga Ryu, just variants thereof. It is thought that that is because most of the Koga knowledge was lost in raids by such men as Nobunaga Oda before formally becoming Ryu (often occuring during peacetime, in fact it is generally assumed that the Ryu concept dates aminly from the Tokugawa Jidai).

    Finally Tenzen, your profile states that you are an 8th Dan, whic almost certainly makes you Bujinkan. Whereabouts are you, and who taught you? Just trying to get an idea of who we're talking with here.
     

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